Epicurean Delivers Before Retiring to Stud

A well-deserved win saw Epicurean (Flying Spur x El Bulli) earn her second win in the $7,000 Paper Plus Matamata 2000 race at Matamata on Friday.

Trained in Cambridge by Frank Ritchie, Epicurean won her second race from her 15 starts, running in the money for three of her four starts this campaign. She broke her maiden status as a four-year-old last season in a 1400m race also at Matamata and ran second in her first 2100m race two starts later.

“She was very well ridden which was a big help,” comments trainer Frank Ritchie. “Epicurean runs well on a left-handed track and all her best placings have been at Waikato.

“She’s a very big horse and very heavy which puts a lot of weight on her joints. She is in foal now and since being in foal she has been a lot more relaxed.

“I have yet to talk to Sir Peter about the mare’s future but if she has another run it will only be the one more.”

Epicurean drew an inside barrier and settled mid-field on the rail in the early stages of the race for jockey Matthew Cameron.

As the field turned for home, Cameron saw a window of opportunity and took a gap at the 200m, driving forward to dash to the lead. Epicurean gained victory by a half-length with Cops ‘N’ Coyote (NZ) (Colombia) close behind in second place and Table One (NZ) (Zenno Rob Roy) finishing in third.

The Flying Spur mare has won $17,400 for owner Sir Peter Vela.

The five-year-old mare was bred by Sir Peter Vela and Philip Vela and is out of winning Zabeel mare El Bulli, who was runner-up in the Group 2 ARC Championship Stakes and is a full-sister to Group 3 Wellington Stakes placegetter Abbey Drive (Zabeel).

Epicurean was covered by Super Easy, standing at Hallmark Stud, this season and is due to have her first foal in 2015.