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Matareya continues to blossom with easy G1 Acorn Stakes win


Matareya maintained her perfect three-year-old season and gained a first G1 victory with another dominant display in the Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park, USA, on Saturday, 11 June.

The Brad Cox-trained filly headed into the mile dirt highlight on the back of comprehensive Graded Stakes wins at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, and her task was made significantly more straightforward with the late scratching of Champion filly Echo Zulu.

After breaking fastest of the four runners, Matareya soon established a three-quarter length advantage over Divine Huntress.

Matareya increased her lead to over a length at the halfway stage and continued to travel strongly in front, with Flavien Prat able to look round for potential challenges turning in.

None of her rivals could lay a glove on the Godolphin filly, who forged further clear at the top of the straight before coasting home for a comprehensive six and a quarter-length success.

Michael Banahan, Director of Bloodstock, Godolphin USA, said: “We always want our three-year-old fillies to be Oaks fillies and we tried to stretch Matareya out in trip, but she ran into the Oaks winner Secret Oath at Oaklawn. We decided to back her up a little bit and she has been undefeated since.

“Going back up to a mile today was always going to be a bit of a test but we liked the one turn here, which helped her. It was very unfortunate with Echo Zulu scratching out of the race but we really fancied our chances.

“Matareya is a really nice filly, who has improved with every race, and hopefully we can have a nice summer up in Saratoga as well. The obvious target is the G1 Test Stakes for her next start. “

Flavien Prat said: “Echo Zulu was obviously the filly to beat and her scratching is not something you want to see but, on a personal note, it makes the race a little easier for us.

“Matareya did everything right today. She broke well as usual, was very happy on the lead and responded really well when I asked her to make a move.”