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Matareya & Nations Pride hoping to ace G1 tests at Saratoga


Acorn Stakes heroine Matareya aims for back-to-back G1 wins in the Test Stakes, with Nations Pride also seeking G1 honours in the Saratoga Derby on the same Saratoga card on Saturday, 6 August.

Matareya returns to seven furlongs following a dominant display over a mile in the G1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park in June, when she coasted home to score by an easy six and a quarter lengths.

The Brad Cox-trained filly has yet to taste defeat during her three-year-old season and posted impressive seven-furlong wins in Keeneland’s G3 Beaumont Stakes in April and the G2 Eight Belles Stakes on the Kentucky Oaks undercard at Churchill Downs.

Michael Banahan, Director of Bloodstock, Godolphin USA, said: “Matareya had a few easy weeks after her Acorn win, although she has steadily picked up her workload recently. Her last few breezes at Saratoga have been outstanding and we head into the Test very confidently.

“She is a very talented sprinter but is laid back and easy to train. We hope to be able to add another G1 to her CV on Saturday.”

Fellow three-year-old homebred Nations Pride also ran at Belmont Park on his most recent outing as he finished strongly after a slow start to go down by three-quarters of a length to Classic Causeway in the G1 Belmont Derby. The Teofilo colt started his year with eye-catching victories in the Jumeirah Derby at Meydan and a Newmarket Listed race before coming home eighth in the G1 Derby at Epsom Downs.

His trainer Charlie Appleby said: “Nations Pride ran a very creditable race in the Belmont Derby and has done well since. The team out in America have been pleased with his preparation and he has a nice draw in stall four. A repeat performance of his last run should hopefully make him the one to beat.”