Image: Ross Holburt
Shawn Mathrick chasing Stakes win with daughter of former stable star
Shawn Mathrick will be forgiven for feeling a little nostalgic when Regimental Lass carries his colours in Saturday’s $175,000 Listed Merson Cooper Stakes at Caulfield.
They are the same colours Regimental Lass’s dam, Gig, carried for the second half of her racing career.
Regimental Lass is the first of Gig’s foals that has been in Mathrick’s care and the Cranbourne trainer is excited about chasing his maiden two-year-old winner with a daughter of one of his best-performed horses.
“This girl can really gallop,” he said.
“I don’t normally race two-year-olds, so it is a bit exciting.”
Regimental Lass is only the third named-foal and first to race for Gig, a 15-year-old daughter of Commands and the Encosta De Lago mare Busking who has had an unfortunate career in the breeding barn.
Mathrick, who bought the Darley-bred Gig for $61,000 at the end of her five-year-old season and prepared her to place in a Group 2 Lawrence Stakes and three Group 3 events, sold her for $300,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions National Broodmare Sale.
Six years later, Mathrick reclaimed Gig, a half-sister to Doncaster Mile winner Happy Clapper, for just $40,000 at the 2021 Inglis Great Southern Broodmare Sale while carrying Regimental Lass.
Her only other named-foals have been Triolet (Brazen Beau) and National Disaster (National Defense), who both got to the trials but never raced.
Mathrick was intrigued by Gig’s record at stud and was keen to implement a tactic he suspected might cause a turnaround in fortunes for the bulky mare.
“Her feet were her problem and I’d actually said when I got rid of her, ‘make sure you keep bar shoes on her’,” Mathrick said.
“She’s a big, heavy mare and my father had said she wouldn’t carry foals with her feet in that condition if you just left her bare.
“Because she’s so heavy herself, her body wouldn’t let her carry them through. Whether that’s right or wrong (I don’t know), but that’s all we’ve done different.
“Now we’ve got her back we’ve put bar shoes on her and she just keeps spitting out foals.
“She’s got a colt, a Toronado foal, at foot and she’s back in-foal to Dundeel.”
Regimental Lass showed early on in the education process that she was a chance to get to the races early and an all-the-way 650m jumpout win at Cranbourne on November 13 prompted Mathrick to consider a start in the Merson Cooper Stakes.
A slick piece of work with Mathrick’s Group 2-winning stable star Cause For Concern convinced him she was worth a spot in the race.
“At home we’ve worked her with Cause For Concern and I said, ‘just sit a length off her and pick her up’, but he couldn’t pick her up,” Mathrick said.
“He’s not the best trackworker in the world, but that’s still a fair thing for a two-year-old.”
Regimental Lass has the services of Jordan Childs in the nine-horse Merson Cooper Stakes, in which she will start from barrier five.
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