Muchea trainer Alan Mathews (centre right) and jockey Shaun O’Donnell with the connections of Candlelight Supper at Belmont Park on September 16. Picture: Anita McInnes

Candlelight Supper will target autumn races

Candlelight Supper has bought racing success to Muchea trainer Alan Mathews, recently winning three staying races.
September 21, 2023
Anita McInnes

SINCE getting back to training after a fall left him with a fractured pelvis and a brief thought of quitting, Muchea trainer Alan Mathews has had success with Candlelight Supper, who won three staying races this preparation.

Last week Mathews was considering a number of options depending on whether Candlelight Supper’s performance in a 2200m handicap race on September 16 at Belmont Park.

But on Tuesday Mathews told Echo News the five-year-old mare was going for a spell and would not race in the spring carnival.

Instead she would resume racing around Perth Cup time with the aim of heading to the Pinjarra and Bunbury cups.

Mathews said concentrating on the autumn races were an easier option as she was still going through her grades.

While he was mulling over the options he said if she won on September 16 her main goal might be a Geraldton Cup or something like that but that would be after another spell.

“The Kalgoorlie Cup is coming up in the short-term but I think that is a bit too soon and a bit of a high-rated race to where she is at the minute,’’ he said.

Last week Mathews’ who has won six Perth Cups, said staying races in the spring could be a possibility.

He said it was also an option to go the Perth Cup way but they hadn’t really considered that.

“She has very good wet track form so that’s why she’s sort of racing in the winter at the moment.

“She seems to appreciate (wet tracks) or either that she doesn’t appreciate the harder tracks during the summer.

“That’s another consideration you have to put into the perspective.”

Mathews’ fall from an un-raced horse in March resulted in an operation, a short stint in rehabilitation and another stay in hospital because it was thought he might have a tear in his bladder and maybe some cancer was involved.

He said the accident that put him in hospital was a fall from a horse that wasn’t even going fast.

“I just fell off a horse – it just stumbled and I fell off and landed flat on my back,’’ he said.

The horse was hardly out of a walk and when it tripped he sort of rolled off down its neck.

The fall was probably the least interesting he’s ever had but it left him with a fractured pelvis.

He went to hospital on a Monday and then during an operation on the Saturday surgeons put in a permanent plate across the front of his pelvis.

After staying in Royal Perth Hospital in the trauma ward for another week he then went to Bentley Hospital for rehabilitation for about 10 days before going home.

His stables quietened right down and he admits he briefly thought about quitting.

“But it’s a property and a business to run so it’s got to keep happening to make the wheels go around.

“I only had one girl working for me at the time and she decided to move on so my son Ashley is only working part time with his job now, so he’s decided to come back and give us a hand.’’

He was back in hospital again recently as the doctors thought he might have had a tear on his bladder and possibly a slight chance it could have some cancer attached to it.

Luckily the tear turned out to be nothing and a biopsy showed there was no cancer.

“But it was actually fortunate – it was something that if I hadn’t had the accident it would never have been looked at.’’

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