Thornley and No Matter Wat the combo to beat at Addington tonight

By Jonny Turner

Olivia Thornley will get to find out how much more speed and power her favourite horse has developed at Addington on Friday night.

Thornley reunites with New Zealand Oaks winner No Matter Wat who returns from a spell in race 3.

Despite working at Mark and Nathan Purdon’s stable, Thornley hasn’t had a first-hand feel of how much the four-year-old might have improved with her break.

“From all reports they are really happy with her trackwork,” Thornley said.

“She is one that Michael Purdon’s partner Allison does a lot of work with.”

“I don’t get to drive her much at home, I just get the drive on raceday.”

“She is certainly a fun horse to drive at the races, that’s to put it lightly.”

“It is special feeling when you get to drive a horse like her.”

No Matter Wat was the find of last year, going from unheralded maiden to producing one of the most emphatic wins at Group 1 level in 2022.

“She came a long way, she went from qualifying to winning a Group One,” Thornley said.

With just 11 starts to her name, the best is surely yet to come from the classy mare.

No Matter Wat will take her first step towards living up to those expectations in a middle grade 1980m mobile where she starts from the outside of the front row.

It’s a draw that Thornley doesn’t have too many concerns with.

“I am not too worried about the draw, we are down to seven horses now so she won’t end up too far off them.”

Thornley also teams up with With Style in race 6 on Friday night.

The three-year-old looks one of the main dangers to his stablemate Sinbad, who has the advantage of having a recent race.

“He is a horse I have driven a lot and he has been unlucky in a lot of his races,” Thornley said.

“The big races would come along and he would always draw the outside of the gate or somewhere like that.”

“He is an honest horse and this looks a nice starting point for him.”

Thornley will also team up with her father Robin when driving Miley Ace in race 2.

The four-year-old looks a top 4 threat after placing in her last two outings.

“I haven’t driven for Dad in a long time, so I hope I don’t stuff it up.”

“My brother (Sam) does a lot of the work with the horse and he has been happy with her.”

“He is committed to Ken Barron’s horse, so I get to take the drive.”

Opening fixed odds prices: No Matter Wat $1.75, With Style $6.50, Miley Ace $21.

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