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Mark Walker

Mark Walker

Mark Walker has worked for David Ellis since leaving high school and is now his business partner.

Armed with his CV, Walker walked up the driveway at Te Akau Stud and asked David Ellis for a job. Although without a vacancy, Ellis took the time to read through the CV and promptly hired Walker – the rest, as they say, is history.

Ellis freely admits that apart from marrying Karyn, employing Mark Walker is the best decision he has ever made.

An outstanding horseman, Walker led the way among New Zealand horse trainers, dominating New Zealand racing in the decade to 2010, when he transferred to set up Te Akau Racing Stables in Singapore.

Results speak volumes for both his talent and ability to lead a team. He won five New Zealand Trainers’ Premierships in seven years and in the 2009/10 season won the Premiership with 108 wins (28 more than the closest rival). In doing so, he broke a 17 year old record set by Dave and Paul O’Sullivan (104) for the highest number of wins in a season. His Premiership wins came in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010.

Walker hit the ground running in Singapore, forcing the issue at the top of the training premiership before breaking through to win the coveted title in 2015. He finished third in 2016, and looks assured of victory again in 2017.

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

Number of years as a licensed public trainer: Mark commenced training in the 1998/99 season. His first win came on 8 August 1998 at Te Rapa in Hamilton when Galaxy Lover won a hurdle race.

Total number of New Zealand and Australia wins:  863 (858 in NZ – 5 in Australia)

Total number of wins in Singapore: 124 (commencing September 2010 as at 29.4.13)

Total number of Group 1 races won: 20 (19 in NZ, 1 in Australia).

Mark’s first Group 1 win was with Maroofity in the Ellerslie Sires’ Produce Stakes (1200m) in 2003. He has trained 10 individual Group 1 winners of 20 Group 1 races. His first stakes’ winner was Integrate in the Group 2 Japan/NZ International Trophy at Tauranga in March 1999.

Singapore Premiership Winning Trainer 2015

Total number of stakes wins: 100

BIGGEST RACE WINS IN NEW ZEALAND:

  • Group 1 $2 million Kelt Capital Stakes – Princess Coup – 2008
  • Group 1 $2 million Kelt Capital Stakes – Princess Coup – 2007
  • Group 1 $750,000 Kelt Capital Stakes – Distinctly Secret – 2003
  • Group 1 Ellerslie Sires’ Produce Stakes – Maroofity – 2003
  • Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes – Maroofity – 2003
  • Group 1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes – Kindacross – 2005
  • Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas – King’s Chapel – 2003
  • Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas – Darci Brahma – 2005
  • Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas – Tell a Tale – 2008 (1st $1 million race in South Island)
  • Group 1 Telegraph Handicap – King’s Chapel – 2004
  • Group 1 Telegraph Handicap – Darci Brahma – 2007
  • Group 1 Otaki WFA Stakes – King’s Chapel – 2004
  • Group 1 Otaki WFA Stakes – Darci Brahma – 2006
  • Group 1 Thorndon Mile – Maroofity – 2005
  • Group 1 NZ Bloodstock Breeders Stakes – Arlingtonboulevard – 2006
  • Group 1 Waikato Sprint – Darci Brahma – 2007
  • Group 1 New Zealand Oaks – Princess Coup – 2007
  • Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas – Insouciant – 2007
  • Group 1 Stoneybridge Stakes – Princess Coup – 2008

BIGGEST RACE WINS IN SINGAPORE:

  • Group 3 Committee’s Prize – Flying Fulton – 2011
  • Group 3 New Year Cup – Flying Fulton – 2012
  • Group 3 Polytrack Mile Championship – Flying Fulton – 2012
  • Group 3 Colonial Chief Stakes – Flying Fulton – 2012
  • Group 3 Marsiling Classic Stakes – Flying Fulton – 2013

BIGGEST RACE WINS IN AUSTRALIA:

  • Group 1 TJ Smith Handicap – Darci Brahma – 2005
  • Group 2 St George Stakes – Princess Coup – 2008
  • Group 2 QTC Grand Prix Stakes – Distinctly Secret – 2002
  • Group 3 BTC Chairmans Handicap – Society Beau – 2002
  • Listed Rough Habit Plate – Distinctly Secret – 2002
  • 2nd Group 1 Australian Cup – Princess Coup – 2008
  • 2nd Group 1 BMW Stakes – Princess Coup – 2008
  • 2nd Group 1 Ranvet Stakes – Princess Coup – 2008
  • 2nd Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes – Princess Coup – 2007
  • 2nd Group 1 VRC Australian Guineas – Darci Brahma – 2006
  • 2nd Group 1 AJC George Main Stakes – King’s Chapel – 2004
  • 3rd Group 1 Caulfield Cup – Princess Coup 2007
  • 3rd Group 1 Caulfield Cup – Distinctly Secret – 2004
  • 3rd Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes – Distinctly Secret – 2003

BEST HORSES TRAINED:

Princess Coup (purchased by David Ellis)

  • 4 time Group 1 winner – including back to back Kelt Capital Stakes
  • 2006-07 NZ Filly of the Year
  • 2006-07 NZ Champion 3YO of the Year
  • 2007-08 NZ Champion Middle Distance Horse of the Year (twice)
  • 2007-08 NZ Champion Stayer of the Year
  • Stakes earned $NZ 4.23 million
  • Highest earning progeny of Encosta De Lago
  • Leading Horse of All Time in NZ for domestic stakes earnings (source NZTR)

Darci Brahma (purchased by David Ellis)

  • 5 time Group 1 winner
  • 2004-05 NZ Champion 2YO of the Year
  • 2005-06 NZ Champion 3YO of the Year
  • 2006-07 NZ Champion Sprinter of the Year
  • Stakes earned $1.3 million – winner of 10 races
  • Standing at stud

King’s Chapel (purchased by David Ellis)

  • 3 time Group 1 winner
  • 2003-04 NZ Champion 3YO of the Year
  • 2003-04 NZ Champion Sprinter /Miler
  • 2003-04 NZ Horse of the Year
  • Standing at stud

Maroofity (purchased by David Ellis)

  • 3 time Group 1 winner
  • 2002-03 NZ Champion 2YO of the Year
  • Distinctly Secret (bred by David Ellis)
  • Group 1 Kelt Capital Stakes winner (also twice runner up)
  • Twice winner Group 2 Awapuni Gold Cup
  • Winner Group 2 Grand Prix Stakes, Listed Rough Habit Plate – Australia
  • Stakes earned $1.82 million – winner of 10 races 

Flying Fulton (purchased by David Ellis)

  • 6 time Group and Listed winner (five Group 3 races in Singapore, one Listed in NZ)
  • 2012 Singapore Polytrack Horse of the Year
  • Stakes earned $1.3 million

Other Career Highlights:

He won the “Newcomer to Training” Award at the official NZTR Annual Racing Awards, during his first season as a trainer in 1998-99.

He was voted “NZ Trainer of the Year” four times at the official NZTR Annual Racing Awards – 2003-04, 2005-06, 2006/07 and 2008/09.

Youngest ever recipient of the “NZ Trainer of the Year” award when he first won the title as a 31 year old during season 2003-04.

Headed the NZ Trainers’ Premiership for most wins in a season, four times since 2003-04 and twice finished second and third.

In 2007-08 broke the NZ record for the highest number of 2YO wins in a season, winning 23 juvenile events with 16 individual 2YOs.

In 2007-08 became the first ever trainer to win the prestigious NZ Bloodstock Filly of the Year title for three consecutive years with Shikoba in 2005-06, Princess Coup in 2006-07 and Insouciant in 2007-08.

In 2007-08 was the first trainer to win NZ’s first ever $2million race, the Kelt Capital Stakes, in which he went on to record back to back wins after Princess Coup’s second consecutive victory in 2008-09.

In 2008-09 won the South Island’s first ever $1 million race, the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas with Tell a Tale.

In 2008-09 Te Akau established a new New Zealand record for domestic stakes’ earnings in one season – $3.71 million.

In 2009-10 established a new New Zealand all time record for wins in a season – 108 (previous record 104).

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