Te Akau Shark was “briiiiiilllliant” according to race commentator Tony Lee when cruising home to win the $70,000 Group 3 Red Badge Open Handicap Sprint over 1400m at Hastings in October 2018.
A showy chestnut who showed plenty of promise from day one, Te Akau Shark has now won four of his five race day starts. The only time he has not been placed in the first three, was when he finished fourth in the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas behind stablemates Embellish and Age of Fire who ran the quinella – and that was at just his third start in November 2017.
Off the scene with a minor injury, Te Akau Shark returned to racing on the first day of the Hastings’ Spring Carnival. Sent out hot favourite, he disposed of that field with ease – a wonderful result for his very proud and patient owners. Six weeks later he was back for the final day of the Spring Carnival in the hands of Michel Coleman. With Coleman describing himself as “merely the passenger”, the ‘Shark’ again dealt to a very talented Group 3 field with disdain, scoring by three lengths untouched.
His next start was as hot favourite in the $230,000 Group 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile at Riccarton on the middle day of the NZ Cup Carnival. He again exhibited the ‘wow’ factor cruising home for a dominant six length victory – a performance that saw rider Opie Bosson declare him as potentially the best horse he has ever ridden!
Resuming in the Group 2 US Navy Flag Foxbridge Plate in August 2019, Te Akau Shark rattled home from the rear to turn heads when finishing runner up. He went straight to Sydney and first up in Australia, impressed all with his second placing in a race not run to suit, and over a distance short of his best, the A$200,000 Group 2 Tramway Stakes 1400m in September 2019..
This exciting galloper is raced by an enthusiastic group of Australians (including Cronulla Sharks’ captain Paul Gallen – hence his name) and Kiwis and was purchased by David Ellis for $230,000 from the NZB Ready to Run Sale.
He has raced eight times for five wins with stakes’ earnings of $301,955.