24 Hours - 3 Wins, 3 Countries

Date: 24 Jun 2024

24 Hours - 3 Wins, 3 Countries

In a remarkable 24 hours from Saturday to Sunday afternoon - Te Akau Racing celebrated three winners in three different countries, a huge effort by the team!  The winning roll started on Saturday afternoon in New Zealand with Marlborough Bay, continued with Te Akau Ben in Singapore on Saturday evening, culminating in Leaderboard again winning at Warrnambool, Victoria, Australia on Sunday ...

With a flawless display of jumping, Leaderboard (9 g Street Cry – Flower Fairy, by Dynaformer) easily won the A$40,000 Warrnambool BM120 Steeplechase (3450m) on 23 June at Warrnambool, Victoria.

The former Wellington Cup (Gr. 3, 3200m) and St Leger (Listed, 2600m) winner has taken to jumps racing like a duck to water and after easily winning (3.25 lengths) the Maiden Hurdle (3200m) on 30 April at Warrnambool, he recently stepped up with a great performance for second in the Australian Hurdle (3900m) on 2 June at Sandown.

Ridden again by former New Zealand Champion Jumps' Jockey of the Year Aaron Kuru, who recently combined with him to win on the course and partnered stable-mate Prismatic (Savabeel) for second in the prior race, a 3200-metre hurdle, Leaderboard jumped brilliantly in front throughout and kept dishing it up to win by three and a half lengths.

In the race sponsored by Michelin Service Centre, hotly supported Leaderboard appreciated the Soft6 footing and paid $1.90 & $1.20 on the NZ TAB tote.

“It was a brilliant display of jumping and a lovely ride of Aaron’s,” said Mark Walker, from the Te Akau training base at Cranbourne.

“He’s really taken to the jumping caper and absolutely loves it. He can jump off a short stride, a long stride, he’s very nimble, and really has huge potential. 

“It’s great for Fortuna Racing, John and Jessica Galvin and their owners, they have a great understanding of racing and it’s lovely to train Leaderboard in Australia, and for him to have now won his first steeplechase assignment.

Walker said that Leaderboard will be prepared for the A$100,000 Thackery Steeplechase (3450m) in a fortnight (Sunday 7 July) at Warrnambool, prior to the A$300,000 Australian Grand National Hurdle (4200m) on Sunday 4 August at Sandown, and finish his campaign in the A$350,000 Australian Grand National Steeplechase (4500m) on Sunday 25 August at Ballarat. 

“They are three really big assignments ahead of him, but we do think he is a top-class jumper,” Walker added.

Owned by Fortuna Leaderboard Syndicate (Mgr: John Galvin), Leaderboard was purchased in October 2018 at the Tattersalls Sale in U.K., and his nine wins have yielded over $450,000 in earnings.

“I’ve been watching jumping races most my life and seen some pretty good jumpers in that time, but this boy is really showing to have the goods,” Galvin said.

“He’s very measured, calm, and methodical, with his jumping, but he also has the turn of foot that has seen him win good races on the flat.

“He looked to have them in trouble a fair way out and we had the right man in the saddle, of course, who rated him perfectly, kept him out of trouble, except for when the riderless horse came alongside over the concluding stages.”

At the time of purchase, Galvin said: “I asked (bloodstock agent) Hubie de Burgh to find a European bred stayer that had a typical pedigree and the type that could turn into a cups' horse down here (New Zealand). So, he went to the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale and picked him out. We had a budget of 70 to 80,000 Guineas and we got him for the budget.”

His sire Street Cry (Machiavellian) also left Winx, world record holder of 25 Group One races, Champion US mare Zenyatta, Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, and Melbourne Cup winner Shocking, so stamina runs in the blood and Leaderboard has his share. 

“We’ve had Leaderboard for six years and he’s probably only been a bit in and out with his form because he hasn’t been able to run in races that are long enough for him,” Galvin added.

“He showed us when winning the Wellington Cup and St Leger, and his third in the New Zealand Cup, what he could do over ground, and now he’s excelling in the jumping game. 

“I’ll be there for his next start in the Thackery (Steeplechase). It’s a bit of a mission, three and a half hours on the train to Warrnambool, but it’s a great venue and I heard the commentator say that the meeting in July is always a sell out, as well.

“Mark (Walker) came back to New Zealand, and has taken over the training of Leaderboard - the horse was going well for Jamie (Richards) – but with the extra time Mark has taken him to another level and handled him to perfection. He’s really got to understand the horse.

“Several of the Leaderboard members are also in Malborough Bay (Darci Brahma) as well (winner a day earlier at Tauranga), so they’ve had a double for the weekend.”

Leaderboard was strapped by Hailey Morton.


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