6 Win Saturday - Aotea Lad Absolutely

Date: 19 Mar 2023

6 Win Saturday - Aotea Lad Absolutely


Te Akau trainer Mark Walker had a perfect start to Saturday racing at Tauranga, securing a hat-trick when Aotea Lad (6 g Savabeel - Corsage, by Volksraad) won the $40,000 Frocked Up Girls Open Handicap 1200 metres.

Off the scene since racing since earlier in the season, Aotea Lad came clear to win nicely at the trials on 7 March at Rotorua and aided by his ability to act fresh, the stakes' winner and multiple stakes' placed galloper scored handsomely in the hands of Niranjan Parmar (a2).

It was a the second win in succession for the Te Akau apprentice, having won aboard Merlotti (Burgundy), while his compatriot Joe Kamaruddin claimed a hat-trick of his own when winning the first race aboard Inca Belle (Per Incanto).

Back from the hop, in a pattern that prevailed, Aotea Lad saved ground on the inner before angling across heels to make his run four wide in the straight and sustained the effort to win in terrific fashion. 

“It was a really good win and full credit to team at the Main Barn where he's stabled,” Walker said. 

“He had an injury on the float heading to the South Island for Cup Week last year and they've nursed him back to health.  Gee he looked terrific in the parade ring beforehand.”

On Heavy10 footing, he ran 1200 metres in 1:13.4, scoring by one and a quarter lengths, and paid $5.60 & $2.10 on the NZ TAB tote.

Born and bred at Te Akau Stud and owned by Te Akau Love Life Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Aotea Lad notched his fourth win, in addition to eight seconds and three thirds, taking earnings to $366,500. 

The dam of Aotea Lad, Corsage, was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM as a yearling at Karaka, winning three times from 1100m - 1400m, being Group One placed in the Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), and third in the Matamata Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m), and unfortunately relegated to second in the Ray Coupland Stakes (Listed, 1400m). She was Joint Second Top Filly on the 2008-09 2YO Free Handicaps.

Corsage (Volksraad), from Spray (Entrepreneur), in turn is from great race mare Seamist (Beaufort Sea), the winner of 12 races including the Auckland Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m), runner-up in both Thorndon Mile (Gr. 1, 1600m) and 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), and as fine a filly as you would wish to see. 

The family has been in great form this season, with the half-sister to Aotea Lad, Safura (Almanzor) winning and finishing third in the Royal Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m) and Fiore Di Campo (Savabeel) debuting last week for second in the 2YO 1200 metres at Matamata.

“He's bred and owned by some great friends and the mare (Corsage) is doing such a good job,” Ellis said.

“He won the Wakefield Challenge Stakes (Gr. 2, 1100m) on debut as a two-year-old and the way he won today I can't see why he won't go on and win more races.

“Congratulations to Mark (Walker) and the team because they only took four over to Tauranga and to win the first three races is just incredible.”

Aotea Lad was strapped by Cooper Stumbles. 


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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