A Right Royal Win

Date: 27 Jun 2021

A Right Royal Win


After placing all in five hurdle starts, it was fair dues that Richard of Yorke (9 g Oasis Dream - Cascata, by Montjeu) won the $15,000 Restricted Open Hurdle (3100m) on Sunday at Te Aroha.


Despite still being a Maiden jumper (winner of six on the flat), and although race favourite Dr Hank (Redwood) was two from two over hurdles, there was plenty to like about his chances following a very good finishing second to subsequent hurdle winner Chief Sequoyah (Redwood) in the Maiden Hurdle (2760m) on 7 June at Ellerslie.

In the race named Happy 5thBirthday Lucas Brosnan (son of noted jumps trainers Peter & Jessica Brosnan), Richard of Yorke travelled boldly outside the leader, took over at the 800m, had the measure of his two closest rivals before the home turn, and drew clear over three hurdles in the straight to win impressively.

Aided by the two kilo claim of regular pilot Michael Roustoby, Richard of Yorke carried 63kg to the 68kg of second placed Dr Hank but regardless of the difference in weight impost there was little you could take away from a dominant victory.

“He really deserved that,” said trainer Jamie Richards. “He'd been getting too far back in his races and leaving himself too much to do.

“Troy (Harris) rides his work and he's been doing gate work on him to get out and going and there was evidence of that today.

“Michael (Roustoby) was able to put some pressure on from the half-mile and he used the weight differential to his advantage. It was a great ride and the pair certainly warranted a breakthrough.

“Richard of Yorke seems to enjoy the testing tracks and I'm sure he'll take a great deal of confidence and satisfaction from winning.

“It wouldn't surprise me to see him go on with it, now, and we'll probably come back to a similar sort of race on 11 July at Te Aroha.”

Course/distance placed among his five placed efforts, Richard of Yorke returned $3.20 & $1.60 on the NZ TAB tote.

Owned by the Te Akau Plantagenet Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Richard of Yorke was a winner on slow ground over 2414 metres at Royal Ascot before being sold to Australia. Following a further two wins over 2400 metres and $200,000 in prize money, he was on sold for $42,000 on Gavelhouse.

“He's got a really good international pedigree and a horse that Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) and Mark Walker arranged to buy,” said Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM.

“Jamie (Richards) has done an amazing job getting him to jump like that. He's got an incredible record with the jumpers, has a real affinity, and wouldn't be out of place among the National Hunt trainers in England and Ireland.

“I'm thrilled for Michael (Roustoby). He's become a very important part of the team - he still claims two kilos which is a big help and he does a magnificent job riding work all morning and working in the stables. He's a big part of our success.

“It's a special thrill winning with a jumper and great for the owners - absolutely brilliant. I love seeing a nice jumper like that.

“I've always loved the caper and remember winning the last jumps race they ever held in Sydney, a hurdle in 1989 at Rosehill. The horse, Te Akau Lad (Zamazaan), won on the flat by 16 lengths one day at Paeroa, with P. D. Johnson (Danielle's father) in the saddle. He won 10 in total, but became a really good hurdler and our trainer Jim Gibbs suggested we send him over to Graeme Rogerson, who trained at the time in Sydney.”

Ellis also praised the management work of his wife, Karyn, and provided an update on the horses.

“It's quite incredible the success of horses that Karyn has managed this season,” he said. “Avantage, for one, has won five Group One races, but also Oaks' winner Amarelinha, the Karaka Million and Sires' Produce Stakes winner On the Bubbles, and the other two-year-old Group One Sistema winner Sword of State, along with stakes winner Entriviere and a lot of other winners.

“She does the job incredibly well, keeping everyone informed, and we're incredibly lucky to have her. She has an amazing work ethic, understands our business, and I know the team and owners are hugely grateful for her involvement.

“We haven't got many runners left this season (ending 31 July), but to achieve the records we have is just remarkable and I'm immensely proud of everyone that has made it happen. We're having a party for all the team soon, both stable and stud.

“We've been busy educating all the young horses for the last three months and we've only got four left to break-in from the yearlings I bought in June on the Gold Coast.

“All the horses have been into the stable at Matamata, back out spelling at Te Akau Stud, and now going back in for the second time. It won't be long before we give the babies a jump out from the race gates and make up our minds which ones we take to the trials in early August.

“It's always a wet time of year at the moment, but we're having quite a mild winter here at the farm and there's plenty of grass.”

Richard of Yorke was strapped by Crystal Gilchrist.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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