Aotea Lad - Saturday Winning Double

Date: 27 Nov 2021

Aotea Lad - Saturday Winning Double


In a torridly run affair, Aotea Lad (5 g Savabeel - Corsage, by Volksraad) showed resolve in winning  $35,000 Dunstan Feeds Championship Qualifier (Rating 74, 1600m) on Saturday at Wanganui.


A stakes' winner on debut, as was stable-mate and debutante two-year-old filly Bright Blue Sky (Fastnet Rock) a week earlier at Te Rapa, Aotea Lad was astutely placed by trainer Jamie Richards and aided by an apprentice weight relief.

Having run fastest last 600m (34.8) getting home for second in a Rating 74 1300 metres on 17 October at Rotorua, and fourth off wide trip in Rating 74 1600 metres on 30 October at Wanganui, Aotea Lad was highest rated (77) and carded with 61.5kg, but claimed to 57.5kg courtesy of Te Akau apprentice Parmar Singh (Niranjan).

And what a great ride by the young man who recorded his first victory aboard stable-mate Excitonic (Savabeel) in late October at Te Rapa.

Customarily, Aotea Lad settles off the pace, but Parmar had him in contention from the outset, allowed him reprieve on a cut-throat pace, and rounding the home turn it appeared if anyone was to catch the leader then he was the one.

Aotea Lad was purchased by David Ellis CNZM at the 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale for $200,000. Owned by Te Akau Love Life Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Aotea Lad notched his third win, in addition to seven seconds, running the mile in 1:35.5, and returned $6.20 & $1.90 on NZ TAB tote.

“He (Parmar) gave him a lovely ride, nice and positive from a good gate (5),” Richards said. “We've been waiting for a decent barrier draw. He'd been without one for a while and I was happy with the way he was ridden and the way that he won.

“The guys at the Main Stable have done a good job with him and he's a lovely horse to have around. Michael Roustoby rides a majority of his work and he's been going really well.

“He rose quickly in the ratings as a two and three-year-old and probably lost his way a little bit, but found his rating at the top of the 74 grade, so he appreciated the weight claim, and he'll drop down (weight) in Open Handicaps now. If we place him right then there's no reason he won't continue to race well.

“Our Assistant Trainer Sam Bergerson has been down there with the horses that raced on Thursday at Otaki and today and it's good to see reward coming his way after a great stint with our horses during Cup Week at Riccarton.”

Corsage, the dam of Aotea Lad, was purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis CNZM as a yearling at Karaka, winning three times from 1100m - 1400m, Group 1 placed in Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m), third in Matamata Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m), and was 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), is in turn from great race mare Seamist (Beaufort Sea), winner of 12 races, including Auckland Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m), runner-up in both Thorndon Mile (Gr. 1, 1600m) and 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), and was as fine a filly as you would wish to see.

“To win with that weight was a bloody good effort and I'm thrilled for everyone involved,” Ellis said. “He was a Group Two winner on debut and ran second to Probabeel (Savabeel) in the Karaka Million, so he always had the ability, stayed sound, and is now winning as a five-year-old.

“I was impressed with the ride by Parmar and thought he summed it up perfectly. He's going very well: he's a good person, dedicated, rides a lot of work and he's got a good future.

“Aotea Lad is a homebred that we decided to sell and then liked him so much we bought him back at Karaka. Karyn and I race hi with some of our co-breeders including Sam Boyd, who was my farm manager for 35 years, Gilbert Southworth, John Elstob, and we have other really good owners involved.

“We've got a lovely full-sister to Aotea Lad that we're starting to break in next week here at Te Akau Stud. The mare is home on the farm, in foal to Embellish, and we have a promising two-year-old filly by Almanzor who looked good when finishing second at the trials in September.

“Mark Walker and I bought Corsage for $25,000 from the Select Sale at Karaka. She was a much better filly than her record suggests. She was desperately unlucky not to win the (Diamond) Sistema Stakes, beaten a nose and half a head, and very unlucky not to win the Karaka Million that year.”

Reflecting on the two-year-olds: Ellis said: “We've been without use of the swimming pool at the Matamata training facilities, but that will be back in action Monday week. Jamie (Richards) has done an unbelievable job preparing them without the pool and we've got nineteen two-year-olds trialling on Monday at Matamata.

“Our attention now turns to the (delayed) Horse of the Year awards on Monday night and we can't wait to find out the results. We had a record-breaking season and have a lot of finalists.

“It's a big thing to us at Te Akau, because it adds so much value to the horses. We also have a finalist in the Strapper of the Year, Jamie is the only nomination for Champion Trainer, Opie Bosson our stable rider is also a finalist for Champion Jockey, as is Danielle Johnson who rides a lot for us - and we know Amarelinha (Savabeel) has already won New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year.”

Aotea Lad was strapped by Casey Brown.

Photo credit -


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