Bak Da Master - Masterful

Date: 11 Sep 2020

Bak Da Master - Masterful

After a proficient display of jumping, Bak Da Master (6 g Mastercraftsman - Bak Da Princess, by Danske) ran out a dominant winner in the $10,000 BHL Feeds Maiden Hurdle (2900m) on 11 September at Hawera.

Having provided the 100th win for
leading trainer Jamie Richards last season, when scoring on the flat in July at
Awapuni, Bak Da Master brought high levels of fitness into the event and fully
deserved victory at his third jumping assignment. At his previous start, he did
all but hold out Interllectus (Intello), touted as a very promising jumper,
when finishing second in the Maiden Hurdle (2800m) on 22 August at Awapuni.

A worthy favourite, and true to
his $1.90 tote price and $2.80 fixed odds quote, Bak Da Master was left in front
after a mishap in the straight, with a round to go, and his track work rider
and jockey Michael Roustoby rated him perfectly.

“He's always threatened to do
that, shown he is quite capable in the jumping role and it was a good win,”
Richards said. “I thought he was aided by a nice ride from Michael (Roustoby).
He was able to find a rhythm in front and slightly better track conditions
(Slow8) probably helped him as well.

“It was a good effort by the team
- Tracy (Collis) and Kate (Belsham) at the Main Stable. We've being slowly
building him up and it's his second win in this preparation so he's doing a
good job. I think he's open to further improvement next winter, as well.”

It was the fifth winner inside a
week for Richards, having taken the glory when winning both stakes last
Saturday at Te Rapa, with the unbeaten Need I Say More (No Nay Never) and
four-time Group 1 winner Avantage (Fastnet Rock).

From the family of stable star Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle), and half-brother to Group 1 Easter Handicap winner Pondarosa Miss (High Chaparral) and Group 1 placed multiple stakes winner Ecuador (High Chaparral), Bak Da Master was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $90,000 at the 2016 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, out of the draft Leanach Lodge draft, for the Te Akau Master Syndicate (Mgr: David Ellis CNZM).

Bak Da Master is from an unraced
Danske (Danehill) mare - half-sister to Waikato Cup (Gr. 2, 2400m) winner Bak
Da Chief (Chief Bearhart) - doing a great job at stud with winning progeny of
30 races.

Bred by the Hollinshead family at
Te Awamutu, grand-dam Havitbak (Bakharoff), a tremendous producer of
high-quality horses, became a foundation mare for the family after they
purchased her from the late Jim Campin (Chequers Stud).

“I was thrilled for the owners
that Bak Da Master won so well over the hurdles. It's such an exciting part of
our sport,” Ellis said.

“He was well ridden by Michael Roustoby, who is a very important member of our team. A very good judge, he rides work and educates all the young horses beautifully. He loves his jumps' racing and it's great to reward him with a win and also a good third in the next hurdle race on Richard of Yorke.

Bak Da Master has been the absolute model of consistency in his career - having now won three of his 22 starts, he has finished runner up no fewer than eight occasions, with five further third and fourth placings.

“I've always loved jumps racing, too, and it's great to have horses competing at this time of year before Group 1 racing starts on the flat. It provides an essential opportunity for our jumps' riders to remain in the industry. There seems to be an excellent camaraderie among them, they're very good horse people and top track riders.

“It's also important for trainers to learn how to train jumpers and Jamie (Richards) has picked up on it very quickly. There are not many trainers that have trained Group 1 two and three-year-old winners, both Karaka Million winners, and are also capable of turning their hands to jumpers as well.

“Some of the great trainers in Australasia have also learnt how to train jumpers and had success. Trainers like Colin Jillings, Brian Anderton, Bart Cummings, Colin Hayes and Tommy Smith. They all cut their teeth either riding or training jumpers. I think it's both a fantastic and essential part of our industry.

“Horses love jumping. I know from riding at the hunts myself that it's quite incredible how much they enjoy it and, as mentioned, it provides a really good career path for jockeys that are too heavy to ride on the flat. It would be very hard for New Zealand racing to get horses worked each morning, without having these men and women in the game.

“Te Akau horses don't usually come into their own until our tracks improve, so it's good to have some horses handling these slow tracks. Our team members have worked hard all winter, through rain and frosts etc, and it's now time for them to see how well the horses are coming up.

“We're looking forward to the first of our two-year-olds coming out, because we've got some very nice ones, especially heading into Christmas, so hopefully we've got some exciting times ahead of us for everyone.”

Ellis also commented on the weekend ahead, with runners from the Southern base at Riccarton and two in New South Wales, Australia.

“We had a really good winner through the week for Waikato Stud when Cornflower Blue won at Matamata, and we've got two for Brendan and Jo (Lindsay) of Cambridge Stud racing at Kembla Grange on Saturday.

“It's great the way they have got in behind and supported Te Akau Racing. It's a privilege to train for them. It's not ideal that Jamie hasn't been able to go to Sydney and oversee the training, but he has fantastic communication with Ashley Handley who is looking after our horses at Randwick, alongside Craig Thornton who has recently arrived there, and it will be very interesting to see how they race.

“Jamie is doing a very good job and he's on his way to Riccarton to see our horses work on Saturday morning and saddle the runners throughout the day.”

Bak Da Master was strapped by Reece Trumper.

Photo credit -


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