Bak Da Master's a Beauty

Date: 10 Oct 2020

Bak Da Master's a Beauty

From the family of dual Group 1 winning stable-mate Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle), Bak Da Master  (6 g Mastercraftsman - Bak Da Princess, by Danske) franked his course form when winning the $20,000 Open Hurdle (2900m) on Saturday at Hawera.

Having produced a proficient display of jumping to win the Maiden Hurdle (2900m) on 11 September at Hawera, prior to running a big race for second last Friday in the Rating 74 2100 metres at Te Rapa, Bak Da Master stepped up to meet a couple of hardened jumpers. 

Bringing the right form to prove competitive, punters strongly speculated his prospects and he shortened from $3.40 to pay $2.50 & $1.20 on the tote.

Once again accompanied in the saddle by jumps' jockey Michael Roustoby, Bak Da Master controlled affairs in front and sprinted away inside the final 200m to win by three lengths in the race sponsored by Rough Habits/Hub Catering.

“He's going really well and it was another nice win,” said leading trainer Jamie Richards, of Bak Da Master, who has won three races this time in. 

“He was aided by a nice ride and he seems to enjoy the jumping, especially on better ground, and really good to see him win like that. He showed that he was near enough to the mark last week when he ran so well on the flat.

“It's a thrill winning with the jumpers. They take quite a bit of work and planning. Michael Roustoby does all the work on him and Tracy Collis and Kate Belsham at the Main Stable, they've kept him fit, happy and healthy, and he looks to have a decent future in that role.”

A 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. 

“It was great to see Jamie (Richards) train the winner of a hurdle race the same week as he presented a two-year-old (Sophisticardo (Burgundy)) to win on debut,” Ellis said. “It's a sign of a very good trainer and shows his versatility. 

“Michael Roustoby rode the horse confidently and, gee, he must be tough because he had quite a fall in the first race (Open Steeplechase, 4100m). He rides a lot of track work for us, and has helped Jamie educate these jumpers really well plus the two-kilo allowance is a massive help.”

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). 

Ellis also mentioned the New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards, a virtual event live-streamed on on Sunday night (11 October).

“It's a big weekend for Te Akau,” Ellis said. “On Sunday we're hosting 150 guests for the New Zealand Racing Awards evening and Julia-Rose (Hayes) has done a fantastic job organising the whole evening. Aidan Rodley is the MC and many industry leaders are going to be there.”

Bak Da Master was strapped by Kate Belsham. 

Photo credit -


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