"Bo" Brilliant for New Owners

Date: 7 Sep 2020

Like others unable to attend the races, Te Akau Never Say Die Syndicate member Kate Gourdie was tuned in for the win by Need I Say More (3 g No Nay Never - Bo Bardi, by Fastnet Rock) in the $70,000 WRC Northland Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) on Saturday at Te Rapa.

Working for the TAB until March this year, Gourdie is now the Communications Manager for SkyCity and remains a presenter for Love Racing.

Although not at the races, the former Auckland Racing Club Board Director Gourdie and her husband Andrew and mother and co-owner Heather were well prepared. They incorporated an early Father's Day luncheon with racing action on television and their two young sons also ready to join the fun.

“My feet haven't touched the ground, yet,” said Gourdie, when contacted after the win. “We had a little party at home. Obviously, we're locked down in Auckland, so only allowed to mix in our bubble. My husband, Andrew, mum Heather and my children.

“We had a bottle of bubbles in the fridge, just in case, but we weren't sure how he would go in such a tough field. Andrew works on Sunday, reading the news, so we had our Father's Day lunch on Saturday and I prepared a roast. 

“We settled in to watch the race and were so over the moon with the result, again, unbelievable. 

“I've known David (Ellis) for over 15 years. When I was a journalist at TV3 I met him and Karyn and Mark Walker on the Media Balcony at Ellerslie. How I first actually met David was through the great mare Princess Coup that Te Akau trained for Ray Coupland, when I was a reporter for TV3 and tracked the progress of that horse all those years ago and David's been encouraging me since then about having a share in a horse.

“Finally, Mum and I were talking about getting a share in a horse and we've only got a whisker. But, as David always says: even if it's only a whisker, having skin in the game makes it feel like it's your horse. “David has done us proud by getting us involved in this horse and I wouldn't have taken a share in a horse with anyone else.

“David gave us a couple of choices and Need I Say More was one of them, and it could not have been more of a dream run. We're so lucky. Each race he's been in, I feel so fortunate to have a runner that is doing so well and he's so beautiful.”

Need I Say More is now unbeaten in three starts, including two Group wins.

“Jamie (Richards) had said to me along the way: “I don't know about that horse”, because apparently he doesn't show much in track work but come race day when he hears the loud speakers and feels the intensity he just switches on. 

“We drove down to see him win the Waikato Stud Slipper in February at Matamata, where he beat Cool Aza Beel. That was unexpected and unbelievable. Then, he was nominated for the Group 1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes but that was cancelled because of Covid. 

“It was gutting not being able to be there today, but as Andrew and I and mum are together we still had such a lovely day. Given it's been such a terrible time, it takes you to a whole different level and you forget about all the awful stuff that is going on in the world at the moment. And that's what racing can deliver like nothing else can.

“The whole journey for mum and I, and it's something we do together, is something I could not recommend enough doing with a family member. It's such a unique and special experience. If Need I Say More hadn't won today we still would have been super happy because it's an excuse for us to be together and watch the race, have fun, and have a bet and talk about it. It's a good bonding experience and it's a distraction from everything else that is going on in the world at the moment.”

The Gourdie family has also helped out with supplies during lockdown.

“Mum sews and she's actually made 30 facemasks for the Te Akau team,” Gourdie said. “A whole bunch of tangerine ones, so she's been helping them prepare for this weird world as well and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) got in contact because she knew that mum sewed. 

Holding a nomination for the $500,000 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) on 7 November at Riccarton, and looking to provide Te Akau with their seventh win in the race, gives Need I Say More owners time to prepare for a trip.

“We're booked for the 2000 Guineas and I go every year anyway, but I'll be happy heading to Hawkes Bay in the interim if that's where he's going,” Gourdie said.

“And, I had a beautiful congratulatory message from Clayton Chipperfield (trainer of 2000 Guineas' winner Catalyst (Darci Brahma) last year). “It looks like you're on your way to the 2000 Guineas”.

“Jamie (Richards) has done such an amazing job with the horse and I think the extra time in the paddock because of lockdown has really served him well.”

Gourdie also shared her ideas for the NZ Racing Awards, after the Board of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing announced a decision last week against holding the awards in their usual format on 11 October in Auckland. Gourdie is scheduled to co-host a virtual event with George Simon. 

“I really hope in terms of the awards that we can find a way to at least have the finalists there this year,” she said. “It breaks my heart thinking that people that have worked so hard, and in particular Te Akau with their success and amount of nominations, won't be able to be there to accept their awards.

“I've spoken to Mary Burgess (Communication & Media Manager at NZTR) about it and said we really need to play it by ear. I'm hopeful that we'll be at Level 1 in a couple of week's time and maybe we can put something together. Although not a big sit-down dinner, we could still have some form of event so that the finalists and award winners could be present to say a few words about their achievements.

“It's been such an incredible year for New Zealand racing, it really has, and I feel so privileged to have been a part of it. It's been exciting and I think we're going to have another amazing spring and summer of great racing.

“I love being busy and I love racing. It's my passion and along with my mother we are getting such a thrill about being involved with a horse like Need I Say More. We're very lucky. He's a big strong boy. We went and saw him in May, and he's a big, beautiful boy and such a sweet boy too. He's a lovely horse.

“It's interesting too that Need I Say More was the first Australasian winner for his sire (No Nay Never) and it's been so exciting to be a part of that because there's so much interest in him from the entire Australasian breeding sector.


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