Cousteau Coasts Home
13 Jan 2020
Capitalizing on a handy draw and rails run in the straight, Cousteau (5 g Exceed and Excel – Maritime, by Falbrav) won the $50,000 Class 4 1000 metres on Sunday at Kranji Racecourse in Singapore.
Purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis in 2016 at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale, for the Te Akau Cousteau Syndicate, he was educated and won in New Zealand before transferring to Mark Walker.
Fresh from ending last season (Dec. 8) with 73 wins to claim his third title as Singapore Champion Trainer, Walker already leads the way with six wins this year.
Racing on the poly track, Cousteau was ridden by Aiman Kamaruddin, claiming four kilos to carry 54kgs.
“Aiman is showing a lot of promise and it’s his third win after only starting on 1 January,” Walker said.
“There wasn’t much of a gap on the rail, but once he got his head and shoulders into it he was away and finished strongly.
“He was a good chance with the claim and it looked a two horse race on paper. With the claim, we got five kilos off the No. 1 horse and I thought that might be enough to turn the tables.
“He’ll be back to Class 3 now, but maybe with a claim he could be able to chalk up another win. If he doesn’t, he’s always very dangerous in Class 4.
“He’s earned nearly $180,000 and won four races up here, and he’s as sound as the day when Dave (Ellis) bought him on the Gold Coast.”
Walker has just returned from the 2020 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, where Te Akau bought seven horses.
“The quality was exceptional and it blew me away,” Walker said. “There was still good buying to be had at different levels and I thought we bought some really nice horses by champion sires.
“Snitzel, I Am Invincible, and Exceed and Excel are all champion sires. $600,000 is not cheap but I thought the Snitzel colt was good value at that price to be honest.
“I was impressed by the first yearlings by Xtravagant. He had a lovely line of horses and I think we bought the best three that he had there. If any of them have got his ability then the new owners will have a lot of fun racing them.”
Te Akau has enjoyed plenty of success with horses purchased on the Gold Coast. Along with Cousteau, stakes winner Swing Note (Encosta De Lago), Group One placed and Champion Two-Year-Old finalist Gold Fever (Savabeel), 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner Tell A Tale (Tale of the Cat), 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner Costa Viva (Encosta De Lago), and the greatest of all, Princess Coup (Encosta De Lago), who won $4.2m in prize money.
After recently winning his third training premiership in Singapore, Walker has been happy with the start in 2020.
“Cousteau was our sixth winner this season and we’ve only been going since the 1 January, so it looks as though it’s going to be a strong month for us,” he said.
“We’ve got a good team to race this weekend and the following weekend when there’s only a Sunday meeting. I’ll be cheering those ones on from Karaka.”