Entriviere ready to boost her resume

Date: 28 May 2022

Entriviere ready to boost her resume

Written by TDN Jackson Frantz

Mark Walker believes the Te Akau Racing team have made the right decision by opting to send Entriviere (NZ) around in Saturday's G1 Kingsford-Smith Cup at Eagle Farm as they seek to further her resume with an all-important Australian Group 1 success.

The lightly raced 5-year-old, who caught the eye with a flashing light third in the G1 Doomben 10,000 on resumption, was originally set to bypass the Kingsford-Smith Cup and contest next month's G1 Stradbroke H.

“She's progressed well since the Doomben 10,000, we weren't originally going to go to this race but she's really thrived,” Walker told TDN AusNZ.

“We kept our options open following the 10,000 and then when the Stradbroke weights came out we leant this way.”

David Ellis CNZM and Mark Walker | Image courtesy of Race Images NZ

Walker confirmed that Opie Bosson will be instructed to take Entriviere back from the wide draw, barrier 12 of 16.

“That'll be the plan but out-wide may be the best part of the track come that time of the day anyway so I don't think it will be a huge negative,” Walker said.

“...out-wide may be the best part of the track come that time of the day anyway so I don't think it (Entriviere's barrier) will be a huge negative.” - Mark Walker

Walker didn't confirm if Entriviere will push on towards next month's G1 Tattersall's Tiara, saying she is likely to be spelled regardless of the result on Saturday.

He said his galloper is all but certain to resume on home soil in the spring before being aimed at mile features in either Victoria or New South Wales during her upcoming 6-year-old season.

Entriviere (NZ) is likely to head for a spell after Saturday | Image courtesy of Trish Dunell

“We're just going to get through Saturday and make a decision then because since it's been so wet up there (Queensland) we might consider making it her last run and concentrate on the spring,” Walker said.

“She's very lightly raced so I don't think age will be a big issue for her, we are pretty keen to try her over a mile next campaign as she is so much more relaxed now and on her pedigree she is bred to get a mile and a half.”

A Supreme test

Fellow lightly raced mare Soprano Supreme (NZ) (Contributer {Ire}) is another Te Akau-owned galloper set to contest Saturday's bumper Eagle Farm meeting when she lines up in a competitive edition of the G3 Premier's Cup.

The 4-year-old proved she has what it takes to measure up in a stronger racing jurisdiction after finishing second behind the Chris Waller-trained Stardome (NZ) (Savabeel) in the Gold Coast Cup earlier this month.

Soprano Supreme (NZ) should prefer the better going at Eagle Farm | Image courtesy of Trish Dunell

Walker expects Soprano Supreme to relish a drier surface on Saturday, saying that she was hindered by finding the 'inferior going' on a Heavy 8 surface at the Gold Coast.

“It's just a shame that those real heavy top-weighted horses have really compacted the handicap," Walker said. "While she's in on the minimum weight (54kgs), so are a lot of the other horses that are higher rated than her.

“So, it will be a good test for her and we will be able to weigh up after the race whether she's up to Group class in Australia or whether she might just be a Group class horse in New Zealand.”

On home soil

Rare Company (NZ) (Savabeel) will represent Te Akau in New Zealand on Saturday when he steps out on debut in the Listed Auckland Futurity S. at Pukekohe.

While the juvenile gelding profiles like a 'staying 3-year-old' Walker is expecting a bold showing.

“It's really only a maiden, there's not another winner in the race,” Walker said.

“He (Rare Company) was meant to race on Wednesday but the race only had five nominations and was pretty weak..." - Mark Walker

“He was meant to race on Wednesday but the race only had five nominations and was pretty weak, so with him being a son of Savabeel I thought I'd roll the dice at a $70,000 stakes race instead of a $12,000 race.

“So, we are expecting him to be a top-four chance but he's more of a staying type of Savabeel for next year.”

Glad to be back

Walker has seamlessly slotted back into the head trainer role at Te Akau after returning from its Singapore base following the departure of Jamie Richards in April.

And while stable stars Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), Avantage (Fastnet Rock), Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel), Noverre and Sword Of State have left the camp over the past 12 months there is no cause for concern, according to the five-time New Zealand Trainers' Premiership winner.

“We've still got horses like Imperatriz in the wings and Dynastic, so there's still plenty of ammunition there that's for sure and some of the yearlings we are putting through at the moment look pretty exciting,” Walker said.

Melody Belle (NZ), one of a number of high-profile horses no longer with Te Akau, though Mark Walker isn't concerned

“A lot of the legends in the game that I trained against have now retired. There was Dave and Paul O'Sullivan, Colin Jillings, Jim Gibbs and Murray Baker back then and the competition was fierce.

"Now it's a younger brigade that aren't quite as proven as the legends I grew up training against, so we are in a good position.”

While Walker and Te Akau Principal David Ellis have taken all before them on home soil, with 20 Group 1 wins, they are still avidly in pursuit of Australian Group 1s to add to their 2005 G1 TJ Smith Classic success with Darci Brahma (NZ).

Aside from racetrack success, nurturing staff is high on the agenda for Mark Walker | Image courtesy of Te Akau

Group 1 accolades and Trainers' Premierships are are no longer Walker and Ellis' sole measure of success despite the duo being driven to win a G1 Melbourne Cup and G1 Golden Slipper S.

Walker said that nurturing and developing the young staff at Te Akau is now high on their agenda.

“We've got some really great young staff that just want to learn and are so eager and thirsty for knowledge and I've been enjoying working with them and helping get them to the next stage of their careers,” Walker said.

Trending upwards

While prizemoney levels could be increased Walker believes the overall health of the New Zealand racing industry has improved in recent years, saying the synthetic track at Ellerslie will be ‘a God send' during the winter months.

He said the local breeding industry stacks up against stronger racing jurisdictions and remains vital to the strength and prosperity of the sport in New Zealand.

“The New Zealand breeding industry in particular is very, very healthy.” - Mark Walker

“The New Zealand breeding industry in particular is very, very healthy,” Walker said. "There's some exciting things happening and if there's good young stallions that can take the next step it puts a lot of money back into the industry.

“There's so many promising young stallions in New Zealand, there are a lot of young stallions that could end up the next Zabeel or Savabeel, such as Tivaci, Vadamos and Tarzino.”


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