Grp 2 Honours for Need I Say More

Date: 25 Oct 2020

Grp 2 Honours for Need I Say More

Presented in impeccable order, Need I Say More (3 g No Nay Never - Bo Bardi, by Fastnet Rock) confirmed a start in the 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) when towelling his rivals in the $100,000 James & Annie Sarten Memorial (Gr. 2, 1400m) on Saturday at Te Rapa.

In a race that looked over a long way from home - virtually after settling in front - Need I Say More travelled sweetly before distancing the opposition mid-straight and going on to win unchallenged by two and a half lengths.

On footing upgraded to Good3 earlier on the programme, he ran the 1400 metres in 1:22.0, last 600m in 34.1, and shortened in to start second favourite ($3.30 & $1.40). 

While trainer Jamie Richards may have had some reservations about heading south for the 2000 Guineas, after finishing fourth last start in the Hawkes Bay Guineas (Gr. 2, 1400m), they were vanquished amidst his latest onslaught.

For rider Johnathan Parkes, it was a further stakes' victory on another showy chestnut for Te Akau after winning the Avondale Guineas (Gr. 2, 2000m) aboard subsequent triple Group 1 winner Gingernuts (Iffraaj).

“He jumped really well, had his ears pricked and came up underneath me at the 600m,” he said. “Turning for home I had stacks of horse and he kicked really well to win the race. I think he's a massive chance in the 2000 Guineas. Going forward over a mile against his own age group, he'll certainly take some beating.”

Providing Te Akau with their eighth Waikato Stud Slipper (Gr. 3, 1200m) in February at Matamata, and scoring a soft all-the-way Northland Breeders' Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) win when resuming in the in September at Te Rapa, Need I Say More became the second recent winner of the Sarten Memorial for Te Akau after Sword of Osman (Savabeel) in 2018.

“It's a race that is special to us,” said leading trainer Jamie Richards. “I was lucky enough to win it a couple of years ago with Sword of Osman and accepting the award again is fantastic. Thank you to Johnathan Parkes for a well judged front-running ride and thank you to the wonderful bunch of owners for all their support. I look forward to a celebratory drink with you all.

“The staff at home continue to do a wonderful job and Scott Lucock and Mette Mosebo presented the horse in great condition. He's a little bit light on it, but when we do get more weight on him he could develop into something very special. 

“Thank you also to Marie Leicester and her family for sponsoring this race. Marie has become a special friend to us all at Te Akau Racing, having bred Melody Belle, and she has supported us with some lovely fillies. And hopefully we can see those fillies winning black type races in the future. 

Owned by the Te Akau Never Say Die Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis), Need I Say More was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $130,000, from the draft of Kilgravin Lodge, at the 2019 Karaka Book 1 Sale, now won three of his four starts and shortened to $3.00 for his next assignment in the $500,000 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) on 7 November at Riccarton. 

“I'd like to thank the owners,” Ellis said. “Some of our very best friends are in this horse and 2000 Guineas here we come. 

“As the story goes, I kept thinking about this horse after he was passed in at Karaka, and I'm so pleased that I rang Eion Kemp, who pin-hooked him from the Gold Coast Weanling Sale, and bought him. He is a fantastic specimen, has never looked better, and he gives Te Akau a great chance of winning our seventh 2000 Guineas.”

“The effort that Jamie (Richards) has put into training this horse is quite sensational, and after being beaten by a nose in each of the last two races, including the Group 3 Soliloquy Stakes for the fillies, it was fitting to get such a good win. 

“Well done to all the team at Te Akau Racing. Results like these are what we all strive to achieve and congratulations to Reece Trumper, a great young man, who strapped him. 

“Congratulations also to Johnathan Parkes, who rode him perfectly, and it's such a thrill to bring horses to race on this beautifully prepared track. Whatever you're doing, you're certainly doing it right, so congratulations to Butch Castles and all his team at the Waikato Racing Club.”

Officiating on her last day as Chairman of the Club, Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM said of the sponsors: “For some 37 years this industry-passionate family has honoured this club - a special family that has passed on breeding knowledge and expertise inter-generationally. How proud would James & Annie (Sarten) be to see their famous Belle family so diligently and precisely bred by Marie (Leicester) and to shine so brightly this year?

“Meleka Belle was named Broodmare of the Year at the 2020 National Breeding Awards and fittingly her phenomenal daughter Melody Belle was crowned Horse of the Year by both New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association. It is one heck of a family.” 

Need I Say More was strapped by Reece Trumper.

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