Huge Trentham 'Tournament"

Date: 18 Mar 2022

Huge Trentham 'Tournament


Like Derby Day at Ellerslie, Oaks' Day has special significance at Trentham.

The original Derby Stakes, named after Lord Derby, was held at Epsom Downs, Surrey, England in 1780, with The Oaks beginning a year earlier in 1779, and racing nations around the world have adopted those races.

Te Akau Racing is represented in New Zealand Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m) by three: Self Obsession (Shocking), The Perfect Pink (Savabeel), and Belle En Rouge (Burgundy), with the first two, respectively, holding market sway.

Interestingly, in the race for NZB Filly of the Year, won last season by Te Akau Savabeel filly Amarelinha, Self Obsession leads the points table, followed by Belle En Rouge and The Perfect Pink, with stable-mates Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) and Shepherd's Delight (Rip Van Winkle) making up the top five.

A top three finish by Self Obsession would assure her honours in becoming the seventh Filly of the Year for Te Akau, following Oaks' winning stable-mate Amarelinha (Savabeel) last year, and Costa Viva (Encosta de Lago), King's Rose (Redoute's Choice), Insouciant (Keeper), Princess Coup (Encosta de Lago) and Shikoba (Chief Bearhart).

Incredibly, the stable also has five runners in the Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m), the second of two Group 1 races on the programme: On the Bubbles (Brazen Beau), I Wish I Win (Savabeel), Mohawk Brave (Extreme Choice), Zeitaku (Savabeel) and Imperatriz (I Am Invincible).

The stable is well represented in other stakes' races: Leaderboard (Street Cry) contests the New Zealand St Leger (Listed, 2500m), Mai Tai (Atlante) the Cuddle Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m), and both Top Brass (Epaulette) and Burgundy Rose (Burgundy) in Te Akau Racing sponsored Lightning Handicap (Listed, 1200m).

A day later (Sunday) at Tauranga, Te Akau also has Aotea Lad (Savabeel) and Summer Monsoon (Stratum) in Open Handicaps over 1600 metres and 1200 metres, respectively.

Busy with the recently purchased yearlings from Karaka, Te Akau principal David Ellis (CNZM) is eagerly awaiting the day.

“We've got very strong representation, but I'm under no illusions about how difficult these races are to win,” he said.

“We're sponsoring the Lightning Handicap and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis MNZM) is going down to represent us all.

“To have five horses in a Group One (Levin Classic) three-year-old race is incredibly exciting, especially having bought four of them and training I Wish I Win for the Chittick's at Waikato Stud.

“I love seeing our horses run in such prestigious races like the New Zealand Oaks. It's a very good field, with some of the fillies peaking at the right time, and we've got good chances.

“Self Obsession has shown she knows how to win, The Perfect Pink is looking for a 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and Oaks' double, and our homebred filly Belle En Rouge has had a great season.

“To have fillies racing on the day that fill the first five places on the NZB Filly of the Year points table is incredibly rewarding and reflects the hard work of all our staff.

“Karyn and I are always so thankful that we have such incredible people working with us, here at the farm and at the stables in Matamata. They've all stepped up and are doing an amazing job.  We truly could not be more proud of our team.

“We've got plenty more to look forward to this season, but I'm also looking forward to having a celebratory party with them all coming into winter.”


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