Incredible 24 Hours for Te Akau Racing

Date: 2 Oct 2023

Incredible 24 Hours for Te Akau Racing


NZ Racing News reports:


With six wins in three different countries within the space of 18 hours, Te Akau Racing had a weekend that was extraordinary even by their standards.

Superstar sprinting mare Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) provided the perfect start with another dazzling performance in the Gr.1 Moir Stakes (1000m) in the early hours of Saturday morning, breaking the Moonee Valley track record that she had set in the Gr.2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) three weeks earlier.

The following afternoon, Rubicon Crossing made a winning Australian debut in a 1000m race at Mornington, while Mazzucato, Trobriand and It’s Business Time delivered a winning treble at Riccarton. To cap it all off, Te Akau’s Singapore trainer Donna Logan saddled God’s Gift (NZ) (Haradasun) to win at Kranji at 6 o’clock on Saturday evening New Zealand time. 300w, 768w, 696w, 1068w, 630w, 1200w" alt="" width="696" height="464" data-recalc-dims="1" />
Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis. Photo: Trish Dunell 

“It was a pretty special day,” Te Akau principal David Ellis said. “It started at 12.15 in the morning, when Imperatriz broke her own track record in the Group One at Moonee Valley. They’ve been racing at Moonee Valley for a long time, so for a mare to break the track record twice within a few weeks is quite remarkable.

“Then we had Rubicon Crossing at Mornington on Saturday, along with Mazzucato, Trobriand and It’s Business Time at Riccarton, and then Donna won a race in Singapore as well. Six wins in three different countries is something that I wouldn’t have thought had been done before by a New Zealand stable.”

Ellis bought Imperatriz for A$360,000 as a yearling, and the exceptional daughter of I Am Invincible has now banked more than A$2.3 million from a 21-start, 15-win career.

The Moir Stakes was her sixth Group One win, having previously captured the Levin Classic (1600m), New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m), and this year’s Sistema Railway (1200m), BCD Group Sprint (1400m) and William Reid Stakes (1200m).

“I had a huge number of texts after the race, including a beautiful one from Harry Mitchell, who stands I Am Invincible,” Ellis said. “He said she’s the best I Am Invincible of them all, which is a huge statement.”

While Imperatriz is a clear headline act for Te Akau’s fledgling Cranbourne operation, the Australian base produced another smart winner when Rubicon Crossing came from last to win by almost three lengths at Mornington. 300w, 768w, 696w, 1068w, 630w, 1200w" alt="" width="696" height="464" data-recalc-dims="1" />
Rubicon Crossing winning at Mornington on Saturday. Photo: Ross Holburt 

Bought by Ellis for A$120,000 and raced by John Galvin’s Fortuna Syndicate, Rubicon Crossing (Rubick) has now had seven starts for two wins and three placings. The daughter of Rubick won the first two-year-old race of the season at Wanganui in September of last year, then placed in the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) and Wellesley Stakes (1100m).

“Rubicon Crossing winning her first Australian start so impressively is a big endorsement of the Cranbourne stable, which is going really well,” Ellis said. “We’re getting a lot of support. The first 20-horse stable will be open this Friday, so we’re all really looking forward to that, and we’ve just got the best staff over there that you could ever meet.”

Te Akau’s three Riccarton winners all staked their claims for black-type features during the New Zealand Cup carnival in November.

It’s Business Time (NZ) (Turn Me Loose) outclassed her opposition by four and a half lengths in the Plough Hotel Rating 75 (1200m), and the Turn Me Loose mare has now won five of her eight starts for breeders and part-owners Windsor Park Stud. She is now a clear $4 favourite for the Gr.3 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m).

Trobriand (Kermadec) moved into third favouritism for the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) with a strong come-from-behind win in the Rangiora New World Guineas Trial (1400m). Bought by Ellis for $260,000 at Karaka 2022, the son of Kermadec has had eight starts for four wins, headed by the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m). He has also placed in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m), the Gr.3 Matamata Slipper (1200m) and the Gr.3 Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m).

Tivaci filly Mazzucato (NZ) (Tivaci), who was a $120,000 purchase by Ellis, cleared maiden ranks in good style on Saturday and holds a nomination for the Gr.1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).


Main photo credit - Bruno Cannatelli


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