Te Akau's Jamie Richards Scores 100

Date: 5 Jul 2020

Te Akau's Jamie Richards Scores 100

Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards (30) has raced to 100 wins this season in New Zealand, registering 103 in total including three Group 1 victories in Australia.

Left stranded on 99 wins before the Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand, Bak Da Master was his first runner since and delivered with a well timed run under Michael Roustoby in the $15,000 Jumpers High-weight 1550 metres on Saturday at Awapuni. 

From the family of stable star Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle), Bak Da Master was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $90,000 at the 2016 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, from the draft of Leanach Lodge, for the Te Akau Master Syndicate.

Having ended last season on 98 wins in his first as solo trainer for Te Akau Racing, Richards leads the premiership in all facets: wins, prize money, Group & Listed wins, and the best strike rate among the top 10 trainers in the country.

Adding to his 17 stakes 'victories in New Zealand, Richards added three Group One wins in Australia, 11 of his 20 Group & Listed wins coming in Group One races.

Getting off the mark when Al Haram (Sea The Stars) won for stable apprentice Chelsea Burdan on 28 August at Matamata, the first of 20 stakes' wins arrived via reigning Horse of the Year Melody Belle (Commands) in the Tarzino Trophy (Gr. 1, 1400m) on 31 August at Hastings, on her way to making history as the first Triple Crown winner at the Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival.

As is usually the case, the stable heated up during the summer months when richer spoils were on offer and Richards exceeded 20 wins in November, January and February.

In addition to Melody Belle, who also won the Empire Rose Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) on Derby Day (Nov. 2) at Flemington, Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle) followed with a fresh-up victory in the BCD Group Sprint (Gr. 1, 1400m) in February at Te Rapa, before winning the Chipping Norton Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) at Randwick.

Other highlights include Cool Aza Beel (Savabeel) recording a four-peat for Te Akau in the iconic Karaka Million (Restricted Listed, 1200m), following Melody Belle, Avantage (Fastnet Rock), and Probabeel (Savabeel), while on the same night (Jan. 25) Probabeel made history in the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (Restricted Listed, 1600m) when becoming the first horse to win the race a year after winning the $1m Karaka Million (Restricted Listed, 1200m).

Cool Aza Beel also won the Sistema Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) on 7 March at Ellerslie, adding to the list of three in the last four years, and six in total, of Te Akau horses to win the Sistema, following Heroic Valour (Fastnet Rock), Sword of Osman (Savabeel), and Yourdeel (Dundeel).

Probabeel was again to the fore, winning her next start on 29 February with a quite unbelievable performance in the Surround Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m) at Randwick, while at home former Champion Two-Year-Old Avantage strung together an incredible Group One treble in the Telegraph (Gr. 1, 1200m), Haunui Farm WFA Group One Classic (1600m), and Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (Gr. 1, 2000m). 

Asked to single out a win of particular significance, Richards opted for the double at Randwick.

“Mainly because of the prestige around racing in Sydney,” he said. “It's one of the most competitive racing jurisdictions in the world. We had two runners that day and they both won Group Ones, so quite unbelievable really. 

“That was the highlight, closely followed by the double on Karaka Million Night. We thought it would be hard to beat that, but then we did.” 

In just his second season of training solo, Richards notched his 200thwin when Aromatic (Sacred Falls) saluted impressively on 18 March at Rotorua. He finished his first season (2018-19) with 98 wins, having previously won the premiership in partnership with Stephen Autridge in 2015-16. 

Richards leads the premiership by 27, at a strike rate of 4.8 and prize money over $3.8 million (over $7 million including Australia). Notable also, 14 of his last 35 runners have won, with five stakes' winners including four at Group One level.

Currently, Richards is ninth in the Thoroughbred Racing Commentary Global Rankings.

Akin to the ATP Tennis Tour Rankings, or PGA Golf Tour Rankings, the TRC Trainer Rankings are the measure of achievement over a rolling three-year period, based not only on prize money but the quality of performances by their horses in Group and Graded races. Racing Post Ratings (RPRs) are used to help calculate the merit of every performance. 

From Mosgiel, out of Taieri High School and Otago University, via the Sunline Scholarship, New Zealand Bloodstock, and Waikato Stud, Richards has a bountiful number of quality horses to train, with many purchased by Te Akau principal David Ellis, the leading buyer of yearlings for the past 15 years at Karaka. But the trainer still has to get the job done and it is where Richards excels.


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