Judder Bars Won't Stop Te Akau Shark Scaring the Aussies

Date: 8 Apr 2020

Judder Bars Won't Stop Te Akau Shark Scaring the Aussies

Michael Guerin, NZ Herald reports:

Te Akau Shark fans need not be concerned by the two judder bars he has struck on the road to his A$2 million super race in Sydney on Saturday.

Because trainer Jamie Richards is adamant he isn't.

The horse rated as potentially New Zealand's best thoroughbred faces a huge task in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick as the rich Championships reach their high point.

He is up against outstanding horses from Japan, England and Australia, headlined by Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare, as well as his own stablemate Melody Belle, in the 2000m weight-for-age race. Advertisement

But while he is third favourite, Te Akau Shark has had two less than ideal setbacks, although neither should hamper him on Saturday.

Richards reported to NSW racing stewards the brilliant Matamata galloper had slight bruising in a hoof suffered after his luckless third in the George Ryder at Rosehill at his last start.

"I think he got it from standing on a stone while walking one day and it was nothing major," says Richards, who can't be in Sydney to oversee the preparation for one of the biggest days of his training career because of the travel restrictions.

"But we had to tell the stewards he has had the bruising and they will check him out in the next few days, but it won't be a issue."

Te Akau Shark's rider Opie Bosson also has a date with the stewards today as they will resume an inquiry adjourned into his ride in the George Ryder.

Bosson was quizzed by stewards about why he remained three wide in the middle stages of the race, with Bosson having previously explained Te Akau Shark had veered wide on a corner and then a rival had kicked up inside him.

It would be a surprise if anything more than a reminder about his obligations came out of the inquiry.

While Bosson has chosen to stick with Te Akau Shark over Melody Belle, who will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Richards can't split the pair in Saturday's race of the year.

"She has a better draw and should be handy while the Shark will have to come from back in the field so the tempo will be important for him," says Richards.

Te Akau Shark worked strongly with Probabeel at Randwick on Tuesday morning with the filly handling her busy campaign well heading into the A$500,000 ATC Oaks on Saturday.

"She is a real racehorse. She works, eats, sleeps and then is ready to go again.

"She has a tough draw (12 of 14) on Saturday but I think the most important thing for her is a drying track so I am hoping we get some sun over there this week."


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