New Year's Day - Te Akau Grp 2 Eclipse Quinella

Date: 2 Jan 2023

New Year's Day - Te Akau Grp 2 Eclipse Quinella


Unbeaten in three starts, Trobriand (2 c Kermadec - Arboreal, by Lonhro) proved too strong in the $140,000 Carlaw Park Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) on 1 January at Te Rapa.

A debut winner at New Plymouth, Trobriand won the 2YO 1100 metres in terrific style on 10 December at Te Rapa and, notching a hat-trick, secured the third Eclipse Stakes for the stable after Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) scored in 2021.

Across easily enough to sit outside expected pacemaker Ulanova (Santos), Trobriand gained her measure inside the final 100m and held comfortably from stable-mate Talisker (Embellish) who finished powerfully from the rear.

“He just does what he has to,” said jockey Opie Bosson, on dismounting from Trobriand. “He's such a professional little horse and blinkers helped him out today.

“Last time he was on and off throughout the race and he's such a laidback type, so blinkers just helped sharpen him up.

“He had to work a bit from the gate (8), but once he got there he relaxed beautifully and did the job well. I knew he'd have a good kick, and a strong 1200 metres was right up his alley.

On Good4 footing, Trobriand ran 1200 metres in 1:11.4, last 600m in 34.4, and returned $2.70 & $1.30 on the NZ TAB as race favourite.

“It was good and you can do anything with him,” said trainer Mark Walker. “He's got such a great temperament and it was a good ride of Opie's. He summed it up very early in the race, and he's a very, very nice horse.

“It was good effort as well by Talisker and the other horse (fifth placed Balance Of Power (Almanzor)) probably just needs a little more cut in the ground.

“I must say, Bart Cowan does a phenomenal job preparing this track.”

Stable rider Opie Bosson now has a decision to make regarding which of the Te Akau runners he will accompany in the $1 million Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) on Saturday 21 January at Pukekohe, while looking for his sixth victory in the race and the seventh consecutive for the stable.

In the mix as strong competition for the services of Bosson, Tokyo Tycoon (Satono Aladdin), an impressive winner on Boxing Day at Pukekohe, heads a list of stable-mates: Rhetorical (Snitzel), Believe In Magic (Not A Single Doubt), Viva Vienna (All Too Hard), Balance Of Power (Almanzor), and Talisker (Embellish), currently within the first 14 in Order of Entry.

Referring to which way Bosson may swing, Walker said: “He normally gets it right, so I don't think he'll make up his mind until closer to the time. That's my gut feeling.”

Owned by Te Akau Island Paradise Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Trobriand was purchased as a yearling by David Ellis CNZM for $260,000 in January at the Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Windsor Park Stud.

“You can't fault a colt like him winning three on end and I thought the run of the second horse (Talisker) was just as good,” Ellis said.

“And if there's any rain around for the Karaka Million, which seems to be forecast, Balance Of Power could be chance too.

“We could end up with close to nine in the Karaka Million, as we've still got a couple of nice horses still to run.

“We've got a lot of new owners in Trobriand, which is a great thrill for them, and it shows what a great judge Paul Pertab is because he broke him in and was so impressed that he took a share in him too.

“Also a couple of our long time clients, Gavin and Shane Wealleans, have shares.”

Ellis also had plenty of praise for the team, saying: “At this time of year, when everybody else is on holiday, it's all hands on deck when you're running a racing stable.

“And congratulations to Mark (Walker), that was his 13thstakes win this season and 87thin total which is incredible in the first five months.”

With a good quality pedigree, his sire Kermadec (Teofilo) included Group One mile victories in the Doncaster Handicap and George Main Stakes, while dam sire Lonhro (Octagonal) - the black flash -was Champion Three-Year-Old, Champion Miler, Horse of the Year, and a simply outstanding Australian racehorse that won 11 Group Ones.

Te Akau has plenty of experience with the extended family, through high quality race mare and fourth dam Arletty (Centaine) having left Axiom (Zabeel) the dam of Xtravagant (Pentire).

Trained by Te Akau to a sensational 2000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) victory, and including the NRM (Waikato) Sprint (Gr. 1, 1400m), Xtravagant is now a leading young sire in Australia.

Trobriand was strapped by Sarah West.

Photo credit -


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