No Stopping Richards as He Continues to Raise the Bar

Date: 23 Apr 2021

No Stopping Richards as He Continues to Raise the Bar

 

 

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“As for Jamie, he's an exceptional talent who deserves every success that comes his way.”

 

 

Jamie Richards has been unstoppable in his record-breaking season.

Horses trained by Jamie Richards have been hot property with punters all season, so what's to stop the TAB running a book on just how many winners the record-breaking trainer will have prepared by the end of the 2020-21 season?

By his own or any other standard, the unstoppable 31-year-old has had a phenomenal nine months. After a fastest ever century of wins before the season's halfway stage, his first runner at Hastings last Saturday established a new record of 144 New Zealand wins, topping the standout record held by Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman. By the end of the day that had extended to 147 when Avantage took her own season tally to five Group One wins with victory in the Fiber Fresh NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes.

 

 

That was also Richards' 15thGroup One success since August - which includes two in Australia adding to a career tally of 46 - and his 35thNew Zealand black-type win during the same nine months. This season his New Zealand runners have bank-rolled more than $5.7 million for yet another record that still has more to play out.

While a fresh record for domestic winners had for weeks been a case of when rather than if, last weekend was not a standout for Richards. Anticipation around the prospects of the home team led by Avantage was to some degree overshadowed by what lay in store on Day 2 of The Championships at Randwick.

 

 

Probabeel was the even-money favourite for a fourth Australian Group One win in the Queen of the Turf Stakes, Amarelinha was vying for favouritism to add the Australian Oaks to her New Zealand title, and Entriviere was the clear favourite to make a winning Australian debut in the Gr. 2 Sapphire Stakes. All three had to settle for minor placings, in the case of Probabeel and Entriviere beaten just inches when up against adverse factors.

The reaction back home was interesting, with some observers going so far as lamenting the inability of the Kiwi brigade to measure up to the opposition on one of Australian racing's marquee days. The reality is that's an over-reaction. Sure, there was any number of punters this side of the Tasman with high expectations after taking lucrative early odds on Amarelinha, and the anticipation around a talent such as Probabeel was theoretically logical.

All three were still competitive and in the case of Entriviere, such a close second from the outside gate in just her seventh start, the resounding message was that her Group One day will come. Jamie Richards is almost dismissive when the subject of what could have been is raised with him, and who can blame him - after all what's the point of dwelling on the past when the future holds so much? His boss, Te Akau principal David Ellis, is on a similar wave-length.

 

 

“When you can wake up on a Saturday morning knowing you have the favourites in three Group One races and another in a Group Two, and at the end of the day you've won another four races for your clients, including a Group One, when you've broken a record and performed so well in all the big races, how can you be disappointed?” says Ellis.

“I'm just incredibly proud of everyone who plays their part in these results, and as for Jamie, he's an exceptional talent who deserves every success that comes his way.”

 

 

The latest wave of success is of course nothing new for New Zealand's pre-eminent racehorse syndication model, and the benefits are self-evident. “The Preferment colt we bought from the online South Island Sale is the 70thhorse we've syndicated in the last six months,” says Ellis. “They've ranged in price from $20,000 to $800,000 and every one of them has new owners, which is a fantastic outcome no matter how you look at it.”

The Te Akau effect is reflected in many ways, including two rankings on the influential TRC Global Rankings, which have Te Akau Syndicates rated 10thon the international owners' table and Richards ninth on the trainers' equivalent.

That's all meat and veges for Richards, who returned on Monday from his first trip to Australia in more than a year and was at the Matamata track when the floodlights came on at 4.30 on Tuesday morning to oversee the 100 or so horses that he's responsible for on a daily basis.

Getting back to the opening paragraph of this article, just what will be the record tally of Richards-trained winners when the curtain comes down on the 2020-21 season on July 31? A simple calculation based on just two wins a week across the 100 days that remain comes up with a total in the region of 175 wins. Permutations beyond that produce an outcome that makes one wonder how the record could ever be broken - but then again we never thought we'd ever witness this current level of domination.

So how about it TAB? Do your own calculations, come up with a market that will entice your customers to have a flick, and in your own way acknowledge what is already an unprecedented achievement.

 

 

 

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