Rotorua Double - the Tourist Trumps Them

Date: 14 May 2023

Rotorua Double - the Tourist Trumps Them


Te Akau trainer Mark Walker made it back-to-back victories on the programme with Accidental Tourist (3 g Telperion - Megara, by Encosta de Lago) in the $30,000 Sherlock Contracting 3YO 1400 metres on Saturday at Rotorua.

Walker had Classico (Pierro) take out the first race with a strong finish from off the pace, and Accidental Tourist emulated the feat. 

Stakes' placed in the Wanganui Guineas (Listed, 1340m) following an easy fresh-up victory over 1200 metres earlier in the season, Accidental Tourist gave his rivals a start and a beating in the corresponding 3YO 1400 metres on 14 April at Awapuni, before a notable third in the 3YO 1600 metres on 29 April at Te Rapa, and rated a top three chance.

Ridden by leading jockey Michael McNab, who combined with the gelding to win recently at Awapuni, Accidental Tourist tailed the field before being set alight nearing the home turn and he treated his rivals with disdain when racing clear to win by four and three-quarter lengths. 

Accidental Tourist had developed a habit of being slowly away, but McNab was wise to him.

“He was probably standing in the gates a fraction too long and I could feel him tucking up underneath me, so I eased off and he wasn't as bad getting out today,” he said. “He's going well.”

On Heavy10 footing, Accidental Tourist ran 1400 metres in 1:30.3, last 600m 38, and held firm to pay $5.30 & $2.00 on the NZ TAB tote. 

“He's a good wet-tracker and we'll probably keep him going through the winter,” said trainer Mark Waker, after saddling his 178th winner this season.

“He ran good time when winning on upgraded good footing at Awapuni, but really seems to have an advantage with more give in the ground.

“We've been schooling him over the big hurdles and he's pretty good at that too.”

Continuing to improve, Accidental Tourist has won three of his 10 starts for owners Jonny & Bex Schick and Berridge & Olivia Spencer. 

“We named him Accidental Tourist because I bought him by accident, really,” Schick said. “He was bought by David (Ellis) at the yearling sales for us and the lot before Dynastic, who we wanted to buy but ended up under-bidder to David.

“So we ended up with this horse and he seems to be going pretty well. He's certainly got ability if he can put his head in the right place.”

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $80,000 at the 2021 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Westbury Stud, Accidental Tourist races in the Schick families Windsor Park Stud colours. 

From the first crop of beautifully bred young stallion Telperion (Street Cry), standing at Westbury Stud, Accidental Tourist is out of a mare by Champion Broodmare Sire Encosta de Lago that has also left stakes winner and twice Group Three placed Red Striker (Red Giant), and three-time winner Mega Bourbon (El Roca).

Grand-dam Make Me Strong (Danehill) was a very well bred mare that left 10 to race, including eight winners, and Te Akau experienced success with the family having trained stakes placed filly Dreamer (More Than Ready). 

After a previous win, Ellis said: “As owners it's hard to beat the Schick's as great people to train for. They're immersed in the racing industry, bring so much to it in breeding and racing, and it's a pleasure to have a good horse in the stable for them.

“We've had a lot of fun racing horses with Windsor Park and we'll celebrate the win.”

Accidental Tourist was strapped by Olivia Hill.


Photo credit -


Sign up to our newsletter