Stakes' Aim for Te Akau Mare

Date: 12 Jun 2023

Stakes' Aim for Te Akau Mare


NZ Racing News reports:


Millefiori (NZ) (Iffraaj) will get the chance to add some valuable black-type to her record following her victory in the Cartown 1100 at Awapuni on Saturday.

The Mark Walker-trained four-year-old jumped away fairly for apprentice jockey Niranjan Parmar to sit midfield. Parmar took a patient approach with his charge and he was rewarded when finding clear air when turning for home where Millefiori was able to run down Gee String to win by three-quarters of a length.

“We have always really liked her,” Te Akau Racing's assistant trainer Sam Bergerson said.

“She was the favourite for the Karaka Million (1200m) at one stage and she has always had a tonne of ability. She had a few niggly problems that we have got on top of.

“I thought Parmar rode a great race. We have tried to put her on the speed and she hasn't finished off, but she was quite neutral out of the barriers (on Saturday), got a lovely run through and the gaps opened at the right time.”

It was the Iffraaj mare's sixth career win and Bergerson said she will now head to Tauranga later this month to tackle the Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic (1400m).

Meanwhile, Bergerson is counting down the days until he joins Te Akau Racing's head trainer Mark Walker in partnership at the start of the new season.



“It is exciting and I am very grateful to Mark, Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) and Dave (Ellis) for the opportunity,” Bergerson said.

“It is a fantastic team to be a part of and we have a good group of staff and some quality bloodstock.”

Bergerson's promotion will coincide with an exciting time at Te Akau Racing, with principal Ellis announcing earlier this week that they will expand their operation across the Tasman with the opening of a barn at Cranbourne next season.

“We have had a small presence in Australia for a while now and the industry is just booming,” Bergerson said.

“It is an exciting time to increase that presence and have more success with more runners over there.

“We will have a barn of 20 to start off with from September 1 and build it up from there.

“Mark is going to go back and forth for the foreseeable future with a view to setting up there full-time if we get the numbers up.

“He is heading over next week for two weeks to do a little bit more organisation.

“I am really looking forward to the future.”


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