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TDN – 5 Minutes with Jamie Richards

14 May 2020

TDN – 5 Minutes with Jamie Richards

credit – tdnausnz.com.au

Jamie Richards – Te Akau

TDN AusNZ: Where are you from and what is your earliest racing memory?

Jamie Richards: I was born in Dunedin, attended Otago Boys High School and Otago University. Growing up, Dad was a jockey and I fondly remember travelling to the races with him and sitting in the jockeys’ room just watching and listening and taking everything in.

TDN AusNZ: Which is your favourite racehorse of all time? Why?

JR: It is extremely difficult to pick one favourite, there have been quite a number! Xtravagant (NZ) will have a special place as he was my first Group 1 when training in partnership with Stephen Autridge. He won the 2000 Guineas at Riccarton by 8.5l in November 2015 and then won the G1 NRM Sprint at Te Rapa three months later by 8l. He stands at Newhaven Park and he is leaving some ripping types. 

Gingernuts (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}) was my first Group 1 in Australia winning the Rosehill Guineas in 2017. Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) has been incredibly important for my career winning 10 Group 1 races and she was also my first winner when training solo in the G2 Foxbridge Plate. 

There are plenty of others and it would be remiss to leave out Group 1 winners like Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}), Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) and Avantage (Fastnet Rock) too but you said one!

TDN AusNZ: Do you have a favourite day on a racecourse? Why?

JR: The Karaka Million event at Ellerslie would have to be my favourite evening on a racecourse. We have had great success on this night, winning the previous four editions of the Karaka 2YO Million and Probabeel making history being the only horse to win the Karaka Million double, when she returned this year to claim the 3YO Million.

TDN AusNZ: Could you tell us how you got into this industry, about your job now and what you love most about it?

JR: I grew up in a racing family, Dad was a jockey and trainer, I loved riding work and travelling to the races. Mum has been a very passionate racing administrator – so you could say I was born into the industry. I love seeing the yearlings coming up in the spring that Dave (Ellis) has bought, that’s when you can get excited about the next generation coming through.

TDN AusNZ: Who do you believe to be a value sire for the upcoming breeding season? Why?

JR: Darci Brahma (NZ) his progeny are good, tough, reliable horses. He can leave quality fillies, geldings, sprinters and stayers and he has also been a multiple Champion Sire in Singapore as well as being very popular in Hong Kong.

TDN AusNZ: Is there a stallion that you consider to be under the radar?, and why?

JR: Proisir, we have some promising types in the stable and I believe he still has his best books of mares to come. 

TDN AusNZ: Which stallion, ever, do you think was the best type?

JR: Justify (USA), unfortunately I haven’t seen him yet in the flesh but the videos and photos of him look incredible.

TDN AusNZ: Which first-season sire (other than your own) do you believe is most exciting?

JR: Capitalist’s yearlings have impressed me, we have one yearling by him we really like and they sold well on the Gold Coast.

TDN AusNZ: What was your favourite weanling, yearling or mare purchase this year?

JR: Our Savabeel x Magic Dancer (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) yearling colt stood out to me! He is out of a very fast mare and is a first foal which we have had so much success with. I cannot wait to have him in the stable as our Head Breaker reports that he is impressing everyone. 

TDN AusNZ: Who do you think is a rising star within the industry? (Person not horse).

JR: At Te Akau, we are fortunate to have a number of very capable young people. I have a lot of respect for Nicole Shailer, Mette Mosebo, Sam Bergerson, Reece Trumper, Chelsea Burdan, Kate Belsham, Lena Jones and Libby Richards, these people are the future of our industry and you will be hearing plenty more about them. 

TDN AusNZ: What positive change would you like to see in the industry?

JR: Tough decisions need to be made by the leaders of our industry to cut costs and centralise our racing venues. Investment in stakes and our racing venues is crucial for the future well-being of the industry and to keep our young talent here.

TDN AusNZ: If you weren’t in this industry what would you do?

JR: I would be a farmer.

TDN AusNZ: How are you keeping busy in isolation? 

JR: We have been doing plenty of maintenance at the stable and at home. I have also been working on the farm for Dad while he has been in quarantine. It’s also been a very good time to continue to plan ahead for the new season as we have an exciting team to race. David Ellis and I have spent a lot of hours working through our new season strategies.

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