Te Akau 2 from 2 in Melbourne
9 Oct 2021
Wow what a day – Te Akau wins TWO from TWO in Melbourne – a Listed and then a Group 1 victory – hugely proud – here’s the first ….
NZ 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) winner Kahma Lass (4 m Darci Brahma – Distinctive Lass, by Orientate) produced a terrific winning feat in the $175,000 Weekend Hustler Stakes (Listed, 1400m) on Saturday at Caulfield.
After settling back from barrier eight and travelling boldly on the bridle, Kahma Lass was presented widest in the straight by rider Brett Prebble and proceeded to unleash a big finish.
Purchased by David Ellis CNZM and raced by Cambridge Stud proprietors Brendan Lindsay MNZM & Jo Lindsay, it was a similar performance to her convincing New Zealand 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) win last November at Riccarton, and stamped her within the cauldron of spring racing in Victoria.
After resuming in the How Now Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200 metres) on 18 September at Caulfield, where, carrying equal top weight (59kg), she was caught wide and peaked on her run, Kahma Lass was correctly assessed by trainer Jamie Richards to benefit from a two-kilo fillies and mares allowance in the Weekend Hustler and dropping to 54kg made considerable difference.
Extending her record to three wins and two seconds from seven starts, Kahma Lass ran the 1400 metres in 1:23.1, on footing upgraded to Good3 after race one, and paid $10.10 & $2.40 on the NZ TAB tote.
“It was great to see her return to winning form,” said Richards, collecting his 14thstakes victory as a trainer in Australia. “We’d been happy with her. She’s been eating well, looks great, and Ash (Handley) had done a fantastic job with her.
“She ran really well first-up, but we just needed a bit of luck on our side, and it was good to get back down in the weights and ride her more conservatively.
“I thought Brett (Prebble) gave her a lovely ride, was able to capitalize on a genuine tempo, got to the outside and really finished off well. It was a good strong win.
“It was very exciting and a big thank you to David (Ellis) for buying her and for Brendan & Jo, and Henry (Plumptre) for entrusting her with us to train and sending her over to race in Melbourne.
“Being a Group one winner in New Zealand, and now a stakes’ winner in Australia, her value has increased considerably and we can all look forward to her next assignment.”
Richards said Kahma Lass would have a few quiet days, ahead of working out plans for her next race.
A filly with a beautiful walk, deep girth and powerful hindquarter, Kahma Lass was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $290,000 at the Karaka 2019 Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Curraghmore Stud.
From the same draft in 2015, Ellis also bought her brother, Distinctive Darci. A smart four-length trial winner on debut at Te Aroha, he transferred to Mark Walker in Singapore, winning 10 races, including a Group 2 and over NZ$1 million in prize money. A half-brother, Kuro (Denman), won five stakes’ races in a total of eight wins, and stakes’ winner Southern Lad (Ocean Park) has won six in Australia.
“She was a brilliant 1000 Guineas’ winner, when Opie (Bosson) rode her, and I’m absolutely thrilled to see her win second-up as a four-year-old mare for Brendan & Jo,” Ellis said.
“Brendan and Jo are doing so much for the industry at the moment. Everyone in the New Zealand bloodstock industry wins out of having them involved. They’re importing great bloodlines, terrific stallions, buying yearlings at the sales, and they’re supporting a lot of people.
“We feel privileged to have quite a number of horses in the stable for them and it’s great to have Kahma Lass back to her best and carrying their colours to victory in Australia.
“I bought Kahma Lass from Greg Tomlinson’s Nearco Stud. Greg punches well above his weight as a breeder and anything carrying the NS brand you know it’s always a chance.
“Gordon Cunningham (Curraghmore Stud) prepared her for sale and did a fantastic job. His son Liam (Cunningham), works for us and is an important part of the team, and they don’t come any better than Gordon Cunningham in this business anywhere in the world.
“Adding to the thrill, she’s by Darci Brahma, who I also bought as a yearling as Karaka, and he’s a Champion Sire that has shown again his ability to leave world-class racehorses.
“Karyn and I want to extend our congratulations to Ashley Handley, who is looking after our horses in Melbourne. She works every day, is always happy, is always completely in tune with our goals and she’s an outstanding young lady who has proved herself in Australia.
“We’re so proud to have her in the team, and without Jamie (Richards) being able to be there in person, she’s instrumental in relaying back great information and telling him what she’s seeing.”
Handley is also one of the finalists for NZ Stablehand of the Year, a tremendous initiative set up by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing to acknowledge all the hard done behind the scenes by people that look after horses.
“It was a great ride by Brett Prebble, no panic, and showed how good he is,” Ellis added. “He’s ridden over 2000 winners, including around 800 in Hong Kong, and he’s obviously one of the best jockeys in the world. It’s great to have these top jockeys riding for Te Akau.”
The dam of Kahma Lass, stakes’ placed Distinctive Lass, is proving a broodmare sensation, having left four stakes’ winners and six of six winning progeny.
Third dam, Special (Habituate), won 10 races including three group ones, all at Flemington: Newmarket Handicap (Gr. 1, 1200m), Lightning Stakes (Gr. 1, 1000m) and the Gadsden Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m). At stud, Special produced 14 foals, 10 raced and nine were winners.
A total of 13 stakes’ winners and eight stakes’-placed performers descend from Sal II (Sallust), the dam of Special.
Kahma Lass was strapped by Ashley Handley.