Te Akau 3 Wins - 3 Countries - Puketiro Perfect

Date: 31 Mar 2024

Te Akau 3 Wins - 3 Countries - Puketiro Perfect

Te Akau Racing was proud to deliver wins from each of its three stables on Saturday - three wins across three countries: Puketiro in New Zealand, Listed winner Sans Douter in Melbourne, Australia and Otahuhu in Singapore ... let's kick off with New Zealand ...

In the colours of owner/breeder Christopher Grace QSM, Puketiro (4 m Savabeel – Matakana, by Mastercraftsman) resumed with a smart victory in the $40,000 Fiber Fresh Rating 75 1200 metres on Saturday at Ellerslie.

Running on strongly for third in a recent trial on 14 March at Taupo, the grey mare had been impressive winning four of her seven starts, including the Rating 75 1200 metres fresh-up earlier in the season at Tauranga, and trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson elected to send her out with blinkers on.

Ideally drawn (3), she rated a top three chance if she was appreciative of the new Ellerslie StrathAyr track at her first attempt, and despite being a touch cantankerous loading and getting away she still had the resolve and quality to win.

With stable rider Opie Bosson ONZM aboard, Puketiro tracked a solid pace in eighth spot on the inner, stood the leader six lengths at the 600m, but picked up powerfully behind runners before angling clear at the 200m and she lengthened out beautifully to score.

On Good4 footing, she ran 1200 metres in 1:10.4, last 600m in 33.7 (approx.), and was steady in betting to pay $3.20 & $1.50 on the NZ TAB tote.

“It was a really good fresh-up win and lovely ride of Opie’s,” Walker said. “She was a bit slowly away, but he rode a patient race.

“She’s been a work in progress, and while she has a lot of ability she can be quite a highly strung filly and our team at the Middle and Uni Barns have done a great job handling her quirky nature.

“She is certainly up to black type company and we’ve always had that in mind, but just needed to be patient.”

Walker suggested Puketiro would now contest the $80,000 City of Napier Sprint (Listed, 1200m), run during the Hawkes Bay Cup meeting held on Saturday 13 April at Otaki.

Grace shares in the ownership with his wife Susanna, along with I J & J F Cameron, D W Dalziell, A E Falloon, J R & L D Griffith, G Jones, J E & S J McKenzie, and B C & T D White, while Grace is a well known identity in New Zealand farming and racing circles as a breeder of quality thoroughbreds.

Through the deeds of Shillelagh (Savabeel), Precious Time (Stravinsky), Grazia (Savabeel), Dreamer (More Than Ready), Motivation (Mastercraftsman), Spirit Of Galway (Rip Van Winkle), Tauparae (Savabeel), and Invincibeel (Savabeel), Te Akau has built a long term relationship with horses either bred or owned by Grace, and Puketiro looks another stakes' performer in the making. 

Puketiro is a sister to Tauparae and Invincibeel, with the latter purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $145,000, from draft of Little Avondale Stud, at the 2020 Karaka Book 1 Sale, and although only saluting once she was a mare with ability to exceed that. 

The pedigree has a beautiful cross of legendary stallion Sir Tristram (Sir Ivor), on the sire line, as sire of Zabeel (Sir Tristram), and dam line of Matakana as sire of third dam sire Grosvenor (Sir Tristram). 

From a family that has proven to produce the real deal, Puketiro is by eight-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), from a young mare by successful sire Mastercraftsman (Danehill Dancer), who is also dam sire of Group One winner Loving Gaby (I Am Invincible). 

Her grand dam, Taitanium, by 2000 Guineas' (Gr.1, 1600m) winner and renowned sire Kingdom Bay (Otehi Bay), was an impressive five-time winner to 1600 metres and stakes placed at 2000 metres, who subsequently left four winners of 14 races including Wellington Cup (Gr. 2, 2400m) winner Graphic (Volksraad). 

“Mark and Sam have been very patient with Puketiro and the way she won suggests that now could be her time to get some black type,” Ellis said.

“It’s the job we’re always trying to do for owners like Christopher (Grace) and his team, because he breeds his mares to the best stallions and it helps if they’ve got stakes' results in their form.

“She’s always shown heaps of talent, Puketiro, has developed into a strong mare now and has that great racing style of really finding the line.”

Puketiro was strapped by Zoe Ashworth and Reece Trumper.

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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