Te Akau Australia - New Assistant Trainer Appointed

Date: 16 Jul 2023

Te Akau Australia - New Assistant Trainer Appointed


We are delighted to confirm that Victorian Ben Gleeson has been appointed as Assistant Trainer for Te Akau Racing Australia, the stable to be based at Cranbourne, Victoria.

"I am very proud to welcome Ben to the Te Akau team.  His appointment as Assistant Trainer for our new Australian operation is a key one and he brings an outstanding CV to the role, rich in Australian and international experience," said David Ellis CNZM.

"Ben knows the Australian racing environment like the back of his hand, everything he does is with a huge degree of professionalism and energy.  I know he will be a major asset to our new stable."

Concluding five years in the same role to Danny O'Brien at Flemington, Barwon Heads and Geelong, Ben comes from a racing and breeding family. He graduated with a Bachelor in Business Management from La Trobe University, Melbourne, and has worked for top trainers, including a European racing experience while working in the United Kingdom.

“Mark Walker and I have met a number of times over the last month,” Gleeson said.

“David Ellis and Mark offered me the role, which is obviously a position too good not to take up and I'm both humbled and excited about the appointment and glad to be joining the Te Akau team.

“I'm joining an operation that is incredibly successful, especially over the past decade, one that reaches an international ownership base and I've always been keen to get out and meet as many people in the industry as possible.

“I find it very satisfying meeting new people that share the love of horse breeding and racing, and on top of that it's an opportunity to work with Mark, who has proved himself a world-class trainer - training in New Zealand and Singapore, and the number of training titles (10) he's won.

“It's incredibly attractive to work alongside someone with his knowledge, experience, and achievements, and to work with horses that are largely selected and bought by David Ellis CNZM who has established himself as not only having a great eye for a horse, but also running such a successful farming and thoroughbred business.”



Gleeson grew up on Phoenix Broodmare Farm at Euroa, Victoria, where he learned and assisted his father Damian Gleeson with breeding and foaling, and his mother Merilyn Anderson with training at Seymour.

He then broadened his experience through the school holidays working for local father-and-son trainers Lee and Shannon Hope at Seymour. After graduating he worked for Peter Moody, Henry Dwyer, and very successful trainer Hugo Palmer during two years in the UK, which included time in Germany, France and Ireland, while learning about the racing systems employed in those countries.

“Peter (Moody) really kindled my passion for horse training, while I advanced my riding and overall horse skills working with Henry Dwyer, and I found the European experience invaluable,” Gleeson said.

Gleeson is preparing to spend a week in New Zealand at our Matamata stable as well as Te Akau Stud.

“I arrive on 13 August, and am looking forward to seeing all the horses, and finding out the detail of the stable operations. I'll be ready to apply this, with my own experience, as we kick-off at Cranbourne, he said.

“Mark (Walker) is very open-minded and encourages input from all his team, which is probably why he's such a successful trainer. I am really looking forward to being involved in putting Te Akau Australia on the map," Gleeson concluded.



The aim is to have horses in the stable by the first week of September. We hope to have 20 horses training from our new Cranbourne stable by November and have a goal of up to 60 - 80 in 12 to 18 months.

It's an exciting opportunity and time for Te Akau owners with our new Australian stable construction now underway. We are really looking forward to the future and to you enjoying, and being part of, a new success story.


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