Te Akau Captured by Love for Exciting Filly

Date: 7 Mar 2024

Te Akau Captured by Love for Exciting Filly

Love Racing reports:

Te Akau Racing’s unbeaten filly Captured By Love is set to face her sternest test to date when she heads to Ellerslie on Saturday to contest the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m).

The daughter of Written Tycoon got her career off to the perfect start when winning on debut over 1000m at Tauherenikau last November before scoring her first stakes victory at just her second start in the Gr.2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Trentham a month later.

Purchased by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis CNZM at last year’s Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale for $525,000, Captured By Love was ineligible for the TAB Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie in January, taken out by hype filly Velocious, and was instead freshened to have a crack at further stakes assignment.

She duly added last month’s Gr.3 Taranaki 2YO Classic (1200m) to her burgeoning record before winning the Gr.2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at her home track three weeks later.

Trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson have been rapt with her unbeaten record to date but are wary about the step-up to elite-level and meeting the Stephen Marsh-trained Velocious for the first time.

“She is unbeaten and she is a big, strong girl. She keeps lifting the bar and she will have to do that again on Saturday,” Walker told Trackside NZ.

“She is a ready-made racehorse – she has got a will to win and it doesn’t matter what track surface it is either. She came on with that run at Taranaki, but she will need to, stepping into unknown territory right-handed and the Karaka Millions winner (Velocious) is there.”

Meanwhile, it will be a sentimental day for Te Akau Racing on Saturday, with the stable set to farewell their warhorse Prise De Fer following his final career start in the Gr.2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup (3200m).

The eight-year-old gelding has been a stable favourite at the Matamata operation, posting 11 victories and 18 placings from 52 starts.

The son of Savabeel had posted five Group One placings before his popular elite-level triumph in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) at Trentham in 2022, and has added further runner-up results in the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2040m), Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m), and Gr.3 Waikato Cup (2400m) to his record.

His connections are hoping he can belie his age and topweight of 57kg to end his career on a fairytale note on Saturday.

“He is an eight-year-old and it is just hard finding races that are really suitable,” Walker said. “He has been a great servant and he will have a loving showing home at the end of it. It will be his last run on Saturday.”

Stablemate Fierce Flight will be looking to spoil the party, and Walker is expecting a bold performance with the Gr.3 Wellington Cup (3200m) runner-up dropping down to 53kg for the two-mile test.

“I think Fierce Flight dropping to 53 kilos is a dangerous light weight compared to what he carried in the Wellington Cup (58kg),” Walker said.


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