Te Akau Double Century

Date: 29 Jul 2023

Te Akau Double Century

Capping a phenomenal season of highlights and records for trainer Mark Walker and Te Akau Racing, Angels Wings (3f Heroic Valour – Gowana, by More Than Ready) became the 200th winner this season with victory in the Rating 65 1200 metres on 27 July at Awapuni (poly-track).


“It’s never been done before, down towards the line, a bobber, but I reckon Mark Walker’s got 200 for the season,” said commentator Tony Lee. “What a brilliant effort, quite an incredible feat, this will be around for a long, long time.”

Walker had three additional wins on the six race programme, including Redsheis (Burgundy), Treaty of Paris (Tavistock), and Star In The Sky (Savabeel), taking his tally to 202. 

Walker told Bevan Sweeney, on TAB Trackside 1: “It’s been a great season and you certainly can’t do it alone, and we’ve just got a fantastic team of mainly young people, too, which is really encouraging for the whole industry and the future. 

“I’ve really enjoyed working with them throughout the season and I think there’s some really good young talent coming through that will make the grade as trainers when the time comes. 

“The unsung hero of the whole team is Karyn (Fenton-Ellis MNZM), and obviously Dave (Ellis CNZM) buying them, but Karyn does a lot of work syndicating, and I still believe the whole game is won and lost at the sales ring door. 



“There have been people that have bought good horses and been lucky for two or three seasons, but Dave’s been doing it for decades now and that’s where success really begins. 

“We’ve got Sam (Bergerson) joining the team in training next year and he’s got immense talent, and he’ll be so vital to the continued success. 

“Reece (Trumper) has gone to a new level this season as Racing Manager. We’ve got so many people, like Scotty Lucock who came back into the team and helped us. He’s an elder statesman, but he’s really enjoyed training up some of these younger people.



“Nicole (Shailer) is coming on as Assistant Trainer next season and she deserves it as well. 



“There’s too many of the team to thank and the farm (Te Akau Stud) and the staff there are a huge part of it as well, where the horses spell.

“Even the 200th winner today, Dave bought her and he even bought the father of Angel Wings, Heroic Valour, and he’s one of numerous stallions at stud that he’s bought. 

“As I said, I think a lot has to do with buying the right horses and building up the ownership group that Karyn and Dave have over the years. 

“Plus, there’s been a lot of studmasters that have given us horses, too, and it’s a big team effort.”



Within the 202 wins to date, Walker trained 34 stakes winners:


Group One winners:


2022 Captain Cooks Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) – Prise De Fer (Savabeel)

2023 NZ Sistema Railway Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) – Imperatriz (I Am Invincible)

2023 Waikato BCD Group Sprint (Gr. 1, 1400m) – Imperatriz (I Am Invincible)

2023 Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m) – Romancing The Moon (El Roca)

2023 William Reid Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) – Imperatriz (I Am Invincible)


Group Two winners:


2022 Foxbridge Plate (Gr. 2, 1200m) – Imperatriz (I Am Invincible)

2022 Sarten Memorial Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m) – Wild Night (Vanbrugh)

2023 Rich Hill Mile (Gr. 2, 1600m) – Campionessa (Contributer) 

2023 Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) – Trobriand (Kermadec) 

2023 Wellington Guineas (Gr. 2, 1400m) – Cognito (So You Think)

2023 Westbury Classic (Gr. 2, 1400m) – Imperatriz (I Am Invincible)

2023 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) – Zourion (Zoustar) 

2023 Japan Trophy (Gr. 2, 1600m) – Brando (Savabeel) 

2023 Awapuni Gold Cup (Gr. 2, 2000m) – Brando (Savabeel) 

2023 Travis Stakes (Gr. 2, 2000m) – Aromatic (Sacred Falls)


Group Three winners:


2022 Eagle Technology Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m) – Prise De Fer (Savabeel)

2023 Anniversary Handicap (Gr. 3, 1600m) – Belle En Rouge (Burgundy)

2023 Almanzor Trophy (Gr. 3, 1200m) – Maven Belle (Burgundy)

2023 Matamata Slipper (Gr. 3, 1200m) – Tokyo Tycoon (Satono Aladdin)

2023 Wellington Cup (Gr. 3, 3200m) – Leaderboard (Street Cry)

2023 Manawatu Breeders’ Stakes (Gr. 3, 2000m) – Aromatic (Sacred Falls)

2023 White Robe Lodge (Gr. 3, 1600m) – Perfect Scenario (Iffraaj)


Listed winners:


2022 El Roca – Sir Colin Meads Trophy (Listed, 1200m) – Dynastic (Almanzor)

2022 Canterbury Belle Stakes (Listed, 1200m) – One Kiss (Tivaci)

2022 Metropolitan Trophy (Listed, 2500m) – Campionessa (Contributer)

2022 Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m) – Sky On Fire (Exceed and Excel)

2022 Counties Cup (Gr. 3, 2100m) – Aromatic (Sacred Falls)

2022 Wanganui Cup (Listed, 2040m) – La Flora Belle (Iffraaj)

2022 Hallmark Stud Handicap (Listed, 1200m) – Synchronize (Savabeel)

2022 Uncle Remus Stakes (Listed, 1400m) – Wild Night (Vanbrugh)

2023 $1m Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) – Tokyo Tycoon (Satono Aladdin)

2023 Oaks Prelude (Listed, 1800m) – Family Ties (Contributer)

2023 NZB Insurance Stakes (Listed, 1400m) – Romancing The Moon (El Roca)

2023 Hawkes Bay Cup (Listed, 2200m) – Fierce Flight (Flying Artie)


Walker continued by saying: “We’re very excited about the younger brigade we’ve got to race next season and we’ll have a presence in Australia (Mark Walker is setting up stables for Te Akau at Cranbourne, Melbourne), which is great for the ownership group that Dave and Karyn have assembled. Ben Gleeson has recently been appointed Assistant Trainer for our Melbourne stable and we are really looking forward to getting that underway.



“It will give us more scope, more opportunities, to target the good prize money that is on offer throughout Australia.”


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