Te Akau Friday Update

Date: 21 Jun 2013

Te Akau Friday Update

David writes:

Being in hospital does have some advantages - and I have always tried to see a glass as half full rather than half empty.

I had some very interesting visitors who came to see me when in hospital including Hall of Fame trainer Brian Anderton.  Brian has made a fantastic contribution to the New Zealand racing and breeding industry and I have always enjoyed his company since we were on the New Zealand Racing Conference together (NZ Racing Conference was the predecessor to New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Inc.). Brian has achieved just about everything possible to achieve in NZ racing.  He has been a great trainer, a mentor to apprentices - and one apprentice he told me in detail about was none other than Te Akau's Tom Hazlett! 

Brian has won major hurdle races, major steeplechases, major flat races, has been a top breeder and a dedicated administrator but above all he is one of the really good people in racing.

Another long-standing friend of mine living on the Gold Coast is Stuey Ramsey who owns Turangga Stud in the Hunter Valley - he too popped in to see me.  Stuey has been in the meat business all his life but has now retired from that but still owns a number of mares and this Spring he will mate 100 mares. Five years ago he bought Zizou as his foundation sire - the champion 2YO in Australia in 2007 who had been runner up in four classic 2YO races - the Golden Slipper, the Blue Diamond, the Todman Stakes and the Blue Diamond Prelude.  We had a really good catch up over a couple of hours before he headed to a family wedding.

Another very good friend of mine who came to visit was Clark Brackenridge with his wife Belinda, who of course is Colin and Alison Jillings' daughter.  Clark and Belinda have lived on the Gold Coast for about 20 years but Clark was a bloodstock agent in the days when Dalgety Bloodstock had its own company in New Zealand, competing with Wrightson Bloodstock.  Probably the best known horse that Clark sourced was McGinty, one of the top horses that Colin Jillings trained.

Tonight we are catching up over dinner with Ray and Jill Coupland who are over from Christchurch. Ray and I go back a long way and it is a great source of pride that I have purchased horses for Ray who have won nine Group 1 races for him, and all were trained by Mark Walker.  The best two horses that I have bought that Ray was involved in were Darci Brahma and of course Princess Coup.

The really big news today is the announcement that Burgundy has been retired to stud and will stand at Sir Patrick and Lady Hogan's famous Cambridge Stud.  This has given me a huge lift and it is a massive thrill to see this royally bred entire begin to fulfil his destiny.  It is no wonder that Sir Patrick is one of the very top marketers in world breeding ranks - each day he has rung me to update me on just how thrilled he is to have Burgundy in the very next paddock to Zabeel.

Sir Patrick is just blown away at the quality of horse that Burgundy is - and how well he has settled in at Cambridge Stud.  Literally every stud in New Zealand had an opportunity to stand Burgundy but Sir Patrick kept coming back, inspecting the horse, reviewing his pedigree and was one of the few to recognise early on what a beautiful example of racing excellence this stallion is.   Another huge plus at having Burgundy stand at Cambridge Stud is the world class staff that Sir Patrick has built up over a lifetime, their expertise is well known internationally.

It is hard not to have a love affair with Burgundy - I personally have been in love with Burgundy since the day I saw him as a foal at foot.  To now know that this horse is going to have such a great opportunity is unbelievably exciting - not just for me and his owners, but for our New Zealand industry.

My goal ten years ago was to have stallions standing at stud that were owned by the New Zealand breeders.  I set out on a deliberate and well planned path to purchase well bred colts from the Karaka Sale and have them perform on the track, with the aim of having them stand at stud here in New Zealand - for the benefit of our industry.  I was sick and tired of seeing stallions the likes of High Chaparral become top sires in New Zealand only to be taken away offshore by their international owners after they had succeeded.  Of course most of their revenue also went off shore, rather than being re-invested in our local industry.  It had to stop and someone had to do something about it… so I did! 

So for me to see Darci Brahma standing at The Oaks Stud, Rock ‘n' Pop at Waikato Stud and now Burgundy at Cambridge Stud is very satisfying for the whole Te Akau team.  It also shows that our formula works and our vision is being accomplished.  This of course could not be achieved without the commitment and loyalty of our Te Akau owners - you are second to none (the featured picture if of Burgundy's happy owners incidentally)!

I know we have exciting times ahead - not just because of this news but also because we also have some really fabulous young colts waiting in the wings in our stable and I am sure some of these will be equally as successful.

At Karaka 2014 I am going to put another major stallion syndicate together to ensure this success and very important commitment to the future of our industry continues.


Sign up to our newsletter