Te Akau Friday Update

Date: 18 Oct 2013

Te Akau Friday Update

David updates:

This morning after being driven around the farm, I am overseeing us are getting all of our yearlings in to inspect them.  Some are going to the Karaka Sales and some will be kept to race.

This is a pretty exciting weekend - I can't wait to see the All Blacks play Australia in Dunedin on Saturday night.  The real excitement however is the fact that we have three nice chances in the $50,000 Listed Ray Coupland Stakes at Ashburton on Saturday.  This race is an outstanding lead up to the Group 1 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Riccarton in November.  We have won this race seven times in the past decade or so.

I love these races as a winning performance increases a horse's value by so much.  For a filly, winning the group 1 1000 Guineas gives you valuable points in the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year contest and we have won this coveted title four times in the last eight years.  Looking at the latest standings, Te Akau is dominant again with Spellbinder, Costa Viva and Ruthless Lady all on the leader board.

My first day back at the races will be at Te Rapa on Labour Day Monday and I am going in fresh without a trial!!  I am really looking forward to seeing Spellbinder race in the James and Annie Sarten Stakes.

We also have a really good team of horses to race this spring and summer and one of the most exciting is a colt called Aspen.  He won his first start and we gave him a spell.  He is  heading for Ellerslie and Christmas/New Year racing but will have his next start before that at Tauranga on 16 November.

King Savinsky, who has finished runner up at his last two starts, is going to race next in the Listed Canterbury Stakes - this is a lovely race for this Fortuna owned horse.

O'Darci is a gelding owned by Carol Marshall and Angela Paykel and he is working very well.  This Darci Brahma gelding should be hard to beat at Hawkes Bay.

Our first 2YO runner for the season will be Appellation at Riccarton on Saturday week.  On the same day we will have two runners in the 2YO race at Ellerslie.

Maestro, an Encosta de Lago 3YO gelding, is working up in fine style and will trial at Te Aroha on 29 October.  He and Ray Coupland Stakes contender Chambord share the same team of owners so they have some exciting times ahead!  Stylee is a Pins mare out of the good racemare Arletty and she will trial the same day.

We have so many good horses coming to hand that I can't mention them all but you will certainly hear about them right here.

At present I am reading one of the best books I have ever read - a gift from David Williams QC for me to read during my recuperation.  It is about the English trainer, the late Sir Henry Cecil who trained Frankel, who I was thrilled to inspect when in Newmarket recently.

Cecil went from being the champion trainer in 1980's and 1990's with 200 horses in work - to only 40 by the year 2000.  Most of his owners left him but then along came Frankel who was unbeaten and the stable stable started to do well again but then sadly this year he died of cancer.  His wife has continued to operate the stable since and actually won a race at Royal Ascot this year.  I met Sir Henry Cecil when he came to Derby Day at Ellerslie about 12 years ago - he was a truly great trainer.

2013/2014 Filly of the Year Leaderboard

Horse Series Race Results Points
Bounding 1st RACE 1 (6) 6
Spellbinder 1st RACE 2 (4) 4
Costa Viva 2nd RACE 1 (3) 3
Ruthless Lady 2nd RACE 2 (2) 2
Fascination Street 3rd RACE 1 (1.5) 1.5
Zanotti 3rd RACE 2 (1) 1

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