"Te Akau Lockdown Love"

Date: 10 Apr 2020

Welcome to Day 12 of our new feature - as our world around us changes indelibly, we want to bring some smiles and sunshine every day - yes a small distraction but it does everyone good to be able to smile when times are tough.

We were a little late posting today's "Lockdown Love" story - mainly because it wouldn't stop raining all day yesterday (happy Farmer David) which made it impossible to get some decent shot so out we headed today ... allow us to introduce ... not one but two Te Akau Stud holiday-makers ...

Gal-pals Festivity (left in main picture and below) and Savy Yong Blonk. Festivity is a gorgeous three year old daughter of superstar sire I Am Invincible and she's got an appropriately super-sweet personality. She can be a little reserved but it's a different story if she thinks you are arriving with her breakfast or dinner, then it's all on.

Her very best friend and gal-pal Savy Yong Blonk is called "Harper. She is a talented Savabeel four year old who was bred by Bill and Jim Gartshore and entrusted to Te Akau to train. She finished her season on a high note when winning the $50,000 Royal Descent Stakes at Ellerslie on Auckland Cup Day, beating Group 1 1000 Guineas' winner Media Sensation in the process.

She has won four of her starts and also gained valuable back type with her placings in the $70,000 Group 3 Sunline Vase (3rd) and $200,000 Group 2 City of Auckland Cup (2nd) on New Years' Day this year. She just keeps getting better and better with age - just like some of her namesakes (wines)!!

Festivity is known by everyone as "Malia" and has raced twice - winning both starts - her first outing by 6.25 lengths. Her second performance was also a classy one when she put twos lengths on her opposition at Trentham - the same day as Avantage won the Group 1 Telegraph. Now that WAS a day, plenty of celebrating owners!!

Malia's owner is the Te Akau 2018 Fabulous Fillies' Syndicate that also races Melody Belle's half sister Exaltation who likewise won on debut - and the syndicate is also involved in a highly promising, yet-to-be-named Exceed and Excel filly.

The girls spend a lot of time nuzzling and smooching each other - they are happy, happy, happy.


After spacing her rivals when trialling on 16 December at Te Aroha, Festivity was all the rage to deliver on debut and did so impressively in the Maiden 1100 metres on 30 December at Taupo. It was a sit and steer job by Michael McNab to win by six and a quarter lengths.

Owned by the Te Akau 2018 Fabulous Fillies Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), by the leading sire by wins in Australia, I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit), her dam, Mabsam, was a debut winner over 1000 metres, winning to a mile, by a Golden Slipper (Gr. 1, 1200m) winning son of Redoute's Choice, Stratum, and her three progeny to race have all won, including Group Two placed Ulusaba (Exceed And Excel).

Next time out, on Wellington Cup Day at Trentham, there was an air of inevitability about Festivity winning the $40,000 Galaxy Mercedes Benz 3YO 1200 metres. She travelled best to the 300m before quickening clear to put the race in safekeeping, winning by two lengths.

With a terrific pedigree, and ability to match, the winner of two from two is a very exciting prospect.

Savy Yong Blonk is bred to be good and turning into somewhat of a revelation for owner-breeders Bill and Jim Gartshore.

Not often you can say that finishing eighth had plenty of merit, but when Savy Yong Blonk debuted there was enough evidence of a bright future. She duly sprang to prominence with consecutive impressive wins and proved up the best three-year-old fillies when finishing third in the Sunline Vase (Gr. 3, 2100m) and a notable fifth in the NZ Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m).

Time was always going to be her friend and she came of age with an impressive three-length victory in the Rating 72 2100 metres in December at Ellerslie, before a grand performance for second in the City of Auckland Cup (Gr. 3, 2400m) on 1 January.

Freshened, she returned with an enormous resuming victory in the $50,000 Royal Descent Stakes on Auckland Cup Day.

Savy Yong Blonk is just hitting her straps and shapes as a top Cups' and weight-for-age prospect. 





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