Te Akau Mid Week Update

Date: 6 Nov 2013

Te Akau Mid Week Update

David writes:

I thought that the Trackside coverage yesterday of the Melbourne Cup and the Ellerslie race meeting was quite outstanding and all credit to the TAB for putting on a really good show.

Congratulations to Gay Waterhouse for winning her first Melbourne Cup with the favourite Fiorente - she had this horse trained to the minute and I could see in his lead up races that he was the horse to beat.  We are shearing at Te Akau Stud this week and I told the shearers yesterday morning that I thought Fiorente would win and so they are all very happy when talking to them this morning!

Gai ran second in the Melbourne Cup 20 years ago with Te Akau Nick so it was a special thrill for me to see her finally win the race that her father had won twice.

In the press conference afterwards, Gai made a very good point regarding opportunities for New Zealand and Australian stayers and how the current programming makes it so difficult for Australasian horses to compete hence the influx of the Europeans.  It was just ridiculous cutting the Wellington Cup (by way of example) back from two miles to one and a half miles.  New Zealand has traditionally been a country famous for breeding top stayers.  To achieve this you need staying stallions such as Zamazan, Oncidium, Le Filou, Hermes, Sir Tristram and Zabeel and these stallions are no longer around or are near the end of their careers, as in the case of Zabeel.

We are not going to breed horses that will win international staying races unless we go back to having a mix of stallions.

Recently I shared with you my thoughts on how hard it was to keep farmers happy! Well today is another example - because we are shearing this week, the last thing we want is rain.  However last night we had 12 mls of beautiful soft rain and of course that has brought shearing to a halt - but the grass is absolutely bolting and it is now a beautiful day.

The rain might be good for the grass but again the flip side of that coin is that the Waikato Racing Club's meeting at Paeroa has been abandoned due to the slippery nature of the track and the continuing rainfall.

We have two really nice horses working at Te Akau Stud at the moment being ridden by James Jackson.  The first is a Manhatten Rain gelding that I bought for $25,000 from Karaka this year - he is called Skyscraper and the farm regime has been very good for this horse.  He has been quite a handful and has bucked quite a few riders off but James has got him going beautifully and he is almost ready now to return to our main stable. The other horse is a Mastercraftsman filly who is a half sister to Mexican Rose who of course was the Champion 2Yo and 3YO in Singapore. She is a lovely, big, bold filly who is now working really well and she too is not far from heading to Matamata.

Today is Karyn's birthday and I am going to take her to Soul Bar in Auckland for dinner tonight.

Yesterday at Ellerslie, Jason trained yet another winner for Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan - following on from Osmunda on Saturday.  Abidewithme is a beautifully bred mare by Redoute's Choice out of Crimson and she was having her first start since April so it was a fantastic training performance to have her ready to win so early in her campaign.

Jason has now trained more black type winners than any other stable and has earned more stake money than other stable as well!  What a great start to the season for Te Akau owners.

This weekend we are hoping to add to this at Riccarton where we have Chambord in the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas.  This Zabeel gelding's work this week has been superb and Pam Gerard (our Assistant Trainer) who is looking after him at Riccarton is thrilled with him.  Jason went down earlier this week to supervise his final gallop and we are very happy with him.  Te Akau will also start two fillies in the Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas the following Saturday - Spellbinder who will be ridden by Matt Cameron and Costa La Viva to be ridden by Leith Innes.


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