Te Akau Midweek Special Update

Date: 20 Sep 2023

Te Akau Midweek Special Update


David writes:


A special update on the Riccarton track

There has been a bit of chat about the Riccarton track being a bit firm on Saturday. The one thing in life that I wouldn’t want to be, is a track manager!

I have done a bit of homework and on Tuesday 12 September the track was a Soft5. Then 6 mls of irrigation was applied on Tuesday night, based on a forecast of rain for Thursday and Friday.

By Wednesday the track remained a Soft5 and rain was still on the forecast for Thursday & Friday.



On Thursday 14 September the track was still a Soft5. The forecasted rain did not eventuate and, in its place, very strong winds developed which basically negated the ability to irrigate.  Wind continued through the weekend until Monday 18 September.

To have applied irrigation in the prevailing winds would have been extremely risky on past experience.  It would not have been possible to achieve anything like a uniform coverage and could well have had resulted in wet and dry patches and the very type of inconsistency that needs to be avoided.



They have been racing at Riccarton since 1855.  So it was a thrill to see Challa break the track record running 1.06 and a bit over 120om.  How special was that by our 'senior statesman'!

So while everybody at Riccarton knows the track was too firm, hindsight is a great thing and I don’t think that if I was the track manager, I would have done anything differently.

The weather forecast in this country is very changeable and people keep telling me its going to be a very dry summer. Well my answer to that is: it can be tough enough for the forecasters in New Zealand to accurately predict what the weather is going to do tomorrow, let alone in three months' time. That's another job I wouldn't like to take on!

I am really looking forward to the New Zealand Cup Carnival - Te Akau has enjoyed outstanding success during this week over many years.  We have won 7 Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas and six Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas' titles - 13 in total, more than any other stable!



 I am especially looking forward to NZ Cup Day because Sir Dave Dobbyn is going to be singing after the last race.

One of the first horses I bought at a Ready to Run sale I named 'Slice of Heaven' and the horse's stable name was Davey. He was a pretty good horse too, trained by Jim Gibbs, he ran a close second in the Waikato Gold Cup.


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