Te Akau Midweek Update

Date: 13 Sep 2023

Te Akau Midweek Update


David writes:

What a truly incredible week its been for Te Akau Racing. It really doesn’t get more exciting than Saturday's racing was - with four winners at Hawkes Bay (including all three stakes' races) and Imperatriz winning for our brand new stable at Cranbourne.

Imperatriz now has the highest rating of any sprinting mare in the world - that means she is ranked as the world's number 1 sprint mare! Running her last 600m on Saturday at Moonee Valley in 32.61 - now that is absolutely flying (main photo above - credit ANZ Bloodstock News).

To break the record by 0.4 secs shows what a great job trainers Mark Walker & Sam Bergerson have done preparing her in New Zealand, with that care and attention continuing under our Australian Assistant Trainer Ben Gleeson at Cranbourne. Ben and our new team really have done an amazing job already in the short time since our Melbourne stable was opened.



We were lucky that we spent Saturday in Auckland with some close friends and family and boy did we celebrate hard! I got a great thrill out of seeing Tokyo Tycoon come back and win the Listed race in the manner he did while the unbeaten Quintessa was huge from the outside gate.  A typical genius Opie ride saw her romp home and collect valuable black type when winning the Group 3 Gold Trail stakes for 3YO fillies.  Fashion Shoot was also very impressive, easily winning her event too.

Stakes' winners Tokyo Tycoon and Quintessa look really exciting - and then the icing came on the New Zealand cake with  Savabeel mare Skew Wiff showing her class to win the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy.  She really does look an exciting mare and she will continue her campaign now from our Cranbourne stable, hunting down Australian black type honours.



I first saw Skew Wiff as a yearling at the Waikato Stud yearling parade and I was really taken by her and had her on my shortlist to buy. So I went to the Karaka sale to have a look at my shortlist and asked Mark Chittick where she was. He told me that she had hurt herself which was so disappointing news for me - I said what a lovely filly she was and he said alright you can train her. That's her above with Mark Chittick home for a break (photo credit - Waikato Stud).

Another real highlight that came with Skew Wiff's win was to see our co-trainer Sam Bergerson record his first Group 1 win - and in just 39 days of training - very special.

We are very proud of Sam's achievements - as we are of our hard-working Racing Manager Reece Trumper who is doing an absolutely fantastic job for us!  Remember his name too as he is also a very talented young man who is going to go right to the top of our industry.



Days like Saturday with five winners, can only be achieved with firstly the most loyal group of owners in the world and secondly with the best team in the business.  Karyn & I feel truly blessed to have such a great team to work with.

The business of the weekend didn't end there - on Sunday evening we attended the annual New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year awards in Auckland. We had our trainers and senior team join us, as did a good number of Te Akau owners, about 50 odd us in total.

It was humbling to see Tokyo Tycoon named Champion 2YO of the Year and by quite a big vote margin too - the judging panel is made up of about 60 industry individuals so it's a good spread of views and opinions.



Tokyo Tycoon became the 11th Champion 2YO that I have bought, joining six Champion 3YO's, eight Champion Sprinter/Milers, five Champion Middle Distance Horses and one Champion Stayer plus Te Akau has trained eight New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year winners.



Imperatriz was the dominant winner of the Champion Sprinter/Miler of the Year award category and Mark Walker was likewise a runaway winner of Champion Trainer of the Year title, together with his Trainers' Premiership honours.

The momentum is really humming and the team will be busy this week with runners on Wednesday at Cambridge, Riccarton and Melbourne. Friday we head to Taupo, Saturday at Riccarton and Sunday at Te Rapa. The Spring is really upon us!

Its been a brilliant start to the season as the Trainers' Premiership shows - just take a look at that strike rate of 2.83:


TRAINERS' PREMIERSHIP as at 13.9.23 - source NZTR

Wins 2nds 3rds Stakes Starts G & L SR
1 Mark Walker & Sam Bergerson 24 6 10 $792,725 68 3 2.83
2 Kevin Myers 12 13 10 $417,870 91 0 7.58
3 Stephen Marsh 11 10 5 $290,415 63 0 5.73
4 Andrew Carston 9 8 5 $196,585 66 0 7.33
5 Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott 7 3 1 $286,170 15 1 2.14
6 Ralph Manning 6 5 4 $150,670 39 0 6.5
7 Andrew Forsman 5 2 3 $134,760 34 0 6.8
8 Mark Oulaghan 4 3 3 $190,355 22 2 5.5
9 Chris Gibbs 4 2 3 $120,655 37 0 9.25
10 Lisa Latta 3 7 2 $166,675 38 1 12.67
11 Tony Pike 3 3 5 $99,925 29 0 9.67
12 Chrissy Bambry 3 3 0 $126,420 8 1 2.67
13 Robbie Patterson 3 2 5 $79,550 16 0 5.33
14 Michael Moroney & Pam Gerard 3 2 4 $73,945 26 0 8.67
15 Gavin Opie 3 2 1 $67,365 16 0 5.33

It certainly is a brilliant time to be involved with racing in New Zealand and what an incredible job our new industry partner Entain is doing – the forward and innovative thinking, combined with increases in stakes, Pearl Bonus Series and many more initiatives to come - makes it the perfect time for new and existing owners to be investing in this great industry of ours.

It is fascinating the way this Entain organisation operates as I say: thinking outside the square, with talented and dynamic leadership - I firmly believe that we are very lucky to have them involved in our industry. The quality of the senior Entain team is highly impressive. People that love the industry, invest in the industry and are working really hard for the industry. Well done to Entain, we can't wait to see this partnership continue to evolve in such a potent manner!

There is also some exciting news with the Ellerslie track reconstruction and Auckland Thoroughbred Racing  certainly looks likely to again host the Karaka Millions there in January 2024.  It's incredible to think that will be over $3 million available in stakes in one evening of racing in Ellerslie.  Te Akau can't wait to be in the thick of that!

The weather on the farm has greatly improved and it is starting to warm up slightly. We are in the middle of docking our lambs and the grass is certainly starting to grow. We are also busy buying yearling steers to replace the two year old cattle that we are about to start selling.

Reflecting finally again on the weekend - the interesting thing about Imperatriz and Tokyo Tycoon winning on Saturday is that they were both the last horse to sell in their year.

One of our 'last to sell' this year is a beautiful Alabama Express colt called Discretion Rules and he is really starting to look the goods. Somebody rang me yesterday saying “What’s wrong with the horse? Why isn’t it selling? It looks like such a nice horse!” Well I can tell you from Opie Bosson's positive feedback from riding the colt – there ain't anything wrong with him! He is a cracker!

Have a good look at this colt - there is only now 15% available in him ... mark my words, he should NOT be overlooked!




A 10% share is $17,500 +GST
A 5% share is $8,750 +GST
A 2.5% share is $4,375 +GST


STOP PRESS: two more winners today at Cambridge - well done to their owners and our team ....




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