Te Akau Midweek Update

Date: 18 Dec 2019

Te Akau Midweek Update

David writes:

Firstly some very special news - we are over the moon to announce that our Te Akau Singapore trainer Mark Walker and his partner Mirka have welcomed their first child, a baby girl - Skyler Jane Walker. Such exciting news as we welcome this wee lass to our family. Our very best wishes to them from everyone!

The farmer from Te Akau had a massive smile on his face this morning when I looked at the rain gauge and saw that we'd had 52mls. 

It was just incredible rain for the farm. To get this rain before Christmas is a bonus and already you can see the grass absolutely bolting. 

We sent our last load of cattle to the works today for this year and we have been thrilled with the weights that we have been getting. Although the export price has come back slightly from the peak in November, the price is still unbelievably healthy and the margins are very good.

This morning we sent another 305 lambs to Wilson Hellaby and we have been busy drenching and dipping the lambs so that there is not too much to do between Christmas and the New Year. 

We have all our mares and foals back home from the studs now, and this morning we had our mare Princess Davone return home from Australia with the first Heroic Valour foal at foot. I sent this mare to Heroic Valour, who stands in Queensland, and kept the mare there last year so that she has a foal at foot and is back in foal to him. 

Heroic Valour was a Fastnet Rock colt, he won a Group 1 as a 2YO - the first ever juvenile Group 1 winner for Fastnet Rock anywhere in the world. He won his first three starts including the Group 1 Sistema Stakes at Ellerslie, as well as the Group 3 Matamata Slipper and is one of about six colts that I have purchased who are now standing at stud.

Heroic Valour

We also have some beautiful foals here by Xtravagant. He is a stallion that I am expecting to be a very exciting sire. I believe he will be a top sire in years to come.


Yesterday we had another really exciting win - our 50th for the season! So after a four and half months of the season, we have had 50 wins! It was such a big thrill as some of our most loyal owners have invested in Awareness, a Redoute's Choice filly that I bought in Sydney.


Luke Kemeys and the Boys Get Paid (BGP) team have also got a share in this filly. This is the second our of fillies to win for BGP in a week, with Combat Queen winning impressively last week. 

Karyn and I believe Luke Kemeys is doing an outstanding job promoting racing, especially to the young 'lost to racing' generation, and it is exciting having his group as part of team Te Akau.

Shares in the eight Ready to Run horses that we purchased at Karaka have been selling very quickly, there is now only one share left the Colt Syndicate, which is made up of the Savabeel and the Pierro colt. If you would like to be involved in this syndicate, that boasts two incredibly high-class colts, you need to get in contact really quickly. I predict that the last share will more than likely sell in less than 48 hours. 

Our Savabeel colt

Our Pierro colt

There is also a share available in the Proisir gelding, he is a really nice horse by a sire that is going places. I have been looking at this horse while
he is at Te Akau and he is certainly a 2000 Guineas horse in the making.

Our Proisir gelding

Yesterday, I started the annual march of looking at all the yearlings headed for Karaka in January. Yesterday afternoon, NZ Bloodstock chairman Joe Walls and I started at Valachi Downs, and then went to Blandford Lodge before we stayed at Waikato Stud for the night. Gee, the Chittick family really does it well. They certainly have been incredibly successful with their Waikato Stud operation, and we had a great night with Mark and Pip. Today, we looked at all the yearlings at Waikato Stud. As usual, they have a nice very draft.

From what I can see at this early stage, the horses for the sales this year have exceptional bone, which reflect the terrific growing season that we have had in the Waikato in the last 12 months. 

We are all really looking forward to Christmas this year and having a slight break for two to three days. It has been a very busy year and one that we can look back on with extreme pride. 

Jamie Richards is leading the Trainer's Premiership in New Zealand with the most Group/Listed wins (jointly), the most stake money and the most wins with an incredible strike rate of 5.31. 

  Wins2nds3rdsStakesStartsG & LSR
1Jamie Richards513234$1,165,69827155.31
2Stephen Marsh462635$917,70334357.46
3Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman292436$742,62523248
4Kelvin Tyler & Aimee Tyler231615$340,27414006.09
5Tony Pike181011$702,88710655.89
6Team Rogerson172326$455,483274116.12
7Kevin Myers172028$387,106199011.71
8Michael & Matthew Pitman171812$428,11016319.59
9Lisa Latta161827$442,505205212.81
10Nigel Tiley151010$273,0759726.47
11Chris Gibbs & Michelle Bradley1578$206,3259706.47
12Shaun & Emma Clotworthy13812$230,10311108.54

Mark Walker won the Trainers' Premiership in Singapore this season by a serious margin, so it has definitely been a year that we can all be proud of.       

Another person who is doing exceptionally well is Chelsea Burdan, our apprentice jockey. She is riding winners most days and I can see that her riding is literally improving daily. She is riding strategically well and is now quite strong in a finish. 

Chelsea has recorded 23 wins this season - the same number as senior riders Leith Innes and Chris Johnson, just to put her season's success into perspective. She lies joint 10th on the Jockeys' Premiership so well done Chelsea.

I would like to say a special thank you to all our team who look after the horses in Matamata, Singapore and at the stud, and thank them all for such an outstanding year - they can be extremely proud of what they have achieved. I would also like to thank our owners for the incredible support that Karyn and I have received. We have sold a lot of horses this year and there are still some very good horses still to race.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon going around and inspecting all the horses in the stables with Jamie, and I think the summer and autumn is going to be a vintage time for Te Akau Racing. There are still some very nice horses yet to commence their new campaigns and some horses that we had spelling that are back in work now. I believe we will be in for a big 2020.  

I would like to everyone for their continued support of Te Akau Racing, and Karyn and I wish you all a very happy festive season and the very best for a huge 2020.


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