Te Akau Midweek Update

Date: 8 Apr 2020

Te Akau Midweek Update

David writes:

As we reach week two of lockdown in New Zealand, all I can say is that these are incredibly frustrating times - but we do understand the need for these strict protocols and we totally respect them.

This week Karyn and I had planned to be in Sydney for the Easter Sales and races. We had planned to purchase a couple of colts and at least
two fillies, but alas, our nation is in lockdown.

At least we have a lot of horses to feed and plenty of things to do on the farm and that is keeping us busy here at Te Akau Stud.

One thing that is really putting a smile on my face is seeing how our young horses have progressed with their early education. Some are finishing, others currently being handled and some yet to commence - they are all individuals.

The quality of yearlings that we have bought this year is
just exceptional! We have very exciting times ahead to look forward to!

However, I am not completely missing out on not being
involved with the sales happening in Australia - today I am hoping to get some
time to watch them live stream on the internet.

All my farming friends in Australia tell me that they have had some really good rain fall recently. New South Wales got about 100mls in ten days and that the grass has absolutely taken off - as has the price of cattle in Australia! The export schedule has risen $1 per kilo in just one week while the store price has just skyrocketed with small weaner steers making well over $1,000 each.

The good news is that as I write this, it has started to absolutely pour down at Te Akau Stud - another smile!

Yesterday we drafted our tail-end wether lambs under the guidance of stock agent, Alan Radford (socially distancing). Alan has bought all my buying and selling cattle and sheep since 1979. After checking our stock on his own, he couldn't believe how great the condition of all our animals is, considering how dry it has been.

Most of the North Island is desperate for really good rain. Although we had 58mls two weeks ago, this good rain right now, if it continues, would really set us up for winter.

I always have a little bit of frustration with the inaccuracy of our recent weather forecast! Four days ago, they had predicted 25mls of rain for the first day. The next day was meant to be 19mls, then yesterday was meant to be 10mls. Until just now, we had a grand total of 2mls!!!!

While we are all currently in lockdown at home, let's hope that it keeps raining over the next couple of days.

As there is still no confirmed date of when we will be able to return to racing in New Zealand, our racing attention is very clearly on our team based in Australia.

It is very exciting to have three of our horses still racing in Group 1 races over Easter. Te Akau Shark is circling the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and will be up against his stablemate Melody Belle, while Probabeel eyes the Australian Oaks, all to be held at Royal Randwick on Saturday.



I just so much wish that Karyn and I could be there to support our team - Paul Richards, Ashley Handley and our stable jockey Opie Bosson - you are all doing an incredible job considering the difficult times we are all currently in. We could not be more grateful to, or proud of, you and all your efforts. Thank you Ashley for all these photos too of Te Akau Shark and Melody Belle - they are best mates!

Best of luck to all our owners involved, and ...



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