Te Akau Midweek Update

Date: 26 Aug 2020

Te Akau Midweek Update

David writes:

As always, there is plenty happening at Te Akau!

As Te Akau Racing has done for the past 20 years at this time of the year, we are ready and set to take a team down to the South Island to race.

We do this for two main reasons - to strike on the better tracks and also to target black type races programmed through the Spring and into New Zealand Cup Week. The average rainfall in Canterbury is half what we get in the Waikato. We are all looking forward to getting our horses onto the better tracks. 

This morning, our first float of horses departed from our Matamata stable bound for Riccarton. They will be in the care of the very capable Paul Richards, our travelling foreman. This is our "vanguard" southern contingent, with others shortly to follow.

Over the years Te Akau has had extraordinary success in Group and Listed races in the South Island, including winning the prestigious NZ 2000/1000 Guineas a total of 10 times - no other stable comes close to that record - some of the races we have won include:

Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas x6
Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas x4
Group 2 Coupland's Mile x2
Listed Welcome Stakes x6 
Group 3 Ray Coupland Stakes x5
Listed Canterbury Stakes x6
Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes x3 
Listed Spring Classic x3 

And it doesn't stop there - other races that we have won include the Dunedin Gold Cup, the Metropolitan Trophy and the War Step Stakes. 

As you can see, the results speak for themselves. This southern carnival and its lead up have been an exceptionally successful for Te Akau and our owners - and this year we are hoping, with the better tracks, that this good run will continue.

Last night I was speaking to Cambridge Stud's Brendan Lindsay about the exciting manner in which our horses trialled in Sydney yesterday. Brendan also told me that Embellish has had his first two foals born - both stunning fillies out of La Achiever (main picture) and Elegant Achiever.


Embellish was a hell of a racehorse, winning the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas in a race that Te Akau ran the quinella with Age of Fire second, and Te Akau Shark nosed into fourth. He was a very good racehorse - which is not what his form might suggest. 


He was very unlucky in my opinion not to win a major race in Australia. I purchased Embellish from Waikato Stud as a yearling, for $775,000 and this year we are supporting him at stud with our mares. It is my opinion that Embellish is going to get every chance possible to develop into a great sire, and he is the only son of Savabeel standing at stud. 


This morning I was training in the gym with our stable jockey Opie Bosson and our trainer, and it suddenly occurred to me that Trackside was playing yesterday trials from Randwick. 

It is incredible how they broadcast the trials from Australia the next day, but it takes a week or ten days for our own trials to be played. This is a prime example of how we can do things better. Our owners love watching the trials on TV, especially as we are currently at Level Two and cannot be there in person to watch their horses. 

I would however give credit to New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing which now gets a video of each trial posted on its website very promptly on trials' day.

However I also get a thrill out of seeing our horses on the big screen, on a channel that is dedicated to our sport, in my own home. I know that not everyone, including owners, has internet access or knows how to work their way around an app or computer.

Again, this is a great example of what we need to do better.

We are all set to start our first lot of docking today, where our five year old ewes that were scanned in lamb with a single, are going to be docked. Meanwhile, the mild weather we are having continues here at the farm, and we are really now only a few days away from the first day of Spring - how exciting is that!?

We are all very pleased that the trials next week have been set down at Te Teko, which is a great result and it gives our other tracks a chance to have the week off that they are so desperate for. 

Let us hope that this weekend is the final time for us to be at Alert Level Two, and that Auckland is lifted from its Level Three lockdown. We are all looking forward for our lives being able to resume some sense of normality, although we all know and accept that some things are now forever changed. It has certainly been a very frustrating time for everybody. 

Have a great week everyone and ... GO THE TANGERINE!


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