Te Akau Midweek Update
16 Jun 2021
The weekend concluded with Te Akau Singapore trainer Mark Walker adding another win to his tally, this time for the Fortuna team with Entertainer. Mark is having a great season and currently sits second on the Trainers’ Premiership.
The new week started in great fashion too – it was an exciting morning on Monday as our four yearlings that I purchased from the Gold Coast arrived home at Te Akau Stud.
They are four absolutely magnificent yearlings, two colts and two fillies, and the great news for both myself and Karyn is that they are now all fully sold!
This brings the total number of horses that we have syndicated this season to 74. You can imagine how excited I am to see the outstanding team here at Te Akau Stud start breaking in these colts and fillies.
I have always maintained that the most important job in racing is the early education of young horses, as this is the time when good habits are taught and rewarded. The stud team has done an absolutely outstanding job this year. Stephanie Hyde-Richards (below with Gingernuts, nanny to the babies) and Mitch Webb provide our youngsters with the best start to their careers with completing their early education right here on the farm, while Deane Lowcay, Hannah Davies Lorenzen and Jonah Parry (with part time assistants) look after the spelling farm and provide our horses on their breaks here with the very best of care.
As I said last week, the stables have begun to fill up again. We have been running at 65% capacity over the last five to six weeks which is normal for us in the late autumn/early winter months. This is a really good time for the yearlings to have their first taste of stable life, swimming in the pool, going to track work etc – but come Friday, many of the experienced horses will be back and the stable will be close to capacity.
Tuesday morning we started bright and early on the farm with a truck and trailer load of 36 steers off to the Greenlea freezing works. This is the last load that we have to send off for the season.
Yesterday we also drafted the tail end lambs and there were a handful that went through the Frankton sale, while another 400 will be sold to Wilson Hellaby next Monday.
We now have finished selling our stock until the end of October, where the cattle will start going to the Greenlea again, and then in November next seasons lambs will be ready to send.
This week we will be vaccinating our 5YO ewes, as they are due to start lambing in the next two weeks. We put our 5YO ewes to a black face terminal sire, which means the lambs will fatten a little bit quicker than with a traditional romney ram.
I then had farm management consultant Rob Macnab, who specialises in crops and is looking after my new grass, arrive at the stud at 7.30am, and we came up with a plan for our newly seeded paddocks.
By 8am I was on the road to Matamata, where we had team meetings and there were several new horses that I wanted to inspect before I travelled to Cambridge to meet with several owners.
This autumn has been so warm, you can actually see the grass growing. It was over 18 degrees the other day and the difference in the growth compared to last year is just incredible. It is turning into a really good grass growing season at Te Akau.
Before I left yesterday, I also went and had a good look at the weanlings that we have here on the farm, and one stallion that I believe is a big chance to really make it is Embellish. We have some magnificent Embellish weanlings (an Embellish foal below), both colts and fillies, and this time next year they will be in the stable – it is going to be an exciting time!
We also have an outstanding Savabeel filly, out of Corsage. This filly is a full sister to Aotea Lad, who Jamie Richards prepared to win a Group 2 race at his first start at Trentham.
It was the final episode of the season for ‘Weigh In’ on Monday evening, and Te Akau Racing would like to congratulate everyone who was involved in making sure this programme was such a huge success. I was humbled with the enthusiastic support I received from a number of key industry figures when I set about trying to get this season to air, as it had been cancelled.
It was fascinating to see all the people that the presenters, Michael Guerin and Emily Bosson, had interviewed across the last nine months. One of the reasons that myself and our stable of our sponsors were so interested in ensuring the programme was broadcast was this very point – whether you are a young jockey or a young trainer and you win your first Group 1 race, you deserve to have a public platform where your story and success is shared. This is just an example of the industry highlights that Weigh In has delivered – the team has done an awesome job.
My argument has been for some time that although betting has increased, since Radio Trackside has been removed, a whole demographic of our industry is being completely missed. Imagine the revenue intake we would have if we still had Radio Trackside? I believe that even though betting has increased, it hasn’t increased in percentage terms as it has in Australia and we need programmes both on Trackside and on the radio to encourage participation and showcase our industry.
These television and radio productions and broadcasts encourage participation across all demographics within our industry, in terms of betting at the TAB and in terms of involvement – whether it’s becoming an owner, attending race meetings, breeding or being interested in employment in the industry – all these factors are an incredibly important part of our industry going forward.
Today I have had a meeting with the powers at be to discuss how Weigh In and similar programmes are to be handled in the next season. Let’s hope that everyone can see the importance and the roles that this media coverage plays within our industry.
Have a great week everyone!