Te Akau Midweek Update

Date: 5 Jan 2022

Te Akau Midweek Update


David writes:


Is there a better way to start the year than winning a Group 1 and a Group 2 at Ellerslie on New Year's Day?

What a great day's racing it was!  It was so good to see so many people back on course, soaking up the sun, the atmosphere and the first class racing action.  Well done to Chairman Doug Alderslade, CEO Paul Wilcox and the ATR team for putting on an outstanding day!

Karyn and I got an enormous thrill out of winning the very first Group 1 race anywhere in the world for 2022 - the Sistema Railway - there is truly nothing as exciting!  To see our stable rider Opie Bosson really in the zone and piloting Entriviere to a magnificent Group 1 victory for her owners - we were just over the moon.

Even though Opie has only been back riding for about 10 weeks, he has already won more black type races than any other jockey in the country - he is riding a winner every 3.6 rides.  What a magnificent strike rate.

Tavistock mare Entriviere is a very high class sprinter and she will have her next race at Trentham in the Group 1 Telegraph - squaring off against Levante once again.  It was so special to have a good number of her owners on course to celebrate a great win.  Gee they were VERY excited!!

Entriviere was strapped by our team member Hunter Durrant - he is a young man you will hear a lot more of going forward.  Hunter rides beautiful track worked is our stable foreman for what we call the "Uni Barn" that is home to 20 of our horses.  He is a very talented horseman and we are so proud to have him in the team.



Prior to that race, Te Akau was also thrilled to win the Group 2 Royal Stakes with an exciting filly called Self Obsession.  We are privileged to train this daughter of Shocking for Hong Kong based bloodstock expert David Price.  It was only her third start and she showed an abundance of grit and determination to fight out a close finish, winning by a nose.  In the hands of Michael McNab, she put her head down and really showed huge ticker to claim a narrow victory.

I did think that one of the runs of the day belonged to our two year old filly I Choose You.  Drawn awkwardly in the Group 2 Eclipse Stakes (a race we won last year with Imperatriz), she sat three wide with no cover and really kept coming for a close third placing.  A huge run by an exciting, up and coming filly.

I bought I Choose You and Bright Blue Sky at the Magic Million's Sale last January - and what a magnificent start they have made to their racing career for our Fillies' Breeding Syndicate owners.  They are both owned by the same group of Te Akau owners, both won on debut - a stakes' race in the case of Bright Blue Sky.  So the two fillies' both have already earned valuable black type with only four races between them.

Bright Blue Sky had no luck in her Queensland start on Boxing Day but rallied well to finish fourth in a stakes' race at Doomben and we are now hoping she can make the field for the A$2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic on 15 January.

In another big race of the day, the Group 2 Rich Hill Mile which Prise De Fer won a couple of years ago, Mai Tai was desperately unlucky to be beaten a nose into second.  The race actually ended up in the inquiry room as the horses were racing in very close quarters before the line.  She is a classy mare who you will see in upcoming Group races, and we are proud to train her for the Hawkins' family of Wentwood Grange.

Karyn and I were devastated with the tragedy that unfolded later in the day as Jamie's partner Danielle Johnson was dislodged from her mount Gold Watch.  It reminds us all that our riders literally face this type of situation every time they are legged aboard a powerful thoroughbred.

There were very worrying moments until we heard that Danielle was sitting up and speaking - however her leg has multiple breaks and she endured a four and a half hour surgery the next day.  This included the insertion of a rod, a plate and some screws.  She is now home recuperating. Very sadly for trainer Cliff Goss (who is 90 years of age), his pride and joy Gold Watch could not be saved.

Thank you so much for all your kind wishes - we have passed these on to Danielle and Jamie and we know you join us in wishing her a speedy and straightforward recovery.

Another highlight of the weekend was seeing our Singapore stable kick off in a winning way at the first meeting of the new season.  Te Akau Singapore has appointed Donna Logan as our trainer and it was wonderful to see King Arthur salute the judge for the Fortuna team.

With all the hot weather, the farm is drying out really quickly but the stock are still thriving and looking in great condition.  We are very lucky that we have such a modern and effective water system because the stock drink a huge amount of water at this time of the year.

My attention now is fully turned to the Magic Millions' sale which gets underway this week.  Our soon to be New Zealand trainer Mark Walker is on the Gold Coast inspecting our short list, together with bloodstock agent Andy Williams and we will certainly be looking to bring home the next Group winners such as Princess Coup, Costa Viva, Tell A Tale, Integrate, Imperatriz and Bright Blue Sky - all sourced from the Magic Millions' Gold Coast Sales.

Our racing attention meanwhile heads now to the Wellington Carnival where we have a lovely team to race there on 15 January.  Then it is fireworks' time on 22 January with the NZB Karaka Million twilight race meeting.  This is easily one of my favourite days of racing on the calendar and Te Akau will have 10-12 runners that evening as we hunt down our 6th consecutive Karaka 2YO Million - it will be a tough ask, but the team will be out in force - and ...


GO THE TANGERINE or maybe ....



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