Te Akau Midweek Update

Date: 25 May 2022

Te Akau Midweek Update


David writes:


This week has been very busy at Te Akau Stud as we have been sending nine horses each day back in to the stable for their new preparations.  One thing that really stands out to me is just how well the horses have done spelling at the farm this year.

Horses just absolutely love fine, mild weather and we have had so much of that in the past three months. Loving these conditions, our horses have really thrived.

It's a little tougher for the sheep and cattle - of course horses get hard fed twice a day, seven days a week, whereas sheep and cattle are reliant on grass.

Last week we scanned our five-year-old ewes. We do this to identify which ewes are in lamb with a single lamb and which ewes are carrying twins, as well as which ewes didn't get in lamb.  They scanned 161% which is great news.

The race tracks in New Zealand are starting to head into the 'Heavy' territory as we expect at this time of the year - but what about the rainfall they have had in Queensland?  Major disruption to its carnival and the preparation of horses for it.  Usually the Kiwis head over looking to race on good surfaces but it has been a nightmare with the incessant rain causing delays, postponements, transfers, heavy tracks etc.

This weekend Te Akau has two runners at Eagle Farm - last start Australian Group 1 performer Entriviere and also Fortuna's Soprano Supreme.



Entriviere has drawn wide (17) for the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup over 1300m.  It's frustrating indeed as she has now drawn the outside gate for four of her Australian starts.  If the ballots all come out, she will jump 12 of 16.  Opie Bosson, our stable rider, heads back to Queensland to ride our Group 1 Railway winner who was electric in the final stages of the $1 million Group 1 Doomben 10,000 last start.  Her sectionals were something else.

Soprano Supreme lines up in the Group 3 Premier's Cup over 2400m and has drawn barrier 11.  She will be ridden again by top Australian jockey Kerrin McEvoy as she attempts to go one better than her last (and first) Australian start were she finished second in the Gold Coast Cup on 7 May.  She really stepped up that day and her effort was very encouraging.



Sword of State will shortly return to New Zealand from Queensland as he embarks on the exciting next stage of his career - standing at Cambridge Stud for the new breeding season. We had all hoped he could 'go out' on a high, contesting the Kingsford Smith Cup this weekend.  However he spiked a temperature that required strong antibiotic treatment, putting him on the back foot to get to that race, so the decision was made to retire him with no other suitable targets this season.

Sword of State - or Artie as we know him - is one of the kindest colts you could ever meet.  He has a wonderful nature and attitude to life and I am sure will be a highly successful sire. His runner up placing in the Group 3 Gold Coast Guineas earlier in May showed how much heart and spirit he has and he was desperately lucky not to get line honours.  Just the bob of the head between first and second.



I bought Sword of State for A$600,000 at the Magic Millions' Sale, so his career started in Queensland and now has concluded there.  New Zealand's Champion 2YO, he raced 11 times for six wins, including the Group 1 Sistema Stakes, Group 3 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy, Group 3 Haunui Farm King's Plate and Group 3 Waikato Stud Slipper.

Happy retirement Artie - we will be sure to send some mares to visit you!

It was another winning Saturday/Sunday last weekend with our New Zealand trainer Mark Walker continuing on his winning way with Luxembourg saluting the judge at his third start.  He is a Burgundy gelding I bought from the Ready to Run Sale for $95,000 and he certainly looks like he has a lot more in store.

Gee Burgundy's loss is a keenly felt one for this industry.  Our two Group 1 winning fillies this season that we bred, Belle En Rouge (NZ Oaks and NZB Filly of the Year) and Maven Belle (Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes) are both by the ill-fated sire.  I loved him as a yearling when I bought him, and still say Burgundy was one of the fastest horses we have ever had in then stable.



Te Akau Singapore trainer Donna Logan was also on fire with yet another winning double, this time with Stenmark who was syndicated by Karyn, and also Silent is Golden who went back to back.  The weekend prior Donna and the team celebrated a winning treble, and the weekend prior another winning double.  She currently sits in second place on the Trainers' Premiership and our stable is close to hitting $1 million in prize money won for our owners.

In other exciting news this week, we have learned that one of our highly valued team members Liam Cunningham has been accepted for the 2022-24 Godolphin Flying Start Class - what a massive achievement this is, and we could not be more proud of, and chuffed for, Liam.  He has a huge future in this industry.

The 12 trainees for the two-year Thoroughbred Industry Management and Leadership Programme are from five different countries and will begin the course on 15 August. They will spend time in Ireland, the UK, the USA, Australia and Dubai throughout the programme. In addition, the course is accredited by University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Business School as a Graduate Certificate in Management.

While we will miss you Liam, we always knew you would be an ideal candidate for this honour, and we were so proud to support your application - well done, you will be an incredible ambassador for the Kiwi industry!

There are not many shares now available in our yearlings - there are two that I am dumbfounded we still have shares in that I want to highlight.

The first is Lot 991 our Time Test filly who we know as 'Mia' - we called her 'Mia' because that means 'beloved'.  I can tell you, you wouldn't find a sweeter filly, but she's not just beautifully natured, she's a stunning individual.

'Mia' is out of the Pins mare Pin Up Lae, who is out of the Zabeel stakes' winning mare Laebeel.  I just love this pedigree and "Mia" has absolutely blitzed her breaking in and has impressed everyone who has ridden her.



This filly only cost $100,000 which I thought was incredible value for such a classy filly - have a look at her on our website - and remember Time Test qualified three runners for this year's Karaka 2YO Million.

The other filly I really like the look of is our Turn Me Loose girl who we have named "Ellie", named after Ellie Stokes.  Ellie is an amazing young woman who unfortunately fell when riding track work, breaking her back in five places and severing her spinal cord which has left her paralysed from the chest down.

We bought this filly from Windsor Park's now annual South Island yearling event - and a percentage of the sale goes to Ellie's Trust.  You couldn't support a more wonderful person by being involved in this filly.



"Ellie" is out of the Zabeel mare Lady Louboutin - she is a first foal and I have had incredible success buying first foals, and I just love buying the progeny of Zabeel mares.  She is a beautiful moving filly - check her out on our website - and the progeny of Turn Me Loose is really flying at the moment. I watched this filly working this morning and she really impressed me.  This filly was a steal at $67,500.

These two fillies really both represent great value, and remember that if these girls live up to our expectations on the track, with their pedigrees, their future residual value will be greatly enhanced.  They are both also Pearl Bonus Series nominated and this lucrative series has been extended for the new season.

From August 2022 bonuses will now be paid out to fillies and mares that finish first, second or third in a Pearl eligible race (previously only paid to winners) and the series will now be extended to cover previously registered mares up to and including their five-year-old season of racing.  A single bonus level will be offered for all Pearl races with the winning owner receiving $10,000. In addition, the owner of the second horse will receive $2,000 and the owner of the third horse $1,000.



Have a great week rest of the week, and do check out "Mia" and "Ellie" and ...




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