Te Akau Midweek Update

Date: 27 Jul 2022

Te Akau Midweek Update


David writes:


Firstly congratulations to New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing CEO Bruce Sharrock for coming out so strongly on the state of tracks' issue.  Bruce is 100% correct here and things need to change.

Some people are saying it's just so wet and the weather is dreadful, yes that's correct - we have had plenty of rain.  However let me promise you, one thing that happens every July and August, is our heavy, heavy tracks and it's usually only Te Rapa, Ruakaka and Taupo, and possibly Hastings, that can provide good surfaces for grass racing until October - in the North at any rate. That's just a fact of the country that we live in and the weather we have to cop season in, season out.

Of course just imagine where we would be without the all-weather tracks that are in place at Cambridge and Riccarton, and shortly at Awapuni. These tracks are going to be so important in coming months.  Imagine where we would be without them. The previous Racing Minister, Rt Hon Winston Peters did a lot for racing - we saw the elimination of duty which in the old days represented about $35 million a year plus the race-fields' legislation was introduced which provides the industry with about $18 million per year.

In the past week, the finalists for both the Horse of the Year Awards and the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Awards have been announced. These will be announced at their respective award' events on 4 September (HOTY) and 30 July (NZTBA).

We are super proud that Te Akau is well represented at both of these auspicious events with finalists.

Each year Karyn and I like to send some mares to stallions that I have purchased as yearlings - at present we have seven stallions at stud.  We normally breed about 8-10 mares per year and we offer shares in the best three or four weanlings to our owners.

Two examples of this are Maven Belle, a Burgundy filly who won the Group 1 Manawatu Sires' Stakes this year, as well as the Group 2 Matamata Breeders' Stakes and Group 3 Taranaki 2YO Classic.  She was desperately unlucky when third in the Group 1 Sistema Stakes - in summary, she won four of her five starts this season, the Sistema being the only time she was beaten.



The other example is Belle En Rouge who won the Group 1 NZ Oaks, Group 2 Eight Carat Classic and Group 3 Eulogy Stakes this season and is joint winner of the prestigious NZB Filly of the Year title, alongside stablemate Self Obsession.

Te Akau has now had eight NZB Filly of the Year winners.

We are just so proud to be a finalist for NZ Breeder of the Year, alongside the Dennis Brothers, Waikato Stud and Little Avondale Stud.  The ceremony will take place this Saturday and as Karyn and I are on holiday, Mark Walker will be there -  he will accept the breeder's awards for the Group 1 wins of Maven Belle and Belle En Rouge.  We have also sponsored a Group 1 award, which Mark will be presenting.  Each breeder of a Group 1 winner receives one of these recognitions and our sponsored trophy will be presented to the breeders of The Perfect Pink. I am sure it will be an excellent night and it's great to see it take place, after Covid stymied it the previous year.



The NZTR Horse of the Year Awards are only five weeks away, and although the human finalists haven't yet been announced, the equine ones have.

We are delighted that Maven Belle has been nominated as a finalist for Champion 2YO of the Year, together with our sixth Karaka 2YO Million winner Dynastic - they are two of four finalists.

The Champion 3YO category has a whopping nine finalists this year - and Te Akau trains six of them: Group 1 winners Belle En Rouge, Imperatriz, Noverre, Sword of State and The Perfect Pink, as well as Self Obsession.  Imperatriz is a dual Group 1 winner, with her second title coming against the older mares so commentators seem to think she could have the edge in the judges' eyes.

Group 1 winner Entriviere contests the red-hot Champion Sprinter-Miler category - remembering our Group 1 Railway winner was the winner of the Group 2 Sheraco Stakes winner in Sydney in September - she was third in the Group 2 Golden Pendant also in Sydney in September and third in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 in Brisbane in May. She also ran a huge fourth in the A$2 million The Invitation in Sydney in October.  So while Levante may have the NZ form edge, Entriviere clearly is on top of the Australian form.  It will be an interesting contest indeed.

In the Champion Middle Distance category, reigning Horse of the Year and Group 1 and 3 Australian winner Probabeel is a finalist along with Group 1 Livamol Classic stablemate winner Savy Yong Blonk.

All finalists are eligible for the ultimate Horse of the Year honour.



If you are keen to attend the awards do drop an email to [email protected] - the event is in Hamilton and tickets are $250 per head.

It was great to see our Te Akau Singapore stable continuing to fire on all cylinders, with our trainer Donna Logan recording yet another winning weekend double, including a new recruit in the famous Nature Strip colours.  Donna now lies a clear second on the Trainers' Premiership - well done to our Kranji team!



The news from the farm is that we have had terrific growth in the last few weeks and the five year old ewes are well over half way through lambing.  Our mixed-aged ewes are due to start lambing next week.

The cattle all still have some grass yet, and don't forget we are only five weeks away from the Spring.

We are also only four weeks away from having our first runners in the South Island and we are planning on sending a very strong team south again for the build up to NZ Cup Week, a meeting which has seen great Te Akau success over the years.

Next Tuesday we will also have a large team ready to trial at Te Rapa - there is so much to look forward to at this time of the year.



Meantime our Marketing Manager Julia-Rose and Karyn are putting the final touches on our Te Akau Owners' Soiree and what a night that will be!

We are proud to announce that our VIP Guest and speaker will be Champion Australian Jockey Glen Boss, the winner of 90 Group 1 titles including seven Doncaster's, four Cox Plates and three consecutive Melbourne Cups - we can't wait to welcome Glen back and are delighted he can join us for this special occasion.

Finally a massive thank you to all our team who are working so hard in the miserable winter conditions.  You are the true heroes of our industry and we could not be more grateful for all you do!





Sign up to our newsletter