Te Akau Midweek Update

Date: 19 Oct 2022

Te Akau Midweek Update


David writes:


When Skew Wiff won the first race at Tauranga today, our stable hit the $1 million in prize money won for our owners, with the season only two and a half months old.  From memory this is about the fifth consecutive season that our stable has been the first in New Zealand to hit seven figures in stakes' earnings.  Well done to our trainer Mark Walker and the whole team, and we still have nine and a half months of the season to come!



After the first race at Tauranga today, I got a big thrill learning that the track was being upgraded to a 4! Finally some good tracks have arrived!

Skew Wiff's comprehensive victory was our 43rd win for the season and this underlines what skill and dedication Mark and all the team have.  Not only have we had a magic start to the season, but the filly herself has a few tricks up her sleeve, so her win was a real tribute to the work the team has put in to her.

I know that Mark and Garry Chittick of Waikato Stud were delighted to see how stylishly she cruised home.  A promising Savabeel filly, I think she has a good future ahead of her.

Then the team followed up with another win by Fierce Flight later in the programme - season win No 44. Gee Mark Walker is on fire!  Fierce Flight is a Flying Artie gelding that I bought from the Ready the Run Sale, he has needed time and his owners have been very patient, so we were so happy for them to see him record his second win this year at his ninth start - one of three wins on the day for our stable rider Opie Bosson.



Mark currently leads the Trainers' Premiership with 44 wins, with a margin of 25, and the stable is also the leading stable for prize money won(over $1 million)

It is quite some feat to be the leading stable in not only one, but two racing jurisdictions, and currently Te Akau is just that.  Our Te Akau Singapore stable, led by Donna Logan, recorded yet another win this past weekend - this keeps Donna on top of the Trainers' Premiership by a narrow margin of one win, with only six meetings left to race in the season. We will be cheering the Kranji team home hard in as this battle goes to the wire.



So to be in front in both countries is very exciting and we are also just so proud - especially of our people, our horses and for our owners.

In other news we announced today that last season's Singapore Champion Apprentice Hakim Kamaruddin will be joining our stable team in New Zealand.  Hakim was apprenticed to Mark Walker when he was in Singapore and travels to New Zealand to again be indentured to Te Akau.

Hakim was second on the Apprentice Jockey Premiership in his first season two years ago and last season he dominated so much that he actually won the overall Jockeys' Premiership with 59 wins, heading off senior riders like Vlad Duric, Benny Woodworth, Manoel Nunes, Oscar Chavez and Marc Lerner, just to mention a few.



Hakim's arrival is terrific news for our owners, and also for the whole industry as we know how light the riding ranks can be.  Speaking of 'light', another major advantage Hakim brings is his ability to ride 49kgs - and I can hear you asking, but no, he is not related to our wonderful other apprentice, "smiling" Joe Kamaruddin (who has recorded 18 wins for the season so far).

Last Friday, Karyn and I travelled to Hawkes Bay with three other couples and enjoyed a lovely weekend. On Friday, I was the guest speaker at the Hawkes Bay Club, whose 'home' is a beautiful old clubrooms in Napier. The Club had asked me to speak about my life and farming and racing and it was a lot of fun.

On Saturday we went to the races at Hastings, where we only had the one runner due to the very heavy track conditions.  Prise de Fer lined up in the Group 1 Livamol which is a race we have won for the past three years in a row, but the heavy going was his absolute undoing sadly.  He still tried his heart out for sixth.  He's such an honest horse who has been Group 1 placed five times, I do hope he snares the main prize soon as he so deserves that.

We are really looking forward to racing this weekend where we have good teams racing at Te Rapa and Riccarton on Saturday - possibly Trentham too on Sunday if the track improves.  I love it when racing takes off at this time of the year on good tracks.

I was quite staggered how the grass has taken off at Te Akau Stud in the last week. This morning I sent my first load of steers to the Greenlea works and they killed out at 375 kgs.

I am making two visits to Australia in the next five weeks. I am going to Flemington for both Derby and Cup Day and then I am heading back to New South Wales in December to visit Newhaven Park to inspect the Xtravagant and Cool Aza Beel foals, and then up to the Hunter Valley for a week inspecting yearlings that will be offered for sale in 2023.

Best of luck to all our owners with runners this weekend, and ...




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