Te Akau Monday Update

Date: 28 Aug 2023

Te Akau Monday Update


David writes:


It was another good week for Te Akau Racing in New Zealand with six wins on the race track in five days!

Three of these six wins were by Te Akau home-breds:  Marlborough Bay (Darci Brahma), Sorcha (Burgundy) and Cote De Beaune (Burgundy), while Quintessa's win at Taupo saw her remain unbeaten, now two from two.

It was terrific to see many of these wins happening on one day too - at Riccarton it was a treble (Cote De Beaune, Sorcha and Navalha) on Thursday - our horses are being wonderfully cared for by senior team members Ashley Handley and Kendall Lee in the south as we build towards NZ Cup Week in November.

The team then delivered a double at Matamata on Sunday (Marlborough Bay and Prismatic).



Cote De Beaune actually established a new track record, while Sorcha was the first recipient of the newly-boosted Entain-NZNB Pearl Series Bonus ($20,000).  That's a fabulous additional payment to Sorcha's owners on top of the increased stakes on offer.

Entain is really making its presence felt in the best way possible in New Zealand, and is certainly making a big difference to the racing landscape already.  It's clear Entain's innovative thinking and dynamic leadership, combined with its determination to take our industry to the next level is very serious, and very impactful.



I’ve really noticed how everything has stepped up since Entain has been involved and the new level of stake increases is a brilliant progression for all industry participants.

Our New Zealand trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson currently lie first equal on the Trainers' Premiership with 10 wins from only 38 starters (plus four seconds, seven thirds) meaning a winning strike rate of 3.8 - an awesome start by our team, north and south, to the new season.

That multi-winning theme was also adopted by our Singapore stable too, as Donna and the team celebrated a recent winning treble too - Charminton (below), Wednesday and Fadaboy, added to by Luxury Brand on Sunday.



Yesterday morning we wrote to our owners offering them a share in a Darci Brahma homebred yearling filly and she was all sold in the blink of an eye. Congratulations to our owners that were quick off the mark and bought into this filly and we know there were many disappointed people.

The home-bred fillies we have offered have been very successful in recent times including:

BELLE EN ROUGE - Group 1 NZ Oaks', Group 2 and Group 3 winner, NZB Filly of the Year - winning $492,555 - sold as a broodmare this year for $800,000

MAVEN BELLE - Group 1 Manawatu Sires', Group 2 and Group 3 winner, Champion 2YO of the Year, still racing - prize money won to date $398,070 

BURGUNDY ROSE - stakes' placed, winner of eight races, prizemoney won $166,736 - sold as a broodmare this year for $52,500


We hate to see owners missing out due to the overwhelming demand, so we have been able to make limited shares available in another Darci filly - both are lovely fillies, with a lot of quality and good bone, and we are looking forward to breaking them in after Christmas.

If you are keen, just email [email protected].  There will be no further homebred yearlings available this season.  .

On Thursday night I went to the Matamata racecourse where the Matamata Racing Club presented its annual End of Season Training Centre Awards' evening and it was brilliant to see the Te Akau NZ team of horses and humans win six awards.



Mark Walker was named Champion Trainer of the Year; (smiling) Joe Kamaruddin won the Champion Apprentice of the Year; Stephanie Hyde-Richards (below) was honoured as Stablehand of the Year; Tokyo Tycoon was awarded Champion 2YO of the Year, while five-time Group 1 winner Imperatriz claimed the Champion Sprinter Miler of the Year title.



For the eighth year in a row, a Te Akau horse won the highly competitive Horse of the Year award - with Imperatriz following in the footsteps of Melody Belle, Avantage and Probabeel.



It was a really good night hosted by the Club and is always well attended.  Congratulations to our owners and all our team who look after our horses so well.

On the farm, lambing is progressing well. We are shedding later this week, where we take the ewes that have lost their lambs out and sell them, and then we’ll start docking within the next week.

The grass is just starting to grow, the days are getting a lot longer and its only three days until the official start of Spring. Spring on the farm is my favourite time of the year and its just great to see the stock all improve so much and to see the grass take off after lack of much growth in the last six weeks.

This week we are starting to buy our yearling steers. Normally, we’ve bought quite a few by now, but we just haven’t had the grass to do it until now.

It was a great day at Te Rapa on Saturday with the first Group 2 of the season - the Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate. Te Akau horses have won three of the past five editions - Melody Belle, Avantage and last year Imperatriz - and we almost pulled it off again with the Waikato Stud-owned Skew Wiff who was beaten by only the narrowest of margins.

It was a great day of Winter racing and you’ve got to take your hat off to Waikato Thoroughbred Racing's  (WTR) CEO Andrew (Butch) Castles. If he’s not one of the best racing administrators in the world, I‘d be surprised.

He’s one of these guys that crosses the 'T's' and dots the 'I's' and WTR is so lucky to have a leader of his ability. Tess Castles also performs a stellar role on race days and she is an absolute champion who does an absolutely brilliant job.

Speaking of leadership, all kudos too to John Elstob who, with a small team, has been at the helm of the steering group, merging the three Clubs - the Waikato Racing Club, Cambridge Jockey Club and Waipa Racing Club - now Waikato Thoroughbred racing, a multi million dollar operation.   It takes special skill to navigate a project like an amalgamation - congratulations on your commitment and hard work, most of which is behind the scenes, for no personal or financial reward. Our industry is indeed fortunate to have people who are prepared to dedicate so much time, energy and expertise.

On Wednesday I’m travelling to Melbourne with Joe Walls and Marcus Corban. We’re going to visit some studs and meet lots of different owners. We have a diary full of back-to-back engagements, and we’re also going to the Caulfield races on Saturday, then home Sunday.


[caption id="attachment_44697" align="aligncenter" width="730"] Probabeel wins the Grp 1 Futurity Stakes at Caulfield ~ February 2021[/caption]


Nearly all the horses we have bought this year have now been sold.

However there is a stand-out filly that I am gobsmacked we still have a final share available in - that But one filly that we still have shares in and she is LOT 534 a Savabeel filly out of Sombreuil and I have so much time for her.

This filly broke in beautifully and showed a lot of potential at the jump outs and if she doesn’t sell this week, I’m going to take the rest and race her myself (Karyn has already bought a share because she loved her so much). The last time she did that was with another 'final horse to sell' and that was Imperatriz - so the rest as they say 'is history' - last does NOT mean least by any stretch of the imagination!



She has a really lovely pedigree, and physically, is a top type. If you’re interested in getting involved in her (she is called Damask Rose - stable name 'Carrie'), feel free to give me a call on 021 925 151. This is a filly that I can, and do, personally recommend.

This week Te Akau Racing has horses trialling at Te Awamutu on Tuesday, races at Cambridge on Wednesday, Riccarton races on Thursday, and on Saturday we have runners at Wanganui and Riccarton.

So best of luck to our owners and ...




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