Te Akau Monday Update

Date: 6 Jul 2020

Te Akau Monday Update

David writes:

Wow - what a Saturday!! 

A big congratulations is in order to the Waikato Racing Club on putting on a fantastic day of racing at Te Rapa on Saturday. 

I thought for the middle of July the track was in amazing condition and coped very well with 12 races.  All credit to track manager Bart Cowan and his team.

The atmosphere on course was exciting to be part of and I would like to congratulate Club CEO Butch Castles and marketing manager Charlotte Mooney and the team for putting on a brilliant day of racing. 

This was the Club's first race meeting since International Day on February 9th. So it's been a long five months although two sets of trials were staged there in June.

The Waikato Racing Club's board were all working hard making sure everyone had a great day and the work that they put in doesn't go unnoticed.

I have said for a long time that Butch Castles is a world class racing administrator and what an asset he will be to racing in the Waikato going forward.

The food was of an extremely high standard and themed for Independence Day and everybody that I spoke to said that they enjoyed the day immensely - it was great to be back racing in the Waikato. 

I also got a big thrill out of seeing our Te Akau NZ trainer, Jamie Richards, get his 100th win for the season. It was no mean feat considering we haven't been racing since March. 

To do it with Bak Da Master, a horse who was having his first start in nine months, was a really great training performance.

Premierships are based on performances during each racing season (August 1st - July 31st). The trainer with the most wins at the end of the season is the Premiership winner - NZTR 6.7.20

  Wins2nds3rdsStakesStartsG & LSR
1Jamie Richards1006160$3,812,983488174.88
2Stephen Marsh734771$1,650,54159368.12
3Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman504665$1,559,82542578.5
4Michael & Matthew Pitman444443$922,08136028.18
5Tony Pike382836$1,753,80223176.08
6John & Karen Parsons363424$908,17230268.39
7Kevin Myers353338$603,10632109.17
8Kelvin Tyler & Aimee Tyler322628$628,12923427.31
9Team Rogerson273244$739,533432216
10Kevin Gray271624$469,41617206.37
11Andrew Carston262824$496,482260310
12Roger James & Robert Wellwood252117$912,39014345.72
13Shaune Ritchie241922$1,021,72513645.67
14Allan Sharrock241716$438,09513015.42
15Nigel Tiley231814$674,88514036.09

It is a well-known fact that my favourite type of people are genuine, hardworking and committed, and I can honestly say Michael Roustoby is just that.

Michael, who rode Bak Da Master, is a very important part of our team. 

He is always at work early, always with a smile on his face, and is an outstanding horseman and a brilliant trackwork rider. His times for gallops are always spot on and his feedback that he gives Jamie is world class.

To Michael, who had his first win in the tangerine - what a thrill! I know it was a big thrill for you but it was massive for Karyn and me. 

While we are on the subject of jockeys, it is only two or three weeks until our stable jockey, Opie Bosson, starts back.

He has been training hard in the gym with myself and our trainer, and he is starting to get really fit again. He is riding work, between 11 and 12 horses most gallop mornings, and he is really looking forward to being back riding at the races again. 

Shortly after we had won the 100th win on Saturday, I had a friend ask what the highlight of the 2019/2020 season was. Clearly for me, there isn't just one! 

The first highlight for me was seeing Melody Belle become the first racehorse to win the Triple Crown. That was a thrill to be on course in the Hawkes Bay that day.

The second big thrill was seeing Jamie Richards win both the Karaka Million Dollar races with Cool Aza Beel and Probabeel. Probabeel also made history that night, as she was the first horse ever to win both the 2YO and 3YO races consecutively. That was a very special evening. 

The next highlight was in March where we won a Listed race with Star of Bombay which was followed by Probabeel and Te Akau Shark bolting in with two Group 1 races within half an hour of each other at Royal Randwick, Australia - that was a day that I will never forget. 

To top it all off, the last highlight for me was when we backed up the following Saturday, where within an hour at Ellerslie, we had won another two Group 1 races with Avantage and Cool Aza Beel. 

The most personal thrill of the season for me was seeing Avantage win. 

I had gone and watched the race from my favourite position at Ellerslie and I just thought to myself ‘this can't go on, this is just too good to be true'. Two months prior, this mare had won the Group 1 Telegraph over 1200m, and I was contemplating how difficult it would be for her to win the Group 1 Bonecrusher Stakes at 2000m - but she did it, and she did it in style. 

Reflecting on our Group 1 wins, it is interesting to note that nine of the 11 Group 1 races we have won this season were ridden by Opie Bosson. The other two wins were with Michael McNab at Hastings and Danielle Johnson aboard Avantage in the Group 1 Haunui Farm Classic at Otaki. 

When I really think about it, this has actually been a season of many highlights, and now is again a great time to thank all our owners who have supported us during what has been an extremely frustrating period. 

It is important to concentrate on having the glass three quarters full, not empty, and focus on the wonderful highlights of the season that has been. 

There is plenty of good news about our racing industry at present, especially with regards to the stake money for this coming season. 

It looks as though it will be the same as last season, which is brilliant given that we had to go into lockdown for Covid-19, and the fact that the TAB had to shut down and had no New Zealand betting for three months.

In exciting news on the farm this week, the five year old ewes were drafted up on Friday so that we now have ewes who are in-lamb with twins in one mob, and the single in-lamb ewes together in another. 

The twin in-lamb ewes were also set stocked for lambing. We drenched them, vaccinated them and they are due to start lambing on Thursday this week.  

The mixed aged ewes aren't due for another three weeks, but with lambs due to arrive this week signals that spring is not very far away. 

Spring has to be one of my favourite seasons - it is always an exciting time on the farm, and for racing!

Have a great week everyone, and ...



Sign up to our newsletter