Te Akau Monday Update

Date: 15 Feb 2021

Te Akau Monday Update


David writes:


Congratulations to the Waikato Racing Club for on putting on such a great day's racing at Te Rapa on Saturday!

The Club's new Chairman John Elstob is a great asset. He represents everything that a top flight and effective Chairman should be.

John loves having a bet, he loves racing horses and he is a very successful businessman. He has excellent people skills, commercial expertise and nous and he has fantastic support in his role from his partner Denise. John is also surrounded by a top Board and when you combine this with great staff at every level, the Club is really nailing it.

Congratulations to Butch Castles - what a day you put on and what a crowd you had!

I thought the track was as good as I have seen in New Zealand for 20 years. Bart Cowan is doing a sensational job as Track Manager.  Well done too to Charlotte Mooney for innovation and style she brings to the marketing and operations side of things.

The racing on the day was just as good. We would like to congratulate Bob and Jenny Vance for owning and training Royal Performer the winner of the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes - what a great effort.

Bob Vance was one of New Zealand's best jockeys until weight forced him into retirement. He did his apprenticeship with the great Colin Jillings and was Colin's stable jockey for many years, running in multiple Derbies and Cox Plates - to name a few. He also rode Te Akau Nick when he ran 2nd in the Melbourne Cup in 1992.

Te Akau Racing also had a great day! We had horses in four races and won three of them by large margins. We also won three races in Singapore - so Te Akau won six races for the day. Well done to Mark Walker - the team there has won six races in the last seven days.

It was very poignant to have Festivity and Opie Bosson win the second race on the day.  Karyn and I sponsored this race in memory of Te Akau Shark's fabulous Group 1 BCD Sprint win at Te Rapa a year prior.  Burgundy Rose also competed in the race and raced well I thought to claim fourth.  So the "Te Akau Shark - Farewell to a Legend" was fittingly won by the tangerine colours.




Last year Te Akau Shark won the Group 1 Sprint for Opie and he was at it again - this year with Avantage who was very dominant in winning the sprint feature.  This was her seventh Group 1 victory - she has won these elite races at 1200m, 1400m, 1600m and 2000m - a rare feat indeed.  She has also won more Group 1 races  than any other of Fastnet Rock's offspring anywhere in the world, so we are very proud of that.

Again,. she was the last to sell in her year - so check out the shares we have still available!In the very next race, another that we sponsored, Amarelinha won the Group 2 David and Karyn Fillies Classic by 4.5 lengths - wow how impressive were these three and what valuable mares they all already are.



Jamie has now won 109 races in New Zealand this season (plus three in Australia - all Group races) for $4.2m in stakes, including 24 black type races for a strike rate of 4.91. These are incredible statistics that you only get from a truly great team.

If you add Australia to this - then the tally is 112 wins, for almost $5.5 million in stakes and 27 Group/Listed races!


Since Jamie Richards started training at Te Akau he has had:

3062 runners

571 winners

5.3 strike rate

96 Black Type wins

39 Group One wins


Jamie has now won 39 Group One races - what a remarkable achievement for a young man who is only 31 years of age. Well done to Jamie and every member of the team who has worked so hard to make this happen.

It's not just the stable in Matamata that has been hard at work. At Te Akau Stud we have been selling yearlings at record speed. Of the 45 we purchased at Magic Millions and Karaka, we only have shares available in six. No wonder the team has a spring in their step - we have the most amazing group of horses to train for the next season.

It is incredible that on so many occasions, the last couple of yearlings to sell have been the best.

It took us until July to sell the last yearling from the sales last year. There was 30% left in Imperatriz and I showed her to good owners who happened to be visiting the farm who took 25% and Karyn took 5%. This filly is now worth well over $1 million after winning her only two starts including the Group 2 Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year's Day.

Although the farm is very dry, we are lucky that we have brilliant water systems and the stock are all thriving! We have three truck and trailers of steers going to the Greenlea works this week. It looks like good rain is coming in the next 48 hours. We have had 10mls this morning already!

Of course that meant the Te Rapa trials were off, but with the possibility of the Club having to stage a race meeting again this Saturday (depending on lockdown status) it makes complete sense - and the rain was going to make things impossible at any rate.  It is good to see intelligent decisions being made eg the possibility to venue changes - and Clubs working closely together for the industry participants' benefit.

Best of luck to our owners with runners at Te Aroha (remember this meeting is to be staged behind closed doors so no public, owners or sponsors can attend) and ...



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