Te Akau Monday Update

Date: 14 Feb 2022

Te Akau Monday Update


David writes:


What a brilliant weekend for Te Akau Racing owners - with seven wins across three countries!

Plus one of the most exciting pieces of news was Mark Walker arriving in New Zealand on Friday morning.  Mark now has 10 days in MIQ in Auckland so three down, seven to go!  It's already all systems go as he is busy with everything from Karaka catalogues, to liaising closely with Jamie and me on all our horses' plans and progress.  Even though Mark has been in Singapore, he has always stayed very involved in our New Zealand operation and it certainly will be great to have Mark at the Karaka Sale which is now only three weeks away!



But back to the winning!

It kicked off on Friday with Perfect Scenario, and Iffraaj gelding I bought at Karaka, winning as he liked at Awapuni with our apprentice Parmar aboard.  It was an easy win, as commentator Tony Lee said in his unique style “he's taken their pants down”! I was so delighted for our young apprentice who is riding very well!



Next we were off to Te Rapa on Saturday for “Legends' Day” where the team won three races, including two at Group level!  First to salute the judge was Lightning Field, a Deep Field gelding I also bought at Karaka.  His owners have been very patient as he needed quite a long break but this is now being rewarded.

In my opinion, the most improved jockey in New Zealand is our apprentice Joe Kamaruddin, gee he is riding well.  Joe is a very important part of our team and he has a wonderful attitude and is a very hard working guy.  Joe we are all really proud of you and what you are achieving.



Our homebred Burgundy filly Maven Belle was then a decisive winner of the Group 3 Platinum Homes 2YO Classic.  It was just her second start and she is unbeaten, having won very well on debut.  Our stable rider Opie Bosson got easily down to 54.5kgs to ride this filly and what a peach of a ride he gave her too. You know your horse is a great chance when he gets on at that weight!

Seeing a filly by Burgundy win just reminds me again what a loss he is to our stallion ranks.  His progeny won the New Zealand Cup in November, is leading the NZB Filly of the Year Series (Belle En Rouge), and of course won the 2YO race above.



Group 2 Royal Stakes winner Self Obsession showed huge heart to snatch victory in our own race that we sponsor in perpetuity for the Club … the Group 2 David and Karyn Ellis Fillies' Classic - congratulations to Hong Kong based David Price and Jenny Chapman on breeding and racing this filly. She has a huge future ahead of her.



Then it was all eyes peeled on Melbourne as our reigning Horse of the Year Probabeel and her stablemate Kahma Lass stepped out in the A$200,000 Group 3 Bellmaine Stakes, a race that Probabeel won last year carrying 60kgs.  She had the big weight impost again but showed her total class defending her race title, and came with a huge late run to grab victory on the line - a massive effort underlining her big heart and determination.

Well done to Jo and Brendan Lindsay, we know how much you love Probabeel and it was a wonderful result for her and the whole team.  Kahma Lass also ran on  nicely on a part of the track that probably didn't suit her, and she too looks to have a good Melbourne autumn ahead.



I purchased Probabeel on spec. from Karaka for $380,000.  She has now won 13 races and been runner up eight times from 29 starts - four Group 1 races in Australia and the Karaka Million double in New Zealand. The earner of $4.6 million in stakes, she is our reigning Champion Sprinter/Miler and also Champion Horse of the Year - and she returns in a fortnight to defend her Group 1 Futurity Stakes' crown, a race she won so decisively last year.

A special mention here to Hunter Durrant who is in Melbourne looking after Probabeel and Kahma Lass.  Hunter is one of the finest young horsemen you would find and he is doing a terrific job looking after these two valuable mares.  Thank you Hunter, and we know you would have enjoyed Saturday's victory as much as anyone!



I thought Entriviere went a super race in the Group 1 BCD Sprint, and as expected she and Levante fought out the finish, with our mare very gallant in defeat.  She will now head for a break before we embark on a Brisbane winter programme with her.

Another eye catcher was our Ready to Run purchased Savabeel colt Zeitaku who went a ripper of a race from a wide gate, with incredible sectionals, to finish second in his race.  He's in for a very good autumn I think.

So all up, four wins for the day and congratulations to our owners and to our hard working team who make these results possible.

While Karyn and I were pleased to be able to be on course at Te Rapa on Saturday, I did feel very sorry for the Waikato Racing Club. To only have small ‘bubbles' of people on course on one of the very best days of racing is heart-breaking, and especially frustrating on Group 1 days which are important for Clubs' revenue streams.

The Waikato Racing Club only has two Group 1 races each season and they were on Saturday. Last year when Avantage won the Group 1 Waikato Sprint, beating Levante (who eked her revenge on the weekend) the stands were full of people celebrating the good horses and loving their day at the races.

While disappointing, the good thing is that at least we are racing, and for that we are extremely grateful.  Congratulations to Waikato Racing Club Chairman John Elstob and CEO Butch Castles and the team including track manager Bart Cowan - the track was terrific considering all the rain we have had, and those who were able to attend had a great day.

Moving to Sunday and the winning weekend was capped off with Te Akau Singapore trainer Donna Logan training a winning double.  King Arthur, raced by Fortuna Syndicators, won his fourth race in a row, and ran the quinella with stablemate and Fortuna horse Hadeer. In the last, Speedy Missile relished the wet going and won easily, with Stenmark (a horse syndicated by Karyn) running a super race for third off a wide gate and track conditions not to his liking.



Today (Monday) I am spending the day on the farm and gosh what a clean-up job we have on our hands.  Sunday's storm fortunately didn't impact our horses and livestock but we lost a lot of trees and branches across the farm so it's been a major job getting everything back in order today.  We have a great team here who take so much pride in the farm so they were all on the job early and getting everything done.

Last weekend we received 73mls of rain and we got another 15mls last Friday so the farm is certainly starting t0 green up.  After sending three and four units of beef to the works each week for the past three months, we only have one unit going this week, and that will be it until May/June.

The rest of this week I am again inspecting yearling drafts and by Friday night I will only have about 40-50 yearlings from the Central Districts and South Island to look at and then I will have seen the horses in Book 1 for Karaka.

The quality is again this year very high so to avoid being disappointed, do let us know if you are interested in being involved in a share in a horse from this sale.  I can promise you we will be looking for our 7thKaraka 2YO winner - and we will be buying across all budgets.  A horse like this year's winner Dynastic cost $360,000 but Fellini who ran third was $40,000 and last year's winner On The Bubbles was purchased by me for $90,000.  We do have a share for everyone.

There has never been a better time to invest with Te Akau Racing.

There are over 80 million dollar races in Australia and New Zealand in the next 12 months and Te Akau has won nine $1 million races in the last six years alone.  Recently New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing announced further stake increases which is great news, and of course we have our eyes keenly peeled on the recent NSW stake increases too.

What a thrill to see Xtravagant continuing to sire winners across the Tasman.  We had his first NZ winner when Polly Plum saluted the judge recently.  Then of course Xtravagant Star won the A$2 million race two weekends ago and just yesterday another of his off-spring Tuscany Bound, a three year old gelding became his sire's 16thwinner and makes it 42% winners to runners, a top line statistic.  He stands at one of the finest studs in Australia, Newhaven Park which is run by the Kelly family, congratulations to them too as they also stand Cool Aza Beel, our Karaka Million and Group 1 winner. We can't wait to see what his progeny does when they hit the tracks next season.

Here at home, there is so much to look forward to racing-wise, with the Ellerslie Auckland Cup Carnival just around the corner and the tangerine team will be primed and ready for a big week of competition.  Of course it is also Karaka sale time, so it's full steam ahead with such a busy time but we love every minute of it.

Have a great week and congratulations to Jamie and Donna and all our team for so many exciting winners in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore!  And again, welcome home Mark!!




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