Te Akau Monday Update

Date: 23 Jan 2023

Te Akau Monday Update


David writes:


Well, I can promise you that one thing in life you seldom get, is a weekend full of thrills like we have experienced in the past weekend.

Congratulations to all our owners who had runners at Pukekohe on Karaka Million night.  Well done too, to Auckland Thoroughbred Racing and New Zealand Bloodstock for staging such an incredible race meeting.

It was a magical event - to have seven runners qualify for a place in the Karaka 2YO Million made us all very proud, and delighted for their owners.  We never put undue pressure on any young horse, and every horse was there on its own merits, and had earned its opportunity.

To see Tokyo Tycoon win our 7th consecutive Karaka 2YO Million was beyond our wildest dreams. What a ride by South African jockey Craig Zackey after the horse stumbled at the start, settled last and was tailing the field as they turned for home.  To pick a path the way he did was unbelievable, quite incredible.



Tokyo Tycoon is a 2YO gelding by Satono Aladdin that I purchased from Rich Hill Stud for $125,000 at last year's sale in March.  He is now unbeaten in three starts and has earned $599,150.

The day had started off well with Imperatriz, a last start Group 1 Railway winner, adding another Group race to her already impressive resume.  She was beautifully ridden by Opie Bosson as she cruised to victory as top weight in the $180,000 Group 2 Westbury Classic.

I purchased Imperatriz at the Magic Millions' Gold Coast Sale for A$360,000 and she has now won a total of $887,200 in her 16 starts - she has won 11 times and only once been unplaced.



Maven Belle, also a last start winner, showed she is back to her best too with a scintillating win in the $130,000 Group 3 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Classic.  It might have been a narrow margin but Opie Bosson timed it to the minute.  It is so good to see this Burgundy home-bred filly, who we syndicated with our owners, make such a statement return after an injury lay off.  Unfortunately she was galloped on in the race, but luckily it's nothing too serious.



We won this race last year with Sword of State who is now standing at Cambridge Stud, and before that with Need I Say More who has now been a winner in Hong Kong.

The final race on the programme was the Karaka 3YO Million which featured two Te Akau runners Wild Night and Dynastic.  Wild Night went a very good race for second while Dynastic, who is Derby bound, posted an eye-catcher for fifth.

The most important thing that Karyn and I both love and value is seeing the pure thrill both our team and our owners get when they are involved with a winner.

The look on our team members' faces is indescribable, just sheer pride and emotion.  When a horse they look after and strap wins, they are euphoric.

Have a look at the main picture and the smile on Stephanie Hyde-Richards' face.  Steph has worked for Te Akau for about four years now and is a simply brilliant horsewoman.



We have such world class team members at Te Akau, simply outstanding professionals who are so dedicated to our horses, we feel very blessed. We have young people who will make great trainers in their own right in the future - I would like to thank the team for the amazing job they do.

Remember it doesn't matter if it is Christmas Day, or Easter Sunday, horses need to be worked and cared for, fed and tended to. People who are truly dedicated to horses sacrifice a huge amount and at Te Akau, this is respected and admired, and appreciated.

We also love seeing the sheer buzz that our owners receive when we win races for them too - and that's happened 106 times this season in New Zealand, with plenty more to come.   To win half the card on such a big night as Karaka Million night is such a massive thrill - and to finish a very good second in the 3YO Million race too, capped off a magnificent night.



Our three wins on Saturday took us to 106 for the season as I mentioned, and winning the Group 2 Westbury Classic with Imperatriz, the Group 3 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy with Maven Belle and the Restricted Listed Karaka 2YO Million with Tokyo Tycoon has put Te Akau trainer Mark Walker even further ahead on the Trainers' Premiership:


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


Wins 2nds 3rds Stakes Starts G & L SR
1 Mark Walker 106 98 66 $4,677,742 656 20 6.19
2 Stephen Marsh 48 64 49 $1,668,780 477 2 9.94
3 Andrew Forsman 28 30 21 $1,378,502 192 5 6.86
4 Kevin Myers 26 23 23 $1,080,365 196 3 7.54
5 Robbie Patterson 26 12 14 $461,920 102 0 3.92
6 Lisa Latta 25 24 34 $1,001,475 247 5 9.88
7 Roger James & Robert Wellwood 21 11 11 $1,115,625 111 3 5.29
8 Andrew Carston 20 21 24 $433,125 242 0 12.1
9 Tony Pike 19 19 22 $616,950 179 1 9.42
10 Shaune Ritchie & Colm Murray 18 3 11 $307,520 89 0 4.94


Last Thursday I went right around the farm and I must say that for the third week in January, the farm looked amazing.

There is plenty of clover and the stock are just thriving.  We sent about 350 lambs to the works last week that averaged over 16kgs however the price has dropped considerably but they still made about $110 - so far our lambs are averaging about $140.  We are still selling two units of prime steers each week. We have sold nearly 1000 steers in the past three weeks and they have averaged about $2,285.

All credit to Greenlea which takes our meat. It has held the price very well.  It is a great company, with a proud record of community contribution, to do business with.

From tomorrow I return to Karaka to continue inspecting yearlings with my team.

Everyone can be part of Te Akau - we had a lot of new owners experience the 'wow factor' of Karaka Million night - and a number of these were in Tokyo Tycoon who won, and Trobriand who was third.  Our ladies' partnership put together by Karyn last sale also saw its filly She Turns Heads finish 6th and she looks to have a very bright future too.

Isn't it interesting that Tokyo Tycoon is yet another 'last to sell' success story - he was the last of about three yearlings from Karaka 2022 whose shares took longer to sell.  Just like Avantage and Cool Aza Beel - last is definitely not least. Others that come to mind like that in their years include Imperatriz and Sword of Osman.



So you can buy a horse outright that I purchase OR you can simply enjoy a 5% share.  Come out to the sale and have a chat with Karyn, or me, Mark Walker, or our racing manager Reece Trumper.  We will all be there and would welcome the chance to chat with you.  I intend to buy promising yearlings across all budgets, and of all types eg 2YOs, Derby horses, Guineas' horses and hopefully our 9th or 10th Filly of the Year!

We look forward to the next 10 days and the next tangerine team of youngsters that you can be part of!


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