Te Akau Monday Update

Date: 7 Feb 2023

Te Akau Monday Update


David writes:


What a thrill it was to win two stakes' races on Saturday - one in each of the Islands, North and South!

The $100,000 Group 3 White Robe Lodge WFA 1600m is an iconic race for two reasons:

Firstly, it's the biggest race on the Otago Racing Club's calendar at Wingatui, and secondly because it is sponsored by the Anderton Family who I have so much respect for. I served on the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Board with Brian Anderton and a better person you would not meet.

Perfect Scenario, our White Robe winner, was bought by me at Karaka.  He has taken time to reach maturity and he is a horse that has just gotten better with age.  He was very impressive on Saturday, after placing in the Listed Timaru Stakes the start prior, and I am delighted to see his owners' and our team's patient approach being rewarded.

Our horses campaigning in the South Island are being looked after by one of our senior team members Katija Cherrie.   She is a very talented and dedicated professional and is doing a brilliant job for us.  She knows the South Island environment well, as she was part of our team based in Christchurch from August - November last year for the Cup Carnival lead-up and Week.

Sam Bergerson, our Assistant Trainer, has also been travelling a lot lately, and was in the south working with Katija. I am predicting that Sam will go all the way in our industry - he certainly has the skill and the passion.  His attention to detail is incredible and he's one of the most dedicated people I have ever met.



The other major race Te Akau won on Saturday was the Listed Oaks' Prelude at New Plymouth.  The winner Family Ties became Mark Walker's 23rd Group/Listed winner for the season, which is just a tick over half way through.  That's some tally for Mark and our team, and most importantly for our owners.

What a great story Family Ties is!  She is a Contributor filly that I purchased for $60,000 from the Ready to Run Sale and she is raced by John Elstob, his fiancé Denise, their families and some close friends - hence the name.  As it happened, John and Denise were at the farm looking at their horses.

After we finished going around the farm, we came in to the house to watch the race - the Grangewilliam Stud Oak's Prelude.  Grangewilliam Stud is another very good operation that supports racing. You can imagine the excitement in our lounge when the filly cruised home.

The Oaks' Prelude is a lead-up to the Group 1 NZ Oaks at Trentham next month and John and Denise also had a share in our two previous Oaks' winners Amarelinha (2021) and Belle En Rouge (2022) and both went on to be NZB Fillies of the Year.  So they will be hoping that lightning strikes a third time.

What a great ride it was too by our stable jockey Opie Bosson on Family Ties.  You really have to see it to believe it, it was Opie at his very best.

Talking about riders, have you seen how well our apprentices are riding?  Last year's Champion Apprentice Joe Kamaruddin has recorded 30 wins this season and lies 10th on the Jockeys' Premiership while Niranjan Parmar sits on 21 wins.  Hakim Kamaruddin is starting to hit his straps having recently received his New Zealand riding licence - Hakim was the Champion Apprentice in Singapore in 2021 - winning the overall Jockeys' Premiership, finishing ahead of all the senior riders in Singapore.

The win with Brando on Sunday was our 115th for the season - he can be hard to guess sometimes but he has undoubted ability.  That's where Mark's capacity to get inside a horse's head is so important - he is innovative in his training approaches with individual horses - this was never more clear than with Leaderboard winning the Wellington Cup last weekend.  Mark had completely innovated the training regime for the 8YO.

Today talented filly Grace 'N' Grey won at Tauherenikau.  It was great to see her back in the winner's circle as she showed such promise as a two year old before a set-back.  I was just so delighted for her owners.

Te Akau now has had 116 wins for the season - 23 of those at Group/Listed level, with stakes of $5.12 million won for our owners - and the season is only just over six months through.

Well done to Mark and the team on such incredible results - and with a good team running at Taupo on Tuesday, a significant milestone may be reached. Mark currently sits on 998 New Zealand wins, so perhaps the magic 1000 may come tomorrow.  I am sure it's very close by.



Wins 2nds 3rds Stakes Starts G & L SR
1 Mark Walker 116 109 74 $5,120,152 720 23 6.21
2 Stephen Marsh 54 67 52 $1,883,720 516 4 9.56
3 Andrew Forsman 28 30 23 $1,394,092 198 5 7.07
4 Lisa Latta 28 27 36 $1,292,100 281 7 10.04
5 Robbie Patterson 28 12 15 $515,260 113 0 4.04
6 Kevin Myers 26 23 23 $1,081,265 197 3 7.58
7 Roger James & Robert Wellwood 22 14 14 $1,232,325 127 3 5.77
8 Andrew Carston 21 23 24 $463,325 264 0 12.57
9 Tony Pike 19 22 25 $634,950 188 1 9.89
10 Shaune Ritchie & Colm Murray 19 3 11 $318,020 98 0 5.16


Our Singapore stable has also kicked off the new season in fine fashion. Singapore racing works to a calendar year and our trainer Donna Logan recorded a winning double this past weekend as well as the one before.  Three of those four horses were purchased and syndicated by us (Aftermath, Our Secret Weapon and Axel), and the fourth winner came for the Fortuna team.

The horses are really racing well - Karyn and I are just so proud of all our team - Kranji, Matamata and Te Akau Stud.  A massive thank you to them all.

We have been busy welcoming lots of owners to Te Akau Stud to look at the new yearlings. Goodness, it is just so exciting to see the quality of yearlings we have purchased and that our owners, new and existing, are getting involved with.  The shares are selling faster than ever, so if you are keen, don't hesitate because you will go back and look again, and find the yearling you loved is all sold.  Luckily we have so much quality to choose from!

I have never seen so much grass on the farm, especially at this time of the year.  The yearlings, and our mares and foals and spelling horses are absolutely thriving and loving life!  They have about nine inches of grass in their paddocks, and are hard fed twice a day so it's a very good life indeed.

Our foals have all now been branded and they have all been taught by Deane and his team to lead and in two weeks' time, we will begin to wean them.

This is the first week since October that I won't be selling two units of steers. We have so much grass that we don't need to sell them and they are putting on about 1.5kgs a day.


This week I am going to highlight two yearlings that I think have the credentials to make Karaka Million horses next year - a colt and a filly:

LOT 156 our Kermadec filly was excellent value for money - check her out on the link below - we inspected her straight after she was sold as we had the NZTR "Share the Thrill of Ownership" winners with us - more on that later this week but we were so proud they chose Te Akau to be involved with.



Part of spending time with the winners was to explain what I liked/looked for in a yearling so the Cambridge Stud team took her back out of her stall and she was just totally cool, calm and collected.  Cameron Ring of Cambridge Stud told us she had come back from the experience of the selling arena and put her head straight into her feed bucket - completely un-phased.  You can see what a good looking individual she is - the same sire as our colt Trobriand who was third in the Karaka Million this year.

Read about her here:



Lot 507 our Zoustar colt just picks himself - he has a pedigree to die for, certainly one good enough for a future stallion.  He's a picture of physicality, beautifully muscled, very powerful. When you think that Zoustar's service fee in 2022 was A$198,000, and his sale average last year in Australia was $472,000 and already this year has climbed to $687,000 - he was excellent buying for a colt of this class.



Read all about him here:



If you are keen on a share in this colt or filly do email Karyn now - [email protected] 

Best of luck to the team at Taupo tomorrow, and to all our owners with horses running this week.  We can't wait for Group 1 Legends' Day at Te Rapa on Saturday.




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