Te Akau Monday Update

Date: 3 Jul 2023

Te Akau Monday Update


David writes:


I've been looking forward to catching up with you with all the Te Akau news, and there is plenty!  Even though this is traditionally a quieter time of the year for us racing-wise, it's still full-on at the stable and farm. Some our 'babies' who will turn two on 1 August are back in at the stable for their second preps, and a good number of spelling racehorses are at the farm, especially those that don't like racing on our winter tracks.

The weather is fairly wild and wet today at the farm and the rain has been coming down in sheets.  It's very wet underfoot for the team, not great conditions to be out and about in!

While our New Zealand racing team maybe somewhat smaller during winter, our Singapore stable continues to deliver really satisfying results.  On Sunday it was another double with Fadaboy and Artillery saluting the judge.



Fadaboy is a four year old Deep Field gelding raced by Patrick Harrison.  He began awkwardly, losing ground, so to pick himself up and win was a top effort. He has now won two of his 13 starts, with five other placings, for nearly $100,000 in prize money.

Artillery (below) is a Smart Missile two year old that we identified from the Magic Million's horses in training sale at the end of last year. He was a smart runner up on debut and won very determinedly on Sunday with his two starts earning $54,500 already and he looks like there is plenty more to come from him.



We are of course all still stunned with the confirmation that racing will end in Singapore late next year.  Since we established our stable at Kranji in 2010, Te Akau owners have enjoyed a lot of success in Singapore, and it's a tragedy to think such an historic Club will cease its operations next year.  It's such a shame for the global thoroughbred industry.

Well before we heard this news, our decision to establish an Australian arm was already well underway, and I am pleased to update more on this below.

Karyn and I have just returned home from a short trip to London where we attended Royal Ascot. We attended on Thursday which is Ladies' Day. There was a sell out crowd and the atmosphere was simply amazing!



The highlight of the day was seeing a horse owned by the King and the Queen (and bred by the late Queen Elizabeth) win. It was the first racing win for King Charles and Queen Camilla and they were so clearly excited -the event got terrific coverage across all the media.

Another very positive aspect of Royal Ascot this year according to commentators was the fact that the King and Queen chose to attend every day of the five day event.  This follows on the tradition of the late Queen, and everyone knew how much she loved racing (and breeding) so this Royal endorsement was very well received.

While we were away in England, the winners certainly didn't stop and Mark Walker is now on 193 New Zealand wins for the season - that is 33 wins more than any stable has ever recorded in New Zealand! We have a small team of jumpers too this season and (below) The Mighty Spar, our most recent winner, was dominant in a Maiden hurdle event.  Congratulations to Mark and all the team at Matamata and the farm on such an incredible achievement - it does make us proud to be able to deliver these results to our owners.



It's been a simply amazing season with Group One's in New Zealand and Australia - with over $9 million won in stakes for our owners.  Too many highlights to revisit here but some stand-outs include our 9th Karaka Million in 7 years and the 7th Karaka 2YO Million win in a row - now that is something we are all very proud of!  In coming weeks we will reflect on our 34 black type season victories so watch this space.

Wasn't it brilliant news about the stakes' increases in New Zealand right across the board!  Gee isn't Karaka Million night going to be exciting with half the card worth $1 million per race.

Another important part of this announement was to see the minimum stake for a Group One race move to $400,000. I understand the Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas will be $500,000 and the Group 1 NZ 2000 Guineas will be run for $600,000! We have won 13 editions of these races, so this is very good news for owners.

Add to this, the fact that Auckland Thoroughbred Racing has promised significant increases in stakes across the board for all its races, it is a very exciting time to be involved in New Zealand racing.  I am told the Ellerslie track rebuild is making excellent progress and it will be very exciting to return to racing there early in 2024.  It's been a massive job for the team, led by CEO Paul Wilcox, especially with trying weather conditions, so all kudos to them.



As I have mentioned, the farm is very wet after a lot of rain over the last month but the grass is still growing and following a terrific Autumn, the stock are in amazing condition. All our stock have now been sold for the season and we won't have any other stock to sell until the end of September/early October. Next Monday we are due to start lambing too.

We don't have much to race in the next month but we are now only four weeks away from the start of next season - now that's an exciting time!

The new season will also see our Cranbourne stable swing into operation - the Cranbourne Training Centre is the largest training centre in the southern hemisphere, with more than 1,200 horses in training each day. Construction has commenced on our new state-of-the-art stabling facility and we could not be more delighted with the progress.  There is a lot of other good news coming out of Cranbourne too!



Recently the Victorian Minister for Racing Anthony Carbines visited the Cranbourne training centre to announce the State Government is investing A$2 million from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund towards a brand new veterinary clinic and equine hospital, with the Cranbourne Turf Club contributing a further $2.6 million.

The hospital will provide the thoroughbred and harness racing industry in the southeast with access to world class diagnostic equipment, including X-ray and ultrasound machinery, a bone scanner and standing CT equine imaging.  And it will be built in close proximity to our new stable!  Construction is expected to begin soon and be completed in 2024.

Since 2014, the Government has provided more than A$6.4 million to support racing events and infrastructure projects at the Cranbourne Racecourse and Training Centre from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund.

The sad news of the week was learning that bloodstock agent Stuart Hale had passed away. He was a real character of the racing and breeding industries as everyone knows, filled with personality.  I remember Stu well, going back to 1979 when he used to sell cattle and sheep at the Waingaro sale yards.  Rest In Peace Stu, you will be sadly missed by so many and Karyn and I, and Mark and the whole Te Akau team, send our sincere sympathies to your family.

One question I frequently get asked is “how are the horses selling?”

Well the answer is simple - amazingly well! There are hardly any days when we don't sell a share in a promising yearling.

Then of course there is a horse like Wolverine, who I bought five weeks ago for A$850,000 - she is now fully sold.

We still have limited shares available in some pretty exciting yearlings and one that I am predicting will be a really good horse is our Alabama Express colt out of the Zoustar mare, Miss Madonna. He was Lot 351 bought at Karaka for $165,000. This is the same family as Champion 2YO and Group 1 winner Sword of State who now stands at Cambridge Stud.

Mark and Sam really rate this colt and he has shown natural aptitude and ability already - he's turning a lot of heads at the stable where he is having his second preparation.  It is likely he will trial as soon as August! I predict that this will be one of our stand-out yearlings and will certainly be aimed at the Karaka 2YO Million.

If you want to be involved in this exciting colt, call me on 021 925 151 or email Karyn - [email protected] - here is the link to his pedigree and other details:




A 10% share would cost approx. $18,000 plus GST

A 5% share would cost approx. $9,000 plus GST

A 2.5% share would cost approx. $4,500 plus GST


Have a great week and keep safe and wrap up warm ... GO THE TANGERINE!


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