Te Akau Monday Update

Date: 26 Feb 2024

David writes:

What a thrill it was for the whole team to win Group 2 races on both sides of the Tasman on Saturday, and four races overall, for our owners.

It was a magnificent day of Australasian success for our owners with both of our stables putting their 'best feet forward'. 

It's incredible to think that all of these winners were in fact ridden by two jockeys who did their apprenticeships with Te Akau - Opie Bosson ONZM and Michael Dee. This made our wins even more special.

Our winners on Saturday were purchased by me from a number of different sales - El Viento came from the NZB Ready to Run Sale, Freeze Frame was an NZB Yearling Sale purchase while both Group 2 winners unbeaten 2YO filly Captured by Love and Group 1 winner Campionessa were both sourced by me from the Magic Millions' Sale.

Congratulations to the owners involved I this quartet - in fact three of our owners are involved in both Group 2 winners -  Campionessa and Captured by Love - I am sure they had a big celebration on Saturday night.  These are two very valuable horses now with the black type they have earned.

A special salute too, to Campionessa - it was a massive effort, and a very inspired training feat by Mark and Sam, to have her win at Caulfield on Saturday - especially when you consider that she had only arrived at our Cranbourne stable on the Wednesday night. 

Campionessa's win was her first Group race victory in Australia, and she also downed two previous Melbourne Cup winners in the process, with Vow and Declare second and Gold Trip in third place.

Enjoy the latest Trainers' Premiership statistics for New Zealand and also metropolitan Victoria. What makes me so proud is the strike rate of both stables.  The two countries calculate the strike rate slightly differently - in New Zealand, the lower the strike rate the more success you are having with winners to runners.  In Australia, the higher the percentage the better the performance.

We are exceptionally proud that Te Akau has won over $11 million in prize money for our owners since the new season got underway on 1 August 2023.  We have also won 24 Group/Listed races with a strike rate of 32% in Australia - this is the New Zealand equivalent of 3.2 so this means we have produced a winner every 3.2 times a horse goes to the races in Melbourne. In New Zealand our strike rate is 5.5, so again, a winner for every 5.5 runners. These are phenomenal figures for a major stable.

Congratulations to all our team at Te Akau Stud, Te Akau Racing in Matamata and Riccarton and Te Akau Racing in Australia. Well done team. Incredible results!

Karyn and I went to the Matamata Racing Club's biggest day of the year on Saturday, it was fun to be at our 'home track' and what a day the committee and new CEO Regan Donnison staged. Congratulations to Matamata track manager Graham Styles for preparing such a great track - and training surface too!
A big crowd enjoyed the fine weather and wonderful racing.  We were thrilled to win three races on the programme, including the Group 2 J Swap Contractors Matamata Breeders' Stakes.  I opened my Matamata Stable in 1987 and since then the stable has won 10 Breeders' Stakes titles. 

One special memento of this win is the jockey statue in the birdcage gets painted on the day in the winner's colours - and there those colours stay all year - it's great for our team to see the tangerine every single day when they head out on to the track.  This is a race every Matamata trainer loves to win, it's very close to their hearts!

We still have limited shares available in a stunning line up of promising young horses, so do check them out on our Yearlings & Shares page - https://www.teakauracing.com/yearlings-shares

The chairman of NZB told me the other day that he thought the yearlings we have bought this year were the best that we have ever purchased! Our senior veterinarian Dr Douglas Black also came out to the farm last Friday and was blown away with the quality we have here.

This morning, we sent the first group of yearlings away for their early education and we will be sending more each day this week. This really is an exciting time of the year as we start to uncover the racing potential that lies within each one.

Seldom has the farm looked this lush at the end of February. The quality of grass for the horses is as good as it gets.  We are still selling two units of steers each week (40 per unit) and they are making about $1,880 each at present, although the average price is well over $2,000.  We are going to keep sending two units a week for the next three weeks at least.

We had 25mls of rain here on Saturday night and another 5mls this morning, and 9mls in total today. The follow up rain is what really makes a difference and there is good rain forecast for tonight which would really put a smile on the Te Akau farmer's face!!

It's another busy week at the farm and off farm this week - we have been welcoming lots of new and long-term owners to the farm to see our new yearlings.  Tomorrow evening we will head to Karaka for the NZB Kiwi Slot Auction and Group 1 NZ Derby barrier draw.

The Derby of course takes place at Ellerslie this Saturday and is the official start of Auckland Cup Week.  I am looking forward to being back at Ellerslie for the second time since its re-opening.  Karyn will be in Melbourne as we have Quintessa contesting the Group 1 Australian Guineas at Flemington and Sans Doute is also racing that day too. Karyn, Mark and Marcus will then be busy with the Melbourne yearlings sale. 

Best of luck to all our owners with runners this week - and have a look on our website at our 'Yearlings and Shares' page if you want to be involved in the next Imperatriz.


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