Te Akau Monday Update

Date: 4 Nov 2013

Te Akau Monday Update

David writes:

On Saturday I was kept well entertained by our youngest daughter Julia-Rose (JR) who was on course at Flemington and sending me photos of the day via viber.  Viber is a way to text via the net when you don't have normal cell phone coverage (which we don't have at Te Akau).  It effectively costs nothing and you can text anyone through viber from anywhere, as long as they are also on viber which is a free app to download.

So it was fun getting all of JR's news.  It was only three weeks ago that one of our other daughters Lydia and her partner Mitch were at the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamps!

It was great to see Mark training another winner in Singapore over the weekend - he is getting close to recording an impressive 60 wins for the season which ends on 31 December.  He also had a couple more seconds which is unbelievably frustrating - imagine a total of 81 second placings and 67 third placings!

Golden Sand Steed, a Pins gelding that we purchased from the draft of Waikato Stud at Karaka for $60,000, continued his good form in Singapore and he looks a pretty exciting horse.  He was bred by Jim and Bill Gartshore from Tauranga, who we also train for.

In New Zealand, Jason and the team keep delivering winners in what has been a fantastic start to our new season.  He is now a very close third on the Trainers' Premiership with 23 wins - only two off the lead.  However the most impressive point is that Jason has trained double the black type winners of any other stable and has a terrific strike rate.

On Saturday we sent three horses to Awapuni under the care of Steve O'Neill for a win and two thirds - Thrive went a super race for third in the Listed Feilding Gold Cup and was a bit stiff not to win.  Osmunda, who is raced by Sir Patrick and Justine, Lady Hogan and their family, won like a filly that will win black type very quickly.

At Flemington I was thrilled to see an Alamosa filly won the Wakeful Stakes for the 3YO fillies. Mark and I bred 11 Alamosa foals so I love to see his progeny running so well.  Congratulations to Bill Gleeson - gee this filly will take some catching in the upcoming Group 1 Oaks.

I have been to 28 Melbourne Cup Carnivals but I must admit with all these European horses in the Cup, I have lost some interest. I just don't know most of these horses anymore and they are very hard to match up against each other with so many different international formlines.

I have been involved in at least five runners in the Melbourne Cup but the best we have done is to finish second - interestingly that was behind the very first European horse that came down - Vintage Crop.

You may have read in our "24 facts about the Melbourne Cup" story that there is only one barrier from which the Melbourne Cup has never been won - barrier 18.  My poor old Distinctly Secret drew 18 the first time he ran and finished 6th - then the second time he ran he drew 19 but with a scratching started from gate 18 - so he was never going to win.  It was Te Akau Nick with Bob Vance aboard who tried to lead all the way before being run down by Vintage Crop.

There is one stand-out performance in this year's Melbourne Cup and that is Lloyd Williams - to have six runs is an unbelievable achievement.

We start shearing and weaning the lambs this week and next week we will start selling the first of our bulls.  We weighed two paddocks last week and most were over 700kgs.  It is starting to dry out slightly and we could do with some rain - however we have plenty of grass and all of our stock are in great shape.

It's a busy week this week all round - Karyn has her Waikato Racing Club (WRC) board meeting tonight and after that is driving to Auckland as first thing tomorrow she is involved in live broadcasting for Trackside for Melbourne Cup day.  Then on Thursday she is in Wellington representing the WRC at the Annual Meeting of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing.  There are of course Te Rapa races on Saturday for her and then on Sunday she is hosting a live Trackside Cup Week preview show out of Wellington before flying to Christchurch on Monday to be the MC for Addington's NZ Cup Day Fashion in the Field.

Then there are only 51 days to Christmas!


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