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Te Akau Proud of Award Finalists

12 Aug 2019

Te Akau Proud of Award Finalists

NZ Thoroughbred Racing reports:

Matamata trainer Jamie Richards is poised to make an impact at the 2019 New Zealand Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has announced the finalists for five of the six racehorse categories.

Richards, 29, is in his first season as a solo trainer and prepares a quarter of the 20 flat finalists – and has been himself named as one of two finalists in the Trainer of the Year category.

The Te Akau Racing stable provides three of the four finalists – Aotea Lad, Probabeel and Yourdeel – in the two-year-old section and will be represented by Melody Belle and Te Akau Shark in the sprinter-miler category. Melody Belle is also a middle-distance finalist.

Karaka Million winner Probabeel (Savabeel) won over $600,000 in prize money during the season, while Yourdeel (Dundeel), who won both Group One races for two-year-olds: Sistema Stakes and Sires’ Produce Stakes, earned $375,600. Debut winner Aotea Lad (Savabeel) chased home his stable-mates in a couple of pinnacle events and was very consistent earning $262,150.

The Queen of the Turf, Melody Belle (Commands) raced incredibly well throughout the season. Commencing in August with victory in the Group Two Foxbridge Plate, she then racked up Group One victories in the Tarzino Trophy, Windsor Park Plate, BCD Group Sprint, Haunui Farm Classic, and Bonecrusher Stakes – six wins at weight-for-age – over $700,000 in prize money and $1.6m in total.

“Excitement machine” Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle), the winner of five from six, scored twice during the Hawkes Bay Spring Carnival, including the Group Three Red Badge Sprint, before one of the biggest demolitions of the season when winning the Group Two Coupland’s Bakeries Mile by six lengths.

Te Akau Racing must be incredibly proud their achievements, and a special nod to Te Akau principal David Ellis who purchased four of the five finalists. 

All finalists are eligible for the Horse of the Year title, which will be announced at a gala dinner in Auckland, at the Ellerslie Racecourse, on Sunday, September 8.

The flat racing finalists are:

Champion Two-Year-Old: Aotea Lad, Aretha, Probabeel, Yourdeel.

Champion Three-Year-Old: Crown Prosecutor, Madison County, Media Sensation, Sentimental Miss, Surely Sacred.

Champion Sprinter-Miler (up to 1600m): Bostonian, Enzo’s Lad, Melody Belle, Shadows Cast, Te Akau Shark.

Champion Middle Distance (1601m to 2200m):  Danzdanzdance, Melody Belle, On The Rocks, Savvy Coup.

Champion Stayer (2201m and further): Five To Midnight, Glory Days, Rondinella.

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