Te Akau Season - Stakes' Win 2 (NZ) of 30

Date: 2 Jul 2024

Te Akau Season - Stakes' Win 2 (NZ) of 30

July sees the final month of our phenomenal 2023/24 racing season.  

As we like to do at this time of the year, we now reflect every day on our Group/Listed performers of the 'season that was' - and there were plenty!  In fact 30 across New Zealand and Australia, with nine at Group 1 level.

The second stakes' win in our 'season of black type success' also came in September as our "Group 1 girl in waiting" (as it transpired) Quintessa showed what she had in store for her mighty season! 

Winning the $120,000 HBPB Thoroughbred Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m), Quintessa (3 f Shamus Award – Chaquinta, by High Chaparral) capped her hat-trick in a prestigious event on 9 September at Hastings.

A race instigated 52 years ago by Lucy Scoular (who presented the trophies) and the Hawkes Bay Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, Te Akau previously won the race in 2018 with Avantage (Fastnet Rock) who went on to win nine Group Ones.

A winner of her sole start as a two-year-old, Quintessa had an outstanding three-year-old season, highlighted by victory in the Levin Classic (Gr. 1, 1600m), and marked by consistency with three fourths in Group One races, including the Australian Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) and Australian Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m).

She also finished runner-up in both the Alistair Clark Stakes (Gr. 2, 2040m) and Auckland Guineas (Gr. 2, 1400m).

Ridden by stable rider Opie Bosson ONZM, who had another outstanding day in the saddle, Quintessa slotted in to eighth position after beginning from the outside gate (13), was giving the leaders six lengths at the 600m and unleashed powerfully for a smart win. 

“On her pedigree, when David (Ellis) bought her, you wouldn’t think she would be able to win so well over sprint trips, being out of a High Chaparral mare that won over 2700 metres, so there’s a lot of upside in her,” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

Owned by Te Akau Awarded Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Quintessa was purchased by David Ellis CNZM as a yearling for $170,000 at the 2022 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Wentwood Grange, and has won nearly $640,000 in stakes' money. 

Ellis predicted it right when saying: “We think she has the class and presence to be up and running as a two-year-old in the autumn, but ultimately develop into a high-class three-year-old.

“It’s a great New Zealand family, and this filly was bred by a wonderful breeder in Linda Huddy of Peachester Lodge who has done so much for the industry.  She's a filly with tremendous sire influences of High Chaparral and Encosta de Lago.”

Incredibly, sire Shamus Award (Snitzel) won the 2013 Cox Plate (Gr. 1, 2040m) as a Maiden before franking the form in the Australian Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m), to be named Champion Three-Year-Old of the Year.

A son of Champion Sire Snitzel (Redoute’s Choice), Shamus Award has been very successful at stud. Like Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), Shamus Award is also out of a mare by Success Express (Hold Your Peace), an American sire influence that adds plenty of class and quality. 

Her dam, Chaquinta, won five races, including three in succession to 2700 metres, and half-sister to good staying horse Our Heir Apparent (Zabeel).

Dam sire High Chaparral (Sadler’s Well), twice US Champion Male on Turf, has become a sire sensation worldwide, sire of sires, and as expected doing the same as a broodmare sire. 

Currently in training at Matamata, Quintessa is scheduled to trial on 6 August at Te Rapa. 

Te Akau previous wins in the Gold Trail Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m):

2018 – Avantage (Fastnet Rock) 


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