Te Akau Singapore Winning Double

Date: 28 May 2023

Te Akau Singapore Winning Double


Te Akau Singapore trainer Donna Logan secured a double with horses purchased by David Ellis CNZM on Saturday at Kranji Racecourse.


After finishing second on the Trainers' Premiership ladder last year, in her first season as Te Akau Singapore trainer, Logan moved to third equal following wins by Our Secret Weapon (5 g Outreach - Poppy's Pond, by Elvstroem) and Te Akau Ben (5 g Tavistock - Danalaga, by Danehill).

Purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $60,000 at the 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, specifically to race in Singapore, Our Secret Weapon had won two of his last five starts and boasted good distance stats for the $30,000 Class 5 1000 metres.



In the hands of Te Akau Champion apprentice Yusoff Fadzli (a2), Our Secret Weapon sprang out of barrier three to race outside the leader and although involved in a three-way speed dual he exuded genuine qualities to draw out over the concluding stages.

As a mature five-year-old, Our Secret Weapon has recorded three of his five wins this year for $138,000 in prize money, and paid $3.80 & $1.80 on the NZ TAB tote. 

“He was beaten by a fresh horse (Supermax) on the scene last start, but he's bounced back to win really well to turn the tables on him this time,” Logan said. “It was a great rematch.

“His four previous wins were over 1000 metres, so we expected him to be competitive again and he's continuing to race in great form.”





After returning from an injury forced layoff to win fresh-up in April, Te Akau Ben was ridden to victory by New Zealand jockey Craig Grylls, there to ride in the Singapore Guineas, in the $50,000 Class 4 1400 metres.

Utilizing barrier one, but shadowed in front, Te Akau Ben took control approaching the 200m and stretched out to score impressively by two and a quarter lengths. 

Running 1400 metres in a polished 1:22.3, Te Akau Ben returned lucrative odds ($18.20 & $4.80) on the NZ TAB tote.



“He drew (14) widest last time and we just said to forget the run, and stepping to 1400 metres was always going to help the horse,” Logan said.

“Craig (Grylls) gave him every chance from barrier one and the way he responded suggested he's got a pretty bright future.”

When trained by Te Akau at Matamata, Te Akau Ben had won well at the trials as a three-year-old at Tauranga, and then transferred where he has won two of his five starts. 

A big strong horse, he was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $115,000 at the 2019 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Curraghmore Stud. 

Bred by Raffles Racing and owned by Mr. Ben Kwok and Te Akau Stud, his dam Danalaga, winner of three to 2600 metres, has left six winners of 21 races, including More Than Sacred (More Than Ready) who won the New Zealand Oaks (Gr. 1, 2400m), Sunline Vase (Gr. 3, 2100m), and Waikato Cup (Gr. 3, 2400m), Sacred Empire (More Than Ready), a six time winner to 2000 metres, and winner of five to 2500 metres More Than Ever (More Than Ready).



At the time of purchase, Ellis said: “Danalaga was a stakes performer by Champion Sire Danehill that placed in the Oaks and already left an Oaks winner, and become a very good producer. 

“He's a straightforward good type, walks well, and I think he was really good buying.

“His pedigree suggests he will need a bit of time, but he should continue developing with maturity to become a Cups type horse at four and older.”

Ellis added that he was a good deep colour and naturally athletic.

Te Akau Ben is inbred to immortal sire Northern Dancer through both sire lines. 



The Ellis purchase, and last start winner, Maximum Control (3 g Written Tycoon - Alcatraz, by Fastnet Rock) was another to shine during the meeting when staging a massive run for fourth in the $150,000 Singapore Guineas (Gr. 2, 1600m). 

“He was impressive winning his Maiden on debut, so we threw him in the deep end and to finish fourth the way he did at just his second start is quite something,” Logan said. 



“(Jockey) Louis Beuzelin has been saying all along that he is something special and the form out of his Maiden win was quite exceptional.

“We thought he could be the surprise package in a very good field.”

Originally purchased for A$625,000 by James Bester Bloodstock and Coolmore Stud at the 2021 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Maximum Control was back throughout in two trials as a two-year-old at Rosehill, and trainer Chris Waller sold him on behalf of owners in the 2022 Inglis September (Late) Online Sale.

On the job, he was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for A$85,000 and was syndicated by Karyn-Fenton Ellis MNZM, who reported having some very happy owners after winning a S$75,000 race on debut and top run for fourth in the Guineas. 

Maximum Control is a brother to Tasmanian Oaks (Listed, 2100m) winner Bundle of Fun, and half-brother to Bernborough Plate (Listed, 1600m) winner and Group One placed Kubrick (Shooting to Win), suggesting he too will appreciate further which was evident in the manner of his debut effort.


Sign up to our newsletter