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Te Akau Thursday Update

30 Jul 2020

Te Akau Thursday Update

David writes:

It is always great to see the end of July.

The days are starting to become longer, and we are now only four weeks away from the start of Spring.

We are right in the middle of lambing at Te Akau Stud, and I thought you would all enjoy the photo I took (above) of three of our ewes who have a total of seven lambs between them at foot. 

We have had absolutely beautiful weather for July, especially for our ewes to be lambing in. This warm weather means there have been very few deaths with lambing which is always very good news, we love having healthy and happy new mothers and lambs.

And the grass is still growing! Yesterday it was 17 degrees at Te Akau Stud and there were no frosts this week – these are all fantastic contributors to grass growth.

We have started buying yearling steers already, as I believe once the grass starts really taking off, the price of store cattle will rise really quickly. I think there is a genuine shortage of cattle, especially in the North Island with the severe droughts that the country experienced this autumn.

I really enjoyed seeing racing back at Kranji on the weekend and well done to Mark Walker, our Singapore trainer, for yet another win. It came in the last race on the programme and was richly deserved after five second placings earlier on the programme – Mark really has the team primed and firing.

Mark lies second on the Singapore Trainers’ Premiership, just one off the lead with 24 wins. He has been Champion Trainer three times in the past nine years in Singapore.

On Tuesday, Karyn and I went to the Te Rapa trials, where Te Akau Racing had a really good team that was ready to step up their fitness. Overall, it was a very satisfying day with our horses coming up well. 



It is hard to get a true guide on how a lot of the young horses are going when you have a heavy track. Many of them don’t handle heavy tracks, however it is very good for their fitness and education to be able to give them a nice quiet trial that puts them under no pressure.

We are really looking to the Taupo races in ten days’ time. We will have some nice horses ready to start their seasons. The course proper at Taupo is in beautiful condition and it will be great to get back on to a good track. 



It is just a shame that one of the effects of Covid-19 epidemic has been the delay to the Cambridge training and trial track – it would have been great to see it up and running for this winter. That can’t be helped, but an all-weather track is certainly something to look forward for next year. This will enable trainers to get a much better guide on their horses than what we currently get from the heavy course propers during July.

Each Monday on the farm, we bring in six weanlings and give them a week of handling. We put covers on them, take them for good walk during the day, drench them and have their feet done before turning them back out. It is simply great to see the way they are developing.

I am predicting that the stallion Almanzor has a big future ahead of him. We have three of his weanlings here, two fillies and a colt – I could not be more impressed with the way they have developed. I think they have an exciting future, as does their sire. They are strong, well balanced, good looking horses with great attitudes.

We have a very busy weekend coming up at Te Akau Stud. On Friday, I am having a few friends to lunch and on Sunday we are celebrating Jamie Richards’ win of the New Zealand Trainers’ Premiership win with his family. 



Meanwhile, the news from Sydney with our Australian based horses, Probabeel and Melody Belle, is very encouraging and we could not be happier with how they are coming to hand. Both girls are trialling tomorrow and we can’t wait to see them back on track. Within the next couple weeks, we plan on sending more horses over to Sydney to race in the Spring. 

Have a great weekend everyone, and … Go the Tangerine for the new season that starts on Saturday!

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