Te Akau Thursday Update

Date: 28 Jan 2021

Te Akau Thursday Update


David writes:


There are many reasons that make me proud to be a New Zealander - starting with the Ellerslie Races on Saturday being one of them!

Every part of our industry performed exceptionally well on the night!   Congratulations is in order for so many organisations, entities and people (especially behind the scenes) who collaborated and worked together to deliver what can only be described as an incredible week for our industry.

Firstly, we need to congratulate the TAB for delivering a record turnover on Saturday evening! Quite phenomenal really and well done to the Auckland Racing Club for preparing a wonderful track and for putting on such a fantastic night of racing - it really was a great atmosphere to be part of.


There is no question that Boys Get Paid (BGP) being involved in the build up to the race meeting, as well as the event itself, adds a whole new dimension to making the night a success.  Luke Kemeys and Ben Masters and Louis Herman-Watt, the whole BGP team - your members were on fire and the electricity and atmosphere they created (and punt they drive) is extraordinary.

Te Akau was very proud to be a major sponsor of the BGP event on the night at Ellerslie - seeing so many young people loving every minute of a race day experience is fantastic!  Imagine what they will be like when the filly I was commissioned by BGP to buy for them starts racing!

To the Auckland Racing Club Board and Directors and CEO Paul Wilcox - take a bow with your whole team.



A massive congratulations is also needed to New Zealand Bloodstock - as the catalyst for Karaka Million night of course but also for putting on such a wonderful week for our annual yearling sales.

To think that in these challenging times, the Karaka Sales can have a clearance rate of over 80% is quite unbelievable! Television and social media coverage of the sales was excellent, and renowned racing journalist and presenter Michael Guerin was world class. He made the coverage incredibly interesting and I bet it was entertaining to watch at home for those who couldn't be there.



As Michael was broadcasting the sales, his position as presenter on "Weigh In" was filled in this week by Luke Radich, and what a great show it was! Luke had really done his homework (as always) when it came to his analysis and statistics of the sales and Karaka Million winners.

One statistic that Luke investigated and presented was that last year, there were about 1000 yearlings at the sale, of which I purchased around 30, so say 3%. To have five of those yearlings running, let alone placing in the top four of the Karaka 2YO Million, was something like a 1.5 million to one chance - that really puts our Karaka Million success in to perspective, especially as we have now won five Karaka 2YO Million races consecutively.



Luke was a former full-time presenter on Trackside - he was already a qualified lawyer when he joined Trackside and resumed his legal career after leaving broadcasting.  He has since become a Crown Prosecutor and has one of the finest minds you would meet. He also knows more about running the TAB and betting than anyone else I know! Let's hope that one day he is on the TAB Board - that would truly be an asset to our industry.

I would also like to acknowledge our new Racing for Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Grant Roberston, for attending both the Karaka Million twilight meeting and for opening the Karaka Sales the following day.

Despite his heavy workload, he made the time to attend both. He is an impressive speaker and I believe that we are lucky to have him as our Minister. He is very interested in continuing the good work that Winston Peters began and to see our industry thrive again.



The whole team is still riding on the high of taking out our fifth Karaka 2YO Million win in a row, and also winning two Group 1 races as well on the night with Need I Say More and Entriviere. I would like to congratulate our trainer Jamie Richards and the team at Te Akau Racing. There were six races over the Karaka Million evening, and Jamie won half of them, had two seconds and a fourth - what a remarkable result!



January is always the busiest month of the year for us, and we are lucky to have such a great team here at Te Akau Stud who all get on with the job despite me being away for weeks at a time. I have since returned to the stud and our team here has ensured that the farm looks amazing and that every one of our new 38 yearlings is safe and settled in their paddocks. Well done, team!

The Karaka Yearling Sales for 2021 have been incredibly successful, and I would like to congratulate Joe Walls, Marcus Corban and Jamie for helping me choose these horses. To purchase 38 horses is a massive undertaking and I am so lucky to have the support that I do - thank you, team!

Last and certainly not least, a gigantic congratulations to all our owners who are investing in these beautiful yearlings. We are welcoming back our ever-loyal existing owners, and many new owners, to the tangerine team at record speed. The majority of these shares were snapped up before the horses had left the sale's complex - you all know excellent quality when you see it!

I don't need to tell you twice that if you would like to be involved in our next Karaka Million winner or an Oaks' filly or Derby colt, please call me now 021 925 151 - you will be disappointed if you hesitate!

After going around the farm this morning with our Te Akau Stud Equine Manager, Enzo Di Leoni, and looking at all the yearlings, I have no doubt that they are the best that we have ever seen here on the farm. They will all have a well-deserved break for about five weeks, until they are brought in to start their early education.

Isn't it great to have our stable jockey, Opie Bosson, returning to riding on Saturday! He is excited to back aboard Melody Belle - Opie reports that she has been working as well as she ever has these last two weeks!

Best of luck to all our owners and with runners this weekend and ….




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