Te Akau Treble - Move To Strike's Stunning Debut

Date: 17 Dec 2023

Te Akau Treble - Move To Strike's Stunning Debut

Racing right up to his looks, Move To Strike (2 c I Am Invincible – No Evidence Needed, by Shamardal) produced a dream result on debut in the $65,000 2YO 1100 metres on Waikato Cup Day (16 Dec.) at Te Rapa.

Not only did the winner of all three trials justify hot favouritism ($1.20), but he provided stable jockey Opie Bosson with his 2000th domestic win.

Beautifully drawn in barrier one, Move To Strike was positioned fifth by Bosson before angling clear in the straight and produced a huge finish to win as he liked by four and three-quarter lengths. 

“I knew he was the horse I could get it on today and to do it in these colours for David (Ellis) and the whole Te Akau team is an extra bonus,” said Bosson, who earlier this year was inducted into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame and became an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the King’s Birthday Honours List.

“I think he’s superstar in the making. He’s just got the right attitude and you’d think he’d been doing it for years, the way he just takes things in his stride.”

“To hit any milestone in a career is good and to join an elite club of 2000 wins in New Zealand, so I’m quite honoured.”

Bosson became the eighth to achieve the feat and joined, in order of most wins, Chris Johnson, David Walsh, Lance O’Sullivan, Noel Harris, Bill Skelton, Michael Coleman, and David Peake.

Bosson won his first race in 1995, first Group One aboard Jezabeel (Zabeel) on 1 January 1998 in the Auckland Cup (3200m) at Ellerslie, who subsequently won the 1998 Melbourne Cup (Gr. 1, 3200m).

The six-time Champion Jockey rode his 1000th winner in 2010, surpassed Hall of Fame legend Lance O’Sullivan (62 Group One wins) in 2019, now has 94 Group One wins to his credit, and won three premierships.

“I’ve won Caulfield Cups, Derbies, but Imperatriz, what she’s done lately is up there with my highest achievements,” Bosson added.

“It seems everything has happened at the same time, and to be honoured for my achievements in the saddle is really quite humbling.”

In the race sponsored by ICIB Brokerweb, who works in conjunction with Fasttrack Insurance and gives money back to the racing industry, Move To Strike ran 1100 metres in 1:04.1 and last 600m in 34.3 (approx.) on Good4 footing.

“This will give Opie a good thrill and he’s just had such an amazing career, for someone that’s struggled with his weight,” said co-trainer Mark Walker.

“I remember he won his first race when he was 16 years old and he had a postage stamp for a saddle, and full credit to him still to be in the saddle after all these years. And of late, Emily (Bosson) has to take a lot of credit as well.

“It was good to do it on such an exciting horse, as well. Opie has thought a lot of this horse for quite some time.

“I think he’s such a cool customer this colt. He’s got an amazing brain on him and he’s got a bright future.”

Walker suggested Move To Strike may next contest the $225,000 Eclipse Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) on 1 January at Pukekohe, while also on the radar is the $2m Blue Diamond Stakes (Gr. 1, 1200m) on Saturday 24 February at Caulfield, Melbourne. 

Owned by Te Akau 2023 Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Move To Strike was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for A$525,000, from the draft of Baramul Stud, at 2023 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. 

“It’s a big thrill for Karyn and me to be here and see a colt like this win his first start,” Ellis said.

“We’ve got quite a few new owners in this breeding syndicate, along with owners that are the backbone of Te Akau Racing and they have a truly exciting colt on their hands.

“He’s one of two colts in the syndicate that are both showing lots of promise and it's special for Waikato Thoroughbred Racing's Directors and their wives John and Denise Elstob and Glenn and Cathie Holmes to see a colt they are involved with win on their 'home' track and on Waikato Cup Day."

By reigning Australian Champion Sire I Am Invincible (Invincible Spirit), he is bred on the same I Am Invincible/ Shamardal cross as eight-time Group One winner and current Te Akau stable star Imperatriz (I Am Invincible).

Dam No Evidence Needed won six races – including four successively – from 1200m – 1600m, including the Let’s Elope Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m) at Flemington, Southern Cross Stakes (Gr. 3, 1200m) at Rosehill, and twice Group One placed: one of those in the Schwepps Oaks (Gr. 1, 2000m) at Morphettville. 

She was regarded as a game big filly that possessed a good turn of foot, and to date has left six individual winners of 13 races, including Group Two placed Discharged (Snitzel). 

Dam sire Shamardal (Giant’s Causeway), once third in the TRC Global World Sire Rankings, has left 45 Group One winners worldwide, and now establishing himself as a broodmare sire of the highest calibre. 

The second dam Generosa is by Epsom Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) winner Generous, who added plenty of impetus when standing in New Zealand, while the third dam is by legendary sire Danehill. 

At the time of purchase, Ellis said: “He is a high quality colt with real ease of movement and just a natural athlete.

“He has plenty of strength and presence, typical of his sire, and of course Shamardal adds a great class factor to him.”

Move To Strike carries a beautifully simple and balanced cross of great sire Danzig. 

Waikato Thoroughbred Racing Chairman Bruce Harvey also made a presentation to Opie Bosson, his wife Emily, and children Max and Honor. 

“I’ve been very lucky to get on the horses I have, with great support from all the owners and trainers,” Bosson said.

“Especially Te Akau, where I started as a 13-year-old and still have my job there now. Special thanks to David Ellis, who has been my mentor and like a second dad.”

Move To Strike was strapped by Kohen Collett. 

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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