Te Akau Treble - The Bee Stings

Date: 24 Apr 2024

Te Akau Treble - The Bee Stings

Capping a great day for the stable, Our Milly Bee (4 m Merchant Navy – Rina Bettina, by Reliable Man) won the $17,000 Rating 65 2200 metres on 24 April at Timaru.

Following wins by stable-mates Beau Brummell (Embellish) and French Rose (Burgundy), each ridden by premiership leader Warren Kennedy, Our Milly Bee had Ashvin Goindasamy aboard for his first ride on the mare.

A course winner at her only attempt, when sprinting home to win over 1600 metres in October, Our Milly Bee did well finishing third when up in distance for the first time in the Rating 65 2200 metres on 4 April at Ashburton, and rated a top three chance. 

When winning earlier in the season at Timaru, she became the 17th win in the South Island this season for leading trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, while the recent victory was their 54th out of the Te Akau stable at Riccarton, managed by Hunter Durrant.

Settling beyond midfield on the inner, with last start winning stable-mate and race favourite Can’t Kach Me (Tavistock) behind her, Our Milly Bee pounced on a rails-run early in the home straight and stayed strong to hold Can’t Kach Me and Warren Kennedy at bay, as the pair raced away from the opposition. 

“She’d shown last time that she could cope with a middle distance and it was a lovely ride of Ashvin’s,” Walker said.

“It’s great that we can reward Ashvin, because he’s been working hard riding track work and races for us in the South Island, and Hunter (Durrant) has got the team humming.

“She’s always shown ability, Our Milly Bee, placing seven times before breaking through for a win, and she’s going on with the job. 

“She’s continued to improve as she’s strengthened physically and now that we’ve got her up over ground she’s starting to show even more potential.”

On Good4 footing that remained throughout the meeting, Our Milly Bee ran 2200 metres in 2:16.7, last 600m in 35.2 (approx.), and drifted considerably in betting from an earlier fixed odds quote of $5.00 to pay $10.30 & $2.90 on the NZ TAB tote. 

Owned by Te Akau Stud, Our Milly Bee was from the first crop of Merchant Navy, a fast son of Champion Sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill), that won three Group One races over 1200 metres (twice in Australia, and Royal Ascot) in career of seven wins from 10 starts. 

The dam side of Our Milly Bee is one of the most talented in the New Zealand Stud Book. 

Dam sire Reliable Man (Dalakhani) won two Group Ones to 2100 metres, including the Queen Elizabeth (Gr. 1, 2000m) at Randwick. 

Grand-dam Reisling, by the sire of O’Reilly, Last Tycoon (Try My Best), left impressive stakes winner Valpolicella (Red Ransom), whose first foal, Catalonia (Commands), was purchased by David Ellis CNZM as a yearling at Karaka, and went on as Vilanova in Australia, winning over $600,000, while she also produced stakes winners Vavasour (Redoute’s Choice), Celebrity Dream (Thorn Park), and Rondinella (Ocean Park).

The big influence, and from whom stems undeniable class, is third dam Dopff (Tights), a Group Two and listed winner that still holds the track record (1:20.42) for 1400 metres at Te Rapa, which was given a fright by Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) last season when clocking 1:20.70 in the BCD Group Sprint (Gr. 1, 1400m). 

“It’s extremely rewarding to see our South Island stable going so well,” said Te Akau principal David Ellis.

“We’ve always supported South Island racing, from the early days when Mark (Walker) and Gus (Clutterbuck) had our stables at Rangiora, before they went and set up for Te Akau in Singapore, and it’s great to have Hunter (Durrant) and our team of top staff looking after and training the horses so well under the guidance of Mark & Sam (Bergerson).

“It’s a big team effort, with Mark and Sam constantly getting around all our horses whether it’s here in New Zealand, or our stables at Cranbourne (Victoria) in Australia, but we’re always reliant on having top people to take on the responsibilities.

“Our Milly Bee is from a really talented family. She tried so hard before finally winning her Maiden, and when you get horses like that, with a great attitude, it’s just a matter of them maturing before they can prove more competitive.”

Our Milly Bee was strapped by Hollie Smith, who presented all three winners in terrific order. 

Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz


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