Te Akau Tuesday Update

Date: 22 Nov 2022

Te Akau Tuesday Update


David writes:


It has easily been the most frustrating Spring to operate a racing stable in my entire career. It just never stops raining and because the tracks are soft, we are being forced to scratch a lot of horses that normally would be running.  Even as I write now, it is bleak and pouring with rain at Te Akau Stud!

It will dry out soon I'm sure but the hold ups are just so frustrating for our owners and the teams.  Once we have some decent tracks, watch out.

Having said that - the results the team is achieving here in New Zealand just make me so proud!  The stable and Mark Walker are on fire.

One with the current state of the tracks, Mark and the team have won 64 races - that's 39 more than the next stable.  Te Akau has also won more domestic group/Listed races (7) and more stake money ($1.86 million) than any other stable too.

It's always interesting when some people talk about 'stats' - well the statistics of the Trainers' Premiership (below) show what a good strike rate Mark has when you consider that due to track conditions and abandonments, we have had no option other to sometimes run three or four horses in one race which is not ideal, but beyond our control.


NZ Trainers' Premiership (as at 22.11.22 - source NZTR)

Wins 2nds 3rds Stakes Starts G & L SR
1 Mark Walker 64 58 39 $1,862,187 396 7 6.19
2 Stephen Marsh 25 35 30 $779,250 281 0 11.24
3 Kevin Myers 23 22 15 $1,029,730 155 3 6.74
4 Andrew Forsman 19 21 15 $864,072 126 4 6.63
5 Robbie Patterson 15 5 8 $215,775 54 0 3.6
6 Tony Pike 12 14 13 $317,030 105 0 8.75
7 Lisa Latta 11 11 15 $628,990 122 5 11.09
8 Lance Robinson 11 6 9 $271,770 65 0 5.91
9 Shaune Ritchie & Colm Murray 11 2 8 $178,015 56 0 5.09
10 Team Rogerson 10 11 7 $254,410 123 0 12.3


Karyn and I got a big thrill out of the seeing the stable quinella the $130,000 Group 3 Counties Cup on Saturday.  I think this is the stable's third Counties' Cup win in the last four years.  Aromatic really deserved her trophy as she came into the event with three wins and a whopping 10 runner up placings from her 19 starts.  She has a few issues so it was a brilliant performance by both the mare and our team, and we are just thrilled for her owners.



I thought that the runner up Self Obsession, who was Joint NZB Filly of the Year last season with stablemate Belle En Rouge, showed enormous fight, underlining that she is on target for a major race win in New Zealand and in Australia in the autumn.

Earlier in the programme, our 2YO Almanzor colt Balance of Power really went a top race too and he will be 100% ready for the Karaka Million in January. Three other possible Karaka 2YO Million contenders for the stable also race this Saturday at Te Rapa and we are looking forward to seeing Talisker (Embellish) and Tokyo Tycoon (Satono Aladdin) debut, alongside Karyn's ladies' syndicate filly She Turns Heads (Headwater) who learned a lot on debut when finishing a strong second to stablemate Trobriand (Kermadec - another Karaka Million hopeful) earlier this month.

Our New Zealand stable is firing on all cylinders, and so too is our Kranji stable in Singapore. We were proud to see Super Impact rattling home from well back in the field on Saturday to finish an excellent second place in the Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup with former the Akau apprentice Michael Dee aboard.

Our trainer Donna Logan looks likely to be runner-up on the Trainers' Premiership for the season which finishes at the end of this month.  Donna and our team have really had a terrific season, and this is underlined with over $3.3 million won for our owners.

We currently have shares available in four horses (all two year olds) that will race from our Singapore stable such as the Smart Missile gelding below - drop Karyn a note if you are interested as it is a fabulous place to race a horse.  The stakes are superb (and we are looking at another Singapore owners' tour in 2023 too)!



Speaking of Singapore stakes - yesterday the Singapore Turf Club announced some really exciting news, with the addition of 10 feature races (that's double the current number).

The Club is also reinstating four iconic race series for the 23/24 racing season, namely the Singapore Triple Crown series, the Singapore 4YO Challenge series, the Singapore 3YO Challenge series and the newly named STC Super Sprint series, which replaces the former Singapore Sprint Series that was discontinued in 2019.

All four race series comprise of three races each. The Singapore 3YO Challenge series will be the first of the race series to be run in the first half of 2023. It is made up of the Group 3 Singapore 3YO Sprint (1200m) and the Group 2 Singapore 3YO Classic (1400m), and the resumption the Group 2 Singapore Guineas (1600m).

Next up, the Singapore 4YO Challenge series will see the Group 3 Silver Bowl (1400m) run in June, followed by the Group 2 Stewards' Cup (1600m) and culminate with the Group 1 Singapore Derby (1800m).

The STC Super Sprint series will have the Group 3 Kranji Sprint (1200m) run as the first leg in June, the Group 3 Rocket Man Sprint (1200m) as the second leg and the Group 1 Lion City Cup (1200m) as the third leg.

Towards the later half of the season, the Group 1 Raffles Cup (1600m), the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup (1800m) and the Group 1 Singapore Gold Cup (2000m) that make up the three legs of the Singapore Triple Crown series will be run in September, October and November respectively.

How exciting is that?  Don't forget that a maiden race in Singapore is worth about NZ$90,000 which is incredible.  Have a look on our website a the horses we bought at the RTR sale - there are five beauties going to Singapore.

Last week, Greenlea Meats came out to the farm to take some photos.  It is promoting its beef to the world and chose Te Akau Stud as a location for the campaign.  I thought you would enjoy seeing some of the photos.



The first is one with my agent Alan Radford and myself looking at the cattle.  Alan has done all the buying and selling of my sheep and cattle since 1979.  He is the best judge of livestock I have ever met and Greenlea is a Company the whole of New Zealand can be very proud of.  The second photo (the main photo above) is of steers that are going to the works next week.

The share in our Ready to Run horses are selling very quickly.  We really have bought some rippers this year so if you are interested get in touch now.  Call me on 021 925 151 or e-mail Karyn at [email protected]  We love welcoming new owners.

It's really hard to separate them but one colt I want to highlight is closely related to the great Black Caviar and Group 1 winner and sire All Too Hard, and dual Sydney and Melbourne Group 1 winner Ole Kirk.  This colt is by a sire that is on fire at present called El Roca.  He is strolling around Te Akau Stud like he owns the place! I can see this colt being ready to race in February/March and he is a very classy type.



We have a good team racing at Te Rapa on Saturday so we hope to see our owners there in the winner's circle.  We can't be there sadly, but the reason is a happy one - we are attending the wedding of one of our former Te Akau Stud team members Dayna Davey to Te Akau Transport's Matthew McDonald!  Our daughter Lydia is also a bridesmaid so it will be a lovely occasion.

Have a great week and ...




Sign up to our newsletter