Te Akau Tuesday Update

Date: 14 Feb 2023

Te Akau Tuesday Update


David writes:

It was a terrible night of storm weather here at Te Akau Stud overnight Monday.  The good news is no harm to our horses or our people, but going around the farm early this morning, there is a lot of damage to fences with fallen trees and some minor slips, so a lot of cleaning up to do.

I checked the rain gauge and at 4am this morning we had had 90mls of rain in just 3 hours.  Unbelievable at this time of year and we all really feel for the thousands of affected people with floodwaters through their homes and businesses and the chaos wreaked on their lives by "Gabrielle".

We have no power at Te Akau Stud and no word as to when it will be restored but the whole farm team was here first thing to ensure everything was in order, or being put in order - we have such amazing people who are so dedicated to the farm, and also to the stable, so we are very lucky indeed and Karyn and I constantly talk about this.

So with the flowers for Karyn not being able to be delivered with the roads to the farm closed - I guess it will be a romantic, candle-lit dinner - especially as we have no power!!!

Yesterday was easily the coldest February day I can ever remember - I was out on the farm at 3pm and it was only 15 degrees.  I got into the house at about 6.00pm and Karyn had put the heater on - unheard of here in February.

I never thought in my life that I would ever say in the middle of February 'we have had enough rain'!  The green grass simply has to be seen to be believed and today we have about 3,000 cattle on, over 2,000 lambs and about 2,700 ewes and still the grass cannot be controlled. The steers that we are weighing show they are putting on 1.5kgs a day.

Turning our attention to racing - wasn't Saturday at Te Rapa a simply wonderful day!  Gee it was fun to be part of with a great crowd, top class track and fantastic racing.

Congratulations to the Waikato Racing Club Chairman John Elstob and his Board of Directors, and to all the Te Rapa team, headed by CEO Butch Castles, and of course track manager Bart Cowan for putting on such a successful and enjoyable day's top class racing.

It was a terrific day for the tangerine team winning four races in total, North and South Islands, and of course Imperatriz winning her fourth career Group 1.  Not only that, Maven Belle raced out of her skin for fourth in the Group 1 BCD Sprint while we were so proud of Campionessa and Wild Night finishing second and third restively in the Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes.  They all went super races.

Our winners on the day were Sans Doute who really showed class, Miss Lunsford when we were entrusted to train by her Australian owners, and in the last at Te Rapa It's Business Time who we train for Windsor Park's Rodney Schick and a group of his friends.  Our stable rider Opie Bosson won four of the nine races on the day at Te Rapa - what a legend he is.

Of course the highlight of the day for Opie, and for all of us, came with the incredible win by Imperatriz in the Group 1 BCD Sprint.

Dan O'Sullivan, who is considered one of the world's best form analysts and judges of racehorses and based in Australia, reported after Imperatriz's win -

"Imperatriz ran an elite 107.5 WFA performance rating in the Group 1 Sprint at Te Rapa putting 4.5 lengths on a very good New Zealand Group class field, setting the clock alight". He followed with 'surely one of the best performances seen on a New Zealand racetrack".

This was Imperatriz's fourth Group 1 title, and this season alone she has now won:

Group 1 Sistema Railway

Group 1 BCD Sprint

Group 2 Waikato Stud Oxbridge Plate

Group 2 Westbury Stud Classic

... and don't forget the Kerikeri Cup fresh up!  In total she has now won 12 of her 17 starts and only once been unplaced.

I purchased Imperatriz at the Magic Millions' Gold Coast January Sale for A$360,000 and clearly remember she still had shares available in June that year - there was so little interest in her.  Karyn actually bought a share in her as she fell in love with her at first sight!  Proof - last to sell is not ever least! She has now won $1.6 million for her owners and is a highly valuable mare.

What an incredible job Mark Walker is doing - the Matamata stable team is on fire and it's just so special to see how much they are enjoying the success they are bringing to our owners.  They take so much pride in our horses, they absolutely love them and are so dedicated to their well-being, happiness, and success.

Mark has now won 124 races this season, including 24 at Group/Listed level and over $5.5 million in prize money for our owners.  He still has one of the best strike rates of any major New Zealand stable too - what a huge performance this is. We are just so proud of our stable and stud teams - totally world-class.




Wins 2nds 3rds Stakes Starts G & L SR
1 Mark Walker 124 112 78 $5,579,542 756 24 6.1
2 Stephen Marsh 58 72 56 $1,990,740 545 4 9.4
3 Andrew Forsman 28 32 24 $1,410,192 211 5 7.54
4 Lisa Latta 28 27 36 $1,306,050 286 7 10.21
5 Kevin Myers 28 25 24 $1,114,665 203 3 7.25
6 Robbie Patterson 28 12 15 $524,510 115 0 4.11
7 Roger James & Robert Wellwood 24 14 15 $1,347,565 139 4 5.79
8 Tony Pike 23 25 28 $742,670 206 1 8.96
9 Andrew Carston 22 24 24 $483,125 277 0 12.59
10 Shaune Ritchie & Colm Murray 20 5 13 $352,180 105 0 5.25
11 Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott 18 21 17 $746,895 164 2 9.11
12 Michael & Matthew Pitman 16 24 32 $523,700 236 0 14.75


Our total focus at Te Akau Stud at present is showing our owners the yearlings that we have bought and talking with new and prospective owners who are very keen to be involved.  We are thrilled with the way that the shares in our yearlings are selling - we think quicker than last year for sure.

We purchased 41 yearlings in total from the Magic Millions' Gold Coast and Karaka sales in January as it's important to have shares available throughout the year.  With 41 yearlings, we don't expect the shares to all sell at once, but they are disappearing fast, so if a yearling or two have caught your eye don't delay - you might check the website and find they are gone!

As I have said last is not least - Group 1 winners Avantage, Sword of Osman, Cool Aza Beel and Imperatriz were all if not the very last, certainly close to the very last, to sell in their year.  This year's Karaka 2YO Million winner Tokyo Tycoon likewise - his final share sold in July.

After looking at the yearlings for the last two weeks every day in their paddocks here at the farm, it's very obvious we have really nailed it in terms of quality - I haven't seen a better line up.

As you know, every week I am throwing the spotlight on two yearlings that you should take a close look at.  This week the two I am recommending are:

Lot 560 a Savabeel filly out of Style By Design.

This is an Oak's filly with a huge pedigree behind her, meaning terrific future residual value. She swaggers when she walks, like a catwalk model Karyn says and just oozes class.  This filly carries a bloodline cross through her sire lines to Nureyev, a racehorse with immense turn of foot, who was Champion French 3YO, and sired more than 20 champions.

A 10% share is $36,000 +GST
A 5% share is 18,000 +GST
A 2.5% share is $9,000 +GST

I was talking to Waikato Stud recently and they confirmed that no other stable has a record of Group 1 success with the stock of Savabeel like Te Akau - just think dual Horse of the Year Probabeel, NZB Filly of the Year Amarelinha, Prise De Fer, Sword of Osman, Hall of Fame,  The Perfect Pink, Savy Yong Blonk and three yearling colts we purchased, and trained to win Group 1's that now stand at stud: Embellish and Noverre in New Zealand and Cool Aza Beel in NSW, Australia.

Lot 231 is a Harry Angel colt and this is an exciting young sire on fire!  This is a Karaka Million colt if I have ever seen one, that could train on to target races like the Group 1 2000 Guineas and Levin Classic, and Australia if he lives up to his promise.

If you are not aware of Harry Angel, he is a five-time 1200m winner - he broke his maiden in the Group 2 Mill Reef and returned at three to take out the Group 1 July Cup and group 1 Haydock Sprint Cup in the UK. Harry Angel was crowned World Champion Sprinter with a Timeform Rating higher than four Everest winners - Redzel, Yes Yes Yes, Giga Kick and Classique Legend.

Harry Angel 's progeny are really doing the business in Australia - his first southern hemisphere runners are off to a flying start:  in fact his first Australian runner, two year old colt Arkansaw Kid was his first stakes' winner!  He is currently the leading Australian First Season Sire.

His yearlings have sold up to A$460,000 in recent months and I thought this strapping colt was outstanding buying at $125,000.

A 10% share is $13,500 +GST
A 5% share is $6,750 +GST
A 2.5% share is $3,375 +GST


If you want to be involved please feel free to call me for a no-obligation chat on 021 925151 or email Karyn - [email protected] - you will be made to feel very welcome.

Have a great week ahead, and our thoughts are with everyone impacted by this serious weather event.



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