Te Akau Tuesday Update

Date: 18 Apr 2023

Te Akau Tuesday Update


David writes:


There is so much good news to catch up on - starting with how thrilled we were to see Mark establish a new national record for wins in a season.  We are so very proud of Mark and our whole team - and in fact it's the second time Mark has set this benchmark.



Back in 2010, Mark eclipsed the long-standing record of Dave and Paul O'Sullivan by training 108 winners (the record had stood at 104 for almost two decades).  Turn the clock forward to 2020/21 season and Te Akau re-claimed the national record with 160 wins with Jamie Richards at the helm (the previous record being 143).

Last weekend Mark established the new national record hitting 161 wins for the season. As of today, our season tally stands at 168 - with only three quarters of the season complete.  Of those wins, 33 are at Group/Listed level - plus a Group 1 win and Group 1 second placing in Australia.

Importantly for our owners, our New Zealand prize money stands at $7.64 million won for owners for the season, with further stakes earnings of A$774,000 across the Tasman.

This level of success is down to three key ingredients - our horses, our people - and very importantly, the best owners a stable could have!  


We are traditionally a little quieter on the track in winter, with many of our flat horses spelling, and our babies being educated, but we will have some very handy jumpers about to get warmed up for winter racing.

What a great 10 days it has been for Te Akau Racing!

It started with wins in New Zealand (the new record) and a Group 3 victory in Singapore. Congratulations to our Te Akau Singapore trainer Donna and the team with their terrific result with 'January' claiming the S$110,000 Group 3 Singapore 3YO Sprint SW 1200m.  Very impressively, his stablemate Luxury Brand, who we train for Kylie Bax, finished third with Fortuna's Knippenberg in fourth place.



Continuing with the winning Group 3 theme - the weekend just past kicked off in top fashion at Awapuni with a double header: Accidental Tourist saluted the judge and then it was exciting to see Aromatic, on the six day back-up, show how good she is.  The Counties' Cup winner of this season flew home with Opie Bosson in the saddle to win the $85,000 Group 3 Manawatu Breeders' Stakes over 2000m.



Then on Saturday, our team recorded five wins across two venues - 2YO's What You Wish For and Viva Vienna, as well as Puketiro and Aotea Lad and finally Fierce Flight seizing the line honours by a narrow margin in the $100,000 Listed Hawkes' Bay Cup with Michael McNab in the saddle.

This took our season tally to 168 wins. These wins underline the training talent of Mark and our team - winning both 2YO races, one at Te Rapa and one at Hawkes Bay. Although Mark has dominated 2YO racing, we have also won the Hawkes Bay Cup with Fierce Flight,  the Wellington Cup with Leaderboard, the Awapuni Gold Cup with Brando, the Counties Cup with Aromatic and the Metropolitan at Riccarton over 2500m with Campionessa. That underlines just what a great trainer he is, to have won races from 800m to 3200m!

Of the five race wins on Saturday, the one that gave me a big thrill was seeing Aotea Lad win at Te Rapa, giving our apprentice Jessica Allen her first winning ride. It was her first race day for Te Akau, and only her second ride on the day.  What a way to start your career - well done Jess! You have a great future and with a 4kg claim you are going to be very hard to beat in the winter months coming up.


Aotea Lad was reared at Te Akau Stud and won a Group 2 race at his very first start. Congratulations to the wonderful team that we have, working at Te Akau Stud and Te Akau Racing Stables. It sure is a team effort and it is quite incredible the success that our team is achieving - they deserve every success - if you saw how hard our team is working, these results wouldn't be a surprise to you.  So proud of each and every one of them!

We have a very busy week coming up with races tomorrow at Matamata and then Otaki on Thursday. We have horses at Pukekohe and Riccarton on Saturday, Awapuni on Sunday, trials on Monday and races at Avondale on Tuesday (ANZAC Day).

So it certainly is a very busy time of the year.

It's a brilliant time of the year to be spelling horses. The grass is just magnificent this season and with an afternoon of temperature around 22 degrees, the horses are absolutely thriving.

This week we have sold two units of steers (40 steers per unit) and we only have another two units to sell before we stop selling for the winter. Last week we also sold 250 prime lambs, and only have about 350 left to finish.

If every year was as good weather wise for farming in the Waikato as this year, it certainly would make life a lot easier. I've never seen so much grass in March and April, ever.



Our focus for the next month is selling the remaining shares in the yearlings that we have bought. All of our 'babies' are either in the midst of, or have completed, their early education and it's a great time of the year for them to join the stable, and continue all their learning.  I have no doubt that this year we have bought the best lot of young horses that we have ever had at Te Akau. There are absolutely magnificent yearlings still with shares available.

We buy sufficient horses so that we have shares for sale for most of the year and this time last year we were still selling shares in  Tokyo Tycoon. Two years before that we were still selling shares in Imperatriz, and the year before that we were still selling shares in Avantage.

As I say, we have limited shares still available in really nice young horses, so please feel free to ring me direct on 021 925 151 if you would like to have a chat about the shares that are available.

Remember it's Mothers' Day soon too - a share in a lovely young filly or colt would be perfect!!



There wouldn't be a day go by that we don't sell three or four shares, and we have so many wonderful new clients and a lot of reinvestment from our existing, loyal clients. It's great to see our owners having so much fun at the moment with so many of our older, as well as our younger, horses that we have bought winning.

Fierce Flight, the Hawkes Bay cup winner on Saturday, was bought by us at the Ready to Run Sale for just $45,000.  Aromatic who won the Counties Cup and the Manawatu Breeders Stakes is now a very valuable mare and she cost $190,000.

Wild Night who won a lot of nice stakes' races in the Spring cost $50,000. Romancing the Moon, who won the Group 1 Levin Classic at Trentham cost $50,000. Imperatriz has won three Group 1 races (two in New Zealand and one in Melbourne, as well as being a Group 1 runner up in Sydney)  and two Group 2 races this season. She cost $360,000 and is now is valued at seven figures.

So if you want to join the winning team, feel free to call me or email Karyn - [email protected]

Have a great week and best of luck to all of our owners with runners.




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