Te Akau Tuesday Update

Date: 18 May 2021

Te Akau Tuesday Update


David writes:


Well winter has truly arrived hasn't it?

It has been pretty wet and miserable at the farm today but we can't complain as the rain is brilliant for the grass growth.

This is the time of the year when we concentrate on educating our young horses. As we draw towards the end of the racing season, our stable doesn't have many horses to race, as most of our race horses don't enjoy the winter tracks which are becoming more and more prevalent.

In Singapore the racing continues (as they race to a calendar year) and wasn't it great to see our Singapore trainer Mark Walker celebrate yet another winning double on Saturday - just as he did the meeting before! Mark is a close second on the Trainers' Premiership.

In New Zealand, this time of the year provides us with a great opportunity to bring our young horses in to the stable for further education, and it also gives some of our team the chance to enjoy a well-earned holiday.

Educating the ‘babies' is probably the most important job we have to do. This means everything to their racing future.

Our yearlings need to enjoy what they are doing and must have the right start - this is paramount for us. The Te Akau model is to give our yearlings three to four weeks in the stable before they have a well earned break of two to three weeks.  They then return to the stable for their second preparation, depending on their individual development.



I believe this is what makes Jamie Richards such a great trainer of two year olds. Our young horses are so well educated early on that they have the necessary knowledge and skill-set that enable them to debut before many others.  Stephanie Hyde Richards and our breaking team have been world class in the work they have done.

Obviously, our youngsters are not put under any pressure and if more time is needed between preparations, we ensure that it is given to them. During these preparations, our aim is for them to try and soak up the environment and enjoy their experience.  This will stand them in great stead for their racing future. Their age is also a positive asset here, as it allows them to be open to and accept many new experiences.

Physically, our yearlings haven't been extended beyond a canter. It is very interesting that most Te Akau 2YO's train on to become three, four and five year old's. Just take a look at Melody Belle - she has won four Group 1 races as a 6YO - in a career total of 14 Group 1's!

Simply put - Jamie's attention to detail cannot be matched. He works with the best track riders and team members that we employ. Their sole purpose is to teach these young horses how to carry themselves and work in amongst other horses and learn about, and have a positive experience of, stable life. This is vital to their early racetrack success and prevention of injury.  We have an ace team!

Winter really is always about regeneration at Te Akau Racing. It's certainly an enjoyable time of the year and very rewarding. It's a time about welcoming the young horses but also seeing our race horses come back from their breaks, ready to take on their next season challenges.



With the flat racing season beginning to wind down, the jumps' racing programme is just beginning and  I am really looking forward to the big jumps' day at Te Rapa on Saturday. It is very exciting to have one of the favourites for the Fairview Motors' Waikato Hurdles and it certainly would be great to see you there!

Go Bak Da Master and his jockey Michael Roustoby - Michael just loves this horse and they have proven to be a formidable pair! Waikato Racing Club Chairman John Elstob and his partner Denise are co-owners in this horse we know as "Milo" and how good would it be to see him first past the post at Te Rapa for the boss!

Jamie and our stable jockey Opie Bosson flew over to the Gold Coast yesterday for Melody Belle's final gallop before the Group 1 Doomben Cup on Saturday. This is a race we placed second in a few years ago with Integrate.

Melody Belle worked well this morning, running a good 1200m. She ran 1000m in 1.04, with the last 600 in 37 - both Opie and Jamie are very happy with her progress.

Back to the farm ...

Despite the cold weather, we have plenty of feed for our stock. I have never seen so much grass on the farm and our cattle, sheep and horses are thriving.

We sent another truck and trailer unit to the works this week of prime ox and we only have two more units to sell until the Spring.

If you haven't seen it, make sure you check the latest episode of Weigh In. I really enjoyed the programme last night, especially the news about the Auckland and Counties Racing Clubs' proposed amalgamation - it really is amazing for the industry going forward.  These two Clubs have shown progressive thinking - all credit to their leadership, now it's up to the Members to ensure the future. Finally, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! We will have increased stakes for coming seasons which is great news for everybody.

Well done to Dean McKenzie and Cameron George and their boards for getting the industry back on track and encouraging these developments.

Have a great week everyone! Remember that from next week, I will be on the Gold Coast for the Magic Millions' Yearling Sale - if you would like to be involved with Te Akau Racing, give me a call on 021 925 151. I will also be there to see our champion Melody Belle go under the sale hammer as her grand career comes to a close.  I am so proud to have selected and purchased her and have her trained so expertly by our stable.




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