Te Akau Weekend Update
21 Nov 2020
I feel like this week has just flown by – and what a week it has been!
As you all know, I have been at the annual Ready to Run Sale at the New Zealand Bloodstock complex in Karaka with the aim of purchasing our next champion. I did buy Group 1 winners Gingernuts, Te Akau Shark and Hall of Fame from this sale.
During last week, I personally viewed over 200 hundred horses with NZB Chairman Joe Walls and Jamie Richards, our trainer, and by Thursday evening we had purchased the horses we wanted from our short list.
Our nine purchases from the sale have arrived at Te Akau Stud safe and sound and have been turned out in to paddocks that are full of lush grass – they deserve a spell to wind down before they venture into our stables. All of them are heads down and enjoying all that Te Akau Stud has to offer!
Shares in the nine horses are selling like hot property with four already completely sold, and only a few shares now available in the other five. We really bought for every budget – from $40,000 to the sale topping Savabeel colt (and a sale record) at $700,000.
After the year that we have had, I thought the sale was incredibly strong and to have a clearance rate at a Ready to Run sale at over 77% would have to be a record, especially given the year we have had in 2020. I would imagine that the average clearance rate of this type of sale around the world would be somewhere between 50-60%. It certainly reflected a great deal of confidence within our industry.
As I stated earlier this week, the news about the potential merger between the Auckland Racing Club, the Counties Racing Club and the Avondale Jockey Club is something to really look forward to. It is a huge and progressive step and I congratulate all involved.
This merger will see the average stake levels per race double from $50,000 to $100,000 and facilities upgraded to include the installation of a new StrathAyr surface. It has also been said that there will be ten races worth $500,000 and three races worth $1 million. This surface could see at least 40 race days held on it per year.
I believe the interest in racing in New Zealand is increasing and this is also clearly reflected by just how quickly the shares in our horses that we purchased are selling. We are also attracting new owners from Australia at never seen before levels.
We have never sold so many shares in Ready to Run horses this quickly. We have nearly sold every share in the nine horses that we have purchased. This is quite incredible. I really mean this – if you are keen, don’t take your time or you will miss out – call us today or send Karyn an email: Karyn@teakauracing.com to avoid any further disappointment!
I had a phone call this morning from the Chairman of NZB, Joe Walls, who said that the Savabeel colt (Lot 298) that we purchased was, in his opinion, the best colt he has seen us purchase in the last ten years. This colt was breezed up by jockey, Danielle Johnson, who is an excellent judge of horses. She said that she couldn’t wait to get him into the stable – she knows this colt means serious business.
I left the Ready to Run Sale early on Thursday afternoon and placed the bidding in the very capable hands of Jamie Richards. We had our eyes on two of the nicest colts we had seen for a long time, and Jamie was successful in securing those for Te Akau Racing – our Savabeel colt and our Darci colt.
The reason I left early was that it was the Annual General Meeting of the Waikato Racing Club, and after seven years at the helm, it was the very last AGM my beautiful wife, Karyn Fenton-Ellis, would serve as Chairman for the club.
Karyn has decided to retire as Chairman, however she is going to stay on the board for another year.
But what made the evening more special was the club made Karyn a life member. There are not many husband and wives who are both made life members of any racing club, and this achievement is recognition of Karyn’s hard work and dedication to her role over the last seven years. I am extremely proud of her, and it was a privilege to be there on Thursday night when she was presented with her Life Member’s badge.
The reins have been handed over to John Elstob so to speak, who is an excellent racing man. His company, SVS, is one of the best organised and operated companies in New Zealand.
This morning on the farm it was only 5 degrees, with a very heavy dew and it has turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day on the farm. The grass is just bolting in and the stock are struggling to eat it all – this is a great problem to have leading into summer.
Best of luck to all our owners who have runners today in New Zealand and in Singapore … and …
GO THE TANGERINE!