Te Akau Weekend Update
10 Oct 2021
What an incredible day it was for the New Zealand racing industry on Saturday! Kiwi breds were really flying the NZ flag!
Seeing Te Akau trained Probabeel win the A$1 million Might and Power Caulfield Stakes was such a thrill. It was a huge effort by our Savabeel mare to overcome the short-priced favourite Zaaki who has been mighty impressive to date.
A couple of races earlier, our Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas’ winner of last season Kahma Lass was impressive when saluting in the A$175,000 Weekend Hussler Stakes. She is a daughter of Darci Brahma, who I purchased as a yearling at Karaka and he was trained by Te Akau to win five Group 1 races.
The whole industry wins when Kiwi breds succeed at the highest level internationally.
Garry and Mark Chittick of Waikato Stud bred Probabeel while Greg Tomlinson’s Nearco Stud bred Kahma Lass and she was sold by Curraghmore Stud. Both are raced by Brendan and Jo Lindsay who own Cambridge Stud.
I bought both Probabeel (above as a yearling) and Kahma Lass at Karaka – so everything has a true Kiwi flavour. Probabeel has now won four Group 1 races in Australia, in Sydney and Melbourne, and is the only horse to have ever won both the 2YO Karaka Million and 3YO Million Classic. She has earned over A$4 million in prize money – how good is that?
Probabeel and Kahma Lass (below) went sensational races – what I loved most was seeing how Probabeel pinned her ears back and just tried her heart out, She always gives it everything she’s got and she has courage and guts and determination in bucket-loads. That’s never been more evident than it was on Saturday.
Congratulations to Brendan and Jo – they had a great day on Saturday winning two races in Melbourne and the three year old race in Matamata. They also have one of the favourites for the Group 1 1000 Guineas at Caulfield on Wednesday, a really good Zoustar filly called Zouzarella.
It’s not easy when a trainer can’t travel to oversee the preparation of horses. Due to COVID restrictions and the borders resining closed, Jamie Richards is unable to cross the Tasman to keep an eye on our Australian campaigners. So massive congratulations to our team member Ashley Handley who is looking after the two mares in Melbourne and is their constant companion.
Ashley has been recognised as a finalist for the NZTR Stablehand of the Year award and we could not be more proud of her achievements. She does a fantastic job in Australia for us. A shout out too, to Paul Richards who is in Sydney with our three horses campaigning there. Amarelinha and Sword of State went very good races on Saturday, without a lot of luck – Paul had them parading in fantastic order. I expect plenty of improvement from them both in their next starts.
The weekend winning continued into Saturday evening in Singapore. Te Akau Singapore trainer Mark Walker won another two races and leads the Trainers’ Premiership by 7 wins, with 59 for the season to date. The season ends in about five weeks so Mark is on target to secure his fourth Singapore title.
One of the winners was an Alamosa gelding I bought at the Ready to Run Sale. I purchased Broadway Success to race in Singapore and he has now won five races and about $120,000 in prize money. Congratulations to the small trans-Tasman team of owners who race him.
Te Akau’s trainers are leading the Trainers’ Premiership in both Singapore and in New Zealand. While we scratched our Matamata runners on Saturday due to the heavy track conditions, the team was flying with three wins at Taupo midweek and two at Timaru last Friday.
We have so much racing action to look forward to in coming weeks: Probabeel is now Cox Plate bound (weather dependent). Entriviere (below), already a Group 2 winner and place-getter in Sydney, was one of the first to receive an invitation to the A$2 million “The Invitation”.
This new race for fillies and mares over 1400m is, as the name suggests, by invitation only. We are thrilled our girl received a ‘please join us’ request – in fact she was one of the first to be invited! The inaugural running of ‘The Invitation’ takes place at Royal Randwick on 23 October and Entriviere is the current favourite.
Before that however, we will have very nice teams heading to Hastings and Ashburton this weekend. Both of these meetings have been a happy hunting ground for Te Akau horses and owners in past years. Group 2 winners Savy Yong Blonk and Prise De Fer line up in the Group 1 Livamol. Both have to be good chances, with the mare stepping up to a distance she loves and Prise de Fer looking on song with a super run for second in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate last start.
Karyn and I haven’t missed that Hastings meeting for many years. We usually attend with a group of friends who we spend the weekend with. Sadly we won’t be there this year with numbers strictly limited due to COVID – gee I can’t wait to get back to the races, I think I have only missed the Hawkes Bay Carnival once in the last 20 years!
In further big news – the racing review programme “Weigh In” returns for a new season on Monday. It has a new broadcast time of 10.30am on Monday mornings, and is replayed in the evenings. So if you can’t catch it live, make sure you set your MySky and record the series. “Weigh In” will also be posted on our website, so if you do miss an edition, you can watch it there.
I am really looking forward to the team of Emily Bosson and Michael Guerin returning and apparently there is an exciting announcement being made on tomorrow’s programme, so don’t miss it.
Speaking of media, I love coming back off the farm every Thursday morning to find the latest “Raceform” on my desk. It’s such a good read – Editor Liz Whelan and Don Hancock have done such a terrific job getting this publication up and running again. It’s a wealth of information and has excellent stories written by experienced industry people such as Dennis Ryan and Richard Edmunds. It also has all the race fields and you can have it delivered to your office or home each Thursday morning.
To subscribe to Raceform just call 0800 504704 – you won’t be disappointed.
While we personally can’t go racing being currently in Alert Level 3, it’s still very busy on the farm. The stock are doing so well and the grass is really bolting now. It’s only two to three weeks before we start selling cattle and we will have our first lamb draft in three weeks.
Tomorrow I will be at the breeze ups at Te Rapa to view the Ready to Run sale horses – I am excited about the catalogue. We have had some terrific success buying out of this sale in the last few years so if you want to be involved in a share in a Ready to Run two year old, please feel free to call me – or email Karyn at email@example.com – you will be made to feel very welcome.
Have a great week ahead – and all the best to our owners with runners across this week and coming weekend …
GO THE TANGERINE!