Te Akau's Adelaide Assault

Date: 18 Apr 2024

Te Akau's Adelaide Assault

Racing.com reports:

Mark Walker will have at least five runners at Morphettville next Saturday as Te Akau Racing attempts to plunder the record prizemoney on offer during Adelaide's showpiece carnival.

The stable's NZ Oaks (2400m) placegetter Qali Al Farrasha will make her Australian debut in the $1 million Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m), while Skew Wiff will look to add an Australian G1 win to her top-flight New Zealand success when she tackles the $1m Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m).

Melbourne-based assistant trainer Ben Gleeson said Qali Al Farrasha has been in Australia for several weeks and while connections did contemplate a lead-up run, it was decided that a quiet 1000-metre jumpout at Cranbourne on Monday was the best option for the daughter of Almanzor.

"The horses are in form so it's hard not to run them and now with the prizemoney boosts in those Group 1 races, it's too hard to not come over," Gleeson said.

"Skew Wiff will run in the Sangster and Qali Al Farrasha will come across for the Oaks.

"She's (Qali Al Farrasha) been over here for about a month now and she's just been building up slowly.

"We were thinking about running her beforehand, but she's got plenty of fitness and she's quite a small, light thing, so it was just a tricky timeframe.

"We gave her a quiet jumpout on Monday and she gave us confidence that it's worth bringing her over.

"We know that she runs the trip, having run third in the New Zealand Oaks, so we know that we're going to have a filly that sees out the 2000m."

Gleeson confirmed that in-form mare Sans Doute, a last-start winner of the Listed Bob Hoysted Handicap (1000m), will run in the rebranded G3 John Hawkes Stakes (1100m), while Stakes winner Zourion, who was last seen running in the G1 Thousand Guineas during the spring, will likely return to the track in the G2 Tobin Bronze Stakes (1200m).

He said he is particularly bullish about the prospects of G1 winner Campionessa, who finished midfield without luck in the G1 Queen of the Turf (1600m) in Sydney last week.

"Campionessa is going to come over for the Queen of the South," Gleeson said.

"She was caught three wide in the Queen of the Turf and she wasn't given any favours.

"She had a bit of interference with Atishu, but she was picking up again in the last 100m and she probably hasn't received the attention for how big her run actually was.

"We're adamant she's airborne at the moment, hence why we're going from Sydney to Adelaide in two weeks, which isn't normally what we'd do.

"J-Mac (James McDonald) is going to rider her, which is a big acquisition."

Gleeson reported that Quintessa, who won the G1 Levin Classic in January before running well in the Australian Guineas, Alister Clark Stakes and ATC Oaks, has returned to New Zealand for  a spell.

"That's it for her," he said.

"She's already back at Te Akau Stud in New Zealand, where she'll have a good six-week spell there.  She'll probably start her spring campaign in New Zealand before coming back to Cranbourne.

"We now know she's probably not an out-and-out stayer, so we'll target her towards mile and 2000-metre races as a four-year-old."


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