Te Akau's Incredible Year in Review - December 2019

Date: 6 May 2020

Te Akau's Incredible Year in Review - December 2019

It's been an amazing season for Te Akau in New Zealand - with Jamie Richards and the team leading the way - in coming weeks, join us on our reflection of every remarkable month ....

The first three runners for the month all were winners!

1 December - Following his stylish win at Motukarara and hard fought second during Cup Week at Riccarton, both in November, Summer Monsoon (5 g Stratum - Princess Narine, by Red Ransom) was given a gun ride by Jason Laking to win the Rating 72 1400 metres at Cromwell.

“We'd had the race picked out for him for awhile,” said trainer Jamie Richards. “Everything went to plan. He got off the fence at the right time and swooping down centre track is the correct way to ride him.”

4 December - Enrichment (3 g Rock ‘N' Pop - Enhance, by Saperavi) provided Karyn Fenton-Ellis (MNZM) and daughters Lydia and Julia-Rose with a tremendous thrill when winning the Maiden 1200 metres at Pukekohe.

Bred and owned by the trio, Enrichment is the first foal from their talented filly Enhance (Saperavi), who stylishly won her first two starts. Bred by Karyn, the dam of Enhance, Pinstinct, from the Oregon mare Oregon Express, was a winner when trained by Mark Walker and given to her when retired from racing by the late Kim Lee.

5 December - In training for owner/breeder Kevin Hickman (ONZM), and racing in the gold Valachi Downs colours, Zareeba (4 m Rip Van Winkle - Surooh, by Pivotal) won as a favourite should in the Maiden 2000 metres at New Plymouth.

It was a copybook ride by Craig Grylls and Zareeba had the luxury of coasting home over the concluding stages.

6 December - Presented in first-class order, last start winner Romantic Lady (3 f Power - Romantic Time, by Fastnet Rock) recorded a dominant victory in the Rating 65 1200 metres at Matamata.

In the colours of Sir Patrick and
Justine, Lady Hogan, and shared in ownership with John
Aubrey, Richard Johnstone, Michael Macky, James Montgomerie, and Warwick Taylor,
Romantic Lady was given time (29 days) after winning at Otaki, when running a
slick last 600m (34.6), and having her second start on the home course,
following a debut third, and second at Ruakaka, took her record to two wins
from four starts.

She was purchased by David Ellis for $92,500 at the 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Cambridge Stud.

7 December - Terribly unlucky at her previous outing, Savy Yong Blonk (4 m Savabeel - Ampin, by Pins) made amends with another impressive victory in the Rating 72 2100 metres at Ellerslie.

The best credentialed horse in
the race, having registered a third on the course last season in the Sunline
Vase (Gr. 3, 2100m), Savy Yong Blonk won a year to the day after scoring at
Rotorua, in a month (December) that saw her win twice.

In training for owner-breeders Bill and Jim Gartshore, Savy Yong Blonk is the first foal from Ampin (Pins), an unraced half-sister to Group Three winner and Group One placed Strike the Stars (Savabeel), and sister to Victoria Derby Trial winner Adelaide Ace. Her grand-dam, Ambitious (Last Tycoon), was runner-up in the 1000 Guineas (Gr. 1, 1600m) before leaving seven individual winners of 22 races, and third dam Starcent (Centaine) was NZ Joint Third Top Filly in her three-year-old season.

7 December - On the same day at Ellerslie, Prise De Fer (4 g Savabeel - Foiled, by Snippets) notched a hat-trick when winning the Dunstan Feeds Championship Qualifier (Rating 82, 1500 metres).

After winning in October at Te
Teko, and November at Pukekohe, trainer Jamie Richards elected to give him time
(35 days) between runs with a view that victory could steer a path towards the
$100,000 Rich Hill Mile (Gr. 2, 1600m) on 1 January at Ellerslie - which he
duly won.

Owned by the Te Akau En Guarde
Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Prise De Fer was purchased by David
Ellis for $100,000, from the draft of Trelawney Stud, at the 2017 New Zealand
Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.

“We seem to have really good success with the progeny of Savabeel and this horse is now starting to shape as the type to win Group races,” Ellis said. “It looks like he'll have his next start in the Rich Hill Mile, where he'll come in on the minimum (52kgs), and he's a pretty exciting horse in the making.”

11 December - A two-year-old winner now hitting his straps again, Byzantine (4 g Savabeel - Baradevi, by Volksraad) recorded a richly deserved victory in the Rating 72 1200 metres at Hastings.

Ridden by Danielle Johnson,
Byzantine was rightly backed into favouritism, paying $3.50 & $2.30 in a
race offering only two place dividends, and ran the 1200 metres in 1:11.4 on
Dead4 footing.

Taking his record to three wins from 10 starts for the Te Akau 2017 Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Byzantine, by five-time Champion Sire Savabeel (Zabeel), from a classy family bred by Jim Barlow, was purchased by David Ellis for $200,000, from the draft of Little Avondale Stud, at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale.

11 December - A couple of races later, Johnson was successful again on Combat Queen (3 f Pierro - Missy Cummings, by Magnus) who broke through with a dominant win in the Maiden 1600 metres.

Purchased by David Ellis from the
draft of Segenhoe Stud, at the 2018 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, and
owned by Te Akau Combat Queen Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM). Her
sire, Pierro (Lonhro), was Champion First & Second Season Sire in
Australia, producing $2m Australian Derby (Gr. 1, 2400m) winner Levendi, $1m
VRC Oaks (Gr. 1, 2500m) winner Pinot, and additional Group One winners Arcadia
Queen, Pierata, Shadow Hero, Regal Power, and Furore.

“Boys Get Paid has got a share in the filly, along with some really good clients, so we'll have a lot of happy owners,” Ellis said.

13 December - A Southland Guineas (Listed, 1600m) winner at the end of his three-year-old campaign, Weaponry (4 g Declaration of War - Cat Shmea, by Felix the Cat) recorded his fourth win from nine starts for the Te Akau Weaponry Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM) at Tauranga.

Taking luck out of the equation
in a small field of five, Te Akau apprentice Chelsea Burdan had Weaponry
outside the leader and although tackled in earnest at the 200m he lifted
stylishly to justify favouritism in the Rating 72 1400 metres.

Weaponry was purchased by David Ellis for $140,000 at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sale, from the draft of Curraghmore Stud. Inbred to immortal sire Northern
Dancer, Weaponry is from the first crop of a stallion that was very impressive
when winning the Queen Anne Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m) at Royal Ascot.

“Anyone who saw Declaration of War's win at Ascot would have realised what a special horse he was for trainer Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle, and he went on to win one of the highest rated races in the world - the Juddmonte International (Gr. 1, 2100m) at York,” Ellis said.

14 December - Given the best ride in the race, Lilikoi (3 f Charm Spirit - Barbadine, by Giant's Causeway) proved far too good winning the Lawnmaster Eulogy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m) at Awapuni.

In the only stakes race on the programme, Rosie Myers
gave the third favourite ($5.20 & $2.30) a charmed run fourth on the outer
and it was game over a furlong out as Lilikoi sprinted clear to win easing

In training for owner and breeder
Sir Peter Vela, Lilikoi had delivered on her promise with a smart fresh-up win at Taupo, and gained
course experience at her prior start when running the fastest 600m of
the day (33.9), coming from last to finish second in the 3YO 1300 metres.

“It was a really nice effort,” Sir Peter said. “Well trained, well prepared, well planned, and everything you look for when giving a filly with that pedigree to a trainer like Jamie (Richards). He did a magnificent job. His planning was meticulous. He had that race picked out for her a long way out and I was delighted for him to see it come to fruition.”

15 December - Perfectly positioned throughout, impressive last start winner Star Of Bombay (3 f Atlante - Astardia, by Starcraft) dished it up to a smart field in the Rating 65 3YO 1400 metres at Ellerslie.

Like stable-mate Lilikoi (Charm
Spirit), who won the Eulogy Stakes (Gr. 3, 1600m) a day earlier at Awapuni,
Star Of Bombay received a saloon trip fourth on the outer, quickened to lead at
the 200m when jockey Craig Grylls asked her to extend and shot away to win

Owned by the Te Akau Bombay Star
Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Star Of Bombay was bought by David
Ellis for $50,000 at the 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, and
having registered a debut second, followed by consecutive wins, the sights were

“It's one of the biggest thrills I've had this season, not only to win the prestigious Eulogy Stakes yesterday for Sir Peter Vela but to do it again today at Ellerslie with another smart three-year-old filly is very exciting,” Ellis said.

17 December - Awareness (3 f Redoute's Choice - Aware, by Tale of the Cat) made the perfect start to her racing career by winning the Maiden 3YO 1000 metres at Ruakaka.

Ridden by Te Akau apprentice
Chelsea Burdan, claiming to 52.5kgs, Awareness was a touch awkward through the
early stages when attempting to settle outside the leader but knuckled down in
the straight before gaining ascendency.

A filly with lovely conformation and an action to match, she was purchased by David Ellis for $300,000 at the 2018 Sydney Easter Yearling Sale, from the draft of Newhaven Park Stud, owned by the Te Akau Very Aware Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM) and Luke Kemeys (Boys Get Paid).

18 December - A winner on 6 December at Matamata, birdcage standout Romantic Lady (3 f Power - Romantic Time, by Fastnet Rock) completed a hat-trick of wins when taking out the Rating 72 1200 metres on the same course.

by Cameron Lammas, who guided the filly to victory last time, Romantic Lady
settled off the pace in sixth of seven runners, stood the leader six lengths at
the 600m, and after ranging four wide rounding the home turn she came with a
well timed run.

I've had to ask a bit more from her and she's found it.” Lammas said. “She's a
lovely filly and just keeps giving. She seems to be a filly that keeps
improving and I think she'll get over a bit more ground, too.”

Romantic Lady was purchased by David Ellis for $92,500 at the 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Cambridge Stud. She is the first foal of a race winning filly over 1250 metres in Sydney, by Champion sire Fastnet Rock (Danehill).

26 December - One of the better backed on the day, Burgundy Rose (3 f Burgundy - Paraiba, by Faltaat) extended her record to two wins and three seconds from five starts with a polished display in the 2YO & 3YO 1200 metres on Boxing Day at Wingatui.

Bred by David Ellis and owned by the Te Akau Roses Are Red Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Burgundy Rose had annihilated her rivals winning a Maiden in October at Taupo, freshened following a very close second in November at Awapuni, and galloped home strongly for third when trialling beforehand at Riccarton.

26 December - On her way to a magnificent three victories at Group One level, Avantage (4 m Fastnet Rock - Asavant, by Zabeel) returned to form with a big finish for second under 58.5kgs in the Hallmark Stud Stakes (Listed, 1200m) on Boxing Day at Ellerslie.

A Champion Two-Year-Old and
million dollar earner, including victory in the Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted
Listed, 1200m) and Sires' Produce Stakes (Gr. 1, 1400m), Avantage was resuming
after a spring campaign in Sydney.

David Ellis purchased Avantage as a yearling for $210,000 at the 2017 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Sale, and the flying filly is owned by the Te Akau Avantage Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM). To put a price on her current broodmare value would be in the millions.

27 December - Given a gorgeous trip in the trail by jockey Michael McNab, Boutonniere (3 g Burgundy - Bouquet, by My Halo) capped a hat-trick of thirds with a deserved victory Maiden 1400 metres at New Plymouth.

Owned by the Te Akau Buttonhole
Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), with a tidy action and conformation,
Boutonniere was purchased by David Ellis for $80,000, from the draft of Phoenix
Park, at the 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale.

Ellis also bought his sire, Burgundy (Redoute's Choice), a winner of five stakes races before his first three two-year-olds to race all won on debut. Burgundy also sired New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Dijon Bleu (ex. Pristino, by More Than Ready) before unfortunately passing away earlier in December with his oldest progeny only five-year-olds.

28 December - In the white, grey, and navy colours of Champion Two-Year-Old Yourdeel (Dundeel), Yourpoint (2 g Bull Point - Dollhouse, by Snitzel) towelled his rivals on debut in the Maiden 2YO 1200 metres at Matamata.

“He's similar in some respects to
Yourdeel,” said trainer Jamie Richards. “Both are laidback and a bit tricky, so
they were gelded to get their minds on the job.”

Sharing the same ownership group of Chris Rutten, John Norwood and Rod Preston, Yourpoint had registered a first, second, and third, when trialling and showed a good action when drawing clear to score by and two and a quarter lengths for rider Opie Bosson.

30 December - As he has done in September at Taupo, trainer Jamie Richards was again to fore with a four-peat on the same course.

Te Akau stable rider Opie Bosson
was seen at his best when winning aboard Willpower
(4 g Power - The Lady, by Stravinsky) in the Rating 65 1200 metres.

Fresh-up after quickening into
third behind Group One winning stable-mate Age of Fire (Fastnet Rock) when
trialling on 10 December at Avondale, and having won his Maiden over 1200
metres in April at Matamata, Willpower was given a great ride by the NZ record
holder for Group One victories (76 Group One wins internationally).

Out well from barrier five before
easing to three back on the inner, Bosson had plenty of horse beneath him
approaching the home turn and after sweating on a run until the 150m he lifted
once clear over the concluding stages.

Purchased by David Ellis at Karaka, for the Te Akau 2017 Te Akau Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis), Willpower has a beautiful pedigree. His second dam, Lady Dehere (Dehere), was an outstanding two-year-old, finishing NZ Second Top Filly in her juvenile season, and first dam The Lady was a dual stakes winning two-year-old of the Murdoch Newell Stakes and Fairview Ford Stakes, both over 1100 metres.

30 December - Another good ride saw Lucky Shark (3 g Darci Brahma - Shamardal Luck, by Shamardal) break through at his third start when winning the Maiden 1300 metres.

After Opie Bosson had produced a
beauty aboard stable-mate Willpower (Power) in the previous event, it was the
turn of Japanese jockey Ryoya Kozaki to record his first victory in New

Purchased by David Ellis for $200,000 at the 2018 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale, from the draft of Phoenix Park, Lucky Shark is owned by Matt Allenby, Deborah Charlton, Michael Clemenger, Matt Fitzgerald, Steve & Kristy Mace, Chris Russell, Jason Simcocks, and Dave Taylor.

30 December - After winning consecutive races with Willpower (Power) and Lucky Shark (Darci Brahma), trainer Jamie Richards stepped up a notch with a quinella in the Rating 72 1400 metres.

The race was won by She's Not Bad (5 m He's Remarkable - Andra, by Zeditave), who narrowly
defeated Shezathinka (So You Think).

Racing in the Mapperley Stud
colours, She's Not Bad was a bred by Simms Davison at Mapperley Stud, a product
of resident stallion He's Remarkable (Pentire), and he races the mare with
Garry Chittick.

Ridden by Chelsea Burdan, with weight relief to 57.5kgs, She's Not Bad recorded her fifth win from 12 starts.

30 December - Saving possibly the best until last, hotshot of the day Festivity (3 f I Am Invincible - Mabsam, by Stratum) proved the best of good things when racing away to win on debut in the Maiden 1100 metres.

After spacing her rivals by seven
and three-quarter lengths at the trials on 16 December at Te Aroha, Festivity
could hardly have been more impressive. Intent on leading, rider Michael McNab
soon had her in front and all rivals off the nickel as early as the 400m. With
a five-length advantage passing the 200m, she had the liberty of easing down to
win by six and a quarter lengths in a creditable 1:04.4 for the 1100 metres.

A $410,000 purchase by David
Ellis at the 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Windsor Park Stud, for
owners in the Te Akau 2018 Fabulous Fillies Breeding Syndicate (Mgr: Karyn
Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

“She's by the leading sire in Australia, and I liked her so much that I also bought her half-brother by Mongolian Khan (named, Conquering Khan) from Windsor Park,” Ellis said. “It's a slower maturing family. They're not two-year-olds, but it looks like Mabsam is a pretty exciting broodmare. Also, the grand-dam is by Zabeel and that's a huge boost to any pedigree.”


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