Two Riccarton Wins - Dream of the Moon Marvellous

Date: 15 Nov 2023

Two Riccarton Wins - Dream of the Moon Marvellous


Recording Te Akau's ninth win in what was the Welcome Stakes (Listed, 1000m), Dream Of The Moon (2 f All Too Hard – Moonchild, by Charge Forward) won the $65,000 2YO 1000 metres on the middle day (15 Nov.) of Cup Week at Riccarton.


Te Akau won the corresponding race last year with Sky On Fire (Exceed and Excel), before the race unfortunately lost its stakes' status for this season.

It appeared, on paper, a match race between Dream Of The Moon and Diablo Blanco (Super Seth), after the latter won the Pearl Series 2YO 800 metres on 28 October at Riccarton, winning by one and a quarter, with four lengths to third.

But on this occasion, Dream Of The Moon angled clear after receiving cover in the run, flattened out beautifully with a terrific sprint mid-straight and had a chasing Diablo Blanco covered by two and a half lengths at the line.

In doing so, she accomplished the plan set by trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, while winning the race at her third career start.

“She presented well, obviously a great team, Te Akau, and they’re a good team of great young people down here looking after the team,” said jockey Michael McNab. 

“She filled me full of confidence going to the start. Cantered off and was just flowing so freely in her action, which is always a good sign with a two-year-old, and the rest was pretty easy.

“She was caught out on a limb last time, whereas she was able to get a bit of cover today and save the best for late. She raced well.”



In the race sponsored by Halls Refrigerated Transport, Dream Of The Moon ran 1000 metres in 57.8, last 600m in 33.5, on Good4 footing, and paid $3.90 & $1.50 on the NZ TAB tote.

“She’s continued to look better and improved the deeper she’s got into her prep,” said Bergerson, on course.

“Hunter (Durrant) and Kendyll (Lee), who run the team down here, said her work on Saturday was super and we were quietly confident.

“She still did a little bit wrong, so I think there’s still plenty of improvement there.

“Speaking to Mark (Walker) this morning, whether we give her a break now or head home via the Wakefield at Wellington, we’ll see how she pulls up and go from there.”

The $175,000 Wakefield Challenge Stakes (Gr. 2, 1100m) is raced on Saturday 9 December at Trentham.

“She was ridden a bit more patiently today, but a nice ride of Michael’s, got cover and really showed a turn of foot, and that’s the way to ride her,” added Walker.

“The way she won was really encouraging and I think she’s up to black type.

“We couldn’t be happier with the way the horses have performed leading up to and during the carnival and all our staff there have done a wonderful job.” 

Owned by Te Akau Moon Dreaming Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MZNM), Dream Of The Moon was purchased by David Ellis CNZM for $160,000 at the 2023 Gold Coast Yearling Sale, from the draft of Glenbeigh Farm.



At the time of purchase, Ellis said: “She is a very strong filly, well balanced, and is by an underrated sire that leaves tough racehorses with excellent temperaments.”

While adding, “She has developed into a really good sort of filly, quite striking, and her temperament, manners, and professionalism has stuck with her.

“I bought the filly at the Magic Millions Sale (Gold Coast), so she’s not eligible for the Karaka Million 2YO, but like Imperatriz and Avantage she too was one of the last yearlings to sell.

“The ownership team is just wonderful - and we’re so happy for all the owners as she’s done incredibly well building to the win. She’s a pretty exciting filly, I think.

“Hunter (Durrant), Kendyll (Lee), Amit (Gujar), Shane McCann, Hannah (Lowry), Steph Hyde-Richards, and also Ashley Handley, who looked after the horses down there until she was injured, they’re all working very well together.

“We can’t do this without the absolute dedication for these people and they do because they love the horses and love the competition of getting them to win.”

Te Akau continues to have success with sire All Too Hard (Casino Prince), represented in the stable by recent dual winners Insatiable and Viva Vienna, who included the Canterbury Belle Stakes (Listed, 1200m).

The Australian Champion Three-Year-Old,  All Too Hard is a half-brother to the unbeaten champion Black Caviar (Bel Esprit), who won all 25 of her starts including 15 Group One. 

Winning three times as a two-year-old, All Too Hard won three Group One races over 1400 metres in Australia: All Aged Stakes, Futurity Stakes, C. F. Orr Stakes, and now made his mark as a sire with over 1400 winners, including 61 stakes winners.

Dream Of The Moon is from an unraced mare by Charge Forward (Red Ransom), an extremely talented Group One winning racehorse and sought for stallion duties at Arrowfield Stud. 

Grand-dam Flowerchild, winner of three races to 1250 metres, is by Champion Sire and Broodmare Sire Redoute’s Choice (Danehill), and third dam North Flower is by legendary Australian sire Rory’s Jester (Crown Jester). 

She carries a Danehill cross through the sire line of All Too Hard and dam-line of Moonchild.

With his wife Denise and fresh from watching stable-mate Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) record her eighth Group One in the A$3 million Darley Champions Sprint (Gr. 1, 1200m) on Saturday at Flemington, part owner John Elstob said: “We’re in Imperatriz, so we’ve had plenty of excitement, but I spent my first 35 years in Darfield, just out of Christchurch, and it’s always great getting to Riccarton and to win a race.

“Gee, wasn’t the last 50 metres fantastic out there on the race track, she finished so damned well and what a good ride by Michael (McNab).”

Dream Of The Moon was strapped by Kendyll Lee. 


Photo credit - Ajay Berry -


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