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Te Akau Supports Paeroa

14 May 2013

Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis is put his money where his mouth was by sponsoring Monday’s Paeroa race meeting.

The move underlines his belief that the Paeroa track, which has operated this season under the auspices of the Waikato Racing Club following the capitulation of the Paeroa Racing Club, is vitally needed as a racing and trials venue.

All seven races on the jumps and highweight programme carried a Te Akau label and horses racing in the Te Akau tangerine and blue colours competed (with Prospero appropriately winning and Secret Whisper running second while Sunset Pass was fourth) but the sponsorship package is more than mere self-interest or promotion as The Informant’s Dennis Ryan discovered pre race day:.

“The reason I’m doing it is that until NZTR decide if we are to have an all-weather track, at least for the short term we need every track we’ve got in the northern region,” Ellis told www.theinformant.co.nz. “In the Waikato we get 60 inches of rain a year and our tracks are under so much pressure for races and trials.

“Tomorrow’s meeting is catering for horses that will play a big part in winter racing. Looking beyond that, it’s vital that the industry has sufficient opportunities for the horses we will be preparing for spring racing.”

The Waikato Racing Club concurs in the desire for Paeroa to continue as a viable and important part of the northern circuit.

“Our view hasn’t changed since we took it up that we need Paeroa; it’s a venue that we definitely need for now,” said WRC chairman David Smith.

“We’ve got tomorrow’s meeting to get through, we’re working hard and we’re keen to progress through another season. This season looks as though it will run at a loss but we believe we can turn it around. We’re certainly hoping we can carry on.”

Ellis’s focus is divided these days between his New Zealand operation and Mark Walker’s Kranji stable, which is leading the way on the 2013 Singapore premiership. On Friday night the Walker-trained Encosta Diablo took his trainer’s tally to 33, five wins ahead of last year’s premiership winner, fellow expat Laurie Laxon.

Later this week Ellis will head a group of New Zealand-based stable clients at the biggest weekend of racing at Kranji based around the S$3 million Singapore Airlines International Cup and S$1 million Kris Flyer Sprint.

“Mark had planned to run the stable star Flying Fulton in the Singapore Cup but unfortunately he has pulled a muscle,” Ellis said. “We’ll still have 15 or 16 runners over the weekend, including a very good two-year-old by the name of War Affair who will be the favourite in a S$300,000 race.”

War Affair, an O’Reilly colt selected by Ellis at $70,000 for a Singapore client at last year’s Karaka Premier Sale, left a big impression when winning his second start at Kranji last weekend.

“Mark’s going great up there, he’s flying,” said Ellis proudly.

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