Te Akau Tuesday Update
20 Sep 2022
What a great weekend for our Te Akau Racing owners with the stable winning eight races in just over 48 hours over the weekend! Six of these came from our New Zealand stable, while we saw our Singapore stable deliver yet another race day winning double.
Well done to our owners and congratulations to all our team members who work so hard to achieve these incredible results for our loyal owners.
The winning started at Taupo on Friday with classy filly Stella Splendida (below) winning on debut. She is Zoustar filly who I bought at Karaka, topping the Book 1 Sale that year. Also winning well was Challa, a horse we know around the stable as ‘Dante’ – he just loves front running and the race Mark set him for over 1100m was right up his alley – it was his fourth career win.
On Saturday the winning vein continued with Navalha and Summer Monsoon both saluting the judge at Riccarton. One Kiss then made it three for the day as she was victorious in the Listed Canterbury Belle Stakes. a race we have won three times previously.
Also on Saturday, our Singapore team was on fire again at Kranji, winning two races – one for Fortuna Racing. There were some very good other performances including Aftermath, who Karyn syndicated – he’s finding good form and fought on well for a close up second.
When Fashion Shoot won the first race on Sunday, it was our 28th win for the season. It’s great to see all the work Mark Walker is putting in paying off. The season is only seven weeks old and Mark has already trained 28 winners. That gives him a lead of 12 wins over the next trainer and 20 over the third placed trainer. Obviously we have a lot of the season yet to come but I must be the proudest ‘Team Leader’ in the world.
What an outstanding job Hunter Durrant (below) is doing looking after our team at Riccarton. One Kiss’ stakes’ win was a highlight, we are proud to train her for Lib Petagna and it was a perfect-10 ride by our stable rider Opie Bosson.
It is marvellous to see how well Opie is going. I can’t remember him getting his weight down to 56kg in September in recent times and it is wonderful to see all the hard work he is putting in, being rewarded. He is currently first-equal on the Jockeys’ Premiership table and while I know there is still ten months to go, I know how committed he is to do well this season. Exciting stuff.
It was also great to see last year’s Listed Stewards’ winner Summer Monsoon carry on his winning way. He has raced since he was an early two year old and at eight years of age, is still running good races.
Summer Monsoon (below) always seems to ‘grow another leg’ when he travels south. He has had 43 starts for nine wins and he was ridden by stable apprentice Joe Kamaruddin who is on fire at present. Joe currently sits third on the overall Jockey Premiership after having just won the Champion Apprentice of the Year title. I love seeing people who try so hard like Joe, getting their hard-earned results and its great to also note how many different stables now use his services too!
Yesterday at Te Akau Stud it was predicted we would have a temperature high of 16° yet in Christchurch it was going to be 21°. The one thing I have learnt over the years is how important warm weather is for horses at this time of year. They just don’t really thrive until it gets to 20°. Canterbury normally has a much earlier spring than the Waikato and that is the reason we like to get our horses down South early.
We have a big team racing ‘at home’ at Matamata tomorrow and we had been hoping to get a slightly better track. That looked very likely until the rain came yesterday. At least when the races are at Matamata, there is no travel involved for our horses.
In other exciting news both Noverre and Sword of State are on fire at stud and already have mares in foal. Karyn and I have sent five mares to each stallion. In other exciting news, Embellish has his first runner nominated at Ruakaka on Saturday, a colt that was very impressive at the trials last week. We have a number of tow year olds in the stable by Embellish and they can gallop that’s for sure.
Today it was 20° on the farm and we had 25mls of rain yesterday so grass is slowly starting to really grow. I always say if you have plenty of grass in September, you won’t be able to control it in October.
On Thursday Karyn and I are looking forward to attending the Matamata Racing Awards at the race course. As a major training centre, the Matamata Racing Club hosts an annual awards event to celebrate all the local success from the previous season. We have a number of humans and horses nominated so look for the results here on Friday.
Best of luck to all our owners with runners this week and …