Shark Snares Second Straight Group 1

Te Akau Shark (NZ) circled them in the Group 1 Surround Stakes at Randwick.
Te Akau Shark (NZ) circled them in the Group 1 Surround Stakes at Randwick.

Ready to Run Sale graduate Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) was already a proven star before this year, with multiple spectacular stakes wins in his homeland and a placing in the famous Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) to his name.

But now he seems to be developing into a dominant force at the elite level, kicking off with a powerful win in the Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa in early February and delivering more of the same in Sydney in Saturday’s A$600,000 Group 1 TAB Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

With Opie Bosson in the saddle, the chestnut charged down the outside of the Randwick straight, reeling in fellow New Zealand-bred Verry Elleegant (NZ) (Zed) and scoring by half a length.

Te Akau Shark was a $230,000 purchase by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis at the 2016 Ready to Run Sale at Karaka. He has now won seven of his 12 starts and more than $1.4 million.

Saturday’s win completed a remarkable double for Bosson, the Te Akau stable and trainer Jamie Richards, who also took out the Group 1 Surround Stakes (1400m) with star filly Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel).

“It’s hard to describe what this day means to Te Akau, all our owners, and the whole New Zealand racing industry,” Ellis said. “Everybody wins from our horses Probabeel and Te Akau Shark winning these Group 1 races.

“Our (New Zealand) horses punch well above their weight. We have a foal crop under 3,500, while the Australian foal crop is five times that amount.

“I’ve said it before that New Zealand is a great country to rear horses. It’s an agricultural country. We’re lucky that we have 50 inches of rain and have it spread of over nine or 10 months of the year.

“We have so much going for us when it comes to breeding and racing thoroughbreds in New Zealand, and with the incredible prize-money being offered in Australia it makes a lot of sense for people to get involved.”

Richards was particularly proud of Te Akau Shark’s performance.

“He’s something special, isn’t he,” he said. “He was good late and is a very, very exciting horse. When he gets on to his outside leg and gets a bit of clear air, he can really charge.”

Vendor Premier Sale: Leanach Lodge Ready to Run Sale: Lyndhurst Farm
Purchaser Ready to Run Sale: Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Rip Van Winkle – Bak da Chief
Sale Lot 187, 2016 Premier Sale, Psd (Res $70,000) Lot 72, 2016 Ready to Run Sale, $230,000
Bred by D B Hollinshead

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