Shark slays them, eyes Doncaster

4 min read
It's a shark attack at Riccarton with Te Akau Shark impressively taking out the G2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile for his owners, which include Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen.

Emerging NZ star Te Akau Shark (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {Ire}) is set to tackle the Sydney autumn riches after an effortless six-length win in the G2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton on Wednesday.

The exciting 4-year-old took his record to five wins from six starts, charging home over his rivals to win eased down by jockey Opie Bosson. Boots 'N' All (NZ) (Perfectly Ready) and Kolonel Kev (NZ) (Darci Brahma {NZ}) filled the placings.

The performance, which included a final 600m sectional of 32.39s, left trainer Jamie Richards both stunned and excited.

“He’s the sort of horse that gets us all out of bed in the morning." - Trainer, Jamie Richards

“He’s awesome,” Richards said. “I don’t like to talk too much before the race but his work at Matamata on Monday was unreal."

“He’s the sort of horse that gets us all out of bed in the morning and I’d like to give a big thank you to the staff at home who have done a great job with him.”

“We know what he is capable of doing and he is a very exciting horse and I can’t wait to take him to Australia in the autumn."

Bosson, not known for his hyperbole, was left equally stunned by the ease of the win.

“I haven’t ridden a horse like that in a long-time." - Jockey, Opie Bosson

“I haven’t ridden a horse like that in a long-time,” Bosson said. “I think he could be up there with the best I have ridden."

“I was a little bit worried because they weren’t going quick, but we were in a position where we got to the outside and as soon as I let the handbrake off it was just like wow.”

Te Akau Shark is likely to have a massive cult following when he comes to Australia, given he is part-owned by popular Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen and his owners insist on wearing matching grey shark hats.

Gallen, who was brought into the horse by his friend, Steve Mace, was trackside at Riccarton for the win.

Te Akau Shark with owner, Paul Gallen and jockey, Opie Bossin

“This is the first horse I have been involved in and to be able to come and watch the race live and actually meet the horse was a real highlight," he said.

“I can’t wait for him to come to Sydney and do it all over again. Fingers-crossed the result’s the same.”

“I can’t wait for him to come to Sydney and do it all over again." - Owner, Paul Gallen

Te Akau Shark was bought for $230,000 at the 2016 New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale by Te Akau principal David Ellis.

He kicked off his career with two impressive wins last spring before a close fourth to stablemate Embellish in the G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas. On his return this spring, he won a ratings race at Hastings before taking out the G3 Red Badge Spring Sprint.

Te Akau Shark was a $230,000 2YO

Oz makes it seven

Earlier, evergreen 7-year-old Prince Oz (NZ) (O'Reilly {NZ}) made it seven straight wins, taking out the G3 Lindauer Stewards’ S.

Charging through the pack, Prince Oz continued his amazing revival for trainer Neill Ridley, who took over training him when he had just one win from 11 starts.

Prince Oz winning the G3 Lindauer Stewards' S.

“He has bolted in, I’m very pleased,” Ridley said. “He looked good and was well ridden."

“I’ve known (part-owner and breeder Raymond Connors) the Connors for a long time and they said they had one they thought a bit of and it wasn’t going very well, so could I have a go with it. "

“What I’ve done I don’t know, but it’s working.“

More black type for Kiwi Ida

In the other feature race, Kiwi Ida (Squamosa) added a second stakes-win to her resume when she proved too strong in the G3 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes

The 4-year-old mare, a $4000 weanling purchase, sat back and wide before Michael Coleman bought her with a run at the top of the straight, she produced a seventh win by a 2-length margin.

“I’ve never lost faith in her,” co-trainer Karen Parsons said. “She has always had plenty of ability.”