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Te Akau boss hooks Shark’s close relative

3 min read
Prolific buyer David Ellis isn’t expecting any early fireworks from a well-related colt he was never going to let pass him by at Tuesday's New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale at Karaka.

The Te Akau principal went to NZ$152,500 for Lot 45, a three-quarter brother to the G2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile winner Te Akau Shark (NZ) ({IRE}) he purchased for NZ$230,000 at the auction two years ago.

Offered by Ross McKay’s Leanach Lodge, the colt is a mirror image of his relative who is currently spelling with a G1 Doncaster H., campaign planned for the autumn.

“Apart from the colour, he is an absolutely identical in every other way.” - David Ellis.

“Apart from the colour, he is an absolutely identical in every other way,” Ellis said.

Lot 45 Rip Van Winkle x Half Bak (NZ)

“He is a lovely colt with a lot of class and from a family going places. He’s developed enormously since he was a yearling, but he isn’t a 2-year-old type, he’s a 2000 Guineas colt.”

Ellis said he was prepared to dig deeper to secure the bay, who was bred by Te Awamutu horseman Darrell Hollinshead.

“It was a really fair price and I would have gone a bit extra. To buy a horse like him, broken in and educated, you’ve got to be happy.”

Premature end

The colt is a son of Half Bak (Churchill Downs), who Hollinshead believed would have been one of the best of the breed had she not suffered a career-ending tendon injury on debut.

She is a daughter of Bak Da Chief (NZ) (Chief Bearhart {USA}), the dam of Te Akau Shark and the family of the G1 Easter H., winner Pondarosa Miss (NZ) (High Chaparral {IRE}) and her multiple stakes winning brother Ecuador.

Watch: Lot 45 breeze up

Meanwhile, Ellis has confirmed the retirement of last season’s G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas winner Embellish (NZ) (Savabeel) following his unplaced last-start performance at Tauranga.

“He’s gone to Te Akau Stud to let down and he will transfer to Cambridge Stud in February.” - David Ellis.

“He’s gone to Te Akau Stud to let down and he will transfer to Cambridge Stud in February,” he said.

Principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay bought into Embellish before a two-start Victorian campaign earlier this year.

Embellish with David Ellis following his victory in the G1 2000 Guineas

“He got a bad check in Melbourne and chipped a bone in his knee and he’s just not stretching out

“He’s going to make a great sire, he’s one of the best colts we’ve ever had.” - David Ellis.

“He’s going to make a great sire, he’s one of the best colts we’ve ever had. You won’t see a better example of the thoroughbred and he’s the only horse to have beaten Te Akau Shark.”

Embellish was purchased by Ellis for NZ$775,000 out of Waikato Stud’s 2016 yearling draft and retires with three wins and three placings from 10 appearances.

Embellish

A brother to the G1 New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ S., winner Diademe, he is out of the unraced O’Reilly (NZ) (Last Tycoon {IRE}) mare Bling. She is a sister to the dam of the G1 Waikato Sprint and G1 Telegraph H., winner Sacred Star (Flying Spur).

It is also the family of the G1 Spring Champion S., winner Vanbrugh (Encosta de Lago), who now stands at Windsor Park Stud.