Te Akau Racing Continue to Set the Standard

Media Release - Sunday June 23

A hard-fought front running victory by Malborough Bay at Tauranga on Saturday provided another feather in the cap of Te Akau Racing.

With just over five weeks of the racing season to go, Te Akau Racing has hit the 161-win mark for the year, second only to their 203 wins in 2022/2023 and second on the all-time list for wins by a training operation in New Zealand.

With big race success in Australia added through their Cranbourne stable, the combined trans-Tasman operation has garnered 30 stakes victories including nine at Group One level which will send Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis to his annual mid-winter overseas holiday a very happy man.

Te Akau Racing mare Campionessa winning the Gr.1 Zabeel Classic (2050m) in December.  Photo: Kenton Wright (Race Images)

“We normally holiday in Hawaii, however this year we are going to Fiji for 21 days in mid-July,” Ellis said.

“I can’t speak highly enough of how well the team at Te Akau Racing has gone his year and that has given Mark (Walker) and I a tremendous thrill.

“With our win at Tauranga we now have the two highest winning stable tallies in New Zealand Racing history and to do so off the back of such a magnificent year last season is very exciting.”

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While Ellis is proud of the job done by each and every Te Akau team member, he does single out Walker’s New Zealand training partner Sam Bergerson for particular attention.

“I think one of my biggest thrills has come from young Sam Bergerson and the success he has achieved for us in his first season in partnership with Mark,” he said.

“It is very exciting for a young guy to finish up with the number of wins our stable has achieved.

“Sam has a degree in Economics but his thoroughbred heritage (he is the son of successful trainer Royden Bergerson) saw him choose racing as his career and he hasn’t looked back.

“He received a fantastic grounding from working for Aiden O’Brian in England which combines beautifully with his tireless work ethic and his innate ability as a judge of a horse.

“While I have mentioned Sam in particular, I’m proud of every single Te Akau staff member for the jobs they do as without them we couldn’t achieve what we have this year.”

Ellis is never one to rest on his laurels and has recently completed his annual buying process for the stable with several purchases of yearlings in Australia.

“We’ve just completed buying our yearlings for the year and have spent just over $22 million to secure 60 youngsters across Australasia,” he said,

“Of those we only have $1 million in shares left to sell as our existing owners have been incredibly supportive plus we have a large number of first-time investors in the stable.

“I’m always quick to remind people that mares such as Avantage and Imperatriz were the very last of the yearlings to sell in the year I bought them, so as we have a few shares left people shouldn’t think that they have missed out and I encourage them to make contact with us.”

While Ellis will be relaxing in sunny Fiji his mind will be tuned to what lies ahead for the stable in the coming twelve months.

“Two years ago, I said to myself and the people around me that I wanted to take us to a new level,” he said.

“We have certainly achieved that but there is more in store which is very exciting including in Australia where we are nearly ready to open our second stable which will have 40 boxes available for horses.

“People have noticed us over there and as a good example John Camilleri, the breeder of Winx, has just given us a superb Frankel filly to train for him which we are very thankful for.

“On the local scene I expect our South Island team to go to new heights as this year we have been the leading South Island stable with sixty wins under the direction of Hunter Durrant and his team and there is room for even greater success.

“With the health of New Zealand racing improving every day through the investment of Entain and the direction of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing I can’t wait for the season to commence.” - LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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