One of New Zealand’s most exciting gallopers is back in work after his season was cut short through soreness issues late last year.
Te Akau Shark, who has won five of his six career starts, had a stellar spring, winning all three starts including the Gr.3 Red Badge Sprint (1400m) at Hastings and the Gr.2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) at Riccarton.
The son of Rip Van Winkle was given a lengthy spell after pulling up with a few soreness issues after his Riccarton triumph and will now be set for some major spring targets, with a likely trip across the Tasman on the cards.
“He came back in with Sword of Osman and Melody Belle on Monday, they all look great,” Richards said.
“Sword of Osman and Te Akau Shark have gone up to the beach at Waiuku for three or four weeks, just to ease them back into it.
“He has always been plagued a little bit by immaturity issues that have taken a fair while to settle down. He seems to be fine for three or four runs and then he needs a spell.
“He has had a good long break, he has got a heap of weight on and hopefully now that he is fully matured we could see him hopefully get to some of those good races in Australia.”