Te Akau took out the trifecta in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) earlier this year with Probabeel, Aotea Lad, and Yourdeel dead-heating for third with Appellant, and trainer Jamie Richards said the rising three-year-olds are coming to hand nicely ahead of their spring campaigns.
Yourdeel went from strength-to-strength after his placing in the Karaka Million 2YO, winning three Group races on-end, including the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie and the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Awapuni in March.
A set plan has yet to be planned for the son of Dundeel.
“Yourdeel is ticking along nicely and is getting ready to trial. We will sit down with Chris (Rutten, owner) and the boys closer to the time and map out a bit of a program with him.”
Aotea Lad had five starts as a juvenile, all at stakes level, taking out the Gr.2 Wakefield Challanege Stakes (1100m) at Trentham on debut last December, before going onto finish runner-up in three consecutive races.
The son of Savabeel is being set to tackle the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November and is likely to kick-off his three-year-old season in the Gr.3 Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) at Ruakaka in September.
“Aotea Lad will trial twice and probably run in that race at Ruakaka, we have used that three-year-old race up there to kick them off and set-weights seems to suit,” Richards said.
“He’ll be put on a path towards the 2000 Guineas, whether that means he goes to the South Island a little bit earlier or he goes through Hastings and Te Rapa, we’ll just let him tell us.”
The Brendan and Jo Lindsay-owned Probabeel had a strong two-year-old season, winning three of her four starts in New Zealand before finishing fifth and sixth in her two start Australian campaign.
The daughter of Savabeel will likely return to Australian shores in spring, however, a decision has yet to be made whether that will be to Melbourne or Sydney.
“Probabeel looks great, she is coming up well,” Richards said.
“She is a big, strong filly and she could well be on a plane back to Sydney or Melbourne.
“We’ll trial her twice and sit down with Brendan and Jo and work out a bit of a program.”
Te Akau have a rich history in the Karaka Million 2YO, having won the last three runnings of the race and Richards believes they could have the firepower once again to be competitive in the rich 1200m race.
“There would be no reason why the other horses (rising two-year-olds in the stable) couldn’t step up and perform like they have been over the last couple of seasons,” he said.
“Dave (Ellis, Te Akau Principal) was the strongest he has ever been at Karaka and we are really looking forward to seeing how the young crop of horses can come through.”
One yearling that Richards thinks could develop into a possible contender is the Written Tycoon colt out of Redoute’s Choice mare Into the Groove.
Ellis went to $475,000 to secure the colt out of Hallmark Stud’s Book 1 draft at Karaka earlier this year and Rirchards said he is showing promising signs at this early stage.
“There are a lot of nice horses here going through the paces. At this very early stage there is a nice Written Tycoon colt that is part of Dave’s stallion syndicate, and he looks early.
“He could well be a Karaka Million horse. He’s just a beautiful colt with a great attitude and a great action. Whether he is a natural two-year-old, I am not sure.
“We have also got some nice Savabeels there, a More Than Ready colt, and a Pins colt that are all coming up well.
“Until we put a little bit more pressure on it’s a little bit unknown, but I’m looking forward to seeing how they progress through the winter and into the spring.” – NZ Racing Desk