Shark new Guineas favourite after Matamata victory
Te Akau Shark has displaced his stablemate Embellish as the pre-post favourite for the opening classic of the season.
The Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained son of Rip Van Winkle was cut to $6 for the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) in the wake of his runaway victory in Saturday’s Fairview Motors Matamata 3Y0 (1400m).
|Te Akau Shark Photo: Trish Dunell Photography|
He is now unbeaten in two appearances while Embellish, who is the $8 second fancy for the Riccarton feature on November 11, was placed in one outing last term and resumed in style when successful at Ruakaka earlier this month.
Te Akau Shark covered extra ground at the back of the field, but it made no difference to the chestnut who came widest on the turn at Matamata before letting down impressively in the run home.
“Both times he’s won he’s gone around them and made them look second rate,” Autridge said.
“He’s certainly a horse going forward. He didn’t relax too well down the back and was caught three wide, but he certainly quickened when he was asked to.”
Te Akau Shark strode to the front 200 metres from home and he forged clear to win by two and a half lengths.
“It wasn’t a pretty ride and I was lucky I had such a good horse underneath me,” rider Opie Bosson said.
“He’s got a lot of ability and he’s still learning, the best is yet to come from him.”
Te Akau Shark was purchased by David Ellis out of Lyndhurst Farm’s 2016 Ready to Run Sale draft for $230,000 with rugby league star Paul Gallen, captain of the Cronulla Sharks, involved in the ownership.
Charli Rose came home well, but without threatening, to finish runner-up and Astor, who got worked up before the race, weakened to third after making the pace. – NZ Racing Desk.