News In Brief
Te Akau appointment
Experienced and respected horseman Paul Richards is to join Te Akau Racing.
“Te Akau intends to target all the major racing carnivals in Australia as well as New Zealand and Paul will assume the role of travelling foreman,” principal David Ellis said.
“The calibre of bloodstock that we have in the stable for the new season is formidable and we cannot wait for the season to get underway.
“Paul is also very skilled in dealing with young people and, with his many successful years in the saddle, he will also be concentrating on guiding and developing our Te Akau apprentices. This too is an area where he has excelled.”
Richards’ son Jamie is currently training at Te Akau with Stephen Autridge, but will take sole charge at the beginning of the new season.
Eddie unlikely to be ready
Ready Eddie is unlikely to defend his Grand National Hurdles (4200m) title this year.
The Yamanin Vital gelding pulled up lame after he won the 2017 edition and while he is back in work, the Riccarton carnival may come around too soon.
“He’s done plenty of miles, but with a tendon injury they are day to day,” said Stephen Nickalls, whose partner Laura Knight trains the nine-year-old. “He might be out at the end of the winter.”
It’s a similar scenario for the Nickalls-trained The Oysterman, winner of last season’s Wellington Steeplechase (4000m).
“He’s had a bit of a set-back, he got dandelion poisoning,” he said. “All the vets tell me he’ll be fine in time.”
The Oysterman finished fourth in the Great Northern Steeplechase (6400m) to close out his last campaign.
Prize mount for Collett
Alysha Collett has already landed a plum ride in Singapore with her booking for the Kiwi-bred Countofmontecristo in the S$1 million Lion City Cup (1200m) later this month.
The New Zealand jockey will make her Kranji debut on Friday evening with six mounts, including Makkem Lad for Donna Logan in the first Leg of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe series for two-year-olds, the Kranji Nursery Stakes (1000m).
Countofmontecristo’s trainer Michael Clements didn’t need to wait and see how Collett fared and quickly booked her services on last season’s champion Singapore three-year-old.
“He’s a horse I’ve seen on TV and I’m so rapt with the opportunity to ride him,” Collett said. “I’m more than happy to take it and give it my best shot.”
Further honour for Waller
Expatriate New Zealand trainer Chris Waller will be inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame on Friday.
Waller has won the past seven Sydney premierships and Who Shot Thebarman's win in last month's Sydney Cup gave him his 81st Group One success.
His latest honour will complete a significant trans-Tasman double as he was also inducted this year into the New Zealand Racing Hall of Fame.
“Knowing my work has basically been done in Australia and to be noticed in Australia, I think it is very, very, special and emotional,” Waller said.
“Premierships or big races that you win are very, very special and mean a lot at different times of your life or career, but to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is the best.”