Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis is finding it hard to catch his breath at the moment.
Ellis was preparing for an influx of visitors on Sunday afternoon as he and wife Karyn put the finishing touches on syndicating the individuals that Ellis purchased at the recent New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling sale at Karaka.
Ellis outlaid $8.285 million for thirty-five youngsters at the sale, three of which were for John Galvin’s Fortuna syndicates and the balance for Ellis’ Matamata-based Te Akau Racing operation.
It is testament to the success that Te Akau Racing has had that there are only shares left in six of those 32 horses less than three weeks after the close of the sale, with Ellis expecting them to sell out shortly.
Te Akau Racing recently set a new benchmark for prizemoney earnings in a season in New Zealand with the stable moving past the $6 million mark with four months left to run in the racing year.
Included in their current 114-win tally are 28 victories at stakes level so it is easy to see why owners are keen to buy into the stable success.
“We have had a tremendous year and we aren’t finished yet,” Ellis said.
“We have set a national prizemoney record with only two-thirds of the season completed which is phenomenal and we still have ambitions for the rest of the season including a team going to Awapuni this weekend headed by Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m) candidate Dynastic.
“These are the results our owners want and we have managed to deliver on their expectations and dreams for the last ten years or more.”
Ellis had those expectations in mind when he set his targets at Karaka this year although he didn’t expect to walk away with the numbers that he did.
“I think this is the most I have ever spent at Karaka, but the simple fact was the quality was so strong that we didn’t want to walk away without the horses we did secure,” he said.
“We have had a massive amount of reinvestment from clients who have been with us for many years and when you combine that with new people who want to get involved you have to have the horses there for them to select.
“One thing that experience has taught me is the last thing I want is to have someone come to me a couple of months after the sale and we have nothing in our shop window for them to buy.
“That is just bad business, so we hopefully have something for everyone.”
Ellis is delighted with the demand out there for the New Zealand-bred product, something he believes will only get stronger in coming years.
“People want to race the horses that our breeding industry produces and for good reason,” he said.
“Our racing industry appears to be making progress with recent stake money increases and more forecast while the simple fact is that we are only a three-hour plane ride away from the riches of the Australian scene.
“The record of New Zealand-bred horses in Australia is without peer and when you think there will be something like a combined 80 races here and over there next season worth $1 million or more, then our owners want to be a part of that.
“I think we currently have shares left in about six of the yearlings we have bought and they are filling fast, so if someone does want to race a horse with Te Akau then they need to get in contact with us fairly quickly.”
Ellis is also quick to point out that some of the most successful Te Akau syndicates in recent years have come from the horses that were last to have their shares purchased.
“Funnily enough two of our recent stars were two of the slowest to fill,” he said.
“Imperatriz, who won the Levin Classic (Gr.1, 1600m) at her last start was the last horse to sell of her year while Avantage was the same.
“With Imperatriz I had a very good client come out to the farm for lunch one day and I showed her to him and said I thought she had something special.
“He looked at her and ended up taking the final twenty five percent, which proved a pretty wise decision on his part.”
Ellis confirmed that Imperatriz, who has won six of her 9 starts and over $373,000 in prizemoney, would have her next start in the Gr.1 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Rapa on April 16.