A changing of the guard in Singapore for Te Akau has proved to be a seamless transition with the trainers’ premiership again having a familiar look about it.
When four-time title winner Mark Walker returned home earlier this year to take charge of the operation’s New Zealand stable at Matamata, he passed the baton to expatriate Kiwi trainer Donna Logan.
She hit the ground running at the head of Te Akau Singapore and a quartet of winners at Kranji on Sunday evening lifted her season’s tally to 41 winners to lead the premiership.
Logan enjoyed successes with Speedy Missile, Legacy Fortune, Trident and Charminton, a New Zealand-bred son of Charm Spirit, while King Arthur finished runner-up in the Listed Lion City Cup (1200m).
“It was a massive thrill to win four races with a second as well and Donna is doing a fantastic job for Te Akau Racing and the horses are just flying,” Te Akau Principal David Ellis said.
“Te Akau is currently the champion trainer of last season both in New Zealand and Singapore and it’s great to see the hard work of all concerned being rewarded with such great results.”
Ellis and wife Karyn Fenton-Ellis recently returned from a winter break in Hawaii and were quickly behind a worthy cause close to their hearts.
“We’ve been back for a week and on Saturday night we had a dinner for our owners at the Ellerslie Racecourse, it was a sell-out with 180 people there,” he said.
“Our guest of honour was Glen Boss who brought his three Melbourne Cups to the function and spoke about his lifetime in racing.
“We raised $45,000 for Equi Potential NZ, formerly the Riding for the Disabled, of which Karyn and I are patrons and we are still getting donations coming in.
“It was a huge success and Glen took his Cups around to each table and spoke to all the owners and to have a real legend there was terrific.”
Meanwhile, two-time Group One winner Imperatriz’s immediate program has been confirmed following the Walker-trained mare’s resuming success at Ruakaka.
Fellow Group One-winning stablemates Entriviere and On The Bubbles were unplaced in the 1100m event to prompt a changes of spring plans for the pair.
Imperatriz will contest the Gr.2 Waikato Stud Foxbridge Plate (1200m) on August 27 ahead of the Gr.1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) a fortnight later.
“Imperatriz will definitely go to those races, but Entriviere is going to have a spell and come back for the Telegraph (Gr.1, 1200m) and the Railway (Gr.1, 1200m),” Ellis said.
“On The Bubbles will go for some handicap races as he’s not very well suited to weight-for-age events.”
Two other members of the stable who are set to join Imperatriz at the Hastings carnival are the high-class Te Akau home-bred duo of Belle En Rouge and Maven Belle, both daughters of the late Burgundy.
“Belle En Rouge is coming up really well and her work has been terrific. It was the biggest thrill you could ever get to win the New Zealand Oaks (Gr.1, 2400m) will a filly we bred,” Ellis said.
“She will be going to Hawke’s Bay for sure with the Livamol Classic (Gr.1, 2040m) her main aim.”
Prior to her Oaks success, Belle En Rouge also claimed the Gr.2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and the Gr.3 Eulogy Stakes (1600m).
The Gr.3 HB/PB Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) is high on the stable’s wish list for one of last season’s star juveniles Maven Belle.
Her four wins included the Gr.1 Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) with her sole defeat a luckless third in the Gr.1 Sistema Stakes (1200m).