IN Racing
Te Akau Racing strike in Sires’ Produce Stakes
“He has a great turn of foot and is a superstar I think."
Kevin Robertson, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk | April 06, 2024
Move To Strike powers to the line to capture the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Trentham. Photo: Race Images PN

Te Akau Racing produced the goods once again in a major two-year-old event when the highly touted Move To Strike came with a powerful late burst to capture the Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) at Trentham. 

The son of I Am Invincible, who was purchased by Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis for A$525,000 at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale at the Gold Coast in 2023, had been unbeaten in three trials before winning on race day debut at Te Rapa back in December last year. 

A narrow defeat by stablemate Bellatrix Star on New Year’s Day at Pukekohe followed, before a puzzling run for fifth in the Gr.3 Matamata Slipper (1200m) on his home track in February was explained when tests revealed he was found to be suffering from a mild heart arrhythmia. 

Given a break by trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, Move To Strike stripped a fit horse for the last Group One event of the current local racing season on Saturday, and lived up to those looks with a comprehensive performance. 

Rider Wiremu (Billy) Pinn had him back a clear last in the early stages as Red Sea set up a solid pace in front, before Pinn began to circle the field on the home turn. 

Stablemate Captured By Love hit the front at the 250m but Move To Strike was just cantering at this point as he quickly extended to full stride and raced past his rivals to win by a neat length from Red Sea, who fought back bravely to fight off Captured By Love for the runner-up position. 

Sam Bergerson was beaming as he greeted the horse after the race. 

“We’ve always thought the world of him as he has always been a very lovely horse,” Bergerson said. 

“He paraded lovely today, and Bill (Pinn) was very patient on him as we thought we would have to be neutral in midfield early on with his wider barrier draw. 

“He was very good late and although he did have that blip with his heart at Matamata, we were really happy with him since as he is a top-quality colt. 

“We had run an ECG test and given him a slow build up before trialling him after that issue. Opie (Bosson) rode him and gave him the tick of approval and his trackwork on Tuesday was top notch. 

“We were going in quietly confident although respectful of the other runners, but he is a very good colt and he showed that today.” 

Pinn was also rapt with the winning performance. 

“He travelled really well, but he doesn’t breathe that well, so I just wanted to keep him relaxed,” he said. 

“He has a great turn of foot and is a superstar I think, and next time in I think he can win Group One after Group One as he has such a good attitude and an electric turn of foot. 

“I would like to thank Te Akau Racing for the opportunities they are giving me and after missing most of the major racing through being suspended I’m just relieved to get it done today.”  

Move To Strike is raced by the Te Akau 2023 Stallion Breeding Syndicate and has now won over $340,000 for his connections from just four starts.

Move To Strike I Am Invincible Wiremu Pinn Te Akau mark walker and sam bergerson red sea Captured By Love Gr.1 Courtesy Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes David Ellis