Shark has plenty in tank after first Group 1 win
TE AHAU Shark, New Zealand's most exciting racehorse, is set for the Sydney autumn carnival after monstering his rivals to finally secure an elusive Group 1 win at Te Rapa on Saturday.
The opposition might have been moderate but Te Akau Shark could not have been more impressive in overwhelming his rivals to win BCD Group Sprint (1400m) by a widening margin of nearly three lengths.
Jockey Opie Bosson admitted it was good to "get the monkey off his back" after Te Akau Shark broke through at the highest level after some near misses last year, including his second in the Epsom Handicap and third in the Cox Plate.
"There's plenty more Group 1s to come from him, that's for sure,'' Bosson told NZ reporters after the race.
"I hit a little bit of a flat spot turning in (to the straight) but once he changed legs, I was like 'whoa'… the turn of foot, and I had a heap of horse underneath me.
He's done it! @TeAkauRacing's Te Akau Shark ($1.40) heads to Sydney a Group 1 winner after cruising to the line under the urging of @opie_bosson in the BCD Group Sprint @TeRapaRacing pic.twitter.com/dZZV7XFoQH— TAB Racing (@TAB_Racing) February 8, 2020
"I didn't knock him around much today, the improvement for the next starts will be worth watching out for. He's up there with the best I've ridden, I've always said that, he's got so much raw ability."
Trainer Jamie Richards said Te Akau Shark would be prepared for three Group 1 races in Sydney during the autumn carnival - the Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on March 2, George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 21 and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick on April 11.
Sydney mare Luvaluva, winner of the Summer Cup and January Cup at her last two starts, was sent out favourite for the other Group 1 race, the Herbie Dyke Stakes, but could run only sixth behind Triptronic.