Matamata trainer Jamie Richards has reported that Te Akau Shark has settled in well in Sydney and is in fine shape for Saturday’s Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.

Te Akau Shark, above in orange colours, is the early favourite for the 2020 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Te Akau Shark, above in orange colours, is the early favourite for the 2020 Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick. Photo by Steve Hart.

Kiwi star Te Akua Shark was given the all clear to return to Sydney after winning the Group 1 NZ$200,000 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa in New Zealand on February 8 and Richards is pleased with the way the five year old has settled into his new surroundings in Sydney.

“I am pleased with his condition. He looks in good shape. He is good in the coat,” Richards told Sky Racing’s Racing HQ.

“He worked nicely here this morning (in Sydney). He worked on his own over 1200m, he quickened well and looks good.”

“The report from the rider was encouraging and we are looking forward to the Chipping Norton on Saturday.

Te Akau Shark has progressed nicely since arriving in Sydney and Richards is glad he has given his stable star plenty of time to get accustomed to his Sydney base.

“We like to get him over here a little bit early and let him get settled. He is not a horse with a great appetite, and it takes a little while to get settled,” Richards said.

“He has tightened up and he looks a better horse than when he left New Zealand. He has done a bit of work and he is in good shape.”

“We are happy with where he is at. The nominations look good and hope we can draw a barrier and don’t have to go back to last and he is ready to race.”

Te Akua Shark campaigned in Australia during the 2019 Spring Carnival and even though he didn’t take a Group 1 trophy back to New Zealand, he did race very competitively with three placings.

Te Akau Shark found the runner’s up stall twice at Randwick in the Group 2 $200,000 Harvey Norman Tramway Stakes (1400m) and in the Group 1 $1m Epsom (1600m) and then ran a mighty race when third in the Group 1 $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley.

Pre-post betting for the Chipping Norton Stakes at Ladbtokes.com.au has Te Akua Shark sitting at the top of the market order at $2.50 ahead of the James Cummings trained Avilius at $5 and Dreamforce and Fierce Impact at $6.

Early betting for the 2020 Chipping Norton Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $2.50 Te Akau Shark, $5 Avilius, $6 Dreamforce, Fierce Impact, $10 Danceteria, $12 Happy Clapper, $14 Verry Elleegant, $17 Homesman, $18 Imaging, $19 Danzdanzdance, $21 Djukon, $31 Ringerdingding, $34 Night’s Watch, $41 Life Less Ordinary, $81 Angel Of Truth, Carif, Come Play With Me, Hallelujah Boy.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.