Our Abbadean is set to continue along the Group 1 path after enjoying a well-earned brief let-up, while plans for the exciting stablemate Te Akau Shark are still to be confirmed.
Our Abbadean contested all three legs of the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown and acquitted herself well on each occasion, following up a third to stablemate Melody Belle in the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) and an unlucky fifth to the same stablemate in the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) with a creditable fifth in last Saturday’s Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m).
Te Akau Shark created a huge impression when powering away with the Group 3 Red Badge Spring Sprint (1400m), taking his record to four wins and a fourth (Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas) from just five starts. Both horses are now enjoying some quiet time before again being tested in feature events.
“Te Akau Shark has gone to the water-walker for a week, which is the usual practice after he races, and we’ll sit down in the next 10 days and confirm plans for him,” trainer Jamie Richards said.
“We’ll decide whether he goes to Christchurch or Melbourne. He’s still very raw and he’s only had five starts so we’ve got to do what is best for him.” Te Akau Shark, a four-year-old son of Rip Van Winkle bred by Te Awamutu trainer Darrell Hollinshead, holds a nomination for the Group 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile at Riccarton on November 14 and has been given nine rating points for his Hastings win, taking him to 95. Our Abbadean, who is on a rating of 100, is nominated for the Group 3 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Cup (3200m) at Riccarton three days later, but will now instead stick to the weight-for-age path.
“She has gone back to Wentwood Grange to freshen up and when she comes back into work she’ll be set for the Captain Cook Stakes (Group 1,1600m) fresh-up then we’ll look at the Zabeel Classic (Group 1, 2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day,” Richards said.
“She was a victim of a bad barrier last Saturday and had to go back instead of being midfield.
“If she could have settled midfield I’m sure she would have been a lot closer at the finish. She still went a good race.”
Our Abbadean is a dual Group 2 winner, having won the Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m) last March and the Travis Stakes (2000m) two starts later, and a Group 1 placegetter.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s Taupo meeting will see Enduring Love and Spirit Of Galway, a couple of youngsters from the Te Akau barn, also being tested as possible Group 1 candidates when they clash in the Kiwikontractors 1200. The pair hold nominations for the Group 1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton on November 17.
Enduring Love, a daughter of Camelot, will be making her debut after being placed in two of her three trials, including a last-start second at the Te Rapa trials last month, while Spirit Of Galway, a daughter of Rip Van Winkle, has been placed in both her starts, following up an unlucky fourth on debut with a second to Bolt From The Blue at Taupo last month.
“The track is a good 2 which isn’t ideal, but it’s a chance to see if they’re up to going for black type,” Richards said.
“Enduring Love’s trial at Te Rapa was very good and she’s drawn a good gate (four). “Spirit Of Galway has progressed well, but she has an awkward gate (10) so we’ll have to ride her cold and let her come home.”