Te Akau stars go down in Foxbridge Plate
- Te Akau stars beaten in Group Two event
- Australian spring campaign still on the agenda
The Te Akau racing team’s stable stars, Melody Belle and Te Akau Shark were beaten in Saturday’s Group Two Foxbridge Plate.
Trainer Jamie Richards’ greatest fear became a reality in the $100K event as Endless Dream steamrolled the field to take home the trophy.
Richards feared the barrier draw would play a major role in the outcome of the race, stating that Endless Dream was in good touch going into the race after an impressive trial and looked the one to beat as he drew gate two for the feature event.
The Te Akau pair drew the two outside gates and at barrier rise they jumped as expected with Michael McNab (Melody Belle) pushing forward and Opie Bosson easing back near the tail of the field.
Endless Drama settled mid-field with cover from his favourable draw and patiently ridden by Leith Innes, he tracked Melody Belle to the turn before pulling out to find some clean air.
From there, he always looked the winner as he finished with such authority.
Melody Belle loomed up as a real threat passing the 300m mark but her condition gave out in the closing stages as she finished 2.5 lengths back in fourth place.
Te Akau Shark was another story as the Rip Van Winkle gelding remained second last and three-deep with no cover to the turn.
The five-year-old stormed home from the back and got to within three quarters of a length from the winner before having to settle for second prize.
Richards was full of praise for his two representatives and is still confident of a successful spring campaign across the Tasman.
“He (Te Akau Shark) was beaten by the draw as he got back a long way but 1400m next time should be ideal,” he said.
“He will go to Australia now as we have to back our judgement but we’ll go home and lick our wounds and we’ll be alright.
“She (Melody Belle) just needs 1400m now as she is a year older but she will be fine.”
Te Akau Shark will now head to Sydney for the Gr.2 Tramway Stakes (1400) at Royal Randwick on September 7 with his main mission being the Gr.1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at the same venue on October 5 where he is currently the $5.50 favourite with Sportsbet.
Melody Belle looks likely to clash with Endless Drama again in the Group One Tarzino Trophy (1400m) to be run at Hastings on August 31.