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Tauranga couple set for thrill ride

23 November 2017, 4:11 p.m.

Tauranga couple Lou and Val Te Keeti sat down recently to discuss where life was taking them.

With Lou nearing his 70th birthday he felt it was time to reassess the couple’s goals and to decide on how they would like to see out their golden years.

Lou Te Keeti and wife Val Photo: Michael Rist

“I had looked at the genealogy in my family tree and the reality was the males didn’t often go too far past 70,” he said.

“I said to Val we should probably take a look at what we really want out of life now and we both decided we wanted to relax, enjoy ourselves and have some fun.”

From those discussions the couple committed to further indulge their passion for thoroughbreds which saw them establish a connection with Matamata trainer Graham Richardson. After taking several smaller shares in horses prepared by Richardson and training partner Gavin Parker, the Te Keeti’s lifted the bar during this year’s edition of the NZB Ready To Run Sale in spectacular fashion.

“We’ve had a few shares in horses with Graham, but we decided to raise our sights during this sale,” said Te Keeti.

“We’ve always had broodmares and bred and raced some of their progeny but this time we wanted to invest in some stock of a higher quality or pedigree.

“We spoke with Graham and had a good look through the catalogue and the breeze-up videos and made some selections on those we’d like to try and buy.”

That study saw the couple sign for two individuals on day one of the sale, Lot 125, a Showcasing colt for $70,000 and Lot 147, a Jakkalberry filly for $125,000.

However, it was a Smart Missile colt on offer as Lot 305 from the Diamond Lodge draft on day two that had really caught their eye.

“We saw his breeze up and loved it right from the first view,” said Te Keeti.

“When we got to Karaka I looked at him twice on Monday, twice on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.

“Every time I looked at him it just reaffirmed to me what a great colt he was and we were very keen to get him.”

Richardson agreed with the assessment of his clients.

“He really is a super type and just fits the bill in so many ways,” he said.

“He’s a lovely mover with a great attitude. Once the bidding got going I knew we were in for a fight, but Lou was determined we’d be taking him home.”

Bidding was fierce throughout the colt’s time in the ring before Richardson settled the contest with a final offer of $350,000 which saw the colt on a float back to Matamata and set to become a major component of the enjoyment plan of his excited new owners. - NZ Racing Desk