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Stunning strike rate from Te Akau’s Karaka graduates

23 December 2017, 5:53 p.m.

David Ellis has enjoyed a golden year with his Karaka-sourced army of black type success stories.

The Te Akau principal further added to his record at Awapuni on Saturday when the Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards-trained Splurge triumphed in the Gr.2 Kamada Park Manawatu Challenge Stakes (1400m).

Splurge Photo: Race Images

“That’s the 20th Group or Listed winner we’ve had in this calendar year, all of which I’ve bought at Karaka, and that includes wins in Sydney and in Brisbane,” Ellis said.    

“Steve and Jamie have trained them all, including six Group One wins.”

Te Akau also made their mark in Europe with Torcedor, a son of Fastnet Rock, successful in the Gr.3 Vintage Crop Stakes (2800m) in Ireland.

On Saturday, Splurge won for the eighth time in his career courtesy of another polished display from rider Michael McNab.

“He’s one of the most improved jockeys in New Zealand, he’s in super form,” Ellis said.

Splurge settled close to a good speed and when McNab asked him for an effort he quickly put the issue beyond doubt. 

“He deserved that after the other day,” said McNab, referring to a narrow last-start defeat in the Gr.3 Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m). “It was heart-breaking when Hiflyer caught me.”

Splurge will now be prepared for the Gr.1 Harcourts Thorndon Mile (1600m) at Trentham on January 20.

His effort completed a winning double for the stable and McNab following the impressive debut performance of Sword Of Osman in the NZ Bakels 2YO Premier (1100m).

“They are both by Savabeel and Opie Bosson rode them on Tuesday morning and he was adamant they would both win,” Ellis said. – NZ Racing Desk.