ANGELS WINGS records her 2nd Career Win – Awapuni 27th July 2023

Capping a phenomenal season of highlights and records for trainer Mark Walker and Te Akau Racing, Angels Wings (3yo Filly by Heroic Valour – Gowana, by More Than Ready) became the 200th winner for the stable this season with victory in the $14,000 Rating 65 1200 metres on 27 July at Awapuni (poly-track). A deserved Maiden winner three starts ago on the poly-track at Cambridge, Angel Wings was given time (29 days) since racing wide in the Pearl Series Rating 65 1300 metres on 28 June at Cambridge, and rated a top three chance from barrier three.

With Michael McNab aboard Angels Wings secured a lovely spot behind the leaders and once again McNab was pinpoint accurate to claim a last stride victory. “It’s never been done before, down towards the line, a bobber, but I reckon Mark Walker’s got 200 for the season,” said commentator Tony Lee. “What a brilliant effort, quite an incredible feat, this will be around for a long, long time.”

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In the race sponsored by Aberdeen on Broadway, Angel Wings ran 1200 metres in 1:09.7 and paid $5.20 & $1.90 on the NZ TAB tote. “It was a really good win and another lovely ride of Michael’s,” Walker said. “She’s only going to get a bit bigger and stronger next season. It’s great to get that milestone of 200 wins in a season today, and to get another win for Fortuna Racing – John and Jessica Galvin, who run Fortuna Racing, are very good friends of everyone at Te Akau and its very thrilling to get the 200th with one of their horses.”

While preparing for her three-year-old season, Angel Wings caught the attention of new assistant trainer Nicole Shailer as having potential, which she has certainly shown in winning two of her last three starts.

Angels Wings – 2nd Career Win – Awapuni 27th July 2023 (picture courtesy of Race Images)

“Angel Wings had a bit to do with a couple of hundred metres to go, but Michael (McNab) is riding in superb form and he just gets the best out of them in the closing stages – he just doesn’t give up,” said John Galvin, who with his wife Jessica, is combining a short vacation in Kuala Lumpur with racing commitments in Singapore 23rd and 30th July. “We’ve had a few milestone wins with Te Akau and it was great to get such a significant win for Mark – A Fortuna horse (Rio Fortune) was Mark’s first winner in Singapore, Jamie Richards first group win as a solo trainer was Melody Belle in the Foxbridge Plate and his last win in New Zealand as Te Akau trainer was Ragamuffin. Mark started training his first horses for me in 2002/03 season with the Group Two winner Kapsdan as well as Comical Ali, so it’s been a 21-year association, not just with Mark but with David and Karyn Ellis as well – we’ve had a great working relationship. We’ve had many winners in New Zealand before Mark went to Singapore; horses like Kapsdan, Darci Brahma, Tell A Tale, and had about 80-90 winners trained by Mark during his stint in Singapore. Now we’re going well together with Mark back in New Zealand and we are also looking forward to the opportunities that present in the new Te Akau stable at Cranbourne in Melbourne.”

Angel Wings was purchased by David Ellis and Andrew Williams Bloodstock for A$100,000 on behalf of Fortuna Racing, from the draft of KBL Thoroughbreds, at the 2021 Gold Coast National Yearling Sale. She was purchased just a few days after the Fortuna Racing dual Horse of The Year and now Thoroughbred Hall of Famer, Melody Belle, was sold for A$2.6m and many of the Melody Belle owners are also owners in Angels Wings

Angels Wings is owned by Fortuna Angels Wings Syndicate (Mgr: John Galvin), an ownership group comprising 41 individuals