Friday Flash – 10th February 2023

Headline News;

Fortuna Karaka Yearlings

Te Akau Stud Visits to view Yearlings

Fortuna Client Gary Williams (and now a winner of the Wellington Cup) reminisces

Mark Walker records his 1000th NZ training success at Taupo during the week – for the record, Mark’s total Singapore wins were 685, so he is closing in on 2000 total career training wins very quickly


Fortuna has just one runner this weekend at Hastings today

MOHAWK BRAVE contests the R75 1400 – Race 2 @ 1.01pm – Parmar Singh to ride claiming 2kgs from barrier 7. He has yet to produce his very strong 3yo form as a 4yo, but is running honest races. Parmar is reunited with him after the two of them combined to win 3 races last season. Good each way chance and can greet the judge here with the right run


Fortuna Track work – Matamata

Wednesday 8th February

Soprano Supreme (J Kamaruddin) worked over 1400 metres, home in 37.07.

Fortuna Track work – Singapore

Saturday 4th February

Briggs(Aslam)-1000/600 39; Rocky(Yusoff) 1000/600 37.5 ; Trident(Yusoff)1000/600 38 ; Our Final Offer(Aslam)1000/600 39.5 ;

Tuesday 7th February

Briggs(Aslam) 1000/600- 39; Elliot Ness(Yusoff) 800/600-40 ; Makkem Lad(Awah) 800/600-39 ; Knippenberg (Aslam) 1000/600- 40; Our Final Offer (Aslam) 1000/600- 40; Trident (Yusoff) 1000/600-40 ;


Other News

Fortuna has been active at the Karaka Yearling Sales last week with two Filly purchases – one a Two Year Old Type (Star Witness) – the other a Staying Type (Eminent)

The Star Witness – Alana’s Party yearling Filly “Ali”  

Click HERE to read all about her, view her pedigree and see her parade Video – she should be up and running as a 2yo before Christmas and as such, represents a genuine chance to qualify for the 2024 Karaka Million. $1360 per each 1% share and $44 per month ongoing from 1 April 2023

The Eminent- Queen Boudicca Yearling Filly “Queenie”

I really love this one – a genuine staying type by physique and pedigree page Click HERE to read all about her, view her pedigree and see her parade Video – she will be given plenty of time to mature and develop, but may well debut as an Autumn 2yo and will certainly develop into a strong 3yo type who will run a trip. $1300 per each 1% share and $44 per month ongoing from 1 April 2023

Orders can be made direct from our website pages but do not hesitate to email me or call/text 021 921 460 if you require further info

Yearling Inspections – Te Akau Stud

Finally after 3 long years of disruption, lock downs, travel bans etc, etc and a return to normality we are able to reintroduce our very popular yearling inspections at Te Akau Stud

These run weekly for as many weeks as we have people wanting to visit – the upcoming schedule is as follows


Thursday 16th Feb

Thursday 23rd Feb

Thursday 2nd March

Meeting Place

Te Akau Stud is a magnificent 4000 acre+ sheep/cattle and thoroughbred property situated at Te Akau in the western Waikato – it is around a 35 minute drive from Ngaruawahia and our normal practice is to meet at the BP Station, situated on State Highway 1 at the southern end of Ngaruawahia at around 10.15 am – we meet inside for a coffee and then travel in convey out to the farm – we usually double people up in just a few vehicles – the road to the farm is quite winding and has dodgy GPS coverage. We aim to arrive at the farm around 11.15, inspect the yearlings in the paddock and then return to Ngaruawahia with an ETA of around 1pm.

All of our recent yearling purchases from both the Gold Coast and Karaka Sales are on the farm spelling ahead of their breaking in

To register all you need to do is respond to this email giving me your preferred date and providing your cell phone number.

I look forward to hearing from you if you wish to attend one of these days


Fortuna Client Gary Williams (a lifetime racing enthusiast and now a winner of the Wellington Cup) shares some great racing memories with us

John, I felt moved to write this note to you after that Wellington Cup win, clearly you have a touch of genius about you, firstly you dialed up the rain and secondly, you have turned a potential Steeplechaser into a Wellington Cup Winner!!!

I have won over 25 Group ONE races …20 in Harness and 5 in Gallops plus several Group 2 and 3 races in Gallops ….I have worked out I won 10 Cups in NZ and Queensland plus a 3rd in Melbourne Cup. List includes Avondale Cup, Counties Cup, City of Auckland Cup, Te Aroha, Rotorua and Taupo Cups….and now  a Wellington Cup. I was thrilled, just sad my Dad wasn’t here to see it.

Here’s why the Wellington Cup means so much to me since I was a foetus!!

Being raised in Mosgiel/Wingatui in a horse community it seemed to be the BIGGEST race in NZ. Wingatui/Otago horses had a good record in it. In 1959 local businessman George Barton won it with Ark Royal. Earlier in 50’s Owner/trainer Joe Brown had won it with Reformed…..Joe’s son was my good friend for a few years as kids, we played rugby together and I hung out at their house and stables. Then another primary school class mates Dad, Mick Brown, won the Cup in 1961 with 8 yr old Great Sensation, then repeated it in 1962, became high profile and won it as a 10 yr old for 3rd time!! We listened to that 3rd win beside a river in Oxford, Canterbury while on our annual holiday for family.

This inspired my Dad to decide to go to the Wellington Cup the next year and he took me too. Probably the only time my Dad ever flew in plane, that annual visit to the Cup. First year he took me, 1964, our neighbour and Dad’s customer Gordon Thomson won a minor race with Minglow [ the dam of Champion mare Showgate ]. The next year 1965 Eifell Tower won ridden by EJ Didham who lived over our back fence. Eiffel Tower then became a champion steeple chaser !!!

Another jockey RJ  (Bob) Skelton lived near…he won the Wellington Cup 5 times from memory. Dad took me a few more times in late 60’s, then became sick, but still loved the horses and Cup and Christchurch during NZ Cup week was his other ‘happy place ‘.

In about 1977 our neighbour put Showgate in the Cup and got second to Good Lord. I was playing in Plunket Shield cricket for Otago and got to field on boundary to listen to race. Once I started working I often flew across to the Cup from Nelson. One year my runner, Tinseltown won the Summer Cup there on Cup day when it rained on the day. I think Tinseltown had 2 x shots at the Wellington Cup, possibly favourite too, but the hard ground and top weight not to his liking as a small horse. Another runner of mine, Pasta Post, was also favourite but they overwatered the track that year and it was a mess…distance a query too…he won the Group 1 Easter Mile at his next start then broke down !

Trentham has given some sad moments too……my neighbour and friends champion Mare, Showgate, broke down winning Trentham Stakes as did our Xcellent…same race 25 years or so later. Last race for both. !

So the 2023 win was a huge thrill for me……Leaderboard needs at least 3200m and soft ground…..he still has some miles/wins in those legs.  Steeplechasing time of year ticks those two boxes. Please order the rain in summer again for 3200m races too…..maybe his feet now feeling the best ever ????

Thrilling stuff John …….I am over the moon


Talking of success for our clients, I had a lovely phone call during the week from Des Gillian. Des and Lorraine now live in a retirement village in Auckland and are long standing Fortuna clients, taking small shares in several horses. Des told me that they have had 23 Fortuna winners over the past 23 months!!! Mainly involved in Singapore horses, Entertainer, King Arthur, Trident and now, Knippenberg have all delivered in spades for them with the very good Singapore prizemoney providing a nice supplement to the pension, Des tells me.


Guest Selector  – Andrew Castles

2nd last week was Butch’s lot with Freeze Frame – notable that the winner paid $53 which led to a $1500 Trifecta and a $16k First 4!!!!

Here is what Butch says this week

“Dear John and Team – A fantastic card assembled at Te Rapa Saturday with the Herbie Dyke Stakes and BCD Group Sprint both providing as good a Group One fields as we can get in NZ. Early in the day I have found one that in my opinion should be winning. Master Brutus (race 2 no 1) was beaten the barest of margins over this 1200m trip on Karaka Million night. The winner on that occasion was Maven Belle – rated a genuine winning chance in the BCD Group Sprint! Ideally placed in a MAAT 1200m race Master Brutus will go forward from a wide gate and likely sit outside the speed. I expect him to be too classy in what is a tidy enough field. He is $2.20 with the TAB and with the form around Maven Belle I think that’s worth taking. Best of luck. Butch”