Friday Flash – 19th May 2023

Headline News

Te Akau Racing elevates Sam Bergerson as joint trainer in partnership with Mark Walker

John Galvin to attend Singapore races Saturday 20th – Fortuna has 4 runners

Fortuna 3yo Colt, My Finest Hour, to debut at Redcar race course in the UK Monday 22nd May

Fortuna has five runners  Saturday – one in NZ, four in Singapore
New Zealand

Te Rapa – Saturday

HAYATE contests the R65 1600 – Race 8 @ 4.15pm with Stable Apprentice Jess Allen, claiming 4kgs, to ride from a mid field barrier. Up to 1600m for the first time, was shut out of a finishing run at Rotorua 1400 last start  – track conditions will suit. Is looking for the 1600m trip and looks to be a good chance to run in the money here at odds – showing @ $16/4.80 Fixed Odds


KING ARTHUR runs in the Class 1 1200 Turf  – race  @ 4pm Sing time (8pm NZT) and will be ridden by Melbourne Cup winning jockey, Mark Zahra, from Barrier 7. Is one of the highest rated horses in Singapore, but has to carry a good horse’s weight in this handicap event. Strong winning trial performance 11th May has him primed for this race – Each Way

Here is what the STC tipsters have to say;

1st Pick: SKY EYE (2)
Sits only nine rating points below King Arthur and gets a 4.5kg swing on the topweight. Weighted to run a good race and potentially win, worth plenty of respect.
2nd Pick: KING ARTHUR (1)
Carries 59kg with Mark Zahra in the saddle. He is the highest rated horse and must be considered a winning hope despite giving many of these horses plenty of weight. Each way.
3rd Pick: SO HI CLASS (10)
They have by-passed the Kranji Mile and come to the Class 1 where he will carry absolutely no weight. A smart decision by the stable and potentially a winning one, big winning chance.
4th Pick: LUCKY JINSHA (3)
Last start was a head scratcher to say the least but it’s hard to not give him another chance this weekend. Hoping the poly track champion of 2022 can bounce back on the turf and run a great race, one for the multiples.

TRIDENT runs in the Class 3 1400 Turf  – race 12 @ 5.30pm Sing time (9.30pm NZT) and will be ridden by Bernardo Pinheiro from barrier 3. This well performed galloper ran a very meritable 5th in the Group 2 Barker Trophy 29th April – nice draw, in form rider and will carry just 53 kgs. Looks very well suited here and represents a good top 3 chance at odds

KNIPPENBERG contests the Novice 1200 Turf  – race 10 @ 4.30pm Sing time (8.30pm NZT) and will be ridden by regular rider Ronnie Stewart. Won debut in January this trip and surface and followed that up with two strong minor placings – went up to win last start in the Group 2 Singapore 3yo Classic but did not see out the 1400m trip. Back in grade here (Novice is a 1 win grade) and back to 1200m – should be very competitive here and is a strong top 3 chance – could be under the radar a little

RHETT BUTLER also contests the Novice 1200 Turf  – race 10 @ 4.30pm Sing time (8.30pm NZT) and will be ridden by Stable Apprentice Sarwi Jamil, claiming 4kgs. A head turning win on debut where he simply blitzed a good Restricted Maiden 1200m  field in the run home. Goes to the Turf here for the first time – as a 2yo in this race he will only carry 47kgs – if he handles the Turf, he can win

Here is what the STC tipsters have to say about this race;

1st Pick: MONGOL WARRIOR (2)
Former kiwi galloper who contested Group races and didn’t disgrace in those starts. Has trialed up in nice order and brings plenty of attention for a first up victory. Watch the market.
2nd Pick: RHETT BUTLER (10)
Impressive victory scoring off a lightweight in Restricted Maiden company. The family are proven early runners and he will take plenty of experience from that run. Draws the inside alley and will carry no weight again.
3rd Pick: BRANSOM (5)
Scored on debut before tackling the Group 3 sprint at his last start. He drew wide that day and was never a factor. Drops back to suitable conditions and stable think he has ability.
4th Pick: ENERGY BABY (1)
Rider was warned after that last start and caught the eye with a huge run to snag second place. Looks to be an improving type.


Fortuna Track work – Matamata

No Fortuna timed work this week

Fortuna Track work – Singapore

Saturday 13th May

TRIDENT (PINHEIRO)1000/600-41; KNIPPENBERG( ASLAM)1000/600-38.5; RHETT BUTLER (ASLALM)1000/600-38;

Tuesday 16th May


Other News
Te Akau Racing elevates Sam Bergerson to joint trainer in partnership with Mark Walker

John says “A great announcement during the week from Te Akau – I have got to know Sam pretty well over the last three or four years – he is a fine young trainer and a fine young man and he certainly ticks a lot of boxes – it is a very well deserved appointment”

See below announcement from Te Akau

Te Akau Racing has announced that Sam Bergerson will join Mark Walker in a training partnership in New Zealand, commencing August 1st

The Matamata-based stable is the dominant force in New Zealand racing at present, with Mark Walker leading the premiership with 180 wins, nearly 100 clear of nearest rival Stephen Marsh (82).


Sam Bergerson
“Sam is currently our Assistant Trainer – he’s an outstanding individual, from a family with a strong racing history, and he is a fine example of the very best talent in our industry,” Te Akau Principal David Ellis CNZM said. “I’ve always considered Sam a really smart young man with a huge future in racing, and it’s a privilege to be giving him this opportunity to step up to the role of training partner with Mark Walker.”

Bergerson brings outstanding credentials to his new role. He graduated with an accounting degree from Massey University, and was also awarded the Sunline Trust International Scholarship – a 30-week working experience at Northern Hemisphere studs: Shadwell Stud (England), Coolmore Stud (Ireland) and Winstar Farm (America). Growing up with horses, he worked weekends and holidays at the family stables, with Bergerson’s father Roydon a Group One winning trainer, while his grandfather Herb was also an accomplished trainer.

Bergerson undertook a cadetship with an accounting practice for four years while studying at university. He then had a break to consider his future during a season of playing rugby in Ireland, before working for Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle Stables near Tipperary.

Image (L-R) Mark Walker, Opie Bosson, David Ellis and Sam Bergerson Photo: Trish Dunell
“I feel very fortunate to join such a distinguished list of trainers who have worked at Te Akau,” Bergerson said. “The bar has been set high by Te Akau trainers such as Mark Walker, Jamie Richards, Stephen Autridge and Roger James but I am excited for the challenge ahead, and hope I can do my part to add to the Te Akau legacy. I want to acknowledge the amazing support from Dave, Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) and Mark (Walker) and thank them for the belief they have shown in me by giving me this opportunity. I am also surrounded by a great team of loyal staff whose support and hard work play such an important role in the success of Te Akau.”

Ellis said horses were the cornerstone of the operation, along with quality people, as Te Akau strives to achieve the best results possible for the owners. “It doesn’t matter what business you’re in, success is generally determined by the professionalism and talent of your team,” Ellis said. “Te Akau has a magnificent group of seriously dedicated people, the best in the industry, and our whole team works incredibly well together – reflected with 180 wins to date this season (new national record), 34 Group/Listed wins and a Group One in Australia with Imperatriz. I got to know Sam, and also our Racing Manager Reece Trumper, really well during New Zealand’s major COVID lockdown in 2020. Due to the restrictions, the stable had to close and all our horses were relocated to Te Akau Stud, and Sam and Reece came to live at the farm to look after the additional horses on the property.
“We worked closely together during the lockdown and as we shared a bubble, Karyn and I were able to spend a great deal of time with them in our home. Both are wonderful young men with a deep understanding and passion for horses and our industry. It’s an exciting time for Te Akau to be welcoming this new training partnership. We have an exceptional team of horses in the stable that are performing at the highest level.  Together with the calibre of our young horses coming through, we can’t wait for the new season when we hope to scale new heights through further Te Akau innovation.”

John Galvin to attend Singapore races Saturday 20th – Fortuna has 4 runners
King Arthur running in a Class 1 Sprint, brilliant debut winning 2yo Rhett Butler to have his 2nd career start in Novice Grade, the talented 3yo Knippenberg to also run in the Novice and Singapore Derby aspirant, Trident, to run at Class 3 level for the first time – it all makes for a mouth watering day at Kranji – John will be hosting seven Fortuna clients at the Fortuna Table in the Owners Room

Sunday 31st will see John conducting stable inspections of all of the Fortuna team at Kranji with Donna Logan before boarding an early evening flight back home to NZ – Jessica is in the hot seat juggling the arrangements for Saturday morning sports for 3 kids at different venues!!!


Fortuna 3yo Colt, My Finest Hour, to debut at Redcar race course in the UK Monday 22nd May

Yes, history will be made Monday 22nd May (Tuesday morning NZT) with our very first UK runner, when our 3yo Churchill Colt, My Finest Hour, makes his race day debut at Redcar in the North of England (Yorkshire) over the straight 1600m and will be ridden by Hayley Turner. Acquired at the 2022 Guineas Breeze Up Sale by John for 20,000 Guineas after being recommended by International Bloodstock agent,  Hubie De Burgh, My Finest Hour is trained by Harry Eustace at Newmarket

Shares For Sale
Mothers Day discount has been extended for another week

I want to bring your attention in particular to Queen Consort – bought as a staying/3yo type of Filly, she showed great gate speed at her jumpout, is an August foal and Mark is thinking that she could run as a 2yo and maybe could even be a contender for the Karaka Million in January 2024

Click  HERE to see her jumpout Video and listen to Mark Walker’s comments


Eminent – Queen Boudicca Yearling Filly – Racing name – QUEEN CONSORT
$1388 for each 1% share ($1249.20 with discount) and $44 per month ongoing from 1 June – click HERE to read full details on the Fortuna website

If ordering, ignore the Coupon Code – just enter the words “Please apply the 10% Mothers Day discount” in the Notes Box top right of the order page, then tick the Internet banking payment option, but don’t pay anything until you see our “Greetings Letter” with pricing details sent by email within an hour or two of you making the order – any issues with ordering just email John or call/text 021 921 460

ENTERTAINER – Secondary Market Sale

A 3% share in the 6yo Singapore based galloper, ENTERTAINER, has become available for the sum of NZ$432 and $108 per month from 1 June.

ENTERTAINER (Zoustar-Laughing) is an eight time winner  in Singapore from 32 race day starts with over S$300,000 of stakes winnings in the bin. “Joker” has paid the price of a rapid ascent in the ratings, getting rated so high that he found it difficult to win and has not greeted the judge since Sept 2022. However, now back to a rating 71, he put in a solid performance at his most recent start in Class 3 Grade and is only two points away from getting back to Class 4. An 1100m Poly track specialist (7 of his 8 wins have come at that trip and surface), he is set to race next on 27th May


ENTERTAINER – Winning in Singapore – Harry Kasim aboard
The 3% can be broken down into 1% parcels @ $144 and $36 per month from 1 June. Just contact John by email or call/text 021 921 460 if you wish to take up this opportunity

Guest Selector  – New Initiative

Des selection last week looked for all money as if it was just going to win but then faded in the run home – it turns out that she broke down, which was unfortunate for connections and punters who had placed a bet

Turning to our new initiative, instead of having an outside Guest Selector as we have been done the last 18 months or so, I am going to extend an invite to our Syndicate Members to volunteer as a Guest Selector – each volunteer will have a three week stint and can either put up one, two or three selections for the following weekend’s racing. So, if you fancy having a go, all you need to do is email me and you can go on the panel. I look forward to hearing from you