Te Akau the big award win­ners

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - DEN­NIS RYAN

The tan­ger­ine of Te Akau was the dom­i­nant hue when Mata­mata cel­e­brated its high achiev­ers of the 2015-16 sea­son at the an­nual awards and ap­pre­ci­a­tion func­tion last week.

After a land­mark 12 months when the new part­ner­ship of Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards added a train­ing pre­mier­ship to the five achieved by their pre­de­ces­sor Mark Walker, there was per­haps no sur­prise that Te Akau prin­ci­pal David El­lis and those around him made mul­ti­ple vis­its to the podium to col­lect their raft of tro­phies.

Be­gin­ning with the Cham­pion Jumper ti­tle awarded to Brer, Te Akau horses were re­spon­si­ble for five cat­e­gories, Cham­pion Three­Year- Old and Sprinter-Miler to Xtrav­a­gant, Cham­pion Two-YearOld Heroic Valour and Owner of the Year to Xtrav­a­gant’s own­er­ship group, the Te Akau 2014 Breed­ing Syn­di­cate.

On top of those horse awards, two jock­eys con­nected to Te Akau also took home tro­phies, Dan Miller the Jumps Jockey of the Year and in per­haps the most pop­u­lar choice of the night, Cameron Lam­mas was Cham­pion Jockey.

Cameron had en­joyed the sec­ond-best sea­son of his 15-year ca­reer with 67 wins and eighth place on the pre­mier­ship. The true merit in that per­for­mance, how­ever, was that two years ago his ca­reer was in the bal­ance dur­ing the drawn-out re­cov­ery from se­ri­ous leg frac­tures suf­fered in a start­ing stall ac­ci­dent.

The ‘‘come­back kid’’ never wa­vered, how­ever, and now with a reg­u­lar diet of trav­el­ling daily from Ro­torua to Mata­mata to ride work for Te Akau as well as a busy raceday and tri­als sched­ule, Cameron was in­deed a fit­ting win- ner of the jock­eys’ tro­phy.

The Mata­mata awards weren’t only about Te Akau and their as­so­ci­ates.

Shaun McKay, who won the na­tional ap­pren­tice pre­mier­ship with 70 wins, won the Cham­pion Ap­pren­tice Jockey award, the Lance Noble-trained Auck­land Cup run­ner- up Rose Of Vir­ginia took the Cham­pion Stayer award, Rich Hill Stud, the breed­ers of Mel­bourne Cup win­ner Prince of Pen­zance and Xtrav­a­gant, took home the Cham­pion Breeder tro­phy and the keenly con­tested Track­work Rider/Sta­ble­hand award went to one of the hard­est and most re­li­able work­ers in the lo­cal in­dus­try, Richard­son Rac­ing’s sta­ble man­ager Dianne Wright.

The supreme Mata­mata Horse of the Year tro­phy be­longed to Te Akau colt Xtrav­a­gant., who a week ear­lier had col­lected the Three-Year- Old of the Year ti­tle at the 2016 New Zealand Thor­ough­bred Awards. ’’The past sea­son has been a hugely re­ward­ing time for Te Akau Rac­ing,’’ said Te Akau prin­ci­pal David El­lis. T.W. BrownCham­pion Jumper: Brer; J.C. Tucker Cham­pion Three­Year- Old: Xtrav­a­gant; Lind­say Fam­ily Cham­pion Ap­pren­tice Jockey: Shaun McKay; D.W. Moss Cham­pion Stayer: Rose Of Vir­ginia; R.C. Blake Cham­pion Two-Year- Old: Heroic Valour; W.L. Tisch Cham­pion Jumps Jockey: Dan Miller; D.G.M Ben­jamin Cham­pion Breeder: Rich Hill Stud; J.W. McAn­nal­ley Cham­pion Sprinter-Miler: Xtrav­a­gant; B.R. Tims Cham­pion Jockey: Cameron Lam­mas; C.C.E. Thomp­son Cham­pion Owner: Te Akau 2014 Breed­ing Syn­di­cate (Xtrav­a­gant); D.J. O’Sul­li­van Cham­pion Trainer: Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards; J.B. Christo­phers Track Rider/Sta­ble­hand: Dianne Wright; Mata­mata Horse of the Year: Xtrav­a­gant.

Flanked by Te Akau prin­ci­pal David El­lis and his wife Karyn, the hard-work­ing Te Akau team cel­e­brate their big night at the Mata­mata Rac­ing Awards.

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