Trans-Tasman Group One winner Te Akau Shark’s return to training has been delayed due to impending surgery on a rare eye condition.
The popular galloper has been spelling in New South Wales after finishing fifth in the Gr.1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at the end of a fruitful campaign that netted Group One victories in both the Waikato Sprint (1400m) and Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m)
“Whilst spelling, we further investigated an eye irritation of Te Akau Shark’s that we have managed successfully,” Te Akau Racing Principal David Ellis CNZM said.
“Expert international equine eye surgeons, together with our Sydney veterinary team, have decided it is in Te Akau Shark’s best future racing interests to undergo an optic implant surgery.
“His issue is a rare one and the procedure has been scheduled for this week.”
“Obviously this is a disappointing setback but it is necessary that we operate now to ensure a viable future racing career for this wonderful athlete.
“While the prognosis remains guarded, we are hopeful that Te Akau Shark will return to the track in due course, to again display his talent and that “wow” factor that he is so well known and loved for.”
Purchased by Ellis from the NZB Ready to Run Sale for $230,000, Te Akau Shark has won seven of his 14 appearances for New Zealand’s leading trainer Jamie Richards.
The son of Rip Van Winkle has won in excess of $1.5 million in prizemoney and the dual Group One winner has placed at the elite level on a further three occasions, including finishing third in last year’s Gr.1 Cox Plate (2040m). – NZ Racing Desk