Walker brings up double century at Awapuni

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  • July 28, 2023
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Mark Walker is in rarefied air after becoming the first New Zealand trainer to record 200 domestic wins in a season at Awapuni on Thursday.

Te Akau’s head trainer went into the synthetic meeting requiring two wins to reach the mark and his eight-strong team duly delivered.

Redsheis brought the Matamata horseman within one win when taking out the NZB Insurance Pearl Series (1400m), and Angels Wings brought up the double century when winning the Aberdeen On Broadway 1200 in the colours of Fortuna Syndicate.

“It’s great to get that milestone of 200 wins in a season today, and to get another win for Fortuna Racing,” Walker said.

“John and Jessica Galvin, who own the business, are very good friends of everyone at Te Akau and it’s thrilling to get the 200th with one of their horses.”

Walker wasn’t done for the day, with Treaty Of Paris and Star In The Sky adding to his winning haul in the subsequent two races, bringing his season tally to 202 wins.

It has been a remarkable return to New Zealand racing for Mark Walker, who won five New Zealand training premierships for Te Akau before setting up stables for them at Kranji Racecourse in Singapore in 2011, where he added another four Champion Trainer titles.

Te Akau principal David Ellis is proud of Walker’s achievements and the success the stable has had this season.

“Karyn (Fenton-Ellis, wife) and I are very proud to have achieved this and have to thank Mark Walker and all the staff, here at the farm, and at the stables in Matamata, for all their hard work,” Ellis said.

“When I won my first race in 1978, if you’d said to me that we’d have 202 wins during a season in the future I would have thought you were on something.

“It’s an unbelievable thrill and the team that we’ve got, horses and people, is just incredible. Each stable has its own foreman and assistant foreman, who all communicate so well with Mark, Sam (Bergerson, incoming training partner) and Reece (Trumper, racing manager), and they’re all just very professional in their attitudes to what they do.

“The four winners today – Redsheis, Angel Wings, Treaty of Paris, Star In The Sky – were sourced from different places, with one bred at Te Akau, one bought at Karaka, and two from Magic Millions.

“They were all beautifully ridden by Michael McNab, who is riding in outstanding form and deserves his place at the top of the premiership, and it’s a thrill to be associated with such a great team.” – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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