Akuta (NZ) Demonstrates Star Power in Epic Harness Million Victory

17 May 2021

Akuta (NZ) claims the $200,000 Listed Harness Million 2YO Colts and Geldings Final.

Akuta (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) declared himself a racetrack star with his brilliant win in the $200,000 Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Two-Year-Old Colts and Geldings Final (1980m) at Addington on Friday 14 May. 

The Hayden Cullen trained pacer shrugged off his early work in the lucrative feature before clearing out to win by more than two lengths for driver Blair Orange.

Akuta’s dazzling performance has meant that he now takes top billing amongst New Zealand’s best two-year-old pacing colts and geldings ahead of the Harness Jewels.

The stellar colt was purchased by All Stars Racing Stables for $170,000 at NZB Standardbred’s 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch from Broadfield Lodge.

By the time he gets to Cambridge next month, Akuta could be an even more powerful force for trainer Hayden Cullen.

“We put a set of blinkers on him after we trialled him a couple of weeks ago and he wasn’t concentrating one hundred percent,” Cullen said.

“It seems to have made a bit of difference with him.

“I still don’t think he really knows what he is doing yet, but once he switches on he could be a very good horse.”

Akuta is raced by Champion trainer Mark Purdon with Ian Dobson’s Cullen Breeding Limited.

Purdon has held the colt in high regard since his purchased him from breeder-consignors Paul and Pauline Renwick.

“Mark has always held high expectations of him and tonight he showed how good he is,” Cullen said.

Akuta stopped the clock in Friday night’s 1980 metre feature in 2-21.6, producing a sizzling 1.55.0 mile-rate.

Cullen produced the quinella in the Harness Million Final, with Cosmic Major (NZ) (Art Major) powering home wide on the track to place runner up for driver Tim Williams.

“I thought he [Cosmic Major] went sensational,” Cullen said.

“They have gone a 1.55.0 mile rate and he has made up a lot of ground.”

Cosmic Major was a $37,500 purchase by Phil and Glenys Kennard at the 2020 National Yearling Sale in Auckland from Breckon Farms’ draft.

Major Perry (NZ) (Art Major) also ran on strongly to take out the third placing for trainers Barry Purdon and Scott Phelan, with Phelan in the sulky.

Major Perry was a $160,000 purchase by Barry Purdon from Broadfield Lodge at the 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch.

Consignor Broadfield Lodge
Purchaser All Stars Racing Stables
Breeding Bettor’s Delight x Adore To Our Dreams
Sale Lot 272, 2020 Christchurch National Yearling Sale, $170,000
Bred by P I Renwick & Mrs P M Renwick