Akuta (NZ) Simply Spectacular in Stunning Jewels Victory

8 June 2021

Akuta (NZ) claims his second consecutive Group One victory. 

The hard work Akuta (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) completed during his second consecutive Group One win only made his stunning ten-length Harness Jewels victory more impressive last Sunday. 

The star colt shocked harness racing fans when pacing roughly and drifting off the speed after the start of the $100,000 Group One McMillan Equine Feeds 2YO Emerald (1609m), where the field was dominated by NZB Standardbred graduates.

After composing themselves, Akuta and his champion driver and co-owner Mark Purdon then went on to combine for one of the most stunning wins seen at the Harness Jewels.

But it was one that almost never happened.

“I almost lost him completely at the start, he only stayed on his feet and no more,” Purdon said.

Left well off the pace, Purdon and Akuta had a massive tactical battle on their hands to work into clear air from an unfavourable position with one lap to go.

Purdon was at his cool, calm and collected best when patiently waiting to get clear air for his stunning colt.

“It didn’t work out the way I had hoped and it wasn’t the best position to be in,” Purdon said. 

“The horse outside us was under pressure and I thought he would only get us to the back straight and then we would be in trouble.

“But he showed a bit of speed around the bend and when we saw daylight, my horse just took off.”

Akuta was purchased by Purdon’s All Stars Racing Stables for $170,000 at the 2020 National Yearling Sale in Christchurch from Broadfield Lodge.

The driver races the colt with the owner of former racetrack star and leading sire Christian Cullen (NZ) in Ian Dobson, through his Cullen Breeding.

With 12 of the 13 2YO Emerald runners sourced from NZB Standardbred sales, the lucrative Group One feature was always going to be a tough competition.

In an incredible result, the first 10 horses home in the Group One 2YO Emerald went through the NZB Standardbred auction ring.

As Akuta powered away for his outstanding win, a big lineup of horses fought out for the remaining placings.

Major Perry (NZ) (Art Major) dug deep in the home straight after working hard three-wide then parked outside the leader in the race’s last lap.

A very unlucky Cosmic Major (NZ) (Art Major) accelerated into third placing.

The colt was held up for much of the run home before dashing to the line after eventually finding clear running.

Montana D J (NZ) (Captaintreacherous), You’re So Fine (NZ) (Always B Miki) and Classy Operator (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) were next across the line and each produced excellent efforts.

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