Gallen’s four-legged Shark has Group 1 potential
NRL hard man Paul Gallen could have a Sydney autumn carnival contender on his hands after the gelding he part-owns, Te Akau Shark, stormed to victory in the Group 2 Coupland's Bakeries Mile at Riccarton.
Gallen was at the track in New Zealand to watch the Jamie Richards-trained chestnut line up in the 1600m race as the red-hot favourite, and he didn't disappoint.
The four-year-old peeled to the outside at the top of the straight, then unleashed a powerful finishing burst to bolt away from his rivals over the final 200m to win the $216,000 feature.
It was the four-year-old's fifth win in six starts and followed his impressive win in the Group 3 Red Badge Spring Sprint at Hastings last month.
The $3 million Doncaster Mile could be an ideal target for Te Akau Shark at The Championships at Royal Randwick in April.
"He's a pretty exciting horse and I'd like to think he'll be competitive at Group 1 level over there (in Australia)," Richards told NZ media before Wednesday's race.
Gallen was brought into the ownership of Te Akau Shark by Steve Mace, a friend and Sharks sponsor who has a 35 per cent share in the horse.