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Cups prospect joins Te Akau

Te Akau principal David Ellis may have sold Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) prospect Torcedor last year, but he thinks he has found a worthy replacement in Caliburn.

The son of Camelot, who has won two of his nine career starts, was purchased by Ellis with Australian feature distance racing in-mind.

"Earlier this year, Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) and I decided to buy a European Stayer and approached two of the best judges in the world, especially of European form, bloodstock agents Hubie de Burgh and Paul Moroney," Ellis said.

"Paul and I have had many conversations and on his recommendation we purchased Caliburn from Andrew Balding's Newmarket stable, and following a period of quarantine he is expected mid-August in the Southern Hemisphere."

Moroney said he was impressed when he inspected Caliburn.

"Caliburn  fills the eye, from his intelligent quality head to his highly athletic balanced body. He has a real strut to him, with a beautiful fluid stride and a whole lot of presence."

Caliburn will be trained by Jamie Richards, who finished his first season as sole trainer for Te Akau with 98 wins, including 17 stakes victories.

"Te Akau NZ trainer Jamie Richards hasn't been missed by judges around the world," Moroney said. 

"He's made a remarkable start to his training career and I am sure he can take this exciting stayer a long way in New Zealand and Australia in the future."

Ellis said the goal was to a buy a horse with the calibre to contest races like the Sydney, Caulfield, and Melbourne Cups.

"Caliburn is an exciting addition to the stable," Richards said. "He has some exciting form in the Northern Hemisphere and initially we plan to set him for assignments during the Spring Carnival in Melbourne.

"He's lightly raced and I think has the makings of an ideal Auckland Cup (Gr.1, 2 m) and Sydney Cup (Gr.1, 2 m) horse in the autumn, and could well be a Melbourne Cup (Gr.1, 2 m) horse for next year.

"That's the sort of quality we think this horse has got. It's incredibly exciting for our owners and staff to be bringing a horse like this back to New Zealand."

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