Top Kiwi galloper loses health battle

Thu 4th February 2021

Te Akau Racing has paid an emotional tribute to their star galloper Te Akau Shark, who has died after suffering a series of health complications.

The dual Group One winner picked up an eye infection during the 2020 Sydney autumn carnival and underwent surgery for the issue last year.

He failed to recover completely and was retired from racing in December.

However, it is understood Te Akau Shark recently became blind in both eyes and the decision was made to euthanase him on humane grounds.

Te Akau Racing issued a statement confirming the horse’s death on Thursday.

“It is with immense pain and sadness that we announce that our beloved Te Akau Shark has lost his brave health battle,” Te Akau Racing said.

“We are shattered by your loss and will be eternally grateful to have had you, our great red giant, in our lives.”

Part-owned by rugby league great Paul Gallen, Te Akau Shark raced 14 times for seven wins, amassing more than $1.5 million in prize money.

His biggest Australian victory came in last year’s Group One Chipping Norton Stakes, while he also placed in an Epsom Handicap and Cox Plate.

The six-year-old has been laid to rest at Te Akau Stud in New Zealand.