Te Akau Racing has announced a changing of the guard for the new season.
From August 1, Jamie Richards will take sole charge of the Matamata stable, which has won eight National Trainers’ Premierships.
“Together Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards have been a potent partnership,” Te Akau principal David Ellis said.
“In three years, they have won a premiership, been named champion trainers and have recorded 42 Group and Listed race successes together, including 13 at Group One level.
“This season, Te Akau is the leading stable for New Zealand Group and Listed races won, 17 with five at Group One level – in fact this season we have broken our own record for the number of stakes’ wins in a season, which previously stood at 15 under Mark Walker.
“Stephen Autridge has decided to take a step back from running a major stable. Stephen and his wife Lynley are two of the finest people you will ever meet in racing.
“They are both champion individuals and we have been so fortunate to know them as professional colleagues and more importantly as friends for such a long period of time.
“Stephen has been an outstanding mentor to Jamie, passing on the wisdom of his years of experience so the transition will be seamless.
“Jamie comes into this role with world-class credentials – with a double university degree in commerce and marketing. He has been the recipient of the prestigious Sunline Scholarship and has a huge grounding in industry knowledge.”
Autridge said Richards taking the reins was a natural and positive move.
“When I re-joined Te Akau three years ago, it was always my goal to achieve three career highlights before handing the baton on to Jamie.
“I hadn’t won the Derby as a trainer, I achieved that with Gingernuts. I wanted to train 1000 winners and that happened recently on the day we laid my mother Gloria to rest and I wanted to win another trainers’ premiership – mission accomplished.
“Lynley and I have loved our time with Te Akau - there have been so many memorable moments – winning Group One races on both sides of the Tasman, the quality of bloodstock we enjoy having in the stable to train, and watching the team deliver results.
Richards said he was looking forward to the challenge and paid tribute to Autridge and Mark Walker, now leading Te Akau’s Singapore stable.
“I would like to thank Steve Autridge. As he was to Mark Walker, he has been a great mentor to me throughout our partnership.
“To lead the Te Akau New Zealand operation is a once in a lifetime opportunity, it’s a dream come true and I can’t wait for the new season.” – NZ Racing Desk.