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Richards Brings Up First Solo Century
Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards brought up his first century of training wins in New Zealand in his own right, after Bak Da Master scored in the first race at Awapuni on Saturday, reports NZ Racing Desk. Left stranded on 99 wins before the Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand, Bak Da Master was Richards' first runner since. It is the second time Richards has topped the 100-win mark after achieving the feat in the 2015/16 season with 104 winners when training in partnership with Stephen Autridge. "It's always good to tick off a milestone like this," Richards said. "It's a big team effort from everyone concerned." Having ended last season on 98 wins in his first as solo trainer for Te Akau Racing, Richards leads this season's trainers' premiership by 27 wins from his nearest challenger, Stephen Marsh, prompting TAB bookmakers to pay out early on the star trainer as the premiership winner. Along with 17 stakes victories in New Zealand, Richards has also added three Group 1 wins in Australia, with 11 of his 20 Group and Listed wins coming in Group 1 races. Richards was quick to pay tribute to the work of Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis CNZM who leads the operation and is responsible for sourcing the majority of horses that Richards gets to work with each year. "That is the biggest part of it (buying yearlings) as you can't make slow horses run fast," he said. "You need those quality yearlings coming through the stable and we are very fortunate in that respect through the work that David does."