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Te Akau Shark retains Epsom favouritism

te akau shark
Te Akau Shark remains favourite for the Epsom Handicap ahead of the final field and barrier draw.

New Zealander Te Akau Shark retains favouritism for the Epsom Handicap ahead of the declaration of the final field.

Trained by Jamie Richards and part-owned by recently retired Cronulla Sharks captain Paul Gallen, Te Akau Shark has had one run in Australia, finishing second to Dreamforce in the Tramway Stakes (1400m) on September 7.

Although he beat Te Akau Shark, the John Thompson-trained Dreamforce is at $6 with his rival at $5.

James McDonald partnered Te Akau Shark in a race day gallop at Canterbury last week with jockey and trainer both pleased with his work.

Richards said Te Akau Shark had shown him he liked his races spaced and the outing was to keep him ticking over.

“We are following a similar pattern to what we did with him last spring when he was really flying,” Richards said.

“We are spacing his runs.”

Dreamforce has had another race start, finishing second to Avilius in the Group One George Main Stakes over the 1600m-Epsom course last Saturday week.

Dreamforce has won twice over the Randwick mile and the George Main was the second time he had been runner-up at Group One level, the other when runner-up to Brutal in the Doncaster Mile.

The barrier draws for Saturday’s Epsom and The Metropolitan (2400m) will be held on Tuesday.

The Chris Waller-trained Finche, the reigning Melbourne Cup favourite, heads the Metropolitan market at $6 but is unlikely to run.

His stablemate Brimham Rocks is next at $7 with the Mark Newnham-trained Scarlet Dream at $8.

Brimham Rocks is a last-start winner of the Foundation Cup at Caulfield which has earned him a Caulfield Cup berth.

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