A 2020 Spring Carnival campaign is in doubt for Kiwi star Te Akau Shark who will undergo eye surgery this week.
Te Akau Shark was one of the stars of the 2020 Sydney Autumn Carnival with a win in the Group 1 $600,000 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Randwick as well as finishing third in the Group 1 $1m George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
The Jamie Richards trained gelding rounded off his Autumn Carnival campaign with a fifth behind Addeybb in the Group 1 $2m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on Day two of The Championships.
Te Akau Shark was then sent for a spell in New South Wales and the rare eye condition was diagnosed and surgery was recommended to rectify the problem and when he returns to the racetrack is up in the air.
“Whilst spelling, we further investigated an eye irritation of Te Akau Shark’s that we have managed successfully,” Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis said.
“Expert international equine eye surgeons, together with our Sydney veterinary team, have decided it is in Te Akau Shark’s best future racing interests to undergo an optic implant surgery.
“His issue is a rare one and the procedure has been scheduled for this week.”
Te Akau Shark also made an impact during the 2019 Spring Carnival with two Group 1 placings.
The big chestnut was runner up in the $1m Epsom (1600m) at Randwick and then finished a gallant third behind Lys Gracieux and Castelvecchio in the $5m Ladbrokes Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley.
Te Akau Shark is also a Group 1 winner on his home soil in New Zealand with his victory in the NZ$200,000 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa in February 2020 and has an overall winning strike rate of 50% with seven wins from fourteen starts.