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Paul Gallen is hoping he will have a leading contender in the Cox Plate in October

The Cronulla Shark’s captain, and former NSW Blues’ captain, Paul Gallen, is looking forward to early October.

That’s about the time the big NRL Grand final will be played and Gal is hoping his Sharks will be in the hunt.

In fact the Grand Final date is 6 Oct.

At the moment the Sharks are contenders, however, they need to get a tad more disciplined and consistent.

But away from rugby league, Gal has his eyes on big horse racing prizes too – namely the Gr 1, Epsom Hcp on 5 Oct worth $1million, and the 26 Oct Gr 1 Cox Plate worth $5million.

As a fan yes, but this time around….as an owner too.

You see Gal part-owns the kiwi invader, the purposefully named TE AKAU SHARK who heads here for both those races.

At the moment, Te Akau Shark (Rip Van Winkle-Bak Da Chief) is in New Zealand. He boasts a record of 5 wins from 6 starts. His only defeat was 4th at Gr 1 level.

But according to his trial in NZ yesterday, and his trainer Jamie Richards, this is a very serious racehorse.

In his trial he came storming down the outside and brained them under a vice-like grip.

“He has come back in really, really good order,” he said on NZ Radio this morning.

“We’ll have a start in NZ then head to Sydney and if everything goes the way we hope, he’ll have a crack at the Epsom and the Cox Plate.”

The handsome, and strapping 5YO chestnut gelding whose mother was a Gr 2 winner and whose family boasts the former Gai and Adrian trained millionaire and multiple stakes winner Ecuador, has had his issues.

And just 6 starts underlines that. “He doesn’t want to race every 2nd week on firm tracks, but maybe at the end of his campaign this season he’ll be mature and sound enough to handle that,” added Richards.

The Cox Plate is the target for Australian Bloodstock’s European Gr 1 star DANCETERIA, also for multiple Cox plate placegetter HUMIDOR and of course the wonder mare MYSTIC JOURNEY.

If Te Akau Shark measure’s up and gee his trial suggests he will, it could be a Cox Plate for the ages.

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