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Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis says he is looking to lease boxes at Flemington

Te Akau Racing boss David Ellis says he is looking to lease boxes at Flemington but has no plans to set up a permanent Australian base.

Ellis sent several horses from New Zealand to target autumn races in Melbourne and Sydney with Probabeel and Te Akau Shark winning Group One races and Melody Belle running third in the All-Star Mile and fourth in the Doncaster.

The Te Akau team plans another attack on the spring with Ellis saying they will nominate five horses for the 2020 Cox Plate in which Te Akau Shark ran third last year.

“We will be nominating five horses for the Cox Plate – Prise De Fer, Avantage, Melody Belle, Probabeel, and Te Akau Shark,” Ellis told NZ Racing Desk.

“We are looking at what will be the best way to get our horses to that race and the most cost-effective for our owners.

“We are looking at all options, but we are going to have a nice team to race in Melbourne in the spring.”

After a successful Sydney carnival, the stable’s retained New Zealand rider Opie Bosson has revealed his intention to base himself in Australia in the future and Ellis said he would discuss the situation with him when he returns.

“Opie is going to come and see me when he comes back and gets out of quarantine, but our goal has always been to win good races in Australia and we will continue doing that,” Ellis said.

Melody Belle, Te Akau Shark and Probabeel have remained in Australia, along with travelling foreman Ashley Handley, until suitable flights can be arranged for their return to New Zealand.

“Paul Richards and Ashley Handley are superstars. They they have done a fantastic job looking after Te Akau’s team in Australia,” Ellis said.

“Ashley is staying in Australia and is still working for Te Akau. We are just waiting to see what our options are so that if we can’t transport horses we have got somebody who can look after them in the short term over there.”

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