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The tangerine colours of Te Akau Racing have been carried to victory in both of the last two runnings of the Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m), and a contender for this year’s edition of the Trentham classic put her hand up in Saturday’s $65,000 Listed Grangewilliam Stud Oaks Prelude (1800m) at New Plymouth.

Family Ties (NZ) (Contributer) scored a convincing win in the hands of top jockey Opie Bosson, and she has now earned $48,880 from a six-start career that has produced two wins and a third. She was bought by Te Akau principal David Ellis for $60,000 from Mapperley Stud’s draft at the 2021 Ready to Run Sale.

A close fifth in the Group Three Eulogy Stakes (1600m) in December, Family Ties hadn’t had all favours when unplaced in two subsequent appearances. But she showed her true colours on Saturday with a powerful staying performance, quickening stylishly out of midfield and driving through the inside to score by a length and a half.

Trainer Mark Walker could now give her the chance to follow in the footsteps of Amarelinha (NZ) (Savabeel) and Belle En Rouge (NZ) (Burgundy) to give Te Akau a third straight win in the Oaks at Trentham on March 18.

“We think she is a filly that goes better with some cut in the track and she has struck a perfect deck for her today,” Te Akau’s racing manager Reece Trumper said.

“We’ll see how she gets through this, but she is nominated for the Oaks and with her pedigree we know she is going to get that trip.”

The fifth stakes winner for Mapperley Stud stallion Contributer, Family Ties is a granddaughter of Listed winner Glitzy (NZ) (O’Reilly) and comes from the family of the Group Two Matriarch Stakes (2000m) winner Savapinski (NZ) (Savabeel).

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