Richards to take over Te Akau training

Jamie Richards will assume sole training duties at New Zealand's powerful Te Akau Racing with senior partner Stephen Autridge to step down to spend more time with his family.

Richards, 28, will take over the eight-time champion stable from the beginning of the new season on August 1.

"Together Stephen Autridge and Jamie Richards have been a potent partnership," Te Akau boss David Ellis said.

"In three years, they have won a premiership, been named champion trainers and have recorded 42 Group and Listed race successes together, including 13 at Group One level.

"Stephen Autridge has decided to take a step back from running a major stable.

"Stephen and his wife Lynley are two of the finest people you will ever meet in racing.

"Stephen is as good a horseman as you will ever meet, and it's been a very successful and happy association. We will miss him and Lynley greatly but naturally we respect their desire to take life a little easier."

Autridge said he had achieved what he wanted to during his tenure with Te Akau.

"This is a natural progression and a very positive one to my mind," he said.

"When I re-joined Te Akau three years ago it was always my goal to achieve three career highlights before "handing the baton" on to Jamie.

"I hadn't won the Derby as a trainer, I achieved that with Gingernuts. I wanted to train 1000 winners and that happened recently on the day we laid my mother Gloria to rest and I wanted to win another trainers' premiership - mission accomplished.

"Mentoring rising talent has always been important to me, passing on my knowledge and experience and I have enjoyed doing this with Jamie and Mark Walker before him.

"For us it is time to step back from leading a major stable. We want to spend more time enjoying our family and our leisure time."

Richards is keen to take on the challenge.

"I would like to thank Steve Autridge. As he was to Mark Walker, he has been a great mentor to me throughout our partnership. I have learnt a lot from him and am hugely grateful for that guidance. We have had a great three seasons together and while I am sad to see our partnership end, I am also incredibly excited about the future.

"To lead the Te Akau NZ operation is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It's a dream come true and I can't wait for the new season.

The horsepower in the stable for the new season is formidable and the team and I are totally committed to bringing out the very best in every one of them for our exceptional group of owners."