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Career / Results  Racing Post

Won Margareta Wettermarks Memorial

Won Giant Sandman Cup

2nd Norwegian 1,000 Guineas

2nd Bloomers' Vase (LR) Bro Park

2nd Nagell Erichsen Fillies & Mares Stakes

2nd Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) - Øvrevoll

2nd Stockholm Fillies & Mares S. - Bro Park

3rd Lanwades Stud Stakes (LR) - Bro Park

3rd Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning - Jägersro

Half sister to French black type performer Hot Team and from the family of high class

US miler Ballagh Rocks as well as champion 2yo Unbridled's Song - sire of Arrogate.

Takeko winning the Wettermarks. Photo: S. Olsson

Click to enlarge

Stabell talk 2023

Takeko - coming off strong season

Takeko enjoyed a productive season in 2022, stepping up nicely on her form as a three-year-old in 2021. when she was runner-up in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas and won the Giant Sandman Cup. Her four-year-old exploits were even better, with the peak performance coming when she landed the Margareta Wettermarks Minneslöping on Swedish Derby day at Jägersro. Switching to dirt, after having finished second to Iron Butterfly when making her seasonal debut in the Nagell-Erichsens Hoppeløp at home and filled the same place behind Ascot Brass in the Bloomers' Vase (LR) at Bro Park, Takeko proved much too good for her nine rivals in the 1730-metres long Wettermarks. She stayed on strongly at the finish and won most comfortably by 2 lengths from Thunderey, who beat Numeira by a head for second. Aperola occupied fourth place, beaten 7 lengths by Takeko, and the entire field was strung out to the tune of almost 25 lengths.

Continuing as a regular player in the top division for fillies and mares, Takeko failed to win again but he ran solid races in defeat, and was arguably a bit unlucky when beaten a neck by Go On Calras in the Stockholm Fillies & Mares Stakes over 2100 metres / turf at Bro Park in October. She returned to Jägersro the following month and produced another game performance on the dirt track, taking third in the Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning, beaten 3 lengths behind the smart winner Scarlett.

Takeko ended 2022 with over half a million kroner in earnings, thus climbing up to 790,475 kroner earned from 14 runs since she joined Annike's stable ahead of the 2021-season. She now has a half-sister, Yukochan, among her stable companions, and both these fillies seem likely to make a mark on the upcoming campaign. Takeko's class is undeniable and that she is just as good on dirt as she is on turf, is a big plus. Her programme as a five-year-old is more or less self explanatory, as she is likely to be seen in much the same events she ran in last year. Her results have naturally enhanced the value of her family and there was more good news for the dam, Ahd, last year. Her 2016-son by Zofanny, the Listed winner Hot Team, won twice in England, bringing his tally to six wins, and her 2017-daughter by Footstepsinthesand, One Small Step, won for a third time in Ireland. This family is full of winners and it's hard to imagine that there won't be more to come. GS 050223

Carlos Lopez - rode Takeko in Sweden

Takeko a game third in 

Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning

15 Nov 22: Back at the venue of her finest hour - success in the 'Wettermarks' on Swedish Derby day - Takeko ran yet another good race at Jägersro Galopp on Sunday. She fell three lengths short of entering the winners' circle this time, but her third place finish in Jockeyklubbens Avelslöpning was a nice way to round off what has been an excellent campaign for the daughter of Mehmas. This was a stamina test for her. Although 2400 metres is run around three turns, the distance takes some getting over this dirt track - and perhaps it was a bit too far for Takeko's liking. Restrained in last place early on, she tried hard coming down the home straight but could never get on terms with the two that beat her, Swedish Oaks winner Scarlett and Blue Gem. Only nine runners have earned more than Scarlett in Sweden this year. No prizes for guessing who is on the top of that list, by the way.

Youonlyliveonce accompanied Takeo to Sweden and he too ran with credit in defeat, finishing second to the front-running Plantstepsdream in the Handsome Hawk Open Handicap, run over 1600 metres. Youonlyliveonce raced too freely early on, when he failed to get cover sitting just off the leader, but he ran on with purpose at the finish and was beaten less than two lengths. Plantstepsdream is a tough performer with nine wins to his name, including one at Listed level. Nicolaj Stott rode Youonlyliveonce - while Takeko was ridden by Carlos Lopez. GS  

Stockholm Fillies & Mares Stakes: Takeko (9) finishing fast for second.

Strong runs in important events

I Rest My Case, Takeko placed in stakes

17 Oct 22: Just days after I Rest My Case ran such a good race to be placed in the Norwegian Oaks - where she was badly compromised by the slow pace - Takeko followed up with an strong runner-up effort in the Stockholm Cup Fillies & Mares Stakes at Bro Park. Finishing best of all after being waited with at the back, she lost the 2100-metres turf contest by just a neck, beaten by Go On Calras, whose rider, Nicolaj Stott, was handed a suspension for 'incorrect use of the whip' by the local Stewards. Takeko earned 82,500 kronor for this performance. Her stable companion Admiral de Vega was also in action at Bro Park on Sunday, having his first crack at stakes competition in the Mischa Kahn Memorial, run over 1600 metres on dirt, and he shaped well in third place behind Running Rolf and Chianti. Jacob Johansen rode Admiral de Vega, while Elione Chaves had the mount on Takeko.

Takeko outclassing her rivals

Wins Margareta Wettermarks with ease

Photos: Stefan Olsson / SG

Click photos to enlarge

Takeko took the important fillies' and mares' contest comfortably by 2 1/2 lengths and was back on the bridle well before passing the winning post. Her runner-up, fellow Norwegian raider Thunderey, got up to pip Numeira by a head, as Aperola was another 5 lengths behind in fourth place.

Takeko winning just as easily in the Margareta Wettermarks Memorial

17 July 22: Takeko went off favourite for the Margareta Wettermarks Minneslöpning, and she did not disappoint. Everything but a slightly hesitant start and a touch of eagerness in the early stages of the race was perfect - and coming down the home stretch she was simply superb, ridden by the jockey of the day - Oliver Wilson. Takeko won comfortably from Thunderey and Numeira, gaining her career's third success and earning 207.500 kronor in the process. 

Margareta Wettermarks Minneslöpning 2022

TAKEKO / A Bye Hansen / O Wilson

4 b f Mehmas - Ahd / Elusive Quality

Owned by Ninja Racing & Väsby Häst AB  /  Bred by Old Carhue Stud

Strong seasonal debut

Takeko runs second in 'Nagell-Erichsen'

17 May 22: Takeko, making her first start of the season, proved that she belongs in the elite of fillies and mares by taking second in the traditional Fam. Nagell-Erichsens Hoppeløp on this high profile raceday. She had to surrender to the odds-on favourite Iron Butterfly but ran on really well to hold second from For The Roses, while Tambora Queen wound up in fourth place. Takeko was ridden by Oliver Wilson. She dwelt slightly from stall one but was soon in a prominent position, racing a bit freely in third / fourth through the first part of the race. She was second coming into the home straight, as Smooth Escape continued to lead, and went ahead alongside Tambora Queen, who took the lead with about 300 metres to go. She could not sustain her run, however, and Takeko gained the upper hand 200 metres from the winning post. Iron Butterfly came from off the pace and swept by to beat her - in a race that promises so much for both these four-year-olds. I Rest My Case ran a fine race to take fourth in Forsommerløp for 3yos. GS

Takeko running on gamely /

She's got a long term future

Takeko - just the type we need

Something is happening in Takeko's family – all the time. Which is why this makes her just the type of filly Scandinavian owners and breeders should import. Many will argue that it's not all that easy to spot a talented filly with her profile but, let's be honest about it, 'how hard can it be?' Take knowledge on horses, their conformation, their potential as runners, and combine it with a bit of homework, then narrow the search down to those that tick most of the boxes. It's still a longshot to buy a young thoroughbred – but those that make sure it's not an absolute shot in the dark do stand a better chance of success.

Takeko ticks quite a few boxes. Her sire Mehmas, offers that invaluable asset called speed, and his influence could well become even more productive, as she goes through with her racing campaign. She's not a star, but she has very good form and she comes from a family producing winners that go on as older horses. Her unraced dam, Ahd, who is a daughter of Evasive's father Elusive Quality, saw three more wins from her offspring in 2021. Her Zoffany son Hot Team won two 9-furlong handicaps at Hamilton Park and is thus now a winner of 4 races. He is also a Listed winner, having captured the Bordeaux le Bouscat in France as a juvenile. That's it you see, a winner at two that keeps up the good work at five. The kind of runner that sreves the sport in nothing but a positive way. His half-sister One Small Step (Footstepsinthesand) also doubled her tally in 2021, winning a 10-furlong handicap at Windsor, while yet another runner representing Ahd, the Anjaal son Allihies, won on his racecourse bow in Ireland, scoring in a 7-furlong maiden at Limerick. He ran just once more, and it's worth noting that he took part in the Eyrefield Stakes (G3) at Leopardstown. Yes, he was unplaced that day, but it's interesting to note that his connections decided to aim that highly with him. He is a gelding so it obviously wasn't with a brave move with a stud career in mind.

Ahd never raced – she was most certainly bred to, being a by a high class stallion out of Abby Road, who won the St. Hugh's Stakes (LR) and Newbury in her seven-race career. Abby Road was sent to the Keeneland November Sales in Kentucky, one of the world's most prestigious auctions for broodmare prospects, where she changed hands for $875,000. She has produced three winners, including Ajraam, a winner of 5 races. One of the others, Always Waitin, is also interesting – she was sold for $140,000 at the Keeneland Sales when she was just a foal.

These prices tell us one thing; that the horses were correct and seen as good broodmare prospects. Takeo seems to be in the same mold. Her racecourse record stands at 2 wins and 5 placed efforts from 13 starts, and she may be open to further improvement at four. Her two wins came over 1600 metres on the turf and she was also runner-up in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas, beaten 1 ½ lengths by Iron Butterfly, who went on to win the Danish Derby on her subsequent start.

Although two of her siblings have won over further than a mile, Takeko's resume spells miler and that is also essentially how she was bred. Mehmas was a very smart juvenile, winning the July Stakes (G2) and Richmond Stakes (G2), and finishing second in the National Stakes (G1) and Coventry Stakes (G2). He only raced at two. His best son to date is the speedy and precocious Supremacy, winner of the Middle Park Stakes (G1) and Richmond Stakes (G3) in his first season.

Digging one generation back in Tekeko's female family, we find two high class US turf runners, half-brothers to Abby Road; namely Ballagh Rocks and Eh Cumpari. The latter won the Palm Beach Stakes (G3) over a mile at Gulfstream Park, while Ballagh Rocks was a hardy, tough miler who won 7 races up to the age of seven. His high point was a win in the Poker Stakes (G3) over a mile at Belmont Park. It may not be all that relevant, but talking about this family without mentioning Unbridled's Song would hardly make it justice, as he was champion juvenile colt in North American back in 1995, when he landed the Breeders' Cup Juvenile (G1). He was a son of Godspell, who was a sister to Abby Road's dam. Did Unbridled's Song carry his class through to the next season? You bet he did. He won the Florida Derby (G1) and Wood Memorial (G2) before his non-staying fifth in the Kentucky Derby (G1). He's not been too shabby as a sire either. Unbridled's Song is the father of the incredible Arrogate. And by the way, was Unbridled's Song also a correct, scopey and appealing young animal when sent to the sales? It does seem that way. Why else would Hiroshi Fujita fork out $1.4 million to secure the colt when he went through the ring at the Barretts Breeze Up Sale?

Whatever happens as Takeko continues with her racing, she will make a popular broodmare prospect when she retires. Let's just hope that we see her run, and win, a lot more before she gets to that stage of her life. GS 22030722

Takeko's relative Eh Cumpari winning the Palm Beach at Gulfstream Park

Takeko winning Giant Sandman Cup / Photo:

Beating 2,000 Guineas winner

Takeko wins Giant Sandman Cup

15 July 21: Takeko, who ran second in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas, followed up with a win in the Giant Sandman Cup over 1600 metres on turf, where she not only beat the winner of the 2,000 Guineas but also proved far too good for older horses. This may have been a handicap though, in effect, Takeko was actually taking a step up in class here – and she is clearly one of the better three-year-olds in Scandinavia these days. Annike, with the help of Walter Buick, has once more proved that high class performers do not have to cost a fortune. Takeko was purchased for 12,000 guineas (about 150,000 kroner) at the Tattersalls December Sales and this win, worth 55,000 kroner, pushed her seasonal earnings to 155,000 kroner. Anything this daughter of Mehmas does from now on can be seen as a bonus. All being well with her, that bonus should be considerable, for Takeko just keeps on improving. This was only her fourth start, and second win, since she joined Annike's team.

Ridden by Jacob Johansen, Takeko captured the race by three parts of a length from Simply Minds, who held second by a neck from the staying-on Like a King. Like a King had won the Norwegian 2,000 Guineas on his previous outing, with Simply Minds a length behind him in fourth place. Like a King's winning time that day was just 1/10 sec. sharper than the time Takeko clocked as she was was runner-up in the fillies' classic.

Takeko was travelling noticeably well just off a strong pace in the Giant Sandman Cup, and she advanced to take charge approaching the 200-metres marker. Though 'take charge' may not be the right phrase, not quite that soon anyway, as five horses were all in with a chance at that stage. Takeko gradually drew off, and she won the race well, showing the same positive attitude we have seen from her in previous races. She ran third in a Dundalk maiden last October, and that race has now produced four subsequent winners of six races combined.

Annike said after the race that Takeko, owned by Ninja Racing, will be aimed at the Landwades Stud Stakes (LR) over this same course and distance on Derby day (22 August), “possibly with one run before that day”, according to the trainer. The Lanwades Stud is worth 150,000 kroner to the winner and has attracted 14 early entries; Ascot Brass, Bassoline, Buckybabe, Careless Whisper, Eesha My Flower, For The Roses, Freed From Desire, Nouvelle Lune, Queen Rouge, Rapidash, Sophie B, Takeko, Thunderry and Victiore Pisa.  GS

Takeko with Siri Norset Christiansen, Marina Lie, Annike Bye Hansen and Cathrine Fortune in the winners' circle /

1,000 Guineas next

Takeko impressive in maiden breaker

10 June 2021: Takeko was the shortest priced favourite on this eight-race card but not many could have expected her to win the night's maiden event in the manner she did. Ninja Racing's filly, imported from England ahead of this season, absolutely bolted up under a confident Per-Ander Gråberg, beating My French Dream hard held by 2 1/2 lengths. She ran the 1600 metres in 1.39.7, exactly the same time clocked by Simply Minds as he took a good winners' race over the same distance half a an hour earlier. The ground was good, something that clearly suited the well actioned Takeko much better than the heavy ground she encountered on her seasonal debut. She advanced smoothly coming up by the stands' side rail at the finish and got to the lead 300 metres out, where she quickened right away. In a matter of strides, it was all over.  Her stable companion Tambora Queen missed the break completely in the same race and was always trailing thereafter. She did make up some ground, however, and beat two home. Takeko's next start will be in the Norwegian 1,000 Guineas on June 26, a race Annike won with Unwanted Beauty two years ago. 

Seeyouincourt created a favourable impression when third in the sprint maiden on the night, while Calcaterre (fourth) and Meste dos Magos (fifth) were both a bit below form in Norsk Forening For Fullblodsavls Løp, won by Pirlo. GS

Can she live up to her name?

Named after female warrior

Takeko gets her name from the Japan's famous female warrior Nakano Takeko (1847 - 1868), who - without permission - fought and died during the Boshin War. Read more about this remarkable woman on Wikipedia.

Stabell talk 2021

Takeko - interesting young filly

Annike secured an interesting young filly at the 2020 Tattersalls December Sales as her agent Walter Buick got the final bid for Takeko on behalf of a racing partnership. Takeko, formerly trained by Henry de Bromhead in Ireland, she is a maiden but she has good form in the book - something her Irish handicap mark of 80 confirms. She ran third in maiden races over 6 furlongs at The Curragh and Dundalk. Her good run at The Curragh came in June, while the Dundalk performance happened in October. Takeko has run well when sent to the lead and when held up up, and she seems versatile. A well bred daughter of Mehmas, she is out of Ahd (Elusive Quality) - an unraced mare that has has also produced Hot Team (Zoffany), a smart gelding whose finest hour came when he captured the one-mile Grand Criterium de Bordreaux (LR) as a juvenile. He had previously won a 7-furlong Novice Stakes at Newbury. Takeko's second dam, Abby Boad (Danehill), was a fast 2yo filly for trainer Brian Meehan. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Abby Road won the St. Hugh's Stakes (LR) at Newbury.

This is a family with a fair bit of speed, but it is also the family of Ballagh Rocks, a Grade 3 winning miler for top trainer Bill Mott in the USA. Ballagh Rocks has also finished second in the Maker's Mark Mile (G1) at Keeneland and third in the Fourstardave (G1) at Saratoga. He is still in training. With good results and a decent pedigree, it's reasonable to assume that Takeko will make her mark this year. For a start, she must be one of the best maidens in Scandinavia.

Takeko's Tattersalls pedigree page