It was a friendly bet on the 2016 Grand Final that had much greater significance than simple bragging rights. 

After former NSW Blues skipper Paul Gallen had just bought part ownership in horse Te Akau Shark, he was also preparing to captain the Sharks in a historic decider against the Melbourne Storm. 

But while a maiden premiership loomed for Cronulla, with the 14-12 victory officially 'turning the porch light off' for fans alike, the result also proved to be a defining factor in naming the young galloper. 

"I had a couple of mates who I do some work with outside of Rugby League," Gallen told Big Sports Breakfast

"In 2016 we bought the horse around Grand Final time and one of the boys is a massive Melbourne Storm fan and we're obviously all Sharks people." 

"Whoever won the Grand Final [was who] the horse was going to be named after and obviously we got the victory so we named him Te Akau Shark."

The name Te Akau Storm was a obviously a genuine chance but Gallen wasn't having a bar of it. 

"He could have been [named Te Akau Storm] and thankfully he wasn't," he said.

"Thankfully we got the job done."

The 4yo gelding shapes as one of New Zealand's most exciting prospects after it's impressive win in the  Group II Coupland Bakeries Mile at Riccarton last November.

And having won five races from it's past six starts, he is now preparing for a big Autumn Carnival and has been nominated for the All Star Mile at Flemington on 16 March.