Seven Racing for 100,000 Carnival Sale Bonus
Seven Racing for 100,000 Carnival Sale Bonus
On one of the biggest days of racing in New Zealand, seven of the 12 juveniles in the New Zealand Bloodstock Carnival Sale Bonus 2YO at Ellerslie tomorrow will sprint for a $100,000 Carnival Sale Bonus.
The new incentive introduced at New Zealand Bloodstock's inaugural Carnival Yearling Sale last year gave every horse purchased at that Sale the chance to enter to run for the $100,000 bonus on Mercedes NZ Derby Day.
On top of the $40,000 stake, a cheque for $100,000 will be paid by New Zealand Bloodstock to the first Carnival Sale graduate past the post, regardless of where it finishes in the field. With a long list of 99 graduates entered for the chance to win the bonus, one of seven eligible starters in Saturday's field is certain to take home the spoils.
The formidable Te Akau Racing Team, with current trainers premiership leader Mark Walker, has a two-pronged attack on the bonus with Nuke Time (Choisir x Chloella by Geiger Counter) and Sir Invincible (Invincible Spirit x Muffin McLay by Bellotto).
Having drawn the coveted barrier one Nuke Time's chances look better than those he was dealt in the Karaka Million at Ellerslie last month where he drew barrier 10 to finish in tenth place. Opie Bosson will ride the chestnut gelding who has four starts for one win and two third placings under his belt to date.
Sale-topping stablemate Sir Invincible (Invincible Spirit x Muffin McLay by Bellotto) fared worse in the draw, and starts from barrier 12. Former Champion NZ Apprentice jockey Jason Waddell has the ride and is fresh from an impressive victory in the Group 2 Robin Duke of Bedford Matamata Breeders' Stakes on Te Akau Coup last weekend. Sir Invincible has raced six times for two wins and a second placing.
Te Akau principal David Ellis secured Nuke Time for $50,000 and Sir Invincible for $120,000, both from Esker Lodge.
With $10,000 of the bonus going to the owner of the horse at the time of sale, Esker Lodge have a third chance at bonus riches with one other graduate of their 2007 Carnival Sale draft, the Allan Sharrock trained Hot Like Me (Royal Academy x Racer's Belle by Racer's Edge). Russell Philp bid to $45,000 to secure the filly who broke maiden ranks two starts ago at Trentham. Tomorrow she and Mark Du Plessis will join forces for this her fifth start.
Murray Baker is looking for talented colt Fully Fledged (Align x Fledged by Bluebird) to redeem himself since thwarting his chances of a spot in the Karaka Million last month after leaping the running rail in the Group 2 Ford Wakefield Challenge Stakes. A much improved winning trial at Paeroa on 5 February could indicate he's back on track, this time with Leith Innes aboard.
Mike and Paul Moroney's lightly tried runner Shock (Keeper x Severe by Keen), a $17,000 purchase, will be having just her second raceday start having recently finished fourth behind Ransom Express at Paeroa. Michael Coleman will retain the ride to start from barrier three.
Two debut runners Allaboutimage (Strategic Image x Maeve by Honor Grades) and So Alberta (Bertolini x Soulieado by Bigstone) round up the bonus-eligible horses.
Trainer Paul Duncan purchased Allaboutimage for the bargain price of $6,000 from Te Runga Stud. The filly has shown promise having won and come second in her last two trials at Cambridge.
Hastings-based Margaret Harkema purchased So Alberta for $6,500 from Timberlee Thoroughbreds. Shane Simon has prepared the filly at Cambridge to be placed in her first two trials and to win her last one back in October. Kate Hercock has the ride from barrier four.
Making up the field, but not eligible for the Carnival Sale bonus, are the Richard and Chris Otto trained Sanjura (Sandtrap x La Jura by Kingdom Bay), Bruce Wallace's Sufficient (Zabeel x Fleur de Chine by Centaine), Alberton Princess (Golan x Straussbridge by Straussbrook) from Richard Yuill's stable, the Stephen McKee runner Khaspa (Spartacus x Kharlie Princess by Centaine) and Peter McKay's Al Qurhah (Stravinsky x Belleville by Danehill).
This year's Carnival Sale is set to take place at Karaka on Friday 7 March. Graduates will once again have the chance to enter for the $100,000 Bonus and the Karaka Million in 2009. In an added incentive, for the same Karaka Million entry fee as last year, this year horses will also be eligible for the $200,000 Karaka 3YO Mile in 2010.