Karaka Million Hopes Hinge on Saturday’s Race
Hopes Hinge on Saturday’s
Could this weekend’s $12,500 Countdown to Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie include the $1 million Karaka Million (Res.L) winner?
The field of 10 two-year-olds features some of the leading Karaka Million hopefuls as well as a number of horses who will need to produce a good performance in the race in order to give themselves a chance of a start in the million dollar race on Sunday 27 January.
Heading the field is the stakes winning Bernardini filly Ruud Awakening who currently holds second place on the Order of Entry – based on prize money earned – with $42,500 in stakes. Saturday’s race will see a rematch between her and Dancer's Tale (Tale of the Cat) who met in the Listed Wellesley Stakes in October.
Dancer’s Tale sits third in the Order of Entry with $40,435 in stakes after her Listed Welcome Stakes win in November.
Gateway (Coats Choice) and Touche (Thorn Park) have both earned what should be enough to see them into the Karaka Million field with Gateway running a good second to another leading Karaka Million hope, Catalonia (Commands), in the Listed Wentwood Grange Stakes at her last start.
A two-year-old race in the Manawatu in late December saw Keepherhot (Keeper) beat rival Touche and earn enough to give her a good chance of making the Karaka Million field. She carries the same colours as Fort Lincoln who claimed Karaka Million victory in 2011.
It has taken an average of just $6,588 in stakes to land the final spot in the 14 horse field in the last five Karaka Million races and, although the remaining five two-year-olds in the field are currently below that threshold, even a placing could see some of these horses racing for $1 million.
Total Response (Kheleyf) was third on debut to Catalonia in the Listed Wentwood Grange Stakes in a good performance for her first trip to the races while Lucky Feather (Darci Brahma), Dugan (Darci Brahma) and All The Way (Falkirk) all have the benefit of a race at Ellerslie heading into Saturday’s contest.
Covered 'N Bay (Lucky Unicorn) completes the field and comes into the race on debut.
Saturday’s Countdown to Karaka Million 2YO is one of just six two-year-old races left in New Zealand before the $1 million Karaka Million (Res.L) which will be held at Ellerslie at the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting on Sunday 27 January.