Proven Stayers Clash in Karaka Cup

2018 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup winner August Edition (NZ).
2018 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup winner August Edition (NZ).

A spectacular twilight race meeting at Ellerslie on Saturday will begin with an exciting clash of stayers in the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup (2200m).

Introduced in 2014, the Karaka Cup is open for graduates of the National Yearling Sales Series to compete in every year for the remainder of their careers. Its first five runnings have produced a number of memorable moments, headed by the 2017 victory by subsequent Auckland Cup winner Chenille (NZ) (Pentire).

This year’s field is headed by Five To Midnight (NZ) (Domesday), who was bought for $165,000 at the 2014 Select Sale. He has won eight races and $521,490 in prizemoney, headed by wins in the Group 3 Waikato Cup (2400m), Listed Hawke’s Bay Cup (2200m) and Listed Feilding Gold Cup (2100m). He has placed in another 12 black-type races including the Group 1 Auckland Cup (3200m).

$220,000 Premier Sale graduate Mongolian Marshal (NZ) (High Chaparral) has made an impact on both sides of the Tasman. He ran two races in New Zealand last season before travelling to Sydney, where he was fourth in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m) and eighth in the Group 1 Australian Derby (2400m).

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Mongolian Marshal has been even better this season, winning three races including the Group 3 Waikato Cup. He has placed in all of his other three starts including the Group 3 Counties Cup (2100m) and Group 3 City of Auckland Cup (2400m).

His stablemate Gundown (High Chaparral) was a $70,000 purchase at the Premier Sale. He has had 14 starts for two wins and six placings, including runner-up finishes in the Group 2 Championship Stakes (2100m) and Group 3 Manawatu Classic (2000m).

The well-related The Good Fight (NZ) (High Chapparal), closely related to Group 1 winners Samantha Miss (Redoute’s Choice) and Cronus (NZ) (Zabeel), was a $300,000 purchase at the 2016 Premier Sale.

Trainer Shaune Ritchie has guided The Good Fight through an increasingly impressive four-year-old campaign, winning twice and producing a huge finish for a last-start second in the $100,000 Dunstan Feeds Stayers’ Championship Final (2200m).

The field also features the defending champion, August Edition (NZ) (Alamosa), who cost just $12,000 at the 2014 Festival Sale. Victory in last year’s race has contributed significantly to her career earnings of $103,500.

The CollinsonForex Karaka Cup is the opening race on the Karaka Million programme, with a start time of 4.44pm.

1 Five To Midnight 3 6 g Domesday - Fastnet Lady Lisa Latta K2 $165,000 The Oaks Stud Lisa Latta Racing Stables $521,490
2 Mongolian Marshal 1 4 g High Chaparral - Ardeche Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman K1 $220,000 Cambridge Stud Rider Horse NZ $223,625
3 Sasanof's Hero 7 7 g Patapan - Angel's Honour Jim Collett K3 $12,000 Brighthill Farm FB Crimmins $136,590
4 Gundown 4 4 g High Chaparral - Lady Of The House Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman K1 $70,000 Trelawney Stud Bruce Perry Bloodstock $84,100
5 Bully Boy 5 4 g Rock 'N' Pop - Fru Ju Shaun & Emma Clotworthy K2 $24,000 Waikato Stud Mr AM Bull $73,060
6 August Edition 2 6 m Alamosa - Miranda Miss Shaun & Emma Clotworthy K3 $12,000 K.R. & A.J. Mahoney CJ McIlroy & CV Crosby $103,500
7 The Good Fight 6 4 g High Chaparral - Pravda Shaune Ritchie K1 $300,000 Rich Hill Stud Mr SF Ritchie $53,925
8 Redcayenne 8 5 g Bullbars - Sunday Whisper Tony Pike K2 $35,000 Highview Heke Mai Trust $58,350
9 Sacred Day 9 4 g Azamour - Top Of The Day Tony Pike K2 $90,000 Brighthill Farm Raffles Racing $43,150

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