NZB Graduates Set Pace towards 2020 Karaka Million 2YO & 3YO Classic

Probabeel (NZ), dominating last year's Karaka Million 2YO.
Probabeel (NZ), dominating last year's Karaka Million 2YO.

The road to New Zealand’s most coveted race meeting has officially begun, with a number of youngsters set to take centre stage leading up to the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million Twilight Meeting (1200m).

2020 will mark yet another milestone event, providing a sensational night of racing with two $1m features. The Karaka Million Twilight Meeting offers the largest purse in New Zealand and will take place on the eve of the NZB National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka in January.

$1m Karaka Million 2YO

January 2020 will see the 13th running of the Karaka Million 2YO, with the two-year-old order of entry determined by prizemoney won during the season. Getting a head start on the 2020 Karaka Million 2YO leaderboard is Not An Option (Not A Single Doubt), easing his way into the first slot with earnings of $14,060.

Not An Option was purchased by Pike Racing for $240,000 from the draft of Curraghmore Stud at the 2019 Book 1 Sale. Trained by Tony Pike, the promising juvenile is part of a colts syndicate Pike formed prior to the sale. The Not A Single Doubt colt is leading the way after an impressive racing debut at Pukekohe Park on the 22 September.

“It was a good performance,” Pike said. “We really wanted to barrier trial him again but with Avondale being an extremely heavy track and obviously the long trek up to Ruakaka wasn’t ideal.

“We targeted this race a few weeks ago and just wanted to roll the dice and try and get some prizemoney in the bin which qualifies him for the Karaka Million.”

Not An Option will now head for a brief break before being prepared for the Karaka Million 2YO in January.

Platinum Dubai (NZ) (Pride of Dubai), Play That Song (NZ) (Showcasing) and Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel), all measure up strongly, sitting in equal second place with earnings of $6,250.

Platinum Dubai’s win at Otaki on the 26 September was the first for her sire Pride of Dubai. The filly was secured by Lisa Latta for $100,000 from Ardsley Stud’s 2019 Book 1 draft.

Play That Song was sold through the 2019 Windsor Park Book 2 draft for $42,000. The Nigel Tiley trained filly is already a winner at two after claiming the Tee Café Functions at Ruakaka 2YO Stakes (800m) at Ruakaka on 2 October.

Purchased from Book 1 at Karaka by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis for $150,000, Cool Aza Beel took out the first two-year-old race of the season after winning the Whanganui JC Thoroughbred Breeders Maiden Stakes (800m) on 7 September. Bought from the draft of Fairdale Stud, the emerging colt is a first foal out of Cool ‘n’ Sassy (Testa Rossa) and is prepared by Te Akau’s trainer Jamie Richards.

View the full 2020 Karaka Million 2YO Order of Entry here.

$1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic

2020 will see the third consecutive year of the $1,000,000 Karaka Million 3YO Classic, with runners setting the pace for another exciting season of racing. The order of entry is determined by NZTR rating and multiple Group One winner Yourdeel (NZ) (Dundeel) has taken the reins, leading this seasons entries.

Last season Yourdeel claimed four races with double Group One victories in the ARC Diamond Stakes (1200m) and the Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m). The smart juvenile was sold for $100,000 at Karaka 2018 and his performances have now earned him $375,600 in prizemoney with a current rating of 89.

The 2018 Karaka graduate was purchased from Book 1 by Chris Rutten Bloodstock from the draft of Little Avondale Stud and finished third equal in the Karaka Million 2YO last season. The Dundeel colt has since been sold and is now trained by Karaka Million winning trainers David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, who won the 3YO feature race last season in Sir Peter Vela owned Long Leaf (Fastnet Rock).

2019 Karaka Million 2YO victor Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) is following along in second place with a current rating of 84. Purchased for $380,000 by David Ellis out of the Book 1 Waikato Stud draft, the filly burst onto the racing scene with two consecutive wins as a two-year-old before dominating the 2019 Karaka Million 2YO at Ellerslie.

Owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay and trainer Jamie Richards are currently campaigning the filly in Australia. After being pipped at the post in the Group Two Tea Rose Stakes for 3YO at Randwick on the 21 September, Probabeel will tackle the Group One Flight Stakes (1600m) this weekend.

In third place on the three-year-old order of entry is Group Three winner Miss Federer (NZ) (Swiss Ace) with a rating of 79. After a successful win earlier on this year in the Group Three Taranaki 2YO Classic at Taranaki RC, the Andrew Carston trained filly later led all the way for a brilliant victory in the CJC Canterbury Belle Stakes on 21 September. Miss Federer was purchased for $10,000 from the Bradbury Park draft in the 2018 Book 2 Sale. 

View the full 2020 Karaka Million 3YO Classic Order of Entry here.

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