Probabeel Chases Karaka Million History

Karaka Million 2YO victor Probabeel (NZ) (Savebeel).
Karaka Million 2YO victor Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel).

High-class filly Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) will shoot for a slice of history at the Karaka Million twilight race meeting at Ellerslie on January 25.

She will attempt to become the first winner of the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) to return 12 months later and win the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).

Probabeel was a dazzling winner of the Karaka Million 2YO last year, breaking from the extreme outside gate of 14 but still outclassing her rivals by two and three-quarter lengths.

She went on to perform with credit in elite company in Sydney in the spring, finishing second to the highly rated Funstar (Adelaide) in the Group One Flight Stakes (1600m) and Group Two Tea Rose Stakes (1400m). In the Tea Rose Stakes, she was edged out by only a nose in a desperately close photo finish.

Trainer Jamie Richards took Probabeel to Awapuni on January 4 for her Karaka Million warm-up, scoring a smooth victory over 1400 metres.

“We had that race picked out for a while, three weeks out from the Karaka Million,” Richards said. “She’ll improve a lot, and it’s nice to have her back and to win a race in those colours of Brendan and Jo Lindsay.

“She’s really started to thrive – the spring campaign in Sydney brought her on a lot. She didn’t develop a huge amount from two to three through the winter, but with a bit of sun on her back in Sydney and a good month at the Karaka farm of Cambridge Stud, she’s come on in leaps and bounds.”

Probabeel was bred by Waikato Stud patriarch Garry Chittick and was part of Waikato Stud’s draft at Karaka 2018. She was sold to Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis for $380,000.

Probabeel is raced by the Lindsays, whose colours are also set to be carried by Not An option  and Taroni (NZ) (Showcasing) in this year’s Karaka Million 2YO.

The owners of Cambridge Stud, the Lindsays have endured a tough season run in recent months with the untimely deaths of Cambridge’s stallions Roaring Lion, Burgundy and Tavistock.

Probabeel has already given the Lindsays four wins and three placings from 10 starts and more than $769,000 in prize-money, and she could deliver something even more special on Karaka Million night.

“I purchased Probabeel to syndicate, and two days later Brendan and Jo came and bought her outright, which is great,” Ellis recalled. “Not only are they having a hell of a lot of fun, but she’s become an immensely valuable filly.

“Probabeel showed she was special when winning her first start at Ellerslie, and after winning three from four she unfortunately struck two heavy tracks when we took her to Sydney as a two-year-old.

“She had a good spell and we kicked her off again at Randwick, and, really, she was pretty unlucky not to win one of the legs of the Princess Series. She was racing against the best fillies in Australia, and showed she was up to them.

“Jamie (Richards) has done a terrific job with her and it’s exciting for Brendan and Jo, and all our team, that she can contest another million-dollar race at the end of January. She loves Ellerslie, killed them in the Karaka Million, and I think she’ll be a top chance.”

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