Four in a Row for Te Akau in Karaka Million 2YO

2020 Karaka Million 2YO Victor Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel).
2020 Karaka Million 2YO Victor Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel).

Te Akau Racing has been a dominant force on the buyers’ bench at Karaka for more than a decade, and that dominance has carried over into the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) with an incredible four consecutive victories.

New Zealand’s syndication juggernaut won the rich two-year-old race with $57,500 purchase Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) in 2017, then won it again with $210,000 filly Avantage (Fastnet Rock) in 2018, and the $380,000 buy Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) in 2019.

On Saturday that winning trio became a quartet with a brilliant performance by Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel), who was a $150,000 purchase from Fairdale Stud in Book 1 of Karaka 2019 by Te Akau principal David Ellis.

Ridden by Opie Bosson, the brown colt was in the early charge for the lead before easing back to sit just behind the front-runners in fourth.

Bosson got Cool Aza Beel rolling with 400 metres to go, and he and the favourite Play That Song (NZ) (Showcasing) surged to the lead together in the straight.

Just when it looked like the unbeaten Play That Song was about to assert superiority again, Cool Aza Beel found another gear on her inside and kicked powerfully to win by a length and a half.

It was not only the fourth Karaka Million win in a row for horses purchased by Te Akau at Karaka, but also for trainer Jamie Richards and jockey Opie Bosson.

“I saw the favourite’s head come up beside me, but I have to give credit to my horse – he gave a really good kick in the straight,” Bosson said. “It’s a great result and a privilege to be part of the Te Akau team.”

Cool Aza Beel has now had four starts for three wins and $573,560 in stakes for owners the Te Akau Sassy Beel Syndicate, managed by Karyn Fenton-Ellis.

The colt’s only defeat came with a fourth placing in the Listed FastTrack Insurance Stakes (1100m) at Pukekohe in November, when he was hopelessly blocked in the straight and lost all chance of victory.

“It’s an awesome result,” Richards said. “It’s a really great way to start the biggest week of the year for us. Whether we can make it five in a row I’m not sure, but I’d like to think so. We’re definitely going to be out there in force at Karaka over the next few days, looking for more horses like this.

“We’ve always had a lot of faith in this horse. We took our time with him. He missed a run here at Ellerslie earlier in the month, but we had Tauranga (January 17) as a back-up plan.

“We’d been really happy with his work coming into today. It’s been a great effort by the team at home with this horse, and a great ride by Opie, who’s just a freak. I also have to give big thanks to Dave (Ellis) – what an achievement to buy four Karaka Million winners in a row!”

Runner-up Play That Song cost $40,000 from Book 2 of Karaka 2019 and has now earned $264,375 in her four-start, three-win career.

The third placegetter was Taroni (NZ) (Showcasing), who was bought for $90,000 from Book 1. She has now had three starts for a win and two placings, earning $108,840.

Vendor Fairdale Stud
Purchaser Mr DC Ellis (Te Akau)
Breeding Savabeel – Cool ‘n’ Sassy
Sale Lot 649, Karaka 2019 Book 1, $150,000
Bred by Fairdale Stud (2007) Ltd

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