Field and Barrier Draw - 14th Karaka Million This Saturday

Media Release - Wednesday January 20

Auckland’s Ellerslie Racecourse will host the richest 70 seconds in New Zealand sport this Saturday with the 14th running of the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m). 

The fields are now confirmed for the showpiece event after New Zealand Bloodstock’s live Karaka Million barrier draw took place at the iconic Karaka Sales Centre earlier today.

With a first prize of $550,500, the lucrative race provides a dream opportunity for owners just 12 short months after horses are sold through NZB’s National Yearling Sales Series.

Champion mare Melody Belle won the Karaka Million.

The founding element of an increasingly popular event on New Zealand’s sporting calendar, the Karaka Million has been a stepping stone to Group One stardom for the likes of The Heckler (Lucky Owners), Ruud Awakening (Bernardini), Vespa (NZ) (Elusive City) and all of the last four winners – Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), Avantage (Fastnet Rock), Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) and Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel).

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Those four most recent winners were all trained by Jamie Richards and purchased as yearlings by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis. That powerful team is strongly represented yet again in 2021, lining up five quality runners in Saturday’s field as they shoot for an incredible fifth consecutive win.

The headline acts are the two early favourites, On the Bubbles (Brazen Beau) and Millefiori (NZ) (Iffraaj), who have each had two starts for two impressive victories.

This year’s live barrier draw format gave connections of horses that were drawn out earlier the opportunity to pick the best starting gate for the show-stopping race held this weekend. At Wednesday’s draw, On the Bubbles pulled a wider barrier of 15, while Millefiori drew barrier five.

Their stablemate Avonallo (NZ) (Belardo), who was a black-type winner in November in the Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m), pulled barrier nine, while the Glen Harvey-trained Brix (NZ) (Sweynesse), who won the Listed FastTrack Insurance 2YO Stakes (1100m) at Pukekohe, drew barrier four. Stakes-placed Ruakaka runner Follow Your Dreams (NZ) (Contributer) will start from barrier 11.

The 2021 DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO line-up features horses whose purchase prices at Karaka 2020 range from just $9,000 for Cherokee Warrior (NZ) (Showcasing), who drew barrier six at today’s draw, up to $280,000 for the undefeated Western Springs (NZ) (Lonhro) who ended up with barrier three for Kingsclere Stables. The average purchase price for this year’s field is incredible value at just $75,765.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO will be run at 6.30pm on Saturday, as Race 4 on an action-packed twilight race meeting program at Ellerslie.

View the full DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) field here.

View the replay of the live barrier draw here.

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