Karaka Graduate Probabeel Crowned NZ Horse of the Year

Media Release - Tuesday November 30

Already a multiple Group One winner and Karaka Million history-maker, Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) solidified her place in New Zealand racing folklore with the title of 2020-21 Horse of the Year. 

Probabeel is the 2021 NZ Horse of the Year - image Racing Photos

Bought by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis for $380,000 from the Book 1 draft of Waikato Stud at Karaka 2018, Probabeel has been an elite performer on both sides of the Tasman for Cambridge Stud owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay. Her achievements were honoured with the premier accolade in New Zealand’s Thoroughbred Horse of the Year Awards, which were held as a virtual event on Monday evening.

Probabeel won four of her eight starts during the 2020-21 season, all in either Sydney or Melbourne, and earned more than $1.5 million in stakes.

After placing first-up in the Group Three Show County Quality (1200m) and winning the Group Three Bill Ritchie Handicap (1400m), Probabeel stepped up to the highest level and scored a superb win in the A$1 million Group One Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick.

She later added a pair of wins at Caulfield in the Group Three Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) and Group One Futurity Stakes (1400m), then returned to Sydney to place in the Group One Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m). Her only times outside the top two placings came when she was unplaced on wet tracks in the Cox Plate (2040m) and All-Star Mile (1600m).

Advertisement

Overall, Probabeel has won 12 of her 28 starts and over $4.4 million in stakes – almost 12 times her purchase price at Karaka. While all of her four career Group One victories have come in Australia, Probabeel has also played a starring role on home soil as the only horse to ever win both the $1m Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m). 

Probabeel, who also took the award for Champion Sprinter-Miler, recorded the seventh consecutive Horse of the Year title for a Karaka graduate. She followed in the footsteps of two-time winners Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor), who won it in 2015 and 2016, Bonneval (NZ) (Makfi), who took the honour in both 2017 and 2018, and Probabeel’s Jamie Richards-trained stablemate Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), who was the winner in both 2019 and 2020.

Melody Belle claimed another honour in 2021, named Champion Middle-Distance Horse on the strength of her sparkling victories in the Group One Livamol Classic (2040m) and New Zealand Stakes (2000m).

Bought by Ellis for $57,500 from the 2016 Premier Sale and raced by the Fortuna Melody Belle Syndicate, the remarkable mare earned more than $4.2 million in a career that featured 19 wins from 41 appearances. She won 14 Group One races – a new all-time record for a New Zealand horse.

The 2020-21 Champion Three-Year-Old was Aegon (NZ) (Sacred Falls), who was a $150,000 purchase by his co-trainer and part-owner Andrew Forsman in Book 1 of Karaka 2019. Aegon won five of his seven starts as a three-year-old, headed by the Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton, the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) at Ellerslie, and the Group Two Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill. He earned more than $1.1 million in prize-money during his three-year-old season.

Aegon is trained by Forsman in partnership with Murray Baker, and that Cambridge pair celebrated a second award on Monday with The Chosen One (NZ) (Savabeel) in the Champion Stayer category. After winning first-up in a 1700-metre handicap at Flemington, the quality galloper went on to finish third in the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and fourth in the Melbourne Cup (3200m), along with a second placing in the Group One Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa. Passed in at Karaka 2017 with a reserve of $150,000, The Chosen One has earned more than $1.8 million on the track to date.

Advertisment
More Reading...
Where the Top Mares Went in 2021
It’s time to have a look at a selection of Group 1 winning mares and who they partnered with in 2021.
Here Comes Vinnie
A double on Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast has moved I Am Invincible to within $1,300,000 of Nicconi in the race for champion sire.
Pair of $180,000 Colts Share Top Billing at MM Book Two on Sunday
The momentum of a record breaking Book One catalogue continued at the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale as Book Two selling commenced this afternoon.
Magic Win for Headwater Stallion Wisdom of Water
Girl power was to the fore at the close of Saturday’s Magic Millions card at the Gold Coast as star trainer Annabel Neasham and Group 1 jockey Rachel King combined to win the $1 million Racing Queensland Magic Millions QTIS (1300m) with Headwater entire  Wisdom of Water.
Widden Stud Announce Victorian Stud Manager
Almost a year after their expansion into Victoria, Widden Stud are pleased to announce the appointment of Jason Robinson as Stud Manager of their Riddells Creek farm.
$1.2 Million Exceed and Excel Colt Tops Record Breaking MM Book 1 Finale
A colt by Exceed and Excel sold for $1.2 million and was the top seller of the night at the Gold Coast Yearling Sale as records were smashed across the board.
Rare Kementari Yearlings Sold
Charismatic Lonhro gelding Kementari will be in action at the Gold Coast on Saturday having gained a wild card entry for Godolphin to start in the $1million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) and over the road in the sale ring his only two foals, who are now yearlings have both been sold this week and will join major Sydney racing stables.
Proisir Mare Levante Wins G1 Telegraph
High-class mare Levante broke through for a deserved Group One victory in a heart-stopping finish to Saturday’s JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham.
Two Rare Gems by Kementari at the Magic Millions
With just two live foals from his lone crop before being unceremoniously gelded, Kementari has both of those rare gems heading to the Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale.
First Winner for Merchant Navy
Dual Group I winning sprinter and Royal Ascot hero Merchant Navy is on the board with his first winner after Galaxy Affair saluted at Ascot on Saturday.