Black Type Performers Head Karaka Million Charge

Media Release - Tuesday November 30

With less than eight weeks to go until the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie, a pair of recent black type performers hold a clear lead on the order of entry. 

The top position belongs to Mascarinto (NZ) (Per Incanto), who was a $120,000 purchase by Steven Cole Racing from Book 1 of Karaka 2021. The talented gelding kicked off his career with a spectacular six-length victory at Matamata in late October, then finished third in the Listed FastTrack Insurance 2YO Stakes (1100m) at Te Rapa, lifting his career earnings to $23,550.

Mascarinto is a leading Karaka Million contender.

“He’ll have a wee break after (the FastTrack Insurance 2YO Stakes),” trainer Steven Cole said recently. “Then we’ll probably look at the Eclipse Stakes (Group Two, 1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, and hopefully carry on into the Karaka Million from there. It’s exciting.”

Just ahead of him in second place in the FastTrack Stakes on November 20 was Sacred Satono (NZ), a son of young Rich Hill Stud shuttle stallion Satono Aladdin. The colt was bought for $34,000 by Wallace Thoroughbreds from Rich Hill’s Book 2 draft at Karaka 2021.

Trained by Bruce Wallace and Grant Cooksley, Sacred Satono has finished second in both starts to date and earned $18,500.

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“He’s gone out for a few days, and from here we’re going to focus on getting him ready for the Karaka Million,” Cooksley said. “He’s still a little bit immature, so he will be better as a three-year-old. But he’s a really relaxed horse and nothing seems to worry him.”

Gwen Stephani (NZ) (El Roca) and Wessex (NZ) (Turn Me Loose), both winners at Matamata earlier in the spring, hold third and fourth positions on the table with $8700 and $8400 respectively.

Pacific Dragon (NZ) (Charm Spirit) comes next with $8250, followed by Wolverine (NZ) (Tivaci) with $6720. A spectacular come-from-behind winner at Otaki on debut on November 4, Wolverine has subsequently been partially sold across the Tasman.

“Australian Bloodstock has bought half of her and the original owners will keep the other half,” trainer Roydon Bergerson said. “At this stage, the plan is she will go to Australia sometime after the Karaka Million.”

The order of entry could change complexion this weekend with the running of the season’s first Group race for two-year-olds – the $110,000 Group Two Pete’s Joinery Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) at Trentham.

View the DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO Order of Entry here.


Karaka Million 3YO Classic

Meanwhile, the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) order of entry continues to be headed by the brilliant Group One New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) winner Noverre (NZ) (Savabeel). 

G1 NZ Guineas winner Noverre.

His Te Akau Racing stablemate On The Bubbles (Brazen Beau) sits in second place, on the strength of a six-start juvenile campaign that featured four wins including the Karaka Million 2YO and the Group One Manawatu Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m). A setback ruled him out of spring racing, but he has moved closer to a return to action with placings in trials at Taupo on November 15 and at Matamata on Monday.

Their trainer Jamie Richards, who won the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) two seasons ago with Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) and just missed in a photo finish with Amarelinha (NZ) (Savabeel) in January, is happy with the progress of both horses.

“Noverre is in good shape and we want to get him ready for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic as his next test,” Richards said. “At this stage he might have one run leading into that race, but that is something we will think about closer to the time.

“It is good to have On The Bubbles back in the stable after he had a procedure to fix an entrapped epiglottis.”

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

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