The first half of the year is a traveling circus for us on the sales circuit, and particularly this first six weeks of the year as there is a sale to be at every week. I don’t get to see much of my own bed!
It is the richest race in New Zealand which is an obvious attraction. Every year at the Sales [New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales Series] I do have the race in my mind when inspecting yearlings, trying to find something that might make it there.
To learn more about the Karaka Million incentive series or the upcoming National Yearling Sales Series, visit New Zealand Bloodstock’s website here.
She showed a lot of natural ability early on and that’s when the race came on our radar. For her to win a stakes race at her second start in November and have the prizemoney to get in the race from that early stage it made it easy to target the race. She hasn’t run since November but that is perfect for her, she isn’t your typical early 2YO, she is a lovely scopey filly that is only going to get better with time. We haven’t had to tax her to get into the race and going in fresh is going to suit her.
She oozed class and when Andy Williams, Andrew Forsman and I all came together she was our clear top pick for the sale. She has strong pedigree, she is by the best sire in Australasia in Snitzel, then physically she had the strength, athleticism and movement that we look for.
Ben Kwok owns the majority share of her, and he is who I represent. He is a very generous man and kindly leased out small shares to some of Andy Williams’s friends and family that were keen to race her with him. She races in the Zame family colours who are big supporters of Andrew Forsman and have had many good horses with him. They are somewhat lucky colours – and could be even luckier come Saturday.
I know there is a big contingent of people coming up from the Cambridge/Hamilton area and I dare say win, lose or draw there will be a few bottles of champagne consumed. I am flying over from Australia for the race and am excited to get amongst the party.
We will see what happens on Saturday but being a Group 1 race, that will be valuable for her pedigree, so it is definitely on the radar. She is a filly that is going to be at her best as a spring 3YO and we are mindful of not over-taxing her as a 2YO.
The Karaka Million is a great raceday and my favourite that I have attended anywhere in the world. Some may say I am biased but obviously that is because it does hold a special spot in my heart being a kiwi.
On The Bubbles winning the Karaka Million was a huge result for me as he was a horse Ben Kwok and I bought as a weanling to pinhook. We sold him to Te Akau Racing as yearling at Karaka. He was one of the first horses I purchased when I went out on my own as a bloodstock agent so for him to win the Karaka Million was a huge boost for my career. It is already a special race for me and hopefully it only gets more special this weekend!
I will be back at Karaka this year (for Karaka 2023) trying to find another horse for the Karaka Million race that will be run at Ellerslie for sure.
As I said, I love the raceday and having a runner in it makes it so much more exciting, especially on the new and improved track next year. While I am sure it will be a great event at Pukekohe this year, the atmosphere created at Ellerslie on Karaka Million night is world class.