With only a week or so to go until the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million, the fields are starting to take shape with the current order of entries available here.
But what you might not know is entry into those famous million-dollar races is a numbers game with the fields determined by racing success leading up to the night.
With that in mind, we delved into a few more numbers associated with the big night.
Without further ado, we give you…the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million, in numbers:
Runners in the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million and the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic will be vying for million-dollar glory at the 2023 New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million.
Keen to witness history being made? There are limited tickets still available here.
That very sale ring at New Zealand Bloodstock
The age of the thoroughbreds competing in the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO.
These youngsters were in the New Zealand Bloodstock (NZB) Karaka sale ring less than one year ago as a part of NZB’s National Yearling Sales Series and now they are racing in a million-dollar race – talk about quite the turn around!
Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard are no strangers to Karaka Million success, having prepared Vespa to take out the million dollar 2YO feature in 2014, while Touche (2013) and Kingman (2016) both placed third in their respective years. Johno can also claim a win in the $1million Karaka Million 3YO Classic with Scott Base in 2018 – the first year it was also run for a million dollars. They have Dapper in the running this season after his convincing win at Pukekohe Park on 8 January.
Cast your mind back to 2019 and it was Long Leaf with James McDonald aboard who took out the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic providing that special million-dollar glow for Aussie trainers, David Hayes and Tom Dabernig. James McDonald was named the 2022 Longines World’s Best Jockey – not bad for a boy from Cambridge – and who can forget him claiming the Lexus Melbourne Cup aboard kiwi mare, Verry Elleegant.
Opie’s fifth win in the KM 2YO aboard Dynastic
One of New Zealand’s preeminent jockeys, Opie Bosson, can lay claim to a record 5 wins in the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO.
He had taken out 4 in row since 2017 and an unfortunately timed suspension saw him unable to ride in 2021’s running. This didn’t stop him for long with a dominant showing in 2022 seeing him extend his tally to 5 wins.
The name ‘Te Akau Racing’ has become synonymous with the Karaka Million having shown incredible dominance in the 2YO race in recent years.
Jamie Richards, in his role as trainer at Te Akau Racing, has taken out a seriously impressive six iterations of the race (2 in partnership with Stephen Autridge and a further 4 as sole trainer) with the tangerine unbeatable in the race since 2017.
All of the runners were bought by Te Akau principal, David Ellis, and with Mark Walker at the helm this season, they are looking to extend their record to 7 wins. To see the order of entry, click here.
Barrier seven was to the fore in 2013 when Ruud Awakening took out the Karaka Million 2YO race in scintillating style. Picked as the horse to beat in the race, Ruud Awakening produced one of the best performances seen in the Karaka Million’s six-year history (at the time) when she dominated her rivals from the gates to the post giving trainer, Stephen Marsh, and syndicate manager, Albert Bosma of Go Racing, quite the thrill.
2008 is certainly a year to remember, setting the scene for the first-ever New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million twilight meeting.
2019 saw boom horse, Probabeel, win the $1m Karaka Million 2YO for owners, Brendan and Jo Lindsay, but that year merely acted as the first act in Probabeel’s Karaka Million story. 2020 saw Probabeel line up again on racing’s richest night, this time in the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic, in an attempt to claim the million-dollar double. Did she triumph? Yes, she did making her the first and only horse to date to have her name against both features.
The inaugural running of the $1m Karaka Million 2YO was taken out by Vincent Mangano with Derby king, Vinnie Colgan, piloting.
His win was anything but straight forward with his last minute run from well back providing his connections with a heart stopping moment (or two!) before claiming victory and going down in history at the first Karaka Million winner.
Ten out of ten is the rating we give the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million.