The TAB Karaka Millions is a staple date in many an Aucklander’s calendar.
Celebrated as the richest sporting spectacle in New Zealand with over $4.4 million in prizemoney, plus the running of the iconic TAB Karaka Millions races.
One thing you can’t miss when you’re trackside at the Karaka Millions is the roar of the crowd, particularly as the horses in the sought-after $1m TAB Karaka Millions 2YO and $1.5m Karaka Millions 3YO thunder towards the finishing post.
For the first time this year, the event also features the $1m Elsdon Park Aotearoa Classic, a race for 4YOs, that isn’t restricted to NZB sale graduates – however, NZB is THE best place to source thoroughbreds (we’re not biased at all!) and many of the runners in the 4YO feature will have come through the Karaka sales ring too.
Seeing the ecstatic winning owners shout, jump and hug for joy is quite the sight and, while the Karaka Millions offers the country’s richest sporting purse, you might be surprised to learn how easy and accessible is to get in with a chance of owning one of these million-dollar race winners.
Today, the team from New Zealand Bloodstock break it down for you and show just how easy it can be…
Says New Zealand Bloodstock…
New Zealand Bloodstock’s (NZB’s) 98th National Yearling Sales Series is taking place from the 28th of January at their Karaka Sales Centre. The Sales feature a selection of New Zealand’s finest yearlings all set to go through the sale ring in what will be the New Zealand thoroughbred breeding industry’s biggest week of the year.
How does the Karaka Millions Series work?
The eyes of the thoroughbred world will tune in to Ellerslie on Saturday 27 January, with the TAB Karaka Millions set to showcase two-year-old and three-year-old horses, sold through NZB’s sales, galloping for riches in these million-dollar plus features.
THEN, in the following days, the next chance to purchase one of over 1000 of New Zealand’s best yearlings takes place when we host our annual National Yearling Sales Series at our Karaka Sales Centre.
After the Sale, each of these young horses are eligible to be nominated by their owners for NZB’s Karaka Millions Series, giving them the chance to win not one, but $2.5 million across their two-year-old and three-year-old years.
Any yearlings that are sold through the ring in 2024 can be nominated for the Karaka Millions Series – something that then gives them the chance to qualify for the 2025 running of the $1,000,000 TAB Karaka Millions 2YO (just 12 short months after their auction debut!) and the $1,500,000 Karaka Millions 3YO in 2026.
Editor’s note: Taking this back a step, this means that the horses you’ll see running in the 2024 $1,000,000 TAB Karaka Millions 2YO were sold at Karaka in January 2023 (remember January 2023? It RAINED). The horses in the 2024 $1,500,000 TAB Karaka Millions 3YO were sold in January 2022. For more on how the horses make the field, visit NZB online.
WATCH | Use the link below to witness the jubilation of 2023’s winning owners – event held at Pukekohe Park.
How does the sale work?
New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sale Series is comprised of the ‘Book 1’ and ‘Book 2’ sales.
The Book 1 Sale includes New Zealand’s premier thoroughbred yearlings and runs from 28-30 January 2024.
Another quality selection of yearlings are offered in the Book 2 Sale on 31 January – 2 February.
Selling commences at the Karaka Sales Centre from 10am on Book 1 days and 11am on Book 2 days.
Can I go to the sale?
If you’re keen to come along and see what it’s all about, NZB invites you to join them at Karaka 2024 to experience the atmosphere of a live thoroughbred sales ring environment.
It’s free entry and offers a fantastic day of entertainment surrounded by the future superstars of New Zealand’s racetracks.
What if I want to buy a horse or two?
If you want to take it a step further and get involved in an ownership capacity, with what could be the next Karaka Millions winner, there will be a number of NZTR Authorised Syndicators and NZB staff at the Sale – all of whom will be more than happy to answer any ownership-related questions and even help you purchase a horse – whether it’s a 1%, 5% or 100% share.
WATCH | Click on the video below to watch Phil Cataldo, leading Bloodstock Agent, take Weigh In’s Emily Bosson, through selecting a yearling.
What’s different this year?
The iconic TAB Karaka Millions raceday will become even bigger with NZB joining forces with Entain to introduce an additional $400,000 in available bonuses for horses offered at the 2024 National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka.
The $200,000 New Owners Bonus will be won by the first horse across the finish line in the 2025 $1m TAB Karaka Millions 2YO that has 50% or more of the ownership being held by first-time owners.
The $200,000 Book 2 Bonus will be won by the first horse across the finish line in the 2026 $1.5m TAB Karaka Millions 3YO that was offered in NZB’s Book 2 Sale in January 2024.
For more about the new Karaka Millions bonuses, visit NZB online.