TRACKCHAT | New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million | 23 January 2021

Need an insider tip? Keen to know how the track is shaping up?

Here's your preview to our upcoming raceday complete with Craig Baker's thoughts on the evening's feature races, speed maps, track manager Jason Fulford's report and some tips from the office lads.


Track update

The track reading this morning was a Dead 5 after 12mms of irrigation was applied last night.

The aim is to produce a Dead 4 track for racing tomorrow night with a possible upgrade to a Good 3 throughout the meeting.

Here's what our track manager Jason Fulford had to say about the track earlier this morning:


Feature race previews

Race 4, 6.30 pm, DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO | SW | 1200m

A race dominated in numbers by Te Akau Racing with five from that stable lining up.

On top for me is Millefiori. The daughter of Iffraaj has drawn perfectly with Danielle Johnson riding. This filly is tough and will race on speed and take a fair bit of beating.

The dangers include Follow Your Dreams who I would have had on top except for the wide barrier. The son of Contributer stormed home behind Palamos at Ellerslie on Boxing Day and, with any sort of luck, will be right in the finish.

The other danger is Seven Twenty. The Shaun and Emma Clotworthy-trained filly sat three wide here at our SkyCity Boxing Day Races and was still able to finish a close second behind Palamos who would have been near-favourite if he was in this race. From a soft draw, will sit behind the speed and is a great place bet.

Yes, I have left out current favourite, On The Bubbles. No knock on the horse, but just think it is going to be awfully tough from the draw. He was able to sit three wide and win two weeks ago but the first 400 metres of that race was run seven lengths below the average time for the class and distance, and the overall time was nine lengths below the average class and time. In a race with far more pressure, and from a wide gate, he is going to have to be a star to win. Yes, he might end up being a star, but for mine, there is too much against.


Race 6, 7.45 pm, Karaka Million 3YO Classic | SW | 1600m

Realistically, a race with only two winning chances with favourite, Amarelinha, and Aegon.

Difficult call but Aegon on top for me. His win in the 2000 Guineas was impressive and while he is 10 weeks between runs, the Baker/Forsman stable will have him ready to win.

No knock on Amarelinha. She was outstanding winning the Jamieson Park Eight Carat Classic here at the SkyCity Boxing Day Races and then was impressive winning a trial at Matamata. No surprise to see her win.

The other danger, albeit some lengths behind the top two on form, is Bella Button. This filly has genuine upside but is still new and is likely to be back in the run - but don’t be surprised to see her steaming home.


More good things to know about the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million:


  • 3.00pm: Gates (incl. Ascot Stand and Garden Party) open

  • 3.30pm: All other hospitality precincts open

  • 4.26pm: First race (of 6)

  • 6.30pm: $1,000,000 DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO

  • 7.45pm (last race): $1,000,000 Karaka Million 3YO Classic

  • THEN: The official onsite after party kicks off in Cuvée where we carry the party on 'til late with one of our favourite bands and SWEET MIX KIDS OR join us in the Cavallo Club where Taye Williams is singing us into the night (The Winning Post Bar will also be open).


  • General admission tickets are the only option remaining and are:

  • Adults: $20pp pre-purchased or $25pp on the day

  • Senior citizens: Half price general admission rates apply at the gate on the day

  • Under 15s: Free

More racing info

Speed Maps - 23 January 2021
Download PDF • 154KB

Need some tips?

CEO Paul Wilcox rates:

  • Race 4 - 6.30pm - $1,000,000 DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO - Seven Twenty (#13) - Bet: FFP

  • Race 5 - 7.10pm - Group III $70,000 Brighthill Farm Concorde Handicap - Gino Severini (#2) - Bet: FFW

  • Race 6 - 7.45pm - $1,000,000 Karaka Million 3YO Classic - Aegon (#1) & Amarelinha (#11) - Bet: Quinella

Sponsorship Manager Bill Heap says that "there seems to be a number of short priced win favourites on Saturday, so I am going to give you four place bets that should return some value":

  • Race 1 - 4.26pm - Group III $70,000 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy - Ever So Easy (#3)

  • Race 4 - 6.30pm - $1,000,000 DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO - Sophisticardo (#4)

  • Race 5 - 7.10pm - Group III $70,000 Brighthill Farm Concorde Handicap - Justacanta (#12)

  • Race 6 - 7.45pm - $1,000,000 Karaka Million 3YO Classic - Bella Button (#16)