The fields are out, the barriers have been drawn and the finishing touches are being applied to the horses competing for the riches to be found at this weekend's New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million.
The treasure troves that are the $1,000,000 Karaka Million 2YO and $1,000,000 Karaka Million 3YO Classic have attracted the best of their age group in what is sure to be competitive racing throughout the night.
If you need help seeking out a potential winner, there are a few highlight runners you could focus on.
Disclaimer – should these not come in, you took our advice at your own peril!
The race favourite for the Karaka Million 2YO is a filly called Play That Song.
She is the favourite for a reason as she's unbeaten in three starts, including here at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day. The majority of punters are singing her tune and expect her to be the hardest to beat.
Play That Song storming home here at Ellerslie on New Year's Day
Finishing second to Play That Song on New Year’s Day was Not An Option and, losing again for this well-bred colt is exactly as his name suggests.
A win on Saturday night will not only be valuable in earning the lion-share of the prizemoney, but would add value to his future stallion career too.
Don’t be confused if you think you are seeing double when Not An Option’s colours (tops that the jockeys wear) are going around twice in the same race either...
Taroni's jockey will also be wearing the same silks which represent the horses' owners, Brendan and Jo Lindsay.
As an aside, she's a big chance of upsetting the two favourites...
A winner at Ellerslie, twice if she wasn’t controversially relegated, Taroni was dominant winning on Boxing Day and this tipster thinks she can be the one to grab victory.
We can’t have a Karaka Million without a Te Akau runner being right in mix and Cool Aza Beel gives them a great chance to claim the stable's (and jockey Opie Bosson's) fourth consecutive win in the big race.
The Lindsays of Cambridge Stud, who have a busy week ahead selling horses at New Zealand Bloodstock's National Yearling Sale, not only hold a strong hand in the Karaka Million 2YO, but have the hot favourite for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic in Probabeel.
Probabeel after winning the Karaka Million 2YO in 2019
Trained by Te Akau Racing’s Jamie Richards, Probabeel won the Karaka Million 2YO last year and is looking to grab her second $1,000,000 prize in just 12 months. With strong Australian form and a commanding win fresh-up, it is hard to see her getting beat.
Australian raider Conqueror adds interest to the race.
Carrying the same colours as last year’s winner of the 3YO race, Long Leaf, Conqueror brings a similar profile to that horse.
The blue-blood colt will be ridden by last year's Karaka Million 3YO winning-jock, James McDonald, who is arguably the best jockey in Australasia.
The local form of Harlech is very good and needs to be respected. Coming off a Group 1 second-place, he is trying to shake the bridesmaid tag and break his run of three successive seconds.
Both fields are packed full of chances, but we’re hoping we’ve found a winner for you.
Happy punting and, if you think you've got the Karaka Million 2YO winner nailed, don’t forget to back yourself and hit our ‘Pick the Winner’ stand.
If you're correct, you could potentially win a trip to Hawaii from our friends at Hawaiian Airlines and Outrigger Resort! Find out more here.
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