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For the sixth year in a row, a packed and sun-soaked Ellerslie saluted syndication superstars Te Akau Racing and record-breaking trainer Jamie Richards as the winners of the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m).
Dynastic (NZ) (Almanzor), who was bought by David Ellis for $360,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2021, joins an exceptional stable honour roll alongside the subsequent Group One winners Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), Avantage (Fastnet Rock), Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel), Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel) and On The Bubbles (Brazen Beau).
Remarkably, Dynastic’s 2022 Karaka Million triumph came at just his second start, having made his debut with a strong-finishing second placing at Ellerslie on Boxing Day. Dynastic was the chosen Karaka Million mount for Te Akau’s top rider Opie Bosson, and after settling in seventh place behind a fast pace, he let rip in the straight with a scintillating burst.
The previously undefeated Wolverine (NZ) (Tivaci) tried hard to stay with him on his inside, but it was all Dynastic through the last 100 metres as the flashy colt powered clear to win by two and a quarter lengths.
“The pace of the race was probably always set up for someone to finish it off strongly – in some ways it was similar to the way Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) won the race a few years ago. “Dave (Ellis) has done it again with a colt he bought at Karaka, and that man on top is a champion.
Dynastic is by Cambridge Stud’s first-season stallion Almanzor, who has soared straight to the top of New Zealand’s first-season sire standings. Dynastic is only the third winner in the 14-year history of the Karaka Million for a first-season sire, joining Any Suggestion’s son Ockham’s Razor in 2012 and Showcasing’s Hardline (NZ) in 2015. Windsor Park Stud will offer a half-brother to Dynastic during Karaka 2022, with a colt by Mongolian Khan going through the ring as Lot 929 in Book 2.
Te Akau Racing and Jamie Richards swept another million-dollar double at New Zealand Bloodstock’s iconic Karaka Million twilight race meeting at Ellerslie on Saturday 22 January, but their $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) winner was not the one that most expected.
Less than 90 minutes after Dynastic (NZ) (Almanzor) blitzed the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m), all eyes were on the top-class On The Bubbles (Brazen Beau) as he attempted a rare Karaka Million 2YO-3YO double. But he was upstaged by a stablemate who was bought for $270,000 at Karaka 2020 by Andrew Williams Bloodstock and Konj.
The late-maturing Pin Me Up (NZ) (Pins) made her debut only two months ago, placing at Te Aroha in November. Another placing followed on December 1 before a smart maiden win at Te Rapa two weeks later, and she finished fourth at Ellerslie on January 9 in her only other start.
Making her black-type debut on Saturday as a $24 outsider against a quality Karaka Million 3YO Classic field, Pin Me Up rose to the occasion in supreme style. While everything went wrong for On The Bubbles, who was caught wide and raced fiercely for a large part of the contest, it all fell perfectly into place for Pin Me Up.
Jockey Sam Weatherley had her poised to pounce at the top of the straight, and she charged to the lead with a brilliant turn of foot in the straight. The only danger was the strong-finishing Tutukaka (NZ) (Tavistock), who won two stakes races in Australia last year, but Pin Me Up kept herself out of reach and scored by a neck. Tutukaka finished a length and a half in front of the third-placed Karman Line (NZ) (Myboycharlie).
“I can’t describe it really – this is super,” said Weatherley, who won a million-dollar race for the first time in his career. “I love being a jockey, it’s what I’ve always dreamed of doing.
“I’m so thankful to Jamie and Te Akau for giving me such lovely rides in both of these big races today – Fellini (NZ) (Belardo) ran so well in the Karaka Million 2YO, and now this filly. I was imagining last night how special it would be to pull off one of these races, and it’s happened. I’m bloody rapt.
Pin Me Up has now had five starts for two wins, two placings and $545,470 in stakes for her Australian owner, Peter Collier’s Konj Pty Ltd.
All yearlings offered at Karaka 2022 are eligible to be nominated for NZB’s Karaka Million Series. The exciting racing prospects will have an opportunity to race for their share of two million dollar features – the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) in 2023 and the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) in 2024. Karaka 2022 graduates also have the opportunity to contest the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup (2200m) for the remainder of their careers.