Brave Victory for Rock 'n' Pop in 2012 Karaka 3YO Mile
The million dollar colt Rock 'n' Pop continues to stake his claim as the country's leading three-year-old with a determined, hard fought victory in yesterday's Restricted Listed $100,000 New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Karaka 3YO Mile (1600m) at Ellerslie.
Trained by Jason Bridgman, the well backed Rock 'n' Pop (Fastnet Rock x Popsy) settled well in the running with jockey Matthew Cameron aboard and looked like he had the race under control at the 300 metre mark when he cruised to the lead.
But the colt quickly found himself in a fight as the Graham Richardson trained Mosh Pit (Scaredee Cat) loomed up and claimed the lead. In a determined effort, Rock 'n' Pop dug deep and kicked again inside the last 100 metres to fight back and win the $100,000 race by a short head at the post.
A winner of the Group 1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) two starts back, the colt has become a top performer in New Zealand's three-year-old ranks and is one of the leading chances heading into the Group 1 New Zealand Derby on 3 March.
Raced by the Te Akau Rock 'n' Pop Syndicate, the colt was purchased from Tom & Shelley Murtagh's Esker Lodge by Jayven See at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2010 Karaka Premier Sale for $1 million.
A blue-blood colt, Rock 'n' Pop was bred by Barnaby & Co Ltd and is a three-quarter-brother to the stakes winning mare Lilakyn (Danehill) who ran the closest of seconds in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup.
His dam, the Group 1 New Zealand Derby winning mare Popsy (Sir Tristram), has been a leading mare in New Zealand Bloodstock's Karaka sales ring with nine yearlings sold for an average price of over $500,000. Her Redoute's Choice colt, later named Maciano, was the top priced yearling in 2008 when knocked down to trainer John Sargent for $1,450,000.
Running second in the Karaka 3YO Mile was Mosh Pit (NZ) (Scaredee Cat x Ten Guitars) who put in a big performance in the straight for jockey Corey Brown. In just her fourth start, she looks a top filly for her trainer Graham Richardson who is having a very successful 2011/12 season.
Mosh Pit was a $15,000 purchase by Graham Richardson from Waikato Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2010 Karaka Select Sale.
Last year's Karaka Million winner Fort Lincoln (Charge Forward x Belle Toujours) has taken a liking to the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting and ran a good third after getting the perfect trip with jockey Jonathan Riddell aboard.
Trained by Lisa Latta, the 2011 Karaka Million winner was purchased by his trainer from Curraghmore Stud at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2011 Karaka Premier Sale for $110,000.