2022 Karaka Million Barrier Draw Announced on SENZ

18 January 2022

Tune into SENZ at 11am (NZT) where the full Karaka Million barrier draw fields will be announced.

With all lead-up races run and won, and with the finishing touches being applied to preparations, the order of entry for the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) and $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) now provides a clear idea of which horses will enter the Ellerslie starting gates this Saturday for New Zealand’s richest sporting event. 

New Zealand Bloodstock and Auckland Thoroughbred Racing Inc. will exclusively announce the final fields and barriers of the two $1million dollar features tomorrow morning via the SENZ radio platform and app. View the list of SENZ frequencies and listen to the live show here.

Racing enthusiasts can tune in from 11am (NZT) onwards for a full one hour Karaka Million special with SENZ hosts Ian Smith, Louis Herman-Watt and Michael Guerin, alongside NZB Managing Director Andrew Seabrook, ATR General Manager of Racing Craig Baker, Te Akau Racing’s Jamie Richards and trainer Roydon Bergerson.

The draw will be conducted following the standard New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing process as per usual race protocol. The full fields will then be published on New Zealand Bloodstock’s website, Facebook and twitter pages, as well as the NZTR website.

The Roydon Bergerson-trained Wolverine (NZ) (Tivaci) has topped the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) standings since her Group Two Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1100m) victory on December 11. She now boasts a perfect three-from-three record, having added the Group Two Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, and she has earned $138,970 in stakes.

“We took Wolverine home straight after that Ellerslie win and she was in her box by 9:30pm that night,” Bergerson said. “When I saw her the next morning, she had eaten everything we gave her and was looking for more. She spent three days down on the farm with Chris Rutten (part-owner) and since she has been back, she has been a real handful.

“That experience she had going to Ellerslie is invaluable looking ahead to the Karaka Million, and it’s very exciting to have such a good chance in the race, especially as she is doing it all on natural ability. I really believe she won’t be at her best until next season.”

Eclipse Stakes runner-up Pacific Dragon (NZ) (Charm Spirit) boasts the second-highest earnings with $38,850, followed by Grace ‘N’ Grey (NZ) (Spirit Of Boom) and Fellini (NZ) (Belardo) with $38,200 and $31,225 respectively.

Both Grace ‘N’ Grey and Fellini are trained by Jamie Richards for Te Akau Racing – the winners of five consecutive Karaka Million 2YO titles with Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), Avantage (Fastnet Rock), Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel), Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel) and On The Bubbles (Brazen Beau). Last year’s winner On The Bubbles is set to line up again on Saturday to attempt a rare Karaka Million double in the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).

Mascarinto (NZ) (Per Incanto) and Sacred Satono (NZ) (Satono Aladdin) sit in fifth and sixth place on the Karaka Million 2YO order of entry with earnings of $26,550 and $24,500.

The big mover in the final week of lead-up races is the new name that now sits in seventh – the Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott-trained Time Ruler (NZ) (Time Test).

At this time last week, Time Ruler languished near the bottom of the table with just over $3000 in stakes to his name. But a brilliant five-length victory at Tauranga last Friday propelled him to $20,350 and a guaranteed spot in the Karaka Million field.

Having a live chance in the Karaka Million is a big result in itself for first-season sire Time Test, who shuttles to Little Avondale Stud. The exciting young stallion also has Timeless (NZ) in 14th place on the order of entry, while Time Flies (NZ) is 15th and currently in line to be the first emergency.

“Time Ruler had won a trial early on and was impressive, and he has taken a bit more time in learning his craft,” Little Avondale’s Sam Williams said. “Andrew and Lance have done a wonderful job and now have the horse in the Karaka Million.

“It is outstanding for Time Ruler and fantastic for Time Test to have his first winner in the southern hemisphere and a runner in the race.”

The other likely Karaka Million 2YO starters are Gwen Stephani (NZ) (El Roca) and the Te Akau pair of Lord Cosmos (Pierro) and Dynastic (NZ) (Almanzor), along with Alabama Gold (NZ) (Turn Me Loose), Gibraltar Rising (NZ) (Almanzor) and Diss Is Dramatic (NZ) (Dissident).

Listen to the live barrier draw on SENZ radio here.

View the DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) Order of Entry here.

View the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) Order of Entry here.