Filly Leaps to the Top of Karaka Million 2YO Order of Entry
13 December 2022
An impressive Group Two victory at Trentham earlier this month has thrust the undefeated filly Impendabelle (Impending) to the top of the order of entry for the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m).
Bought by Brewers Bloodstock for $80,000 from Hallmark Stud’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2022, Impendabelle has now had two starts for two wins and $88,900 in stakes.
The Tony Pike-trained filly won by four and a half lengths on debut at Trentham in late October, and she returned to the same venue on December 3 and delivered a repeat result. Briefly held up in traffic at the top of the home straight, she found a way through and produced a slick turn of foot to score by three-quarters of a length.
“The best thing about it was that she burst through the tight run, and when she balanced, she really sprinted and put them away,” jockey Michael McNab said. “It may even have been too easy – she was all over the show. But only handy horses can do that. She was super.”
With that valuable Group Two win now secured and her position in the Karaka Million field guaranteed, Pike is turning his attention to giving the filly the best possible build-up to New Zealand’s richest juvenile race, which will this season be run at Pukekohe on January 21.
“She’s a filly we have always really liked,” Pike said. “She has really improved through a couple of preps with us. She wasn’t the biggest filly when she first came in, but she has really strengthened and developed a lot over the last six months.
“After getting through the Wakefield, we’ll map out her programme towards the Karaka Million.”
With her earnings now at $88,900, Impendabelle has a clear lead on the order of entry over another stakes-winning filly from Cambridge, Ethereal Star (Snitzel), who sits in second place with $57,300.
The next section of the standings is completely dominated by Te Akau Racing, who are searching for their seventh successive Karaka Million 2YO triumph.
Te Akau and trainer Mark Walker are responsible for five of the top eight horses on the order of entry. Trobriand (Kermadec) moved up to third with a win at Te Rapa on Saturday, which boosted his earnings to $36,590 in a two-start, two-win career.
“He’s very professional and he had to dig deep today, which is good to see in a two-year-old colt,” said Walker, who suggested that Trobriand is likely to have one more run between now and the Karaka Million.
Trobriand is being closely followed by a number of his stablemates, with Believe In Magic (NZ) (Not A Single Doubt) fourth with $34,040, Rhetorical (NZ) (Snitzel) fifth with $33,150, Balance Of Power (NZ) (Almanzor) seventh with $19,350 and Viva Vienna (NZ) (All Too Hard) eighth with $18,600.
Rounding out the top 10 are the Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard-trained Dapper (NZ) (Shooting To Win), who sits in sixth place with $26,290, and a pair of Cambridge fillies in ninth and tenth – the Stephen Marsh-trained Ulanova (NZ) (Santos), with $17,250, and Clinton Isdale’s Orgullo (Pride Of Dubai), with $11,500.
The upcoming action this weekend includes another two-year-old race at Trentham on Saturday, with a potentially crucial $30,000 in prizemoney up for grabs in an 1100-metre race.
Wild Night Solidifies Karaka Million Claim
While the unbeaten Group One winner Legarto (NZ) (Proisir) retains a firm hold on favouritism for the $1m Karaka Million 3YO (1600m) at Pukekohe on January 21, Te Akau Racing’s Wild Night (NZ) (Vanbrugh) is increasingly emerging as a genuine threat.
The gelding first made his mark through the early part of the spring, winning three of his first four starts including the Group Two Sarten Memorial (1400m) at Te Rapa over Labour Weekend.
On Saturday he returned from a brief freshen-up with an outstanding win at the same venue, finishing powerfully from third-last to score with a bit in hand.
“He was a little bit behind the eight ball and missed a gallop last Saturday, so it was a good effort by the horse,” trainer Mark Walker said. “Opie (Bosson) summed it up well. He let the speed go and looked as though he could have been in a bit of tight trouble for a while, but he got him out.
“He’s got a lot of improvement in him, this horse, and I think he’ll lap up 1600 metres in the Karaka Million.”
Now a clear second favourite for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic, Wild Night was bought by David Ellis for $50,000 from Windsor Park Stud’s Book 1 draft at Karaka 2021. His five-start career has produced four wins and $128,890 in prizemoney.