Flying Filly Wolverine (NZ) on Karaka Million Path

9 November 2021

Wolverine (NZ) (Tivaci) won on debut last week.

Central Districts raiders have triumphed in the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) twice in the last decade, and a potential contender for 2022 emerged with a superb debut at Otaki on Thursday. 

Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta headed to Ellerslie in 2011 and came away with the coveted prize with Fort Lincoln (Charge Forward), while Otaki’s Johno Benner and Hollie Wynyard struck with Vespa (NZ) (Elusive City) in 2014.

Now a promising filly called Wolverine (NZ) (Tivaci) could be about to take Awapuni’s Roydon Bergerson to the big dance.

Wolverine was bred by Waikato Stud and was a $50,000 purchase from Book 1 of Karaka 2021 by Bergerson in partnership with Vespa’s owner Chris Rutten.

An impressive winner at the Foxton trials on October 19, Wolverine delivered the same result on her raceday debut last week, charging home from last for an outstanding one-length win over the highly rated Gibraltar Rising (NZ) (Almanzor). The rest of the field finished 15 lengths behind the first pair.

“I was really happy with her,” Bergerson told NZ Racing Desk. “She’d trialled up really well, and she did everything right on Thursday and got the job done.

“Wiremu Pinn rode Gibraltar Rising, who looks a nice horse, and he said she went past that fast that he nearly fell off.

“She is in the paddock at Chris Rutten’s at the moment. She left straight after her race and she will have four or five days there, and then she will come back and probably go onto the Wakefield Challenge Stakes (Group Two, 1100m at Trentham on December 4) and then hopefully on to the Karaka Million.

“I really like the Tivacis – I think they’re really nice horses and good to train.”

Wolverine picked up $6720 in stakes for Thursday’s win, placing her fifth on the order of entry for the Karaka Million 2YO. Mascarinto (NZ) (Per Incanto) heads the table with $17,250, followed by Gwen Stephani (NZ) (El Roca) with $8700, Wessex (NZ) (Turn Me Loose) with $8400 and Pacific Dragon (NZ) (Charm Spirit) with $8250.

There could be major movement on the order of entry next Saturday, with the running of the first stakes race for two-year-olds in New Zealand this season – the $60,000 Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) at Riccarton Park.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO will be run on Saturday 22 January at Ellerslie Racecourse.

View the Karaka Million 2YO Order of Entry here.

Noverre’s Stocks Soar

Noverre found Group One glory in the $500,000 NZ 2000 Guineas (1600m).

Group One glory in Saturday’s $500,000 Group One Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) continued the remarkable rise of Noverre (NZ) (Savabeel) in the countdown to the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m). 

At the beginning of the season, the Jamie Richards-trained colt had a rating of 63 and was well outside the top 20 in the order of entry for the rich Ellerslie feature on January 22. But everything has changed over the last couple of weeks.

Noverre moved up to equal third on the table with his victory in last month’s Group Three War Decree Stakes (1600m), and his scintillating last-to-first performance in the 2000 Guineas has lifted his rating to 88 – making him a clear table-topper.

A striking brown colt bred by Waikato Stud, Noverre was bought by Te Akau’s David Ellis for $800,000 at Karaka 2020.

“It was a really impressive win,” Richards said. “He looks a pretty special colt, doesn’t he?

“He was a beautiful yearling when Dave (Ellis) bought him. He paid a bit of money, but he had the pedigree and the looks. He was a little bit backward as a 2-year-old and needed time to strengthen up, but the team has done a really good job and his improvement throughout the spring has been very encouraging.

“We’ll look at the Karaka Million 3YO Classic in January now and see where we end up after that. He’s a really exciting colt and it will be interesting to see where he stands.

“He’s a stunning colt, and with Waikato Stud, we’ve enjoyed so much success with these Savabeels.”

View the Karaka Million 3YO Order of Entry here.