Golden Year for Graduates Sets Stage for Epic Karaka 2023

10 January 2023

With New Zealand Bloodstock welcoming overseas buyers back on site for its National Yearling Sales Series for the first time in three years, there was always going to be plenty of hype and excitement in the build-up to Karaka 2023 – but an extraordinary 12 months for previous graduates has ensured that this will be among the most anticipated yearling sales in New Zealand’s history.

Racehorses sourced from NZB sales amassed no fewer than 20 victories at Group One level during 2022. Eight of those came in New Zealand, with 11 in Australia and one in Hong Kong.


Roch 'N' Horse (NZ) (Per Incanto)

Top billing in the 2022 highlight reel belongs to Little Avondale Stud’s pride and joy, stellar sprinter Roch ‘N’ Horse (NZ) (Per Incanto).

The exceptional chestnut was bred by Little Avondale, who offered her in their Book 2 draft at Karaka 2018 but were unable to meet her $40,000 reserve. They retained her to race in partnership with a syndicate, and the rest is history.

Roch ‘N’ Horse had already proven herself as a black-type performer before the start of 2022, having won three races headed by the Listed Power Turf Sprint (1200m) at Hastings. But 2022 lifted her to stardom on both sides of the Tasman.

Trained by trans-Tasman horseman Mike Moroney along with his Matamata training partner Pam Gerard, Roch ‘N’ Horse was beaten by a nose in a head-bobbing duel with multiple Group One winner Levante (NZ) (Proisir) in the Group One Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham in January.

Roch ‘N’ Horse then crossed the Tasman and became a two-time Group One winner down Flemington’s famous Straight Six, first in the time-honoured Newmarket Handicap (1200m) and then against a star-studded sprint field in the A$3m Champions Sprint (1200m) during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.

From 18 starts, Roch ‘N’ Horse has now picked up five wins, six second placings and more than A$2.97m in stakes – almost 80 times her reserve at Karaka 2018.


Gypsy Goddess (NZ) (Tarzino)

Between March and November of 2022, six three-year-olds who were bought at Karaka scored Group One wins in either New Zealand or Australia.

Gypsy Goddess (NZ) (Tarzino) was a model of consistency throughout her three-year-old season, which was recognised with the title of Australia’s Champion Three-Year-Old Filly for 2021-22.

The filly was offered by Curraghmore during Book 2 of Karaka 2020, where she was passed in with a reserve of only $20,000. Her 10-start career has so far produced six wins and four placings, with total prize-money of A$1.97m – almost 100 times her reserve at Karaka.

The biggest wins of her three-year-old campaign both came in Brisbane, where she captured the Group One Queensland Oaks (2200m) and the Group Three Grand Prix (2100m). But she also made her mark during the Sydney autumn with unlucky placings in the Group One Australian Oaks (2400m) and Vinery Stud Stakes (1850m).

In the only start of her four-year-old season so far, Gypsy Goddess roared home for a close third in the A$10m Golden Eagle (1500m) at Rosehill.

Jungle Magnate (NZ) was another Group One winner to come from the first three-year-old crop of Westbury Stud stallion Tarzino. Bought for $75,000 from Book 1 of Karaka 2020, he won the Group One South Australian Derby (2500m) and three other races in Australia as a two and three-year-old, earning over A$500,000 in stakes. He has since relocated to Hong Kong, where he has recorded an early victory under the name Beautyverse.

Another Derby hero in Australia during 2022 was Pinarello (NZ) (Tavistock), who was passed in at Karaka 2020 with a reserve of $300,000. Retained to race by his breeders, Cambridge Stud’s Brendan and Jo Lindsay, Pinarello overcame a wide gate to brilliantly win the Group One Queensland Derby (2400m). He was also a Group Two winner in New Zealand during a three-year-old season that earned his connections almost $750,000.

New Zealand Bloodstock also celebrated a Derby triumph by a Karaka graduate on home soil during the 2021-22 season, with the lightly raced Asterix (NZ) (Tavistock) capturing the Group One New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie last March. Asterix was a $450,000 purchase from the 2020 Ready to Run Sale.

In more recent months, the 2022-23 season has unearthed two more sensational three-year-old talents from Karaka.

Sharp 'N' Smart (NZ) (Redwood)

The first of those to emerge was Sharp ‘N’ Smart (NZ) (Redwood), who was bought by Rogerson Bloodstock for $55,000 from Book 2 of Karaka 2021.

A Listed winner in New Zealand as a two-year-old, the quality gelding started his spring with a first-up victory at Ruakaka before crossing the Tasman and starring in Sydney. He produced outstanding performances to score back-to-back wins in the Group Three Gloaming Stakes (1600m) and the Group One Spring Champion Stakes (2000m). A week after triumphing in the Spring Champion at Randwick, he backed up in the Group One Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington, finishing a gallant second behind Manzoice (Almanzor).

Last on this list but potentially the most exciting of all is boom kiwi filly Legarto (NZ) (Proisir). Bought by Ancroft Stud for $90,000 from Book 2 of Karaka 2021, she has been a super-impressive winner of all of her five starts so far and $389,095 in stakes. 

All of Legarto’s last three wins have been in black-type company. She came from 12th in a 13-horse field to win the Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa, then launched an unbelievable finish from third-last to blow her rivals away by four and three-quarter lengths in the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m).

Legarto’s most recent win was arguably her best yet, coming from a near-hopeless position to win with ease in the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m) at Pukekohe on Boxing Day. She is now the hot favourite for the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) over the same course and distance later this month.


Mr Brightside (NZ) (Bullbars)

The 2022 edition of Sydney’s time-honoured A$3m Group One Doncaster Mile (1600m) was won by Mr Brightside (NZ) (Bullbars), who became the fifth Karaka graduate in the last decade to win the famous race.

Bought for $22,000 as a yearling and offered at the 2019 Ready to Run Sale, Mr Brightside took his earnings past A$2 million with his Doncaster triumph, which was the seventh win of his 13-start career.

The top-class gelding has added another two wins this spring in the Group Two P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) and Group Two Feehan Stakes (1600m), along with a placing in the A$3m Group One Champions Mile (1600m) at Flemington. He has now earned A$3.4m from a 19-start, nine-win career.

Prior to Mr Brightside, the other Karaka graduates to win the Doncaster in the last decade were Brutal (NZ) (O’Reilly) in 2019, Kermadec (NZ) (Teofilo) in 2015 and Sacred Falls (NZ) (O’Reilly) in back-to-back runnings of the race in 2013 and 2014.


Karaka graduates shone brightly over a wide range of distances throughout 2022, winning two Group One races over 1200 metres, three over 1400 metres, six over 1600 metres, four over 2000 metres, one over 2200 metres and four over 2400 metres.








Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel)

Karaka graduates’ superb feats on the racetrack have been recognised with dozens of accolades in end-of-season awards ceremonies across New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. That includes an extraordinary eight consecutive winners of the New Zealand Horse of the Year Award – Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor) in 2015 and 2016, Bonneval (NZ) (Makfi) in 2017 and 2018, Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) in 2019 and 2020 and Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) in the last two seasons.

Overall across the last five seasons, graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock sales have recorded 124 Group One victories and a remarkable total of 568 stakes wins.

Book 1 of Karaka 2023 will run from 29 to 31 January, followed by Book 2 from 1 to 3 February. Selling will start at 11am each day.

All yearlings in Karaka 2023 will be inspected by NZB and NZ-based agents who are available to assist buyers with any queries or to bid on their behalf. View the Karaka 2023 parade schedule here.

International buyers wishing to physically attend the Sale can enquire about accommodation options by emailing [email protected].

Online bidding is available for all prospective purchasers via, plus an extensive online catalogue that will host pedigrees, parade videos and photos, updates and important information to assist your buying decisions.

The catalogues for Karaka 2023 can be viewed online here.

Important Dates

2023 Karaka Million Twilight Meeting – Saturday 21 January

Book 1 Sale – Sunday 29 January to Tuesday 31 January

Book 2 Sale – Wednesday 1 February to Friday 3 February