Impressive First-Starter Puts Go Racing on Karaka Millions Path

13 November 2023

A decade on from their unforgettable triumph with standout two-year-old filly Ruud Awakening (Bernardini), leading syndicators Go Racing are firmly in the TAB Karaka Millions mix again.

Velocious (Written Tycoon)

Go Racing’s blue and white colours were carried to an impressive debut victory by Velocious (Written Tycoon) in the $40,000 Virtual Print Design & Branding 2YO (1000m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The promising chestnut filly banked $23,000 with that first-up performance, which moves her into equal second place on the order of entry for the $1m TAB Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie in late January.

Velocious was bred by Inglewood Stud and is a half-sister to their stakes performer Mozzarella (NZ) (Capitalist). Inglewood offered Velocious in Book 1 of Karaka 2023, where Go Racing secured her for $190,000.

Trained by Stephen Marsh, Velocious went into her debut with two trials appearances under her belt, placing in the most recent of them at Te Rapa on October 31. She was somewhat under the radar at odds of close to $20 on Saturday, but produced a performance that made everyone sit up and take notice.

With Sam Spratt in the saddle, Velocious launched a powerful finish from the back to score by three-quarters of a length over fellow first-starter Red Sea (NZ) (Pierata). The third placegetter Bellatrix Star (NZ) (Star Witness), who has already been a winner at Wanganui earlier in the spring, finished three and a half lengths behind the first pair.

“She is a very talented filly,” Go Racing manager Albert Bosma told the LOVERACING.NZ News Desk. “We knew she had all the ability, but with a wide barrier (eight) on debut, we thought would make it hard for her to win from a ringcraft perspective.

“I think it was a pretty handy field and she was a good winner. If they had gone further, she would have won by more.

“She will learn a lot from that. You could see she was still a little bit green and didn’t know how to quite stretch out in the straight when she hit the front. She will only improve off that.

Savaglee (NZ) (Savabeel)

“At this early stage, we are thinking of heading to the Wakefield (Group Two, 1100m) at Trentham on December 9. Trying to get some black-type as a two-year-old is important with a well-bred filly.

“Post that, we will just assess whether she needs another run, or just a gallop at Ellerslie before the Karaka Millions.”

Velocious shares second spot on the TAB Karaka Millions 2YO order of entry with Savaglee (NZ) (Savabeel), who won by four lengths on debut at Trentham on October 21 and is the TAB’s early favourite for the big race.

So Naive (NZ) (U S Navy Flag) heads the order of entry with $25,875, which he earned with a front-running victory on debut in the $45,000 Ellerslie Events Centre 2YO (1100m) at Pukekohe on November 28.

Other race winners round out the top six spots, with Bellatrix Star having $17,975 to her name, while Poetic Champion (NZ) (Super Seth) and About Last Night (NZ) (Capitalist) have both earned $14,375.

Riccarton will host a $65,000 two-year-old race on the middle day of the New Zealand Cup Carnival this Wednesday, where the eight-horse field features two runners who are Karaka Millions eligible – Captain Roy (NZ) (Savabeel), who has finished third in both starts so far and earned $5,850 in stakes, along with another Go Racing first-starter in Super Sincere (NZ) (Super Seth).

A week and a half further down the track, Pukekohe will host the first black-type race of the season for the two-year-olds with the running of the $110,000 Listed FastTrack Insurance 2YO Stakes (1100m) on November 25.

The TAB Karaka Millions 2YO will be run at Ellerslie on January 27, as part of a blockbuster twilight programme that also features the $1.5m TAB Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) and the inaugural running of the $1m Elsdon Park Aotearoa Classic 4YO (1600m).