Rapid Falls (NZ) Roars Home in Karaka Cup
22 January 2022
Cambridge trainer Tony Pike landed his second $110,000 Collinson Forex Karaka Cup (2200m) when Rapid Falls (NZ) (Sacred Falls) powered out of the pack to win the opening race of Saturday’s New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million twilight extravaganza at Ellerslie.
The Karaka Cup was the fourth win in a 17-start career for Rapid Falls, who was bought for $90,000 by Pike Racing from Curraghmore’s draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2018. The five-year-old mare has now earned $152,112 in stakes.
Ridden patiently by Leith Innes in Saturday’s seven-horse field, Rapid Falls bided her time in sixth place as last-start Group One winner Tiptronic (NZ) (O’Reilly) and the talented Sir Nate (NZ) (Nadeem) went to war in an energy-sapping duel out in front.
Rapid Falls began advancing as the field made its way down the side of the track, and when Innes pushed the button in the straight, she swept past Tiptronic to take control of the race.
Notabadharada (NZ) (Haradasun) quickened nicely out of midfield to provide the toughest challenge, but Rapid Falls maintained a comfortable advantage and won by a length and three-quarters. Notabadharada crossed the finish line in second, with two and a quarter lengths back to Sagunto (NZ) (O’Reilly) in third.
Rapid Falls joined Chenille (NZ) (Pentire) as Pike’s second Karaka Cup winner. Chenille went on to win the Auckland Cup (3200m) less than two months later, and Rapid Falls could potentially follow that same road.
“That was a good win today by a nice, progressive mare,” Pike said. “Leith rode her very patiently, and it helped us that Tiptronic was annoyed by Sir Nate out in front.
“Leith saved ground coming around the turn and then presented her at the right time in the straight. She almost got to the front a little bit too soon and started waiting for them a little bit, but she did it comfortably in the end.
“She holds a nomination for the Auckland Cup in March, and if she keeps doing everything right, she might even continue along that path.”
Runner-up Notabadharada was bought for just $7000 at the 2017 Festival Sale by trainer and part-owner Christopher Faulkner. He has had 75 starts for six wins, eight placings and $326,647 in stakes – almost 50 times his purchase price.
Third-placed Sagunto was a $120,000 purchase from the 2017 Premier Sale. His 43-start career has produced six wins, eight placings and $129,296.
|Purchaser||Pike Racing (Waikato)|
|Breeding||Sacred Falls – Sitting On A Hill|
|Sale||Lot 594, Karaka 2018 Book 1, $90,000|
|Bred by||Miss C A Bambry & Mangatiti Trust|