TAB Karaka Millions 3YO By the Numbers

24 January 2024

The stage is set for another spectacular showdown in the $1.5m TAB Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m) at Ellerslie on Saturday, with a star-studded field of 15 three-year-olds battling it out in New Zealand’s richest race of the season.

Of those 15, 11 were bought through Book 1 of Karaka 2022, three came from Book 2, and one was purchased from the 2021 National Weanling Sale.

The average purchase price for the Karaka Millions 3YO field this year is $226,900. The highest-priced is Geriatrix (NZ) (Almanzor) at $675,000, while Royal Destroyer (NZ) (Embellish) was bought for just $36,000 from the National Weanling Sale. The lowest-priced yearling purchase was Talisker (NZ) (Embellish) for $70,000.

Pendragon (NZ) is one of two U S Navy's Flag  in contention for the $1.5 stake.

The quality of this year’s field is illustrated by their prize-money earnings. The 15 runners have already banked more than $2.88m between them, averaging $192,486 each.

Emerging sires U S Navy Flag, Satono Aladdin and Embellish (NZ) each has two progeny in the Karaka Millions 3YO line-up. U S Navy Flag is the sire of Pendragon (NZ) and To Catch A Thief, Satono Aladdin has Tokyo Tycoon (NZ) and Lupo Solitario (NZ), and Embellish has Talisker (NZ) and Royal Desetroyer (NZ). Tokyo Tycoon is attempting to join Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) as only the second horse in history to achieve the Karaka Millions 2YO/3YO double.

Rich Hill Stud were the vendors of last year’s winner Prowess (NZ) (Proisir), and they hold a powerful hand again in 2024 with three runners – Tokyo Tycoon (NZ) (Satono Aladdin), Lupo Solitario (NZ) (Satono Aladdin) and The Weapon (NZ) (Shocking).

Trainers Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott will saddle four starters in the big race on Saturday, and three of them were purchased under their Wexford Stables banner – The Weapon (NZ) (Shocking), pre-post favourite Molly Bloom (NZ) (Ace High) and Grande Gallo (NZ) (Belardo). Their fourth runner, Geriatrix (NZ) (Almanzor), was bought by Bruce Perry Bloodstock.

The TAB Karaka Millions 3YO will be run as sixth and final race on the action-packed six-race programme at Ellerslie on Saturday, with a scheduled start time of 7.24pm.