Talented Mares Head Field for Karaka Cup

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Last year's Karaka Cup victor, Five to Midnight (NZ) (Domesday).
Last year's Karaka Cup victor, Five to Midnight (NZ) (Domesday).

Saturday’s star-studded Karaka Million twilight race meeting at Ellerslie will get underway with a small field of stayers in the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup (2200m), but there is plenty of quality among some well-performed mares at the top of the line-up.

Introduced in 2014, the Karaka Cup is open for graduates of New Zealand Bloodstock’s National Yearling Sales Series to compete in every year for the remainder of their racing careers.

Its first six runnings have produced a number of memorable moments, headed by the 2017 victory by subsequent Auckland Cup winner Chenille (NZ) (Pentire). Last year’s winner, Five To Midnight (NZ) (Domesday), finished second in the Auckland Cup in both 2018 and 2019.

Mares won the Karaka Cup four years in a row from 2015 to 2018, and they are strongly represented in the field for the 2020 edition.

The topweight is Sentimental Miss (NZ) (Reliable Man), a $40,000 purchase at the 2017 Select Sale who won last year’s Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham. She was also a stakes winner in her most recent start, capturing the Listed Wanganui Cup (2040m) at the end of November.

Sentimental Miss has earned more than $307,000 in stakes for the Go Racing Yesteryear Syndicate. She is trained by Lisa Latta, who won this race last year with Five To Midnight.

Pinmedown (NZ) (Pins) enjoyed multiple stakes successes at Ellerslie last season, winning the Group Two Eight Carat Classic (1600m) and Group Three Sunline Vase (2100m). This season she has produced powerful finishes for third in the Group Two Cal Isuzu Stakes (1600m) and fifth in the Group One Zabeel Classic (2000m), and she was an unlucky fifth last start in the Group Three City of Auckland Cup (2400m).

Pinmedown cost $28,000 at the 2017 Select Sale and has earned more than $175,000. She was purchased by Paul Moroney Bloodstock, who also bought the talented Intrigue (NZ) (Showcasing).

Trained by Tony Pike, who won this race with Chenille in 2017, Intrigue has won three races including one on the Sunshine Coast in Australia last winter. She finished second in the Group Two Championship Stakes (2100m) at Ellerslie in April of last year. She was a $70,000 purchase at the 2017 Select Sale and has already earned more than that amount on the racetrack.

The CollinsonForex Karaka Cup is Race 1 on Saturday’s spectacular Karaka Million programme, with a start time of 4:30pm.

KARAKA 2020 SCHEDULE:

Karaka Million Twilight Meeting: Saturday 25 January at Ellerslie

Book 1: Sunday 26 – Tuesday 28 January

Book 2: Wednesday 29 – Friday 31 January

Book 3: Friday 31 January