Saturday's $100,000 Group 2 Ford Wakefield Challenge Stakes at Trentham provided Karaka graduates with their penultimate opportunity to win valuable prizemoney and earn a start in the 2008 Karaka Million, with two horses catapulting themselves into contention.
In a bizarre incident, race leader Fully Fledged (Align - Fledged) jumped through the running rail on the home straight leaving Captain Fantastic (Fantastic Light - Regal Ash) to claim the $59,375 for the winner. This shot the Fantastic Light colt to third on the current Order of Entry for trainers Mike and Paul Moroney.
Second placegetter Reuben Thorn (Thorn Park - Our Sportsgirl) isn't Karaka Million eligible, but third placegetter Fyfetheknife (Spartacus - Fontana) grabbed the valuable $9,500 for third place to put him in the current top fourteen for Richard and Chris Otto.
The final two-year-old fixture before nominations for the 2008 Karaka Million close tomorrow (22 January) is The Searchers in Upper Hut 2YO Maiden (1000m) today at 12:50pm at Trentham which has $6,250 on offer to the winner. Only four horses in the race are eligible, and while it won't guarantee them a start, a win by Perfect PIns, Clermont Rose, Glamorous Girl or Miss the Cut would put them on the ballot.
The $1,000,000 Karaka Million (Res. L) (1200m) will be conducted at the Auckland Racing Club's Ellerslie racecourse next Sunday (27th January). The first race on the six-race card will be at 5:10pm (not 4:35pm as earlier advertised).
The five support races at the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting are being conducted with the generous sponsorship of Karaka vendors Tamgaly NZ, Whakanui Stud, Pencarrow Stud, Cambridge Stud and The Oaks Stud. Click on the logos on the sidebar to see these studs' entries at the Karaka Premier Sale.
Owners and trainers are reminded that their eligible horses must be nominated for the Karaka Million by 12pm on Tuesday 22 January in the usual manner.
A maximum number of fourteen starters will line up in the Karaka Million. If the number of final acceptors exceeds this number then elimination will be according to the gross value of prize money won by each acceptor, with horses with the least amount eliminated first.
The Barrier Draw for the 2008 Karaka Million will take place at the Te Rapa Racecourse this Wednesday (23 January), and will be broadcast on Trackside on Wednesday at 12:35pm.
The Karaka Million (at 7:23pm NZ time) will be broadcast on Trackside and Sky Australia.
Click here for the current 2008 Karaka Million Order of Entry. Race tickets and hospitality packages for the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting can be obtained from the Auckland Racing Club.