With every horse in the field eligible for the 2012 Karaka Million as the country's two-year-olds hunt a coveted start in the million dollar event, Green Wings was the lucky one to race his way into Karaka Million contention in Saturday's Countdown to Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie.
Trained by Graham Richardson, who saddled three winners at the meeting, Green Wings (Dr Green x My Fairy Wings) took up the pace after jumping well from barrier two for jockey Masa Tanaka who also took three wins on Saturday.
In a solid performance, the son of Dr Green was too quick for his opponents as he headed the field into the straight and held his one-and-a-quarter-length margin to the post.
A horse that looks very much on the up, Green Wings came into the race with just two starts under his belt, running second on debut at Counties and then taking his first win at Taranaki on 27 December, beating Hogwarts Express (Elusive City) who won her first race at Te Rapa last week.
The victory has taken Green Wings' stakes earnings to $11,725 putting him in eighth place on the Karaka Million Order of Entry. With the Karaka Million field limited to a maximum 14 runners, nominated horses will be selected according to prize money won.
Graham Richardson confirmed that should everything go to plan, Green Wings will be back in two weeks to contest New Zealand's richest race.
Bred by Queensland-based Jim Buchanan, Green Wings was purchased by his trainer Graham Richardson from Leanach Lodge at New Zealand Bloodstock's 2011 Festival Sale for $30,000.
Running second in Saturday's two-year-old event was the Murray Baker trained Testamonial Mak (Testa Rossa x Donna Sienna) who raced near the tail of the field and ran on well in the finishing stages. Unplaced on debut in the Group 3 Eclipse Stakes, he is now in 28th place on the Karaka Million Order of Entry with $2,700 in stakes.
The Stephen McKee trained Freedom (O'Reilly x Captivate) looked in deep trouble on the turn, dead last and well off the pace, but the colt showed a good turn of foot and put in a good bid down the outside to claim third. He moves to 10th place on the Karaka Million Order of Entry with $10,000 in stakes and looks another likely starter on 29 January.
New Zealand's richest race, the $1 million Karaka Million, will be run at a Twilight Meeting on Sunday 29 January at Ellerslie. There are just five two-year-old events remaining in New Zealand before race nominations close on Tuesday 24 January, including Saturday's Group 2 Little Avondale Wakefield Challenge Stakes which carries a stake of $85,000.
Click here http://www.nzb.co.nz/info/karaka-million.cfm to view the current Karaka Million Order of Entry and for race nominations and acceptances. For tickets to the 2012 Karaka Million Twilight Meeting
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