Karaka 2YO Million Win 5 - On The Bubbles

Date: 24 Jan 2021

Karaka 2YO Million Win 5 - On The Bubbles

With success comes expectation, and Te Akau Racing duly delivered again when On the Bubbles  (2 g Brazen Beau - More Bubbles, by Sebring) became their fifth consecutive $1m Doubletree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) winner on Saturday at Ellerslie.

Not only did On the Bubbles win for Te Akau and their owners, but they finished first to fourth, all with horses trained from the Colt Barn at Matamata, as Sneaky Shark (Capitalist) finished second, Avonallo (Belardo) third, and Sophisticardo (Burgundy) fourth.

To secure the five-peat for Te Akau, On the Bubbles followed in the footsteps of current dual Horse of the Year Melody Belle (Commands), winner of 12 Group One races, who won in 2017, six-time Group One winner Avantage (Fastnet Rock) in 2018 - both named Champion Two-Year-Old - dual Australian Group One winner Probabeel (Savabeel) in 2019, and another Champion Two-Year-Old, Cool Aza Beel (Savabeel) last year.

Having worked at both ends of the race when winning on debut in the Pearl Series 2YO 1100 metres on 19 December at Awapuni, and scintillating off a wide run when winning the 2YO 1200 metres here on 10 January, both with Johnathan Parkes aboard, On the Bubbles drew the outside (14) but it mattered little in making it three wins from three starts.

Somehow, Johnathan Parkes, whom Te Akau principal David Ellis confirmed as the jockey immediately after his Ellerslie success, negated the draw to slot in fourth at the 800m - an incredible feat, and music to the ears of his owners and supporters. Parkes had On the Bubbles at the ready approaching the home turn and after reaching the lead a furlong out he drew clear to win by one and three-quarter lengths.

“I was lucky enough to have the horse and get the opportunity to ride him in such a big race, when the money's up, so I've got David and Karyn, and, of course, Jamie to thank for keeping me on him,” Parkes said. “He's a super horse and he's done it really well.

“He makes it easy on you, because when you ask him he's got a lot of speed. He went forward quite easily and from there onwards he got a really nice run. I brought him out before the turn so he could roll into it and he's proven to be too good.

“His first win at Manawatu, he was drawn the outside and I had to use him up that day and it was a good effort to stick on like he did. He obviously improved quite a bit here two weeks ago and won really well, and he's won well again today. He's drawn the outside every time, so it will be good when he does finally get a nice draw.”

On footing that remained rated Dead4, On the Bubbles ran the 1200 metres in 1:10.7, last 600m in 34.7, and returned $2.90 & $1.50 on the NZ TAB tote. After winning previously at Ellerslie, Ellis said: “That's definitely as good a win as I've seen by any two-year-old this season. You just don't see horses sit three and four wide and win pulling away like that.” It was a very accurate assessment and the punters obviously agreed.

“He was aided by a lovely ride from Parkesy,” said trainer Jamie Richards. “He managed to find the right spot, one out and one back, from barrier 14. It was a big effort and full credit to Johnathan and the horse and everyone concerned.

“They all ran well. Sneaky Shark was great with the hood on, Avonallo, Lisa (Allpress) took the bull by the horns and led up and was in the right spot, and Sophisticardo kept up a good gallop as well. So, they've all run really well. Millefiori probably didn't handle the backup, but she's going to be a lovely three-year-old.

“The team have done a great job and a big thank you to Dave (Ellis) and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) for buying these lovely horses and this is what racing is all about. It's fantastic.

“Julia-Rose and Hamish Hayes share in the ownership and obviously over the moon. JR is our marketing manager and she's so refreshing for the sport. And, there are some great young owners that have received a huge reward for their investment.”

By a good sire of two-year-olds in Australia, On the Bubbles was purchased by David Ellis CNZM last January at the 2020 Karaka Book 1 Sale, from the draft of Leanach Lodge, and owned by Te Akau Splash Of Dom Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM).

On the dais, Karyn Fenton-Ellis said: “There is a saying in racing that opportunities make dreams become reality, and we couldn't in our wildest dreams think that we would be winning this race again for the fifth consecutive year.

“Our extraordinary trainer Jamie Richards had won the last four Karaka Millions and last year made history when Probabeel became the first to win both the 2YO and 3YO Karaka Million races.

“All these horse have been purchased by David Ellis at Karaka. The sales start tomorrow (Sunday 24 January) and he will back there in force.

“On the Bubbles was named by Julia-Rose (Hayes), and to those who know her the name is quite appropriate.

“The sponsors, Doubletree by Hilton, are building an incredible facility at Karaka, and their partnership with New Zealand Bloodstock, one of Australasia's most prestigious companies, is outstanding.

“Thank you to the Auckland Racing Club, the CEO, board, chairman, a fantastic team, and we are indebted to Sir Peter Vela and Vela family for establishing this iconic event 14 years ago.

“We are very proud of the Te Akau team, from the people at home at Te Akau Stud, to the stables and Matamata, and in Singapore, and we are also indebted to the fantastic people that work in our business. We love all you guys.

“Congratulations to Johnathan Parkes. He rode Gingernuts to win the Avondale Guineas for us at Ellerslie, and an unsung hero he richly deserves this success.

“Importantly, we welcome to this meeting, for the first time, the Deputy Prime Minister and Racing Minister, the right honourable Grant Robertson. Your presence means you mean business for our business, and we in the industry welcome your involvement and support.”


The Te Akau Racing operation continues to show what is possible and what can be achieved within New Zealand racing, and leads the way in results, professionalism, and communications.

On the Bubbles was strapped by Sarah West.


Photo credit - www.raceimages.co.nz




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