Karaka Million Countdown

Date: 16 Nov 2022

Karaka Million Countdown

NZ Bloodstock reports:


The Karaka Million twilight extravaganza might be at a temporary location of Pukekohe this January instead of Ellerslie, and Te Akau Racing might have a different trainer at the helm in Mark Walker, but there is already a very familiar tangerine theme dominating the top end of the order of entry for the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m).

All of the last six winners of New Zealand's richest juvenile race have been bought by Te Akau's David Ellis, and they were all trained by champion Te Akau horseman Jamie Richards. With Richards since relocating to Hong Kong, Walker has returned from his successful career in Singapore to have a second stint as Te Akau's trainer at Matamata.

With under 10 weeks remaining until the Karaka Million on January 23, Te Akau holds the top two positions on the order of entry with Rhetorical (NZ) (Snitzel) and newcomer Viva Vienna (NZ) (All Too Hard).

Rhetorical (main picture) continues to occupy the top spot, earning $33,150 through back-to-back wins at Riccarton and a third placing in last Wednesday's $80,000 Listed Welcome Stakes (1000m) at the same venue.

Her stablemate Viva Vienna (below) is a new name in the number-two position with $18,600 in prize-money. A third placegetter on debut over 800 metres in September, she took a big step forward with a dominant front-running victory in the $30,000 SVS Starting Gates 2YO (1000m) at Te Rapa on November 5.

“She's a very professional filly and it was a good win,” Walker said. “She's natural type of two-year-old and should develop into a nice Karaka Million chance.”

Ellis paid $100,000 to buy Viva Vienna from Westbury Stud's draft in Book 1 of Karaka 2022.




Sign up to our newsletter