Probabeel Wins Karaka Million 3YO – Makes History
26 Jan 2020
In a race that looked hers for the taking, Probabeel (3 f Savabeel – Far Fetched, by Pins) made history in the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (Restricted Listed, 1600m) when becoming the first horse to win the race a year after winning the $1m Karaka Million (Restricted Listed, 1200m).
An absolutely incredible filly, Probabeel started at fairly prohibitive odds ($1.60 & $1.10) but showed just how good she really is.
With Opie Bosson aboard, fresh from winning the Karaka Million two races earlier aboard stable-mate Cool Aza Beel (Savabeel), Probabeel was shuffled from ninth to 12that the 800m, stood the leaders eight lengths at the 600m, but proceeded to do what few horses are capable of when sprinting widest round the home turn and she never flinched in a commanding performance.
“There was a little bit of pressure coming into it and pretty keen to get through it and to the other side,” said trainer Jamie Richards, on a night when $2.4 million in prize money was up for grabs.
“I give full credit to the whole team, everyone involved and wonderful horses.
“She was probably a bit further back than where I wanted her to be, but I said to Opie, don’t rush her because she was sort of uncomfortable at Awapuni (last start, win) when trying to hold a spot. But, she quickened well and put them bed so it was really encouraging. Hopefully, we can take her back to Australia, and I think she’s good enough to be competitive there.
Although unable to notch a win, Probabeel had been very competitive during her spring campaign in Sydney, finishing second in the Flight Stakes (Gr. 1, 1600m), following fourth in the Furious Stakes (Gr. 2, 1200m) and second in the Tea Rose Stakes (Gr. 2, 1400m) during the Princess Series at Randwick.
Owned by Brendan Lindsay MNZM & Jo Lindsay at Cambridge Stud, Probabeel was purchased by David Ellis for $380,000, from the draft of Waikato Stud, at the 2018 Karaka Book 1 Sale. With five wins, three seconds, from 11 starts, she has won $1.3m in prize money.
“What a day, what a horse,” said Lindsay, amongst unrivalled scenes of jubilation. “Thank you David Ellis for buying this filly, thank you Jamie for training her, and thank you Opie for riding her. We just made history and she’s the first horse to ever do it, and it could take a long time before somebody else does it. It’s fantastic.”
Coming from so far back with such a devastating finish, had a few pundits on the edge of their seats.
“It wasn’t a pretty ride,” Bosson said. “I had to get out and get going around them and got pushed a bit wider round the turn, but once she balanced up it was all over. She’s got a great turn of foot. She’s a very good filly and when she gets up over 2000 metres I think she’ll develop into a very good stayer.
“She’s another example of what great horses David buys and Jamie’s a master-class trainer. It just makes my job so much easier,” said the King of the Karaka Million.
David Ellis said: “You go to the races and think, as long as the horse’s race well we’re going to be happy, but to win two one-million dollar races in one night is very special. It’s a very proud moment for us all because there’s such a huge amount of work that goes in from so many people.
“Inspecting, selecting and buying, then Enzo (Di Leoni) and the team breaking them at the farm and Jamie’s team getting them to this stage at the stables in Matamata, it’s huge.
“It’s so humbling for the whole team to see these horses pull off wins in races like this. It’s great to see the hard work pay off.
“Cool Aza Beel and Probabeel are both by New Zealand’s Champion Sire Savabeel. This filly was bred at Waikato Stud. I bought her and a couple of days later I sold her to Brendan and Jo Lindsay. They also bought a Savabeel colt off me that night that they now stand at Cambridge Stud, called Embellish.
“I’m so thrilled for them because they’re the biggest supporters that Te Akau has ever had and absolutely rapt for them.
“New Zealand is a great country to rear horses. It’s an agricultural country. We’re lucky that we have 50 inches of rain and have it spread of over nine or 10 months of the year. I’m extremely proud to be a part of it all.
“It’s exciting being able to have people invest at the sales and to see them get the rewards on a night like tonight, people that have supported Karyn and I, Jamie, and Mark Walker, who trains for us in Singapore.”
Probabeel was strapped by Ashley Handley.
Photo credit – www.raceimges.co.nz