Tokyo Tycoon Hunts a Rare Double

Date: 26 Jan 2024

Tokyo Tycoon Hunts a Rare Double

NZ Racing news reports:

Diminutive gelding Tokyo Tycoon (NZ) (Satono Aladdin) will be vying for back-to-back Karaka Millions titles when he heads to Ellerslie on Saturday to contest the $1.5 million TAB Karaka Millions 3YO (1600m).

The son of Satono Aladdin was victorious in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) last year, and trainers Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson would love him to join stable predecessor Probabeel as a dual Karaka Millions victor.

A standout juvenile, Tokyo Tycoon began his three-year-old term in brilliant style when winning the Listed El Roca – Sir Colin Meads Trophy (1200m) at Hastings first-up, however, the wheels came off his spring preparation when he found the Heavy9 conditions too taxing at the Hawke’s Bay venue three weeks later when fifth in the Gr.2 Hawke’s Bay Guineas (1400m).

The decision was made by his trainers to give the gelding a freshen-up and he returned in December to place behind Saturday race rival Pendragon at Pukekohe, before returning to the South Auckland track on Boxing Day where he disappointed when finishing last in the Gr.2 Auckland Guineas (1400m).

“We have put a line through his last run,” Bergerson said. “We got him home and couldn’t fault him the next day, which was a bit of a strange one.

“He is a lot better than that run, so we gave him a trial with the blinkers on. His trial was just okay, but he was his laidback self just going through the motions. His work on Wednesday was super.

“Opie (Bosson, jockey) has elected to ride him over Talisker, which is a huge positive for him. It indicates that Opie thinks he could be back to that two-year-old form where he was so electric.

“On his day, I think he is more than capable of figuring in it, it is just what Tokyo Tycoon turns up.

“He has got a lovely barrier draw (3) and should get a nice run in behind them somewhere, and we think he will suit the Ellerslie track.”

Tokyo Tycoon is a $12 fifth favourite for Saturday’s feature behind Molly Bloom and Orchestral, who are at the top of the market at $3.50, while stablemate Talisker is rated a $15 chance with TAB bookmakers.

The son of Embellish has returned north following a southern spring campaign, which culminated in a runner-up result behind undefeated three-year-old Crocetti in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton in November.

He returned to Te Akau’s Matamata base and was runner-up in his trial behind glamour mare Legarto in their 1100m heat at Tauranga on January 2, and he had a feel of Ellerslie’s StrathAyr track when third in his 1500m contest a fortnight ago. 

“He will be positive from his barrier (8), he has got a great racing pattern and gets up there on speed, and he seems to have improved from that first-up run at Ellerslie,” Bergerson said.

“I am happy with them both and I think it is a very high-quality field. It is very even and you wouldn’t be surprised if eight of them won the race. It will come down to the right run and a bit of luck.”

Earlier on the card, Maven Belle will get her summer preparation back on track in the Gr.3 Brighthill Farm Concorde Handicap (1200m) after having to bypass the Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) earlier this month.

“She was heading towards the Telegraph and she spiked a bit of a temperature, so we gave her a few days off and she had to miss the Telegraph,” Bergerson said.

“It wasn’t the worst thing missing the Telegraph, it was a muddly race, and she would have been stuck in behind all the carnage we think.

“She seems to have bounced back in super form and she looks magnificent at home. We think we have found the right race for her, although she does have to lug a bit of weight (58kg), but she probably deserves it.

“Opie on always helps, he knows her very well. She is going in in good form and her work on Tuesday was super.”

Maven Belle is a $3.20 favourite for the race with TAB bookmakers and will be joined in the sprint by stablemates Petrucci ($6) and Romancing The Moon ($8).

“It is a bit of a step up from Petrucci’s last start, but she was super impressive,” Bergerson said. “It will probably be tempo related but you have got to ride her a bit colder to see her finishing off. Hopefully there will be some genuine speed there.

“Romancing The Moon trialled well at Tauranga. She will bounce and put herself on speed. She was just over-racing in the Manawatu Challenge Stakes at Wellington, so we decided to freshen her and back to 1200m we think she will race a bit kinder. She is a Group One winner, she is a high-class mare.”

While all eyes will be on Ellerslie on Saturday, down in Riccarton Te Akau will be chasing further stakes spoils when Millefiori and Kai tackle the Listed Speight’s Timaru Stakes (1400m).

“They are two mares that really seem to be enjoying the south,” Bergerson said. “Kai was super there last time. She is not overly big but tries her heart out. It is another really nice race for her. Kylie (Williams, jockey) knows her now after having ridden her last time, and Hunter (Durrant, Riccarton stable foreman) is really happy with her heading into Saturday.

“With Live Drama up the top, Millefiori doesn’t have to lug the topweight like she did last time. She is another that ran well last time and has gone on since. “It is a very good chance for black-type for both of them.”


Sign up to our newsletter