Triple Tangerine Treat

Date: 25 Jan 2022

Triple Tangerine Treat


NZ Herald's Michael Guerin reports:


Rival trainers could be excused for passing the hat around at Ellerslie tonight to buy Jamie Richards a free early flight to Hong Kong, because there will be plenty relieved when the star trainer leaves for his new career there in April.

Richards, who is moving to Hong Kong after gaining a sought-after trainer's permit there, signed off from his final Karaka Million meeting for the foreseeable future at Ellerslie by winning both $1 million races, as well as the $110,000 Almanzor Trophy with Sword Of State for good measure.

The massively-plunged Dynastic won the Karaka Million for two-year-olds, overcoming a slow start with a perfect Opie Bosson ride to give Richards his sixth straight training win in the race and Bosson his fifth, his domination only interrupted by suspension last year.

It was a victory of many layers with Dynastic sired by Cambridge Stud's new stallion Almanzor and providing him with his first Southern Hemisphere winner, remarkably coming in a $1 million race.

That is not only a dream result for Cambridge Stud but also the New Zealand breeding industry as Almanzor is one of the main young new stallions breeders are relying on to boost future sales.

Considering his stock weren't expected to be as potent at two as they will at three, Almanzor arrived on the Australasian racing scene properly, just in time for the next round of the sales.

Heavily backed into $2.50, Dynastic's win over Wolverine surprised nobody but what will really leave rival trainers shaking their heads is the Karaka Classic Mile, in which Richards and his bosses Te Akau showed they can now win on Karaka Million night even when they are losing.

She was a 23-1 outsider and her win didn't shock Richards, who tipped her publicly as his big upset chance for the night.

"She is a good staying filly in the making and while the other horse [On The Bubbles] had a tough trip, she was still very good.

"So for me personally to sign off from this phase of my career, not New Zealand yet but from the Karaka Million which has been such a special part of my career, is very special."

Pin Me Up's win was the biggest of young jockey Sam Weatherley's career as his rise up the riding ranks continues.

Weatherley won two major races on New Year's Day and caught the eye of Richards and Te Akau boss David Ellis, earning him two rides in the tangerine colours yesterday.

"To get two rides for them in $1 million races was a real buzz but this is amazing," said Weatherley.

"She travelled so well around the bend I was worried I hit the front too early. But really, for me, this has been a dream month."

Of less immediate value but almost as important was the return to form of Sword Of State, who carried 60.5kg to win the three-year-old sprint in his first run back from Australia.

It was a reminder of his sheer class and speed and it must be tempting now to take on the open sprinters domestically with a light weight or return to Australia later in the season looking for black-type there.


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