At Wanganui in New Zealand, Cambridge Stud's beautifully bred Gr3-winning stallion Burgundy (Redoute's Choice-Grand Echezeaux, by Zabeel) added a black-type success when 3YO brown filly Dijon Bleu (Burgundy-Pristino, by More Than Ready) opened her stakes account when romping to an emphatic win in the $50,000 Listed O'Leary's Fillies Stakes (1200m) for 3YO fillies, defeating Blanco Belle & Style By Design. Dijon Bleu, who was purchased by her trainer Lisa Latta for $26,000 at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock Select Yearling Sale, improved her record to 2 wins and 1 placing from 5 starts for NZ$57,700 in earnings. Latta nominated the Gr1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas as a possible target for Dijon Bleu. "There's a lot of options for her and the key will be whether she can get 1400m and further and then if we head south early," Latta told NZ Racing Desk.
A full field of 14 plus one emergency has been confirmed for the 10th Karaka Million, to be held at the Karaka Million Twilight Meeting at Ellerslie this Sunday (29 January). New Zealand's equal richest race, the Karaka Million (1200m) is held on the eve of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales Series commencing at Karaka and consists of graduates from Karaka 2016. The top qualifier is Gift of Power (Power), who impressively won all of her first three starts including the Gr2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes and Listed Wellesley Stakes. Purchased by Team Rogerson at the Premier Sale for $180,000 from Cambridge Stud, she has earned $107,400 from four starts and will be ridden by Craig Grylls. Hasahalo (Savabeel) handed Gift Of Power her first defeat in the Gr3 Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year's Day, coming from last with a late charge to win by a head. It boosted her earnings to $61,000 and propelling her to second on the order of entry. Trained by Stephen McKee, who won last year's Karaka Million with Xiong Feng, Hasahalo was bought by Go Racing at the Premier Sale for $110,000 from Curraghmore. Hasahalo will be ridden by Blake Shinn. For details about the remaining Karaka Million runners, click here. Sunday's six-race programme is scheduled to commence at 4.58pm with the first race of the Karaka Million Series, the $100,000 Windsor Park Stud Karaka Stayers Cup running at 5.33pm as Race 2, followed by the Listed (R) $100,000 NZB Insurance Karaka 3YO Mile at 6.07pm as Race 3 and the Listed (R) $1 million Karaka Million race at 7.16pm as Race 5.
The Karaka Million field is:
1. Star Treasure (Stephen McKee) 56.5kg (7)
2. Padraig (Brendon Hawtin) 56.5kg (12)
3. Felton Road (Tony Pike) 56.5kg (1)
4. Ameridon (Liam Birchley) 56.5kg (13)
5. Oscar Eight (Nigel Tiley) 56.5kg (15)
6. Waldorf (Andrew Campbell) 56.5kg (5)
7. Gift Of Power (Graeme & Debbie Rogerson) 54.5kg (2)
8. Hasahalo (Stephen McKee) 54.5kg (10)
9. Princess Rihanna (Lance O'Sullivan & Andrew Scott) 54.5kg (4)
10. Dijon Bleu (Lisa Latta) 54.5kg (9)
11. Melody Belle (Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards) 54.5kg (3)
12. Global Thinking (Shaune Ritchie) 54.5kg (8)
13. Te Amo (Peter Robl) 54.5kg (11)
14. Sophie's Choice (Stephen Marsh) 54.5kg (14)
15. Iffragal (Stephen Autridge & Jamie Richards) 54.5kg (6)
It took just one start for Dijon Bleu (Burgundy) to race her way into contention for next month's $1 million Karaka Million (1200m) at Ellerslie. Purchased for $26,000 by Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta at the 2016 NZ Bloodstock Select Sale, Dijon Bleu made her debut in Sunday's $20,000 Mills Reef Winery 2YO (1100m) at her home track. Ridden by Kelly McCulloch, she edged out her stakes-performed stable-mate Dreams of Platinum (Dream Ahead) by a nose. Dijon Bleu earned $12,500 for Sunday's win, putting her in equal eighth position on the Karaka Million Order of Entry. Dual stakes winner Gift of Power (Power) maintains a clear lead on the Order of Entry with $96,875 in prize money. The upcoming Ellerslie Christmas Carnival will provide several opportunities for two-year-olds to race their way into Karaka Million contention. Boxing Day features an 1100-metre race worth $50,000, then a maiden two-year-old race worth $10,000 will be held on December 29. The New Year's Day meeting features the $70,000 Gr3 Eclipse Stakes (1200m). Click here to view the latest order of entry.