At Ascot Park in New Zealand, Coolmore Stud stallion and former Australian Champion racehorse So You Think (High Chaparral-Triassic, by Tights) added a black-type success when Australian-bred 3YO filly Global Thinking (So You Think-Capital Raising, by General Nediym) scored an emphatic 2.3-lengths victory for trainer Shaune Ritchie in the $50,000 Listed Southland Guineas (1600m) for 3YOs. She finished in front of fellow sophomore fillies The Sparkle (Darci Brahma-The Dazzler, by Centaine) and Courte Zarindi (Any Suggestion-Courte Noire, by Pentire). Runner-up in last start's Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m), Global Thinking's inaugural stakes win took her record to 3 wins & 2 placings from 11 starts for $82,500 earnings. Initially sold for $42,500 as a weanling at the 2015 NZB National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Sale, she was subsequently sold by Phoenix Park for $40,000 at the 2016 NZB National Yearling Sales Series.
At Wingatui in New Zealand, Darley's former Champion Australian Sire Exceed And Excel (Danehill-Patrona, by Lomond) added a black-type success when 3YO New Zealand-bred filly Excelleration (Exceed And Excel-Abeautifulred, by Handsome Ransom) unleashed her customary strong run from the rear of the field to score a comfortable win in the $50,000 Listed Dunedin Guineas (1500m) for 3YOs, defeating Global Thinking & Czechoslovakia. Retained to race by her breeder Wellfield Lodge when passed in short of her reserve at the 2016 NZB Premier Yearling Sale, Excelleration improved her record to 4 wins (including the Listed Gore Guineas) and 1 placing from 8 starts for NZ$75,785 in earnings. Excelleration will attempt a clean sweep of the southern 3YO series when she contests the Listed Southland Guineas (1600m) at Ascot Park in a fortnight.
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)
A number of talented 2YOs have already left the starting blocks in their race for a shot at New Zealand's richest race, the $1 million Karaka Million at Ellerslie Racecourse on January 29. This will be the 10th edition of the lucrative dash for cash on the eve of New Zealand Bloodstock's National Yearling Sales Series. The order of entry is determined by prize money earnings. The current leader in 2016-17 is the Shaune Ritchie-trained Global Thinking (So You Think), who earned $12,500 for her stylish debut win at Ruakaka on September 10. "She's not big at all, but she's beautifully in proportion, not unlike her sire," Ritchie said. "It's a bit surprising to see her doing this so early in her two-year-old season, but we're in the Karaka Million now and we can sit back and enjoy that thrill. Global Thinking was purchased by part-owners KRD Racing for $40,000 from the draft of Phoenix Park at the 2016 Premier Sale. Currently in second place with $10,800 is Unlikely Story (NZ) (Star Witness), who is trained in Brisbane by Tony Gollan and ran second on debut at Doomben. Click here to view the full 2017 Karaka Million order of entry.