Karaka Million Scheduled for New Zealand

New Zealand Bloodstock has announced a rich new race for all graduates of next year's National Yearling Sales Series at Karaka. Every yearling sold at Karaka in 2007 will be eligible to nominate for the richest two year old race in NZ, to be known as the Karaka Million. The Karaka Million will be hosted at the Auckland Racing Club at Ellerslie on the weekend before the Karaka Premier Sale in 2008.

In a first for the region, the meeting will be jointly hosted by the six clubs that form the Northern Cluster - Auckland Racing Club, Avondale Jockey Club, Counties Racing Club, Whangarei Racing Club, Dargaville Racing Club and Pakuranga Hunt Club.

"We are thrilled to be able to offer a one million dollar race for all Karaka yearling graduates as it gives trainers and owners a fantastic opportunity to target their Karaka purchases at the race for a real chance of hitting the jackpot," said New Zealand Bloodstock marketing manager Petrea Vela.

"We are also delighted to have the Northern Clubs embracing the race meeting as an industry event, and are very grateful for their support. With the extra incentive of the big race for buyers, and the added sales opportunity it will offer breeders, it promises an exciting dimension to the whole Karaka sales week."

Auckland Racing Club chief executive Chris Weaver spoke on behalf of the Northern Cluster and confirmed their commitment to the new initiative: "The Northern Cluster was formed in the spirit of co-operation to jointly promote thoroughbred racing in the region, and a raceday such as this is the perfect opportunity to pull together to make the event a success.

"We are very pleased to offer the full support of each of the Clubs involved, and are looking forward to working with New Zealand Bloodstock to host a world class event."

The Karaka Million for two year olds will be run over 1,200 meters and will replace the current $500,000 New Zealand Bloodstock 2-year-old Classique in 2008. The last running of the Classique will be held at Te Rapa on February 3, 2007 for the graduates of the 2006 National Sale. he Classique has been conducted at Te Rapa racecourse in association with the Waikato Racing Club for the past five years.

All yearlings sold at the Premier, Select, Festival and Carnival Sessions of the National Sales in 2007 will be eligible to enter for the Karaka Million in 2008. All starters in the race will get a slice of the pie, with the trainer of the winner and owner of the yearling at sale time, also sharing in the spoils.

The Karaka Million joins the new Karaka Carnival Sale Bonus Race as the two new incentive races for Karaka yearling graduates. In the latter case, graduates of the new Carnival Sale in March will be eligible to enter to win a $100,000 bonus for the first horse home in the Carnival Sale Bonus Race.