How will the locals go at the Karaka Millions meeting tomorrow night?
Here are six that have some reason for local interest, led by Blackrockdetox in the Karaka 2yo Million $ race.
Well known Keirkeri resident and regular patron at the Ruakaka racecourse, Graeme Thorp, is a part owner of the Rip Van Winkle youngster Blackrokdetox. Blackrokdetox finished third at Ellerslie on Boxing Day as the photo finish shows above. On this occasion the gelding missed the start and raced greenly around the turn and made up many lengths over the short 1100 metres. To be ridden again by Vinnie Colgan, who has won the Karaka Millions before, Blackrokdetox will appreciate the longer 1200 metres but is starting at the long odds of 50 to 1.
The Ruakaka stables of Logan Racing have two last start Ruakaka winners as entries in the Karaka Million 3 yo race in Super Gee and Red Dynamo. Both of these runners were impressive at the Ruakaka summer meeting but it is a big step up in company and both will be at long odds. The stable also has the unlucky Rikki Tikki Tavi engaged that GS Racing, Shayne Heap and Gary Hanam, are part owners of. A track with a bit of give in it would greatly assist this mare who loves the course and has such a great record at Ellerslie.
Two other runners that have raced at Ruakaka during last year will provide some interest. Madison County has grown in statue since running second to Melt in the Cambridge Stud Northland Breeders Stakes and will start favourite. Melt is now in the stable of Chris Waller in Sydney and ran a nice trial at Warwick Farm during the week. I suspect she will trial again and then be tested in Sydney in the autumn.
Prise De Fer won at her first start at Ruakaka and then was relegated after winning at her next start, when racing greenly.
The sales start on Sunday at Karaka and the Minister for Racing will open the sales. It will be interested how much detail he can give about progress on the changes being considered for the industry.
It is expected that the first draft of race dates will be sent to Club next week so it will be of great interest to this club and Dargaville who are under threat of losing their only meeting, to see what is offered for the next racing season.