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Probabeel makes Karaka Million history

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

On a dream night for the Te Akau operation, star filly Probabeel has entered Karaka Million folklore with an exceptional victory in the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).

Just over an hour after Te Akau celebrated their fourth consecutive victory in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) with Cool Aza Beel, Probabeel became the first ever Karaka Million 2YO winner to return to the twilight meeting 12 months later and win the Karaka Million 3YO Classic.

The Karaka Million concept is in its 13th year, and the three-year-old race was introduced in 2010 and elevated to a $1 million purse in 2018. The previous best result by a Karaka Million 2YO winner was by the Lisa Latta-trained Fort Lincoln, who finished third in the three-year-old race in 2012.

Probabeel performed creditably at Group One level in Sydney through the spring and won comfortably first-up at Awapuni earlier this month.

Sent out as a $1.60 favourite to complete her historic Karaka Million double she was aided by a perfectly timed ride from Opie Bosson and duly delivered.

Bosson and Probabeel dropped well back in the field as the free-going Pimlico and Our Creed set up a strong tempo in front. She was still near the tail of a spread-out field coming down the side towards the home turn, but Bosson never panicked.

He angled Probabeel into the clear in the straight and put the pedal to the floor, and Probabeel’s response was explosive.

She blazed to the front inside the last 300 metres, opening up a clear break and holding the strong-finishing Australian raider Conqueror at bay to win by a length and a half. Hasstobegood finished another two and a half lengths away in third, just ahead of Harlech.

"There was a bit of pressure coming into today, and I was pretty keen just to get through it," relieved trainer Jamie Richards said. "But full credit to everyone, it was a big team effort and a great result.

"She probably got a little bit further back than we might have wanted, but we didn’t want Opie to rush her. She was a little bit unhappy at Awapuni last time when we rode her for a more prominent position.

"Opie just kept her happy, and then she quickened really well in the straight and put them away pretty nicely.

"Now we’re really looking forward to getting her back over to Australia, more than likely for the Surround Stakes (Gr.1, 1400m) at Randwick on February 29."

The win capped a terrific day for the filly’s owners, Cambridge Stud proprietors Brendan and Jo Lindsay. They had previously won the $100,000 CollinsonForex Karaka Cup (2200m) with Dance Card, while Bavella placed in the Gr.3 Henley Park Mr Tix Trophy (1200m) and lightly raced filly Taroni placed in the Karaka Million 2YO (1200m).

"What a day, what a horse," Brendan Lindsay said. "I thought she was going to win easily when she raced to the lead in the straight, but it just got a bit nerve-racking in the last bit, but we’re here now.

"She’s the first horse to ever do this, and I think it’ll be a long time before anyone else does it again."

 - NZ Racing Desk

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