Scribe One to Watch in Karaka Million 3YO Classic

Scribe wins the $40,000 Wentwood Grange 3YO (1200m).
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Highly talented three-year-old Scribe (Press Statement) improved his record to two-from-two with an emphatic two-length victory in the $40,000 Wentwood Grange 3YO (1200m). Ridden by Leith Innes, the gelding sat in second place before outsprinting his talented opposition and kicking clear down the straight.

Trainer Tony Pike is now working towards the $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).

“He came through his debut win at New Plymouth very well, and the extra distance helped him second-up,” Pike said. “He was a gorgeous-looking yearling, but got a bit colty, so we had him gelded. He’s a lovely horse to have around the stable and is very promising.

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“He’s a Karaka Million horse, so we will progress to the 3YO Classic and maybe go to the Wellington Guineas (1400m) along the way.”

Offered by Carlaw Park during Book 1 of Karaka 2020, Scribe was bought by Pike Racing for $160,000 and is raced by a syndicate that includes Noel Greenhalgh, Bruce Sherwin, Haunui Farm, Raffles Racing, Waikato Stud and Whakanui Stud.

He has now earned $29,720 in a two-start, two-win career, and his rating of 70 puts him in the top 10 on the order of entry for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic.

The runner-up in Saturday’s Wentwood Grange 3YO was last season’s Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) winner On The Bubbles (Brazen Beau).

Making his seasonal debut after missing the spring due to an entrapped epiglottis, the high-class gelding put in a pleasing first-up performance and is sure to improve as he gets deeper into his preparation. On The Bubbles sits in second place on the order of entry with a rating of 86, and he and Scribe are now rated $4 equal favourites for the Ellerslie feature.

The news has not been as good in the last fortnight for On The Bubbles’ Group One-winning stablemate Noverre (NZ) (Savabeel), who still holds the top position on the order of entry with a rating of 88, but Te Akau Racing revealed that the exciting colt has suffered a career-threatening ligament injury. He will be re-examined later this month, but has been ruled out of the Karaka Million 3YO Classic.

View the Karaka Million 3YO Classic Order of Entry here.

Wolverine (NZ) Soars Ahead in Karaka Million 2YO Order of Entry

Scribe wasn’t the only unbeaten up-and-comer to enhance their Karaka Million credentials during the star-studded ‘Super Saturday’ race meeting at Te Rapa.

The first Group race for two-year-olds in the 2021-22 New Zealand racing season has caused some big moves on the order of entry for the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1100m) at Ellerslie on January 22.

Unbeaten filly Wolverine (NZ) (Tivaci) launched her way to the top of the leaderboard with a supreme performance in the $110,000 Group Two Hiddenbed Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

Ridden by Danielle Johnson for Awapuni trainer Roydon Bergerson, and racing in the colours of new part-owners Australian Bloodstock, Wolverine charged home from fourth-last to win by a widening margin of a length and a quarter.

Wolverine has now had two starts for two wins, earning $69,970 in stakes to date and heading the order of entry by more than $45,000.

“She’s a good filly,” Bergerson said on Saturday. “It’s great to win for a good syndicate, and it’s really good to have Australian Bloodstock on board now too.

“She will go home to the paddock for a few days now, and then we will bring her back for the Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, and then she will stay up here for the Karaka Million.”

Wolverine was bred by Waikato Stud, who offered her in their Book 1 draft at Karaka 2021, where she was bought for $50,000 by Bergerson in partnership with part-owner Chris Rutten.

Rutten has become almost synonymous with Karaka Million success, having bought and owned the 2014 Karaka Million 2YO winner Vespa (NZ) (Elusive City) and the 2018 Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) winner Scott Base (NZ) (Dalghar) along with a series of placegetters in the lucrative features throughout the last decade. Australian Bloodstock also won the Karaka Million 2YO in 2012 with Ockham’s Razor (NZ) (Any Suggestion).

“This filly has got everything you need – strength, power and she’s a good size as well,” Rutten said. “She’s got great balance and some real strength about her. She also moves really well, which is something I always look for in a horse.

“Roydon and his team have done a fantastic job. They’ve got her in beautiful condition, beautiful order, and this great group of owners is having a bit of fun with her, I’d say.”

Previous table-topper Mascarinto (NZ) (Per Incanto), who did not run in Saturday’s Wakefield, retains second spot on the order of entry with $23,550 to his name.

The placegetters in the Wakefield on Saturday were a pair of first-starters who have suddenly thrust their own names into Karaka Million contention.

Runner-up Taviarma (NZ) (Tavistock) has leapt straight into third position with $20,350. She is trained by Jamie Richards and was bought for $150,000 at Karaka by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis – the same combination that has teamed up for five consecutive Karaka Million 2YO victories with Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands), Avantage (Fastnet Rock), Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel), Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel) and On The Bubbles (Brazen Beau).

Saturday’s third placegetter was Andalus (NZ) (Almanzor), who earned $9,900 to move into fifth place on the ladder. Fourth spot belongs to last month’s Listed FastTrack Insurance 2YO Stakes (1100m) runner-up Sacred Satono (NZ) (Satono Aladdin) with $18,500.

Two-year-old racing continues this week with two maiden 1000-metre races at Pukekohe on Wednesday, each worth $15,000, followed by a $30,000 event over 1100 metres at Awapuni on Saturday.

View the Karaka Million 2YO Order of Entry here.