Otago Daily Times
Te Akau team’s dominance continues
WELLINGTON: A brilliant performance by On The Bubbles, chased home by three of his stablemates, has added another chapter to trainer Jamie Richards and the Te Akau Racing team’s dominance of the Karaka Million race for 2yrolds.
The undefeated Brazen Beau gelding overcame a horror draw for an emphatic victory at Ellerslie on Saturday, scoring by a length and threequarters from stablemates Sneaky Shark, Avonallo and Sophisticardo.
Richards and the Te Akau syndication juggernaut have now won the milliondollar race five years in a row.
‘‘I’ve always said that racing is an opportunity to make dreams into reality,’’ syndicate manager Karyn FentonEllis said.
‘‘A fivepeat in the Karaka Million is beyond our wildest dreams.’’
On The Bubbles, a $90,000 yearling purchase, began his career with an alltheway win at Awapuni in late December, which he followed up with a dominant performance at Ellerslie a fortnight ago.
Johnathan Parkes guided him from the extreme outside gate into an ideal position in fourth, one off the rail, within the first 400m.
Avonallo led the field around the home turn, but a sea of tangerine was forming behind him. On The Bubbles blasted out of that bunch and charged to the lead in the straight.
Richards paid tribute to Parkes, whose halfdozen previous wins for the stable include the Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie on Gingernuts.
‘‘It was a lovely ride by Johnathan,’’ Richards said.
‘‘After breaking from the outside gate, it was a big effort to get into that good spot, and a great performance from the horse.
‘‘This is a big team effort, and I’m really proud of the whole team.’’
Jockey Leith Innes said his confidence soared when he was legged aboard Aegon in the Ellerslie parade ring for the Karaka Million for 3yrolds.
Innes had nothing but faith in the skills of trainers Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman to have Aegon ready to win.
‘‘He looked a picture before the race and when I jumped on, I knew he was ready to go a big race, as he was on the job.’’
Aegon hadn’t raced since he won the New Zealand 2000 Guineas in November.
‘‘Despite the factors against him he showed just what a class animal he is, so to come out and win like he did, it was a huge effort.’’
A splitsecond decision Innes made shortly after entering the home straight proved the winning of the race.
‘‘We had a chat about how to ride him and Murray and Andrew were adamant we would have to go through them, rather than around them, to give him his best chance,’’ he said.
‘‘I rode him where he was comfortable and when we got to the corner, he was really moving into it nicely.
‘‘Halfway down a gap closed between two horses so I to come outside one, but for him to balance up and finish like he did was pretty special.
‘‘Having ridden him a fair bit now I knew what he was capable of and he definitely knows where the winning post is.’’ — NZ Racing Desk