26 February 2024
Almanzor scores his first SH winner in the $1M Listed 2YO Karaka Million
in the $1M Listed 2YO Karaka Million
23 January 2022
The more things change, the more they stay the same was the feeling after the running of the Doubletree By Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) at Ellerslie on Saturday.
On a night that generates enormous interest throughout New Zealand it was the familiar tangerine and blue racing colours of Te Akau Racing carried by the Jamie Richards-trained Dynastic who scooped the lion’s share of the $1million prize pool for owners the Te Akau 2021 Stallion Syndicate.
By Cambridge Stud-based stallion Almanzor, Dynastic had disputed favouritism with the unbeaten Wolverine throughout the week and it was fitting the pair would set down to fight out the finish as they swooped into the race from midfield to issue their challenges side by side in the closing stages.
Rider Opie Bosson was at his brilliant best as he got every ounce of effort out of Dynastic in the last 100m to draw clear of the game Wolverine and win by a length and a half with his stablemate Fellini running on resolutely to claim third.
The victory provided Richards and the Te Akau Racing stable with a sixth consecutive victory in the race (the first two with Richards in partnership with Stephen Autridge) and possibly Richards’ last as he leaves New Zealand in April to take up a contract to train in Hong Kong.
An emotional Richards was full of praise for his charge as he spoke about what the victory means to him as he prepares to leave New Zealand racing.
“They were going along a bit, which was always going to set it up for something to come off the speed,” he said.
What an amazing thrill to get six in a row and to have Almanzor get his first New Zealand winner in a $1million race.
“I’m delighted for Brendan and Jo (Lindsay) and everybody at Cambridge Stud, also all of our staff at home.
“Dave (Ellis) has done it again and that man on top (Bosson), what a champion.
“As everyone knows, things are going to change for me in the near future and hopefully we are not finished yet.
“There are plenty of options for a colt like him as what he is doing at the moment is really a bonus for what he will do next year.”
Bred by Windsor Park Stud in partnership with long-time client John Thompson and his wife Margaret out of the Volksraad mare Meir, Dynastic was purchased from their 2021 National Yearling sale Book 1 draft for $360,000 by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis and is the first southern hemisphere winner for former European champion three-year-old colt Almanzor.
Ellis, who watched the race with Cambridge Stud’s Brendan Lindsay, also cut an emotional figure as he celebrated a sixth win in the race.
“It was just amazing and I was so emotional when Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) said go and lead the horse back in, I nearly had tears streaming down my cheeks,” he said.
“This is such a fun night and an amazing effort from our whole staff who prepare these horses.
“Jamie has done a great job as has Opie and I’m thrilled to have Cambridge Stud, Waikato Stud and Windsor Park supporting us in a horse like this.”
It was also a fifth consecutive win in the race for Bosson, who missed the 2021 edition through suspension and he was ecstatic to have made the right decision on which of the four Richards-trained runners to ride in the race.
“I probably wasn’t in the right spot early on, but then I saw Wolverine outside me and I managed to get on her back,” he said.
“Once the big boy balanced up, he sure has got a stride on him.
“In his trial at Rotorua he really put in some big strides and when I rode him first up when he ran second he just gave me the gut feel he was the horse to be on.
“There were so many trying to change my mind on who to ride so I’m glad I stuck true to him.
“It’s awesome to ride five in a row and I’m privileged to ride horses that David Ellis buys as he is a freak at getting them for this type of race and they go on with it as they get older.
“I’m going to miss Jamie as well as we get on so well together and while he is a loss for us, I’m sure he will make a go of it in Hong Kong.”
A half-brother to Dynastic by Mongolian Khan will be sold by Windsor Park as Lot 929 during the Book 2 sale at Karaka that starts on March 10.
Richards added a second $1million prize to the stable haul two races later when Pin Me Up took out the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m).
The win looked as easy as 123 and our Almanzor colt Lot 123 from the Magic Millions sale has just a small share left available!
Story by NZ Racing Desk