Ellerslie (New Zealand) hosts the biggest meeting in Australasia this Saturday.
The Karaka Million Raceday features two $1 million races and the twilight meeting is one of the must-see meetings across the Tasman.
We have tips for every race on the card and there’s some exciting stars in action.
Ellerslie free tips & form
Race 1. (14:41) Mongolian Khan Trophy 3YO (1200m)
#1 – Melody Belle @ $2.40 – BET NOW
Melody Belle is an Australian Group 1 winner which hasn’t won since, but she had no luck last start and this looks to be right up her alley.
The Autridge/Richards-trained three-year-old was badly hampered behind Volpe Veloce at Ellerslie last start and she’s facing an easier field here.
Jockey Opie Bosson should be able to find a good spot from barrier two and Melody Belle could take out the first for punters that have launched into her opening odds.
Race 2. (15:16) Concorde Handicap (1200m)
#7 – Julius @ $2.40 – BET NOW
Julius has really come of age this campaign and his win last start at Ellerslie was completely dominant.
The John Bell-trained six-year-old has had only eight starts in an injury-ravaged career, but he’s a talented horse at best and he has yet to finish outside of the placings.
His 3.5-length win last start was all class and although he’s facing some runners which competed in the Group 1 Telegraph Handicap last Saturday, he’s ideally weighted at 53kg and he should be presented in the straight with a winning run.
Race 3. (15:56) City of Auckland Cup (2400m)
#3 – Von Tunzelman @ $4.60 – BET NOW
Roger James lines up the current favourite, which was a narrow winner at Trentham last time out.
The well-bred five-year-old by Zabeel has staying bloodlines and those are starting to shine through. He made the rise to 2100m last start and he was too good for them.
Rising to 2400m shouldn’t pose any problems and he should have most of this field covered on natural ability alone.
Race 4. (16:36) Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m)
#11 – Hasahalo @ $9.50 – BET NOW
Hasahalo placed in the Karaka Million 2YO last year and is looking to improve on that performance a year later.
The Stephen McKee-trained three-year-old has since won at Group 1 level at Riccarton and although she didn’t follow that up with much last start, the track conditions didn’t suit.
The Dead 4 track wasn’t suiting those coming off the pace that day and Hasahalo needs a firm track and a hot tempo to show her best.
She’ll get that here and drawing barrier 15 won’t be an issue as she will drop back to the tail of the field regardless.
Bookmakers are offering great each way value.
Race 5. (17:16) Westbury Classic (1400m)
#3 – Coldplay @ $4.20 – BET NOW
It was only a matter of time before Coldplay scored an overdue win and she might be able to start stringing wins together.
The Baker/Forsman-trained five-year-old has won six of her 18 starts, but that record should read better as she hasn’t had the best of luck throughout her career.
A well-bred daughter of Savabeel, Coldplay looked good when winning at Ellerslie last start and she had to dig deep to get across the line.
Drawing barrier two should ensure that she gets a good trip in transit.
Race 6. (15:51) Karaka Million 2YO (1200m)
#6 – Avantage @ $3.60 – BET NOW
The unbeaten filly is looking to give Te Akau back-to-back wins in this race and she looms as a big chance to do so.
A filly by Fastnet Rock, Avantage has been impressive in winning all three career starts and the first two came by a combined margin of 8.3 lengths.
It wasn’t as easy last start when winning at Ellerslie, but she still had plenty in hand at the line and she looks to have untapped ability.
Drawing barrier five should see her settle just behind the speed and given that it’s a field of two-year-olds, the speed should be hectic.
That will allow Opie Bosson to find cover and pull out at the right time.