The Karaka Million is New Zealand’s biggest prize money race and it all goes down this Saturday at Ellerslie in Auckland.
A race only for two-year-old thoroughbreds purchased at the Karaka Bloodstock Sales in January, the $1 million sees some of the best juveniles New Zealand and Australia has to offer.
It’s a race that has been kind to the Australians in years gone by and this year Liam Birchley will look to win it for a second time with Neptune’s Spear.
We have form for every runner and our best bets for the 2019 Karaka Million 2YO.
2019 Karaka Million 2yo final field, barrier draw and odds
Our Best Bets for the 2019 Karaka Million 2yo
Whiskey Neat @ $2.60 – BET NOW
Best Each Way Bet:
Aotea Lad @ $6.50 – BET NOW
Yourdeel @ $13 – BET NOW
2019 Karaka Million 2yo form guide and tips
Aotea Lad (Best Each Way – $6.50) – BET NOW
Won nicely on debut by a half-length at Trentham and then he ran Whiskey Neat to within a length in the Eclipse Stakes.
That form looks best for this and despite drawing barrier 12, James McDonald will likely sit three-wide and look for cover. If the cover comes, he could be the one finishing off down the outside the strongest.
Whiskey Neat (Best Bet – $2.60) – BET NOW
Has an unbeaten two-from-two record to keep intact and although he hasn’t been running quick times by any means, he has been winning with something in hand.
His debut performance ranks highly when scoring by 10.3 lengths at Otaki and he was well-backed to repeat at Ellerslie in the Eclipse Stakes. He did that by a length and although it didn’t come easy, there’s more gears to this gelding.
Short odds but worth taking.
Neptune’s Spear ($23) – BET NOW
The Australian sprinters are superior to those in New Zealand and Liam Birchley has won this race before, but Neptune’s Spear doesn’t appear to fit the bill.
The Super Easy colt was a 1.3-length winner on debut but managed only a placing at Doomben last start. He can run quick time but he likes the rail and he won’t find it from barrier 11.
Exuberant ($16) – BET NOW
Did the job well enough on debut at Trentham but he then finished two lengths behind Whiskey Neat and we’re not sure he can bridge the gap this time around.
Drawing barrier 15 makes it even more difficult.
Yourdeel (Best Roughie – $13) – BET NOW
Jamie Richards-trained gelding which is well over the odds. The two-year-old gelding won by 5.3 lengths in an effortless display on debut at Te Rapa and then ran second behind Probabeel.
If Probabeel had drawn a better barrier, it would likely be the favourite for this race, so that form line stacks up nicely.
Yourdeel will only improve with more distance and with some luck from the draw, punters are going to get some nice value.
Louis Luck ($11) – BET NOW
An interesting runner for Jamie Richards, which won by a length on debut at Trentham when paying poultry odds of $1.20.
Did enough to win but we’re concerned about his price here. If he was showing more at home, he would be a single-figure odds chance so we’re prepared to overlook his chances here.
Challa ($61) – BET NOW
Another runner from the Te Akau stables but this one has yet to win a race from four attempts and it would be some upset.
Seventh behind Probabeel last start and he’s going to need to find at least four or five lengths to bridge the gap.
Tappy’s One ($61) – BET NOW
Was the final runner to get into the field by winning at Tauranga last week and despite that win coming impressively by two lengths, he’s only a small gelding and that won’t help in this.
Stephen McKee lines up the son of Proisir which could improve with time but he looks held in this.
Blackroxdetox ($51) – BET NOW
Yet to impress in running third in both career starts and we’re not sure why he’s not at longer odds in the betting.
The sire is running well but that’s the only positive.
Appellant ($23) – BET NOW
Finished third at her first two starts, including one behind Beauty Diva. She capped off some good form with a solid win at Ellerslie last start.
We’re not sure that form is the best guide for this but there has been some specking at odds so respect that betting move.
Probabeel ($3.60) – BET NOW
Could potentially be the best horse in the race and we’re sure she has a nice future ahead of her, but the barrier of 16 all but ruins her chances of winning.
She scored emphatically at Ellerslie two back when winning by 4.5 lengths and she repeated with another win at Ellerslie by a neck.
She’s one to watch in the future and she could make a visit to Australia in the spring.
Beauty Diva ($101) – BET NOW
Scored an upset win on debut at Pukekohe but running 5.3 lengths behind Exuberant and then 13.3 lengths behind Appellant. Tough to see that form turning around.
Aalaalune ($34) – BET NOW
Shorter in the market than we expected but she has run some nice races behind Bavella and Whiskey Neat.
She’s unlikely to trouble the leading pack and she could offer punters with good place odds.
Flaunting ($34) – BET NOW
Narrow winner at Matamata last start but punters should wait until she finds something slightly easier to race in.
Inside draw and a light weight does help her chances however.
Rainbow Dash ($51) – BET NOW
Scored by 1.3 lengths on debut as a $17 chance and she will likely finish in the second half of the field.
Qiji Swordsman ($81) – BET NOW
Second behind Tappy’s One last start and it would need to find at least eight lengths to be a winning chance in this.