For the second time in the glamour two-year-old race, the Karaka Million, Go Racing will have two runners competing – the favourite, Hasahalo and, as of yesterday, Sophie’s Choice.
Hasahalo (Savabeel x Halloween) has had a meteoric rise to form. Veteran trainer Stephen McKee initially thought she wouldn’t make a two-year-old, “But she kept proving me wrong. A trial win was followed by a desperately unlucky second in the Gr 2 Wakefield Challenge Stakes. She got the chance to prove herself winning the Gr 3 Eclipse Stakes on New Year’s Day.”
Now she lines up as the favourite in the richest race in New Zealand, a race McKee won last year with Xiong Feng.
Go Racing made a bit of history with their second runner this year. Sophie’s Choice and Iffragal were 14th equal on the ballot with the exact same prize money down to the dollar – a first for race organisers. So yesterday it came down to the luck of the draw with Sophie’s Choice (Darci Brahma x Show Up) ultimately successful.
Says Albert Bosma, “Naturally we are thrilled to have two runners in the Karaka Million. No-one more so than my 14-year-old daughter Sophie who loves this horse. She’s got the ability but will need a handy barrier draw to be competitive.”
In 2013, Go Racing runners Ruud Awakening and Charlestown both competed in the Karaka Million with Ruud Awakening winning the race and going on to win the Gr 1 Diamond Stakes.