Next Sunday is officially the start of the Auckland social season, when the richest race in New Zealand, the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million at Ellerslie, kicks things off.

Celebrities and the well-off are always in Auckland for The Million, and this year Kylie Bax is heading the celebrity stakes alongside Toni Street, Rawdon Christie, Renee Wright, Peter Williams, and Colin Mathura-Jeffree, who will be mixing it up with New Zealand Bloodstock owners the Vela family and their vast array of customers.

Sisters Petrea and Victoria Vela are the driving force of the generational family business New Zealand Bloodstock.

Petrea told Spy: "It's always a brilliant party and a great way to kick off NZB's annual Karaka Sales with last year's purchases racing for the coveted $1 million in New Zealand's richest horse race."

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Who knows, Richie McCaw might just turn up with fiancee Gemma Flynn.

He recently admitted a fear of four-legged beauties, despite once owning a horse called Snapshot with Ali Williams, in a group syndicate.

Current All Blacks might want to take note: joining a tradition of All Black coaches and greats, All Black coach Steve Hansen is selling a filly at the Karaka Yearling Sales in the days after the Karaka Million races.

She is Lot 590 and a half-sister to Dezzies Dream, Hansen's horse that came third in the prestigious Group 1 New Zealand 1000 Guineas in November, and that he subsequently sold to Australia for a very nice profit - rumoured to be around the $800k mark.

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WIN! Experience the glamour of NZ's only million-dollar race at the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Million, an...

Posted by Spy.co.nz on Saturday, 16 January 2016