The Go Racing team will be on a treasure hunt this weekend. The syndication company's blue and white colours should be prominent in feature races at both Trentham and Ellerslie.
Go Racing, which had three runners in the Telegraph at Trentham last weekend, will have two form runners - Seize The Moment and Ruud Not Too - in the Thorndon Mile at Trentham on Saturday and also have two runners - Hasahalo and Sophie's Choice - in the Karaka Million at Ellerslie on Sunday.
In addition, Go Racing have Rip Into Ghia in the Desert Gold Stakes at Trentham and What A Diva in the $100,000 Karaka Stayers Cup (2200m) at Ellerslie.
It has already been a good month for Go Racing, with wins in the Rich Hill Mile and Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie and the Anniversary Handicap at Trentham.
"It's nice when it happens right before the [yearling] sales," Go Racing co-founder and racing manager Albert Bosma said. "It puts us in people's minds a bit more and also gives us the confidence that we are buying the right horses."
Hasahalo and Sophie's Choice were among 15 yearlings Go Racing bought last summer and will attempt to match Ruud Awakening, who won the 2013 Karaka Million in the same colours. "We have to be excited about having two Karaka Million runners," Bosma said.
"It's a hard race to get them to and we've only had three runners before. The horses have to shape up physically and mentally to get there."
Hasahalo, a Savabeel filly who cost $110,000 as a yearling, was syndicated into 13 shares, spread among 20 shareholders. "Quite a few of them are first-time owners," Bosma said. "There are about five or six surgeons involved, from Auckland and Wellington, and there's a whole crew coming up from Invercargill."
"She [Hasahalo] was one of the cheaper Savabeels at the premier session. She was not over big but very correct. She was very athletic."
However, Hasahalo, who won the Eclipse Stakes and ran second, beaten a nose, in the Wakefield Stakes at Trentham, had not been expected to star as a summer juvenile.
"The initial plan was to trial her and turn her out but she has kept stepping up," Bosma said.
Sam Spratt has ridden Hasahalo in her three races and two trials but Sydney jockey Blake Shinn has the mount on Sunday. "This is our business and it was a business decision," Bosma said. "It's a $1 million race and Blake is a top international rider and has ridden for us before.
"Sam has taken it very well and rode the filly in her final gallop this morning and the syndicate will look after her if the filly does win."
Hasahalo was joint favourite with Felton Road for the Karaka Million on Tuesday but eased in the final field market yesterday, after drawing 10.
Felton Road, who has the inside barrier, was the clear favourite at $3.90, with Gift Of Power, who also drew well, sharing the second line with Hasahalo at $5.50. Padraig, who will race in blinkers, shortened to $5.80 with Star Treasure ($8.80) and Princess Rihanna ($9.80) the others at single-figure odds.
Sophie's Choice, who is still a maiden, drifted to $35 after drawing wide. "A good draw would have been a big help to her," Bosma said.
Hasahalo and Star Treasure are trained by Stephen McKee, who won the race last year with Xiong Feng.
McKee's latest contenders had their final hitout together at Ellerslie yesterday morning. "They weren't after time but worked well and had a nice look around," McKee said.
$1m Karaka Million
M2 R5 2YO (Ellerslie, Sunday) 1200m
(12) 56.5H Bowman
(1) 56.5L Innes
(13) 56.5R Thompson
(15) 56.5M McNab
Gift Of Power
(2) 54.5C Grylls
(10) 54.5B Shinn
(3) 54.5O Bosson
(11) 54.5J Ford
(14) 54.5D Johnson
(6) 54.5 (Emergency)
- NZ Racing Desk