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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Sunday, April 23 2017

The Karaka Million race meeting will be brought forward a day in 2018 to allow an opening night session of New Zealand Bloodstock's National Yearling Sales series.

Karaka Sales Ring - Trish Dunell

The country's richest two-year-old event will be run at Ellerslie on Saturday, January 27 with around 100 Premier yearlings to then go under the hammer on Sunday evening.

They will be the first of 700 horses catalogued together in the new 'Karaka Book I'.

NZB managing director Andrew Seabrook said the changes will serve two positive purposes in particular.

"I'm absolutely certain this new structure will be a success. Selling 100 horses on Sunday night gets more horses in front of buyers early in the week and aids the troublesome transition vendors have always faced midweek.

"We have done a lot of homework over the past several weeks and the feedback received from vendors and buyers has been pretty consistent. They want to see more horses sold in the first book and they want their second session horses, particularly those being sold on the Friday, to be on the property at Karaka in a more timely fashion."

Book I horses will be sold from Sunday evening to Wednesday afternoon, rather than finishing on Tuesday afternoon as the Premier Sale has done for the past several years.

"The aim is to give the international buyers a reason to stay longer by giving them even more horses to look at on the sale ground at one time," Seabrook said.

"In theory, there will be at least 200 more horses being offered in front of a full overseas buying bench. It's an exciting change that we think will provide a positive boost to sales week for buyers and sellers alike."

The Premier, Select and Festival Sale names will be dropped in favour of Book I, Book II and Book III with Book II reduced to approximately 400 horses, set to be sold on the Thursday and Friday of sales week, while Book III will remain on the Sunday.

Meanwhile, the 2018 Karaka Million fixture, which will also host the $1 million Karaka Million 3YO Classic, will continue as a six race twilight meeting with the support card to boast four new Group races.

"No decision has been made on the composition of the programme for the 2018 Karaka Million meeting at Ellerslie in January," stated NZTR.

NZTR wishes to clarify the situation following a release from New Zealand Bloodstock today, which stated that four Group races would be staged at the Karaka Million meeting.

While NZTR has supported moves to run the Karaka Million meeting on a Saturday and to provide an enhanced racing programme, including Group racing, the details of the programme have not been finalised.

Over the next three weeks, NZTR will be consulting with all race clubs impacted by the proposed changes.

A recommendation will be considered at the NZTR Board meeting on May 11, prior to consideration by the New Zealand Pattern Committee.

"A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes so I would particularly like to thank Auckland Racing Club chief executive officer Cameron George, director Russell Warwick and NZTR chief executive officer Greg Purcell in helping make this happen," Seabrook said.

"To accommodate the black type features, we have moved the Karaka Stayers' Cup to Sunday, January 14, which will be an ideal lead up to a 2400m Group race on Karaka Million night," George said.

Posted by: Racing Desk AT 07:42 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email