Talented filly probably Opie's Karaka ride

4 min read

Written by Paul Vettise

Opie Bosson has yet to commit to riding Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel) in the Karaka Million, but she is the front-runner for his services.

And little wonder after the leading rider combined with the filly for a sizzling victory in the New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Series Race at Ellerslie on Sunday. She is one of six runners that trainer Jamie Richards has qualified for the January 26 2-year-old feature.

As stable jockey for the Te Akau stable, Bosson will be looking at all his options in the next week or so, but hinted strongly that Probabeel was at the top of his list.

“I’ve got some lovely horses to choose from and she’s right up there.” – Opie Bosson.

“I’ve got some lovely horses to choose from and she’s right up there,” he said.

Probabeel settled toward the back of the field on the fence before Bosson angled her off the rail 500 metres from home.


“I got out and into the three wide train before the turn,” he said. “She took a while to wind up and the last 100 metres was awesome.”

Probabeel lengthened stride impressively to beat her stablemate Yourdeel (NZ) (Dundeel) with the Roger James and Robert Wellwood-trained Hasstobegood (NZ) (Per Incanto {USA}) third.

Trainer Jamie Richards has indicated that blinkers were a likely addition for the Karaka Million.

“We’ve got that up our sleeve and she’s the one Opie wants to be on at this stage.” – Jamie Richards.

“We’ve got that up our sleeve and she’s the one Opie wants to be on at this stage,” he said.

Richards also has Yourdeel, Aotea Lad (NZ) (Savabeel), Challa (Dissident) and Puysegur (Fastnet Rock) as well as Trentham winner Louis Luck (Dissident).

Opie Bosson aboard Probabeel

The latter is raced by Cambridge Stud principals Brendan and Jo Lindsay, who also race Probabeel.

“I thought she had no show, it looked like third at best and that last 50 metres was pretty impressive,” Brendan Lindsay said.

“Louis’s win wasn’t really expected. He’s named after the dog and poor little Louie had to watch the replay 10 times and wasn’t the least bit interested.”

Karaka purchase

Bred by Waikato Stud, Probableel was purchased at Karaka on the Lindsays behalf by David Ellis for NZ$380,000.

The filly is out of the Group 3 performer Far Fetched (NZ) (Pins), who is a three-quarter sister to the G2 Thousand Guineas Prelude winner Legless Veuve (NZ) and the G3 Mannerism S. winner Tootsie.

Probabeel as a yearling

Following Sunday’s performance, Probabeel was elevated to a NZ$2.60 pre-post favourite for the Karaka Million ahead of Tony Pike’s unbeaten contender Whiskey Neat (Denman).

The Monstavision 3YO, a lead-up to the Karaka Million 3YO Classic, was won by Whiskey Neat’s stablemate Rippa Eagle (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle {IRE}) on protest.

The hot favourite Prise De Fer (NZ) (Savabeel) was first passed the post, but subsequently relegated after bumping the runner-up in the closing 30 metres.

Favourite out

The race was robbed of significant interest with the scratching of the pre-post favourite and G1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas placegetter Dawn Patrol (NZ) (Dawn Approach {IRE}).

Trainer Frank Ritchie withdrew the chestnut after a spiked temperature following some light work at Cambridge on Saturday morning.

“We worked him in the morning and when he came off the track, he just hadn’t put in like we thought he should,” Ritchie said.

Dawn Patrol

“It wasn’t anything major, but we got the vet to him and he found the horse had a slightly elevated temperature.

“We got some blood tests done as well and they didn’t show anything.” – Frank Ritchie.

“We got some blood tests done as well and they didn’t show anything. I guess in layman’s terms, you could just call it a stomach ache or similar.

“He was as good as gold by the afternoon. I don’t believe it was anything serious, but it was enough to see him withdrawn from Sunday’s race.”

Ritchie remains confident he will have Dawn Patrol at peak for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic.

“There is no race suitable for him between now and the Karaka Million so I will most likely take him to Ellerslie for a work-out on the Monday before the race,” he said.