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Brilliant Pin Me Up (NZ) Scores in Karaka Million 3YO Classic - New Zealand Bloodstock

Te Akau Racing and Jamie Richards swept another million-dollar double at New Zealand Bloodstock’s iconic Karaka Million twilight race meeting at Ellerslie on Saturday, but their $1m Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) winner was not the one that most expected.

Less than 90 minutes after Dynastic (NZ) (Almanzor) blitzed the $1m DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m), all eyes were on the top-class On The Bubbles (Brazen Beau) as he attempted a rare Karaka Million 2YO-3YO double. But he was upstaged by a stablemate who was bought for $270,000 at Karaka 2020 by Andrew Williams Bloodstock and Konj.

The late-maturing Pin Me Up (NZ) (Pins) made her debut only two months ago, placing at Te Aroha in November. Another placing followed on December 1 before a smart maiden win at Te Rapa two weeks later, and she finished fourth at Ellerslie on January 9 in her only other start.

Making her black-type debut on Saturday as a $24 outsider against a quality Karaka Million 3YO Classic field, Pin Me Up rose to the occasion in supreme style.

While everything went wrong for On The Bubbles, who was caught wide and raced fiercely for a large part of the contest, it all fell perfectly into place for Pin Me Up.

Jockey Sam Weatherley had her poised to pounce at the top of the straight, and she charged to the lead with a brilliant turn of foot in the straight.

The only danger was the strong-finishing Tutukaka (NZ) (Tavistock), who won two stakes races in Australia last year, but Pin Me Up kept herself out of reach and scored by a neck. Tutukaka finished a length and a half in front of the third-placed Karman Line (NZ) (Myboycharlie).

“I can’t describe it really – this is super,” said Weatherley, who won a million-dollar race for the first time in his career. “I love being a jockey, it’s what I’ve always dreamed of doing.

“I’m so thankful to Jamie and Te Akau for giving me such lovely rides in both of these big races today – Fellini (NZ) (Belardo) ran so well in the Karaka Million 2YO, and now this filly. I was imagining last night how special it would be to pull off one of these races, and it’s happened. I’m bloody rapt.

“She was cruising as we came around the corner, and I couldn’t believe how easily she got to them. I was worried we might have got there too soon, but she won with a bit in hand in the end.”

Pin Me Up has now had five starts for two wins, two placings and $545,470 in stakes for her Australian owner, Peter Collier’s Konj Pty Ltd.

“She’s been a slightly slower-maturing filly, but I’m thrilled to win such a good race with her for her connections,” Richards said.

“On The Bubbles was three-wide and over-racing, which was a bit of an ugly watch, but that’s just the way it goes in racing sometimes. Thankfully we had a very able sidekick in Pin Me Up.

“Andrew Williams and Peter Collier bought her at Karaka, and she’s a lovely filly with it all in front of her – she’ll be much better as a four-year-old.

“This is great for Sam as well, who was a top apprentice here before going over to learn his craft against the best in Sydney. He’s riding very well and with great maturity these days, and we were more than happy to give him these opportunities today.”

Runner-up Tutukaka was a $250,000 purchase from Book 1 of Karaka 2020 and has now earned $426,257, while third-placed Karman Line has exceeded her $67,500 purchase price with $74,120 from four starts to date.


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