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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Saturday, January 27 2018

A devastating finishing burst has carried Scott Base to an upset victory in the inaugural running of the $1million Karaka 3YO Classic (1600m).

The lightly raced Dalghar three-year-old was having just his second run in a new campaign after an unsuccessful attempt at the Gr. 1 New Zealand Two Thousand Guineas (1600m) in November.

Despite winning easily at Otaki, the Johno Benner and Holly Wynyard trained runner was overlooked in most pre-race discussions as punters focussed their attention on 2000 Guineas winner Embellish, who started a warm favourite in Sunday’s contest.

Favourite backers had plenty to be confident about as rider Opie Bosson had Embellish trucking in a beautiful position on the outer after negotiating a tricky outside barrier with ease. At the same time Rosie Myers was biding her time on Scott Base who had settled towards the rear but travelled easily as the field was strung out on a strong pace set by Ever Loyal.

Bosson made his move at the 600m mark as he swooped forward on Embellish and quickly joined issue despite enduring a decent bumping duel with three-year-old filly Kapoor. Embellish shot to the front and looked home for all money however just as he was being hailed the winner, Myers hit overdrive on Scott Base who dashed past the favourite in the shadows of the post to claim the win.

Benner, who had experienced Karaka Million glory with Vespa in 2014, was having trouble containing his emotions as he savoured the victory.

“To be honest I sort of stood there at the furlong and wondered if it was all going to happen again and it did,” he said.

“I could see he was coming strongly, he’s a horse we’ve got a lot of time for and he’s done it again for us tonight.

“We knew he was top drawer and he’s beaten a good field. Barring Dijon Bleu they were all here, so it was very good.”

Benner also paid tribute to part-owner Chris Rutten who purchased Scott Base for $70,000 from the Brighthill Farm draft during the Select session of the 2016 NZB Yearling Sale Series.

“He’s another horse that Chris has bought and he has an amazing record that you can’t argue with,” he said.

“They have been massive supporters of us and I wouldn’t be standing here today if it wasn’t for them.” 

Myers was also quick to praise her mount who she had ridden for the first time at Otaki.

“He’s got an amazing turn of foot,” she said.

“It’s my second time riding him and he really impressed me the first time I was on him.

“He relaxed beautifully and he was pretty awesome the last bit.

“He was up in grade today, so we were a little uncertain, but he has shown his class.”

The protest siren sounded shortly after the horses had crossed the line with fifth placegetter Kapoor alleging interference from runner-up Embellish and third-placed runner Ever Loyal. After a lengthy hearing the judicial committee relegated Ever Loyal to fifth with South Island filly Savvy Coup moving to third with Kapoor in fourth.

Posted by: AT 02:53 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email