The Karaka Million Order of Entry has had a big shuffle with three hotly contested two-year-old races over the weekend.
The feature two-year-old race, the Listed $45,000 Wellesley Stakes (1000m) at Trentham on Saturday, saw Karaka graduates fill the first four positions with Antonio Lombardo saluting the judge.
After leading the field throughout the race, Antonio Lombardo (Pins x Petit Verdot) in the hands of Andrew Calder ran strongly onto the course proper and at the point of the turn, laid down the gauntlet to his rivals.
Lady Chapel (King's Chapel x Akela), who was making her debut race day appearance, answered the call and looked to have the Pins colt held as she charged down the outside. But Antonio Lombardo was too powerful and with his race day experience raced away to register a professional two-and-a-half length win.
Lady Chapel will have taken a lot from the race and has shown her rivals that she will be one to watch in the coming months leading up to the Karaka Million. Dollario (Captain Rio x Dungaree Doll) produced a strong rails run and hit the line well for third.
Antonio Lombardo capped off an excellent weekend of two-year-old racing for trainer Peter McKay and now leads the Karaka Million Order of Entry on $33,850. McKay has had success with the Karaka Million before as he trained last year's winner Sister Havana.
One of five New Zealand Bloodstock sponsored events over the long weekend, the New Zealand Bloodstock Ready to Run Sale 2010 2YO (880m) at Ellerslie saw another Karaka graduate Precise (Perfectly Ready x Golden Butterfly) claim victory.
The Linda Laing trained filly was making her first race day appearance and was made to work in the straight as fellow Karaka graduate Witz End (General Nediym x Gemstone) would not go down without a fight. In a nose to nose contest, the favourite Precise got the better of Witz End on the line winning by a head. Flyinby (Postponed x Angel On Links) was third in the race completing another trifecta for Karaka graduates.
The win has put Precise straight to seventh place on the Karaka Million Order of Entry with $6,400 and is the seventh Perfectly Ready runner to feature on the growing list. Witz End is 14th on the Order of Entry with $2,000.
The last two-year-old-race of the weekend, the NZB Ready to Run Sale November 16/17 2YO (800) at Riccarton on Sunday, saw the Peter McKay trained Estrato (Stratum x Lung Tah) notch up his debut win in another thrilling two-year-old race.
With four runners leading into the straight, Estrato, Bespoke (Pins x Velvet And Satin) and Bangalore Bullet (Hussonet x San Century) battled to the 200 metres before the two favourites Estrato and Bespoke tore away to fight it out. In a hammer and tong battle, Estrato in the hands of Sam Spratt was just too strong on the line winning by half a head.
Sunday's performance provided Estrato's first win from two starts and has taken his earnings to $7,350. The second placed Bespoke is now sitting in third position on the Karaka Million Order of Entry with $8,250.
In Karaka Three-Year-Old Mile news, Undisclosed's win in Sunday's Listed $45,000 Ekraar at Stoney Bridge Canterbury Stakes (1600m) has seen his rating increase to 80 and move into second equal on the order of entry.
Ridden by Sam Spratt, the Peter McKay trained Undisclosed (Pins x Dare To Win) beat a talented field of 12 runners including Hawke's Bay Guineas runner-up Icepin (Pins x Ice Maiden) to win by one-and-a-quarter lengths.
Undisclosed was bought by Montego Lodge Partnership from the 2010 Karaka Premier Yearling Sale for $100,000. The son of Pins has now racked up two wins and two minor placings from seven starts and is nominated for the Group 1 2000 Guineas and the Group 1 Levin Classic.
Undisclosed is in a three way tie for second place on the Order of Entry with Banchee and Icepin who are all five rating points away from the leader Twilight Savings on 85. Encosta Diablo is sitting in fifth on a rating of 78.
Peter McKay has also trained last year's winner of the 2009 Karaka Three-Year-Old Mile, Joey Massino.