Bespoke takes the lead in the Karaka Million

Saturday's $45,000, Listed, Berkley Stud Welcome Stakes saw Karaka Graduates trifecta the race and Bespoke emerge as the newest leader on the Karaka Million Order of Entry.

The standard of two-year-old racing has been very strong this season and the Welcome Stakes was no exception with another thrilling finish. Coming into the straight, leader Venetian Raider (Rusty Spur x Rare Bits) put three lengths on the field and was looking strong at the 150 metre mark. Nevertheless, jockey Opie Bosson was patient on Bespoke (Pins x Velvet and Satin), and as the leader started to tire, he pounced on the Jason Bridgman trained mount, running down Venetian Raider to win by a head.

The Aftershock (Nadeem x Queens Move) was brave finishing less than a length from the winner and capped off a successful race for Karaka graduates which were the first three home.

The win was Bespoke's second from three starts and took his stakes earnings to over $33,000. He now heads the Karaka Million Order of Entry, just ahead of rival Pins colt Antonio Lombardo (ex Petit Verdot), who won the Listed $45,000 Wellesley Stakes at his last start. The Australian runner Isle be Ready (Perfectly Ready x Jesmonds Gift) remains in third place with A$21,800 in stakes.

Bespoke was purchased by Te Akau Racing principal David Ellis at the Karaka Premier Sale earlier this year for $460,000 from his breeder Pencarrow Stud. In early September Velvet and Satin foaled a full brother to Bespoke who will be offered at Karaka as a yearling in 2012.

The next two-year-old race, the Listed Murdoch Newell Stakes, is scheduled for Saturday 20 November at Pukekohe Park.

The New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka Three-Year-Old Mile Order of Entry has remained largely unchanged over the weekend. NZB 1000 Guineas runner up Twilight Savings (Secret Savings x Ghemashah) remains in the lead on the Order of Entry with a domestic rating of 85. Banchee (Oratorio x Miss Jessie Jay) is in second place with a rating of 80 with Icepin (Pins x Ice Maiden) and Encosta Diablo (Encosta de Lago x Devil's Lair) tied for fourth on a rating of 78.

The Karaka Million meeting will be held at Ellerslie Racecourse on January 30.

The Ready to Run Sale of Two-Year-Olds will commence at 9am on Tuesday with 38 horses eligible for the 2011 Karaka Million. For information on the up and coming sale, visit