Tokyo Tycoon – 7 Karaka Million’s in a Row!
22 Jan 2023
Tokyo Tycoon (2 g Satono Aladdin – All About The Coin, by Starcraft) provided Te Akau its seventh consecutive $1 million Doubletree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (Restricted Listed, 1200m) on Saturday at Pukekohe.
Tokyo Tycoon had arguably provided the most impressive two-year-old win of the season when drawing clear for a course/distance victory in the 2YO 1100 metres on Boxing Day and, despite a horror draw, was able to remain unbeaten in three starts.
Beginning from barrier 13 of 14, franking the performance of former stable star, dual Horse of the Year, and historic Karaka Million double winner Probabeel (Savabeel), when she killed them from the outside gate, Tokyo Tycoon announced himself as a star in the making.
Ridden by Craig Zackey, Tokyo Tycoon began awkwardly, travelled clear last, saved ground near the rail before angling clear at the 250m and storming home to win. It was a brilliant and calculated ride by the former South African Champion Apprentice and an equine feat of the highest order.
It was a performance in keeping with that of Probabeel and certainly no less impressive than the subsequent Australian quadruple Group One winner of $4.5 million in prize money.
On dismounting after winning one of three $1 million races on the NZ racing calendar, Zackey said: “It’s unexplainable, really, it felt like just yesterday I moved here, and I win one of the biggest races. Overwhelming, I’d say.
“After tumbling out of the gates, losing ground, getting back on his feet, finding a rhythm again, and then to go hunt down eight/nine lengths in the straight, that’s just speechless. That’s what a good horse is made of.
“I’m glad for Mark Walker, Sam (Bergerson), I see that work that gets put in, and all credit to Tokyo Tycoon. He’s a superstar and this (win) is for my family back home.”
Te Akau had a great show with seven of the 14 runners qualifying for the race, all purchased as yearlings by David Ellis at Karaka.
On Good4 footing, Tokyo Tycoon ran 1200 metres in 1:10.0, last 600m in 33.4, and paid $3.80 & $1.80 on the NZ TAB tote, in a race where stable-mates Trobriand (Kermadec) worked home strongly for third, She Turns Heads (Headwater) fought hard for sixth, and Talisker (Embellish) stretched out well for seventh.
Having previously won the race with Melody Belle (Commands), Avantage (Fastnet Rock), Probabeel (Savabeel), Cool Aza Beel (Savabeel), On the Bubbles (Brazen Beau), and Dynastic (Almanzor), trainer Mark Walker, who resumed training for Te Akau in April last year, was hoping to follow suit.
“Stephen Autridge did such a great job and after that Jamie (Richards) on his own, so it’s very satisfying and bit of a relief. I didn’t want to be the hoodoo in coming back and breaking the sequence, so it’s very satisfying.
“You go anywhere and try and find someone like David Ellis that has bought seven consecutive winners of any big race in the world, so you’ve got to take your hat off to him.
“It goes to show, anyone can own a racehorse. He wasn’t an expensive yearling and he was actually the last yearling to fully sell in his year. I’ve actually got a small bit of the tail.
“Also another thing, Dunstan Horse Feeds, I said to Jamie what’s the one thing you could change and he said getting the two-year-olds to eat (well) all season, so we switched everything on to Dunstan with advice from (Dave) Smithie’s nutritionist and we haven’t looked back.
“(Tokyo Tycoon) he’s untapped, for sure.”
Owned by Meadowbank Masters Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM) & Te Akau Satono Samurai Racing Partnership (Mgr: Karyn Fenton-Ellis MNZM), Tokyo Tycoon, who took earnings to $600,000, was purchased by David Ellis CNZM in January at the Karaka Book 1 Sale, paying $125,000, from the draft of Rich Hill Stud.
“I thought at the turn that he had no hope, but it was the effort of a pretty exciting racehorse and a great athlete,” Ellis said.
“He’s a very good rider, Zackey, and he made a lot of very good decisions in a short time.
“It was a pretty humbling evening and just so good for our owners that have invested with us and it’s great to see the excitement that our team gets too, out of winning these races.
“It reminds me of why they get up so early, because it’s all about the horse for them, and that’s what keeps me going in such a stimulating industry.
“It’s quite incredible how Mark’s going. He’s on track to break all records. He previously broke the record for us back in 2010 with 108 wins for the season and he’s nearly there already (106) and we’re not even six months into the season. It’s just incredible.
“We again invited Christopher Luxon (Leader of the Opposition) after he enjoyed the night so much last year. He’s a very impressive bloke and really enjoys going to the races. It’s much appreciated that he makes the effort to come to events like this and shows a real interest in our industry.
“I was thrilled for our team. When everybody goes away for Christmas, the team that we’ve got just stays there and works and it’s so exciting for them, after all the work they’ve put in and sacrifices they’ve made to get such good results.
Son of sire sensation Deep Impact, Satono Aladdin won the highest rated mile in Japan: Tokyo Yasuda Kinen (Gr. 1, 1600m) when running an incredible 1:31.5.
All About The Coin is by New Zealand bred stallion Starcraft (Soviet Star), a world-class galloper and five-time Group One winner that claimed titles of Champion 3YO in Australia, Champion Sprinter in New Zealand, and Champion Miler in Europe.
The dam-line goes back to Champion Sire Zabeel (Sir Tristram), being from fourth dam Lady Giselle (Nureyev).
Winning the Karaka Million 2YO and an additional two races on the six-race card, with Champion Two-Year-Old Maven Belle (Burgundy) in the $130,000 Cambridge Stud Almanzor Trophy (Gr. 3, 1200m) and Champion Three-Year-Old Imperatriz (I Am Invincible) in the $180,000 Westbury Classic (Gr. 2, 1400m), is advertising you just cannot buy and a great springboard for Ellis as he prepares to buy yearlings again at Karaka 2023 which begins on Sunday 29 January.
“I’ve been doing plenty of homework and there are a lot of nice yearlings out there,” he said.
“We’ll be on the sales complex every day for the next two weeks and we’re going to buy some more good horses and aim to buy the 2024 Karaka 2YO Million winner for sure.”
Tokyo Tycoon was strapped by Stephanie Hyde-Richards.
Photo credit – www.raceimages.co.nz