On a night he has made somewhat his own in recent years, trainer Jamie Richards scooped a second $1million prize at Ellerslie on Saturday when Pin Me Up scored an upset victory in the Karaka Million 3YO (1600m).
After snaring a sixth consecutive Karaka Million 2YO (1200m) with Dynastic just two races earlier, Richards was confidently expected to do the double with three-year-old On The Bubbles, who started a $1.50 favourite in the race.
Last season’s winner of the two-year-old feature had a red-hot Opie Bosson aboard, but it all turned to custard for the combination when they were trapped three-wide outside the leaders after making a lightning move to try and snatch pacemaking duties at the 800m.
Just as On The Bubbles started to weaken and an upset appeared on the cards it was three-year-old Pins filly Pin Me Up who reignited the Te Akau Racing challenge in the race as she strode to the front for rider Sam Weatherley.
Chased hard by Tutukaka, Karman Line and Verona, Pin Me Up held them all out by a neck to score her second and biggest career victory.
Pin Me Up was purchased by Sydney based bloodstock agent Andrew Williams, who has worked in conjunction with David Ellis to purchase horses for owner Peter Collier, outlaying $270,000 to capture her from the 2020 Karaka Book 1 Sale from Waikato Stud’s draft.
“She has been a slow maturing filly that has needed a bit of time,” Richards said.
“Andy Williams bought her for Peter Collier from Sydney, who owns her and he has been very patient, so I’m thrilled to get a very nice win for the boys.
“You can’t condemn On The Bubbles on that as he was three wide racing on the speed when Opie went forward and got caught out there, which made it an ugly watch.
“Thankfully we had a very able sidekick in Pin Me Up to do it for us.
“I’d like to give the team at home a big thanks as she is not the best of eaters and I’m also thrilled she carries that very good Waikato Stud brand.”
Richards believes the filly, who holds a nomination for both the Gr.1 Levin Classic (1600m) and Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham in March will only get better as she matures.
“Whatever she does as a three-year-old, she will be lengths better next season,” he said.
“It’s all in front of her and we won’t rush with her.
“I’d also like to give a big thanks to Sam Weatherley.
“He is the next generation of riders coming through, he has been to Sydney and learnt his craft and after he rode with such maturity for us on New Year’s day, we were happy to give him the opportunity today.”
Weatherley was in awe of what had transpired just minutes earlier as he described his feelings about the victory.
“It’s indescribable really,” he said.
“I came into today with two very nice rides and I’m very thankful to Jamie and to David (Ellis) and Karyn (Fenton-Ellis) for putting me on as they didn’t have to.
“I’m just so glad I could deliver and gee she won with a bit in hand.
“Jamie told me she was a big top three chance and he was spot on.
“I just travelled nicely in my own little world and when we got to the front, I thought I had gone a bit early.
“Fortunately, she is a good filly and it was a super training effort.”
Bred by Waikato Stud, she is by award winning stallion Pins (twice NZ leading sire for global progeny earnings), with her dam, Brampton Loco (O’Reilly), a half-sister to Group Two winner Pimms Time.
Both are out of Zabeel mare Brampton Legs and come from the family of former Australian Horse of the Year, Emancipation, while her third dam La Suffragette left Gr.1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Gr.1 Metropolitan Handicap (2400m) winner Railings.