Te Akau trainer Jamie Richards unleashed another live Karaka Million prospect at Te Rapa on Saturday, when debutante Yourdeel cruised clear to win the Wentwood Grange Premier 2YO (1200m).
Te Akau runners dominated the 2017 edition of the Ellerslie $1 million two-year-old dash with the Matamata operation providing the quinella with Avantage and Al Hasa from their five-pronged attack.
This season has seen the stable produce likely contenders in Aotea Lad, Probabeel, Challa and Puysegur with Yourdeel adding stylishly to the mix.
Ridden by Opie Bosson, Yourdeel won by five and a quarter lengths and showed the benefit of three trials.
“He did everything spot on,” Bosson said.
“At the trials, he would get back off them and not travel, so last time I gave him a couple round the backside and he hit the line really well.
“His work on Tuesday morning was top-notch and I was quite confident.”
Owned by well-known Central Districts trio Chris Rutten, John Norwood and Rod Preston, Yourdeel was a $100,000 purchase by Rutten from the Little Avondale Stud draft during Book 1 at the 2018 National Yearling Sales series.
“He trialled well in the early part of the spring, but got a bit colty, so we gelded him and everything has fallen into place,” trainer Jamie Richards said.
“He’s a pretty laidback sort of customer and, while I didn’t expect him to win that well on debut, I could tell when I put him on the truck this morning that he really was in the zone.”
Rutten and Norwood are no strangers to success on Karaka Million night, having raced 2014 Karaka Million (1200m) winner Vespa and 2018 Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) winner Scott Base, in addition to Touche and Kingsman, who both placed in the two-year-old feature in 2013 and 2016 respectively.
“Chris bought Yourdeel out of the Little Avondale draft at Karaka,” Norwood said. “He’s an outstanding judge of horseflesh.
“I have shares in all his horses and the partnership has been going since the 1970’s.
“We try and buy two-year-old types and we’ve got three in training with Te Akau. Kingsman, with Mark Walker in Singapore, and Hierarchy is another with Jamie Richards.”
By six-time Group One winner Dundeel, Yourdeel is from the Red Ransom mare Miss Zapper, a multiple winner up to 1900m in Australia.
Highfield Grange Thoroughbreds will offer a half-brother by Proisir as Lot 1134 during Book 3 at the National Yearling Sale series at Karaka next month.