The Auckland Racing Club podium was heaving as the Go Racing syndicate gathered to celebrate an astonishingly easy win for their filly Ruud Awakening (NZ) in the Karaka Million at Ellerslie on Sunday.
The sight of the excited group of owners from varied backgrounds and ages provided an excellent conclusion to the $1 million event where the Stephen Marsh trained filly justified favouritism with a scintillating front-running performance.
Ruud Awakening (2f Bernardini – Dawn Almighty by Danehill) was always in control under Australian jockey Craig Williams before scooting away from the field to score handsomely by three lengths from Fantastic Honour and Touche.
“I said to Dad (Bruce) I thought I would be more nervous but she had done everything so well leading into the race I just couldn’t fault her’” said Marsh. “We discussed things with Craig and decided we would go forward as long as there wasn’t breakneck speed. Once she had an easy time in front, I knew she would be awfully hard to catch.”
The winner of New Zealand’s richest race was a $90,000 purchase for the Go Racing manager Albert Bosma from Westbury Stud’s draft at the 2012 NZB Karaka Premier Sale. She has now earned $600,050 and her only loss in five starts occurred in the Listed Murdoch Newell Stakes at Pukekohe in November when she missed the kick and did well to finish second.
Darley shuttler Bernardini sired her from Dawn Almighty, a half-sister to Australian stakes winner Chester County (Hennessy). She is also a sister to the dam of the G2 Auckland TBA Stakes winner Ruud Van Slaats (Van Nistelrooy).