Five-year-old mare Karalino (NZ) (Zacinto x Tawny Run) landed the Gr.3 Valachi Downs Canterbury Breeders’ Stakes (1400m) for trainers Stephen Autridge and Kris Shailer in a dramatic finish to the fillies and mares feature at Riccarton on Wednesday.
Race favourite Providenceprovides (Real Impact) had shot clear and was being hailed the winner when she collided with the running rail and became unbalanced with 100m to run, gifting Karalino the win, with Beneficial (NZ) (Highly Recommended) running into second as Providenceprovides scrambled to a close-up third.
To the victor goes the spoils and history will record that Karalino is now a valuable Group Three winner, carrying the colours of race sponsor Kevin and Jo Hickman’s Valachi Downs, no less.
The daughter of Zacinto had previously been placed at Group Three level on two occasions but had not finished in the top three in 10 starts heading into Wednesday’s triumph, and winning rider Craig Grylls believed the addition of blinkers played an important role.
“I got caught three-wide the trip but had cover the whole race,” Grylls said.
“She travelled nice and generously throughout and I thought I was at least going to run second. I am not sure what happened to the other horse (Providenceprovides). I saw her back-end stumble and she lost her momentum and lucky enough for me Karalino was able to get to the line really strong.
“It’s great for Kevin and Jo Hickman at Valachi Downs. They obviously sponsor the race and they will be absolutely rapt.
“I galloped her on Saturday morning down here (Riccarton) and she had the blinkers on which did seem to sharpen her up quite a lot. It is a great result for all concerned.”
Karalino is the seventh foal out of Runyon mare Tawny Run, a winner of three Listed races in South Africa. Tawny Run is the dam of two other winners and hails from the family of Group Three winners My Sabeel and Tessuti. -NZ Racing Desk