Hogwart chasing express to Karaka Million

Hogwart’s Express will face one tough challenge tomorrow and an even tougher one if she picks up some of the prizemoney at Trentham tomorrow.

The promising Cambridge two-year-old broke through for her first win when she defeated the talented Magic Shaft at Te Rapa on January 12 and now nine days later she will take on some very exciting youngsters in the Group II Little Avondale Stud Wakefield Challenge Stakes (1200m).

Besides the bid to earn some black type, Hogwart’s Express will be chasing a start in the Karaka Million, New Zealand’s richest race, at Ellerslie on January 29. And if that happens she will be having her third start in 17 days when tackling the $1 million event, which is confined to horses bought from the National Yearling Sales series.

“I know it’s a very hard ask, but the owner is keen on running in the Karaka Million,” said trainer Stephen Marsh (pictured). “If she gets enough prizemoney on Saturday and is fine when she gets home she will go to the Karaka Million.”

Hogwart’s Express was bred by Malaysian-based Fred Yip, who shares in racing the daughter of Elusive City. “He’s bred horses here, but he’s never been here,” said Marsh. “If she gets in the Karaka Million he will be over.”

Marsh has always liked Hogwart’s Express and believes she will be competitive against the likes of such highly rated youngsters as Irish Rebel, Pussy Willow and Napatap.

“Right from the start she has shown plenty,” said Marsh. “She won her first trial last September then ran second in the next one and that day she was beaten by Green Wings, who looked good winning last weekend.”

Hogwart’s Express was a creditable fourth on debut at Te Rapa last November, the winner being Travino, who competed in last weekend’s Magic Millions Classic on the Gold Coast. She then headed to New Plymouth, where she was runner-up again to Green Wings.

When recording her first win at Te Rapa, Hogwart’s Express kicked on very strongly to emerge as a serious prospect tomorrow and again in the Karaka Million.

“She’s gone ahead with each race,” said Marsh. “The thing with her is she has never left an oat after her races. She’s an improving sort of filly who is going ahead.”

Hogwart’s Express will be ridden by Jason Waddell tomorrow and has the advantage of starting from the inside barrier draw.