Fortuna Racing’s 2yo BELLATRIX STAR draws perfectly for the $1m rendition of the 2024 Karaka Million at Ellerslie 27th January

Fortuna Racing has been around a long time as one of New Zealand’s premier boutique syndicators, since 2007 in fact and over the years has fashioned an enviable record, most notably with the remarkable performances of dual Horse of the Year and 14 time Group One winner, Melody Belle, the Group One 2000 Guineas winner, Tell A Tale and Wellington Cup winner, Leaderboard and has delivered over 250 winning performances for its many, many clients over the years, in New Zealand, Australia and Singapore. This Saturday, Fortuna Racing returns, after a seven year absence, to the Karaka Million 2yo stage with a runner, Bellatrix Star (Star Witness- Alana’s Party), in the 2024 edition of this headline catching race.

Fortuna Racing’s John Galvin, picks up the story “Undoubtedly the 2017 running of the Karaka Million 2yo event is one of those indelible memories, as not only was it won in spectacular fashion by Melody Belle, but it launched an ongoing glittering career by that wonderful racemare, who raced for five full seasons, collecting 14 Group Ones along the way and was twice crowned NZ Horse Of The Year. Every year since 2017, we have endavoured to buy one or two Karaka Million types at the NZ Bloodstock Yearling Sale, however it is an extremely hard race to get to with a 2yo, everything has to go right during their early 2yo season preparation and since Melody Belle’s great win, we just have not been able, until this year, to have everything go in our favour. However, after that seven year hiatus, we have produced a lovely 2yo type in Bellatrix Star, who has been beautifully handled by her Trainers, Mark Walker and Sam Bergerson, has definitely done everything right in her 2yo preparation and is a real live winning chance in the 2024 running of this spectacular race.”

BELLATRIX STAR (Star Witness – Alana’s Party) as a Yearling 

Love Racing reports as follows:

Favoured fillies Velocious (Written Tycoon) and Bellatrix Star (Star Witness) have strengthened their status as headline acts for Saturday’s $1m TAB Karaka Millions 2YO (1200m) after drawing neighbouring midfield gates for the 17th running of the lucrative juvenile feature.

In a spectacular barrier draw beamed on to Auckland’s Sky Tower on Wednesday night, Velocious landed gate seven and Bellatrix Star gate six. With the emergency Damask Rose (NZ) (Savabeel) drawing the inside barrier, the favoured pair will both move in by one gate if there are no scratchings.

Velocious is trained by Stephen Marsh for syndicators Go Racing. The same combination teamed up to win this race in 2013 with Ruud Awakening (Bernardini). Go Racing paid $190,000 to buy Velocious from the draft of breeders Inglewood Stud at Karaka 2023, and she has had three starts for two stylish wins, a Group Two placing and $106,500 in stakes.

Bellatrix Star was offered by Phoenix Park at Karaka 2023, where she was bought for $80,000 by Te Akau Racing’s David Ellis in partnership with Fortuna Racing. Ellis and Fortuna joined forces to win this race with the great Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands) in 2017. That started an extraordinary streak of Karaka Millions-winning two-year-olds bought by Ellis at Karaka, which now stands at seven in succession – Melody Belle, Avantage (Fastnet Rock), Probabeel (NZ) (Savabeel), Cool Aza Beel (NZ) (Savabeel), On The Bubbles (Brazen Beau), Dynastic (NZ) (Almanzor) and Tokyo Tycoon (NZ) (Satono Aladdin).

Bellatrix Star has strong credentials to join that honour roll, recording two wins and two placings from four starts to date including an impressive last-start success in the Group Two Eclipse Stakes (1200m).

BELLATRIX STAR – Winning the Group 2 Eclipse Stakes – Pukekohe Park – 1 Jan 2024 – Warren Kennedy aboard

Fortuna is renowned for producing very large syndicates, but remarkably the Bellatrix Star Syndicate has 69 individual Members in its ownership  Group. John Galvin picks up the story “Yes, it is not unusual for us to have large numbers of Owners, this due no doubt to the fact that we offer shares in our syndicates down to 1%, and typically we have around 40 or 50 individuals in each of our syndicates. The Melody Belle syndicate was a bit smaller, with just 34 Members, but with Bellatrix Star, the ownership Group is widely spread with the biggest shareholders having just 7.5% and  with a number of brand new Fortuna clients coming aboard – Jessica (Galvin) and I often get asked how we are able to manage such large ownership groups, but we just love having so many individuals involved in each of our syndicates and we have robust systems in place to manage the administration and communication tasks.

“Remarkably at Ellerslie this Saturday, we will be hosting 120  people in Ellerslie’s Tote On Ascot facility, a group made up of  63 of the 69 Syndicate Members plus their Guests and win, lose or draw, the mere fact of having a runner in this great race is a great thrill for all of our Syndicate Members – it is not often that everyday, ordinary New Zealanders can get to have a runner in a One Million Dollar Race on one of the great days of New Zealand Racing.”

Bellatrix Star will be ridden by New Zealand’s leading jockey, Warren Kennedy