Damian Browne is one of several Australian based jockeys ready to invade Ellersile in New Zealand for the running of the $1m Karaka Million for the two year olds on Sunday.
Browne is based in Brisbane while James McDonald and Jason Collett have set up home in Sydney after all three started their careers in the New Zealand before setting up base in Australia.
While Sydney based Hugh Bowman and Tommy Berry continue to make their names as polished international jockeys and are also riding in the Karaka Millions.
Browne will be aboard the Liam Birchely trained Hardline who drew barrier eleven in the fourteen horse field with Collett taking the ride on Selfie who drew barrier five.
Bowman is currently leading the Sydney jockey’s premiership and will team up with Gotham (barrier 12) who is prepared by the training team of Jeff McVean and Emma-Lee Browne while last year’s Sydney premiership winning jockey James McDonald will be aboard Strata Lady (barrier 6) for Lance O’Sullivan and Andrew Scott.
Tommy Berry will team up with Awapuni trainer Lisa Latta on Bella Court.
All five riders are set for a busy weekend with Browne riding at Doomben on Saturday, Ellersllie on Sunday and Sandown on Monday.
Bowman, Collet and Berry have mounts at Randwick on Saturday and will be back to ride at Canterbury on Monday while McDonald is also riding at Randwick on Saturday.
“It will be a busy three days as I am scheduled to ride at Doomben on Saturday, in Auckland on Sunday and then in Melbourne on Monday,” Brown said.
Hardline has had two race starts for a debut win over 1110m at Doomben on December 5 and a four and a quarter lengths seventh to Giulietta over 1100m at Rosehill on January 3.
Birchley has added the blinkers to Hardluine for his assignment in the Karaka Millions and is happy with the way the Showcasing colt has settle into his new surroundings.
“He’s in terrific shape and he’s had a look around the track,” Birchley said.
“He’s worked in blinkers and has got quite a laid back nature.”
“Those sort of horses normally respond well to blinkers.”
The Graeme and Debbie Rogerson trained Maritimo has been listed as the $4.60 favouirte for the Karaka Millions with Ladbrokes.com.au with Hardline on the second line of betting with The Justice League at $5.
Next in the market order is Strata Lady at $5.50, Bella Court at $8.50, Selfie is at $15, Gotham at $17.