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Almost $4 Million dollars
Karasi is of course famous for winning the Nakayama Grand Jump three years running in 2005, 2006 and 2007. What is often overlooked in regards to Karasi’s career is the amount of prize money he banked for his connections. The great jumper banked about $3.75 million dollars for his connections and he did it in a most unique fashion. There are six races run in Australia every year that carry more than $3,000,000 in prize money; they are the Queen Elizabeth at Randwick, the Golden Slipper at Rosehill, the Doncaster at Randwick, the Melbourne Cup, the Cox Plate and the Caulfield Cup. Karasi’s $3.75 million in prize money ranks him about 30th on the all-time list of highest earners in Australian racing history. Not only is Karasi the only horse on this list to have never won a Group 1 flat race, but less sprinters Black Caviar, Apache Cat, Falvelon and Takeover Target, Karasi is the only horse in the top 30 to never place in or win one of Australia’s richest six races.
Take away the sprinters that make the list and you are left with 26 middle distance horses or stayers. All 26 of these less Karasi won or placed in one of the abovementioned six races that are currently worth $3 million or more. Through being a star international jumper, Karasi earned more than any other horse ever that never won a Group 1 race on the flat!
Yes, yes, yes most of Karasi’s money was made in Japan. But was it? Well yes. Around $2.8 million of the gelding’s $3.75 million was made in Japan. More than anything, this says that Eric Musgrove is the greatest performed Australian trainer abroad in the history of Australian racing. No other Australian horse, not even Takeover Target has made $2.8 million dollars abroad.
So what was the secret? Had anyone not entrenched in the jumping industry even heard of the Nakayama Grand Jump before Karasi conquered the race? The years following Makybe Diva were the era when the Japanese asserted themselves as the best producers of stayers in the world. They won the Melbourne Cup in 2006, and most of their horses that have travelled overseas since have either won or ran really well, and this is not just in Australia, but worldwide. So how did Eric get Karasi to win a race three years running that is worth more money than three lower-level Group 1’s in Australia combined? And how did Karasi managed to beat the world’s best jumpers in a place that was producing most of the world’s best stayers? Karasi did run 4th in a Melbourne Cup, but apart from that, the gelding never even ran in one of the six richest races in Australia. He did place in an Adelaide Cup and a Brisbane Cup, but he never really threatened the winners in these races. His biggest flat win was in the Geelong Cup, and after he finally broke through in Japan in 2005, he never won another race that was not run in Japan. So how did Eric get him to win the richest jumps race in the world three years running? From the outside looking in it appears that Eric acknowledged that Karasi had reached his level both over the jumps in Australia and on the flat, and the gelding was consistent and professional enough to handle the travel and be brought to his peak quickly. If you are going to train a horse specifically to win just one race a year, you may as well make it the richest jumps race in the world!
But Eric has had dozens of great jumpers. Karasi was invited to fly the Aussie flag. It takes great foresight, confidence and indeed the right horse to leave Australian shores with a fragile animal like a 430kg thoroughbred. Karasi’s, and the connection’s achievements have yet to be matched, and considering that Bashboy won just over $1,000,000 on Australian shores, it is unlikely we will ever see a jumper again get close to breaking the $4,000,000 mark as Karasi almost did. That is of course unless a jumper, any jumper, can travel to Japan three years in a row and come home every year with the world’s richest jumps race under their belt