NZ Filly of the Year Series steps up to 2000m in Royal Stakes

New Zealand is known for its staying fillies and mares, and the stamina-oriented fillies in this season’s three-year-old crop will get their chance to shine when New Zealand Bloodstock’s Filly of the Year Series steps up in distance for the $100,000 Group 2 Stella Artois Royal Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day.

There is the potential for major changes on the leaderboard, with Group 2 Eight Carat Classic (1600m) heroine Contessa Vanessa (NZ) (Bullbars) lining up again six days on from her Boxing Day heroics.

The Team Rogerson runner sits in third place on the table with 9.5 points, and a repeat result in the Royal Stakes would earn her another 8 points – taking her past the current leader Dijon Bleu (NZ) (Burgundy) who has 16.

The only other Royal Stakes runner with Filly of the Year Series points to her name is Gris Dame (NZ) (Reliable Man), who collected 2 points with her third placing in the Eight Carat Classic.

A number of runners are making their Filly of the Year Series debut in the Royal Stakes, including Fiscal Fantasy (Skilled) who has impressively won her last two in a row.

The Royal Stakes winner will collect 8 points, with 4 for second and 2 for third.

On a raceday featuring six black-type events, the Royal Stakes will be run as Race 4 with a start time of 2.35pm.