The stage is set for some early fireworks in the 2019-20 New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series, with a high-quality field assembled for Saturday’s first leg, the $70,000 Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) at Hastings.
Now in its 48th year, the Series showcases New Zealand’s elite three-year-old fillies across 10 Group races between September and March.
The fillies are tested over distances ranging from 1200 to 2400 metres, collecting points in each of the 10 races before the title of Filly of the Year is awarded to the most outstanding filly of her year in New Zealand.
The New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year winner immediately becomes a highly valuable breeding proposition and earns her connections $50,000 in bonus cheques including $10,000 for her breeder, $10,000 for her trainer and $30,000 for her owner.
Saturday’s opening leg is worth 6 Filly of the Year Series points to the winner, with 3 for second and 1.5 for third.
The field features a Group 2 winner from last season in Aretha (NZ) (Charm Spirit), along with stakes winners Bavella (Snitzel) and Riva Capri (NZ) (Atlante).
Appellant (NZ) (Showcasing), Hasstobegood (NZ) (Per Incanto), Trifolium (Krupt), Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) and Loire (NZ) (Redoute’s Choice) have all been stakes-placed, while First Rock (NZ) (El Roca) was fifth in a Group 1 as a two-year-old.
Birdsong (NZ) (Snitzel), On Show (NZ) (Showcasing), Ruby Negroni (NZ) (Rios), Shoshone (NZ) (Sacred Falls) and The Tailor’s Niece (NZ) (Showcasing) have all been impressive winners in lower grades.
The winner of Saturday’s Gold Trail Stakes will top the Filly of the Year Series table until at least November 16, when the prestigious $300,000 Group 1 Gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) is run at Riccarton with 12 points available to the winner.
The Gold Trail Stakes will be run as Race 6 on Saturday with a start time of 3:20pm.
In other news Saturday’s $50,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton marks a milestone for the Southern Filly of the Year Series – the 20th year of sponsorship by New Zealand Bloodstock.
A proud sponsor of the Series since the 2000-01 season, NZB has awarded the prestigious title to star performers such as Ombre Rose (NZ) (O’Reilly), Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani), Consensus (NZ) (Postponed) and last year’s winner Emily Margaret (NZ) (Pins).
The Series comprises four races – the Canterbury Belle Stakes, the $50,000 Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) at Wingatui on February 29, the $50,000 Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton on April 4, and the $50,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton on April 18.
Each race is worth 7 points to the winner, 4 for second and 2 for third, and the title of Southern Filly of the Year is awarded to the filly who has earned the most points at the completion of the Series.
In addition to valuable black-type and prizemoney, along with a trophy presented at the South Island Awards, the Southern Filly of the Year winner will also receive an insurance policy from NZB Insurance to the value of $50,000 + GST.
In the event of two fillies having equal points following the running of the final leg, the filly with the best finishing position in the Warstep Stakes will be determined the winner of the Series.
By sponsoring this coveted Series, NZB are working to ensure the owners, breeders and trainers in the New Zealand racing and breeding industry are attractively rewarded.
Saturday’s opening leg promises to deliver an exciting start to the 2019-20 Series, with stakes winners Miss Federer (NZ) (Swiss Ace) and All About Magic (NZ) (Showcasing) headlining a field stacked with talent.
The Canterbury Belle Stakes will be run as Race 8 on Saturday with a start time of 4:14pm.