Pure Gold Start to Fillies SeriesWednesday, Sep 19, 2012
New Zealand Bloodstock’s Filly of the Year Series is set to make a cracking start on Saturday with the first race of the Series - the $70,000 Group 3 Hawke’s Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) – attracting an exceptional field of fillies.
This season marks the 40th anniversary of the prestigious Filly of the Year Series where the country’s best three-year-old fillies do battle across ten black type races, culminating with the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks in March.
Won last year by Planet Rock (Fastnet Rock), the Filly of the Year Series has been won in recent years by the likes of King’s Rose (Redoute's Choice), Katie Lee (Pins), Daffodil (No Excuse Needed), Insouciant (Keeper), and Princess Coup (Encosta de Lago).
Saturday’s race promises a gun start to the new Series with a stellar line-up of 12 set to contest the Group 3 Gold Trail Stakes.
Sporting the number one saddle cloth on Saturday is Rollout the Carpet (Holy Roman Emperor). A top two-year-old, the Jeff McVean & Emma-Lee Browne trained filly won the Group 2 Matamata Breeders’ Stakes before placing behind Warhorse in the Group 1 Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie in March and earning a nomination for NZ Champion 2YO. She comes into the race fresh up and has drawn wide in barrier 10 with Mark Du Plessis to ride.
Creating a huge impression at her only start as a two-year-old, Pure Elegance (Redoute's Choice) looks a very smart filly with every chance in the race. Winning by an effortless five lengths for trainers Steven Ramsay & Julia Ritchie at her sole outing last season, she won her trial at Paeroa in late August in a time nearly two seconds faster than any other 1000 metre heat of the day. She has drawn well in gate 4 with Jason Waddell to ride.
Iffraaj currently leads the New Zealand Sires’ Table by 3YO winners with six and he has two fillies in the race in Fix and Meleka Belle.
The Ken & Bev Kelso trained Fix has won three of her four career starts to date, beating a good field fresh up at Taupo last month. She looks a top filly in the making and her trainers have reported that she has thrived since her win. She has drawn outside Pure Elegance in barrier 5 with Vinnie Colgan in the saddle.
Only lightly tried, Meleka Belle showed that she has no shortage of potential with a dominant win at the same Taupo meeting last month. The Lance Noble trained filly ran third to Irish Rebel and Choice Bro on debut at two and was found to have bled after the race. The Gold Trail Stakes will be just her third start and she has a tough ask drawing barrier 12.
VRC Oaks bound Kate (St Reims) made a winning return at Hawke’s Bay on Makfi Stakes day in the NZB Insurance Premier over the Gold Trail distance of 1200 metres and looks well-placed in the race for trainers Vanessa & Wayne Hillis from barrier 6.
Trainers Graeme & Debbie Rogerson will have two fillies in the race with Oasis Rose (Oasis Dream) and Soriano (Savabeel).
A powerful filly, Oasis Rose comes into the race fresh after just two starts as a two-year-old where she won impressively on debut before running second to Travino (General Nediym) in the Listed Wentwood Grange Stakes. She will jump from barrier 3 for Opie Bosson.
Soriano also showed good two-year-old form running fourth in the Group 1 Diamond Stakes last season and finished just three-quarters of a length behind Fix at Taupo last month. She’ll have Rory Hutchings aboard from gate 9.
Savabeel will have two runners in the race with Desert Star also lining up in the ace barrier for trainer Ian Gray. She won on debut as a two-year-old and resumed unplaced in the Listed Fillies Stakes a fortnight ago and will be ridden by Lisa Allpress.
Tony Pike & Mark Donoghue will send out Waterford (Darci Brahma) who comes into the race fresh up after three raceday appearances last season. She was stakes placed as a two-year-old when running second in the Listed Champagne Stakes, beating subsequent stakes-winning filly Twilight Granita (Iffraaj) who went on to beat a good field in the Listed Fillies Stakes two weeks ago.
A Touch of Ruby (Pins) ran second by a long neck to Fix at Taupo a month ago, and is another that brings interesting form into the race having beaten Twilight Granita last season at just her second race start. She will be ridden by Craig Grylls for trainer Stephen Autridge.
Cassie May (Red Clubs) had to settle for second behind the immensely promising four-year-old Mosse (O’Reilly) at her first outing for the season at Taupo earlier this month. The David Greene trained filly won a race as a two-year-old and was stakes placed behind Travino and Oasis Rose at her second start in the Wentwood Grange Stakes.
The Lucky Unicorn filly Coastal Express completes the field and comes into the race fresh up after winning her only start as a two-year-old. The Karen Zimmerman trained filly carries a nomination for the Group 1 Levin Classic in November and has drawn barrier seven.
The New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series for three-year-old fillies consists of ten Group or Listed races across the country, including such esteemed events as the Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas, the Group 2 Cambridge Stud Eight Carat Classic, Group 2 Sir Tristram Fillies Classic, Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes, and culminates with the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks.
The winner of the $70,000 Group 3 Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) will receive 6 points in the Series, with second place earning 3 points and third 1.5 points.
The Group 3 Hawke's Bay Breeders’ Gold Trail Stakes will be run at Hawke’s Bay this Saturday at 2.51pm. For more information on the Filly of the Year Series including the race schedule and the points table, click here.