Canterbury Belle Kicks Off 2023-24 NZB Southern Filly Series

14 September 2023

Atishu (NZ) and connections at Riccarton 

A week after the Group Three Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) brought the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series to life in the North Island, the stars of the south are about to get their turn in the spotlight.

Saturday’s $80,000 Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) at Riccarton is the first of four races in the 2023-24 New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series.

The Southern Filly Series has now been running for more than four decades and has been won by top-class fillies such as Seamist (NZ) (Beaufort Sea), Tartan Tights (NZ) (Tights), Ombre Rose (NZ) (O’Reilly), Final Touch (NZ) (Kashani) and Atishu (NZ) (Savabeel).

This weekend’s series-opening spring showpiece will be followed by three autumn features – the Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) at Wingatui on March 2, the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton on April 13, and the Listed Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton on April 20. Each race is worth 7 points to the winner, with 4 points for second and 2 for third.

In addition to a trophy presented at the South Island Awards next September, the connections of the winning filly will also receive an insurance policy from NZB Insurance to the value of $50,000 plus GST.

Saturday’s Canterbury Belle brings together a talented cast of 11 fillies, including the Listed winner Illicit Dreams (NZ) (Vancouver), stakes-placed Rhetorical (NZ) (Snitzel), three-race winner Viva Vienna (NZ) (All Too Hard) and the winners Mis Speaks (Spieth) and Lady Sass (NZ) (Staphanos).

The Canterbury Belle Stakes will be run as Race 8 at Riccarton on Saturday, with a scheduled start time of 3.43pm.