New Addition for Coveted Filly of the Year Series

Friday, September 4, 2020

2019-20 NZB FOTY Series winner Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle).
2019-20 NZB FOTY Series winner Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle).

The schedule for New Zealand Bloodstock’s highly prestigious Filly of the Year Series has been confirmed for 2020-21, with NZB committed to delivering another successful year of sponsorship towards the sought-after title.

The new season will see the number of legs contested increase from 10 to 11, with Waikato Racing Club to host the new addition in the $70,000 Group Three Soliloquy Stakes (1400m).

As a result of COVID-19 and a rescheduling of the New Zealand racing calendar, the Soliloquy Stakes traditionally run at Ellerslie will now take place on 24 October at Te Rapa.

“I think that it’s fantastic the race is included in this year’s NZB Filly of the Year Series,” commented CEO Andrew Castles who is pleased about the new addition.

“As contenders progress out of the Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) through towards the NZ 1000 Guineas (1600m), I think having that 1400 metres in the Series is an ideal distance for the transition.

“Last year we saw the ultimate Group One Oaks-winning filly in Jennifer Eccles place in the race and I think contesting the 1400 metre distance early in their preparation is ideal.

“It works out well at that time of year and I’m sure we will see a wonderful field line up here on the Saturday of labour weekend,” Castles said.

The first leg of the Series is the Group Three Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes (1200m) run on 19 September.

This season marks the 49th edition of the esteemed Series, with the 11 races keenly contested by fillies and significant prizes awarded to the owner, trainer and breeder of the ultimate Series winner.

After an impressive crusade in the 2019-20 Series, the Shaune Ritchie-trained Jennifer Eccles (NZ) (Rip Van Winkle) finished on top with a total of 44.5 points claiming last season’s title. The only other filly in the last two decades who reached 40 points is Justa Tad (NZ) (Istidaad), who scored 42 in 2004-05. 

The NZB 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. 

2020-2021 Filly of the Year Series Race Schedule

 19 Sep 2020 G3 Hawke's Bay Breeders Gold Trail Stakes $70,000 1200 Hawke's Bay Racing Inc.
24 Oct 2020 G3 Soliloquy Stakes $70,000 1400 Waikato Racing Club
14 Nov 2020 G1 Barneswood Farm New Zealand 1000 Guineas $300,000 1600 Canterbury Jockey Club
12 Dec 2020 G3 LawnMaster Eulogy Stakes $70,000 1600 Manawatu Racing Club
26 Dec 2020 G2 Jamison Park Eight Carat Classic $100,000 1600 Auckland Racing Club
1 Jan 2021 G2 Valachi Downs Royal Stakes $100,000 2000 Auckland Racing Club
Jan 2021 G3 Desert Gold Stakes $70,000 1600 Wellington Racing Club
13 Feb 2021 G2 David & Karyn Ellis Fillies Classic $100,000 2000 Waikato Racing Club
3 Mar 2021 G2 Little Avondale Lowland Stakes $100,000 2100 Hawke's Bay Racing Inc.
6 Mar 2021 G3 McKee Family Sunline Vase $70,000 2100 Auckland Racing Club
20 Mar 2021 G1 Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks $400,000 2400 Wellington Racing Club

NZB has also been the proud sponsor of the Southern Filly of the Year Series since the 2000-01 season.

Providing opportunities for good fillies to earn valuable black-type, the 2020-21 Southern Filly of the Year Series kicks off on 3 October at Riccarton.

View the 2021-21 Southern Filly of the Year Series race schedule here.