Pledge Takes Out New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly Of The Year After North/South Battle

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

After close competition amongst many talented northern and southern fillies for the prestigious New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series, it was Pledge (by Mellifont) who clinched the title for the south, following Saturday's final leg in the 5 Race Series.

Pledge made her presence felt right from the start of the series back in September when she took out the first race, the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes. Second home was Salus with Maine filling third place.

The fillies then waited until February this year for Race two in the Series, the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance Stakes, which was won by a northern raider, Many Splendoured (Oregon x Astina Rose), from the Cambridge stable of Tim Carter. Second and third placings going to Sumtime and Burning Kash.

Race three in the series was the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Airfreight Stakes, at the end of February. Pledge met her closest rival, the Peter & Dawn Williams trained filly Critic (Centaine x Benazir), owned by Waikato Stud owner Garry Chittick in partnership with racing industry chief, Murray Acklin. Critic was the clear winner of the race with Pledge five lengths behind in fifth place. The race for the title was now in a three-way tie as Critic, Pledge and Many Splendoured, each held 7 points.

With only 2 races left, Pledge showed her tenacity and talent once again in the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Leasing Stakes, this time determined to turn the tables on Critic. Pledge raced home to beat Critic by 1 ½ lengths, a win that gave her a clear lead in the Southern Filly of the Year title, with 14 points over Critic with 10 points and Many Splendoured with 7 points.

Last Saturday's Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes was Critic's final chance to steal the title from Pledge. Pledge failed to perform to her best and while Critic remained competitive, she was unable to beat the run of newcomer to the Series, Candy (Grosvenor x Moonlight Ridge) from the Matamata stable of Graham Richardson. Critic ran a commendable third which secured her second place in the overall Series.

The final points table for the 2001-2002 New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series is as follows:

Pledge 14
Critic 11
Many Splendoured 7
Candy 7
Sumtime 6
Our Swan Lake 3
Salus 3
Burning Kash 1
Maine 1
Greensleeves 1
Sniffin The Tears 1

Pledge, is a 3 year old filly by Mellifont out of Erudite (by Sound Reason). She was bred by Mr R.W Brown, Mr & Mrs David Jones of Paritai Stud, Rakaia. She is raced by Gavin Eastwick, Roger Lynch and Richard Yardley of Christchurch and trained by John and Karen Parsons of Amberley.

Pledge joins the list of talented fillies to win the title including the 1999-2000 winner Joan's Best and the 2000-2001 winner Besty Coup.

New Zealand Bloodstock would like to thank the connections of all fillies that participated in the series to congratulate the connections of Pledge for her success in winning the prestigious title of 2001-2002 New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year.

A presentation for the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Title will be made at the annual South Island Racing Awards later this year.

For further information please contact Taryn Bax at New Zealand Bloodstock.
Ph: (09) 298 0055, Fax: (09) 298 0506, Email: [email protected] or see the New Zealand Bloodstock website www.nzb.nz