Taupo a Temporary Home for Lowland Stakes

7 March 2024

NZB Filly of the Year trophy.

One of the final legs of the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series will move to a new venue this week as Taupo takes over as the host of the Group Two Little Avondale Lowland Stakes (2000m).

The $150,000 feature will be run on Friday afternoon and is worth 8 points to the winner, with 4 for second and 2 for third, although the table-topper Molly Bloom (NZ) (Ace High) is now the confirmed NZB Filly of the Year with an unassailable 28 points.

Usually run at Hastings, the Lowland Stakes was moved to Awapuni last year due to the devastating effects of Cyclone Gabrielle. The race was due to return to Hastings on Wednesday of last week, but the meeting was abandoned after four races due to slippery track conditions.

That means the Lowland has been moved to another new venue, and its distance has been reduced from 2100 to 2000 metres due to the dimensions of the Taupo track. But it remains a prestigious Group Two feature and a crucial stepping stone towards the Group One Al Basti Equiworld Dubai New Zealand Oaks (2400m) at Trentham on March 16.

This year’s Lowland has drawn a talented field of 11, including three fillies who have already earned points in the NZB Filly of the Year Series: Sudbina (NZ) (Almanzor) with 6, Harlow Rocks (NZ) (Roc De Cambes) with 4 and Chantilly Lace (NZ) (U S Navy Flag) with 3.

The Little Avondale Lowland Stakes will be run as Race 7 on an eight-race card at Taupo on Friday, with a scheduled start time of 4.01pm.