Warstep Stakes Wraps Up NZB Southern Filly Series

18 April 2024

Epee Beel heads the Southern Filly Series table.

Another season of the NZB Southern Filly of the Year Series will come to a close on Saturday with a crucial running of the fourth and final leg, the $80,000 Listed NZB Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton.

The Warstep Stakes will be worth 7 points to the winner, with 4 for second and 2 for third. Saturday’s 15-horse field is headed by Epee Beel (Epaulette), who currently tops the Southern Filly Series table with 9 points.

Previously a third placegetter in the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1400m) at Wingatui, Epee Beel soared to the lead in the Southern Filly standings with her victory in last Saturday’s Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1600m).

The others in the Warstep Stakes field who have Southern Filly points to their name are Sense Of Timing (NZ) (Time Test) with 4 and Quintabelle (NZ) (Embellish) with 2. That means a top-two finish by Epee Beel on Saturday will take her to at least 13 points, guaranteeing her the Southern Filly title and an insurance policy from NZB Insurance to the value of $50,000 plus GST.

But if Epee Beel finishes further back than second on Saturday, Sense Of Timing and Quintabelle could take the title with a Warstep Stakes victory. In the event of a tie at the conclusion of the four-race series, the filly with the best finishing position in the Warstep Stakes will be declared the overall winner.

However, the Warstep Stakes chances are not limited to those three runners. The field also features the Group Two-placed Race Ace (NZ) (Swiss Ace), who was a last-start fifth in the Group One New Zealand Oaks (2400m), while No Rain Ever (No Nay Never) has been Listed-placed and eight others in the line-up have been race winners.

The NZB Warstep Stakes will be run as Race 8 at Riccarton on Saturday, with a scheduled start time of 3.44pm.