After a summer hiatus, the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series resumes with nine fillies set to do battle in the $50,000 Listed NZB Insurance Stakes (1400m) at Wingatui on Saturday.
The first leg of the Series was the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes (1200m) in September, won impressively by La Diosa (NZ) (So You Think) who leads the Series with 7 points. That filly went on to win the Group 1 gavelhouse.com New Zealand 1000 Guineas (1600m) and last weekend took out the Group 2 Surround Stakes (1600m) in Sydney.
Starvoia (Starcraft) sits in second place on the points table, and with La Diosa absent, she is poised to take the lead if she wins or runs second tomorrow.
No other runner in the field currently has Series points to their name, but several of them bring strong credentials into the race. Residential (NZ) (Pins) has won the Listed Dunedin Guineas and Southland Guineas in her last two starts, while What Choux Want (NZ) (Jimmy Choux), Dezzies Delight (NZ) (Coats Choice) and Dontpokethetiger (Beneteau) are all stakes performers.
Following a four-way tie at the top of the Series leaderboard last year, changes have been made to maximise the chances of the Series determining an outright winner. The potential still remains for tied winners, but that prospect is greatly reduced under the changed format.
The points structure is now 7 for a win, 4 for a second and 2 for a third, replacing the previous format of 7, 3 and 1.
Following tomorrow's race, the four-race Series continues with the Listed NZB Airfreight Stakes (1600m) at Riccarton on April 8, then concludes with the Listed New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes (2000m) at Riccarton on April 22.
Should two or more fillies have equal points following the running of the Warstep Stakes, it will act as 'a decider'. The following condition now applies to the Series: In the event of two or more fillies having equal points following the running of the fourth and final leg of the New Zealand Bloodstock Southern Filly of the Year Series the filly with the best finishing position in the New Zealand Bloodstock Warstep Stakes as determined by the judge and/or any Judicial process will be determined the winner of the Series.
The NZB Insurance Stakes will be run as race 10 on Saturday at 4.24pm.