Friday, 30 December 2011
: New Year's Day racing at Ellerslie will host the sixth leg of New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series, the $100,000 Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes (2000m).
The Royal Stakes will see a number of three-year-olds contest the race after lining up on Boxing Day in the Group 2 Eight Carat Classic, including the race winner and current series leader Planet Rock.
Leading throughout in the Boxing Day contest, Planet Rock (Fastnet Rock
x Akris) made it two consecutive victories after winning the Group 1 New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas.
She has a clear lead in the series for her trainers Peter and Dawn Williams with 20 points and judging by her trainers' comments, the 2000 metres on Sunday should hold little concern.
She has drawn barrier three with Hayden Tinsley aboard.
Also backing up from Boxing Day, the Graeme & Debbie Rogerson trained Dowager Queen (Savabeel
x Dower) comes into the contest having been tested over 2000 metres when running second to the Bart Cummings trained Gliding in the Listed Ethereal
Stakes in Melbourne.
She was unplaced in the Eight Carat Classic and has a tough draw to contend with in barrier 10 with Jonathan Riddell booked to ride.
The stable will also see the blue-blood filly Joy's Choice (Redoute's Choice x Tricia) make her second appearance in the Series.
She had a tough trip in transit when unplaced in the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes in her last start but has the wide barrier of 11 to contend with.
Currently sitting fourth equal with six points in the series, the Shaune Ritchie trained Zurella (Zabeel x Doneze Girl) was impressive when winning the Group 3 Eulogy Stakes and has won three of her four race day starts.
She has improved with every start and, being by Zabeel, the extra ground looks tailored to suit and she looks a very exciting filly.
The Michael Moroney and Andrew Clarken trained Chicharita (Towkay x Trisynd) and Our Famous Eve (Fast 'n' Famous x Expoeve) from Glenn Old's stable come into the race off the back of winning performances.
Our Famous Eve has claimed two wins over the mile, her last at Te Rapa in mid-December, and Chicharita comes into the race after winning at Ellerslie in early December over 1600 metres.
Postponed will have two runners in the race with the Stephen Marsh trained Divine Spice (ex Lady Gesine) and Poste Restante (ex Little Tee) who both come into the race after running second at their last starts.
They have both drawn wide with barriers seven and nine respectively.
Leading Australian jockey Nash Rawiller has taken the ride on the lightly raced Lady Krovanh (Dehere x Miss Krovanh) from Don Sellwood's stable.
With just three races to her name, she broke her maiden two starts back at Matamata and ran second at her last appearance over a mile at Counties.
The lightly raced Nineteen Forty (O'Reilly x Centenary) has also only had three starts and comes into the race as a maiden for trainer Paul Jenkins after running third at her last appearance at Counties over 1400 metres.
The Graeme and Mark Sanders trained Glowing (Bachelor Duke x Jolie Femme) joins the field as a maiden after four starts, finishing second over 2100 metres at her last start. She has drawn well in barrier two.
The winner of the $100,000 Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Royal Stakes (2000m) will receive eight points in New Zealand Bloodstock's Filly of the Year Series, with second place taking four points and third two points.