1.5 million reasons for Sires’ Stakes eligibility as July payments loom

Breeders and owners looking to maximise the value of their bloodstock investments have until July 1st to stake their progeny with foal nomination and yearling sustaining payments for Series 42 & 41 now due with the New Zealand Sires’ Stakes Board.

Nomination and sustaining payments will also be taken for the time honoured Nevele R Fillies Series, Caduceus Club Fillies Series along with 3YO sustaining payments.

Whether you are taking your bloodstock to the NZB Standardbred Yearling Sales or retaining with a view to racing, there are $1.5 million worth of reasons why every horse in the country should be nominated over the course of the next month.

For over 40 years, the New Zealand Sires’ Stakes Board has provided an unwavering commitment to breeders and owners with rich stake opportunities to our best age group talent in either gait.

An estimated $800,000 will be distributed to our elite level two and three-year-old pacers and trotters.

With our bloodstock now having longer to mature due to the extended nature of the racing calendar, trainers have made the necessary adjustments, and the flow-on effect has been stark.

A full calendar year of the radical programming changes are now behind us, and it is clear to see the benefits that were envisioned for our age group racing crops became a reality with the number of juveniles starts and starters well up on numbers from the last decade.

This was achieved despite a significantly smaller foal crop in each of the last ten seasons.

“It was great to see more horses lining up last season and taking advantage of the extended calendar and opportunities,” said Martin Pierson, manager of the NZ Sires’ Stakes Board.

“We thought it might take a while for participants to adjust, but trainers and owners have been quick to react to the changing landscape. This extended to our own series, and we have seen a rise in the number of runners in our age group heats last year, and this has flowed through to the finals, where for the first time in a long time, we had emergencies for our 3YO Trotting Final last month.

“The change to horses’ birthdates in New Zealand and subsequent changes to the Group, Listed and Feature Racing Schedule, yearlings in New Zealand now have close to 18 months from the sustaining payment to develop and mature if they are capable of featuring in those races,” he said.

The rich age group series is undeniably the flagship of the business model, underpinning the aspiration every breeder and owner in this country has of scaling the summit of greatness that comes from racing a champion.

While we are undoubtedly looking to breed a champion and dream of winning a race like the Sires’ Stakes final on Cup Day, the reality of it all is that there can only be one winner in any given year.

With this in mind, new races have been introduced, such as the Harness 7000, Mares Races, Aged Trotting Classic, 3YO Sophomore, three Uncut Gems for four-year-olds and even the 2 & 3YO Trotting Filly Classique’s.

The Sires’ Stakes Board have done a wonderful job of creating greater opportunities for a wider class of horses through conditioned races, and in effect, redistributing considerable stake money to owners of horses with varying ability.

The breadth of opportunities now caters to all horses, which is why regardless of what end of the spectrum your bloodstock might be worth on paper as a foal, there is no reason why they cannot realise significant earning opportunities throughout their racing careers.

“Races like the Uncut Gem’s, Sires’ 7000 and even the Aged Trotters Classic are perfect examples whereby being Sires’ Stakes eligible, providing you meet the conditions, you have an opportunity to race for considerable stake money for the lifetime of the horse you own,” said Pierson.

“There are always going to be the out-and-out champions like the Millwood Nike’s of this world, and we need to celebrate the success behind breeding and racing outstanding fillies of her ilk.

“But beyond the three-year-old season, many of the eligible fillies who have competed with her will have an opportunity to race in the Listed Northern and Southern Mares Classics for $40,000, which is a fantastic stake and provides black type for their careers in the breeding shed.

“Even at the yearling sales end of the market last season, we saw a true rating type horse like Warloch winning the Kaikoura Sales Series Aged Pace as an eight-year-old. It just shows the importance of being nominated with the conditioned opportunities and stakes that are available beyond age group racing for eligible horses,” he said.

Like anything in life, you have to be in it to win it. Do not miss out on the opportunity to enhance the value and earning potential of your bloodstock and make your foal or yearling Sires’ Stakes eligible today!


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