Big end of year for the country's top mares

November and December are shaping up as a boom time for the country's top mares, with key races in both islands.

Kick-starting what will be at least five big money races for the mares before the end of the year is the newly-named Bob McArdle Sires' Stakes Southern Mares Classic at Addington on Show Day, Friday November 11.

Previously known as the Nevele R Southern Mares Classic, it has been named in honour of Bob McArdle, one of the sport's true pioneers and a founding partner in the Nevele R stud.

The name change was the suggestion of McArdle's good friend and now race sponsor, Australian Jack Primmer.

The race is for 4YO and older mares. Last year it was won by Bettor Talk Art.

Into December the focus changes to Alexandra Park, starting with a $20,000 Fillies and Mares race on November 18 which is a forerunner to a number of big races.

"We are pretty confident with the calibre and the number of races we have up here that mares from all over the country will be trekking north," says Auckland Trotting Club's Racing Director Karen Blanchard.

On December 9 the Group 3 Northern Breeders Stakes will be held. It will be a $30,000 mobile over 2200 metres. It has a rich history with Kate's First (1998), Carabella (2011) and Amazing Dream (2020) among those on the honours board.

The Group 1 $100,000 Roseland Queen Of Hearts will be held a week later. Won by Bettor Twist last year, previous champions have included Adore Me, Dream About Me and Bettor Cover Lover, who all won it twice.

Rounding out the mares' series will be the Magness Benrow Sires' Stakes Northern Mares Classic on New Year's Eve. Previously held in March or May, it was won earlier this year by Mimi E Coco.

"A lot of people recently have been talking about creating pathways and having regular racing for mares," says Sires' Stakes Executive Martin Pierson, "and this is exactly what's been created here."

"It's a series of big races for good money, firstly at Addington and then heading to Auckland."

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