Countdown on for country's top fillies

Won by some of the greatest horses to ever race in this country, the latest edition of the Nevele R Fillies Series kicks off later this month. 

Going into its 44th year the honours board features the likes of Armalight (1980), Tigerish (1992), Under Cover Lover (2000), Carabella (2011), Adore Me (2013) The Orange Agent (2015-pictured), and then in the last two years, Amazing Dream and Bettor Twist.

The path to finding the 2022 champion starts at Addington on August 26, with the first of seven heats and one of only two conditioned heats (for fillies whose lifetime stakes earnings are no greater than $40,000).

"It's always been a super series," says Sires' Stakes executive Martin Pierson, "but this year there are some new elements which we believe will really elevate it."

The tweaks to the format have come about through the change to the racing calendar. In the past the Final has been held in May. This year it will be part of the biggest race meeting of them all, New Zealand Cup day at Addington on November 8.

"Cup day is special anyway and it will great to have our best fillies getting right amongst it."

True Fantasy ($2.30), Aardie's Express ($6), Lady Of The Light ($6), Play Philly ($7.50) and Remember Me ($9) are currently the top five on the TAB's futures market.

But Pierson is also upbeat about the heats leading up to the Final.

For the first time the series will feature a heat as part of Hannon Memorial day at Oamaru on September 18, and then the final heat will be held on a bumper day of racing at Ashburton over Labour weekend (October 24), which will also feature a Woodlands Stud 2Y0 Colts and Geldings heat, and a Dunstan Horse Feeds 2YO Fillies heat.

"If Cup Day is like test match rugby then that Labour day meeting is the super rugby final," says Pierson, "it's really shaping as a day that could be a real many good horses."

"That's a meeting that we think could turn into a real crowd-pleaser."

The programme is for the heats and Final is as follows :

Heat 1 (conditioned) Addington Friday August 26

Heat 2 Addington Friday September 9

Heat 3 (conditioned) Oamaru Sunday September 18

Heat 4 Auckland Thursday September 22

Heat 5 Addington Thursday October 6

Heat 6 Cambridge Thursday October 13

Heat 7 Ashburton Monday October 24

Final (Group 1) Addington Tuesday November 8

Consolation Final Ashburton Thursday November 10

For more information contact [email protected]

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