March heralds busy time for Sires' Stakes racing
A huge autumn of Sires' Stakes racing gets underway at Alexandra Park on Friday night.
Headlining the Garrard's Sires' Stakes 3YO Colts and Geldings heat at 8.40pm are Merlin, Sherlock and Sinbad along with the likes of Sooner The Bettor, Seve and Who's Delight.
"It really is a cracking way to get things started," says Sires' Stakes executive Martin Pierson, "especially with the two shorties (Merlin and Sherlock) off the second row."
"It should be very competitive."
The race will be the first of four heats, culminating in the Group 1 Garrard's Sires' Stakes Final at Addington on May 12. This feature used to be on New Zealand Cup day with recent winners including Ultimate Sniper (2018), Chase Auckland (2017) and Lazarus (2015). The move has come about because of the changes to the racing calendar.
"And Friday's just the start of a very busy few months for us," says Pierson.
In a fortnight the Magness Benrow 3YO Fillies Sires' Stakes Series 39 kicks off with the opening heat at Addington (March 31). There will be four heats at Addington and Alexandra Park before the Group 1 Final in Auckland on Friday, May 19.
The same night will also see the Group 2 Lone Star Series Final for the three-year-old trotters while the marquee event for the older trotters will be the Stallions Australasia Sires Stakes' Aged Trotters Classic (Listed) at Addington on Thursday, April 20.
"It's going to be great fun and can't wait for everything to get going."