NZ Sires’ Stakes Series 38 launches this Thursday

The latest Sires’ Stakes Series, dubbed “the race of champions”, gets underway this week.

The Woodlands Stud Sires’ Stakes Series No 38 for the Colts and Geldings will have its first heat at Addington on Thursday night. It’s also the last time the “three year old division” for colts & geldings will be held at this time of year.

"Currently these horses are racing as two-year-olds but it’s the three-year-old division of Series 38” says Sires’ Stakes Executive Martin Pierson, “ because of the change to the horses' birthday they didn't go from two to three on August 1. They don't turn three till January 1"

From 2022 the racing calendar will go January-December, as opposed to the traditional August-July.

“It can be a bit confusing,” says Pierson,” but from next year it should be more straight forward. Then January 1st two-year olds (current yearlings) will race in the two-year-old division of Series 39 most likely in Spring of 2022, though that decision is still to be finalised."

For Series 38 there will be five heats with two at Addington alongside Cambridge, Auckland and Ashburton before the Group One $170,000 Woodlands Stud Sires’ Stakes Final at Addington on IRT New Zealand Cup day on Tuesday, November 9.

The Series has a rich history dating back to 1984.

“It is a race of champions,” says Pierson, referring to previous winners that include Chokin (1991), Christian Cullen (1997), Courage Under Fire (1998), Auckland Reactor (2007) and Lazarus (2015).

Franco Indie is the favourite in the early markets at $2.25.

The Dunstan Horsefeeds Fillies Sires’ Stakes Series 38 also starts during Cup Week with Heat 1 at Ashburton on Thursday November 11th with the Group One Final set down for December 31st under the ribbon of light at Alexandra Park.

"It's taken a lot of work to get where we have, especially with the birthday changes, and the Board is very grateful to participants, HRNZ and the clubs involved."

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