Sires Stakes 2022 - it's tres Magnifique
The introduction of two Magnifique races for the three-year-olds and a listed race for two-year-old trotters are among the highlights of the just-released New Zealand Sires' Stakes programme for 2022.
The racing calendar has just been confirmed, after delays brought about by last year's change of dates.
"It's taken some wrangling but we are very proud of what we have come up with," says Sires' Stakes Executive Martin Pierson, "there are a few old faves, and some exciting new additions."
The Magnifique (Sires' Stakes Series 38) is for Sires' Stakes eligible three-year-old pacers with the Garrard's Colts and Geldings race at Addington on May 13, followed by the Magness Benrow Fillies race in Auckland a week later. Both will be Listed races worth $50,000.
"It's a one-off brought about by the birthday change," says Pierson, "it's for the three-year-olds that have not won or placed in a Group One race or any race with a stake of over $100,000.
"So it won't attract the likes of True Fantasy or Franco Indie (Sires’ Stakes 3YO division winners last Spring / Summer) for instance. It'll be an awesome opportunity for those horses just knocking on the door that may not have been ready when those Series were run in the transitional part of the new racing calendar. And they are running for great stakes."
The Classique series for trotting fillies has also had a refresh.
The 3YO Classique goes from Listed to Group 3 and will be worth $40,000. It will be held at Addington on September 23, while a new 2YO Classique at Listed level has been scheduled for November 25. The races will be sponsored by Canterbury Spa and Pool and Paremata Spa and Pool respectively.
Another big race for the three-year-old trotters will be the traditional Group 2 Lone Star 3YO Trotters Championship in Auckland on Friday, May 20 which is in its normal time slot and forms part of the big Autumn Carnival at Auckland.
BodyGuard Health come on board with existing sponsors BetaVet and NZB Standardbred for the increasingly popular Uncut Gems Series for 4YO and older mares, entires and geldings and trotters which this year moves back to Addington on Friday, May 6.
New Zealand Cup week will also be a key time for the Sires' Stakes.
The 44th Nevele R 3YO Fillies Series Final moves to NZ Cup day alongside the Woodlands 2YO Colts and Geldings Final.
Show Day will see the Dunstan Horsefeeds 2YO Fillies & Lone Star 2YO Trotters contest their respective Finals in what shapes as a bonanza week for harness racing enthusiasts.
Addington will also host the NZB Standardbred Harness Million 3 2YO Finals on Friday, October 14.
In all there will 44 Sires' Stakes-administered races this calendar year.