Sires' Stakes push in yearling sales

Jean Feiss may have started something.

Last year the highly successful Melbourne owner purchased the top lot at Australia’s inaugural Nutrien Yearling Sale. She splurged $180,000 on a Bettors Delight colt out of former star Kiwi filly Our Golden Goddess.

The colt, called Beckham, is now two and heads to the trials today (Tuesday) at Ashburton.

The fact he was eligible for lucrative age-group racing on this side of the Tasman was a critical factor in Feiss' decision.

“I really liked this colt and the clincher was the fact he’d been paid-up for the NZ Sires Stakes. I’d urge everyone to pay up for as many of those futurity races as possible,” she said at the time.

Twelve months on there are around 30 yearlings in this year's sale at Melbourne on April 2 and 3 that are Sires Stakes eligible - it's a massive jump.

"Twenty four of them are trotters, from Yabby Dams and there are seven pacers, out of catalogue of 160 horses," says Nutrien Equine standardbred manager Mark Barton.

That they are now eligible to race in the Sires Stakes series is seen as a big incentive to both New Zealand buyers looking for horses to race at home, and for Australians like Feiss who are keen to race their horses across the Tasman.

"Anything that increases options is a good thing," says Barton.

"I think of trainers like Andy Gath (from Victoria)," says Sires' Stakes Executive Martin Pierson, "if he was taking on the Rowe Cup with a trotter like Tornado Valley or Majestuoso then there's no reason why he couldn't bring a top two or three-year-old as well as long as the horse was Sires Stakes eligible so it could race for big money at the same time."

To make the horses Sires Stakes eligible they have to be by a nominated and appropriately-validated stallion.

At the 2022 Nutrien Standardbred yearling sale in Melbourne Yabby Dam Farms (YDF) will also pay a travel rebate of any YDF yearling purchase exported to New Zealand within 60 days after the sale.

The export rebate will be A$500 per A$10,000 spend or part thereof, to a maximum of A$5,000, payable on receipt of a paid travel invoice.

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