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Gr.3 Sunline Vase Incorporated into NZB Filly of the Year

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Gr.3 Sunline Vase Incorporated into NZB Filly of the Year

The New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year Series will have a different shape in the upcoming 2014/15 racing season with the Group 3 Mckee Family Sunline Vase (2100m) being added to the Series.

The Series will stay as a 10-race programme with the $70,000 Sunline Vase, run at Ellerslie on Auckland Cup day in early March, replacing the Listed Soliloquy Stakes, also run at Ellerslie in September.

The partnership of New Zealand Bloodstock (NZB) and Auckland Racing Club (ARC) have worked together to strengthen the prestigious Filly of the Year Series with the rearrangement of the two races run at ARC’s Ellerslie racecourse.

“We believe this change can only strengthen what is already a very prestigious and hard fought series,” commented Butch Castles, ARC’s Racing Director. “To have the NZB Filly of the Year Series solely restricted to races of Group status underlines the quality of races in which New Zealand’s best fillies compete. The Auckland Racing Club is delighted to have worked with NZB to bring about this positive change.”

A key lead-up race to the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks, the Sunline Vase has a short but rich history having only been in existence since 2009. The race was introduced as a Listed event but was quickly lifted to Group 3 status in 2013. In the race’s six-year history three winners of the New Zealand Oaks have competed in the Sunline Vase prior to their Group 1 success.

There have been two winners of the Sunline Vase go on to win the New Zealand Oaks, with Artistic (Darci Brahma) and More Than Sacred (More Than Ready) both successful in the Sunline Vase and the Group 1 feature.

The inaugural running of the Sunline Vase saw Mill Duckie (Magic Ring) claim victory ahead of Jungle Rocket (Jungle Pocket), the latter turning the tables to win the Group 1 New Zealand Oaks at the pair's next start.

This year saw Rock Diva (Lucky Unicorn) triumphant in the Sunline Vase before proving herself one of New Zealand’s very best fillies with a third placing in the New Zealand Oaks.

“The Sunline Vase is a progressive race and it makes sense to include it as part of the NZB Filly of the Year Series,” said NZB’s Co-Managing Director Andrew Seabrook. “All the races in the Series now carry Group status and that will only strengthen the quality of the Series into the future."

The introduction of the Sunline Vase sees every race in the Filly of the Year Series carrying Group status. With the Sunline Vase raced over 2100m, there is now an even split in distances with half of the races in the Series run at 1600m or less and the other half run at 2000m or more.

The winner of the Sunline Vase will receive 6 points towards the Filly of the Year Series, along with all other Group 3 races in the Series. The two Group 1 races (Group 1 NZ 1000 Guineas & Group 1 NZ Oaks) offer 12 points to the winners with 8 points is awarded to the winners of the three Group 2 races.

To view the New Zealand Bloodstock Filly of the Year race programme, click here.

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