Zabeel Classic Launches NZB Insurance Triple Crown Series

Media Release - Monday December 23

Ellerslie’s famous Boxing Day races will be the perfect setting for the launch of the NZB Insurance 3x Triple Crown Series.

Announced in September, the incentive provides a significant boost to some of New Zealand racing’s prestigious summer and autumn Group races with a total of $300,000 in bonuses up for grabs.

The Weight-For-Age Triple Crown is the first one to get underway, kicking off this Thursday with the $200,000 Group One Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie. It will be followed by the $400,000 Group One Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on February 8, and the $200,000 Group One Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 7.

The races in the Sprint Triple Crown are the $200,000 Group One Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 1, the $250,000 Group One JR & N Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham on January 18, and the $200,000 Group One BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on February 8.

The third Series is the Fillies and Mares Triple Crown, made up of the $70,000 Group Three Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on March 14, the $200,000 Group One Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha on April 4, and the $100,000 Group Two Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on April 25.

In each of the three Series, there is a $100,000 Triple Crown Bonus available for any horse who can win all three races.

Despite the late withdrawal of likely favourite Supera (NZ) (Savabeel) because of a setback, Thursday’s Zabeel Classic looms as an exciting clash.

Charles Road (Myboycharlie) is back on home soil after placing at Group One level in Sydney in the spring, while True Enough (NZ) (Nom du Jeu) has won the Group Two Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (1600m) and placed in the Group One Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) in his last two starts.

The Mitigator (Master of Design) is a last-start winner of the Group Three Eagle Technology Stakes (1600m) at this course. The runner-up in that race was Beauden (NZ) (Bullbars), who is back for a rematch after a superb four-length win at Awapuni on December 14.

The Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic will be run as Race 9 on Thursday with a start time of 5:16pm.

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