Jump to content
The Race Place

Derby balloting conditions amended


Recommended Posts



Vodafone New Zealand Derby – amendments to balloting conditions


After the running of the 2019 Vodafone New Zealand Derby, management and the board of the Auckland Racing Club (ARC) undertook a review of the balloting conditions of that race.  The issues of concern were:


·         Placed horses in the Waikato Guineas not making the Vodafone New Zealand Derby field due to not earning enough stake money

·         Including stake money in the Vodafone New Zealand Derby order of entry for horses placed first to last in the Karaka Million 3yo Classic

At the conclusion of the review, and after consultation with the New Zealand Trainer’s Association, the following changes have been made:


·         If entered for the Vodafone New Zealand Derby, horses placed first, second and third in the Waikato Guineas will be exempt from the ballot in the Vodafone New Zealand Derby

·         Removal of Vodafone New Zealand Derby ballot exemption status for the fourth placed horse in the Avondale Guineas.  The first three placed horses remain exempt, if entered

·         Only stake money earned for horses placed first to fifth (inclusive) in the Karaka Million 3yo Classic will count towards the Vodafone New Zealand Derby order of entry

·         Removing the clause that gave the ARC Board discretion to exclude any horse or horses from the Vodafone New Zealand Derby balloting conditions. 

”After an in-depth review, ARC is now comfortable with what has been agreed regarding balloting conditions for New Zealand’s most prestigious race – the Vodafone New Zealand Derby” says ARCExecutive GM of Racing & Operations, Craig Baker. 


”We had an unfortunate case this year when the third placed horse in the Waikato Guineas  - a race recognised as a significant lead up event to the Vodafone New Zealand Derby, missed a start in thebig race due to not earning enough stake money.” 


“Giving ballot exemption status to the first three placed horses fixes that anomaly.” 


”Ultimately, we did not believe it was fair that horses that were well beaten in the Karaka Million 3yo Classic had stake money count towards the order of entry in the Vodafone New Zealand Derby.  We believe that including stake money for horses that finished first to fifth is a fair compromise. “


Nominations for the 2020 $1millon, G1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby close in November with the race to be run at Ellerslie Racecourse as part of Auckland Cup Week 2020 on Saturday, 29 February

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Artificially inflated stakemoney due to the sweepstake nature of the race.

Even with the changes, a horse like Beauty Diva who only ever won 1 race, earns 25K for finishing 5th

A promising horse could run an unlucky 4th in the Waikato Guineas

Why was the discretionary clause removed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not ideal but good on them for making a change. 

They should have made it top 3 in the Karaka race to give parity with the other leadups not top 5. And preferably a proper exemption not prize money based but I understand there are reasons for that.

The fact is that the Karaka race is drawing quality horses currently so until that changes an effective exemption seems reasonable. We all want the best horses in the Derby. A situation where Karara 3yo winners might not be qualified for the Derby helps no-one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The issue for me Sandpiper is that it might prevent better horses, not eligible for the million from running. Let's say you and I both have a Derby contender. Mine has beaten yours on the two occasions they have met and looks the better horse. Yours runs third in the million and is exempt from the ballot. My homebred colt gets balloted. That hardly seems fair to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It wouldnt be fair at all! And it could well happen (except mine is now 4 and not from Karaka!).

Its a change in the right direction and given the speed of reaction Ill give them the benefit of the doubt and expect further changes toward the ideal if the opportunity arises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...