NZB Standardbred graduates dominate NZ Harness Award categories

6 March 2023

Outstanding Group One performances led to NZB Standardbred graduates dominating the age-group categories at the NZB Standardbred New Zealand Harness Racing Awards on Saturday night.

The leading auction house was proud to sponsor the celebration of elite achievements by New Zealand horses and horsepeople, as well as the recognition of significant contributions to the harness racing industry during the 2022 season.

NZB Standardbred’s racetrack superstars Akuta (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight), Millwood Nike (NZ) (Captaintreacherous) and Don’t Stop Dreaming (NZ) (Bettor’s Delight) were among those to shine at the awards in recognition of their all-conquering seasons.

NZB Standardbred’s entry into the standardbred market in 2019 meant its National Yearling Sales graduates were just four-years-old in the 2022 season.

While graduates were too young for several categories, they dominated the awards for two, three and four-year-olds.

Akuta was recognised for his incredible season when crowned New Zealand Three-Year-Old Pacing Colt Or Gelding Of The Year.

The pacer dominated his age group while also competing admirably in open-class events during an incredible 2022.

Group One wins in the New Zealand Derby, Northern Derby and Three-Year-Old Flying Stakes left no doubt about where Akuta stood among his peers.

True Fantasy (NZ) (Bettor's Delight) was again judged best of her age group after winning the 2021 Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly Of The Year.

The brilliant filly banked more than two times that of any of her fellow nominees during an epic 2022.

True Fantasy won the Group One Nevele R Fillies Series Final, Group One Northern Oaks and the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Three-Year-Old Fillies Final during her outstanding year.

Similarly, Highgrove (NZ) (Love You) more than doubled the winnings of his fellow nominees when deemed the best of his age group for a second year running.

The Three-Year-Old Trotting Colt Or Gelding Of The Year winner won the Group One Northern Trotting Derby and the NZB Standardbred Harness Million Two-Year-Old Trotters  Final during a highly lucrative season.

There were few surprises when NZB Standardbred graduate Millwood Nike was crowned New Zealand Two-Year-Old Pacing Filly Of The Year.

The superstar filly produced one of the most outstanding two-year-old seasons ever seen in New Zealand, winning all eight of her race starts.

The brilliant pacer won the Group One Ace Of Diamonds, Group One Sires Stakes Fillies Championship, the Group One Caduceus Club Fillies Classic and the Listed NZB Standardbred Harness Million Two-Year-Old Fillies Final during her incredible unbeaten run.

Stonewall Stud enjoyed brilliant success at Saturday night’s awards when their racetrack stars B D Joe (NZ) (Roll With Joe) and Allamericanlover (NZ) (American Ideal) swept the four-year-old pacing categories.

B D Joe was a star of the spring, winning the Group Two Ashburton Flying Stakes and the Group Three New Brighton Cup, as well as the Group Three Summer Cup.

Allamericanlover was rewarded for her brilliantly consistent 2022 with the Four-Year-Old Pacing Mare Of The Year title.

NZB Airfreight sponsored the supreme award at Saturday night’s celebrations – the NZB Airfreight New Zealand Horse Of The Year award.

Champion trotter Sundees Son was deservedly awarded the title after his stunning accomplishments in 2022 which culminated in his history-making win in the Group One Dominion in November.

For the full list of winners, visit HRNZ's website here.