Southland Oaks – Season 39

Southland Oaks – Season 39

Bruce Stewart

27th April 2021

This Sunday sees the running of the thirty ninth Southland Oaks for three year old fillies.

The race was initiated in the province back in 1983 by representatives of all Southland Clubs.

Southland Oaks winner and race record holder Bonnie Joan

This year the Macca Lodge/Nevele R Stud sponsored event has drawn perhaps the most even field ever.

There’s certainly lots of winning form with nine fillies having won in their last two starts.  Southland is well represented in the twelve race field with Debutante Party, Leer, Tac Mac and Bettastar in the mix.

Southland Oaks chance Leer

Some great Southland fillies have won this race in past years, including Josephine Bret for trainer Bob Beck in 1984, Lento for Henry Skinner in 1993, Tartan Lady for Ray Faithful in 1998, Shortys Girl for Allan Beck in 2001, Nursemaid for Hamish Hunter in 2004 and Beaudiene Bad Babe for Murray Brown in 2009.

This is the twenty second continuous year that the Nevele R name has been associated with this Group Two feature.

The fillies feature was run over 2200 metres between 1998 and 2014 but the distance was changed in 2015 to 2700 metres.

Southland Oaks Facts and Figures:

  • This year is the 39th running of the Southland Oaks which as first run in 1983.
  • First winners/winning stake: Jilaire Bogart – $6,500
  • Winners include: Josephine Bret (1984), Lento (1993), Shortys Girl (2001), Champagne Princess (2003), Mainland Banner (2005) Kiwi Ingenuity (2008) and Beaudiene Bad Babe (2009).
  • Most successful driver: Dexter Dunn (4) and Ricky May (4).
  • The only trainer to win the Oaks/Supremacy double in the same year was Henry Skinner (Lento/No Return 1993).
  • Most successful sire: Holmes Hanover (4) and Bettor’s Delight (4)
  • Last Southland trained winner: Royal Counsel – Gordon and Colin Lee (2014)
  • Current race record: Bonnie Joan 3-17.1 (2700 metre mobile).
  • Leading qualifier this season: Tac Mac ($13,767.00)
  • Nevele R Stud have sponsored the race since 1999 (22 years).
  • Current group status – Group Two.

Members of the inaugural Southland Oaks Committee were: Lew Stone (Winton), Allan Nicolson (Wairio), Murray Campbell (Riverton), Daryl McLellan (Wyndham), Lane Bakker (Plaza Supervalue-sponsor), Jack Botting (Wyndham), Ian McPherson (Gore), Wattie Muir (Invercargill), Len Orr (Northern Southland) and Norman Pierce (Invercargill).

Southern Harness will talk to trainers Brett Gray, Nathan Williamson, Alister Black, Regan Todd, Tony Barron and Mark Jones about their runners for Diamonds Day and their comments will be posted on this website on Wednesday.

Guaranteed $10,000 for all First 4’s stuck on Sunday – Diamonds Day – This Sunday.