WFA Classic

WFA Classic

Group One Betting Guide
Date: Saturday, February 22, 2025
Location: Otaki Racecourse
Prize Money: $400,000
Distance: 1600m

Otaki-Maori Classic (WFA Classic) is a Group 1 race run under Weight For Age conditions for sprinters at Otaki Racecourse run over 1600m each February.

Some of New Zealand’s greatest milers have taking out the event, with the likes of Avantage (2020, 2021), Melody Belle (2019), Darci Brahman (2006) and Rough Habit (1991) tasting success in the WFA Classic.

Darci’s Brahma’s win in the race was his last start before going on to finish second to Apache Cat in the 2006 Australian Guineas.

The Group 1 BCD Sprint (1400m) is one of the more reliable form references leading into the race, with plenty of horses tackling the 1400m Group 1 first-up before getting to the mile second-up from a spell.


2025 WFA Classic betting odds

Markets for the 2025 WFA Classic are currently unavailable.


Best WFA Classic bookmakers

All of the top online bookmakers listed below offer all-in and fixed odds betting on the major races out of New Zealand.

The WFA Classic is one of New Zealand’s prized events and most betting sites will feature markets on the event.

The following bookmakers currently have markets available for the WFA Classic.


Latest WFA Classic News

La Crique winning Group 1 WFA Classic
Katrina & Simon Alexander celebrated one of their most satisfying moments, with La Crique’s triumphant turnaround in the Group 1 ...
Colgan looking to strike at Otaki
Vinnie Colgan will trek down to Otaki on Saturday to partner exciting four-year-old Desert Lightning in the Otaki-Maori WFA Classic ...
Legarto clash looms on Ladies Man’s horizon
Ladies Man will compete in the Otaki-Maori WFA Classic this Saturday, but Allan Sharrock is already looking at a potential ...
Aegon returns to pet distance
Trainer Andrew Forsman is looking forward to getting his Group 1 winner Aegon back to a mile at Otaki on ...
Robbie Patterson and co.
Robbie Patterson is enjoying another stellar season and is firmly on target to eclipse the heroics of his stable in ...
La Crique
Simon & Katrina Alexander's Group One winner La Crique is heading south on Saturday to tackle the Group 1 Otaki-Maori ...

2025 WFA Classic Field

HorseBetting will update this page when the 2025 WFA Classic field is released.


Previous WFA Classic Fields

  • No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight
    1 Silks
    Desert Lightning
    Peter & Dawn Williams
    Vinnie Colgan
    1
    59kg
    2 Silks
    Puntura
    Robbie Patterson
    Craig Grylls
    8
    59kg
    3 Silks
    Aegon
    Andrew Forsman
    Kozzi Asano
    5
    59kg
    4 Silks
    Callsign Mav
    John Bary
    Jonathan Riddell
    2
    59kg
    5 Silks
    Ladies Man
    Allan Sharrock
    Kate Hercock
    4
    59kg
    6 Silks
    El Vencedor
    Stephen Marsh
    Joe Doyle
    10
    59kg
    7 Silks
    Chase
    Stephan Nickalls
    Ryan Elliot
    9
    59kg
    8 Silks
    La Crique
    Simon & Katrina Alexander
    Matthew Cameron
    3
    57kg
    9 Silks
    Belclare
    Lisa Latta
    Lily Sutherland
    6
    57kg
    10 Silks
    Lady Telena
    Kenny Moore
    Ulrika Holmquist
    7
    57kg
  • No. Silks Horse Trainer Jockey Barrier Weight
    1 Silks
    Prise De Fer
    Mark Walker
    Jason Laking
    3
    59kg
    2 Silks
    Perfect Scenario
    Mark Walker
    Joe Kamaruddin
    5
    59kg
    3 Silks
    True Enough
    Andrew Forsman
    N/A
    6
    59kg
    4 Silks
    Lightning Jack
    Kelvin & Aimee Tyler
    Lisa Allpress
    8
    59kg
    5 Silks
    Chase
    Stephen Nickalls
    Jacob Lowry
    1
    59kg
    6 Silks
    Levante
    Ken & Bev Kelso
    Ryan Elliot
    2
    57kg
    7 Silks
    La Crique
    Simon & Katrina Alexander
    Craig Grylls
    4
    57kg
    8 Silks
    Pride Of Aspen
    Johno Benner & Hollie Wynyard
    Darryl Bradley
    9
    57kg
    9 Silks
    Wild Night
    Mark Walker
    Michael McNab
    7
    55kg

2024 WFA Classic result


1stLa Crique (+400)
2ndAegon (+170)
3rdDesert Lightning (-500)

Recent WFA Classic winners

  • Katrina and Simon Alexander celebrated one of their most satisfying moments on a racetrack with La Crique’s triumphant turnaround in the Group 1 Otaki-Maori WFA Classic (1600m). The undisputed star of the Alexanders’ Te Awamutu stable, La Crique had endured a turbulent 12 months since her runner-up finish behind Levante in the same race in February of 2023. Matthew Cameron settled La Crique in fifth along the inside, keeping a close watch on the $2.30 favourite Desert Lightning, who was in an early speed duel before easing back to take a trail behind Belclare. The field moved away from the rail in search of better ground coming towards the home turn, and Cameron cut the corner and went for gold. She scythed through and burst to the lead at the top of the straight, kicking hard and taking command. Aegon chased hard and ate into the margin late in the piece, with Desert Lightning sticking on bravely in third, but La Crique triumphed by a length and a quarter.
  • Matamata-trained mare Levante added a fourth Group One victory to her résumé when she defeated another class performer in La Crique to take out the Group 1 WFA Classic (1600m) at Otaki. The two quality mares had been expected to fight out the finish of the feature, with punters unable to separate then in betting as they each started at a $2.80 quote. The Ken and Bev Kelso-trained Levante, who had been finishing resolutely in her runs over shorter distances, had given the impression that the mile would be right up her alley. That scenario went to script, with Levante making a fast beginning for regular rider Ryan Elliot, so much so that she could have even led the contest had Elliot so desired. Instead, he opted to settle in behind La Crique and bide his time for a home straight assault, which came as Elliot angled the daughter of Proisir to better going in the middle of the track, after persistent rain had seen the surface downgraded from a Good 4 to a Soft 6. Levante quickly claimed La Crique and despite some resistance from the runner-up, went on to score by three-quarters of a length from La Crique with Chase battling on gamely for third.
  • Consistent performer Mascarpone capped a frustrating run of five consecutive placings to claim his first victory at the highest level in the 2022 WFA Classic. The Team Rogerson-trained five-year-old son of Shooting To Win is more commonly known as a high-class sprinting commodity having claimed minor placings in races such as the Group 1 Telegraph (1200m) and twice in the Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m). Stepping up to the 1600m journey for the first time since finishing unplaced behind the champion mare Probabeel in the 2020 Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m), there were many pundits who doubted his ability to stretch to a mile. Mascarpone found the lead without too much pressure and was beautifully rated by apprentice rider Wiremu Pinn, before angling centre track when rounding the home bend in search of better ground. Chased hard by the Jamie Richards-trained pair of Amarelinha and Brando, Mascarpone found a strong kick in the concluding stages to draw clear and register his eighth career victory at start 26.
  • Avantage continued her march into the realms of superstardom when she made it career Group One number eight with a gritty win in the Group 1 WFA Classic. Unbeaten in three starts, all at Group One level, in her current campaign, Avantage was confidently expected to take Otaki’s elite feature on Saturday to make it four in a row and she duly obliged under a confident ride from Opie Bosson. Bosson had the Fastnet Rock mare positioned perfectly outside the pacemaker Deerfield throughout before issuing a confident challenge at the 300m. Kept up to her work by Bosson, Avantage held out a gallant late bid from Callsign Mav, who had tracked all the way and took the victory by half a length with Travelling Light showing her best form of late with a nice run into third.
  • Te Akau Racing produced a one-two finish in the Group One Classic at Otaki with Avantage beating Prise De Fer. The Jamie Richards-trained Avantage and Prise De Fer fought it out down the Otaki straight, with the four-year-old mare coming out on top to add to her win in last month’s Group 1 Telegraph. Under a cool ride from Danielle Johnson, Avantage travelled sweetly before creeping along the rail at the 500m. While a number of the day’s winners had come wide in the home straight Avantage gained a critical length on her stablemate. She held Prise de Fer by three-quarters of a length to give Johnson a second Group One win on Avantage.
  • Fresh off victory in the Group 1 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa earlier in the month, the Jamie Richards-trained Melody Belle was confidently expected to prevail despite being dealt a blow earlier in the week when she drew barrier 13 in the 14-horse field. Rider Opie Bosson followed that recipe to the letter as he positioned the mare nicely in behind the speed despite travelling wide for the better part of the first 800m. Melody Belle was travelling easily as she moved into contention before Bosson sent her to the extreme outside to make her challenge. Hitting the front at the 300m mark the glamour mare kept up a powerful run to defeat local galloper Wyndspelle with Takanini visitor Consensus fighting bravely for third. The win took Melody Belle’s career record to ten wins from 19 starts, five of those at Group One level, and over $1.5million in stakes earnings.
  • Good things come to those who wait as the connections of Devise found at Hastings. A multiple black type place getter, the mare broke through at the highest level when triumphant in the Group 1 WFA Classic. Devise was given an economical trip behind the pace by Michael Coleman who brought her into contention with a well-timed run in the straight.

WFA Classic past winners list

WFA Classic Past Winners
Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2024 La Crique Matthew Cameron Simon & Katrina Alexander
2023 Levante Ryan Elliot Ken & Bev Kelso
2022 Mascarpone Wiremu Pinn Graeme & Debbie Rogerson
2021 Avantage Opie Bosson Jamie Richards
2020 Avantage Danielle Johnson Jamie Richards
2019 Melody Belle Opie Bosson Jamie Richards
2018 Devise Michael Coleman Shaun Ritchie
2017 Kawi Jason Waddell Allan Sharrock
2016 Volkstok’n’barrell Vincent Colgan Donna Logan
2015 Iamishwara Robert Hannam Antony Kaye
2014 Nashville Jonathan Riddell Adrian & Harry Bull
2013 Nashville Kelly McCulloch Adrian Bull
2012 Veyron Mark Hills Linda Laing
2011 Keep The Peace James McDonald Shaune Ritchie
2010 Mufhasa Samantha Spratt Shaune Ritchie
2009 Culminate Samantha Spratt Stephen McKee
2008 Alamosa Michael Walker Peter McKay
2007 Sir Slick Bruce Herd Graeme Nicholson
2006 Darci Brahma Michael Walker Mark Walker
2005 Zvezda Bruce Herd Kay Lane
2004 King’s Chapel Rhys McLeod Mark Walker
2003 Critic Lance O’Sullivan Colin Jillings & Richard Yuill
2002 No Mean City Damian Browne John Kiernan
2001 Star Satire Mark Du Plessis Ross Taylor
2000 Surface Noel Harris Noel Eales

WFA Classic Past Winners Pre 2000

WFA Classic Past Winners Pre 2000
Year Horse
1999 Hero
1998 Centre Crest
1997 It’s My Sin
1996 Diablo Girl
1995 Allegro
1994 Lord Tridan
1993 Javelin
1992 Javelin
1991 Rough Habit
1990 Westminster
1989 Poetic Prince
1988 Poetic Prince
1987 Society Bay
1986 Peat

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