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Ventura wins another NZB Insurance Pearl Bonus

Richard Collett
Richard Collett

Pukekohe Park trainer Richard Collett is fast becoming a fan of the NZ Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Bonus Series after Ventura (Iffraaj[GB]-Newgrange) won her second bonus in four starts.

"She has certainly got herself on the right side of the ledger," enthused Collett a member of the Auckland Branch of the NZTBA.

"I think it's massive, this horse has had similar financial returns as if she was racing in the city in Australia. Winning that $20,000 bonus at Otaki added to the $15,000 that she picked up as the winner from the $25,000 stake, is equivalent to winning a Listed race here in New Zealand. And she's only just won a maiden and a rating 65.

"It's great that fillies and mares running around in the lower grades can get a return like that, and that you can give a horse time and know that there will still be bonuses available.

"I think it's great and naturally my owners are delighted."

A four-year-old, Ventura is the first foal out of the unraced O'Reilly mare Newgrange, a half-sister to six winners including The Lions Roar, who went on to leave the stakes winners Growl (Montjeu[Ire]) and Leeu (Volksraad[IRE]). She was bred by another Auckland Branch member Richard Moore, but has subsequently been sold.

She is by Haunui's successful young stallion Zafonic (USA) Iffraaj who also enjoyed success over the weekend with last year's Group One winning three-year-old Turn Me Loose winning the Listed Seymour Cup. Ventura was sold through the Haunui Farm draft at the 2013 Select Sale for $40,000.

Ventura is only lightly raced having only started nine times, and in this latest preparation has had six starts for two wins and four placings. Three of those placings were at Avondale where she won her maiden race in a NZ Bloodstock Insurance Pearl Series Maiden in early August.

Ventura is raced by Collett and a syndicate of owners made up of long term clients.

"Martin Conlon had horses with me in the early days and now he has returned to New Zealand he has joined the stable again, Leigh Crockford has been a client for many years and he has had a lot of success from the stable".

"Bede Hogan and the O'Connor brothers Philip and Grant originally hail from Southland like me, and they are fairly new clients to my stable, the first horse I put them into was Fast Learner, and he has now won five races".

"Derek David from Singapore has a share along with Peter Sparrow, who is also racing Untamed Diamond from our stable at the moment."

The NZTBA introduced the Pearl Series Bonus in conjunction with NZ Bloodstock Insurance in 2012 offering nearly $2.6 million in bonuses and prizemoney of nearly $2.8 million across 200 individual races for each crop of enrolled fillies and mares over three seasons' racing.

Bonuses are provided on 215 2YO, 3YO and 4YO races for each series comprising: 15 specified open sex 2YO races, 180 mid-week fillies' and mares' races and 20 Saturday fillies' and mares' races throughout the series.

NZ Bloodstock Insurance and the NZTBA will partner again this year for the fourth time, for fillies who are yearlings now. Early bird applications are now open until February 28 2016, at a cost of $690.00, a late nomination is $920.00 with final entries closing on 31st July, 2016.

Further information about the series can be found on the NZTBA website nzthoroughbred.co.nz


- Michelle Saba