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Bonus Scheme offers better rewards for owners, breeders, trainers

Thoroughbred owners, breeders and trainers will be the beneficiaries of a nationwide bonus programme that comes into existence next year, the New Zealand Thoroughbred Bonus Scheme (NZTBS).

The New Zealand Thoroughbred Bonus Scheme effectively combines two of the major bonus programmes operating across the industry, the NZTBA-managed FAMIS scheme and the NZB-managed Mercedes Super Bonus Series, plus the new concept will be boosted by a significant contribution from the New Zealand Racing Board. NZTBS bonuses will be available on the majority of three-year-old races, selected races for two-year-olds and a series of races that can be won as four-year-olds. Based on current projections, it is envisaged that each crop will be able to compete for approximately 180 bonuses over their three seasons of eligibility.

"Racing exists by rewarding owners and one of the industry's key tasks must be to ensure this continues to happen," states NZTR chairman Guy Sargent. "A bonus programme like the NZTBS scheme which can operate all over the country and which can deliver genuine incentives is essential and is certain to be welcomed. It is also gratifying to see how well different components of the industry have come together to create this new concept together. It is not one group's or another's, but instead belongs to the entire industry."

The NZTBS bonuses will be at two different levels: an A bonus, generally attached to Saturday or Public Holiday racing, will be worth $15,000 while a B bonus will be worth $7,500 and will operate on weekday and Sunday racing. Bonuses will be paid on a 70-20-10% split over the first three placegetters in each bonus event, while nominators of each winner will receive 10% of the total bonus. These bonuses will be available across all regions of the country and will be applied to all classes of racing apart from Group races.

The NZTBA's Fillies and Mares Incentive Scheme (FAMIS) will be phased out over the next three seasons with this year's two-year-olds being the final crop to be enrolled. The current two-year-olds will also be the final crop registered for NZB's Mercedes Super Bonus Series, although it is likely the company will retain its high profile and rich Classique events for their sale graduates.

The experience gained from operating the FAMIS scheme for 12 years makes the NZTBA a logical choice to administer the new bonus programme for the first two years, while payments will be made directly from NZTR through their Owner Settlement system. The scheme is open to all horses born in New Zealand as well as to horses foaled offshore which are sold at auction in NZ prior to their turning two and horses conceived in NZ, foaled offshore but repatriated before they turn one year old.

NZTBA president Peter Hutt welcomed the development of the new scheme.

"This bonus programme has the chance to benefit participants across the board by providing increased racetrack returns and increased investment opportunities for owners and breeders," Peter Hutt said. "The Thoroughbred Breeders Association is looking forward to playing our part in getting this underway and operating successfully."

NZB spokesperson Julia Naismith said that "while there is an element of disappointment that the Mercedes Super Bonus Series in its current form will come to an end, it has filled a vital need in the New Zealand domestic racing industry over the past few years. We believe it is for the good of the industry as a whole and with a spirit of co-operation that NZB has made the difficult decision to cease our Super Bonus Series as it is and to fully support the NZTR initiative.

We are pleased to confirm that we will still continue to run the richest 2yo race in NZ, currently known as the $500,000 Mercedes 2YO Classique for future graduates of our National Yearling Sales. Mercedes has been a fantastic sponsor of the Super Bonus Series and has taken a long-term view to its commitment to New Zealand racing. I have no doubt Mercedes will continue to be a significant supporter of the racing industry here well into the future."



For further information on the New Zealand Thoroughbred Bonus Scheme, please contact:
Allan Fenwick
Chief Executive
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing
Ph: (04) 385 3988

or

Michael Martin
Chief Executive, NZ Thoroughbred Breeders' Association
Ph: (09) 525 2428
Email: michael@nzthoroughbred.co.nz


- New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing