Al Basti Equiworld, the UAE’s leading distributor of horse feeds, supplements and veterinary medicines, is to extend its support for racing in New Zealand.
That will include sponsorship of two feature classic races, the New Zealand 2000 Guineas and the New Zealand Oaks, with each event to carry an extra $100,000 in prize money.
In a three-year agreement, the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld NZ 2000 Guineas held at Riccarton Park in November and the Gr.1 Al Basti Equiworld NZ Oaks at Trentham in March will be run for $500,000 and $400,000 respectively.
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing has also made a significant contribution to the increased stakes, through a lift in the Iconic Race funding for the two races.
“We are delighted that Al Basti Equiworld is extending their investment in New Zealand racing,” NZTR chief executive Bernard Saundry said.
“Sponsors play an important role in raising the profile of our feature races and the Two Thousand Guineas and New Zealand Oaks meetings are key dates on the New Zealand racing calendar.”
The race sponsorship headlines increased investment in New Zealand racing by Al Basti Equiworld, having in March agreed an innovative five-year partnership with the New Zealand Jockey’s Association.
Jockeys carry their logo on sponsored breeches from August 1, 2017, along with a financial contribution to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing General Trust Fund, which provides funding to injured jockeys and stablehands.
The Dubai-based company will also be sponsoring cash prizes of $50 on Feature and Premier days and $25 on Tier 2 or Industry days, for the groom of the ‘Best Turned Out’ horse in each race run at Riccarton Park and Trentham over the next three years and upgrading the jockey lounges at both venues.
“We understand the importance of New Zealand racing globally and we’re delighted to be bringing the Al Basti Equiworld brand to New Zealand,” Al Basti Equiworld’s founder and CEO Malih Al Basti said.
“The New Zealand 2000 Guineas and New Zealand Oaks are two historically important races to the New Zealand breeding industry that have been won by horses that have gone on to international success in the past.
“As an owner and breeder of thoroughbred horses, I understand the outstanding contribution made by breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys and grooms and it’s important to us that our sponsorship reaches all participants.
“We’re delighted to be extending our sponsorship in New Zealand and we look forward to continuing our work with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, the New Zealand Jockeys’ Association, Canterbury Jockey Club and the Wellington Racing Club.”
A globally recognised brand, Al Basti Equiworld is also a major supporter of racing in the UAE, USA and the UK.