The early bird entries for the NZB Insurance Pearl Series are set to close on March 31.
The lucrative series, administrated by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, awards bonuses to nominated fillies and mares who win registered races during their two, three, and four-year-old seasons.
Bonuses of almost $2.6 million and prizemoney of nearly $2.8 million are spread across 215 individual races throughout the country.
NZB Insurance representative Jim Bruford said the scheme was developed to encourage breeders to retain their fillies to race and nominators have been reaping the rewards of late with a high percentage of the bonuses being collected.
“We have had eight Pearl Series races in March and six of them have been claimed, including the last four,” he said.
“The series has been in place for nine years and it is great value, the outlay of $920 for an early bird entry is small in proportion to the opportunity to run for around a couple of million dollars in bonuses.
“The idea is to encourage breeders to keep more horses in the system, to race their fillies and give them the opportunity to race for a decent stake.
“We get a good uptake every year, all the syndicates like Go Racing and Te Akau automatically put theirs in which is a great endorsement.
“People are targeting the races, the ones in the know, they are all there.”
Locomotion collected a bonus for her connections at Pukekohe on Wednesday, winning an additional $11,500 for her efforts which was paid out to her owner, trainer and nominator.
“Yesterday at Counties Des Hawkins from Wentwood Grange won the bonus and you would have thought it was his biggest race win, he was so excited,” Bruford said.
“Ruby Royale won at Gore earlier this month and it was her second bonus this season. Her connections are rapt out of their tree.”
To be eligible for the series fillies must be nominated as yearlings, on or before 31 March 2021 for the early bird nomination fee of NZ$920 or by 31 July 2021 for a nomination fee of NZ$1,380.
More information and the nomination form can be found on the Pearl Series website: https://pearlseries.nzthoroughbred.co.nz/