NZTBA instigates new NZB Insurance Pearl series

Racing a filly or mare will be a lot more rewarding in the 2013-14 season thanks to the NZB Insurance NZB Insurance Pearl Series a new $2.6million bonus scheme instigated by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

The NZB Insurance Pearl Series will commence in the new racing season. The first fillies eligible for the series are the current crop of yearlings and in their two-year-old season there will be 15 bonus races available. As three and four-year-olds there will be bonuses on 180 midweek races (90 races as three year olds and 90 races as four year olds) and 20 Saturday races programmed especially for fillies and mares.(10 for three year olds and 10 for four year olds)

For a nomination fee of $690.00 (GST inclusive) fillies will be eligible for an $8,000 bonus in their two-year-old season, from which their trainers receive $700 and their nominator $300. In addition in their three and four-year-old season the bonus will increase to $11,500, including $1,000 for their trainers and $500 for the nominator, on 90 mid-week races. The 10 nominated Saturday races in the 2014-15 season will carry a $20,000 bonus, (including $2,000 for the trainer and $1,000 for the nominator) furthermore if the filly is insured with New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance from enrolment and she wins the Group One New Zealand 1000 Guineas that year she will pick up a $100,000 bonus on top of the stake-money.

The New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association identified the need for a new bonus scheme principally to support their members who retain their fillies to race and to entice new owners into buying a filly to race locally.

"Without fillies racing now we don't have a breeding industry going into the future," said Peter Francis, President of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

"We identified in the "Supply Chain Wastage" report that was released by the NZ Racing Board in 2008 that around 750 fillies who were bred each year never made it to a trainer. By having a bonus scheme for fillies our members can benefit from retaining their fillies to race, and it also makes the lesser pedigreed fillies more attractive to potential new owners.

"Buying a filly can be a less expensive entry level for a new owner and not all our champion fillies and mares of the past have come from elite families or have even been through the sales, Sunline is a case in point. How many other potential champions out there haven't had an opportunity? It's an incentive if you win one bonus race then you have practically paid your costs for the year.

"With the support of New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance we believe that the NZB Insurance Pearl Series will be a great boost and a welcome addition to our domestic racing scene," he added.

In the first year there will be 15 races with Pearl bonuses. These will be standard programmed two-year-old events and the fillies will have to compete against the colts and geldings.

In the second and third year the bonuses will be on 90 midweek programmed fillies and mares races, across the ratings spectrum from maidens through to rating 75. The races will be programmed nationwide and will be over various distances.

The races will be open to non-registered fillies, but they will only compete for the $12,000 stake not the potential $11,500 additional bonuses available to nominated fillies. As well there will be 10 similar Saturday races where the Pearl fillies will race for $45,000 – a $25,000 stake plus $20,000 in bonuses. Some of these Saturday events may be up to rating 85.

All fillies born in the Southern Hemisphere in 2011 will be eligible for the scheme. That way foals born in Australia from mares visiting stallions there are not penalized and neither are weanlings and yearlings bought at respective sales.

The cost of the scheme is $690 GST inclusive if the filly is nominated by 31 March 2013, following that date it then rises to $920 GST inclusive and must be paid by 31 July 2013 when entries close. Fillies catalogued at the South Island Sale in early August who are not already nominated will still be allowed to enter following that sale.

NZB Insurance – the insurance arm of New Zealand Bloodstock Ltd - is the principal sponsor of the scheme. They have committed to the sponsorship for three years and recognise the importance of supporting fillies and mares racing and fostering the breeding stock of the future.

"It is a great concept and we are happy to support it", said Jim Bruford the Manager for New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance.

"We think that fillies' racing is such an important aspect of the New Zealand industry and we want to lend our support to help it grow. The nominated fillies will a get a significant increase in stake money and if they can get some reward that encourages people to be involved".

"Over the past five or six years we have spent a lot money sponsoring races all over the country. We are very happy with the support we receive from breeders and owners and we want to put something back in, we see it as very beneficial for the industry overall."

T he NZB Insurance Pearl Series will be administered by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association from their Auckland office and bonuses will be paid out through the NZTR's Owners Settlement Account.

"We have administered both the FAMIS and TBS schemes over the last 20 years and we know how successful and popular they were with our members," said Michael Martin, CEO of the NZTBA.

"Anything that encourages the domestic racing of fillies and has the potential to bring new owners and breeders into our industry is vital to the future. The new NZB Insurance Pearl Series and the number of races now programmed for fillies and mares will assist the breeder who is racing a filly and the bonuses will certainly add to that. Hopefully the additional incentives will also assist to open up the domestic market for fillies and that would be a great help to many of our members and in turn, the future of New Zealand thoroughbred breeding and racing.

"Both Sally Cassels-Brown and I welcome your enquiries," he concluded.

- Michelle Saba


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