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New bonus scheme smashes £500,000 barrier

A new bonus scheme is already giving a massive boost to British racing and breeding – just 10 weeks after its launch. Race winners have collected half-a-million pounds in prize money from the Great British Bonus (GBB) since it started in May. Owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys and stable staff all benefit from the scheme, which has recorded 30 winners.

“The Great British Bonus has had an unbelievable start,” said scheme manager Grant Pritchard-Gordon.

“British racing and breeding is going through an incredibly difficult period as a result of Covid-19, and this scheme is giving the industry much-needed support.

“We’re on target to hit the £1 million barrier in the next few months.”

If you haven’t registered yet, you need to do so by the end of August.

Owners have picked up the lion share of the total prize money to date, while the scheme provides support for breeders – on the racecourse and in the sales ring – and additional income for trainers. Stable staff, too, have benefited from £12,500 in bonuses.

The 30 GBB winners include two multiple-bonus winners. These fillies have each earned prize money of £40,000 and are being primed for their third bonus. Brazen Belle, owned and bred by Kevin Nicholson and trained by David O’Meara, won her first £20,000 bonus in June when scoring at Beverley on debut. She picked up her second in a 6f fillies’ novice at Catterick and has now earned £7,506 on the track, but a huge £40,000 in bonuses. Simon Chappell’s homebred filly Blackberry has also claimed two bonuses to the value of £40,000, most recently winning a 5f fillies’ novice at Doncaster in August.

GBB is helping at every level of the racing and breeding industry. Yearlings costing as little as £5,000 have won bonuses of up to £20,000, while international owners/breeders have also benefited, as has a syndicate that bought its horse for only £17,000.

GBB is encouraging inward investment from overseas markets, demonstrated by a £20,000 bonus collected by  Emotional Moment, trained by Newmarket’s Amy Murphy for Gerry Ryan, an owner from Melbourne, Australia.

The scheme is also having a positive effect on the sales ring. While there have been headline sales of GBB-eligible fillies making six-figure prices at the recent Breeze-Up and NH Store sales, the most obvious benefit has been the much better clearance rate of GBB-eligible fillies compared with other fillies that passed through the ring.

Registration for GBB and the opportunity to win multiple bonuses closes on 31 August. TBA members are eligible for an extra bonus, because they can register their 2019 foals for free.

NH MOPS-registered fillies and mares have been transferred to GBB, but yearlings will need to be registered at stage 2 to ensure bonuses can be won.

Visit greatbritishbonus.co.uk to register now and be in with the chance of winning multiple bonuses.

If you have any questions about GBB, please contact scheme manager Grant Pritchard-Gordon by emailing grant@greatbritishbonus.co.uk

Joint industry statement regarding Goodwood Racecourse pilot event

The Parade ring
Goodwood 26.7.16
Pic Dan Abraham-focusonracing.com

From the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), Racecourse Association (RCA) and Goodwood Racecourse

The government has informed racing’s leaders in the past hour that it has withdrawn permission for a pilot event involving customers to proceed at Goodwood tomorrow. The racing on Saturday will continue behind closed doors as it has on the earlier days of the Festival.

The Prime Minister is setting out the rationale for the government’s decision but we understand that concern about the national infection rate is the primary reason, and as a result all pilots of larger crowds in sporting venues will be postponed until at least 15 August.

Goodwood Racecourse and the Racecourse Association have been leading work on the pilot event, with the safety of Members and all those attending as the most important priority. Government and public health officials, national and local, have been briefed throughout on the plans and had approved the approach being taken. We are clear that the decision to cancel is not a consequence of any concerns about these plans or the measures taken by Goodwood to keep attendees safe but relates to the changing national situation.

We are very disappointed for those who were hoping to attend tomorrow’s event and for all those who have worked so hard to make it possible for spectators to be present. We will engage with public health authorities and DCMS over a rescheduled pilot at the earliest opportunity.

Adam Waterworth, Managing Director of Sport at the Goodwood Estate commented; “We have been led by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport throughout and whilst we are disappointed by the news, the health and safety of attendees, customers and staff is of paramount importance.”

David Armstrong, Chief Executive of the Racecourse Association, the RCA, said; “The RCA is very disappointed to learn that the pilot event at Goodwood Racecourse scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed. We understand and respect the issues raised within the Prime Minister’s announcement and have always maintained that public health has been paramount to any event, be it racing resuming behind closed doors or with crowds.

“The work undertaken by the sport, and especially the Goodwood team, to bring the safety protocols to life has been very thorough and detailed. It is worth reiterating there were no concerns with the protocols put in place by the sport and Goodwood Racecourse and we wish them the very best for the final two days of the Qatar Goodwood Festival which will take place behind closed doors.

“The RCA will continue to work closely with Government to plan future pilot events to welcome back crowds subject to the latest public health advice.”

Orphaned Mohaather an emotional winner for breeder Gaie Johnson Houghton

MOHAATHER (GB) overcame a difficult passage in running to land the Group 1 Sussex Stakes on Wednesday afternoon, continuing the unstoppable run of success for owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and delivering a first top-flight winner in 14 years for his delighted trainer, Marcus Tregoning.

The result was also an emotional one for breeder Gaie Johnson Houghton, who has nurtured Mohaather’s family for over 30 years at Woodway in Oxfordshire, home to the training establishment run formerly by her husband Fulke and, today, daughter Eve.

Johnson Houghton’s treasured thoroughbred family dates back to foundation broodmare SIRNELTA, who was acquired by Fulke – then the mare’s trainer – when she was sent to the sales by her former owner.

Sirnelta was an instant success at stud, producing Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes winner DEAD CERTAIN (GB) at the first attempt. The success has continued to flow ever since.

Mohaather becomes the second Group 1 winner from the family in the last three years, following the success of ACCIDENTAL AGENT (GB) in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot 2018.

Accidental Agent’s dam, ROODLE (GB), is a half-sister to Mohaather. Their dam, ROODEYE (GB), tragically died shortly after foaling Wednesday’s Sussex Stakes winner. As a result, Mohaather was nurtured by a foster mare in his early days and there will be no further siblings.

MOHAATHER (GB) pictured as a foal.

However, Johnson Houghton currently has five yearling fillies from the family in the field at Woodway, including a daughter of Sheikh Hamdan’s own stallion MUHAARAR (GB) out of Roodle. The filly, who is eligible for the full £20,000 Great British Bonus, will be offered on behalf of Johnson Houghton by Hillwood Stud at Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in the autumn. Johnson Houghton told GBRI:

“She would be the nicest yearling we’ve had for a bit.”

Johnson Houghton is also full of praise for Roodle’s colt foal by SHOWCASING (GB). The Whitsbury Manor Stud resident stallion has already been an outstanding match for the family’s mares thus far: not only is he the sire of Mohaather, but also the Sussex Stakes winner’s full-brother, PRIZE EXHIBIT (GB), who won two Grade 2s and two Grade 3s in America.

“I’m thrilled with him. He looks just marvellous. He appears to have a lovely temperament and is marked very similarly to his older brother, but much stronger and more mature looking.” The colt will be prepared for the yearling sales in 2021.

Speaking of Mohaather’s Sussex Stakes victory in the aftermath of the race, Johnson Houghton commented:

“I feel exhausted and overwhelmed after his win.

 “It has always felt wonderful that I’ve got this amazing family, but it’s even more wonderful now that I’ve bred two Group 1 winners.

 “While it is really devastating that I’ve lost the mare, it makes the win even more special.”

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