January 2024



Since its first payout in June 2020, the Great British Bonus (GBB) has injected more than £13.5 million into the industry, benefiting breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, and stable staff alike.

Some 763 fillies have secured at least one GBB bonus, with 166 becoming multiple GBB winners.

On 26th January, Miss Bielsa (Nathaniel x Pelerin) joined those ranks by winning the scheme’s 999th bonus. The Simon and Ed Crisford-trained filly bought from Tattersalls Book 2 for 50,000gns, won a £20,000 bonus on her debut run in a Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Wolverhampton.

Owner Alan Byrne is one of 562 owners who have seen success with GBB, while her breeder, Newsells Park Stud, is one of 454 who have bred a winning filly. This widespread impact showcases the scheme’s inclusive nature and its reach across all segments of the industry – a key aim since its launch.

What makes this win even more special is that Miss Bielsa is the half-sister to the very first GBB winner, Pelekai (Kodiac x Pelerin), who won a £10,000 bonus on her debut run, and to Golden Mayflower (Golden Horn x Pelerin) who won a £20,000 bonus on debut run for Irish-based Syndicates.Racing. The Shamardal mare, Pelerin, was trained by Marco Botti and won a number of listed races for Newsells Park Stud before retiring to the Royston-based farm.

Julian Dollar, of Newsells Park Stud, says: “We’re thrilled to have another GBB winner. Pelerin has served us very well in her career, on the track and here at stud where she has produced four foals – three of them GBB winners, the fourth a colt. She has a yearling filly by Showcasing, so we’re excited to see what she will do next year”.

Of the scheme, Dollar says: “GBB has been a super initiative for the industry, and we’ve supported it from day one. The demand for British-bred fillies has never been greater and we’re seeing better returns at the sales.”

Dollar isn’t wrong in his thinking; according to a recent study by PWC, since the scheme launched, the value of British-bred fillies at sales has increased 16.3%; 13.4% for Flat fillies and 26.5% for NH fillies.

“The fact that the fillies by British-based stallions win those bigger bonuses means that the likes of Nathaniel, Without Parole and A’Ali have an extra advantage over those in other jurisdictions,” he says. “In addition, it’s now easier to make a business case to keep fillies and race them ourselves if she has a pedigree we want to hang on to. That can only be good for the overall broodmare band, if a greater number of tested fillies stay in the care of British-based studs.”

There is little doubt that GBB has had a positive and rapid impact: the BHA’s Horse Population Reports show that the percentage of British-Bred fillies as individual runners has recovered and exceeded pre-Covid numbers quicker than British-bred colts who are yet to bounce back.

Philip Newton, the Chairman of the TBA, which runs the scheme, says: “We often hear that GBB is a ‘breeders’ scheme’ or an ‘owners’ scheme’, but that’s not true. It’s an industry scheme, and that’s something clearly demonstrated by the numbers of owners, trainers and alike who have received bonuses.”

Of the scheme’s success, Newton says: “At a superficial level, GBB is supporting the entire industry with immediate financial rewards, but it’s doing so much more than that: it’s encouraging racing in Britain; it’s encouraging more fillies to be tested on the track; it’s incentivising the use of British-based stallions; it’s creating a demand and increasing the value of British-bred fillies at the sales; it’s doing so much and exceeding expectations. It is showing that well thought out and carefully managed incentives can – and do – work.”

“We’re truly grateful to the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) for its unwavering support of the Great British Bonus. The HBLB not only provides £3.5 million in annual funding to the programme, but also plays a vital role in its management through its representatives on the GBB Management Group. Its continued partnership is instrumental in ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of the scheme.”

As the flat season looms, readers are reminded to register their 2022 flat fillies for stage 3 before the deadline closes on 28th February 2024.

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