IN Racing
NZB to Enhance Decade-Long Pearl Series Sponsorship
New Zealand Bloodstock has confirmed its continued support of fillies racing in New Zealand.
NZ Racing Desk | July 28, 2022
Melody Belle. Photo: Trish Dunell

New Zealand Bloodstock has confirmed its continued support of fillies racing in New Zealand, agreeing to enhance the NZB Insurance Pearl Series bonus structure, which it has sponsored for 10 consecutive years.

With a pre-existing, extensive sponsorship portfolio, NZB is already a major supporter of fillies racing in New Zealand through its annual NZB Filly of the Year and Southern Filly of the Year Series’. 

Jim Bruford of NZB Insurance has been at the forefront of developing the NZB and NZB Insurance sponsorship portfolios throughout his duration at the company.

“The patronage of the NZB Insurance Pearl Series goes hand-in-hand with NZB’s two existing Filly of the Year Series race sponsorships,” Bruford said.

“The Pearl Series encourages both breeders and owners across the country to race their fillies and add to the residual value found in the pedigrees.

“We see this as not only beneficial to sustaining our New Zealand breeding industry, but also benefiting racing as a whole, with larger and more competitive fields contesting the bonus dollars each week.”

After undergoing a review earlier in the year, Bruford commented on the structure of the NZB Insurance Pearl Series, administered by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and open to all New Zealand-bred and Australian-bred yearling fillies.

“Following a full review and discussion of the Pearl Series bonus structure with New Zealand’s breeders and owners, it was agreed that bonuses for registered fillies would be extended to those finishing second and third in the Pearl Series races,” he said.

“Furthermore, the Series was also extended to include five-year-old race mares which was welcomed by the racing community. NZTR should also be applauded for their full support of the restructured Pearl Series bonus payments.

“Improving returns for owners is an incentive that NZB is pleased to support, and the fact that filly breeders and owners, and with the support of NZTR will be the major beneficiaries of the enhanced Series is encouraging looking ahead into the future.” 

A single bonus level will be offered in all NZB Insurance Pearl Series races, with the winning owner receiving a $10,000 bonus, as well as the trainer and nominator receiving $500 each. 

In addition to this, the owner of the filly or mare that places second will receive a $2,000 bonus, with the owner of the third placing horse earning a $1,000 bonus. 

“We are encouraged by the additional second and third placing NZB Insurance Pearl Series bonus payments for New Zealand owners, with amply opportunities for them to recover their fees back,” Bruford said. 

NZTR chief executive Bruce Sharrock stated that the NZTR was also in favour of a revamp of the Series.

“Encouraging as many fillies and mares as possible to race is both beneficial to overall field sizes, as well as having a flow on positive impact on the race record of broodmare stock,” he said.

“A number of high-profile New Zealand thoroughbred mares have graduated from this series including Melody Belle, Avantage, Probabeel and current Group One winners Levante and Belle En Rouge.

“We are happy to support the revised bonuses being introduced for the 2022-23 season, including for those horses that registered under the previous fee structure and for five-year-olds next season that would previously not have been eligible,” he said. 

Registrations for the current crop of Southern Hemisphere-bred filly yearlings close with the NZTBA on 31 July 2022. The entry fee is $1,500 + GST.

Further information on the NZB Insurance Pearl Series is available to view on the NZTBA website at

New Zealand Bloodstock Jim Bruford NZB Insurance Pearl Series Bruce Sharrock