NZB to Sponsor New $4.5m The Kiwi Slot Race

22 January 2024

The NZB Kiwi Slot Race

In another raft of positive announcements made by TAB New Zealand, Entain and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, the Southern Hemisphere will soon be witness to the richest three-year-old race – ‘The NZB Kiwi’.

Sponsored by NZB, the inaugural thoroughbred slot race will headline a major revamp of the New Zealand summer racing calendar next year.

The NZB Kiwi will become one of the major highlights of a newly established ‘Champions Day’ held in March at Ellerslie - a three-year-old 1500m slot race, which will be the richest race ever held in New Zealand and will carry black-type status.

Fourteen slots will be available to graduates of NZB Sales, as well as Kiwi horses, creating a true destination race for star New Zealand-bred horses from around the world.

NZB Managing Director Andrew Seabrook is thrilled to be a part of the country's richest ever race.

“When we were initially approached by NZTR to be the sponsor of New Zealand's first thoroughbred slot race, we didn’t hesitate to give it our full support.”

“We love the concept and the direction that racing is heading in at the moment. To have such positive news just under a week out before the yearling sales at Karaka adds an extra layer of optimism to our industry.

The NZB Kiwi Announcement made at Ellerslie this morning.

“We think it’s a fantastic initiative and it’s certainly an exciting time to be racing horses in New Zealand,” Seabrook said.

The NZB Kiwi slot race will carry stakes prizemoney of at least $3.5 million in 2025, increasing to $4.5 million by 2027, making it the richest race in the Southern Hemisphere for three-year-olds.

An additional $1 million in bonuses will be available each year to the three placegetters of The NZB Kiwi, if they have won one of a number of iconic New Zealand and Australian lead up races. With the bonus component, the winner of The NZB Kiwi could take home $1.8 million in total prizemoney.

Lachlan Fitt, CFO and Deputy CEO of Entain Australia and New Zealand, commented on the strategic placement of The NZB Kiwi in New Zealand’s wider summer racing calendar.

“This race is ideally placed in the calendar in early March and gives the country’s top three-year-old sprinter-milers a terrific grand final to be a part of on the same day as the Trackside New Zealand Derby.”

“We expect the competition will be red hot between Slot Holders to secure one of those outstanding Kiwi-bred sprinter-milers and we look forward to participating in the innovative slot auction next month.”

The new-look summer programme announced by NZTR also includes the creation of a two-day Karaka Carnival. The Carnival will bookend the famous NZB National Yearling Sales Series, which attracts bloodstock buyers and industry participants from all over the globe.

The first day of the Carnival, the existing TAB Karaka Millions Raceday will be further boosted by the addition of the Group One Railway, alongside the $1m TAB Karaka Millions 2YO and $1.5m TAB Karaka Millions 3YO for Karaka graduates, plus the new open $1m Elsdon Park Aotearoa Classic for four-year-olds.

The second day of the Carnival, immediately following the National Yearling Sales Series, will now feature the Group Three Cambridge Stud Almanzor Classic (1200m) alongside other innovative races to be announced.

Bruce Sharrock said the goal was to take the well-established TAB Karaka Millions raceday and supercharge it through the creation of a two-day extravaganza centred around the Karaka yearling sales, as well as the addition of a Group One race to the opening day of the Carnival.

“We’ll be able to showcase New Zealand racing to the world with prestigious Group One racing, complementing the incredibly strong feature racing at our premier Ellerslie track,” he said.

In total, the revised NZTR summer racing programme will see an injection of over $9 million in stakes and bonuses made available in 2025 to the domestic racing industry.

Registrations of interest for Slot Holders for The NZB Kiwi are now open, with an auction for a number of slots to be held on Tuesday 27 February at NZB’s Karaka Sales Centre. Slot Holders will be required to make a three-year commitment to The NZB Kiwi. Register your interest via email at [email protected].

View NZTR’s The NZB Kiwi Digital Guide here.

To view more information about The NZB Kiwi and the Slot Auction, visit