NZB Insurance Pearl Series

Adding to the list of further boosts Entain and New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing have made to New Zealand’s racing industry in recent months is the delivery of enhanced Pearl Series bonuses for fillies and mares.


Entain, NZTR, and NZB Insurance have collaborated to provide continued support for fillies and mares racing in New Zealand, with all current Pearl Series bonuses now doubled for the 2023-24 racing season.  

The refreshed Series will be renamed the Entain - NZB Insurance Pearl Series and will see a boost in bonuses paid out to Pearl Series nominated horses. The winning Owner will receive a $20,000 bonus, increasing from $10,000, as well as the winning Trainer and Nominator receiving $1,000 each, a $500 increase respectively.

In addition to this, the Owner of the filly or mare that places second will receive a $4,000 bonus (increased from $2,000), with the Owner of the third placegetter earning a $2,000 bonus (increased from $1,000).

Adding further appeal is the creation of a $100,000 Pearl Series Bonus Final to be run in Autumn. The Final will be open to Pearl Series registered horses only, up to five years of age. Southern and Central-based horses who make the Final will also be provided with travel subsidies to compete. Conditions for the $100,000 Pearl Series Bonus Final are still being finalised and more information about the race will be released shortly.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing’s CEO Bruce Sharrock confirmed the governing body’s support for a revitalisation of the Pearl Series.

“Both Entain and NZTR have banded together to provide a $2 million dollar enhancement to the Pearl Series over the course of four years.”

“The boost in bonuses will apply to all fillies and mares currently entered in the race Series, as well as new nominees wishing to enter for this coming season. Nominations will be reopened until the end of August.

"Promoting the participation of fillies and mares racing carries advantages not only to total field sizes, but also bringing benefits to owners with increased stakes and in turn enhancing the race record of their filly or mare as a valuable breeding proposition.

“A number of high-profile New Zealand Thoroughbred mares have graduated from the Pearl Series including Group One winners Avantage, Belle En Rouge, Levante, Melody Belle and Probabeel.

“We would like to thank Entain for their continued innovation in New Zealand racing, as well as NZB Insurance who have now sponsored the Pearl Series for over a decade,” he said.

The Pearl Series boost comes after a full review of the bonus structure was completed ahead of the 2022-23 season, which saw Pearl Series bonuses for registered fillies and mares extend to those who finished second and third in Pearl Series races. It was also extended to include five-year-old race mares which was welcomed by the racing community.

Jim Bruford of NZB Insurance commented on the significant boost to the company’s 11-year Pearl Series sponsorship.

Jim and Clo
(Left) NZB Insurance Advisor, Jim Bruford 

“We were a major supporter of the Pearl Series when it was initially developed in partnership with the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association because of the benefit it gave to fillies’ racing in New Zealand.”

“We have been sponsoring the Series for 11 years, which has proven the point that Pearl Series races are hotly contested events, drawing maximum fields and developing both good betting revenue and giving fillies and opportunity to race to assist us in developing our breeding stock.

“Throughout the 11 years of the Pearl Series, NZB Insurance has received remarkable support from the industry in recognising our initial sponsorship. 

“Having Entain on board to further strengthen the Pearl Series in the coming years is a tremendous boost to our philosophy of supporting fillies racing in New Zealand,” Bruford said.  

Administered by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association, 2023 nominations have now been reopened and will close on Thursday 31 August. There will be no increase in nomination costs, with the entry fee remaining at $1,500 + GST.

Nominate your 2021 filly for the Entain - NZB Insurance Pearl Series here.

What you need to know about the Pearl Series enhancements:

  • Up to 100 races per season
  • Each race now carries a total $26,000 stake bonus
  • Trainer and Nominator bonuses have also doubled, now at $1,000 each
  • $100,000 Series Final Race Bonus, run in the Autumn and a travel subsidy for Southern and Central District horses who qualify
  • No increase in nomination costs
For more information about the Series, race programs or nominations, visit the Pearl Series website here.