New Zealand racing is set to gain three more Triple Crowns to reward horses who can dominate their domestic division.
New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance will be the sponsor of the three $100,000 bonuses for any horse who can win three elite races in the weight-for-age, sprinter and fillies and mares grades.
The $100,000 would be paid to any horse who could win any of the three Triple Crowns, on top of the stakes they win from each race.
The weight-for-age Triple Crown begins with the $200,000 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on December 26, followed by the $4000,000 Herbie Dyke Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on February 8, and the $200,000 Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes (2000m) at Ellerslie on March 7.
The races in the sprint Triple Crown are the $200,000 Sistema Railway (1200m) at Ellerslie on January 1, the $250,000 Berkett Telegraph (1200m) at Trentham on January 18, and the $200,000 BCD Group Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa on February 8.
The third series is the fillies and mares Triple Crown, made up of the $70,000 Cuddle Stakes (1600m) at Trentham on March 14, the $200,000 Fiber Fresh New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1600m) at Te Aroha on April 4, and the $100,000 Travis Stakes (2000m) at Te Rapa on April 25.
New Zealand Bloodstock's managing director Andrew Seabrook believes the new Triple Crowns will provide a vital and timely boost to the New Zealand industry.
"New Zealand Bloodstock, through its insurance division, is delighted to be offering these three significant bonuses," he said.
"In a time of stagnant prizemoney, I'm sure this announcement will be welcome news for stakeholders. I would like to particularly thank NZTR for its support, along with the Auckland Racing Club, whom have all contributed financially.
"NZB Insurance has been a significant sponsor of New Zealand racing, so thanks go to our hard-working insurance team and our very supportive underwriters in the UK."
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing's chief executive Bernard Saundry has enthusiastically welcomed the concept.
"We are delighted to partner with New Zealand Bloodstock Insurance on the Triple Crown Series," said Saundry.