Tequila Blaze’s victory at Newton Abbot on Tuesday for trainer Fergal O’Brien and owners The Tequila Tipplers helped bring the money awarded by the Great British Bonus (GBB) to the £2 million mark less than a year since the scheme’s inception.
O’Brien said: “It’s a huge amount of money. It is a fantastic scheme. It certainly makes us look when we go to the sales. If they’ve got the sticker on their bums as they’re going round the sales ring, it does make a huge difference. You’ll definitely be more attracted to one that’s a GBB mare than one that isn’t.”
Launched in May 2020, the Great British Bonus is an industry incentive scheme that offers multiple bonuses of up to £20,000 per eligible race for British-bred fillies and mares with the aim to increase prize-money in British racing and the number of British-bred horses in racing.
Winners in the last 11 months include Pat Toye, who hand-reared her filly Sorbet, and the scheme’s first multiple scorer in the shape of Kevin Nicolson’s Brazen Belle, who won in June and July 2020 to give her owner-breeder £40,000 in additional prize-money.
Trainer Dan Skelton is another to have been impressed by the scheme and he added: “The GBB is a great scheme and a big help to breeders and sellers of fillies, particularly in the current climate.
“The support of British breeding is paramount and the GBB scheme is a fantastic incentive for both breeders and owners. We should be really proud that it exists to promote British-bred horses. It is nothing but an asset to our industry.”
GBB Operations Executive Charlotte Newton said: “GBB just isn’t a one-time windfall; fillies can win cumulative bonuses and they do. Just yesterday, Martello Sky won her fourth GB Bonus for trainer Lucy Wadham.
“We have had a Flat filly, Blackberry, who has won three times, securing £60,000 in payments and two jumps fillies, Anythingforlove and Marada, who followed her lead in becoming triple GBB bonus winners, and there are 13 other fillies who have all won twice.
“To hit the £2 million mark in less than a year is fantastic news for everyone involved in racing and breeding. The feedback from owners, trainers and breeders when they win makes you appreciate just how important the scheme is. It’s influencing decisions on whether people continue to race horses as well as if – and how – they’re going to breed them, and emphasises the buy and race British message.”