PRESS RELEASE | Auckland Thoroughbred Racing confirms purchase of slot in the NZB Kiwi race

23 Feb 2024
Auckland Thoroughbred Racing

Auckland Thoroughbred Racing (ATR) has today confirmed that the Club has purchased a slot for 2025’s NZB Kiwi.   

The NZB Kiwi is a newly created 1500m three-year-old only slot race restricted to New Zealand Bloodstock graduates and New Zealand-breds.  It is scheduled to take place in March 2025 as a part of Champions Day, a raceday set to replace Auckland Cup Week, at Ellerslie Racecourse.

The NZB Kiwi is to be the richest three-year-old race in the Southern Hemisphere with base prizemoney of $3.5m in 2025, increasing to $4.5m by 2027. An additional $1m of bonuses will also be available each year.

The field size is to be restricted to 14 meaning there are 14 slots available for purchase.  Clubs, who are to host the bonus races associated with the race, were given the opportunity to purchase a slot for $450,000 (a three year term) ahead of the Slot Auction, taking place Tuesday 27 February 2024 at the Karaka Sales Centre, an opportunity ATR took advantage of.

With the innovative race taking place at Ellerslie and likely resulting in the retention of high performing two and three-year-olds in New Zealand, the Club was pleased to support the concept believing it will be for the betterment of racing in New Zealand.

ATR Deputy Chairman, Mark Chitty, comments, “We’ve all seen the success of slot races like the Everest and Quokka over in Australia so to see a similar format applied here is very exciting.  And to have an opportunity to be a part of the first-ever slot race in New Zealand and purchase a slot ourselves adds another element.

“As a Club we’re looking forward to taking our members and stakeholders along on this unique journey with us as we earmark and select our eventual runner.

“The NZB Kiwi, and the newly created Champions Day, will allow us to engage with the wider community in fresh and innovative ways to increase the exposure and interest in our sport.”

ATR Chief Executive Officer, Paul Wilcox, is excited to see the level of interest the new Champions Day and associated NZB Kiwi race will bring to racing in New Zealand.

“Ellerslie is the premier racetrack in New Zealand and we’re excited to play host to an exciting race innovation like the NZB Kiwi.

“We’re confident the experience attendees will get oncourse at Ellerslie, combined with the thrill of the Southern Hemisphere’s richest three-year-old race will rival that atmosphere on other marquee nights such as the TAB Karaka Millions – a raceday that has captured the hearts and attention of the New Zealand public.

“Champions Day is set to be the richest and most prestigious raceday on the New Zealand racing calendar and we look forward to cheering on the ATR slot holder in 2025.”

The NZB Kiwi will be run on Saturday, 8 March 2025 as a part of Champions Day.  The day will also see the running of Group 1 features including the Trackside New Zealand Derby, the Bonecrusher New Zealand Stakes, the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Stakes, the Sistema Stakes and the Group 2 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup.

To learn more about the NZB Kiwi, click here.

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