Brookies Jaffa's "bonus" win at Alexandra Park
Brookies Jaffa wasn't just first on the race track last night.
The Auckland Reactor seven-year-old also became the first winning horse in this country to benefit from the new New Zealand Bred Bonus Scheme that came into force on August 1.
Under the Harness Racing New Zealand scheme every horse born in New Zealand, sired by a New Zealand bred stallion, and that stands in Australasia will earn a 10% bonus on stakes for all New Zealand races that they race in. That money goes to the horse's breeder.
Last night Brookies Jaffa, a mighty performer for trainer Jason Teaz with 18 starts and over $33,000 in stakes this year alone, beat favourite Fernleigh Cash in the Woodlands Stud Support North Island Stallion Night Handicap Pace at Alexandra Park. It was his 11th win at start number 99.
With the race having a winning stake of $11000, the scheme means Brookies Jaffa's breeder Tony Armstrong gets a $1100 bonus.
Bonuses will be paid out each year in August based on earnings from the previous financial year (August 1 - July 31). The bonus will be capped at $10,000 per horse per year.
Among those applauding Brookies Jaffa's achievement, and the scheme itself, has been leading trainer Michael House, describing it as "an epic moment".
Excerpts from his Facebook post include : "I'd like to be the first to thank the HRNZ Board for the vision and bravery to acknowledge the sportsman breeders who for many decades helped make harness racing a viable business."
"A wonderful meaningful acknowledgement of a group of horses that have been for too long dismissed as second class."
"This single act of acknowledgement and generosity will hit the spot every week. As with Brookies Jaffa a horse that is a significant horse of importance in the eco system of North Island mid class racing ... the money could be used to create another."
And there were other "bonus" winners on the night too.
Highview Tommy progeny picked up three cheques with Desert Dawn (Highview Tommy-Dawn Bromac) and Keepers Tommy (Highview Tommy - Keepers Art) finishing sixth and seventh in race 4, and My Copy (Highview Tommy - Lively Nights) running second in race 10 (for stakes of $2325).
In race 6 Pixie (Gold Ace - Pixel) was eighth and in race 9 Hooray Henry (Auckland Reactor - Outback Girl) finished fourth.