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Great British Bonus scheme breaks through £2 million in payouts since launching

Martello Sky the latest winner after Tequila Blaze takes down the milestone bar

Martello Sky wins her fourth GBB payout at Cheltenham on Thursday
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The Great British Bonus (GBB) initiative has now awarded a total of £2 million in winning bonuses.

In all, 112 horses have taken home 134 prizes for their connections. Winners range from smaller owner-breeder operations such as Pat Toye, who hand-reared her £20,000 GBB filly Sorbet, to large professional syndicates. GBB’s highest-profile winner is Honeysuckle, the Champion Hurdle heroine.

Prize-money is distributed between owners, breeders, jockeys, trainers and stable staff.

GBB operations executive Charlotte Newton said: “GBB just isn’t a one-time windfall; fillies can win cumulative bonuses and they do. Just yesterday [Thursday], 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 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.”

Tequila Blaze, saddled by multiple GBB prize-winning trainer Fergal O’Brien, was the filly that pushed the scheme over the £2m milestone.

Of the Great British Bonus, 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”.

Reflecting on the initiative’s impact, fellow trainer Dan Skelton, trainer of two GBB winners, said: “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.”

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If they’ve got the sticker on their bums as they’re going round the sales ring, it does make a huge difference
E.W. Terms