01 Jul 2024

Great British Bonus- Extension Announcement

The Great British Bonus, British breeding, and racing’s most successful incentive scheme, is about to get bigger, and better.

GBBPLUS, an extension of GBB, will reward owners and breeders from 1 January 2025, with two new separate initiatives tackling the current challenges facing Flat and National Hunt racing.

The current core scheme, GBB, which has distributed over £15m to winning fillies and mares since its launch in June 2020, will continue, while GBBPLUS will offer additional incentives to breed, buy and race middle-distance and staying-bred fillies, and steeplechasing mares, two areas of the British horse population requiring specific support.

For Flat races, alongside the normal GBB bonus, GBBPLUS will offer an additional bonus of up to £20,000 for fillies whose covering fee was £50,000 or less winning:

  • Class 2 -4 maiden, novice and conditions races at eight furlongs and over for two-year-olds, and at 10 furlongs and over for three-year-olds. Races that fulfil all core and extension criteria will therefore be worth up to £40,000 to a filly.

For 2-Year-olds, GBBPLUS will payout in

  • nurseries eight furlongs and over

And for three- and four-year-olds, GBBPLUS will payout in

  • class 2-4 handicaps at 10 furlongs and over, for which only the extension bonus would be payable, making these races worth up to £20,000 for a filly.
  • seven Listed races (fillies-only, 10-furlong and over), which would offer a bonus of up to £20,000, payable in the usual GBB format but only for 100% GBB-registered fillies.

The addition of four-year-olds would exclusively be for these extension-eligible races not the core GBB scheme.

The extension will offer further encouragement for owner-breeders to continue their operations in Britain and at the same time, offering a unique opportunity for commercial breeders who embrace the scheme. GBB has already changed the landscape for British-bred fillies. GBBPLUS will further encourage a different behaviour in respect of breeding, buying, and racing middle-distance horses, while offering profit opportunities to clear-thinking breeders to swim in a less competitive commercial sales pool by highlighting an as yet untapped market with middle-distance horses.

For National Hunt races, GBBPLUS will:

  • include Class 3-4 open steeplechases, more than doubling the opportunities for chasing mares to win bonuses and encouraging progression into Class 1-2.
  • increase the bonus value for all class 1-4 steeplechase wins to £30,000 for 100% GBB and to £15,000 for 50% GBB in a break from the previous tradition offering larger bonuses in mares-only races and smaller ones in all-sex races.

HBLB provide £3.5 million to the current GBB scheme, and this funding will be increased by an additional £1.2 million to support GBBPLUS. 

Levy Board chief executive Alan Delmonte said: “The Horserace Betting Levy Board has been the majority funder of the Great British Bonus (GBB) since its inception. We have been very pleased to see its significant impact and results. It is clearly held in high regard in the industry and very importantly there is evidence that it is making a real difference to decisions. The Board has decided to provide significant new funds over a multi-year period for the extension of the scheme to give further valuable support for middle-distance and staying Flat fillies and for steeplechasing mares. The HBLB’s statutory objectives are to apply funds for the improvement of breeds of horses and the improvement of horseracing - both GBB and the new GBBPlus initiative align with these.”

GBB is open to all British-born filly foals (registered with a GB suffix) with two eligibility and bonus levels: 100%, by a stallion based in Britain at the time of covering, with bonuses of up to £20,000 per race; 50%, by a stallion who stood outside Britain at the time of covering, with bonuses of up to £10,000 per race.

Provided all registration deadlines are met, bonuses are paid out 65% to the racing owner; 20% to the breeder; 7.5% to the trainer; 5% to the jockey; 2.5% to stable staff.

Like GBB, the extension has been devised by the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, whose chairman Philip Newton said: “GBB was an important incentive and intervention step to encourage the breeding, buying, and racing of fillies. Its success now gives us confidence that we can influence behaviour in two other areas of the racing programme: the vital retention of stamina within the thoroughbred and the opportunity to follow a lead well established by our French neighbours in getting horses jumping sooner.”

He added: “GBB management has held fast to the principle that the current format of GBB must be retained and to change behaviour further, additional incentive should be offered to breed, buy and race British-bred fillies by sires who won over 10 furlongs and above, and to encourage the chasing element of National Hunt racing.

“The incentive of a bonus of up to £40,000 to breed, race and retain these horses is an exciting new GBB chapter and will be game-changing for breeders and owners alike. It will also provide smaller breeders with a chance to operate in a less populated commercial pool, with a much-needed attractive profit opportunity, while underpinning and encouraging investment in stallions in Britain.”

GBBPLUS is truly an initiative for all seasons!

Further information at www.greatbritishbonus.co.uk