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Prize Money Boost For NZ Derby

Thursday, 17th September 2015

The Auckland Racing Club has announced that next season's Gr1 New Zealand Derby will be run for $1 million, reports NZ Racing Desk. The club announced the prize money increase at the same time as revealing that BMW was taking over as naming-rights sponsor for the 3YO Classic scheduled for 5 March, 2016 at Ellerslie. The Derby has been raced for $750,000 since dropping from its $2.2 million stake in 2011. Auckland Racing Club chief executive Cameron George said the stake increase was a "co-funding venture" between New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and the club. "To coincide our BMW partnership announcement with the Auckland Racing Club increasing the New Zealand Derby stake in 2017 to $1 million is very exciting," said George. "We have worked strategically behind the scenes to generate commercial opportunities to benefit the New Zealand racing industry and to see it unfold as per our long term plan is exciting." He added: "We hope to make more announcements in the coming weeks which will see more direct benefits for industry stakeholders who choose to race at Ellerslie." Champion Cambridge trainer Murray Baker applauded the move. "It's an exceptional move, really good," he said. "Prize money is what makes the game go around."

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