Racehorse ownership within reach of everyone through TAB Racing Club

By Cameron Rodger, Entain NZ MD

13 Sep 2023

Racehorse ownership within reach of everyone through TAB Racing ClubNewly crowned New Zealand Horse of the Year Sharp ’N’ Smart is an ultimate example of the thrill

“The purpose of the Club is to make the ownership experience accessible, exciting and memorable.”
Owning a racehorse is a thrill like no other. From the hope – even belief – that your pride and joy is the next New Zealand champion when you watch it parade as a yearling, right through to seeing it step out for its first raceday start.
Last week, we were delighted to unveil the first steps towards an exciting new racehorse ownership model, with expressions of interest now open for trainers to prepare horses for the TAB Racing Club.
The Club, modelled on a similar initiative established in Australia earlier this year by Entain, will offer a tailored loyalty and rewards programme and an enhanced wagering experience to TAB customers who opt into the Club.
Benefits for TAB Racing Club members include owner experiences to attend the races, birdcage viewing and on-course hospitality; regular communications from the trainers, behind the scenes access to the trainers and other key members of the team, and special betting offers to encourage club members to back their horses at the races.
The purpose of the Club is to make the ownership experience accessible, exciting and memorable –so much so that TAB punters then take the plunge into registered ownership because of the enjoyment they have had from the TAB Racing Club.
We’ve worked with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing and Harness Racing New Zealand to get the word out to trainers in each code and are looking forward to hearing from trainers who want to be part of the Club by the end of this month.
As part of this venture, we also want to support breeders in both equine codes. Once we have locked in the trainers, we’ll be active at the New Zealand Bloodstock Yearling Sales in January to find what we hope are the next stars of New Zealand racing. We’re committing in the region of $1.5 million to spend at next year’s sales, to give the TAB Racing Club the best possible chance to succeed.
We'll announce our selected trainers and look forward to sharing more information about the Club in the coming months, including how our customers can get involved.
Looking back to last weekend, TAB was proud to again support the Tarzino Trophy Daffodil Raceday at Hastings, donating $2,000 for every runner carrying the Daffodil Day silks to victory and $5,000 for the Westbury Stud Tarzino Trophy, which featured no less than nine Group One winners taking their place.
I would like to pass on a huge thank you to all trainers and connections who supported this great cause – especially to Ken and Bev Kelso and connections for allowing Ryan Elliot to wear the Cancer Society silks in place of their own aboard their champion mare and Tarzino favourite, Legarto.
Her run for third in the race was super and the generosity shown deserves reward – so we will be tipping in a $5,000. donation to the Cancer Society on behalf of the Legarto team.
After a few close calls in the other races for the horses carrying the Daffodil Day silks, the McKay-trained and owned Sagunto finished the day on a high, winning the last race on the card to add another $2,000 to our donation for the day.
Kudos must also go to the Te Akau Racing team who kindly donated $500 for every winner from their stable at the meeting, saddling up four in total, including two of the three black type races on the card and of course, the Group One feature with Skew Wiff.
That success continued through to Imperatriz setting the sprinting world alight with a dazzling win in the Gr. 2 McEwen Stakes at The Valley in track-record time.
There’s nothing quite like the first Group One meeting of the season to set the scene for the rest of the year. Entain Australia and New Zealand Deputy CEO Lachlan Fitt joined me at Hastings, and the positive energy coming out of Saturday’s Tarzino Trophy was equally matched by the vibe at the NZ Thoroughbred Horse of the Year awards in Auckland on Sunday night.
Congratulations to all the award winners, and particularly to Sharp ‘N’ Smart, who took out this season’s top honours as Horse of the Year. At the Entain table, we were beaming with pride that our very own Senior Commentator George Simon was recognised for his lifelong commitment to the industry as this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Racing award.
There was a real buzz in the air on Sunday night, and it’s Entain’s commitment to continue to deliver reasons for racing stakeholders to maintain that positivity.