IN Announcement
Entain joins Canterbury Jockey Club
Key sponsor and a principal partner
December 14, 2023

Entain, the operator of New Zealand’s TAB, has joined forces with the Canterbury Jockey Club in a partnership deal to become the sponsor of both the Churchill Stakes (formerly the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile) and the new Southern Alps race day. 

The long-term partnership, announced today, will also see Entain (under the TAB brand) become a principal partner of the Canterbury Jockey Club (CJC) at Riccarton Park.

The multi-year sponsorship arrangement will include various advertising assets, named sponsor rights for the Churchill Stakes (the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile), The Southern Alps Challenge, and a new TAB Southern Punter of the Year Competition. The Coupland's Bakeries sponsorship of the Churchill Stakes (known as the Coupland's Bakeries Mile) comes to an end after 20 years of dedicated and generous support.

The TAB Southern Alps Challenge is an innovation race established by NZTR which is open to South Island-trained horses only. Entry into the $350k final can be guaranteed through several races providing exemptions from the ballot, all staged across various iconic South Island tracks.

The newly established TAB Southern Punter of the Year will run on 13 April next year at the TAB Southern Alps Challenge meeting at Riccarton Park. As part of the sponsorship package, Entain will be injecting a first prize package of $10,000 cash, as well as a $2000 bonus bet to be used on a nominated race.

Entain Managing Director - New Zealand Cameron Rodger is thrilled to announce the partnership, off the back of a remarkable New Zealand Cup meeting at Riccarton Park.

“We were eager to support the Southern Alps Challenge, which we believe is a great innovation given its South Island focus,” Cameron Rodger said.

“We are also pleased to be passed the baton by the Coupland’s Bakeries team who have left a huge legacy for us to build in with this fantastic race.”

CJC Chief Executive Tim Mills is buoyed by the opportunities that the partnership will bring.

“The New Zealand Cup meeting was a huge success for the club with all our key on-course metrics up significantly. We are looking forward to building on that in partnership with Entain, and to elevating not just these two important racedays, but all racing at Riccarton Park,” Tim Mills said.

“I’d also like to acknowledge the many years of support provided by Coupland’s Bakeries which is set to continue with sponsorship of another race on the day.”

“We’re looking forward to the first ‘Golden Ticket’ race for the Southern Alps Challenge at Riccarton Park on 10 February 2024, and to building the challenge into an iconic fixture that celebrates the strength of racing here in the South Island,” Tim Mills said. 

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) Chief Executive Bruce Sharrock said it was great to see the CJC and Entain joining forces to elevate the Southern Alps Challenge, which was an innovation race we launched as part of this season’s strategic funding plan.

“We’re looking forward to the inaugural running of the challenge, which includes Golden Ticket races at not just Riccarton, but Riverton, and Wingatui,” Bruce Sharrock said.