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YEARLING BONUS to play even bigger role



THE Racing Post Yearling Bonus has the potential to be even more effective at the sales this autumn now that owners are receiving the first batch of £10,000 payouts. That was the message from industry professionals yesterday in reactionto Thursday's announcement in the Racing Post that the scheme will be extended to 2010 yearlings.

The debut scheme has seen payouts worth £850,000 paid out to 67 individual owners across Europe - and counting - something that agent Johnny McKeever believes can help stir further interest at this year's sales.

"It has helped that people have seen the scheme in action this year, and so it should be particularly effective this autumn," he said.

"I genuinely feel it will help me encourage owners to buy yearlings this autumn as people have seen how it can cushion the blow on the training front."

Fellow agent Peter Doyle, who has bought eight bonus winners so far this season, is also confident that the debut scheme's success will translate into increased interest at the sales by owners.

He said: "It's been a great incentive, not only in financial terms but in that it makes more of the owners, which the industry doesn't do enough of.

"Personally, I found it a great help at the sales last year and see no reason why it shouldn't be again this year. We must pay credit to the work put in by the vendors, sales companies and David Redvers, Joe Foley and John Osborne to get it off the ground. Without all of those people, it couldn't have been done."

Heading the consignors' list as the vendor of four bonus winners already this season is Whitsbury Manor Stud. Stud owner Chris Harper was another to stress the importance of continued support of vendors behind the scheme.

He said: "I think this year's sales will be the most difficult we've seen for a long time and we need every possible incentive to encourage people to buy yearlings.

"I'm encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by thetrainers and, hopefully, those owners who won bonuses this year will be more inclined to spend again.

"And we must not forget that there will be three-year-old bonus races next year, meaning that there'll be even more races available and a bigger incentive."

Harper added: "However, I would like to see more racecourses support it, and make sure that they put in funds above minimum requirements. The scheme needs to be attached to a broad spectrum of races and it's vitally important that racecourses are seen to support it." ENTRY to the Racing Post Yearling Bonus Scheme requires an initial registration fee of £250, payable by July 9 for the DBS Premier and St Leger Festival sales, and July 15 for the Tattersalls 1,2,3 and Goffs Orby and Tattersalls Ireland September sales.

Yearlings entered in other sales can be registered at the closing date of the relevant sale. Forms are being sent out to vendors this week and can also be downloaded from racingpost.com/yearling bonus.