YEARLING BONUS fund exceeds £2.6MILLION
THE prize fund for the Racing Post Yearling Bonus has passed the £2.6 million mark, with 2,450 horses registered as fully eligible for the scheme to date.
This means that owners with eligible yearlings bought at last year's sales will be competing for bonuses of £10,000 in at least 260 races throughout Europe. If the bonus isn't won in one of the original nominated races, further maidens will be selected throughout the year, thus guaranteeing that the fund is paid out in full.
Most of the bonus races will staged this year for two-year-olds but around 10 per cent of them have been earmarked for 2011 three-year-old maidens.
British racecourses will stage 150 bonus races, with 50 scheduled for Ireland and nearly 50 in other European countries.
The first ever bonus race is scheduled for The Curragh on March 21, with the debut British contest to be staged at Lingfield on March 29. The inaugural race in France takes place at Maisons-Laffitte on April 28.
Scheme chairman John Osborne said yesterday: "The closer we get to the first Racing Post Yearling Bonus races being run, the more exciting this scheme becomes.
"Considering the short time frame in which the scheme was put together last year, our huge thanks must go to everybody who has added their support to the scheme, including our sponsors, the Racing Post, whose support has been invaluable.
"At such a challenging time not only for those involved in the bloodstock industry but also racehorse owners, everybody involved in the Racing Post Yearling Bonus scheme is looking forward to some great stories to emerge whenever our £10,000 bonuses are won."
This newspaper's sponsorship of the yearling bonus scheme runs in tandem with the Racing Post Breeze-up Bonus, which in its second year will offer a prize fund of up to £500,000.
Thanks to the two schemes, owners could even secure a combined bonus of £20,000. This would apply to any horse eligible for the yearling bonus which also goes through the ring at one of six breeze-up auctions this year and subsequently wins a maximum of two breeze-up bonuses each worth £5,000, on top of the £10,000 yearling bonus.
The benefits of both schemes can be seen through the entries for the Goffs Kempton Breeze-up this Friday. Of the 94 horses catalogued, 90 are eligible for the breeze-up bonus, 70 of which are also eligible for the yearling bonus.