YEARLING BONUS reaches £1MILLION
WITH the £1 million payment landmark reached this week, organisers of the Racing Post Yearling Bonus are close to finalising the two-year-old races which will feature in the scheme for the remainder of the 2009 season and beyond.
The 100th bonus win of the debut season was reached at Windsor on Monday night when Roman Dancer collected both a £10,000 yearling bonus and a £5,000 Racing Post Breeze-Up bonus.
Responding to £1 million yearling bonus barrier being reached, BHA chairman Paul Roy said: "The Racing Post Yearling Bonus has been a wonderful success. Congratulations to its organisers and also to all the sales consignors who have contributed to it and helped encourage people to invest at the sales."
Yearling bonus races from August 24 will see an emphasis on juveniles with less speedy pedigrees, according to the scheme's race planning expert Philip Freedman, who added that there could also an increased number of bonus races staged for three-year-olds next season. In a new development, only courses who agree to provide prize-money worth £1,000 more than minimum values will be allowed to allowed to stage a bonus race.
"To date the scheme has inevitably favoured early sorts but exactly the same proportion of eight- furlong fillies only maidens will have a bonus attached as five furlong colts maidens to ensure that every type of horse should have the same chance of finding a race with a bonus attached," Freedmansaid.
"We are also looking at increasing the number of bonus races we had scheduled to be open to three-year-old maidens in Britain and Ireland next season to ensure that all types of yearlings are catered for."
Yearling Bonus chairman John Osborne said: "Our 100th winner is a very exciting development and a very timely one as it coincides with (today's) deadlines for nominations to the Tattersalls October (books 1 to 3), Goffs Orby and Tattersalls Ireland September sales.
"These are challenging times for racing and the fact that we have been able to put £1 million directly into prize-money this season has been clearly welcomed by owners, many of whom now intend to re-invest that money at this autumn's yearling sales."
The boost to racehorse owners that the yearling bonus has provided was recognised last night by Michael Harris, chief executive of the Racehorse Owners' Association.
He said: "Congratulations to all concerned for reaching this landmark. The fact that there is still another £1.6 million to be won underlines its success. A £10,000 bonus is a big incentivefor owners at any time but, when prize-money is dipping so badly, this self-help scheme is very important to the industry."