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POST extends Bonus sponsorship

david redvers

2010-12-08

THE Racing Post Yearling Bonus Scheme, described yesterday as "one of the best things to happen in racing", has been extended to graduates of this year's sales, who it is hoped will compete next year for bonuses worth more than £2.5 million.

The news follows the success of the debut scheme, which this year has already seen 67 owners from six countries receive payouts worth £850,000 thanks to the successes of yearlings they bought at the 2009 sales.

Chairman of the scheme John Osborne said yesterday: "We have been delighted with the way the Racing Post Yearling Bonus has been embraced by owners and trainers and such has been its popularity that to continue was a ‘no brainer'. We are thrilled that the Racing Post will once again be sponsoring us and above all wehave to extend our huge thanks to the consignors that have made it all possible by offering such whole hearted backing to the scheme."

Although the majority of £10,000 bonuses have been won in Britain and Ireland, there have also been winners in Spain, Italy, Scandinavia and Poland. "We have to be very hopeful indeed that this should now translate into an increase in purchases at the yearling sales from these markets," Osborne said.

According to David Redvers, a member of the organising committee, the need to ensure the continued support of the bloodstock industry has meant that the 2010 has been launched slightly later than ideal.

He said: "We would like to apologise for the late launch of the 2010 Racing Post Yearling Scheme. However, the committee felt that it had to establish the desire within the bloodstock industry before announcing its continuation. It would appear from our research that there is both a strong desire and a great need to carry on running it. We are very grateful to the Racing Post for their invaluable continued sponsorship."
Redvers added some concerns were expressed by contributors to the scheme that the £10,000 bonuses may be viewed by some racecourses as an excuse to drop prize-money levels. As a result, the bonus will only be attached to races that are run for £1,000 over minimum values. "We will be writing to racecourses immediately to alert them to this change," he said.
"The committee will also continue to work closely with both British Bloodstock Marketing and Irish Thoroughbred Marketing to target non-bloodstock industry markets in an effort to attract new owners to racing."

Entry to the Racing Post Yearling Bonus Scheme requires an initial registration fee of £250 payable by July 9 for DBS Premier and St Leger Festivalsales, and July 15 for Tattersalls 1,2,3 and Goffs Orby and Tattersalls Ireland September sale. 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.

Industry reaction

Richard Fahey, trainer
"As long as breeders and owners are happy to subsidise their prize money then it works well. We've been targeting the races and one of mine won £20,000 through the yearling bonus and breeze up bonuses. Would I like to see it continue? Oh, God, yes!"
Ger Lyons, trainer
"It is the best thing that has happened for this branch of the game for God knows how long. With prize money falling it is a huge help to owners. The scheme is a great incentive for owners to get involved again at the upcoming sales. It is highly appreciated and it should be continued."
Kevin Prendergast, trainer
"The yearling bonus scheme is one of the best things to happen in racing."
Tim Palin, syndicate manager Middleham Park Racing
"The yearling bonus is a superb idea, a brilliant concept delivered from start to finish in a professional manner. Last year we deliberately purchased horses who were a little more expensive than usual in an attempt to win the bonuses. If we are typical of other buyers, I'd say the scheme was responsible for quite a few extra bids on horses and made the market at last year's yearling sales more buoyant. We'll be back bigger and stronger at this year's yearling sales looking to build on our success."