Vendors and sales companies involved in the seven breeze-up sales for 2-year-olds in Britain, Ireland and France over the next three months have got together and announced a £500,000 bonus scheme to tempt buyers.
The scheme will benefit owners who buy 2-year-olds eligible for the bonus at breeze-up sales, which are the equivalent of 2-year-olds in training sales in the U.S., with a reward of £10,000 going to a horse who wins a 2-year-old maiden or stakes race or £5,000 for success in a 2-year-old selling or claiming race or a nursery handicap.
There is a limit of 40 bonuses for the £10,000 reward -- a total of £400,000 -- and a limit of 20 for the £5,000 bonus - £100,000. Vendors have to contribute £500 per 2-year-old to be in the scheme, while the sales companies will provide £150 per eligible horse. No horse can gain more than one bonus.
Peter Doyle, a leading European bloodstock agent and purchaser at breeze-up sales, commented: "This is a great idea. It will be a big help to market the horses to new and existing clients. It will assist both buyers and sellers. As the prize money levels in the UK are so bad, it will be a big boost. This is a no-brainer."
Henry Beeby, chief executive of Goffs and Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, said: "Prize money remains the primary issue for buyers of racehorses and it is wonderful that vendors and auctioneers have worked together to address the challenge in such a proactive way."
Breeze-up sales have developed into big business in Europe. For example, at last year's Tattersalls Craven Sale 116 horses sold for 11,884,000 guineas, at an average of 102,448 guineas and a median of 70,000 guineas.
The bonus scheme is an attempt to counteract the significant declines in bloodstock prices seen in the last six months.
The seven breeze-up sales in the scheme are:
--March 6, Goffs Breeze-up at Kempton, England
--April 7-8, Doncaster Breeze-up Sale, England
--April 14-16, Tattersalls Craven Breeze-up sale Newmarket, England
--April 30-May 1, Tattersalls Guineas Breeze-up sale Newmarket, England
--May 9, Arqana 2-Y-O Breeze-up Sale Saint-Cloud, France
--May 12, Goffs Breeze-up at Dundalk, Ireland
--May 25, Goresbridge Breeze-up Sale Kilkenny, Ireland.