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Donativum - Tattersalls Million - Newmarket Oct 08 - Mark Cranham

Tattersalls Timeform Million: won by Donativum (right of picture) in 2008

  PICTURE: Mark Cranham  

New-look series planned for Tattersalls sales races

TATTERSALLS is revamping its Millions sales races by extending the series to eight events for which graduates of this year's feature yearling sale will be eligible.

The auction house is putting £1.75m prize-money into the new races, which will be run at Newmarket from 2010 over distances from 6f to 1m2f for two-year-olds and three-year-olds from Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.

The new sales race programme will replace the Tattersalls Million, Tattersalls £800,000 race for fillies and Tattersalls £250,000 for three-year-olds, which willbe run for the final time later this year and next season.

The richest race in the new schedule, the Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy, will be worth £500,000, and is one of five races for juveniles to be staged over 6f and 7f. Two will be for fillies only and three will be auction races with weights determined by sale price. The other three races are for three-year-olds, one of which will be over 6f and the other two over 1m2f.

Following the demise of the Goffs Million contests, the main Tattersalls Millions race will still be the most valuable two-year-old event run in Europe, and also cheaper to run in, with entry fees cut by 33 per cent to £4,000.

Jimmy George - Tattersalls marketing director - Edward Whitaker

Jimmy George: popular decisions

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker  

Tattersalls marketing director Jimmy George said: "We made slight alterations last year and reduced owners' entry costs significantly. That proved to be popular and the subsequent feedback was that if we continued in the same vein it would be even more popular.

"Book 1 will have about 700 yearlings catalogued and eight races for two- and three-year-olds will bring most of those 700 into play. The whole point of the new Millions is to give as many owners as possible an opportunity to compete for major prize-money. It is something we hope will encourage owners to come into racehorse ownership or stay in racehorse ownership and encourage them to buy yearlings.

"Six-figure prize-money is substantial and people were keener to have more opportunities to run for six-figure prize-money than less opportunity to run for seven-figure prize-money. It's massive prize-money and £100,000 will be the lowest-value race to be run.

"This reflects the economic climate to a degree but also that we are aiming to produce a series where the owners bear as little of the entry cost as possible but are still able to compete in exciting and valuable races. The cost borne by the owners is always where sales races have been open to criticism and £4,000 is far below the level that owners are contributing to major Group races."

The present series was worth £2.2 million when originally announced, but the cost of entry was set at £10,000, a figure subsequently reduced to £6,000 following consultation with the Racehorse Owners' Association.

The ROA is backing the new format, and president Paul Dixon said: "From an owners' point of view the new Tattersalls Millions is quite simply the best sales race series ever devised in Europe. Low entry costs, a great variety of races and massive prize-money is the perfect formula."




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