How UK Sales Incentives work – even for Mr Jooste – Turf Talk: 19 September 2016

book 1 bonus sales jooste

LAST Friday, an owner named Mr M J Jooste earned the bounty available to the buyers of Tattersalls Book 1 Graduate via his runner Executive Force.

Instead of the now defunct Tattersalls Millions races, an owner can elect to qualify for £25,000 bonuses attached to all Class 2,3 and 4 Maidens in the UK and “Open” maidens in Ireland.

Executive Force, a two-year-old year old by first season Aussie reverse shuttler Sepoy was bought for 200,000 guineas –a little below the average at the 2015 Tattersalls Book 1 renewal where the high was 2,100,000 guineas and the low was in the more normal range of human perception.

The ground at Newbury had suddenly changed from Good-to-Firm to Soft due to phenomenal deluges that brought to an end extraordinary 30 degree September days.

The William Haggas trained debutant sluiced up almost literally, winning six times the modest £5,000 prize through a Plus 10 Bonus**and Tatts twenty five grand.

Prize money in UK at the upper end is good – including in the big handicaps whose traditions attract racegoers to on-course festivals more than some Stakes racing.

We all caught the un-Scottish sun on Saturday in a sell-out crowd for the Ayr Gold and Silver Cups, several hundred miles from Friday?s Newbury. But at the lower end, the money is not so good although improving now that industry elements are not at war.

In winter polytrack racing the prize is most certainly not the point. The costs are the same as in the turf season but finishing 2ndat Kempton or Wolverhampton will not even pay for the day’s transport, staff and jockey costs. Mind you, some of those owners would probably run for a rosette, trying to get their not-so good but cherished equine friend to win.

Or at different winter venues: “I’ve just bought this super Point-to-Pointer for £50,000 and Look!! I’ve won this lovely Cup!! Hot whiskies and sausages in the car park!”

In a bloodstock nation where there is liquid trade in horses with form, the act of winning a maiden lifts the value.

Win an early maiden at Windsor, then a conditions race at Salisbury, and the offers from California or Hong Kong will come in. Or you say no thanks and go for the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot. My wife and I did just that. And we won it. Priceless.

Most horses only run in maidens three times then go handicapping as the more likely route to a win.“Should fare better in nurseries (= handicaps for 2yos)” is a common comment.

Tattersalls reviewed their Millions. Do Book 1 buyers with a good horse really want a non-black type event? Bearing in mind that no vendor ever pays anything towards any sales company race or other incentive, how can Tatts make Book 1 more attractive to cross-over vendors many of whom prefer Book 2 with its larger buyer population?

The result is that Book 1 (only) purchasers may elect to pay £1,000 per horse to qualify for the £25,000 bonus attached to dozens of races. The system – implemented in 2015 – found universal acclaim.

“May elect to pay £1,000” it says above. Because like all sales schemes it is voluntary for buyers. Buy in early October. Enter for the scheme by 1st March (or don’t). £1,000 is not a lot for a Book 1 buyer therefore Tattersalls can make a bullish projection of revenue in their risk analysis.

The same applies to surviving sales races. Buy in September/October, then pay the first of a series of entry stages in January when you’ve got an idea of your horse. There is no point in wanting a staying three- year-old and entering for a 6 or 7 furlong race.

Like the Goffs Cartier Million which many years ago so distorted Fairy King’s ranking as a stallion, the Millions scheme is consigned to history. The sales races that survive are those aimed at owners buying for lesser sums. Having ditched the Millions for Book 1, Tattersalls introduced a new race for Book 3. Book 2 has no race or incentive and doesn’t need either.

Doncaster (now Goffs UK) has a successful race as does Tattersalls Ireland where owners of lower cost youngsters pay the first entry four months after the purchase, once they have assessed the likelihood of fitting the race conditions. Or they don’t.

Entries for these two races are not payable all at once. As for any “big race” there are several forfeit stages so it only costs the whole lot if the owner and trainer go all the way. If eliminated on final declaration? All the entry money comes back. For these owners and syndicates, the raceday is all about the craic.

Another version is The Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury. Not allied to one sales company, it offers big money for 2yos that have gone through ANY sale ring for £50,000 or less. Weight is allocated depending on the actual price paid.

Whether Markus Jooste “needs” the Tattersalls £25,000 bonus is absolutely not the point. It adds to a sense of success and money is money. It pays a year’s costs in one shot. And that is something to think about.

** Plus 10 is an all-industry supported bonus scheme whereby breeder, pinhooker and owner benefit if winning designated races. But that’s another story…. – tt