Wednesday 2 February 2011

Entries revealed for 2011/2012 Tattersalls Millions

A total of 340 two-year-olds, boasting price tags ranging from 5,000 guineas to 1.2 million guineas, have been entered in the 2011/12 Tattersalls Millions series.

The £1.75 million Tattersalls Millions series, now in its fourth year, is the most extensive sales race series to ever take place in the northern hemisphere and comprises eight races staged at Newmarket between August, 2011, and June next year.

Only horses who appeared in the Book 1 catalogue at the 2010 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale are eligible for the Tattersalls Millions and among those entered are the 1.2 million guineas sale-topper, an un-named Galileo filly out of a half-sister to New Approach who is in training with Aidan O’Brien.

The Coolmore team and Maktoum family have their usual strong representation but also among the entries are several owners who have upped their involvement in British Flat racing.

Dubai-based Fitri Hay has six engaged, including the 600,000 guineas filly Pink Damsel, in training with Paul Cole, while New York-based Bjorn Nielsen, has five entries include the 550,000 guineas purchase Michelangelo, stabled with John Gosden.

Richard Hannon is the trainer with the most entries numerically having 18 engaged at the initial entry stage, while owner Andrew Tinkler, CEO of the Eddie Stobart haulage group, has 11 entries including Polly Pomona, a filly who cost 450,000 guineas.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al-Thani, who was chairman of Qatar’s recent successful bid for the 2022 soccer World Cup, has four choicely-bred fillies in training with Sir Michael Stoute including 400,000 guineas and 290,000 guineas daughters of Galileo. Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani, another member of Qatar’s royal family who races as Pearl Bloodstock, has a 185,000 guineas Invincible Spirit filly with Sir Mark Prescott.

Abu Dhabi-based Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan has the 260,000 guineas filly Aquila in training with Henry Cecil, while Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Maktoum, who has enjoyed great success with South African trainer Mike de Kock, has a 360,000 guineas Dubawi colt in training with Richard Fahey in Malton, North Yorkshire.

But there are no shortage of horses with considerably lower price tags, representing a wide array of different owners and trainers, bidding to try and land some of the bumper purses in the Tattersalls Millions.

The Jim Boyle-trained Supreme Rock cost the minimum bid of just 5,000 guineas, as did a Tiger Hill colt with Clive Brittain and a son of Medicean with Nick Littmoden.

Entries for the Tattersalls Millions closed yesterday, January 11, and the first scratching stage is on May 3.

Since its inauguration in 2008, a number of horses that participated in the Tattersalls Millions have gone on to prove themselves at the top level. Donativum won the equivalent of the Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy in 2008 and took the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on his next outing, while Lillie Langtry, who won what is now the Tattersalls Millions 2YO Fillies Trophy in 2009, was a dual Group One winner last season with victories in Royal Ascot’s Coronation Stakes and the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. Society Rock landed a race in the series in 2009 and last season came close to Group One glory at Royal Ascot, beating all bar the mighty Starspangledbanner in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Tattersalls Chairman Edmond Mahony commented: “As ever, the Tattersalls Millions has attracted an amazing cross – section of entries including two-year-olds purchased at Book 1 of the October Yearling Sale for as little as 5,000 guineas as well as the 1,200,000 guineas sale – topper.

“The eight-race Tattersalls Millions series is designed to appeal to owners at all levels of the market and to give as many people as possible the opportunity to compete for six-figure prize money and the 340 entries yet again demonstrates its popularity.”

Newmarket's Director of Racing Michael Prosser said: “This is the fourth year of the Tattersalls Millions series and its status is underlined by the fact that Europe’s most expensive yearling purchase in 2010 has been entered.

“The races go from strength to strength and, with the exceptional prize money on offer, they present a great opportunity for owners as well as significantly adding to Newmarket’s overall racing programme.

“In previous years, the races have already produced some high-quality performers such as Lillie Langtry, Society Rock and Coordinated Cut, so we look forward to seeing which top-class acts emerge from this year’s entry.”