The prospect of British racing returning at Newcastle on June 1 has led to a total of 369 entries for the fixture, which would mark the first competitive action at a domestic racecourse since March 17.
Under the new measures introduced by the British Horseracing Authority earlier this month, final fields will be revealed on Friday as declarations have to be made three days before a meeting takes place.
Newcastle will stage an eight-race card and among the trainers to have entered their horses at this stage are John Gosden, Roger Varian, Michael Bell, Charlie Hills and Hugo Palmer. Yorkshire-based handler Richard Fahey has made 33 entries.
Horses that could appear on Monday are Frankly Darling, a homebred for Anthony Oppenheimer who finished second on debut at Yarmouth last October, and the Varian-trained Valyrian Steel, bought for €600,000 by Oliver St Lawrence at the 2018 Arqana August Yearling Sale.
EBF reduces juvenile nomination fee
The European Breeders Fund has announced it has reduced the cost of nominating a two-year-old for eligible races to $4,500 from $6,000 for 2020 and extended the deadline for the feed to be paid to August 31.
This nomination stage applies to juveniles by a sire who is not registered to the EBF and standing outside of Europe, which has not been nominated at the previous deadlines.
EBF member countries have also outlined their commitment to supporting races during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with the Irish EBF announcing a €2.5 million contribution and the British EBF contributing £1.68 million in prize-money.
Chief Executive Kerry Murphy said: “Given the current challenges that owners are faced with due to the cancellation of racing the EBF committee felt it was appropriate to offer this reduced fee for 2020 only.
“With breeze-up sales being delayed and a late start to two-year-old campaigns we felt it was important to offer this opportunity to owners, particularly purchasers at the breeze-up sales.
“Whilst the large majority of horses campaigned in Europe are already qualified due to the sire being registered to the EBF, we would not want an owner to be. excluded from EBF races and this stage gives them that option. This year will an all-time high of €5.1 million added to prize-money by the EBF.”
Eight shortlisted for Lycetts Team Champion Award
Eight racing yards in Britain have been shortlisted for this year’s edition of the Lycetts Team Champion Award, which rewards stables that show the highest standards of employee management.
This year’s shortlisted yards for operations with 40 or more horses are Roger Charlton, William Haggas, Jonjo O’Neill and Bryan Smart. In the fewer than 40 horses category, the nominated yards are Susan Corbett, Dan Kubler, Richard Phillips and Suzy Smith.
As the awards move into the next stage, judges will hold video calls with the shortlisted yards to meet team members and understand the practices described at the first stage of nominations.
The winner will be announced in June and the victor of each category will receive a £4,000 prize.
BHA board member Laura Whyte said: “I’m delighted to have been involved in judging these awards from the start – and each year it just gets harder.
“For 2020 I was hugely impressed at the standard of entries both from yards new to the awards and those who have developed their procedures and ways of working since last year.
“The detailed collation of all the evidence to support the entries speaks to a huge amount of effort from the yards involved and I would like to express my gratitude to them.”
Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the National Trainers Federation, added: “We would like to thank the yards who all put considerable effort into their nominations.
“It shows that even under the stress caused by the pandemic, trainers and staff are keen to publicise how they are adopting best practice and pulling together to promote staff retention.”