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Trainers close to agreement in prize dispute

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Keeneland announced that it is increasing the purse for the Shadwell Turf Mile at Lexington, Kentucky to $750,000 USD. The Keeneland fall horse races take place from October 5 to 27 and will feature 17 stakes with $4.5 million in purses totaling $4.5 million. The Woodford and Bourbon, two Grade 3 races, also saw purse increases and are now worth $150,000 each.

Across the Atlantic, trainers are continuing their negotiations with racecourse officials in a dispute over prize money that began last month. Lambourn handler Charlie Mann organized a successful boycott of a horse race at Worcester last week to protest what the trainers regarded as unacceptable prize levels.

The track is owned by Arena and Northern Racing Group represented by Ian Renton and Jim Allen. Both sides have held discussions since the cancelled event. “We're not far off. We've had a meeting with Ian Renton and Jim Allen. I think we'll know more tomorrow (Tuesday),” said Mann. “We've had an offer made, we're not far off an agreement and I think it will benefit everyone. I've got to talk to everybody.”

At Worcester, 11 of the 12 runners withdrew from the race, resulting in a walkover for Nigel Twiston-Davies’ Moulin De La Croix. According to the trainers, the prize-money was collected and distributed between the group and some were donated to charity.