Mon 15 Sep 2014
The Irish European Breeders’ Fund played a significant role in the inaugural Irish Champions weekend, sponsoring no less than five races with a total race value of €630,000 over the star-studded two days.
The five Irish EBF races over Irish Champions Weekend highlight the quality and diversity of races supported by the European Breeders’ Fund.
Toe The Line (Shantou) was a poignant winner of the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund “Petingo” Premier Handicap at Leopardstown on the first day of the Champions Weekend. Trained by John Kiely, the five-year-old mare was bred by the late Alan Lillingston at the family’s Mount Coote Stud, and triumphed in front of many of his family and friends.
Trainer Brian Ellison travelled over from North Yorkshire to mount a successful raid on the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund “Sovereign Path” Premier Handicap on the same card.
The winner, Baraweez (Cape Cross) can also claim a connection to Mount Coote Stud, having been consigned by the operation as a yearling. Bought then by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, the four-year-old was snapped up by his owner AR Barnes for 30,000gns at the Tattersalls Horses in Training Sale last year, and rewarded that purchase with first-place prize money of €90,000 at Leopardstown.
The opening race of Irish Champions Weekend was the Ballylinch Stud European Breeders Fund Fillies Maiden, run over 7f and won by Tamadhor (Arcano). Bred and owned by Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, the filly is from the top family of Memory and Remember Alexander.
The action got underway at the Curragh on the second day with the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund “Bold Lad” Sprint Premier Handicap. The race was won in a tight finish by the David O’Meara-trained Watchable (Pivotal).
EBF Premier Handicaps bookended the day, with the final race of the card, the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund “Northfields” Handicap, going to Adjusted (Montjeu) for Aidan O’Brien.