Dubka underlines her class and Subtle Knife makes British farewell in new EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series

Thu 18 Aug 2016

The new 20-race EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series continues to produce some high class racing, with the superbly-bred Dubawi filly, Dubka, landing this afternoon’s 11th leg  at Salisbury and the Needwood Blade mare, Subtle Knife, making her final appearance on a British racecourse in leg 12 at Lingfield on Saturday evening.

The aim of the Series is to give valuable opportunities to those fillies that fall just below black type level, encouraging their owners and owner-breeders to keep them in training rather than sell them for export or retire them. It boasts total prizemoney of £625,000, over £300,000 of which has been contributed by the British European Breeders’ Fund, which itself is funded by British Stallion Farms.

***report of Salisbury race with quote from winning connections to be added here***

Trained in Newmarket by Giles Bravery, owned by David Clark and bred by Bravery’s wife, Fiona, Subtle Knife is one of a seven-strong line-up for the £20,000 European Breeders Fund Series EBF Fillies’ Handicap which is run over an extended seven furlongs at Lingfield on Saturday.

Now seven years of age, Subtle Knife has been a late developer, but in the last 12 months she has run no less than 18 times, winning on three occasions and pouching over £35,000 in prize money.  Her best performances have been on her two most recent starts, when finishing second in a Listed race in Sweden and when beating Hawatif off a handicap mark of 82 at Leicester last month.


Giles Bravery, trainer of Subtle Knife, said:

“Subtle Knife is in grand form and this will be her last race in England – providing everything goes well on Saturday she will be off to Germany to run in a Listed race at Dusseldorf eight days later before we retire her. She is in foal to Pastoral Pursuits so is only allowed to race until early September at the latest.”

“We are hoping for a bit of rain at Lingfield – the more that falls the better it will be for her. This is her absolute favourite track and trip – she has only run over the course and distance twice and has won by four lengths or more both times.”

“Her recent form has worked out really well as Hawatif went on to win twice, including at Glorious Goodwood, and a filly that finished behind her in Sweden has since won a Listed race in Norway.”

“She is a classic example of why this new EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series works so well and I have got a four-year-old filly in the yard who will hopefully stay in training next year specifically to run in this kind of race.”

Dunlop hoping sisters will provide answer to EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series conundrum

Thu 18 Aug 2016

Trainer Ed Dunlop saddles the half-sisters Sagaciously and Sagely at Goodwood on Wednesday (July 27th) as the new £625,000 EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series reaches its halfway point with a highly competitive ten-runner renewal of the EBF Breeders’ Series Veuve Clicquot Fillies’ Handicap.

This £30,000 mile and a quarter contest is the tenth leg of a 20-race Series which reaches its conclusion at Newmarket on Saturday October 1st with the staging of its final four races, which are each worth £50,000.

The four-year-old Sagaciously has already got her head in front in one of the earlier Series races, when triumphing in a £20,000 event at Doncaster on May 14th.

Her two subsequent starts have both been in Listed company, when a fine fifth in the EBF Stallions Nottinghamshire Oaks on June 1st and then when fifth again in atrocious conditions in the Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket three weeks later.

A year younger, Sagely also ran in a Listed affair on her latest start, when suffering serious interference in the EBF Stallions Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle, and has been given over a month to recover from that experience.

Earlier, she ran away with a handicap at Ripon on May 15th and then chased home Diploma at York six days later.

Dunlop is not the only trainer to be two-handed in this wide open handicap – Mark Johnston is represented by both last year’s German Group 3 winner, Dessertoflife, and the well-bred Kiltara, who is returning from a nine-month lay-off.

Other leading candidates are Sir Michael Stoute’s Intimation, a half-sister to the recent Group 2 Summer Mile hero, Mutakayyef, and the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Rioca, absent since finishing second in the Listed EBF Stallions Montrose Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket last October.

The aim of the EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series is to give valuable opportunities to those fillies that fall just below black type level, encouraging their owners and owner-breeders to keep them in training rather than sell them for export or retire them.

A collaboration between the British Horseracing Authority, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association and the British European Breeders’ Fund (BEBF), over £300,000 of its total prizemoney has been contributed by the BEBF, which itself is funded by British Stallion Farms.

Ed Dunlop, trainer of Sagaciously and Sagely, said:

“Sagaciously has to give a lot of weight and I am not sure that she will be up to giving 15lbs to her little sister, Sagely. But she is in good form and will appreciate the better ground at Goodwood having hated the heavy surface at Newmarket last time.”

“Sagely was pretty much knocked over at Newcastle and should be better suited by turf than the tapeta she ran on that day.”

“The form of her York second was boosted when Diploma won a Listed race last Friday and she has been trained specifically with this race in mind.”

“I am great fan of this new EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series. I think that it is fantastic and long may it continue.”