Connolly’s RED MILLS join forces with Irish EBF to Sponsor Auction Hurdle Series

Wed 8 Aug 2018

Nessa Joyce (Manager, Irish EBF), John O’Connor (Chairman, Irish EBF), Gareth Connolly (Sales and Marketing Director, Connolly’s RED MILLS) and Tom Mullins, Trainer.

Nessa Joyce (Manager, Irish EBF), John O’Connor (Chairman, Irish EBF), Gareth Connolly (Sales and Marketing Director, Connolly’s RED MILLS) and Tom Mullins, Trainer.

RED MILLS Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series 

14 qualifiers, each worth €20,000, final worth €75,000

Irish European Breeders’ Fund today announced Connolly’s RED MILLS as co-sponsor of the Irish EBF NH Auction Hurdle Series that will run from September 2018 until April 2019. The series gets underway at Listowel on September 11th with a €20,000 maiden and finishes in April 2019 with a valuable €75,000 final and total prize-money of €355,000.

Speaking about the announcement, John O’Connor, Irish EBF Chairman, said: “Irish EBF wholeheartedly welcome the involvement of Connolly’s RED MILLS with the much-anticipated National Hunt Auction Hurdle Series. Irish EBF, Horse Racing Ireland and now RED MILLS will support this series to encourage the purchase of NH store horses at auction and give owners and trainers an immense opportunity to target the series with horses costing €45,000 or less.”

Tom Mullins, trainer, commented: “I think this is a brilliant initiative and a great way to bring new owners into the game, we need these owners to keep it lively and vibrant. To buy a horse for €45,000 or less and be able to target this series with a chance to win and perhaps cover your purchase price is wonderful. I will be checking the auction price of all my horses to see which ones are eligible for the upcoming races this September.”

The series will consist of 14 maiden and novice hurdle races from September 2018 to April 2019, each worth a minimum of €20,000, with a final in April worth €75,000. Entry into the final is limited to horses which have run in one of the previous races in the series. The conditions will specify that all horses must be by an EBF registered stallion and bought as an unraced three or four-year-old at a recognised National Hunt Store sale for €45,000 or less, with weight allowances depending on purchase price. In addition, the ITBA have agreed to boost the series by including the €5,000 Weatherbys/ITBA NH Fillies Bonus Scheme for all races in the series.

Gareth Connolly, Sales and Marketing Director at Connolly’s RED MILLS said: “This is more than a sponsorship, this is our direct contribution back to the industry that supports us 365 days of the year. We understand the challenges that trainers and owners are facing and felt this was another perfect opportunity to partner with the Irish EBF to deliver another valuable series. We have had remarkable success with Irish EBF and our partner supplement company Foran Equine, seeing huge interest and participation in the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series. The aim is to do the same now on the National Hunt side with RED MILLS.

“Like all things, sport is evolving, and the competitive margins are getting tighter and tighter. Our focus is on evolving our products and services to meet the demands of our customers including a comprehensive approach to high performance nutrition bringing together the science and expertise of both feed and supplements. We hope both these series will give us the opportunity to showcase what we offer while at the same time helping to provide opportunities to our customers.”


2018 British EBF Sire/ Dam Restricted Maiden Races kick off tonight at Gt. Yarmouth

Wed 8 Aug 2018

EBF Sire and Dam Restricted Maidens 2018

AFTER the phenomenal successes of recent graduates of the British EBF support Sire & Dam Restricted Maiden races, which include last week’s Gr.1 Goodwood Cup winner STRADIVARIUS (Sea the Stars) and multiple Gr.1 winner CRACKSMAN (Frankel); the 2018 series kicks off tonight at Great Yarmouth.

The program of races, designed to encourage two-year-old opportunities for horses with potential staying pedigrees, has gone from strength to strength following support from the industry and racecourses and the success of the horses that have used them as stepping-stones to progress their racing careers over the classic distances and beyond.

There are now 15 races in the program and the British EBF were delighted to use the opportunity of the launch race at Great Yarmouth today to announce the addition of a highly prized Sire and Dam Restricted Nursery Handicap at Newmarket on 24th October.  The Class 2 contest over 10f will be worth £40,000 and will take pride of place alongside a Sire/ Dam Restricted Maiden on the same day, dedicated to two-year-olds, run over a mile.

Michael Prosser, Director of Racing for the Eastern Region of Jockey Club Racecourses commented:

“We were delighted to be able to secure this brand-new opportunity for a high value Nursery Handicap to be staged on the two-year-old show case card in October at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile.  The race it sits alongside on the card produced both CRACKSMAN and STRADIVARIUS from its first running and we are dedicated to promoting a solid foundation for the stayers of the future through these races which all benefit from EBF financial contributions.”

Today’s race at Great Yarmouth has attracted seven runners from yards noted for their production of staying horses including the likes of John Gosden, Michael Bell and Andrew Balding.  Of the 2018 renewal of the race, Richard Aldous, Clerk of the course at Yarmouth said:

“Today’s race looks interesting and we’ve attracted a good field from the 15 entries we had.  This race is an important feature for Great Yarmouth and is part of a set of developments that we have partnered with the British EBF on this year; the culmination of which will be the John Musker Fillies’ Listed Stakes at our showcase Eastern Meeting which has had its prize money increased from £40,000 to £50,000 this year with help from the EBF.”

Another owner/ breeder success in Goodwood EBF Fillies’ Series showcase

Thu 2 Aug 2018


The Mick Channon-trained Caravela (11/1) captured the EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies’ Handicap under Andrea Atzeni, the sixth race on day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival.

The four-year-old daughter of Henrythenavigator launched a powerful challenge towards the outside of the field in the home straight and responded willingly to Atzeni’s urgings to score by a length and three-quarters from Roger Charlton’s Savaanah (4/1), who filled the runner-up position in the 10-furlong contest.

Channon, registering his first victory at this year’s Qatar Goodwood Festival, commented: “Caravela won nicely today. We thought she had a chance and we are delighted she has won.

“She is quite a valuable filly who is by Henrythenavigator and we think there is a bit more to come from her.

“She hasn’t been the easiest horse to train and has had lots of niggles throughout her career. We’ve had to wait for her, but if they’re good you don’t mind waiting!

“Getting black-type would be the plan for her now if we could take that route. I think there is a final to this EBF Breeders’ Series so we will look at that.

“It would be great to get black-type for her. In the last five or six months, she has been a pleasure to train and long may it last.

“Hopefully, she keeps improving and we could have a go at a Group or Listed race with her.

Atzeni, registering his second victory of the 2018 Qatar Goodwood Festival following Stradivarius’ victory in the G1 Qatar Goodwood Cup, remarked: “Caravela won well. She is the sort of filly who needs a strong gallop and I think in the future, she could stay a mile and a half.”

Atzeni rode Without Parole in today’s feature race, the G1 Qatar Sussex Stakes. Trained by John Gosden, the 7/4 favourite was forced to make most of the running and was unable to repel an array of challengers in the home straight, eventually trailing home in seventh behind 9/1 scorer Lightning Spear.

The Italian rider commented: Discussing the race with John Gosden beforehand, it was clear that there was not going to be much pace on.

“He had to make most of running and I didn’t really want to lead on him, but I had no choice.

“When the rest of the field came to him. He did pick up nicely but faded late on. He is a horse who I think prefers to have something to aim at – he’s better than that as she showed at Ascot last time.

One and three quarter lengths separated the first two home, with Caravela, an 11/1 chance trained by Mick Channon, coming out on top from the 4/1 Roger Charlton-trained Savaanah.

Charlton commented on his three-year-old filly’s run: “I am pleased really – I thought she ran another solid race.

“Silvestre [de Sousa, jockey] wasn’t sure whether she was quite the same as she had been when she won at Salisbury. But that was only a two-horse race

“We beat the winner (Caravela) there, a sort of bloodless victory where the handicapper put us up four pounds.

“I thought we would beat her again today, but Caravela has run very well, she has never been out of the places. The winner was rated 77 not that long ago and now she is in the 90s.

“I think we will try a Listed race with Savaanah soon.”


4.45pm EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies’ Handicap

1 Caravela (Jon & Julia Aisbitt) Mick Channon 4-8-09 Andrea Atzeni 11/1

2 Savaanah (Prince A A Faisal) Roger Charlton 3-8-09 Silvestre de Sousa 4/1

3 Four White Socks (S Stuckey) Luca Cumani 3-9-02 Luke Morris 5/1