British European Breeders’ Fund and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association join forces to promote UK fillies’ racing

Wed 3 May 2017

After its successful launch in 2016, the British European Breeders’ Fund (BEBF) and the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (TBA) have again joined forces on the 2017 renewal of the British EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series.

The twenty-race program has a total prize fund of £625,000, made up of British EBF contributions of £305,000, match funded or better by participating racecourses.  There are 4 qualifiers and a finale for each distance category: 6f, 8f, 10f and 12f with the ultimate aim of the series being to provide viable developmental racing prospects for 3yo+ fillies which compete just under stakes level.

The culmination of the program will again be a flagship day of finals at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Saturday 7th October.  The four finals on the day are worth £50,000 each.

Philip Mitchell, Chairman of the British EBF commented:

“This series is the result of the British EBF’s continued assessment of its support of fillies’ races in the UK.  British EBF investment has spearheaded the development of a section of the race program in to a forward-thinking series of races with very attractive prize money. The minimum value of any handicap in this series is £20,000; with the first race taking place at Ascot on 13th May and worth £45,000.  Supporting breeders through the investment in fillies’ races is of fundamental importance to the UK bloodstock industry.”

The TBA have again supported the program by providing a £25,000 bonus as Chairman, Julian Richmond Watson explained:

“The TBA are always focused on encouraging schemes that promote opportunities for fillies to race and make a good start to their breeding careers.  The British EBF have done a great job in packaging this group of races which all carry excellent prize money and provide trainers with a clear progression through the season for those fillies that fall just outside stakes class but still have talent and potential.

The TBA have pledged the addition of £25,000 worth of nomination vouchers to any qualifying filly that wins one of the finals at Newmarket on 7th October.  The bonus amount is to be used in the filly’s first two seasons at stud; this is our way of encouraging breeders to make good quality nomination choices for their filly in the important early stages of her stud career.”

Fillies must be placed 1st – 3rd in any of the qualifying races and go on to win one of the finals at Newmarket on 7th October in order to win the £25,000 bonus.  In line with the aims of both the BEBF and TBA to promote British breeding and stallions, the opportunity is only open to British bred fillies or those sired by UK stallions, and the nomination vouchers are to be used on UK based sires.

On hosting the finals day, Amy Starkey, Regional Director, Jockey Club Racecourses East Region, commented:

“We are very pleased to host both a qualifier and the Finals for this very worthwhile series at Newmarket Racecourses.”

“Not only have the British EBF supported this initiative with competitive prize money levels, they have also nurtured and developed this area of the British race program, providing both opportunity and an attractive proposition for this class of fillies, especially with the added bonus supplied by the TBA.

“Following the successful inceptions of the EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series last year, I look forward to watching the qualifiers with intent and hosting another great renewal of the Finals day in October.”

A full list of the available races will be circulated to trainers and be available on the British EBF Facebook page and website.  Full details of the terms and conditions for the TBA bonus can be found by contacting the TBA offices directly. You can down load the list of races here:


British EBF leads investment again in UK Racing

Mon 1 May 2017

The British arm of the European Breeders’ Fund have announced a record equaling £1.7million investment into UK prize money for 2017.  The organisation, which is funded primarily by subscriptions from UK based stallion owners, will maintain the level of investment seen in 2016, bringing the total contribution by the EBF to UK racing to just over £31.5million since its inception in 1983.


The British EBF is charged with the task of re-investing the generously provided income from UK based stallion owners directly in to prize money; in doing so it is one of the leading sponsors of racing in the UK by both number of races and total prize value of the races they support:


Top 10 Sponsors by number of races sponsored (2016)   Top 10 sponsors by prize value (2016)
Totepool 734 9%   QIPCO 36 £10,339,025
32Red 635 8%   Totepool 734 £7,693,497
EBF 630 8%   EBF 630 £7,106,951

Table info reproduced courtesy of Mary-Ann Sandercock (first published in RCA Update, March 2017)


BEBF funding is distributed nation-wide to nearly every racecourse in the British Isles and is guided by a strong set of under-pinning principles to help focus investment where it is needed most. Although the British EBF works with both Jockey Club Racecourses and Arena Racing, nearly half its annual funding is distributed among the independent racecourses.


The 2017 contributions are headlined by the return of the highly successful EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series, which sees a renewed investment of over £300,000. Initially launched in 2016, this programme of 20 races, covering sprint to middle distance contests, is designed to produce valuable handicap opportunities for fillies, aged three years old and up, to race competitively throughout the flat season. The series will culminate in a finals day at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Friday 7th October with each showcase (one each for 6f, 8f, 10f and 12f) carrying an eye-catching prize fund of £50,000.  To further enhance the programme, the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association have again offered a bonus worth up to £25,000 to any qualifying filly that wins one of the valuable EBF finals on 7th October.


In line with the British EBF’S remit to support a minimum of 70% of the two-year-old races year on year, the largest proportion of the annual re-investment from stallion owners is in this area of the programme and accounts for 33% of the total BEBF prize money distribution.


Support has again been given to the All-Weather Championships initiative with an investment in qualifying races of nearly £50,000, as part of an overall support of all-weather racing in the UK of £125,000. A further £125,000 will again be allocated to support National Hunt races including the EBF Novice Hurdle Series.


The number of ‘Stayers Maidens’ has also been increased to 10 for 2017.  Restricted to progeny of stallions that won over 10f or more with EBF eligibility, they offer opportunities later in the season for two-year-olds who may be campaigned in staying races later in their careers.  They were created in 2015 in response to a review by the BHA Flat Racing Committee following a noticeable lack of opportunities for staying types and to help meet a goal of further enhancing the stayers programme.


The British EBF has also allocated £60,000 to fund (in conjunction with the TBA and Levy Board) a three-year post-doctoral fellowship at Cambridge University investigating factors leading to the susceptibility of higher worm burdens in the equine population; a vital pre-cursor to developing new systems of guarding against large scale worm infestations on thoroughbred stud farms. Previous research project funding includes: Equine Influenza, Strangles and the Equine Genome Project.



Nick Rust, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA):

“The contribution that the EBF makes to the sport through prize money and sponsorship is tremendous. Of particular value is the support for both fillies and stayers, two areas of the British thoroughbred breed that the industry must invest in, to ensure a healthy and vibrant future as an integral part of the racing programme and to maintain the great diversity that exists within the sport.”


Philip Mitchell, Chairman of the British European Breeders’ Fund:

“The British EBF continues to lead industry funded sponsorship of UK racing. Although our total investment figure is unchanged for 2017, we have re-focused our energy, through the newly re-vitalised race-planning committee, in to improving prize money levels in higher quality races.  Part of our remit is to support races that help to improve the breed. For that reason, we have re-directed some of our funds in to higher value maidens specifically at York, Chester, Newmarket and Salisbury.  We continue to put the majority of our money in to Class 4 maidens and above and are delighted to be able to run the EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series again in 2017.”

Julian Richmond Watson, Chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association:

“The TBA is pleased to support the EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series again in 2017 with a £25,000 bonus for qualifying fillies. The bonus can be redeemed against an eligible British based stallion’s covering fee and aims to encourage owners to breed from fillies with proven ability. The TBA and EBF recognise the importance of promoting race opportunities for fillies, which are integral to the future of the British thoroughbred breeding industry. The inaugural series in 2016 was a huge success, attracting good sized fields, competitive racing and the first £25,000 TBA Bonus winner. We look forward to the start of the 2017 series in May.”

Michael Prosser, Head of Racing, Jockey Club Racecourses, East Region:

“British EBF make a substantial contribution to UK racing and continue to be great supporters of Jockey Club Racecourses and our particular aims at Newmarket.  We are delighted to be hosting the finals of the EBF Breeders’ Fillies Series again this year, with their four “finals” races to be run at the Rowley Mile in October.”

Snow Leopardess victorious in BEBF Mares Novice Hurdle Finale

Tue 28 Mar 2017

The 2016/17 Jump season at Newbury Racecourse came to a close today, Saturday, March 25, day two of the Be Wiser Jump Season Finale.

There were two £40,000 contests on the seven-race programme, the first up being the Grade Two EBF & TBA Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Finale (3.00pm), a limited handicap over an extended two and a half miles.

It was the grey five-year-old Snow Leopardess (Charlie Longsdon/Aidan Coleman, 11st 1lb, 7/1 joint-favourite) who took the honours, wearing the colours of her owner, Marietta Fox-Pitt who is the mother-in-law of ITV Racing’s Alice Plunkett.

Taking up the running two flights from home, Snow Leopardess stayed on tenaciously to see off fellow 7/1 joint-favourite Copper Kay (Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson, 11st 7lb) by four lengths. River Arrow (Tom Symonds/Jamie Moore, 10st 11lb, 25/1) was another length and a half adrift in third with top-weight Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson, 11st 10lb, 9/1) a further three and three-quarter lengths back in fourth.

Charlie Longsdon commented: “Snow Leopardess has always been good. I got it totally wrong last time out (when third at Doncaster on February 9). She had a break with her owner over Christmas before I then took her back and gave her a bit of work. I then ran her two weeks later when she was only half fit. It was totally my fault.

“She has had plenty of work since her last run and has won as I hoped she would today. She doesn’t show a lot at home as she is very laidback. I remember there were a few bets going around before she ran in her first bumper whether she would ever win a bumper (she won two). My head lad was very wrong and the lad that rode her out every day was very right.

“She keeps herself for the racecourse and has a lovely way of going. Onwards and upwards.”

Aidan Coleman added: “I got a lovely run round and she travelled brilliantly. The only bit of worry I had was three out when Noel’s horse (Lamanver Odyssey) looked to run out. To be fair to Snow Leopardess, she has courage and went on and did it well.

“She had a look around in front but is a really nice mare. To be fair to Charlie, if you look at her form, she has been campaigned brilliantly. She won a good bumper at Gowran and ran well in the mares’ race at Aintree last year.

“She loved the ground and is very versatile with everything she does. She has an amazing, laidback temperament and a great attitude.”


Courtesy of Newbury Racecourse

Strong field for EBF/ TBA Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Finale at Newbury

Fri 24 Mar 2017

Supported by the European Breeders’ Fund and Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, the £40,000 Grade 2 EBF & TBA Mares’ National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle Finale Limited Handicap is the finale to a 12-race series throughout the jumps season and is one of only a handful of black type opportunities for novice hurdler mares in Britain.  It has attracted a large field of 17 over an extended two and a half miles at Newbury tomorrow (25 March) justifying its upgrade from  a Listed contest to a Grade 2 for 2017

The 2016 contest was taken by BRIERY QUEEN (GB) (King’s Theatre (IRE)), trained by Noel Williams for owner/ breeder Helen Plumbly and Kathryn Leadbeater.  This progressive mare went on to win at Cheltenham in December 2016 and was 5th of a field of 17 runners in this year’s OLBG Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) at the Cheltenham Festival.

This year’s line-up features top-weight Tara View (Alan King/Wayne Hutchinson, 11st 10lb), who is unbeaten in three starts over hurdles this season, Listed bumper scorer Copper Kay (Philip Hobbs/Richard Johnson, 11st 7lb) and the hat-trick seeking Hitherjacques Lady (Oliver Sherwood/Leighton Aspell, 11st 5lb).

Symonds runs River Arrow (Jamie Moore, 10st 11lb) who bounced back from a disappointing effort at Warwick with victory against the boys in a two and a half mile novices’ hurdle at Southwell on March 6.

The trainer added: “River Arrow winning at Southwell was not a surprise at all. She has always shown plenty of ability but was a bit mercurial early on as the fairer sex can be.

“The ground would need to stay as it is for her to run. The ground was very hard work at Southwell and she has got a real soft ground action. We will see how things pan out with the ground.”

Author: BEBF/ Newbury Racecourse

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