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Gr.1 performers among entries to Goodwood

Tue 30 Apr 2019


2018 winner Isabel de Urbina

Goodwood Racecourse stages the Opening Saturday fixture this weekend, May 4, with an excellent seven-race programme featuring two Listed contests for fillies and mares plus the £50,000 Goodwood May Food Festival Handicap.

Coronet, who has raced consistently in Group One races on her past four starts, is the standout among 14 entries for the £50,000 Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes (2.05pm) over 12 furlongs. Trained by John Gosden, the five-year-old Dubawi mare finished second in three G1 contests and third in the other during 2018, including an agonising nose defeat by Waldgeist in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in July.

Gosden won the inaugural running of the British Stallion Studs EBF Daisy Warwick Stakes in 2011 with Gertrude Bell. The Newmarket handler has also engaged Enbihaar, who finished fourth in the Listed Noel Murless Stakes at Ascot in October.   Cheveley Park Stud’s Pilaster, trained by in-form Roger Varian in Newmarket, could return to the scene of her biggest triumph, having landed the G2 Qatar Lillie Langtry Stakes over two furlongs further at the Qatar Goodwood Festival in August.

The homebred Nathaniel four-year-old finished third on her 2019 return in the Listed Further Flight Stakes at Nottingham on April 10. Varian sent out the 2017 winner, Ajman Princess.   Another entry with winning form at Goodwood is Magnolia Springs. The Eve Johnson-Houghton-trained four-year-old captured the 10-furlong Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes at the track in May last year during a light three-year-old campaign. The daughter of Shamardal was sixth on her comeback in a 10-furlong Listed race won by subsequent G3 scorer Morgan Le Faye at Longchamp on April 7.

Johnson-Houghton, based on the Berkshire downs at Blewbury, reported: “Magnolia Springs has done well physically since she won at Goodwood last season.   “I was really pleased with her run behind Morgan Le Faye. We went over to France hoping for some cut in the ground, but it was actually quite quick.   “When you consider that, I thought it was a good effort, and hopefully Goodwood will get a bit of rain to help her.”

Newmarket handler William Haggas has two possible contenders in Klassique, last seen out when just touched off in a G3 contest at Saint-Cloud in October, and lightly-raced Ascot scorer Alexana, who is a half-sister to high-class stayers Duncan and Samuel.

EBF features strongly as Fahey seeks Century

Thu 11 Apr 2019


Thirsk Racecourse opens its doors this Saturday, April 13, for the first of its 16 fixtures, with an eight-race card running from 2.00pm through to 5.55pm and one trainer about to make history.

Richard Fahey, who is based at Musley Bank, Malton, has saddled 99 winners at Thirsk since he started training in 1993 and has five chances of reaching his landmark century at the course on Saturday.

These include two-year-old Pastoral Pursuits colt Ventura Rebel (Paul Hanagan), who is owned by a Middleham Park Racing syndicate and makes his debut in division two of the five-furlong British EBF Maiden (2.30pm, 11 runners).

Fahey said: “It would be very special to record our 100th winner at Thirsk on Saturday.

“Thirsk is a very fair track and we have run a lot of horses there over the years, having plenty of success.

“We have five runners on Saturday. Ventura Rebel is a two-year-old who has pleased us at home and he is quite forward.”

Fahey has been the leading trainer at Thirsk in each of the past five years. His other runners in EBF races on Saturday are: Kidda 2.00pm British EBF Maiden (Div I)

A trainer who has hit the ground running with two-year-olds in 2019 is Upper Lambourn-based Archie Watson, who has already saddled three juvenile winners from just five runners.

Watson is represented at Thirsk on Saturday by Baileys Freedom (Edward Greatrex), who also goes in division two of the British EBF Maiden. The Baileys Horse Feeds-owned colt is from the first crop of 2015 champion sprinter Muhaarar and finished sixth on debut at Musselburgh on April 2.

Watson said: “Baileys Freedom was very green up at Musselburgh, when he wasn’t drawn very well. He just could have done with another horse on his outside and he might have gone a lot closer.

“That was only his first run and he will come on a lot for it. It was a good experience and hopefully there is more to come.

“Thirsk is a very straightforward track and I am sure he will take a big step forward in the race.”

Saturday’s programme is headlined by the £15,000 Michael Foster Conditions Race (4.50pm, six runners), staged over seven furlongs for horses aged four and above.

The contest, run over a furlong shorter prior to 2012, boasts a fine roll of honour, with previous winners including Pipalong (2000) and Markab (2010), who both went on to capture the G1 Haydock Sprint Cup later the same year. Breton Rock took the spoils in 2014 and has since gained three victories at G2 level.

This year’s starters are headed by the 107-rated Muntadab (Roger Fell/Graham Lee), who won a trio of competitive handicaps in 2018 before rounding off the campaign by taking second in the Listed Ben Marshall Stakes at Newmarket in November.

So Beloved (David O’Meara/David Nolan), a G3 winner in 2015, was second in G2 company last year, while six-year-old Flying Pursuit (Tim Easterby/Rachel Richardson) was runner-up in the valuable Coral Sprint at York in 2018 and tackles seven furlongs for just the second time in his career.

Other contenders include Aeolus (Ruth Carr/James Sullivan), who captured the 2015 G3 Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle, and the Khalid Abdullah-owned Vanbrugh (Charlie Hills/Dane O’Neill), who was Listed-placed in France last season for Andre Fabre and makes a first start for his current trainer.

Courtesy of Thirsk Racecourse/ Racenews


Expanded Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series Launched

Tue 26 Mar 2019

Expanded Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series Launched

Expanded Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series Launched

Owners & trainers poised to target €666,000 series with 24 qualifiers, €120,000 final & new €30,000 Nursery Handicap


The Irish EBF and Foran Equine have launched the 2019 Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series with two additional qualifying races, a further prize-money boost and a new €30,000 nursery handicap to take place the week after the €120,000 final. Total prize-money for the series has jumped to €666,000 and the number of qualifying races to 24. The two additional maiden races will cater for horses bought for €30,000 or less and the €30,000 nursery handicap will offer qualified runners the opportunity to race over a shorter distance at Navan racecourse after the series final has taken place.

Now in its fifth year the Auction Series has established itself as a principle target for two-year-olds bought at auction for €72,000 or less. Last year’s final winner Cedars Of Lebanon cost €11,000 and giving her owners an eight-fold return on her purchase price from prize-money earned in the series alone.

Each of the 24 qualifying races will have a minimum prize-fund of €20,000 as well as the added benefit of being Plus 10 registered, whereby qualified winners will be eligible for a bonus of €12,500 giving a winning owner a potential pay-out of just under €25,000. Horses must also be by an EBF registered sire to qualify.

The first race will take place at Naas Racecourse on Saturday April 13 with the €120,000 final to be held at Naas Racecourse on October 20.

Ger Lyons, trainer & winner of five series races in 2018 said; “It’s a huge addition, any series that brings over €660,000 into the equation has to be applauded. You can only win a maiden once, and when you win a Foran EBF Maiden for at least €20,000 with the opportunity to run for a first prize of €72,000 in the final, it’s very much appreciated by me and many other trainers. I don’t like the theory that people say you write a cheque for a horse and you just tear it up. The series helps make an argument to an owner to get involved, if you get a horse costing less than €72,000, with some ability, you are going to get well paid and it will keep you in the game for another season. For me there has to be some come back to justify staying in the game and this series is a huge step forward.”

Nessa Joyce, Irish EBF Manager said: “The series has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2015, with double the prize-money on offer this year and already double the number of runners taking part up to 2018. In response to requests from the industry, the Irish EBF board with the commitment of our co-sponsors Foran Equine, are delighted to be in a position to add two more maiden races this year, to cater for horses purchased for €30,000 or less. In addition, the new Nursery Handicap will give qualified horses another option to aim for at the end of the series. The series offers new and existing owners a chance to get involved at more modest prices with the potential to reap some of the excellent prize-money on offer.”

Gareth Connolly, Foran Equine said; “We’re really looking forward to the series getting underway at Naas, this will be our third year to partner with the Irish EBF and Horse Racing Ireland as sponsors of the series and it is hugely satisfying to know how well this initiative has been received by the industry. Our overall objective for this sponsorship was to create opportunities for our customers, and to see the growth in prize-money and the number of qualifiers reflected in the growth in runners and individual trainers and owners benefiting from the investment is what it is all about for us.”


For Further Information:

Full series details and conditions – and

Nessa Joyce, Manager, Irish European Breeders’ Fund

Greenhills, Kill, Naas, Co Kildare, W91 FY62

M: +353 85 7590970, E: Twitter: @IrishEBF_


Jane Davis, Equine Brand Manager, Connolly’s RED MILLS/ Foran Equine

Goresbridge, Kilkenny, Co. Kilkenny

M: +353 86 3490681, E:  Twitter: @ForanEquine

Review highlights continuing importance of the European Breeders’ Fund to British Racing

Thu 14 Feb 2019


The British EBF’s review of its 2018 activity reveals the maintenance of a consistently high investment in to the prize money of British racing in uncertain times.  During a period when it seems nearly all other organisations have either cut or have announced the imminent reduction of prize money and development funding for the sport, the British EBF were able to maintain its record investment at £1,600,000 in 2018.

Covering over 660 Flat and 85 National Hunt races during 2018, the British EBF continued to support several projects under both codes including Mares’ only Novice Chase, Hurdle and NH Flat race programmes and a series of high-value fillies’ handicaps and races for staying bred juveniles on the flat.  Several changes have been put in place for the future seasons which are also detailed in the report.

Philip Mitchell, British EBF Chairman commented:

“First and foremost, the trustees of the British EBF are again grateful to the British Stallion owners that have voluntarily contributed to the EBF fund.  We aim to ensure that the fund is constantly managed and reviewed to ensure we make the best possible use of the investment.  To that end we have started to make some small changes to the fillies’ handicap programme and have worked with the industry’s Racing Group and the BHA to re-establish our coverage of two-year-old races with EBF conditions.  The juvenile programme is the EBF’s bread and butter and we are working to ensure that the stability of the fund is ensured for future generations by re-focusing a larger proportion of the fund back in to two-year-old races.”

The review also details the EBF’s increased promotion of its activities and integration in to the industry through its newly established partnerships.  Over the last two years, official group partnerships have been secured with both The Jockey Club and ARC; in addition, The British EBF are now supporters of Racing to School and support a monthly feature on British based stallions in industry publication the European Bloodstock News.

British EBF Marketing and Communications Manager, Rachael Gowland explained more:

“Although the EBF has been established for over 30 years, it is sometimes still thought of as a back-ground operation, with many people in the racing and stud industry largely unaware of what we do and where our money comes from.  Establishing partnerships and associations within in the industry helps us promote to racecourses, owners and trainers the importance of the EBF as a much-needed prize money funding mechanism.  Many stallion studs sponsor races in their own right as well as indirectly through the EBF, it is important that the people benefitting from that support are aware of the mechanism and those providing the investment understand and are confident in how we are using it.”

Just over a third of the EBF Flat prize money fund was invested in two-year-old races during 2018.  Races carrying EBF conditions have long been a successful spring-board for juveniles on their way to the top of the rankings, with trainers usually attracted by the knowledge that the vast majority of EBF races run at Class 4 and above benefit from higher prize money levels.  Graduates of EBF races in 2018 included Dewhurst winner TOO DARN HOT (Dubawi) as well as ROYAL MEETING (Invincible Spirit) and ROYAL MARINE (Raven’s Pass), both Gr.1 winners in France and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf winner LINE OF DUTY (Galileo).  The winners of the Gimcrack Stakes, Vintage Stakes, Coventry and Mill Reef Stakes in 2018 all won an EBF novice on their way to Group success.

Looking to the future, Cheryl Caves, British EBF General Manager had more good news:

“2018 has been a good year for the EBF, thanks to the continued support of our stallion owners.  Early indications show that the strength of the stallion market in Great Britain may allow us to make a small increase to our investment for the 2019 Flat season and to our National Hunt expenditure for the 2019/ 2020 season.”

A digital copy of the British EBF Review of 2018 can be found here: BEBF 2018 review. A copy will also be emailed out to owners, trainers, racecourses and industry participants directly.

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