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EBF Valiant Stakes upgraded for 2020

Fri 31 Jan 2020

EBF103_Ascot-RacecardAd3-RaceTech-1920x1080 - Copy

The British EBF supported Valiant Stakes (Ascot) has been upgraded by the European Pattern Committee for 2020 from Listed status to Gr.3.

The Valiant Stakes has been run since its inception as a Conditions race in 1998, for fillies and mares over about 7f.  It is one of only three races in the European pattern to be upgraded this year. The British EBF have supported the race for 19 consecutive years, investing heavily in the race’s prize money to provide a mid-season developmental opportunity.

Rachael Gowland, Marketing and Communications Manager of the British EBF said: “We are delighted that the Valiant Stakes has been upgraded to Gr.3 status.  It is testament to the valuable investment the EBF makes in developmental races such as this and to the work that Ascot have put in to the race over the last 20 years.  Unfortunately, the EBF do not support Group level races in Great Britain so our support will no longer be attached to the race in its new form but we wish Ascot every success taking it forward and we will look to re-invest the prize money we will recoup elsewhere in the programme.”

The Valiant stakes has been an important stepping stone for fillies going on to compete that the highest level.  One of the most successful graduates of the race was EURO CHARLINE, a daughter of My Boy Charlie who went straight from winning at Ascot to win the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes in Arlington, USA.  She finished her racing career as runner up in both the Gr.1 Dubai Turf (Meydan) and Gr.1 Lockhinge Stakes (Newbury) before being bought by the Yoshida family to join their broodmare band.

British EBF welcome new Chairman and trustees for 2020

Thu 28 Nov 2019

British EBF Chairman Simon Sweeting (left)

British EBF Chairman Simon Sweeting (left)

ONE of Britain’s top prize money supporters, the British EBF, announced today that Simon Sweeting of Overbury Stud would replace Philp Mitchell as Chairman of the board of trustees from January 2020. 

The trustees also welcomed two new members, beginning their terms in the New Year: European Editor of the Thoroughbred Daily News (TDN), Emma Berry and Gary Middlebrook currently a Trustee of Racing Welfare.  Both are successful owner/ breeders and bring a range of skills to the British EBF board.

Bloodstock Consultant and Non-Executive Director of The National Stud, Philip Mitchell, led his final meeting as BEBF Chairman earlier this week.

Simon Sweeting commented:

“I am looking forward to the challenge of taking on the Chairmanship of the British arm of the European Breeders’ Fund from 2020 and on behalf of the trustees, thank Philip for his enthusiastic leadership over the last three years.  The British EBF continues to provide a unique and much needed industry funded mechanism for supporting racing’s prize money; I hope that the work that myself and the BEBF trustees do, can secure and enhance the health of the British EBF for the future.”

Emma Berry commented:

“With prize-money in this country under threat from several quarters, the financial support that British racing receives from the BEBF has not just been maintained but has increased in recent years. I am therefore delighted to be joining this vital and much respected organisation at a time when its work is more important than ever.”

Gary Middlebrook commented:

“Having been involved in racing and breeding for many years, and having served as a racecourse director in the past, I know how important EBF funding is to the developmental races in the programme. I am looking forward to working with the trustees and executive to take the British EBF forward and learning more about the crucial support they provide for owners’ prize money.”

The British EBF is funded mainly by British stallion studs and as a result of their contributions, it invested £1.7million in to prize money in this country during 2019.

British EBF Trustees 2020:

Simon Sweeting (Chairman)

Emma Berry (Independent)

Sam Bullard (Darley Stallions)

Fiona Denniff (Independent)

James McHale (Independent)

Gary Middlebrook (Independent)

Simon Mockridge (Juddmonte Farms)

Chris Richardson (Cheveley Park Stud)

Julian Richmond Watson (TBA)

Claire Sheppard (TBA)


Author: Rachael Gowland

Photo credit: Hoy Cubed Photogrpahy (John Hoy)

Forty-three Contenders Remain on Target for €120,000 Auction Series Final

Tue 15 Oct 2019


Presentation to winning connections of Champers Elysees, winner of €30,000 qualifying race at the Curragh, 29th September, 2019.

Eleven auction maiden winners stand their ground ahead of Foran Equine Irish EBF Final

Forty-three horses remain in the €120,000 Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Final at Naas on Sunday after today’s forfeit stage, including eleven horses who have each won a qualifying race over the summer.

Noel Meade, who has enjoyed great success with his juveniles this season, has the highest numerical representation with six possible runners remaining, headed by Roscommon and Navan series winners Helvic Dream and Layfayette, while Jessica Harrington has five still in contention including Elite Legion and For The Trees, who landed qualifiers at Listowel and Sligo respectively.

Miss Myers, who landed the last race in the series at Limerick, heads a quintet representing Kilkenny trainer Tom Mullins, while Willie McCreery’s Lustown Baba and Windham Belle with Johnny Murtagh’s Champers Elysees are others to have landed qualifiers who will be vying for the €72,000 winner’s prize.

Johnny Murtagh, trainer of Champers Elysees and Borelli said; “We will hopefully be double handed in the final, both are being trained for the race. We are delighted to be a part of it, it is a great initiative.  We can now tell owners ahead of the sales or when selling them on all about the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series with a final worth €120,000 and they can be a part of that.”

Commenting on the final, Jessica Harrington, trainer of a record six series winners said; “The whole reason behind this scheme is to try incentivise new owners into the game and it is fantastic for the industry.  This Sunday’s final is a €120,000 race and it will be highly competitive and will take a very good horse to win it this year.”

Nessa Joyce, Manager Irish EBF said; “the 2019 series and €120,000 final has become a serious target for many owners and trainers. It is sensational to see such growth in the series over the last five years. To acknowledge the growth, the Irish EBF board wanted to reward all runners in the series by giving them another shot at great prize-money. A new race, the €30,000 Foran Equine Irish EBF Nursery Handicap will be run at Navan racecourse on Wednesday 23rd October over 5 furlongs 164 yards. To enter, horses must have run in one of the qualifiers and be EBF eligible. This is another example of how the Irish EBF board are continuously working with the industry to enhance the options available to owners and trainers of two-year-olds.”

Gareth Connolly, Sales and Marketing Director, Foran Equine: “The Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series continues to be an enormous success. It is designed to create opportunity within the industry and to hear the positive feedback from the owners, trainers, jockeys and breeders who are benefiting from the sponsorship is significant. This feedback confirms to us, that this is the right investment back into the industry that supports our business. With the level of prize-money on offer on Sunday, it’s no surprise to see the final so well supported and we’re looking forward to an intriguing contest at Naas. I would like to thank everyone who has supported the series and the Irish European Breeders Fund for working so closely with our team to continuously develop this partnership.”


Eleven 2019 series race winners are entered in the final – Brunelle (Ger Lyons), Champers Elysees (Johnny Murtagh), Elite Legion (Jessica Harrington), For The Trees (Jessica Harrington), Helvic Dream (Noel Meade), Layfayette (Noel Meade), Lustown Baba, (Willie McCreery), Miss Myers (Tom Mullins), Schroders Mistake (Ken Condon), Stela Star (Tom Mullins) and Windham Belle (Willie McCreery).

€18,453 is the average auction price of horses who are entered in the final, with a price range from €800 to €70,000. 33 of the 43 horses were purchased at auction for €25,000 or less.

The Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series is designed to create wide-scale opportunities for horses purchased as a yearling or a 2yo at public auction for €72,000 or less, with allowances for fillies and horses purchased at a lower auction price. The final is open to horses which have run in one of the qualifying races and which are EBF eligible.

  • Total prize fund of 2019 series – €666,000
  • 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.
  • New race – The Foran Equine Irish EBF Nursery Handicap of €30,000 is another option for qualified runners to target at the end of the series. It will be run at Navan racecourse on Wednesday 23rd October over 5 furlongs 164 yards. The same qualification criteria applies i.e. must have run in one of the qualifiers and must be EBF eligible.

Record entries in Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series Final

Thu 19 Sep 2019

Cedars of Lebanon

Naas Sun 21 October 2018 -Cedars Of Lebanon ridden by Ronan Whelan, winning The Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Race Final

A record of 77 two-year-olds are entered for the fifth running of the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series Final at Naas Racecourse, with a prize-fund of €120,000. It is a timely reminder, before the yearling sales start next week, that horses purchased for €72,000 or less will be eligible for the valuable series next year.

Jessica Harrington has made 16 entries into the final, including five of her impressive six winners in the series so far. Noel Meade has the final in the plan for seven of his string which include both of his series winners, Layfayette and Helvic Dream. Other big entry numbers come from Tom Mullins, Joseph O’Brien and Ger Lyons, who have entered seven, six horses and four horses respectively.

Last year’s winner Cedars Of Lebanon was bought for €11,000 from the Tattersalls Ireland September yearling sale and won an impressive €87,625 throughout the series. Other success stories from the 2018 series include Lady Marengo, trained by Ken Condon, bought for €3,000 at auction and which won €15,600 in the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series 2018, and Social Graces, trained by Willie McCreery, bought for €11,000 at auction, which won €17,625.

The Foran Equine Irish EBF partnership has significantly boosted prize-money and made the auction series a lucrative proposition for trainers and owners. The series is designed to create wide-scale opportunities for horses purchased as a yearling or a 2yo at public auction for €72,000 or less, with allowances for fillies and horses purchased at a lower auction price.

John O’Connor, Irish EBF Chairman, said: “The record entries for the €120,000 final are a testament to the strength and popularity of the series and it’s a very positive sign for next year’s series, particularly with the yearling sales starting next week. The average auction price of runners in the series is just over €23,000 and this tells the story that you can get involved and win races with a relatively modest investment. The series is now an integral part of the racing calendar and it should be part of every owners and trainers future plans.”

Gareth Connolly, Sales and Marketing Director, Foran Equine, commented: “We are delighted to see record entries for the Foran Equine Irish EBF auction series final at Naas on October 20th. For us this series has been about creating opportunities for our customers including the trainers, owners and breeders who are the backbone of the industry. We are grateful to the Irish EBF for being a great partner in this fantastic initiative. Last year’s final was a brilliant occasion and we are looking forward to working closely with Irish EBF and Naas Racecourse to deliver another exciting final.”