Two flagship EBF races on today’s 2YO card at Newmarket
Wed 24 Oct 2018
In common with the last fixture at Newmarket on the Rowley Mile – the Dubai Future Champions Festival – today’s Two-Year Old Day offers racegoers the chance to see the very best young thoroughbreds at the start of their careers, albeit those future stars may be a little more difficult to identify this afternoon than they were 11 days ago.
Recent history tells us that the contest most likely to be a breeding ground for champions is the British EBF Novice Stakes, due off at 4.55.
Three years ago it was won by CRACKSMAN (Frankel) with STRADIVARIUS (Sea The Stars) back in fourth, a pair of John Gosden-trained stablemates subsequently successful in no less than seven Group 1 races who were both triumphant at QIPCO British Champions Day last Saturday, winning the Champion Stakes and Long Distance Cup respectively. Last year’s winner, KNIGH TO BEHOLD (Sea The Stars), has also gone on to great things, scoring in Listed and Group 2 company while accumulating almost a quarter of a million pounds in prize money. Today’s renewal again promises much, with its combatants including GINISTRELLI (Frankel), sporting the black and yellow silks of Stradivarius’s owner-breeder, Bjorn Nielsen, and FAYLAQ, a son of the stallion-of-the-moment, Dubawi, and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe-winning mare, Danedream.
For the last few seasons this one mile contest has been restricted to European Breeders’ Fund-eligible juveniles whose sire or dam won a race at a mile and a half or beyond. This year the British EBF is also supporting the richest race on the card, the £40,000 British Stallion Studs EBF Nursery (due off at 3.45). It has a slightly different restriction – all runners must have a sire or dam who has won over a mile and a quarter or further. As Rachael Gowland, the Marketing & Communications Manager for British EBF, explains:
“This series of Sire/Dam Restricted Races is our second biggest investment in two-year-old racing behind EBF Maiden and Novice Races. It was only begun in 2015 but it has already grown enormously in popularity, attracting high class runners and good field sizes.”
“There is a popular misconception that staying-bred two-year-olds do not run much as juveniles but that is not the case and these Sire/Dam Restricted Races allow those with staying pedigrees to race against each other on a level playing field.”
“The mile and a quarter nursery is Sire/Dam Restricted for the first time today while the one mile novice race, which was instigated just three years ago, fully justified its existence and our investment in 2016 by producing not one but two of the winners from last Saturday’s fabulous British Champions Day card.”
Courtesy of IRB/ Newmarket Racecourse