British EBF Veterinary Research Funding Update

Wed 28 Jun 2017

Part of the remit of the British EBF (European Breeders’ Fund) is:

  • to promote and support organisations whose purposes include assisting and improving the breeding of thoroughbred horses
  • to provide financial support for equine research beneficial to the thoroughbred horse

To that end, we are currently part funding a project in to parasite resistance research at the University of Cambridge in conjunction with the HBLB (Levvy board) and the TBA (Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association).

Dr Laura Peachey is a veterinary surgeon with a keen interest in parasitology research. She qualified in veterinary science from the University of Liverpool in 2007, having intercalated with a BSc in veterinary pathology at the Royal Veterinary College in 2005.

Commenting on her funded research and progress to date, Dr Peachey said:

“Resistance of parasites to worming drugs is a grave threat to the Thoroughbred breeding industry. If the available drugs become ineffective, worm infections in young-stock and broodmares will result in significantly reduced growth rates and could cause life threatening outbreaks of disease.

In the Veterinary Parasitology group at the University of Cambridge, we are interested in the development of novel parasite control strategies, which can potentially be used alongside conventional wormers to reduce our reliance on these drugs, and hence slow the spread of drug resistance. My fellowship project focuses on the factors responsible for defining ‘natural’ resistance to worm infections, and on how we might harness these to improve parasite control. In particular, there is increasing evidence that gut bacteria play an important role in immune responses to infection in the horse gut, and hence my research aims to identify bacteria which are associated with an effective response to parasite infection.

The project, thus far, has revealed that there are distinct differences in the gut bacteria in Thoroughbred broodmares with low versus high worm burdens, which may be linked to improved immunity to infection. I am currently in the process of collecting data from young-stock and from post-mortem cases in order to validate these findings. Ultimately, I hope to design evidence based pro- and pre-biotic supplements which utilise the diet to improve horses’ response to worms, thus reducing the frequency of treatment and proportion of horses requiring treatment in the stud farm environment.”

Dr Peachey’s research project will continue until spring 2019.

British EBF Graduates shine at the Royal meeting 2017

Mon 26 Jun 2017

HEADWAY wins the EBF Chester Super Maiden (image courtesy of Chester Racecourse)

HEADWAY wins the EBF Chester Super Maiden (image courtesy of Chester Racecourse)

Royal Ascot 2017 presented us with some of the most exhilarating and competitive racing the meeting has seen in recent years. It was a triumph for the small owner, the syndicate and the owner/ breeders.

In all, over the course of Royal Ascot, well over 40 two-year-olds competed at stakes level, having had their previous run or win in an EBF supported race in Great Britain. With over 70% of two-year-old races restricted to horses that are EBF qualified, it is perhaps unsurprising that such a number of the Royal Ascot juveniles can be considered EBF graduates.  When they go on to excel by winning or being placed at Group level at one of the most prestigious meetings in the world after just one or two runs within the EBF system, however, it highlights the importance of safeguarding Conditions races and promoting prize money in higher class maiden and novice contests.


Coventry Stakes (Gr.2)

HEADWAY (Havana Gold), pictured, is a true product of the EBF system in Great Britain.  Having been placed second on debut in the Dreweatts Newcomers’ EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes and franking the form of that race in his own right by going on to win the first of the British EBF Super Maidens, introduced this year, at Chester.  He showed an eye-catching turn of pace and won that contest comfortably by three lengths in late May and graduated to run in the opening race of the Royal meeting at Ascot for the Royal Ascot Racing Club.

The Racing Post analysis said of his run: “travelling well and picking up to have every chance, but finding the winner the stronger stayer. He could be one for the July meeting at Newmarket…”

HEADWAY still holds an entry for the valuable Weatherby’s Bank £300,000 Conditions Stakes during the Ledger meeting at Doncaster later in the season.


Queen Mary Stakes (Gr.2)

HEARTACHE (Kyllachy) was bred by Whitsbury Manor Stud, (themselves standing several top-class EBF qualified stallions) and leased to the Hot To Trot Syndicate.  Her debut win came from her only previous start at Bath Racecourse on 26th May 2017 when she demolished her rivals to take the contest by six lengths.  The Racing Post reported in their analysis of the race:

“She handled the quick conditions expertly and recorded a time significantly faster than the first division. Held in high regard at home, she’ll now head to the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.”

The filly was 11-1 going in to the prestigious Gr.2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and having relished the fast ground at Bath, proved too good for the 23-strong international field that included the highly fancied filly from America HAPPY LIKE A FOOL, trained by Royal Ascot specialist Wesley Ward.

HEARTACHE is the first foal out of Compton Place mare PLACE IN MY HEART (GB), herself a Listed winner and Gr.3 placed over the minimum trip.

Sam Hoskins one of the co-founders of the syndicate told us:

“We are hugely privileged to lease such a brilliant filly in HEARTACHE. She provided our 75-strong syndicate with the day of their lives at Royal Ascot when winning the Queen Mary and is a filly of huge potential for the future.

The Hot To Trot Syndicate was founded 6 years ago by Luke Lillingston and myself with the aim to provide an affordable way of getting involved with exciting fillies raced with top class trainers. I am delighted and very grateful to her outstanding owner/breeder Whitsbury Manor Stud who have this filly’s dam who won the Whitsbury-sponsored Lansdown Stakes (Listed) at Bath, a race Whitsbury actually saved from near extinction through their sponsorship.”

You can learn more about the Hot To Trot Syndicate here:


Norfolk Stakes (Gr.2)

SANTRY was the 2017 Brocklesby winner so expectations will always have been high for his progression through the juvenile ranks.  The Declan Carroll trained son of Tweenhills sire Harbour Watch also clocked up an impressive 2 ¾ length victory at York’s Dante meeting in the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes; this time beating IT DON’T COME EASY who went on to win an EBF Conditions race at Musselburgh in June, breaking the course record in the process.

SANTRY ran an excellent second in Thursday’s Norfolk Stakes to finish just half a length behind the impressive Aidan O’Brien trained SIOUX NATION (Scat Daddy).  He was unlucky not to win under a front running ride from Champion Jim Crowley but the result has not deterred his trainer who thinks that either the Nunthorpe back at York or the slightly longer distance of the Middle Park are not beyond this promising young colt.

SANTRY is out of Shamardal mare BABYLONIAN, from family which includes two-year-old Listed winner EMPIRE DAY.


Albany Stakes (Gr.3)

The Gr.3 Albany Stakes for two-year-old fillies was a strongly run affair with a few of the juveniles running quite freely. The field split in to two groups with the first two horses (Different League (FR) and Alpha Centauri (IRE)) coming from the far side group.

EBF graduate TAKE ME WITH YOU (Scat Daddy) raced prominently throughout the race on the stands side to finish the best of her group and third in the race overall.  The Jeremy Noseda trained filly had her first and only start at Newmarket just two weeks before the Royal meeting in an EBF Novice race over 6f and finished third on that occasion also.

The next possible outing for TAKE ME WITH YOU is the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket.  She was an $800,000 purchase at the Fasig-Tipton Florida Sale at the start of the year and is owned by Phoenix Thoroughbred Ltd.


British EBF Graduates head to today’s Coventry Stakes

Tue 20 Jun 2017

HEADWAY wins the EBF Chester Super Maiden (image courtesy of Chester Racecourse)

HEADWAY wins the EBF Chester Super Maiden (image courtesy of Chester Racecourse)

Part of the remit of the European Breeders’ Fund is to support races that promote and develop a horse’s career. The investments in contests such as Conditions races and Listed races is an essential part of that approach; as is the new structure for funding a series of “super maidens” initiated this year.

A recent example was KHALIDI’s win in the British EBF funded Cocked Hat Stakes (Listed) at Goodwood in May. The son of High Chaparral took the contest convincingly and earned his right to line up in the Epsom Derby as a result. The Gr.1 probably came too soon after Goodwood but the fact that his trainer, John Gosden, rated the quality of the Cocked Hat good enough to give the winner a shot at one of the toughest races in the world, is testament to the fact that the EBF regularly seeks out and supports races that enhance the developmental opportunities for the breed, including staying types.

Today’s Gr.2 Coventry Stakes for juveniles over 6f at the Royal meeting, likewise exhibits some good examples of horses that have progressed from competitive EBF races in their last run to earn the right to take the stage against some of the world’s best two year olds.

CHOOKIE DUNEDIN (Epaulette) was a winner of debut for Scottish trainer Keith Dalgleish when taking the EBF Stallions Novice Stakes by a head at Ayr on 24th May.  He will be ridden gain today by Dougie Costello.  The colt is a homebred for the Raeburns from a stakes winning family and runs in the colours of Raeburn Brick Ltd.

HEADWAY (pictured), by Tweenhills’ in form first season sire Havana Gold, will line up for William Haggas who’s yard is currently sporting an eye-catching 26% winners/ runners strike rate.  HEADWAY was second on debut in a highly competitive Class 4 EBF Maiden at Newbury in late April and recently progressed to win the first of the British EBF’s new “super maiden” races (worth £20,000) at Chester just over a month later by three lengths.  A 60,000gns yearling purchase for the Royal Ascot Racing Club; the colt was bred in Great Britain by Whatton Manor Stud, Global Equine and Larry Stratton.

The Clive Cox trained PRINCE OF THE DARK, by another first season sire, Cheveley Park Stud’s Cartier Champion Sprinter Lethal Force, also made a winning debut in an EBF race.  The Alan Craddock owned and bred colt won the Class 3 British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes at Bath in May.  He is out of a Red Clubs mare FAN ROUGE, herself a winner over 6f and half-sister to two year old Group placed sprinter HAIKBIDIAC.

Finally, ZAMAN (Dutch Art) is one of two Godolphin runners in the Coventry Stakes today and was a 160,000gns yearling purchase from British breeders Laundry Cottage Stud.  Charlie Appleby currently sits on a 30% winners/ runners strike rate, so ZAMAN may well improve from his debut win at York in the Class 3 EBF Novice Median Auction Maiden Stakes at the end of May over 6f.

In all, nearly 40% of the British trained runners in the Coventry have progressed to run today, directly from an EBF supported race.


Rachael Gowland