Two flagship EBF races on today’s 2YO card at Newmarket

Wed 24 Oct 2018

Cracksman wins EBF Sire Restricted Maiden Newmarket 2016

Cracksman wins EBF Sire Restricted Maiden Newmarket 2016

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

Foran EBF Final Glory for Prendergast and Whelan

Mon 22 Oct 2018

Presentation for Foran Equine Irish EBF €120,000 Final

Presentation to winning connections for Foran Equine Irish EBF €120,000 Final

Cedars Of Lebanon capped a tremendous season for Patrick Prendergast and Ronal Whelan with an all the way success in the €120,000 Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Race Final at Naas Racecourse.

Bought for just €11,000 at the Tattersalls Ireland September Yearling sale, the daughter of Dandy Man was one of the cheapest yearling purchases in the line-up. Her victory in Sunday’s final brings her earnings on the racecourse to over €100,000 having also won the Foran EBF Qualifier at Naas Racecourse in August.

The tough Cedars Of Lebanon never saw another rival after jumping off at the head of the field and she finished with two lengths to spare over the outsider Sunblessed. Winning Trainer Patrick Prendergast said; “This is a great series and a marvelous race to win so I’m thrilled. This filly is lazy at home and that’s probably why she has lasted the season so well. At home she just eats and sleeps,” said Prendergast. “I’d love to get black type with her but I think that could be it for the season and we’ll try to get that with her next year.”

Yesterday’s final brought the 2018 Foran EBF Series to a successful conclusion. In total 288 horses trained by 68 individual trainers took part in the series. A full field of 16 went to post in the €120,000 Final including Lady Marengo, a series race winner at Navan in September, was the lowest priced purchase at €3,000 while Gustavus Weston also a series winner at Fairyhouse in September, was the highest priced purchase at €55,000. The average price of all the runners through the full series was €20,000.

In a competitive race Cedars of Lebanon was chased home by Ken Condon’s outsider Sunblessed, while Michael O’Callaghan trained both the third and fourth home, Dark Pursuit and Pulsing Dragon.

The first four home are owned by partnerships which once again showcases the Foran EBF Series as a target for the smaller owner and how it has created a platform for this segment of the market to make a significant return on their investment.

John O’Connor Chairman of the Irish EBF said; “This is really what we are all about, getting people to come to the sales and buy a horse and give themselves a chance to find a really good one and we know this from last year’s winner, Yulong Gold Fairy, who ended up a Group filly. Today’s full field is further proof of the popularity of the series and it is great confirmation that the concept is really working and having the desired impact.”

Gareth Connolly, Sales and Marketing Director at Foran Equine said: “We’re thrilled with how the series has grown, particularly in the last couple of weeks when we are hearing very encouraging feedback from trainers saying that they are actively looking to buy horses to target this series with. For us it has been great to partner with the Irish EBF and all the stakeholders, this is a good news story and we’re proud to be a part of it. We’ve seen an exciting winner today and we’re delighted for Patrick, Sean and all the connections of Cedars of Lebanon.”

2015 winner – SEVENLEFT, £31,000, Trainer, Sheila Lavery
2016 winner – TREVANNA, €15,000, Trainer, Kevin Prendergast
2017 winner – YULONG GOLD FAIRY, €8,000, Trainer, Dermot Weld
2018 winner – CEDARS OF LEBANON, €11,000, Trainer, Patrick Prendergast

SHEIKHA REIKA graduates to Grade 1 victory in Canada

Thu 18 Oct 2018

SHEIKHA REIKA winning at Great Yarmouth earlier this Autumn

SHEIKHA REIKA winning at Great Yarmouth earlier this Autumn

SHEIKHA REIKA, the three-year-old filly by Shamardal, belonging to Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum won the Grade 1 EP Taylor for trainer Roger Varian and jockey Andrea Atzeni recently.

The filly has run in two heavily supported EBF races as part of her recent preparation for the $500,000, Grade 1 contest: in early September, SHEIKHA REIKA ran to a place in one of the British EBF Breeders’ Fillies’ Series Handicaps at Ascot before notching up an impressive 4 and a half length victory over stable mate RASMINA (Iffraaj) in the 1m2f Sir John Musker Fillies’ Listed race at Great Yarmouth’s Eastern Festival.

The John Musker has seen some smart performers in its long history and this season, consolidated its position as the feature race at Yarmouth’s feature meeting with a prize money boost of £10,000, brought in to being jointly by the British EBF and the course’s management.  She joins the likes of SPEEDY BOARDING (Shamardal), NEZWAAH (Dubawi) and ARABIAN QUEEN (Dubawi) who have all graduated via the Sir John Musker to Gr.1 successes later in their careers.

Rachael Gowland of the British EBF commented:

“This is exactly why we work closely with courses to identify good developmental races to invest our prize money fund in to. Part of the remit of the EBF is to encourage courses to run these types of races for higher prize funds and support that initiative so the right kind of races develop and produce the stars of the future.  We are delighted that our increased investment in the race has been rewarded so quickly and that SHEIKHA REIKA has provided such a flagship win for Great Yarmouth’s feature race of the year.  We are delighted to confirm that our increased investment in the race will remain in place for the 2019 season.”


€120,000 Foran EBF Final Hard to Resist

Tue 16 Oct 2018

27 top lots stand their ground ahead of Auction Series Final at Naas on Sunday

Cedars of Lebanon, trained by Patrick Prendergast, winning the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series race at Naas on 30th September.

Cedars of Lebanon, trained by Patrick Prendergast, winning the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series race at Naas on 30th September.


Twenty seven horses remain after today’s final forfeit stage for the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series Final, including seven series race winners. Trainer Ger Lyons has four runners with Kestrel Prince being the horse with the highest official rating (89) but his Army Recruit was runner up to the smart Circus Maximus at Gowran Park last time and that form was well boosted by the subsequent third placing of Circus Maximus in a Group 3 event at Newmarket.

Michael O’Callaghan has two remaining with the once raced Dark Pursuit likely to be the pick of the duo having defeated Army Recruit in good style at Down Royal on his only start. Trainer Joseph Murphy has really hit form in the last month, his Gustavus Weston was an impressive winner of his latest start at Fairyhouse last month.

Top National Hunt trainer Gordon Elliott also has two to choose from with his Galway Festival winner Highway To Success likely to go well but his other representative Aristocratic Man chased home the subsequent Beresford Stakes winner Japan on his most recent start at Listowel. Last year’s winning stable, Dermot Weld, is likely to be represented by Munees Gemini, runner up to the well-regarded Goddess on her first start at Leopardstown in July.

Shane Lyons, Assistant Trainer to Ger Lyons said; “We are delighted to support the series and final, it’s a great initiative by the Irish EBF and Foran Equine. We have Kestrel Prince in the final, who has been a great horse this year, he won well in Roscommon twice and he is in great form. The last couple of year’s this series has been a massive plus, €120,000 final and the qualifiers are nice pots, we love supporting it.”

Commenting during the week, Jessica Harrington said; “Dragon Roll is our main contender, she won a Foran EBF Maiden at Gowran Park, she just got up on the line, there was a little bit of an ease in the ground that day, I would be hoping that we could have an ease in the ground on Sunday. It’s a great series, I am really for it, I think its brilliant, it does give people with a smaller budget the chance to win a race and go for the big pot in the final.

Noel Meade, trainer of Dadoozdart said; “We’ve been very happy with Dadoozdart since his last run at the Curragh, that was over 6f, I think 7f will suit him a lot better. He’s seems in good form since, I wouldn’t mind a little bit of rain between now and then, but if we get that I think he has a big chance. The final has been on our mind for quite some time, he grew a bit during the summer and I didn’t want to over race him but I had to bring him to Roscommon to run him to qualify for the final, I think he’s quite a nice horse.”

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 surprize 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.”

Nessa Joyce, Manager Irish EBF: “Sunday’s €120,000 final marks the fourth year of the auction series, and the second year of a successful partnership with Foran Equine. The series is firmly established in the juvenile racing programme and we are already looking forward to it growing even further in the future. The average price of runners in the series to date is €20,000 and two of this year’s winners were bought for less than €5,000, Dragon Roll (€5,000) and Lady Marengo (€3,000) who are both contenders for the final on Sunday. The series continually tells the story that you can get involved and win races with a modest investment.”