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.