Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series Announced

Sun 1 Apr 2018

Series designed for horses bought at National Hunt Auctions for €45,000 or lessBirdie Image Auction Hurdel Series

Following on from the success of the Foran Equine/Irish EBF Auction Series on the flat, the Irish EBF wish to announce a parallel series for the National Hunt sector. The Irish EBF Auction Hurdle Series will consist of 14 maiden and novice hurdle races from September 2018 until April 2019, each worth a minimum of €20,000, with a final in April worth €75,000. Entry into the valuable final will be limited to horses which have run in one of the previous races in the series.

The conditions will specify that all horses must be by an EBF registered stallion and bought as an unraced three or four year old at a recognised National Hunt Store sale for €45,000 or less, with weight allowances depending on purchase price.

Speaking about the announcement, John O’Connor, Chairman, Irish EBF, said; “Horse Racing Ireland and the Irish EBF designed this new series with the smaller trainer and owner in mind. This series will create a number of valuable opportunities where horses in this price range can compete on a level playing field. Based on initial feedback, we anticipate the new series will be very well received and our goal is to establish this as a permanent fixture on the National Hunt scene.”

Tony Mullins, trainer, commented;“This will be a super series and with big prizemoney on offer in each qualifier and in the final, I can see this being well supported. It will give me and my owners a focus for the sales this year, knowing the series is there as a target. “

Denis Hogan, trainer & jockey; “It is a fantastic opportunity for a trainer like myself to help recruit and retain owners in the yard and give them a fair chance to win a valuable race. The percentage of horses available at the sales for this money is vast and it will be great to purchase at this level with a goal in mind.”

For Further Information:

Nessa Joyce, Manager, Irish European Breeders’ Fund

Greenhills, Kill, Naas, Co Kildare, W91 FY62

M: +353 85 7590970, E: Twitter & Facebook: @IrishEBF

EBF May nomination deadline change

Thu 29 Mar 2018

The deadline for nominating yearlings to the European Breeders Fund has been moved to  31st May.  At a cost of $600, any yearling by a sire not registered to the EBF and standing outside of Europe can be made eligible to run in the EBF programme of races throughout Europe,which are worth €5million in additional prizemoney.

Kerry Murphy of the EBF explains: “We review our nominations process annually and, as the yearling sales landscape has changed over the years, we felt that it is now possible to move this deadline out to May 31st, giving breeders that intend to race their yearlings or those that are consigning them to a sale plenty of time to nominate.  Those nominated at $600 by May 31st will be confirmed as EBF nominated on their page in the major yearling sales catalogues.  This nomination stage is mostly applicable to breeders using American or Japanese stallions that are not registered to the EBF.  Thanks to increasing support, the list of internationally registered stallions has grown significantly and we advise breeders to check with us to see if their yearling does need nominating”.

Nominations can be made online via the website or by contacting the EBF office.

ROKSANA wins EBF/ TBA Mares’ Novice Hurdle Finale 2018

Mon 26 Mar 2018

3.15pm £40,000 G2 EBF & TBA Mares’ National Hunt Limited Handicap Novices’ Hurdle Finale 2m 4.5f

ROKSANA wins the EBF/ TBA Mares' Novice Hurdle Finale 2018 (ImageFrancesca Altoft)

ROKSANA wins the EBF/ TBA Mares’ Novice Hurdle Finale 2018 (ImageFrancesca Altoft)

The 16-runner Finale was fiercely competitive and there were plenty still in with a chance approaching entering the straight.

Top-weight Midnight Tune (Anthony Honeyball/Aidan Coleman, 11st 10lb, 11/1) led for a long while but started to drop out of contention after straightening up.

Kalahari Queen (Jamie Snowden/Gavin Sheehan, 11st 1lb, 12/1) led three out but made a mistake at the next where Roksana (Dan Skelton/Bridget Andrews (3), 11st 2lb, 9/1) went second before leading at the last and running on well to score by two and three quarter lengths.

Kalahari Queen held on to second by a half-length from the staying-on Jubilympics (Seamus Mullins/Daniel Sansom (5), 9st 13lb, 50/1), with consistent Just A Thought (Rebecca Curtis/Adam Wedge, 10st 11lb, 7/1) fourth.

Bridget Andrews, who gained her first Cheltenham Festival winner earlier this month, took over from her boyfriend Harry Skelton in the saddle after he failed to pass the doctor at Newbury today and claimed a valuable 3lb off Roksana’s original weight of 11st 5lb.

She reported: “Unfortunately, Harry did not pass the doctor and luckily the owners kindly let me ride her.

“Roksana is quite a decent mare I think. We really liked here and this race was always the aim. We campaigned her quite lowly with a couple of easy novice hurdles and she has come through them well.

“Actually, she travelled through the race a little too well – carting me around. I was thinking that we were going to fall in a hole because she had done way too much, but she was so tough and, after the last, there was no catching her.

“The ground was fairly testing, but she didn’t seem to mind. She is a proper, proper horse.

“She is going to stay further in time and she is big enough to jump a fence. She will be sent to stud at some point, but I think she can go a long way on the racecourse.

“Harry does not mind if I get on his horses, but I think he finds it hard when someone outside the yard rides them. He has taken it pretty well, but how he is going to continue to take it until he gets back we will have to see.

“It was an unbelievable day to win at Cheltenham – a day I will definitely never forget and I am so grateful for the whole team for believing in me and supporting me.”

Midnight Tune out to defy top-weight as Newbury’s Jump season concludes tomorrow

Fri 23 Mar 2018

Courtesy of Newbury Racecourse:

Midnight Tune heads the weights for a hugely competitive renewal of the £40,000 G2 EBF & TBA Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle Finale, the highlight of Newbury’s Be Wiser Jump Season Finale tomorrow, Saturday, March 24.

The EBF & TBA Mares’ “National Hunt” Novices’ Hurdle Finale (3.15pm, 16 runners) is a limited handicap run over an extended two and a half miles.

Midnight Tune (Anthony Honeyball/Aidan Coleman, 11st 10lb) has won three of her five starts so far this season and produced a career-best last time out to capture the G2 Jane Seymour Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle over two and a half miles on testing ground at Sandown Park on February 16.

Her trainer, Dorset-based Anthony Honeyball, said: “Midnight Tune is in good order. The key to her, certainly in better races like this, is the ground; the softer the better.

“There is some more rain around and, given the ground is already soft, it will be interesting to see how what the going looks like today at Newbury. The more attritional the better, as she stays three miles and loves heavy ground.

“Everything is in place for a big run, though my main concern is her weight, especially given the big weight range between top and bottom (11st 1olb to 10st 4lb). The handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival were condensed, whereas some of the opposition tomorrow are getting plenty of weight and are unexposed.

“I suppose if we are not in the first three or four, we go home disappointed, but equally you would not be surprised if she got run out of it close home. I think the ground could be a factor in that respect and the more testing it is, the better.

“The great thing about Sandown is that she proved she didn’t have to lead. She is very happy to sit in behind as long as they going a nice, even gallop. I would imagine it will pan out similar tomorrow.”

Champion Jump trainer Nicky Henderson, who has landed the spoils three times since 2010, saddles Sunshade (James Bowen (3), 11st 9lb), who is owned and bred by Her Majesty The Queen.

Sunshade won her first three starts under Rules, including hurdle races at Ludlow and Market Rasen, before finishing a distant third behind Maria’s Benefit in a Listed event at Taunton on December 30.

Paul Nicholls runs If You Say Run (Sam Twiston-Davies, 11st 7lb), who was second to Midnight Tune at Sandown Park most recently, while Nicholls’ former assistant Dan Skelton saddles the lightly-raced Roskana (Harry Skelton, 11st 5lb), an impressive winner at Plumpton and Fontwell Park this season.

Charlie Longsdon has won two of the last three runnings, including last year with Snow Leopardess. The Chipping Norton handler relies on Jet Set (Johnny Burke, 10st 9lb) who fell when in contention at Sandown Park on March 9.

Jamie Snowden has two interesting contenders in Kalahari Queen (11st 1lb, Gavin Sheehan) and Lostnfound (Micheal Nolan, 10st 4lb).

Others to note include Oscar Rose (Fergal O’Brien/Paddy Brennan, 10st 8lb), Lady Of Lamanver (Harry Fry/Noel Fehily, 11st), who finished second in this race in 2016, and the unexposed Petticoat Tails (Warren Greatrex/Richard Johnson, 10st 11lb).