Irish EBF Auction Series graduate Laws Of Indices has sights set on Breeders’ Cup glory

Fri 16 Jul 2021

“When you see the likes of Laws Of Indices flying the flag for the series, coming up through the ranks, it can only be encouragement for people to get involved”

“For the owners, it’s dream stuff really. They’re five friends, they spent €8,000, you win a Railway Stakes, you run in Royal Ascot and you win a Group 1 in France”

Ken Condon is targeting an assault on three big prizes for his Irish EBF Auction Series graduate Laws Of Indices, following the Osborne Lodge colt’s elevation to elite status after his stunning Group 1 Prix Jean Prat triumph at Deauville last Sunday.

A return to the picturesque seaside venue Laws Of Indices clearly relishes is likely to be in the offing first, to tackle the older horses in the Prix Maurice de Gheest next month, with the focus then lying on the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp in October and thereafter, a potential tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Mile in Del Mar at the beginning of November.

“The Maurice de Gheest is on August 8,” notes Condon in the Irish EBF Auction Series Shout Out. “It’s four weeks between both races. We’ll see how he is in the next ten days but that’s where he could go next.

“Longer term, I’d say the Prix de la Foret on Arc weekend is the main target. I think seven furlongs is his optimum trip. If he does go to the Maurice de Gheest, I could see him having a little break and waiting for that race on Arc day. He’d have all the credentials you’d need to run in a Breeders’ Cup Mile as well so that could also be the possibility but I’m sure the Foret is the prime target now.

“The owners are very brave. Their ambition has been rewarded. He’s run in quite a few Group 1s and you don’t do that unnecessarily and I think everything conspired on Sunday to give him his perfect set-up.

“He’s a horse that always turns up. He never lets you down. He looks to be very ground versatile but he wouldn’t have been in love with those very deep conditions (in Ascot and Longchamp last year) and he got probably his perfect set-up the other day; and he got a masterclass from Olivier Peslier from the front. The stars aligned and it was brilliant, fantastic.

“We’re all thrilled. It’s so hard to win these Group 1s. Even to have a horse to take part, it’s a wonderful story. For the owners, it’s dream stuff really. They’re five friends, they spent €8,000, you win a Railway Stakes, you run in Royal Ascot and you win a Group 1 in France… They don’t know what they cost. A great story all round.”

It is a remarkable playlist Condon reels off for Laws Of Indices and one that advertises the calibre of horse available in the middle-to-lower scale of the sales market.

Nothing has illustrated the quality available at a relatively cheap price quite like the Irish EBF Auction Series, which is a staple of the two-year-old programme since its establishment in 2015. Races are confined to EBF-eligible horses purchased at public auction for €72,000 or less, with weight allowances for horses purchased at lower prices.

This year’s total prizemoney is €699,000 through 24 qualifying races over a range of distances from April, with a €120,000 final and an alternative nursery final worth €30,000 in Naas in October.

Condon has won €176,350 since the commencement of the series, with 33 of his 57 runners finishing in the money. He has already been on the mark this term, with €5,500 purchase Harmony Rose landing €14,400 when scoring in the Cork Irish EBF Auction Series Maiden in May and since going on to be placed in Listed company.

Laws Of Indices and Group 2 winner (and twice Group 1-placed) Miss Amulet landed €30,000 between them just from winning Irish EBF Auction Series Maidens at Navan and Cork last year, bought for just €8,000 and €8,325 respectively.

The former has accumulated in excess of €350,000 in total prizemoney, the latter more than €200,000.

“It’s extraordinary. It shows you the strength in depth in Irish racing. There was an Irish EBF auction race run in Roscommon on a Monday evening two years ago now. The winner was Helvic Dream and four and a half lengths behind in second was Champers Elysees. So if you wanted any further proof of what we were talking about, there’s two Group 1 winners. And fellas might be going to Roscommon on a Monday thinking ‘I might have a little chance here with a cheap horse.’ That’s why I keep coming back to the quality.

“It’s a credit to Irish EBF. The proof is in the eating. It allows relatively cheaply-bought horses to get a chance to win some very good prizemoney but as we see, the quality is top class as well. Group 1 winners are there to be found in these races.”

The Harmony Rose Syndicate have intimated their intention to reinvest in a yearling filly after the success of their pride and joy this year, which is a boon to all sectors of the industry and a primary motive of the Irish EBF Auction Series. 

“When you see the likes of Laws Of Indices flying the flag for the series, coming up through the ranks, it can only be encouragement for people to get involved. It’s a great series to get involved in.

“I thought Harmony Rose might level out in May or June but she seems to love her racing and to get her Listed-placed last time out, there was great satisfaction involved and the guys got a great kick out of that. She’s not very big. She’s neat but she’s strong and she wants to run and enjoys it. There’s a conditions race in Down Royal next week that might suit her well.”

Meanwhile, Condon is hoping for a big run from Ice Cold in Alex in Saturday’s six-and-a-half-furlong Scurry Stakes on Irish Oaks day at The Curragh.

“All those big meetings at The Curragh are fantastic so it’s always nice to go there with a runner or two with a chance. Ice Cold Alex will take his chance in the Scurry. He’s a horse that it’s been a long time between drinks for. He didn’t win since 2018 ‘til he won at the Curragh Derby weekend. That was tremendous. He’s a great favourite in the yard, he’s been here so long, he’s seven now. He backed that up with a very good run at Fairyhouse (when second). It might be a fraction short of his optimum. The draw is crucial around The Curragh on any given day but he’s in great form.”

Sunday’s Romanised Minstrel Stakes is sponsored by one of Condon’s chief patrons Robert Ng and named after the winner of the last two renewals, who provided Condon with a memorable Irish 2000 Guineas success in 2018 and is now at stud in Haras de Buquetot. 

“Romanised is a horse Mr Ng was very fond of, and still is. He’s supporting him at stud. He’s covered 127 mares this year and that part of his career is going well. He’s a fantastic physical of a horse with just that touch of class and acceleration that sometimes is the hallmark of a sire. It’s up to him now. He’s in a good farm and getting plenty of chances.

“He was very good in the race the last two years and it was fitting that Robert Ng was sponsoring and he was delighted to do it. It’s a nice touch and we’d love to have a runner in it, so hopefully Thunder Beauty might run there.”