Quick Fire Q&A With Eve Johnson Houghton

Wed 19 Apr 2023

We caught up with STREETS OF GOLD (IRE) trainer Eve Johnson Houghton to find out how the British EBF £100,000 Final winner is preparing for his Guineas tilt and Eve’s thoughts on our series ahead of the first 2023 qualifier today at Beverley.

When looking at the race programme, did you specifically target the British EBF 2yo Series finals for STREETS OF GOLD?

Yes, and No is the honest answer!  It was a good new initiative, so we had looked to get him qualified in one of the EBF Restricted races.  He ran in two of those and qualified for the series and then when he won the Nursery Handicap at York we steered away from the EBF final a bit but as it turned out, it was just really well placed in the calendar for him and over the right distance for the time of year and was on a track he knew.

What was it about the series that you liked?

As I’ve said, the colt’s final sits in the right place in the programme and it has excellent prizemoney.

STREETS OF GOLD was a very reasonably priced yearling purchase from Tattersalls Ireland at £27,000.  He ran in 2 EBF Restricted race qualifiers before progressing to Sky Bet Nursery Handicap at York; do think the new restricted races were a good way of progressing a reasonably priced horse, away from open novice and maidens?

The Restricted races are the successor to the old median auction and auction races and I wish there were more of them, especially at this early part of the season.  Your owners can go out and buy their £10K or £20K yearling and start them off on a more level playing field than having to go in to an open Maiden or Novice and potentially have to take on something that might have cost £500K!

How has STREETS OF GOLD come on over the winter?

He has done really well over the winter.  In some ways it is hard to tell as he is so relaxed at home, much like he is on the racecourse but he has worked very well with the horses I gallop him with.

Will he have a prep race – if so where?

Most likely the Greenham.

Is one of the Guineas more likely than the other (GB vs IRE)?

We will probably give Newmarket at go and then see how he is…

The British EBF 2yo Series is designed to give a valuable end of season target to horses by sires at the more commercially priced end of the market.  It is hoped that the finals, being run in the Autumn for £100,000 would encourage owners to re-invest in yearlings. Do you think it fulfils its remit? 

Getting good prizemoney from anywhere is good.  It certainly encouraged our owners to go back to the sales so I would say it fulfils its remit!

Is there anything you would improve about the series?

No: the best thing is that it is not an early closing race; there are plenty of opportunities to qualify [well over 100] and then decide if the final is right for your horse. 

Having had success in the first year, would you target the EBF 2yo Series again? Do you have a horse/ horses in mind for it at this early stage of the season?

It’s always hard to know at this point in the year as you don’t know a horse’s trip but we will definitely be looking at getting some qualified and see how they progress.