IRISH EBF and Foran Equine have launched the 2018 Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series for two-year-olds bought at auction for €72,000 or less and by an EBF registered sire. Total prize-money for the series has increased to €617,000 with two additional qualifying races bringing the total number of qualifiers to 22. Now in its fourth year the Auction Series has established itself as a principle target for two-year-olds.
Each of the 22 qualifying races will have a minimum prize-fund of €20,000 as well as the added benefit of being Plus 10 registered, whereby qualified winners will be eligible for a bonus of €12,500 under the Plus 10 Scheme giving a winning owner a potential payout of just under €25,000. The first race will take place at the Curragh Racecourse on Friday May 11th with the €120,000 final to be held at Naas Racecourse on October 21st.
Patrick Prendergast, tainer, said: “I’m a major fan of the Foran EBF Series, it opens avenues for the smaller owner and encourages them to buy horses. It’s a good sales pitch for me when I go to the sales, I can say to the owners that you have a great chance on your investment. Because our Irish maidens are so competitive, we need people to have a chance and this series offers that chance, there’s room for every horse. The whole thing is achievable, it’s not like trying to win a Group 1, you buy a horse, syndicate it for a reasonable budget, there’s a programme of races and there’s a final to aim at. I have a good string of two-year-olds this year, they are nearly all eligible and we’ll be aiming at the series with plenty of them.”
Eamonn McEvoy, Stud Manager Grangecon Stud and owner, said: “This series caters for everyone, which is important. It’s brilliant for owners, if you go and win or place in one of the qualifiers it can make a massive difference for your training fees, and other costs. Where else would you get it, if you are going to compete in an open maiden at the Curragh it’s going to be very difficult to win, so it’s very important that this series is in place. It’s great that there are two extra races this year, we’ll hopefully have a winner in one of them. If you have a horse qualified you’d be crazy not to target the final, everyone is going to be there, there is a great buzz about the Foran EBF Series, everyone is onboard and everyone is excited.”
Nessa Joyce, Irish EBF Manager, said: “The Irish EBF committee created this series with HRI to stimulate the middle to lower end of the auction market and create a link between bloodstock sales and the racetrack. Data from last year’s series revealed that 50% of the winners were bought at auction for €19,000 or less which included the overall winner Yulong Gold Fairy who was bought for €8,000, this shows that the series has come full circle and in fact has exceeded our expectations. The focus is on continuing the momentum and reminding trainers, owners and agents heading to the sales this year to target the Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series.”
Kirsty McCann, Foran Equine, said: “We were very lucky to partner with Irish EBF on this great series, we wanted to be able to support the grassroots of the industry and offer a valuable return to the owners, trainers and breeders who have been our customers for over 40 years. Each winning breeder and trainer receives a €150 voucher for our products, plus the winning trainer receives a pack containing many of our Performance Range products. Being a supplement company, we are all about wellbeing and welfare, and to see these horses racing and being presented in immaculate condition is fantastic, each Best Turned Out winning groom receives a voucher for our RED MILLS Store in Cillin Hill. The final at Naas Racecourse is a huge occasion, it’s our chance to say thank you and we invite everyone back including owners and breeders to celebrate and enjoy the occasion.”
Shane Doyle of Horse Racing Ireland, said: “In 2014, before the series started, there was only eight 2yo auction races in Ireland, now there are 23 thanks to the growth and popularity of the Foran EBF Series. The total number of runners has more than doubled since 2015 to 287 last year and more trainers are getting involved every year, so it is having a positive effect. The €120,000 final pays prize-money to 6th place and the first six home last year were all bought for €20,000 or less. It helps to support ownership, a lot of these horses are able to pay for their expenses if they win or are placed in the series and they also become very valuable prospects as seen when Whitefountainfairy, purchased for €3,000 made £300,000 at the Goffs Royal Ascot Sale after winning a Foran EBF Maiden.”