TOTAL prize money for the 2018 Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series has increased to €617,000 this year.
Confined to two-year-olds who were bought at auction for €72,000 or less, and by an EBF-registered sire, the series has two additional qualifying races this year, bringing the total number of qualifiers to 22.
This is the fourth year of the series and each of the qualifying races will have a minimum prize-fund of €20,000, as well as being Plus 10-registered, whereby qualified winners will be eligible for a bonus of €12,500 under the Plus 10 bonus scheme. This means a winning owner could potentially pocket just under €25,000.
The first race will take place at the Curragh on Friday, May 11th with the €120,000 final to be held at Naas on October 21st.
Trainer Patrick Prendergast 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 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, manager of Grangecon Stud, added: "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.
"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.
Nessa Joyce, Irish EBF manager, said: “The Irish EBF committee created this series with Horse Racing Ireland 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."
Kirsty McCann of Foran Equine said: “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."