HENRY Beeby says the reaction to the planned return of the Goffs Million in 2022 has been “overwhelmingly positive”.
In a move designed to reinvigorate the Orby Sale, all yearlings catalogued for this year’s Orby will be eligible to be entered for a €1 million seven-furlong race at the Curragh the following September. There will also be a six-furlong €100,000 race at Naas for Sportsman’s Sale graduates, and both races will pay prize money down to 10th place.
Yesterday Beeby told The Irish Field that there will be no additional cost to Orby Sale vendors and that both races will cost 1% of the guaranteed minimum value to run “which is the standard for similar sales races”.
A further initiative will see a €100,000 bonus paid to the connections of the Million winner should that horse subsequently win a Group 1 race in Ireland, Britain, France, America or Australia as a three-year-old. Beeby added: “Our intention is to look to develop the concept when we review the impact this year.”
The Goffs Million will be Europe’s richest two-year-old race and it will be staged at the Curragh on the Saturday before the 2022 Orby Sale. The ‘Million’ concept is not a new one for Goffs. The sales company was behind a similar race staged at the Curragh from 2006 to 2009. A separate race for fillies was added in 2007 and 2008, and in its final year the two races evolved into Sprint and Mile options.
Beeby said: “Similar concepts have proved defining in the past and we are unashamedly reconfiguring the Million initiative for today’s marketplace. As one noted breeder told me when I discussed the idea with him, this means ‘everyone’ will come to Goffs to make sure they have a chance of winning such a big prize, especially as prize money will extend to 10th place.
“We recognise that the Orby Sale in particular, and Irish sales in general, need a lift after the challenges created by the global pandemic but the end is in sight with the vaccination programme and we look forward to welcoming a global audience back to Kildare Paddocks, and continuing the momentum of the sale that was very evident up to 2019 when Orby was consistently returning six-figure averages and seven-figure top prices year on year.”
Pat Keogh, chief executive of the Curragh, commented: “The Curragh is delighted to be a part of this ambitious and innovative initiative by Goffs to stage an exciting new race that will give a major boost to attracting new owners to the sport, together with providing the platform to attract a significant audience to the racecourse and also delivering major global media coverage for what will be a major highlight of our Autumn Festival next year.
“We appreciate the continued support of the Curragh by Goffs, which also includes their long standing sponsorship of the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes.”
The €100,000 Goffs Sportsman’s Challenge will be run at Naas on September 15th, 2022.
Beeby added: “With the yearling sale inspections commencing we are delighted to announce these two sales races to provide a lift to the industry following the challenges of the past year. Back in Kildare Paddocks this year, we look forward to offering two catalogues of relative superior quality with the additional bonus that every yearling buyer at Goffs, from September 28th to October 1st, will be in with a chance to win some major prize money.”