Owners & trainers poised to target €666,000 series with 24 qualifiers, €120,000 final & new €30,000 Nursery Handicap
The Irish EBF and Foran Equine have launched the 2019 Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series with two additional qualifying races, a further prize-money boost and a new €30,000 nursery handicap to take place the week after the €120,000 final. Total prize-money for the series has jumped to €666,000 and the number of qualifying races to 24. The two additional maiden races will cater for horses bought for €30,000 or less and the €30,000 nursery handicap will offer qualified runners the opportunity to race over a shorter distance at Navan racecourse after the series final has taken place.
Now in its fifth year the Auction Series has established itself as a principle target for two-year-olds bought at auction for €72,000 or less. Last year’s final winner Cedars Of Lebanon cost €11,000 and giving her owners an eight-fold return on her purchase price from prize-money earned in the series alone.
Each of the 24 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 giving a winning owner a potential pay-out of just under €25,000. Horses must also be by an EBF registered sire to qualify.
The first race will take place at Naas Racecourse on Saturday April 13 with the €120,000 final to be held at Naas Racecourse on October 20.
Ger Lyons, trainer & winner of five series races in 2018 said; “It’s a huge addition, any series that brings over €660,000 into the equation has to be applauded. You can only win a maiden once, and when you win a Foran EBF Maiden for at least €20,000 with the opportunity to run for a first prize of €72,000 in the final, it’s very much appreciated by me and many other trainers. I don’t like the theory that people say you write a cheque for a horse and you just tear it up. The series helps make an argument to an owner to get involved, if you get a horse costing less than €72,000, with some ability, you are going to get well paid and it will keep you in the game for another season. For me there has to be some come back to justify staying in the game and this series is a huge step forward.”
Nessa Joyce, Irish EBF Manager said: “The series has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2015, with double the prize-money on offer this year and already double the number of runners taking part up to 2018. In response to requests from the industry, the Irish EBF board with the commitment of our co-sponsors Foran Equine, are delighted to be in a position to add two more maiden races this year, to cater for horses purchased for €30,000 or less. In addition, the new Nursery Handicap will give qualified horses another option to aim for at the end of the series. The series offers new and existing owners a chance to get involved at more modest prices with the potential to reap some of the excellent prize-money on offer.”
Gareth Connolly, Foran Equine said; “We’re really looking forward to the series getting underway at Naas, this will be our third year to partner with the Irish EBF and Horse Racing Ireland as sponsors of the series and it is hugely satisfying to know how well this initiative has been received by the industry. Our overall objective for this sponsorship was to create opportunities for our customers, and to see the growth in prize-money and the number of qualifiers reflected in the growth in runners and individual trainers and owners benefiting from the investment is what it is all about for us.”