British Developmental Series Expanded with Over £3m in Prize-Money

Doddie's Impact, left, wins the 2023 Brocklesby Stakes | Racingfotos.com

There is now another reason – or make that 84 reasons – to look forward to the Brocklesby S. in a little over five weeks. The traditional curtain-raiser for the British two-year-old season is the first of 84 races this year to benefit from increased funding through a programme of high-value developmental races in 2024.

This initiative, which was launched last year with a series of 63 races, is driven by British stallion studs through the European Breeders' Fund (EBF), Juddmonte, Darley and Tattersalls, and will provide more than £3 million in prize-money for novice and maiden races. It is also receiving support from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Development Fund.

For the two-year-old programme, it means that 32 open novice/maiden races will be worth a minimum of £40,000, and another 29 restricted novice/maidens will carry a minimum of £30,000. There will also be 23 open novice/maiden races for three-year-olds plus, worth a minimum of £40,000.

The series was initially launched in 2023 with the backing of Juddmonte and Darley with the aim of supporting the British breeding industry and encouraging owners to buy and race in Britain. 

In a press release issued on Thursday, Juddmonte noted the “healthy field sizes achieved by 2023's sponsored races (average 10.5) with an average cost of the winners at public auction just shy of £31,000.”

Juddmonte CEO Douglas Erskine Crum said, “After the success of last year's BHA initiative to kick-start a long-term plan to enhance prize-money substantially for developmental races, Juddmonte is delighted to support financially this year's further enhancements. These high prize-money developmental races directly support owners and breeders in areas that can be overlooked and thereby support our UK breeding industry.”

Sam Bullard, director of stallions at Darley shared his sentiments and added, “Following the success of last year's race series and the many positive comments received, we are delighted to continue our sponsorship of this important development fund.

“Darley remains committed to supporting breeders through both race sponsorship and our contribution to the EBF and we hope that these elements will continue to work together for the benefit of British racing.”

The involvement in the series of the British EBF, which last year boosted prize-money across British racing by £2 million from the contributions made to the fund by stallion owners, has added over £325,000 for more than 30 of the high-value developmental races.

Simon Sweeting, chairman of British EBF, said, “One of the unique features of our prize-money contributions is to encourage racecourses to 'match-fund'; it is wonderful to see the model we pioneered and embedded, replicated by our fellow sponsors in these races. For example, the Brocklesby Stakes will be run at £40,000 for the first time in 2024, a 70 per cent increase from before British stallion studs (EBF) involvement.”

He added, “By supporting these races, we hope to showcase to owners and breeders the valuable impact our stallion owners' contributions have on raising prize-money levels across the maiden and novice programme.”

Richard Wayman, chief operating officer of the BHA, acknowledged the “common purpose” behind the sponsorship of the series by the British EBF, Juddmonte, Darley and Tattersalls.

“I am extremely grateful for their support in this project, along with the many racecourses involved and the Horserace Betting Levy Board, and am confident that these races will be well supported by our owners and trainers,” he said.

“We are delighted to expand the programme of high-value developmental races for 2024. These races play a hugely important role within the race programme and yet, historically, it is an area where prize-money has been behind our international competitors. It is essential that steps are taken to retain quality horses on our shores and with over 80 of these races scheduled for the coming season, this is one initiative that we believe will support this broader aim.”

Tattersalls has also lent its support to the series by backing 10 two-year-old novice and maiden races in addition to its own bonus schemes which reward purchasers of horses at the October Yearling Sales and Craven Breeze-up Sale.

Jimmy George, Marketing Director of Tattersalls, said, “We introduced the hugely popular £25,000 Tattersalls October Book 1 Bonus Scheme back in 2016 with the aim of rewarding owners with the best maiden and novice prize-money in Europe. Since then we have paid out more than £8 million directly to owners and the Tattersalls support of these high-value maidens and novices is an extension of our commitment to this area of the racing programme.

“Prize-money for British Group and Listed races is the best in Europe, but maidens and novices are less competitive and alongside the BHA, EBF, Darley and Juddmonte, Tattersalls will continue to focus on this crucial sector.”

 

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