Irish EBF Ballyhane S. Attracts Bumper Entry

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Joe Foley | Alayna Cullen

Following its successful inaugural running in 2020, the valuable Irish EBF Ballyhane S. has attracted an entry of 369 juveniles for its return on Aug. 2.

With guaranteed prize-money of at least €200,000, the juvenile contest, which is run over six furlongs at Naas on the August Bank Holiday Monday, has understandably proved popular. It also offers a bonus of €50,000 if the winner is by a Ballyhane Stud stallion.

“We are delighted to co-sponsor with the Irish EBF and have been thrilled with the response from a large variety of owners and trainers from Ireland and Britain,” said Ballyhane Stud owner Joe Foley. “Last year we had more than 400 entries and were able to stage a consolation race as well. There are fewer entries from Britain this year as a result of Brexit travel concerns and Covid, but it's still a fantastic level of support. I think people like the fact that the entry fees all go into the prize-money for the main race and the consolation race.”

He added, “We had positive feedback from the breeze-up consignors last year who felt that it was a great selling point for the horses with an entry, and that it helped to improve their sales price. A lot of them have signed up again this year and eligible horses will be advertised in the breeze-up catalogues. Of course it's an even greater incentive to buy a 2-year-old by a Ballyhane sire as, if the race is won by a horse by Dandy Man, Elzaam or Prince Of Lir, the winning owner will receive around €200,000 with the bonus.”

Last year's Irish EBF Ballyhane S. was won by Coolmore's Chief Little Hawk (Air Force Blue), who scooped €149,200 of the total prize fund of €291,400, with prize-money awarded down to the 12th place finisher. The Jack Davison-trained Mooneista (Ire), a filly by Dandy Man (Ire) who started at odds of 50/1, came closest to landing the Ballyhane bonus when finishing third, just 2½ lengths behind the winner.

The Silver Irish EBF Ballyhane S., run on the same card for those who missed the cut, had prize-money to 10th place and a total pot of €72,000.

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