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    Unprecedented Racing Event at Gowran Park Racecourse Set to Break Records as Part of Spring Series
Unprecedented Racing Event at Gowran Park Racecourse Set to Break Records as Part of Spring Series
Image courtesy of Scoreline.ie

Unprecedented Racing Event at Gowran Park Racecourse Set to Break Records as Part of Spring Series

Horse Racing Ireland, in collaboration with the Irish European Breeders’ Fund and Gowran Park Racecourse, is set to revolutionise the three-year-old programme for middle-distance horses beyond 2024.


An unprecedented boost comes in the form of the highly anticipated Spring Series of median sires races, culminating in the prestigious €200,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Gowran Classic. This remarkable event, scheduled for Bank Holiday Monday, June 3, at Gowran Park Racecourse, is poised to become the richest race ever held at this esteemed venue.

The primary objective of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Gowran Classic is to entice three-year-old middle distance horses with a median price not exceeding €75,000. The winner of this illustrious race will be rewarded with an automatic free entry into the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby, a momentous event set to take place at the Curragh on Sunday, June 30. Both colts and fillies are invited to participate in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Gowran Classic, and the entries for this highly anticipated race will close on March 13.

With a total prize pool of €330,000, the Spring Series comprises six races, each offering a minimum prize fund of €25,000. The Curragh, Navan, and Cork racecourses will host four maiden races, two of which will exclusively feature fillies. Participation in these races will be restricted to runners sired by stallions whose median price did not exceed €50,000 in 2022.

On May 13, Roscommon will host the Irish Stallions Farms EBF 3yo Spring Series Race, featuring a median price restriction of €75,000 and a race value of €30,000. The same median price restriction will apply to the runners competing in the grand finale of the series, boasting an impressive prize of €200,000.

To enhance accessibility, Irish Stallion Farms will sponsor free entry for all racegoers attending the Gowran Park on Bank Holiday Monday, June 3. Eddie Scally, the Manager of Gowran Park Racecourse, expressed his genuine excitement about hosting the inaugural €200,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Gowran Classic, an event that promises to be the pinnacle of flat racing in the region.

He also shared his plans for additional attractions on the day, including live music and a spectacular family fun day, ensuring a memorable experience for attendees. Scally hopes that the Gowran Classic will attract top trainers and riders from both Ireland and abroad, providing them with a warm Kilkenny welcome.

Joe Foley, the Chairman of Irish EBF, acknowledged that Irish Stallion Farms already sponsors two highly successful series for two-year-olds: the auction and median series, with a combined value of nearly €850,000. Recognising the need to support later developing middle-distance three-year-olds, the Spring Series was conceived, with the valuable €200,000 race at Gowran serving as its centrepiece. Foley eagerly anticipates the growth and development of this series and expresses his delight in supporting Gowran Park racecourse, which has made substantial investments in their facilities.

John Osborne, the Director of Bloodstock and Welfare at HRI, shed light on the underlying concept of the Spring Series. The aim is to stimulate greater interest and demand for middle distance horses by providing them with a platform to shine. This initiative incentivises breeders, encourages stallion masters to stand Classic type horses, and expands the market for these valuable equine assets. Additionally, trainers are motivated to nurture these horses over multiple seasons due to the enticing program designed specifically for them.

Willie McCreery, a highly regarded Curragh-based trainer, commended the Irish EBF and Horse Racing Ireland for introducing the groundbreaking Spring Series of median sires races. McCreery described this initiative as a brilliant endeavour, underlining its inclusivity by linking the races to the median price of the stallion. He expressed his enthusiasm for the remarkable opportunities it presents to middle distance horses that require additional time to mature.

The Spring Series offers these horses a significant target to strive for in their three-year-old career. McCreery highlighted the substantial prize money and the coveted 'win and you're in' opportunity to participate in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby as powerful incentives. He concluded by stating his intention to aim horses at all the races, particularly the highly anticipated €200,000 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Gowran Classic.

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