The fourth running of the Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes will carry a €300,000 prize fund with free entry for racegoers in a raft of boosts for the valuable and prestigious raceday announced today by Naas Racecourse, Irish EBF and Ballyhane Stud.
Now firmly established in the racing calendar as a major target for trainers and owners in Ireland and Britain, this year’s race has attracted a mammoth 345 entries with the winning connections in line for a €150,000 pot with every runner in the 7th August showpiece earning prize money.
Entries for the €300,000 prize cost connections just an initial €250 and the race has attracted 145 British-trained entries with a total of 29 Irish-based trainers are currently dreaming of success.
The Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes is a median auction race for two-year-olds that are EBF eligible and whose sire established one or more yearling sales last year with a median price of not more than €75,000.
See how Voce Del Palio won last year’s Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes for Joseph O’Brien and Declan McDonogh
This year’s prize fund will bring the total to over €1.2m for the Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes since its inception in 2020 and with the added bonus of prize money being awarded to every horse in the race, the current total of 16 trainers and 28 different owners who have claimed prize money in the race is very much likely to swell.
The breeder of the winning horse is also acknowledged with a free nomination to a Ballyhane Stud stallion being just one of the many incentives offered by the County Carlow-based stud.
Ballyhane have also revealed today that they will be sponsoring admission for all patrons on the day meaning that all racegoers can enjoy the richest raceday of the year at Naas with free admission.
On the day, racegoers will also have the opportunity to win a prize of a lifetime with a trip to the Rugby World Cup up for grabs. A draw will be made just prior to the Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes assigning one lucky racegoer to each horse in the feature race and the name linked to the winning horse will win a two-night package for Ireland v South Africa including return flights, hotel transfers, hotel B&B, pre-match lunch and two tickets.
Joe Foley, owner of Ballyhane Stud, said: “It was great to see the Flat season kick off last weekend and we are once again eagerly awaiting the Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes in August. The race may be a few months away yet but owners and trainers alike love to dream and it’s fantastic to see such a strong number of entries for what will be the fourth renewal of the race. The Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes is a valuable race and prize money is so important to the owners, so we are excited to be associated with such a popular day once again.”
Eamonn McEvoy, manager of Naas Racecourse, added: “The Irish EBF Ballyhane Stakes is a highlight of the August Bank Holiday weekend now and we are delighted with the huge number of entries we have received. Everyone at Naas is very grateful to Ballyhane for their support by also sponsoring the gate on the day and some lucky racegoer is going to leave on the day with a trip of a lifetime to see the best rugby team in the world at the World Cup. It promises to be a fantastic afternoon.”