“Stayers’ Maidens” to provide boost to staying race programme

09 Sep 2015 Racing/Fixtures

  • 10 maiden races to be staged for progeny of staying stallions in 2016 season
  • Races will be for two-year-olds whose sire won over 10f or more
  • All races will carry enhanced prize money

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has today announced a new initiative as part of the ongoing review of the race programme for staying horses. The development will see the conditions of 10 maiden races over distances of 7f, 8f and 9f adjusted by restricting them to two-year-olds whose sires won over 10 furlongs or more.

The 10 races will carry enhanced prize money support from the British European Breeders Fund (BEBF) and be run with EBF conditions. These races will help to prepare a proportion of the two-year-old population for a future staying career as well as provide encouragement for the ongoing production of such horses. The initiative has been approved by the BHA’s Flat Racing Committee, which includes representation from breeders, owners, trainers and racecourses.

The programme of 10 races will be run during the second half of each season, allowing time for the development of the type of horse that such races are aimed at attracting. As such, four of these races have already been programmed during the latter part of the 2015 season. Each race will carry prize money of £10,000. The race details are as follows:

7 October – Nottingham over 8f

13 October – Leicester over 7f

21 October – Newmarket over 8f

9 November – Kempton Park over 7f


Ruth Quinn, the BHA’s Director of International Racing and Racing Development, said:

“The introduction of these races for specific two-year-old maidens should be seen as a step towards bolstering the programme for stayers in Britain. These races will be part of a process to assist in future-proofing the development of what is a key area for British racing and an extremely important, actually global, role that Britain has regarding the ongoing development of the thoroughbred.

“The races illustrate the BHA’s desire to take further steps to ensure that staying races and horses do continue to thrive, and it also reflects the commitment made in January by the European Pattern Committee to review the European staying programme over the next few years.”

Philip Freedman, Chairman for the BEBF Trustees, said:

“The Trustees are delighted to be able to confirm their support for these new races. Attention has been drawn to the lack of opportunities for the true staying-type and it is hoped that these races will be the first step on the ladder to an enhanced stayers programme.

“With the majority of our funding coming from British stallion owners and having many of the best sires in the world standing in Britain, we are pleased to support these staying maidens and, in turn, the British bloodstock and racing industry.”

Julian Richmond-Watson, the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association’s (TBA) Chairman, said:

“We are delighted that the BHA and the BEBF Trustees are supporting the TBA’s campaign for the staying horse through the creation and sponsorship of these new staying maiden races, thus sharing our commitment to maintaining and improving the thoroughbred breed.”


Notes to editors:

1. The two-year-old population in 2014 was made up as follows:

  • 2869 individual two-year-old runners
  • Of which 684 (24%) were by sires that had won over 10f or further during their racing careers
  • This equates to 82 qualifying sires out of 246 represented by at least one runner

2. EPC’s announcement of the changes to the 2015 European programme and commitment to staying and middle races can be seen here: