5 Fast Facts about the Beresford Stakes, a European Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race
- The Beresford Stakes was founded in the middle years of the 19th century. Run over a mile, the Beresford is being run this year at Naas racecourse, in County Kildare, while its normal venue, The Curragh, is being renovated.
- Rated as a group 2 race, the Beresford Stakes is the first race in the new seven-race European Road to the Kentucky Derby series, the winner of which will earn a place in the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
- Some truly outstanding racehorses and sires have won the race – Nijinsky, Just a Game, Assert, Sadler’s Wells, El Prado, Azamour, Sea the Stars, and St Nicholas Abbey. Last year it was won by Capri, winner this year of the Irish Derby and the St Leger in England.
- If you want a measure of how much the Coolmore-backed stable of Aidan O’Brien dominates Irish racing, look no further than the Beresford. O’Brien has saddled 16 winners of the race – all in a 21-year period beginning 1996.
- What are the odds of O’Brien winning again? Of the 10 entries for the race, he trains seven.
(St Nicholas Abbey photo courtesy of the Dubai Racing Club)