5 Fast Facts about the Beresford Stakes, a European Road to the Kentucky Derby prep race

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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)