(from Breeders' Cup release)
Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s Dar Re Mi became the first European horse to qualify for the 2009 Breeders’ Cup World Championships following her half-length victory in the Audi Pretty Polly Stakes (Ire-I) June 27 at the Curragh. The 4-year-old filly earned an automatic starting position into the $2-million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly &Mare Turf (gr. IT), which will be run Nov. 6 at Santa Anita Park.
The Pretty Polly was the first European race of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Challenge, a global series of 62 stakes races. The winners earn automatic starting positions into a corresponding race of the World Championships. This year’s series has been expanded to 12 overseas races from premier racetracks in England, Ireland, France, Australia, and Hong Kong.
Trained by John Gosden and ridden by Jimmy Fortune, Dar Re Mi made the pace throughout the 1 1/4-mile Pretty Polly and held off 25-1 Beach Bunny over the final quarter-mile in 2:14.04 over a "yielding" turf course. Favored Look Here was third.
Dar Re Mi, an English-bred daughter of Singspiel out of Darara, was bred by Watership Down Stud. Gosden trained last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) winner Raven’s Pass, and also Donativum, who won the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.
In addition to the winner’s share of the purse, Dar Rae Mi also earned $30,000 in Breeders' Cup owners’ premiums because she was nominated to the Breeders’ Cup program as a foal. This year, the Breeders’ Cup has placed $50,000 in owners’ premiums on 11 international Breeders’ Cup Challenge races. If a Breeders’ Cup nominated horse finishes in one of the three top finishing positions, the owner of the horse earns an additional bonus.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge series resumes July 4 in the U.S. at Monmouth Park with the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) for a qualifying position in the $3-million Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) and the Salvator Mile (gr. III) for a starting berth in the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile.
The 2009 Breeders’ Cup Challenge schedule is available at: http://www.breederscup.com/content.aspx?id=40070.