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Sunday, October 5, 2003


Sir Mark Prescott, one of racing’s most respected trainers and triumphant winner of yesterday’s Tote Cambridgeshire, has allowed attheraces cameras exclusive access to his Heath House stables at Newmarket.

Reporter Ian Abrahams recently shadowed Sir Mark at work to secure a fascinating interview in which the trainer talks of his launch-pad into racing, a life-changing accident, and his love for the theatre and bull fighting.

Abrahams explains: "This is certainly one of the most challenging and high-profile features I have done for attheraces. Sir Mark was very candid and extremely entertaining in the way he described some of the more light-hearted moments of his life."

SIR MARK PRESCOTT: THE MAN will be broadcast on attheraces digital channel:

Monday 6 October 11am

Tuesday 21 October 11am (and repeated when appropriate)
(attheraces is available on Sky 418, ntl 908, and telewest 534)

The hour-long dedicated programme – SIR MARK PRESCOTT: THE MAN - will provide attheraces viewers with a greater knowledge about an essentially private man and his forever changing opinions of racing gathered over five decades at Newmarket. The feature is also includes inserts with stable jockeys George Duffield and Seb Sanders plus Sir Mark Prescott's former assistant trainers William Haggis, Christian Wall and David Loder.


Regarding the Derby:
"You've got to have a sense of proportion, that the Derby is just 12 horses running up a field on the first Saturday in June."

Sir Mark’s association with Jack Waugh and his horses (Spindrifter, Hasten to Add, Foreign Affairs, Alborada and the big gamble Pasternak landed in the Magnet Cup and Cambridgeshire)

“We had hatched this plan that we would only run him twice all year and try and win the Magnet Cup and the Cambridgeshire, so it was a great day when he won."

His passion for bull fighting:
"Well I love the bulls, of course to your average Anglo-Saxon it's absolutely impossible to understand and I always say to people that the average Spaniard has as much chance of enjoying a days cricket if he walks into Lords Cricket Ground not knowing the rules as you have of enjoying a bull fight if you go to Barcelona. You've got to realise it's not a sport, it's an art and is reported on the culture page and not the sports page."

On breaking his back in a riding accident:
"I was in hospital for 18 months. Everything I believed when I went into hospital I didn't believe when I came out, it completely changed the way I viewed life. It gave me a perspective of what was really important and what wasn't. Whilst I came out feeling it was really important to do your job to the absolute best of your ability, I also came out strongly with the view that if you have two beaten favourites at Hamilton, it really isn't all that important at the end of the day."


Pleasantly Perfect returned from a seven-month layoff in style Saturday, rallying boldly for a half-length victory over Fleetstreet Dancer in the $482,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Oak Tree at Santa Anita Park on Saturday

Ridden by Alex Solis at 116 pounds for trainer Richard Mandella and owner Gerald J. Ford of Dallas, Pleasantly Perfect ran nine furlongs in 1:48.37 and paid $4.80, $3.80 and $2.80 as the favorite in the field of eight.

Pleasantly Perfect became the first horse since Lord At War in 1984-85 to win consecutive runnings of the Grade II Goodwood.

Fleetstreet Dancer, a rejuvenated former claiming horse trained by Doug O'Neill, rallied in tandem with Pleasantly Perfect, but was unable to keep pace in the final sixteenth of a mile and finished second. The runner-up was ridden by Tyler Baze at 113 pounds and paid $5 and $3.60.

It was 1-1/4 lengths back to Star Cross, Ryan Fogelsonger aboard at 110 pounds, and a $7.80 show payoff. Joey Franco, the starting high weight at 117 pounds, finished fourth and was followed under the wire by Taste of Paradise, Reba's Gold, Grey Memo and Toccet.

A five-year-old Kentucky-bred by Pleasant Colony, Pleasantly Perfect has a 5-2-1 record from 12 starts and the $300,000 winner's share increased his earnings to $869,880.

Pleasantly Perfect hadn't raced since a fourth-place finish in the Santa Anita Handicap in early March. The large bay wasn't injured, according to Mandella, but required a break due to minor aches and pains from the rigours of racing.

Saturday's victory was an important first step for Pleasantly Perfect, who will now be pointed to the $4-million Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 25 at Santa Anita.

Mandella said his biggest worry was a dawdling pace in front of Pleasantly Perfect, with longshot Taste of Paradise and Toccet dueling through six furlongs in 1:11.83. "I've got to give the credit to Alex (Solis)," the trainer said. "I wouldn't have bet in a million years that they would walk like that and he sensed that as they went down the backside and moved him right into contention. It made the difference."

Said Solis, "At the half-mile pole we had to make a little bit of an early run because they were walking (on the lead). I had plenty of horse. He's a heavy son of a gun, he keeps trying and trying, and you've got to keep riding him."


ALEX SOLIS, PLEASANTLY PERFECT, WINNER: "He's a nice horse. He's been training really sharp for this race and Mr. Mandella did a great job with him, bringing him back. At the half-mile pole we had to make a little run, a little early move because they were walking, and he was all game. I had plenty of horse. He's a heavy son of a gun, he keeps trying and trying, and you've got to keep riding him."

TYLER BAZE, FLEETSTREET DANCER, SECOND: "He tries his butt off every time he runs, and to get beat a head by the horse that won this race last year, man. I mean my horse is coming from being claimed for forty thousand dollars last year. He ran an awesome race, and I feel a lot better now that I've got a Breeders' Cup Classic mount."

VICTOR ESPINOZA, JOEY FRANCO, FOURTH: "I think the distance is a little bit too much for him. When I turned for home I thought he was going to win. Just the last sixteenth of a mile, he kind of had a hard time. But everything else is pretty good. He had a good trip to the outside . . . We had to kind of pressure the lead, because the first quarter they were not going too fast, so I just had to motivate the pace. It's just that a mile, a mile and a sixteenth is probably all he can get."


RICHARD MANDELLA, PLEASANTLY PERFECT, WINNER: "I've got to give the credit to Alex (Solis for his tactics in overcoming a slow pace). I wouldn't have bet in a million years that they would walk like that and he sensed that as they went down the backside and moved him right up into contention. It made the difference. He'd have never caught them had he just let him drift back so I've got to give him a lot of credit."

Asked if this puts him in line for the Breeders' Cup Classic: "Yeah, you bet. That's what I was looking for."

DOUG O'NEILL, FLEETSTREET DANCER, SECOND: "He ran dynamite. He ran great. I'm just so proud of him. We'll just see what happens. The game plan was for him to come from off the pace but I wasn't expecting them to go that slow early. For him to close in on a pace that slow, that was pretty impressive. I think it (Breeders' Cup Classic) is a possibility. He's nominated, so it's definitely a possibility."

DARRELL VIENNA, JOEY FRANCO, FOURTH (AND STAR CROSSED, THIRD): "He (Joey Franco) ran hard. I don't think there's any Breeders' Cup for him."

JOHN SCANLAN, TOCCET, EIGHTH AND LAST: "I don't know (what happened). I wish I had something to say. The horse is fine. If he had a problem I would say so, you know what I mean, but he just didn't seem to fire at all. He wanted to get to it early, go to the front and we were hoping he would lay off the pace a little bit. With this horse, you can't restrain him. You've just got to let him run for what he's worth. All his races have been won on his own.

Anytime we've asked him to do something like new, he has backfired." Asked what he'd do about running in the Breeders' Cup Classic, Scanlan said, "I would I felt if he couldn't beat them horses, no sense in trying the next ones. We're going home."


Fans Encouraged To Plan Ahead and Arrive Early

Racing fans attending the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships during the Oak Tree meeting at Anita Park on Saturday, October 25 are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive early in order to ensure they have no unnecessary delays entering the Arcadia track for the event.

The recommendation comes from Arcadia Police Chief Dave Hinig, who is coordinating the Breeders' Cup security team.

"Enhanced security precautions will be in place on Breeders' Cup Day and we are recommending that people plan their day accordingly and arrive early," said Hinig.

Santa Anita's parking lots will open at 7 a.m. and admission gates will open at 7:30 a.m. on Breeders' Cup Day. The event's Opening Ceremony will take place at 9 a.m. and the first race of the day will begin at 9:40 a.m.

In order to provide for the safety and well being of everyone involved, walk-through electronic scanners will be positioned at each of Santa Anita's admission gates.

"We will be working closely with Santa Anita's Operations and Security Departments to do everything possible to move people through the admission gates as quickly as we can in a friendly manner," said Hinig.

Hinig announced that there would be restrictions on items patrons may bring to the track. Bottles, coolers, backpacks, carryall bags, large bags or containers will be absolutely prohibited as will umbrellas, folding chairs or tables, Frisbees, balloons, skateboards or roller blades.

"We strongly urge patrons to leave these items at home or in their cars," Hinig said. "These items will not be allowed inside the racetrack."

The Arcadia Chief added that there would be a high-profile security presence consisting of personnel from local, state and federal agencies.

"This is truly a group effort to provide maximum security for patrons, employees and horsemen who will be at Santa Anita on Breeders' Cup Day," Hinig said. "It's the first time there has been this kind of presence at Santa Anita."

"The safety and comfort of our customers and participants are of utmost importance at this event," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr. president of Breeders' Cup Limited. "We are grateful to Oak Tree Racing Association, Santa Anita Park, the City of Arcadia Police and the state and federal agencies that are working to design and implement a highly professional security program."

The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships consist of eight Grade I races with purses and awards totaling $14 million guaranteed. The Breeders' Cup will be presented at Santa Anita by the Oak Tree Racing Association. It will be the third Breeders' Cup presented by Oak Tree - the first two were in 1986 and 1993.

General admission-only tickets for the Breeders' Cup are $10 and can be purchased in advance at Southern California Ralphs grocery stores. They will also be available at the admission gates on Breeders' Cup Day.

Oak Tree executives and Arcadia city officials have joined forces to develop plans to help alleviate traffic snarls when the Oak Tree Racing Association hosts the 20th annual Breeders'
Cup World Thoroughbred Championships on Saturday, Oct, 25.

The event is expected to attract upwards of 55,000 fans to Santa Anita Park located 14 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles in Arcadia. Fans attending are encouraged to arrive early and carpool, if possible.

Two previous Breeders' Cups hosted by Oak Tree drew 69,155 in 1986 and 55,130 in 1993.

"We know there will be traffic congestion on Breeders' Cup day, but we have detailed plans in place to move traffic as quickly as volume will allow," said Arcadia Police Chief Dave Hinig. "We are very familiar with Santa Anita Park and its patrons and move race traffic along as smoothly as possible."

Santa Anita Park will open parking lots at 7 a.m., well before first post time at 9:40 a.m. General parking is $10.

For those wanting to avoid traffic, MTA's new Gold Line will run a free shuttle every 15 minutes from the Sierra Madre Villa station to Santa Anita Park beginning at 6 a.m. For more information about the Metro Gold Line go to www.mta.net .

For Breeders' Cup guests staying in area hotels, arrangements have been made for visitors to arrive at Santa Anita Park via special hotel shuttle services.

Still, the majority of fans will arrive at Santa Anita by car.

"We will implement aerial traffic management through the use of a helicopter equipped with video downlink capability, so that we may monitor the traffic flow on a minute by minute basis," Hinig said. "We are working closely with California Highway Patrol and other law enforcement agencies to ensure that people will be able to enter Santa Anita with out any delays."

For fans arriving from westbound I-210 (Foothill Freeway), exit at Baldwin Ave, entering the Santa Anita grounds at gate 8. For those arriving from eastbound I-210, exit at either Santa Anita Ave. or Huntington Dr., entering the track at gates 5 or 3.

1 9:40 am
2 Nextel Breeders' Cup Distaff 3YO+ F&M 1 1/8 Miles $2,000,000 10:20 am
3 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies 2YO F 1 1/16 miles $1,000,000 10:55 am
4 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile 3YO+ 1 Mile (T) $1,500,000 11:35 am
5 Breeders' Cup Sprint 3YO+ 6 Furlongs $1,000,000 12:10 pm
6 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf 3YO+ F&M 1 1/4 Miles (T) $1,000,000 12:34 pm
7 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile 2YO C&G 1 1/16 miles $1,500,000 1:20 pm
8 John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf 3YO+ 1 1/2 Miles (T) $2,000,000 1:55 pm
9 Breeders' Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge 3YO+ 1 1/4 Miles $4,000,000 2:35 pm
10 3:15 pm
11 3:45 pm
12 4:15 pm



Going - good to firm, firm in places

BP= best odds offered by Coral Eurobet, Ladbrokes, Tote, Stanley, Bet 365 and William Hill


Class A, Group Two, £80,000 guaranteed. For 3yo+ fillies & mares. 1m. Weights: 3yo 8st 10lb; 4yo+ 8st 13lb. Penalties: in 2003, a winner of a Group One race 4lb. Weight for age: 3yo from 4yo+ 3lb. Penalty Values: 1st: £46,400; 2nd: £17,600; 3rd: £8,800; 4th: £4,000; 5th: £2,000; 6th: £1,200

1ALMOND MOUSSE (Ecurie Vallin) Robert Collet FR 4-8-13 Sylvain Maillot [6]
Untested on fast ground and and though she has got within two lengths of Bright Sky in a French Group Two could finish only a close fourth in a Listed race last time out.

BP= 20/1 Bet365

2MACADAMIA (Lord Vestey) James Fanshawe 4-8-13 Dane O'Neill [5]
Has run splendidly well this season until tried in the highest company last time out over 10 furlongs - was fifth to Russian Rhythm then in the Group One Vodafone Nassau Stakes and not disgraced, especially as she is better at a mile. A fair chance but others make more appeal.

BP= 5/1 Coral Eurobet & Bet365

3MONTURANI (Mrs R Philipps) Geoff Wragg 4-8-13 Darryll Holland [8]
By Indian Ridge so may not find this ground suitable and anyway does not look good enough.

BP= 22/1 Coral Eurobet & Bet365

4WELSH DIVA (Usk Valley Stud) Amanda Perrett 4-8-13 Eddie Ahern [9]
Has not run since June and disappointed then behind Macadamia but the trainer is in better form now.

BP= 33/1 except Coral Eurobet & Stanleybet

5ECHOES IN ETERNITY (Godolphin) Saeed Bin Suroor 3-8-10 Jamie Spencer [4]
Bounced back to form at Yarmouth in a Listed race. Likes this fast ground and Godolphin is in form. Has a good chance and this a fair price.

BP= 7/1 Ladbrokes

6FAVOURABLE TERMS (Maktoum Al Maktoum) Sir Michael Stoute 3-8-10 Pat Eddery [7]
Lightly-raced and showed improved form to win a French race Group Two last time but this is very short.

BP= 11/10 Tote

7HANAMI (G B Partnership) James Toller 3-8-10 Richard Hughes [10]
Disappointed in the Irish Oaks last time in July, but won a Group Two at the Curragh over 10 furlongs and was previously sixth in the Oaks and fifth in the Guineas. Has somethong to prove coming back.
BP= 11/1 Bet365

8HOLD TO RANSOM (Khalid Buhaleeba) Ed Dunlop 3-8-10 Pat Smullen [3]
Fifth in Canadian Group Two last time out and has run consistently all season except when hampered and disappointed in the Falmouth Stakes at the July Course, won by Macadamia. May be worth another chance at this price
BP= 14/1 Bet365

9LONDONNETDOTCOM (Derek & Jean Clee) Mick Channon 3-8-10 Steve Drowne [2]
It is questionable if she is up to this grade.

BP= 66/1 Ladbrokes

10SOLDERA (Wood Hall Stud Ltd) James Fanshawe 3-8-10 Oscar Urbina [1]Close fourth to Favourable Terms last time out and won at Ascot previously but nothing specially to recommend her.

BP= 6/1 Stanleybet & Bet365

A fascinating race where Echoes In Eternity and Hold To Ransom are the clear value choices - the question is which one to choose. With Saeed bin Suroor in much better form than Ed Dunlop, ECHOES IN ETERNITY gets the nod each-way.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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