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Monday, October 6, 2003


The UCELLO II AND UBU III TROPHY HANDICAP (1.30pm) is set to be one of the highlights of Goodwood's new autumn fixture on Sunday, October 12, 2003.

This unique two-mile Flat event, which is restricted to National Hunt jockeys, is again generously supported by the Marquesa de Moratalla and is named after two of her best racehorses, Ucello II and Ubu III, who along with 1994 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup hero The Fellow, were known as The Three Musketeers'.

Last year's running went to Leighton Aspell on Cedar Master, who proved five lengths too powerful for his 12 opponents. Among the riders behind Aspell were Jimmy McCarthy, successful in this heat in 1997 on Father Sky, Jamie Spencer, predominantly a Flat rider nowadays but still possessing a jump licence, Noel Fehily and Mick Fitzgerald.

Other riders to have been victorious since David Bridgwater took the inaugural running on Mr Browning in 1995 are Paul Carberry (1996), Derek Byrne (1998), Richard Hughes (2000) and Robert Chocolate' Thornton in 2001. 41 entries were made for this year's race today.

The other highlight on the entertaining seven-race programme is the 15,000-added BET ATTHERACES 0800 083 83 83 FILLIES' HANDICAP (3.10pm) over a mile and four furlongs which is for three-year-olds and upwards fillies and mares.

The last three races are connected with organic food and farming, the mile ELM FARM RESEARCH CENTRE HANDICAP (3.45pm), the SOIL ASSOCIATION CLAIMING STAKES (4.20pm) over 11 furlongs and the six-furlong BABY ORGANIX MAIDEN STAKES (4.55pm).

The Goodwood Estate's farm, covering 2,800 acres, is in the process of converting to organic status, with the process due to be completed in the spring.

The two other races on the seven-race programme are the seven-furlong MS MANICURE IN AID OF MACMILLAN CANCER RELIEF HANDICAP (2pm) and the JAN AND LES GILBERT'S RUBY WEDDING ANNIVERSARY MAIDEN STAKES (2.35pm) over 14 furlongs.

This fixture is the 21st and final of the season at Goodwood. Rather appropriately, 2003 has been General Manager and Chief Executive Rod Fabricius' 21st season at Goodwood.


Kieren Fallon is the man that the other Flat jockeys must catch if they wish to take the title of leading rider at Goodwood in 2003, as the beautiful Sussex racecourse stages it last fixture of the year on Sunday, October 12.

The champion jockey has 12 victories to his name at Goodwood this term, six of which came at the July Meeting which was more than enough to give him the Betdaq Trophy for the leading rider at Glorious Goodwood 2003, finishing three ahead of nearest rivals Darryll Holland and Richard Hughes.

Holland is also Fallon's closest contender for the seasonal title, having secured 10 successes at Goodwood this term to date.

For any rider other than Fallon or Holland to be the leading rider at Goodwood, it will take a herculean effort on October 12. A jockey could theoretically gain six victories at this fixture as the first race is just for jump jockeys (see above). This means that Frankie Dettori and Richard Hughes, both on eight wins, could still snatch the title, while Eddie Ahern and Dane O'Neill, each with six successes, could tie with Fallon.

Former international footballer Mick Channon heads the trainers at Goodwood in 2003. He has gained nine successes, two ahead of both Richard Hannon and Sir Michael Stoute.

The chasing pack is headed by Marcus Tregoning on six victories, while Paul Cole, David Elsworth and John Gosden have all entered the winner's enclosure on five occasions.


Another tremendous season at York comes to a rousing conclusion with the October meeting on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (9, 10 & 11 October).

The 2003 campaign on the Knavesmire, which began in May with the unveiling of the much-acclaimed Ebor Stand, heads for an exciting, record-breaking climax, with attendance levels showing an increase of 11% over last year going into the final meeting.

The action on both Thursday and Friday starts at 2.00 p.m., while Saturday's programme begins at 1.40 p.m., concluding at 4.25 p.m., followed by the traditional rendition of ‘Auld Lang Syne', this time by the Band of The Coldstream Guards.

The Showcase Handicap on the opening day, Thursday, is The Betfair.com Rated Stakes over seven furlongs, one of two races supported by the leading sports betting exchange company, who also put their name to a Conditions race for two-year-olds over seven furlongs.

Financial advisors, Seasame plc and major York sponsors Scottish Equitable plc combine to support a Classified Stakes race over one mile and a half in conjunction with The European Breeders Fund. The Green Howards Cup is a Nursery Handicap for two-year-olds (one mile); retired racecourse doctor, Eddie Moll supports the opening race – The Old Gravel Pits Allerthorpe Claiming Stakes - while the concluding race is a handicap contest for apprentice riders sponsored once again by Constant Security Services, the company which performs the security duties at York and several other racecourses.

Friday's seven-race card features The Castlegate Rated Stakes – a Showcase Handicap over one mile – while for the third year, chartered accountants Garbutt & Elliott Ltd. of Monkgate, support a handicap race over the extended mile and a quarter. The Nursery Handicap is also sponsored for the third time by West Yorkshire-based specialist printers, Acorn Web Offset, while juveniles are also in action in The ECHM Hitchenor Maher E.B.F. Maiden Stakes – a race over six furlongs supported for the second time by the leading northern financial services recruitment agency. Black Cat Fireworks, who sponsored at York's opening meeting in May, extend their support to Friday's opening race, a contest for maiden two-year-olds. Sprinters are catered for in both The Haxby Handicap Stakes and The Heworth Classified Stakes.

The principal race on Saturday is the £30,000 coral.co.uk Sprint Trophy, one of the U.K.'s top sprint contests of the autumn. This Showcase Handicap over six furlongs has been sponsored since 1979 by the Coral Group. Last year's winner, The Tatling has gone on to compete with distinction in Group 1 company – finishing runner-up in The Victor Chandler Nunthorpe Stakes at York in August.

Precocious two-year-olds line up for Saturday's opening race, The Newton Fund Managers Rockingham Stakes – a valuable Listed race – while leading house builders, Persimmon Homes, who are based in York, continue their association with the racecourse by supporting a handicap contest over nine furlongs. Three-year-olds are in action in The Aiwa Handicap Stakes as York welcomes new sponsors, Aiwa Electronics; stayers take part in The Coldstream Guards Handicap Stakes, while The Shirley Heights Syndicate and The European Breeders Fund once again combine to sponsor a race for maiden two-year-olds in honour of the dual English and Irish Derby winner of 1978, Shirley Heights, who also won the Dante Stakes at York prior to his Derby successes at Epsom and The Curragh, in the colours of racecourse chairman, Lord Halifax.

Saturday's colour racecard will also contain full details of the afternoon's card at Ascot, a new innovation operated in conjunction with the Tote to maximise the information for racegoers, while two large screens will show even more of the action during the meeting as a whole.

York's fully-supervised crèche facility, ‘Colts & Fillies' is available on Saturday, while on all three days the ‘Punters' Panel' will look at all aspects of racing from the winners' enclosure prior to the action starting.

Going into the York's final meeting of 2003, Britain's champion trainer-elect, Sir Michael Stoute, leads the way in the race for The Minster Jaguar Trophy for the top trainer at York during the season. Sir Michael has recorded eight winners on the Knavesmire this term – two more than fellow Newmarket trainer, David Loder. The champion jockey, Kieren Fallon, has all but secured the seasonal rider's prize at York, with an impressive tally of 13 winners going into the last meeting; this award is supported by Betattheraces.co.uk, who also sponsored last month's Garrowby Stakes at York.

The scene is set for a memorable finish to York's 2003 campaign.

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