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Tuesday, October 7, 2003


First Spanish-trained runner in historic Newmarket handicap

Dawari heads back towards familiar ground later this week when he travels from his Spanish stables to Warren Place in preparation for this year's £125,000 Tote Cesarewitch at Newmarket, on Saturday, October 18.

Formerly owned by the Aga Khan and trained by Sir Michael Stoute in Newmarket, Dawari was bought by trainer Peter Haley with the famous handicap specifically in mind.

Currently available at 40/1 with the sponsors, he arrives in England on Wednesday and will stay with Henry Cecil to complete the final preparations before the race in which he is set to carry 8st 8lb.

A half-brother to winning hurdler Darapour, the marathon trip of two miles, two furlongs should hold no fears for the In The Wings five-year-old, who has never run beyond one mile and five furlongs in England but has been running well over slightly further in Spain. Haley, based at Mijas Racecourse in the Costa del Sol, is optimistic about the chances of success:

"We bought him with the Tote Cesarewitch in mind and he's been running consistently well in Spain. Our longest races here are over a mile and six furlongs and he's finished second over that trip already so I'm very confident he'll get every yard at Newmarket - he's a very relaxed horse in his races which should help. Ideally, we'd like a bit of cut in the ground as he's by In The Wings."

Dawari has previously been ridden by Fergal Lynch and Haley is keen to renew the partnership if it was possible, although no final plans have been made. The gelding has been a tardy starter in some of his previous races, but his trainer is confident that this is no longer a problem:

"He has been slowly away in some of his races in England, but we've worked hard to iron out those problems and he's been much better - whether you're racing over six furlongs or two miles, you don't want to give ground away unnecessarily."


15 Entries for Britain's Oldest Race

Fifteen horses have been entered for this year's Town Plate, founded by Charles II and first run in 1664.

The race, run over an extended three miles and six furlongs, takes place at Newmarket's July Course on Sunday, October 12 and heading the list of entries is the consistent handicapper Pinchincha.

A winner of seven races at distances up to 10 furlongs including this season's Weatherbys Summer Cup at Doncaster, the nine-year-old is due to be partnered by owner Trevor Wells.

Pinchincha's trainer, Dave Morris, said this morning: "Pinchincha is in great form and was in at York this week, but we wanted to have a bit of fun and Trevor will ride him in the Town Plate.

"He's a pussycat to ride at home and Trevor's been riding him out all week, but he might just perk up a bit at the races! Trevor rode in a charity race last week and he's pretty competent, so he should have a great ride.

"We've won the Northumberland Plate before (Bay of Islands, 2000), so why not have a crack at our home town Plate? It'll be like winning the Derby to Trevor if he can get his head in front. He's in his sixtieth year and one of the nicest guys I know - I'd be over the moon for him if he won it."

Other old favourites entered include Northern Motto, a winner of eight races at up to two miles on the Flat, and winning staying chaser Valigan, previously with Len Lungo and successful six times.

The Town Plate is the centrepiece of a seven-race card on October 12, the other six contests being Arab Races. The first race is at 1.30pm. Admission is £8 (OAP's £5).

Full list of entries
Horse Owner Jockey

Ha Ha Ha Mr K F Clutterbuck Mr Nick Hyde
Pinchincha (FR) Mr T J Wells Mr Trevor Wells
Two Huge The Really Huge Partnership Mr Gerry Chesneaux
Foreign Rule (IRE) Mr P J Kirkpatrick Mr P Kirkpatrick
Eviyrn S C Finance Mr P Kirkpatrick
Blowing Away Mrs E Reed Mr John Ryan
Diorama Mrs K Tobin & Miss R Kennedy Miss L. Brewer
Northern Motto Mr D C Stewart Mr D C Stewart
Wild Willie D Miss N Howarth Mr William Dixon
Vailgan Mr M Bailey Mr M Bailey
Prologue Mr C Jarvis Mr C Jarvis
The Burglar Mrs R Page Mr Russell Page
Barbed Broach Mrs J Fielden Mr Ross Birkett
Corkan Mr D Marshall Mr Dan Marshall
Brostaig Ort Ms Helen Kington Ms H. Kington


Wetherby's new season over Jumps begins on Wednesday (15 October) the first of 17 days' racing during the course's 2003/04 Jumping campaign - which includes a new Saturday fixture (17 January) and a Sunday meeting on 25 April.

Wednesday's quality programme begins at 2.20 p.m., with the feature races being The Rocom/A.T.L. Telecom Hurdle (a Showcase Handicap over two miles with £20,000 added to stakes) and The Bobby Renton Handicap Chase over the extended two and a half miles with prize money of £15,000. The Rocom Group - based at Thorp Arch - one of the U.K.'s leading specialist companies in I.T. and telecoms products, are regular sponsors at Wetherby, while the late Bobby Renton, who trained Freebooter to win the 1950 Grand National from his base at Ripon, is once again remembered on the opening day of Wetherby's season.

The Lew Rhind Racecourse Bookmaker Novices' Handicap Chase over the extended two miles, seven furlongs is sponsored by local businessman David Aarons, to celebrate his return as racecourse bookmaker Lew Rhind, after a four-year absence from the betting ring. David represents the oldest established family bookmakers in the U.K.

Wednesday's card is also the backdrop to the 13th annual charity meeting in aid of Spinal Research, with over £182,000 raised during the previous twelve charity racedays at Wetherby for the national charity which funds research into finding a cure for paralysis caused by injury to the spinal cord.

Three races are sponsored in aid of Spinal Research - The skybet.com Juvenile Novices' Hurdle for three-year-olds, The McCain Novices' Handicap Hurdle (a contest for stayers over three miles and one furlong supported by McCain Foods (G.B.) Ltd. - the frozen food specialists), while owners with Malton-based trainer Malcolm Jefferson return to support a contest for novice hurdlers.

Spinal Research is once again hosting a fund-raising luncheon prior to racing in a marquee adjacent to the Parade Ring (noon for 12.30 p.m.). Reservations for the luncheon can be made by contacting Rachel Wright (Tel. 01759 371645 during the day or 371584 evenings). A special auction will take place in the marquee for several high-profile prizes, including badges for racing at Cheltenham on Saturday, 13 December with a £200 free bet courtesy of Sky Bet, a stay at Coniston Hall Hotel near Skipton, a day's pheasant shooting as a guest of Lord Swinton and a private box at a future Wetherby meeting.

Trainer Mary Reveley and rider Russ Garritty took the honours in last season's top trainer and jockey awards at Wetherby, sponsored by The Nag's Head at Pickhill, near Thirsk.

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