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Thursday, November 30, 2006



Paddy Power Gold Cup victor Exotic Dancer is set to bid for further Cheltenham glory in the £150,000 Boylesports.com Gold Cup over two miles, five furlongs on Saturday, December 9.

The prestigious Grade Three handicap chase forms part of a lucrative seven-race card and has received a £40,000 prize money boost thanks to the generous support of Boylesports, Ireland's fastest growing independent bookmaker.

The Jonjo O'Neill-trained six-year-old, who has been allotted 11st 4lb is one of three entries for owner Sir Robert Ogden, alongside the Nicky Henderson-trained pair, Calling Brave (10st 3lb) and Iris Royal (10st), successful in the same contest three years ago.

Barry Simpson, the owner's racing manager, reported today: "Exotic Dancer is the horse that has run recently and won recently, so of the three we have entered in the Boylesports.com Gold Cup he's the one who is most likely to run at this stage. He's in great shape and our intention is to go there with him.

"Iris Royal is entered at Fakenham on Monday. He and Calling Brave haven't run yet this season. They'll be ready to run by then but I don't think we'd want to run three in the race."

Exotic Dancer defeated Vodka Bleu by three lengths in the Paddy Power Gold Cup over half a furlong less at Cheltenham on November 11, and that rival is set to oppose carrying 10st 9lb.

The Boylesports.com Gold Cup is a highlight of the two day Boylesports International, which commences on Friday, December 8, when the main event is the £100,000 Boylepoker.com Chase over three miles, one and a half furlongs.

The Boylepoker.com Chase boasts tremendous doubled prize money this year thanks to the generous support of Boylesports.

The Grade Two Boylesports.com International, which takes place on Saturday, December 9, is the feature event of the two-day meeting and has fantastic prize money totalling £200,000, with enticing rewards down to sixth place.

The Boylesports.com International is one of the premier trials for the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle and could see a clash between the Philip Hobbs-trained Detroit City - winner of the Grade One JCB Triumph Hurdle at The Festival in March and a wide-margin victor of the Greatwood Hurdle at The Open in November - and two-time champion hurdler Hardy Eustace.

While the winner takes home a whopping £114,040, the runner-up can expect to collect £42,780, the third £21,420, fourth-place £10,680, the fifth £5,306 and the sixth-placed runner £2,680.

With such generous rewards on offer, the Boylesports.com International is one of the most lucrative hurdle races in the calendar and gives the connections of beaten horses ample compensation.

Boylesports has transformed the prize money for the two mile, one furlong contest and is also offering a huge £200,000 bonus (£180,000 to the owner, £10,000 to the trainer & £10,000 to the yard's stable staff) to any horse that can win the Boylesports.com International and the Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on March 13, 2007.

The Boylesports.com International closes for entries at noon on Monday, December 4.

The Boylesports.com International is the feature race of the mouth-watering Boylesports International, which comprises two days of fantastic racing on Friday, December 8, and Saturday, December 9. All races will take place on Cheltenham's New Course, which has not been used since May.


Chris John, the British Horseracing Board's Marketing Director since 2002, has decided to leave in the New Year. A structural review of the central marketing function will take place over the coming months. This will involve a significantly reduced budget for 2007.

BHB's Marketing Manager Ed Coke and Ownership and Bloodstock Marketing Executive Harriet Rochester are also to move on at the end of the year. Rochester, who has recently developed welcometoracehorseownership.co.uk, an online digital brochure targeted at anyone interested in ownership in Britain, plans to set up on her own as a racing and sports marketing consultant, while Coke is to pursue other career interests.

Speaking today of his departure, Chris John said: "I have reached this decision after much careful consideration - it is based primarily on the reduced resources available in the future for central marketing.

"BHB's marketing spend has been reduced by more than £2 million since its peak of over £3m in 2003 and 2004 - years in which the sport set records for racecourse attendances, ownership, the number of horses in training and other key indicators.

"Core areas of current activity such as the Order of Merit, britishhorseracing.com - with its unique and ground-breaking ticket booking facility - the British Bloodstock Marketing Group and the consumer PR and communications functions will continue under BHA, but the BHB Board and BHA Member organisations have agreed that other areas should be devolved principally to the appropriate industry associations. It is imperative that these activities are carried out and that commitments are honoured in this area.

"I would like to express my gratitude to Ed Coke for his professionalism, dedication to Racing and for his personal support at the BHB over the last four years. I would also like to thank Harriet for her commitment and creativity in the way she has brought new owners into the sport. They have both been part of a very close and successful team that has served the industry as a whole.

"I am very grateful to everyone I have worked with across all sectors of British Racing during the last four years for their support, enthusiasm and friendship."

BHB Chairman Martin Broughton said: "I would like to thank Chris for his outstanding contribution to British Racing. Since he joined BHB in 2002, the sport has gone from strength to strength and Chris and his team have implemented successful and award winning initiatives which have contributed significantly to this success. They have also continued to carry out their roles effectively and with great professionalism since the difficulties caused by the ECJ Judgment in November 2004. I am very pleased that Chris has agreed to stay on until the New Year to help with transitional arrangements. We will be extremely sorry to lose him but understand the reasons for his decision and wish him every success in the future."

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

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