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Wednesday, November 10, 2010



Paddy Power has opened a market on the Thomas Pink Leading Rider Award at The Open.

Heading the market at 5/2 for the coveted prize, which is awarded to the jockey who rides the most winners over the three days of The Open (Friday, November 12 to Sunday, November 14), are Richard Johnson and Noel Fehily. With Ruby Walsh on the sidelines, Fehily looks set to gain a number of lucrative spare rides from the powerful Paul Nicholls stable during The Open.

Top Jockey at Cheltenham this weekend (Paddy Power bets):

5/2 Richard Johnson, Noel Fehily, 5/1 Barry Geraghty, 6/1 AP McCoy, 14/1 Paddy Brennan, Joe Tizzard, Jason Maguire, 20/1 Timmy Murphy, 25/1 Tom Scudamore, 33/1 Wayne Hutchinson, Graham Lee, Nina Carberry, Paul Moloney, Sam Twiston-Davies, 50/1 Sam Waley-Cohen, Sam Thomas, Tom O’Brien, Daryl Jacob, 66/1 Will Kennedy

Paddy Power himself said: “Ruby Walsh’s misfortune has been Noel Fehily’s gain and champion trainer Paul Nicholls has provided him with some wonderful rides at Cheltenham this weekend.

“Noel’s rides are likely to include Tchico Polos, who looks to have a lively chance in the Paddy Power Gold Cup as well as Sanctuaire, who obviously has a favourite’s chance in the Greatwood Hurdle the following day.”

In the event of a tie, the number of placed mounts will be taken into consideration.

Thomas Pink, the leading shirtmaker, also extends its support to the Leading Trainer Award at The Open as well as the awards for both leading jockey and leading trainer at The Festival in March.

The previous top jockeys at The Open over the last five years are:

2009 - Paddy Brennan & Ruby Walsh (2 winners)
2008 - Paddy Brennan (2 winners)
2007 - Paddy Brennan (2 winners)
2006 - Ruby Walsh (6 winners)
2005 - Timmy Murphy (4 winners)

Leading Jockeys at The Open since 1990

Tony McCoy 39
Timmy Murphy 19
Ruby Walsh 16
Richard Johnson 11
Mr J T McNamara 7
Paddy Brennan 6
Joe Tizzard 6
Robert Thornton 6
Barry Geraghty 5
Noel Fehily 4
Paul Carberry 3
Brian Harding 3
Philip Hide 3
Graham Lee 3
Jimmy McCarthy 3
Tom Scudamore 3
Sam Thomas 3


Meeting - The Open - Friday, Saturday & Sunday, November 12, 13 & 14
First race - 1.15pm Friday, 12.45pm Saturday, 1.10pm Sunday
Tickets available from www.cheltenham.co.uk or by calling 08445 793 003.

Forpadydeplasterer heads to Cheltenham for an exciting renewal of the £50,000 Sinbad Testimonial 2010/2011 Chase (1.45pm), which brings together a select bunch of crack two-milers on Sunday, November 14.

The Tom Cooper-trained top-class chaser makes his seasonal return in the two-mile contest, having finished runner-up in each of his five starts last season, including when six lengths behind Big Zeb in the Grade One Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase over the course and distance at The Festival in March.

Forpadydeplasterer boasts top-class winning form over two miles at Cheltenham too, with a battling triumph over Kalahari King in the Grade One The Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase at The Festival in 2009, the highlight of his career to date.

Cooper revealed this morning: “Forpadydeplasterer is going to Cheltenham on Sunday. He had a good summer off, all has gone well with him since he came back and I am very happy with him.

“This is a nice race to start him off in. He goes there without a penalty and he has always run well at Cheltenham. Good to soft ground will be fine for him.

“The plan this year is to step him up to three miles, so after this we will go to Kempton with him for the King George at Christmas.”

The lucrative contest could also feature the Paul Nicholls-trained dual (2008 & 2009) Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase victor Master Minded, who was third to Well Chief in last season’s Sinbad Testimonial 2010/2011 Chase and must concede 10lb to Forpadydeplasterer.

Nicholls could also saddle Tataniano, who proved himself a top-class novice with a Grade Two victory in The Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase over the course and distance at The Open last year, before going on to clinch a Grade One triumph at Aintree in April.

Also among the 14 entries are Nicky Henderson’s high-class charge Petit Robin and the smart performers Consigliere, Chaninbar, Mahogany Blaze, Oiseau De Nuit, Oh Crick, I’msingingtheblues and Moon Over Miami.

Nick Williams could run Gauvain, who was last seen in public winning an extended two-mile novice chase by six lengths from Chapoturgeon at Cheltenham in April, 2009, for his former trainer Charlie Mann.

The £100,000 Grade Three Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (2.20pm) headlines Sunday’s thrilling six-race card, while other highlights include the £30,000 Grade Two The Independent Newspaper Novices’ Chase (1.10pm) and the £25,000 Grade Two Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle (3.30pm).

The Open commences on Friday, November 12, with six enthralling races, including the £25,000 Grade Two Cheltenham Collection Novices’ Hurdle (1.50pm), the £40,000 Paddypower.com Handicap Chase (2.25pm), and the £25,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeplechase (3pm) over Cheltenham’s unique cross country course.

Saturday’s excellent six-race card features the £150,000 Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup (2.35pm) and also includes the £25,000 Grade Two JCB Triumph Hurdle Trial (12.50pm) and the £50,000 Grade Three Morson Group Handicap Chase (1.50pm) over an extended three miles and three furlongs.


There is great anticipation ahead of the 2010 Cartier Racing Awards after another fabulous year of horseracing, with the winners announced in London on the evening of Tuesday, November 16.

European horseracing’s most prestigious accolades will be presented for a landmark 20th time during a glittering ceremony before an invited audience of 350 in the ballroom of London’s Dorchester Hotel.

The Cartier Racing Awards recognise excellence in horseracing and the awards are the sport’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Split into eight categories for the year’s top horses, including the particularly coveted Cartier Horse Of The Year, the awards are determined by points earned in Pattern races combined, at the end of the season, with the opinions of a panel of leading racing journalists, as well as votes from readers of the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph.

The categories are Cartier Horse Of The Year; Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt, Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly, Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt, Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly; Cartier Stayer, Cartier Sprinter and Cartier Older Horse.

The nominations for this year’s awards - five in each category - will be announced tomorrow, Thursday, November 11.

The Cartier Racing Awards were established in 1991 to recognise the achievements of racehorses in Europe and have proved their staying prowess.

Harry Herbert, Cartier’s Racing Consultant, commented: “We have enjoyed thrilling top-class racing throughout the year and the 2010 Cartier Racing Awards will honour the champions.

“The announcement of the Cartier Racing Awards on Tuesday will be particularly momentous, with it being the 20th unveiling of these very prestigious awards.

“This milestone is being celebrated during the evening by a film tribute to previous winners.”

The Cartier Racing Awards also include the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award Of Merit for the person or persons who, in the opinion of the special 18-strong Cartier Jury, has/have done most for European racing and/or breeding either over their lifetime or within the past 12 months.

The list of past winners of the Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit is as follows; HM The Queen (Cartier Millennium Award of Merit), John Oxx, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Niarchos Family, Peter Willett, Henry Cecil, David & Patricia Thompson, Lord Oaksey, Tony McCoy (Cartier Special Award), Prince Khalid Abdullah, John Magnier, His Highness The Aga Khan, Peter Walwyn, the Head Family, Sir Peter O’Sullevan, Frankie Dettori, John Dunlop, the Marquess of Hartington, Francois Boutin, Lester Piggott and Henri Chalhoub.

A full list of previous Cartier Racing Awards winners is provided below for your information.


Champion trainer Paul Nicholls will bid to enhance his superb record in the £200,000 Grade One Betfair Chase (3.25pm) with leading chaser What A Friend on course to contest the prestigious three-mile chase at Haydock Park on Saturday, November 20.

The Ditcheat handler has dominated the Betfair Chase since its inception courtesy of 14-time Grade One winner Kauto Star, who took the spoils in 2006, 2007 and beat subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup victor Imperial Commander in a scintillating climax to last year’s race.

What A Friend himself posted a pair of Grade One victories last season, having scored in the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown in December and ended his campaign with a comfortable success in the totesport Bowl at Aintree’s Grand National meeting, when he took on the likes of Nacarat and Imperial Commander.

The seven-year-old is part-owned Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and there is an outside chance he could be joined in the Betfair Chase by stable-companion Noland, who has not raced since taking the Grade One John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase in December, 2008.

Nicholls revealed today: “What A Friend is likely to be our only runner in the Betfair Chase. He had a breathing operation over the summer and he looks in good form at the moment.

“After Haydock, his main objective of the season will be the Cheltenham Gold Cup. We didn’t aim him at Cheltenham last season because we wanted to give him a bit of time to mature but it is definitely his long-term target this time around.

“Denman and Kauto Star will not be heading to Haydock but Noland is a slight possibility for the Betfair Chase. I have just had a little temporary hold-up with him and I would want him bang on when he runs.

“It’s pointless if horses need a run after they have been off for while and we might need another fortnight with him. I am trying to find a race for him and will have to discuss it with (owner) John Hales, so it’s 99 per cent certain that What A Friend will be our only representative.”

The Betfair Chase is the highlight of the two-day Northwest Masters, which continues at Aintree on Sunday, November 21, and is one of only three Grade One staying chases in Britain, the others being the three-mile King George VI Chase at Kempton in December and the extended three and a quarter-mile Gold Cup at Cheltenham in March.

Haydock’s fantastic seven-race card on November 20 also features the £75,000 Listed 40% Better Off On Betfair SP “Fixed Brush” Handicap Hurdle (2.55pm) over three miles, as well as the £40,000 Betfair iphone & Android App Hurdle (1.50pm) over two miles for four-year-olds.

The day commences at 12.40pm with the £17,500 Coronation Street 50th Anniversary Novices’ Hurdle over two miles, while the remaining contests are also over two miles, the £25,000 Follow Paul Nicholls On Facebook And Twitter Handicap Chase (1.15pm) and the £7,000 Timeform Betfair Racing Club Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (3.55pm).

The Northwest Masters continues at Aintree on Sunday, November 21, which is the only raceday of the year to feature two races over the famous Grand National fences - the £60,000 totesuper7 Grand Sefton Chase (12.35pm) and the £100,000 Listed totesport.com Becher Chase (1.45pm).


Live coverage of the Breeders’ Cup and the thrilling end to the Jockeys Championship title race helped At The Races to record its highest ever daily audience reach, it was announced today.

According to latest BARB figures, 565,487 viewers tuned into At The Races on Saturday 6th November to watch live coverage from Churchill Downs, Doncaster’s Totesport.com November Handicap meeting and action from Down Royal where Kauto Star’s return was the feature of Jnwine.com Champion Chase Day.

Jason Weaver, Matt Chapman and John McCririck led an exclusive, live presentation of the 27th Breeders’ Cup event from Churchill Downs while Steve Millar hosted a London studio set. The dramatic final days of the Flat season and the epic duel between Paul Hanagan and Richard Hughes for the Jockeys Championship title proved equally compelling for ATR viewers. A quarter hour audience of 184,563 was recorded by BARB on Saturday afternoon while 144,139 was the figure registered on Friday at 7pm during coverage of Wolverhampton’s evening meeting.

attheraces.com recorded just under 7 million page views on Saturday 6th November, a figure the site has surpassed only during this year’s Cheltenham Festival. The Churchill Downs showpiece helped attheraces.com reach a total of 983,000 unique users for the 31 days Oct 7th – Nov 6th 2010.

Matthew Imi, Chief Executive, At The Races said:

“The Breeders’ Cup and Churchill Downs are to be congratulated for putting on another spectacular event, one that continues to be enjoyed by ATR viewers and online users. Our exclusive coverage this year has again helped us set new audience records. In basic terms we now regularly reach 2 million TV viewers and 1 million web users a month – that has to be good news for racing.”

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