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Thursday, December 16, 2004



BARACOUDA HEADS EIGHT DECLARED RUNNERS FOR TELECTRONICS SYSTEMS LONG WALK HURDLE




Eight runners have been declared at today's 48-hour declaration stage for the highlight of the December Meeting at Royal Windsor, the £75,000 Telectronics Systems Long Walk Hurdle.


Heading the field is Baracouda, the outstanding staying hurdler of recent years and winner of this race in 2000, 2001 and 2003. The nine-year-old made a winning seasonal reappearance when taking the Grade Two Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on November 27.


Francois Doumen's charge is set to reoppose Crystal d'Ainay, the three-quarter length runner-up at Newbury and winner of the Grade Two Cleeve Hurdle at Cheltenham last season and also the Robert Alner-trained mare Kadara, a staying-on third in the Newbury contest.


Martin Pipe is doubly represented by Ilnamar, triumphant in the Grade One Aintree Hurdle in 2002 and a pleasing third on his return from injury behind Monet's Garden in the Grade Two Coloroll Hurdle on November 19, and It Takes Time.


Ireland is represented by last year's Royal & SunAlliance Chase winner Rule Supreme, who also landed the Grade One Grande Course de Haies d'Auteuil (French Champion Hurdle) on June 19.


Completing the field is Jonjo O'Neill's Sh Boom, successful in the Grade Two Premier Stayers' Hurdle at Haydock last season and the Nicky Henderson-trained Geos, twice winner of the competitive totesport Gold Trophy at Newbury.


Declarations have also been made for tomorrow's card at Royal Windsor, which now features seven races following the division of the opening Windsor-Racecourse.co.uk "National Hunt" Maiden Hurdle. This also means that the first race is now at 12.30pm, with the last race at 3.40pm.


The highlight of tomorrow's programme is the £30,000 Grade Two bet@bluesq.com Novices' Hurdle, which has attracted five starters. These are headed by Cherub, a Grade One winner at Punchestown in April who is joined by the Martin Pipe-trained Marcel, a seven-time winner already this year including a Grade Two contest at Cheltenham, Paul Nicholls' Chockdee, Mark Bradstock's Cossack Dancer and Finely Tuned from the Mark Pitman stable.


There are lots of other attractions to tempt racegoers both young and old including Father Christmas, a children's entertainer and brass band on the Saturday. Also on Saturday, bookmaker and Channel 4 Racing personality Barry Dennis will be generously giving away Christmas Puddings to racegoers while the "Voice of Racing" Sir Peter O'Sullevan will be signing copies of his latest book "Peter O'Sullevan's Horse Racing Heroes" on both Friday and Saturday.


The Injured Jockeys' Fund will also have a stall selling a range of Christmas cards, calendars and other gifts for those after Christmas ideas.


Admission prices are Club Enclosure £18, Grandstand & Paddock £12, Silver Ring £6. Advance group discounts available for 20+ people. Children under 16 go free and there is extensive free parking.


Ted Taylor, Managing Director of Royal Windsor Racecourse, said: "I am delighted with the quality of entries we've attracted over the two days which look like being very well supported.

"The feedback from owners, trainers, jockeys and racegoers has been nothing but positive, and it seems everyone is pleased to see jumping back at Windsor.


"It's great to be able to host these relocated fixtures from our neighbours at Ascot and we look forward to welcoming people to two great days' racing, with free Christmas Puds to boot."


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