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Sunday, December 11. 2005


Alberto Ribeiro of Uruguay today won the thrilling 2005 Godolphin Seven Stars competition, clinching the world’s greatest free-to-enter Internet horseracing contest by just one point.

He came out on top with 232 points, with his seven selections headed by Dubawi (110 points), Godolphin’s Irish 2,000 Guineas and Prix Jacques le Marois hero. His other choices were Dubai Surprise (40 points), Razkalla (35 points), Kydd Gloves (20 points), Into The Dark (17 points), Oude (10 points) and River Street (0 points).

His prize is US$100,000, plus two first-class flights to Dubai with Emirates Airline and seven nights in a duplex suite at the seven-star Burj Al Arab Hotel for the 2006 Dubai World Cup meeting in March.

The 68-year-old retiree, who lives with his wife and son in Montevideo, the capital of the small South American country, said today: “I still cannot believe I have won - we are all overwhelmed. This is a real Dubai Surprise!

“Up to the beginning of 2005, little was known about international racing in my country but then it was announced that we were going to be able to see the Dubai World Cup live.

“Through a radio interview, I realised how easy it was for someone with no knowledge of English to go into the Godolphin website and participate in the Godolphin Seven Stars.

“I still don’t have a great understanding of horseracing but consider it to be a great spectacle.

“The choice of Dubawi was the easiest of my Seven Stars - he had the most hope and was known to be a great horse.

“Since Dubai Surprise won in Italy on October 23, we have followed the progress of the competition nervously through www.godolphin.com. It has been an emotional experience.”

The 2005 Godolphin Seven Stars proved to be a truly international affair with the final 50 representing no less than 19 different countries, while there were entries from over 240 countries.

Entries had to be made by March 25, the day before the initial points were awarded for performances at the Dubai World Cup. Entrants to racing's greatest free-to-enter on-line competition picked seven Godolphin horses and were awarded points for their selections finishing first, second or third in races, with extra points for Group/Graded races.

Second place went to Idun Rosenfeld of Norway with 231 points, while Yoshihiro Yoshida of Japan finished in third with 226 points The fourth, Angel Ruben Alzurutt Riera of Venezuela, and fifth, Almoiz Mehaisi of the UAE, also had 226 points, with their positions being determined by the date and time they made their entry.

The second prize is US$50,000, while the third earns US$30,000 with US$15,000 for the fourth and US$5,000 for the fifth.

Idun Rosenfeld, who lives near Oslo, selected Dubawi (110 points), Botanical (36), Razkalla (35), Belenus (25), Kydd Gloves (20), Windsor Knot (5) and Blue Gulf (0).

She commented today: “I was the leader for a few days in September but since then I did not think I would win but believed I had a good chance of a prize.

“I was so happy this morning when I got the call confirming I was second. I read about the competition a few years ago in the Scandinavian racing papers and have made entries before in the Godolphin Seven Stars.”

The 32-year-old vet, who spent time at the Dubai Equine Hospital when a student, deals with horses in her work, mainly with broodmares rather than horses in training.

“I have a good feeling about Dubai. I entered this year’s competition just before it closed - I thought I had time to study the form which I did for Dubawi and Botanical but then ran out of time with the others and just picked those five - it was all down to luck.

“We will spend some of the prize on a nice vacation sometime this winter when the weather is at its worst in Norway.”

This was the sixth year of the Godolphin Seven Stars and the first time that winners have come from Uruguay, Norway and Venezuela.

The 2006 Godolphin Seven Stars competition will be open for entries between March 1 and 11.59 pm (Dubai time) on Friday, March 24.

Points will be awarded from the next day (the Dubai World Cup) onwards, with the competition again concluding on Hong Kong International raceday on December 10. All contestants must be over 18 and there is a limit of one entry per person.

Information about the unique competition can be found on the award-winning Godolphin Internet site, www.godolphin.com

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