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Thursday, February 3, 2005


Majestic Desert bids to continue trainer Mick Channon's successful run at the 2005 Dubai International Racing Carnival, when she lines up in the US$150,000 Cape Verdi Stakes, for fillies and mares over 1,600 metres on the turf.

Channon was successful on the opening night of the Carnival with Compton's Eleven and followed up last week with the Ryan Moore-partnered Millennium Force.

Ted Durcan will be aboard the Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Gr.III) winner Majestic Desert, who ended her season as runner-up to Godolphin's Ancient World in the Group One Premio Vittorio di Capua in Rome over Thursday's trip.

Majestic Desert, a four-year-old daughter of Fraam, raced in Group One company for most of last season, including a second to Attraction in the Coronation Stakes (Gr.I) at Royal Ascot.

Mike de Kock's Emerald Beauty, South Africa's leading filly of 2003, made her return to racing in impressive style over Thursday's course and distance in an 85 - 100 Handicap at the Carnival's first meeting.

Emerald Beauty, the mount of leading Carnival jockey Weichong Marwing, was having her first run since winning the Cape Fillies' Guineas (Gr.I) in 2003 and she is sure to have come on for her recent outing.

Last year's Cape Verdi 1-2, Festive Style and Desert Glow, both trained by Satish Seemar, return for the 2005 running. Festive Style finished sixth in the National Day Cup at Abu Dhabi on her seasonal reappearance and should have come on for the run, but this year's Cape Verdi looks a strong contest and she is going to have to be on top form to win again.

Rashed Bouresly's Cat Belling makes her third appearance of the Carnival; she finished a close runner-up to Emerald Beauty on opening night before running down the field a week ago. The daughter of Catrail will appreciate the return to the turf and running with her own sex.

De Kock also runs Moon Dazzle, the mount of Johnny Geroudis, who finished eighth to Compton's Eleven on opening night but will prefer the 1,600 metres on the turf. Moon Dazzle finished runner-up in a Bath listed in August behind Brindisi, who she will face again on Thursday and now in training with Dhruba Selvaratnam.

Trainer Richard Gibson makes his Carnival debut with Petit Calva, a listed winner at Deauville over Thursday's trip and the mount of Thierry Jarnet. Other runners making their Carnival debut are the Jer Smith Jr-trained Sarre, a Group Two placed runner in France and the Haldun Gunes-trained Ribella, who is flying the flag for Turkey.

Frankie Dettori partners the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Mansfield Park, a full sister to the talented miler Cape Cross and an easy distance winner at Leicester last time out.

A total of 46 international contenders from 12 countries will line up for the third racemeeting in the 2005 Dubai International Racing Carnival at Nad Al Sheba Racecourse.

Willie Supple partners the Jerry Barton-trained Queleden Candela in the first race the evening, the US$30,000 Curragh Trophy over 1,400 metres for three-year-old fillies.

Queleden Candela won her last three outings in Argentina including a length win of a Grade One at Palermo Racecourse over 1,000 metres.

De Kock is double handed with the Marwing-partnered Royal Emblem, a Grade Two winner at Clairwood over 1,600 metres, and Tropical Snow, Geroudis in the saddle.

Jeremy Noseda, who saddled a double last Thursday, runs the Newbury listed winner Bibury Flyer, the mount of Eddie Ahern.

Jarnet is aboard the Rupert Pritchard-Gordon-trained Chantilly Beauty; the daughter of Josr Algarhoud was a length and a half winner in a weight for age race at the Capannelle Racecourse in Rome in October.

Channon's Millennium Force will be looking for another Carnival win when he lines up in the second race of the evening, the US$120,000 Turffontein International Rated Stakes over 1,300 metres on the turf.

Millennium Force was a half length course winner over 1,500 metres last Thursday and should have no trouble with the slight drop in trip.

Dhruba Selvaratnam saddles the 2001 Grosser Preis von Baden (Gr.I) and Derby Italiano (Gr.I) winner Morshdi, the mount of Pat Smullen. The son of Slip Anchor has been off the track since March 2003.

Conrad Allen and Gary Carter team up again with Prince Aaron, a winner here on opening night. The son of Marju just held on to win from the de Kock-trained T-Bird, who he faces again on Thursday.

Michael Fenton partners the Daniel Murphy-trained Terfel, a recent winner in Singapore, with Gary Hind riding the former Gerald Butler-trained Boston Lodge, now in training in Bahrain with Fawzi Abdulla Nass.

Butler saddles the five-year-old Helm Bank, who finished fifth on the dirt at Wolverhampton in early January and should have stripped fitter for that outing.

Brazilian trainer Fabricio Borges, who has brought a team of nine to the Carnival, has his first runner with Sushi-Bar in the US$90,000 Saratoga International Rated Stakes over 1,000 metres on the dirt.

Sushi-Bar had his last run when finishing second in the Grade One Grande Premio Major Suckow over 1,000 metres at Gavea Racecourse in Brazil. David Flood's Johnny Ebeneezer, who was beaten only a neck into third on the Carnival's opening night by Prince Aaron, tries to make amends with a win in the US$120,000 Kranji International Rated Stakes over 1,300 metres on the turf.

Noseda runs Twilight Blues who was third behind Compton's Eleven on January 20th and should have come on for the run.

Gay Kelleway has her first Carnival runner with Lygeton Lad in the US$110,000 Chantilly International Rated Stakes over 1,600 metres on the dirt. The son of Shaamit has been running on the dirt in England, including a win over 1,600 metres at Lingfield in December.

The race also sees Opportunist and Alma'arry line up again, the pair had a great battle over 1,400 metres on opening night with the Doug Watson-trained Opportunist just getting up to win by half a length.

Channon saddles two runners, Jazz Scene and Top Seed in the final race of the night, the US$110,000 Taby International Rated Stakes over 2,000 metres on the turf.

Jazz Scene was along way back behind Emerald Beauty on his first Nad Al Sheba outing while Top Seed, Tony Culhane in the saddle, was sixth behind Oratory and should go close in this race.


Thoroughbred racing's inaugural Global Sprint Challenge was launched today at Federation Square.

The Global Sprint Challenge is a six-race series conducted by Racing Victoria Limited (RVL), Ascot Racecourse and the Japan Racing Association (JRA), with two races in each of Australia, Great Britain and Japan.

The Group 1 TEAC Lightning Stakes (1000m) and Group 1 Timbercorp Australia Stakes (1200m) are the first two legs of the only international series for sprinters on turf.

Nick Smith, Head of Publications for Ascot, speaking from today's barrier draw and press conference at Flemington said: "It's fantastic to see the connections of Cape of Good Hope (GB) here and so keen to embrace this new challenge.

"David Oughton ran the horse at Royal Ascot twice last year. He is one of the few horses that can live with Silent Witness at home and now he's come over to take on what looks a particularly high class field of Australian Sprinters".

RVL Chief Executive Officer Robert Nason said the Global Sprint Challenge provided another opportunity for Australia's racing talent to take on the world.

"The Victorian thoroughbred racing industry is privileged to be staging the first two legs of the Global Sprint Challenge," Mr Nason said.

"The Global Sprint Challenge is an exciting concept that provides an ideal platform for the world's best sprinters to showcase their speed and quality."

Victoria Racing Club Chairman Rod Fitzroy said the Victoria Racing Club was delighted to host the first leg of the Global Sprint Challenge.

"The TEAC Lightning Stakes is Australia's premier 1000-metre sprint and from its inception in 1955 has been won by elite sprinters such as Todman, Sky High, Maybe Mahal, Zeditave, Schillaci, Mahogany and, of course, Choisir," Mr Fitzroy said.

"We await with great anticipation the appearance of Cape of Good Hope (GB), alongside an outstanding field of Australian representatives."

Moonee Valley Racing Club Chairman John Cameron said: "With the rapid globalisation of thoroughbred racing this concept is a great step for the Australian industry.

"We are very proud and privileged to have the Group 1 Timbercorp Australia Stakes as an integral part of this innovative series."

The Global Sprint Challenge has been given an immediate international boost with Hong Kong visitor Cape of Good Hope (GB) taking on Australia's most sizzling sprinters in this Saturday's TEAC Lightning Stakes.

Trained by David Oughton, Cape of Good Hope (GB) will be ridden by Michael Kinane in his Australian debut. Kinane already has an Australian Group 1 win to his credit after piloting Vintage Crop (IRE) in the 1993 Melbourne Cup.

The 7yo chestnut gelding by Inchinor (GB) and out of Cape Merino (USA), has had 33 starts for 5 wins, 7 seconds and 5 thirds. In his most recent run Cape of Good Hope (GB) finished second to Australian-bred Silent Witness in the Group 1 Hong Kong Sprint at Sha Tin, Hong Kong in December 2004.

On Wednesday Oughton visited Cape of Good Hope (GB) at the Sandown Quarantine Centre and left delighted with the way his charge appeared.

"He was looking very well. I was definitely delighted with him," Oughton said. "Obviously he has done well since he has been here and he looks fine.

"The fact he ran in those races (England and Japan) last year and the original plan was to do the same again, we decided to target this new series. From Hong Kong it is a good trip to Australia."
Jockey Michael Kinane said he was glad to be back in Melbourne, but acknowledged Cape of Good Hope (GB) had a challenge before him on Saturday.

"He is going to have to be at his very best to beat some of the talented horses he is up against," Kinane said.

"He usually measures up anywhere he goes though and always runs a good race."

The Global Sprint Challenge comprises the following races:

* TEAC Lightning Stakes G1 (1000m), Flemington (5 February 2005)

* Timbercorp Australia Stakes G1 (1200m), Moonee Valley (19 February 2005)

* King's Stand Stakes G2 (1000m), Royal Ascot, York, UK (14 June 2005)

* Golden Jubilee Stakes G1 (1200m), Royal Ascot, York, UK (18 June 2005)

* Centaur Stakes G3 (1200m), Hanshin, Japan (11 September 2005)

* Sprinters Stakes G1 (1200m), Nakayama, Japan (2 October 2005)

Points are allocated 10-5-4-3-2 first to fifth with all other starters awarded one point. Horses racing outside their racing jurisdiction will be awarded double points. The winner is deemed to be the horse with the most points; however the horse must have accumulated at least 30 points and competed in two or more countries.

The winning owners will be awarded a trip for two to the 2006 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, the Emirates Melbourne Cup and the Japan Cup.


Charges of interference against Alan Daly and Kristen Stubbs, following the running of the Bet Direct Live Football In Running Banded Stakes on 24th January 2005, have today been thrown out.

Today's decision follows the enquiry into the appeal lodged by Kristin Stubbs, the rider of Pagan Storm (USA), against the decision of the Stewards at Wolverhampton to find her guilty of careless riding and to suspend her from riding for two days.

This is the first ever public enquiry by the Disciplinary Panel of the Jockey Club.

Alan Daly's solicitor, Andrew Chalk of Withy King, commented: "The result is obviously a good one for all concerned. There was an awful lot going on at the relevant stage of the race and the panel were correct to apportion no blame. The presence of the press made little difference to the way the enquiry was conducted. I remain of the view that they should also be present in more serious cases as this can only help achieve the objective of ensuring that justice is done."

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