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Friday, April 1, 2005


Trainer Robert Alner today revealed that Sir Rembrandt, second and third respectively in the 2004 and 2005 totesport Cheltenham Gold Cups, will miss the John Smith's Grand National but his participation in the £150,000 Betfair Bowl, run on Thursday, April 7, is still under consideration.

The Dorset-based handler said: "The horse is not definitely coming to Aintree at this stage but I would think it's a certainty that we won't be running in the John Smith's Grand National, so I can categorically rule that out. Funnily enough, we dropped 4lb for our Gold Cup run, which seems quite exceptional, and so he's hardly well-in' for the National.

"Regarding the Betfair Bowl, we will be taking a view over the weekend. We like to make plans, but havingsaid that he really would like the ground to be pretty soft. He might well be entered for the Betfair Bowl and we will see whose about, what the likely number of runners is and what the ground is. Everything is open at the moment."

The Grade Two Betfair Bowl, formerly called the Martell Cup, is run over three miles and one furlong of the Mildmay Course and was founded in 1984. The winners include many of the best chasers over the years, such as Wayward Lad, Desert Orchid, Barton Bank, See More Business, Florida Pearl and First Gold. Entries close tomorrow, Saturday, April 2.

Betfair, the world's leading betting exchange, signed a three-year deal in December to become the Official Betting Partner of the John Smith's Grand National meeting, which attracts more than 600 million television viewers worldwide.

The exclusive partnership includes the sponsorship of two races - the Betfair Bowl and the betfair.com Handicap Chase (Friday, April 8) - during the three-day meeting which runs from Thursday to Saturday, April 7-9, 2005.

Betfair will have on-course branding for the meeting, including a live in-running odds board positioned opposite the main grandstands. Betfair will also supply the official betting prices, which means that for the first time in its long history, the official odds for the Grand National will be in decimals rather than fractions.

Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin said: "The Betfair Bowl really is shaping up into a top class race once again this year and should help to get the meeting off to the best possible start."


Popular TV pundit and 2002 Flat Naps Table champion Matt Doyle has joined At The Races on a permanent basis as the lead tipster on www.attheraces.com.

Having produced the Epsom & The South column for the Racing Post since 1994, Matt has left to join At The Races and write exclusively for the website as well as continue making regular appearances on the TV channel.

His column, the first of which will be online on Saturday 2 April, will comprise race analysis and best bets every day.

Doyle said: "I'm delighted to be back on At The Races as a regular pundit on the channel and working as lead tipster on the At The Races website gives me a fresh challenge."

He continued: "Having worked as Epsom & The South for the last eleven years, I'm relishing the chance to concentrate on, and tip in, a greater variety of races and, most of all, make use of the contacts that I have built up in yards across the country since first appearing on At The Races in 2002."

Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of At The Races, said: "We are delighted to welcome Matt to At The Races on a full time basis. Our website is developing every day and the presence of Matt as our lead tipster will bring a new and important audience to www.attheraces.com. He perfectly complements our existing Speed Ratings, Race-by-Race analysis and Ante Post tipsters and his followers will no doubt be delighted to access his column every day - free and exclusively through our website - as well as continue to see him regularly on the channel."

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