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Tuesday, May 29, 2001



LATEST LADBROKES ANTE-POST PRICES




Vodafone Derby - Epsom 9th June 2001

2-Golan, 3-Galileo, 7-Dilshaan, 8(from 9)-Asian Heights, 9(from 12)-Perfect Sunday, 14-Chancellor, 14-Putra Sandhurst, 20-Wareed, 25-Mr Combustible, 25-Storming Home, 25-Nayef, 33-Beckett, 50-Ice Dancer, 66-Mersey Sound, 100-Sunny Glenn, 150-King Carew, 200-Cashel Bay, 200-Te Quiero

Each way ¼ the odds a place 1, 2, 3

Vodafone Oaks - Epsom June 8th 2001

3-Imagine, 7/2-Flight Of Fancy, 8-Tarfshi, 9-Relish The Thought, 10-Mot Juste 14-Silver Grey Lady, 14-Zanzibar (Supp), 16-Gay Heroine, 16-Najah, 20-Candice, 20-Foodbroker Fancy (Supp), 20-Santa Isobel, 33-Marani, 33-Tempting Fate, 50-Inchiri, 50-Mameha, 50-Snowflake, 66-Lipica, 66-Sunstone, 100-Entente Cordiale

Each way ¼ odds Places 1, 2, 3



ROA AND NTF EXPRESS "SERIOUS RESERVATIONS" OVER GO RACING DEAL




In a strongly worded statement issued today, the Racehorse Owners Association and the National Trainers Federation both expressed serious reservations about the Go Racing contract which, subject to the granting of a BHB pre-race data licence to the RCA, is due to be finalised by 30th June.


The two bodies are especially concerned that a proper public debate relating to the Go Racing contract and business plan did not take place before the 49 racecourses signed up to the deal.


Sir Eric Parker, President of the ROA, commented, "The racing industry is in danger of permitting a contract to be finalised, that pawns its major assets for the foreseeable future, without any informed discussion. It is ridiculous that draconian confidentiality provisions have allowed 'spin' and downright misinformation to mislead the industry."

He reserved his most damning comments for the commercial framework of the agreement which, he said, meant that "racing was selling its soul and not even getting a very good price for it!"

He went on to say, "Despite what many people have been led to believe, the total annual contribution to prize money from the Go Racing contract would be about £10 million. This is a derisory sum when you compare it to the £50 million up-front payment that the racecourses are getting in the first year alone. But what is so dangerous is that the Go Racing deal undermines the 'levy replacement' scheme.


"BHB and the racing industry cannot stop the RCA/racecourses from selling the picture rights for 10 years. However, the BHB can refuse to grant the RCA and Go Racing pre-race data rights under the terms and conditions currently envisaged. The time is fast approaching for Board members to stand up and be counted."

Peter Cundell, President of the NTF, said, "Trainers are very concerned about the, sale by racecourses of media rights and the possible sale of pre-race data by BHB. We are a major part of this industry but, as yet, no-one has even bothered to consult with us.


"Trainers have responsibility for 17,000 thoroughbreds and the vast majority of racing's workforce and yet we are being excluded from these discussions.


"The Go Racing deal will affect the whole of racing for the foreseeable future and, from the little we have gleaned so far, it appears to be an unsatisfactory deal for everyone except Go Racing.


"I do not understand the indecent haste and secrecy with which this is being pushed through. Any attempt to railroad the BHB into granting either the RCA or Go Racing its pre-race data rights must be resisted. There has to be an informed debate of the proposals, which must include owners and trainers. In signing up to Go Racing and GG-Media, the racecourses have already made an irreversible decision that may have disastrous consequences for the vast majority of people in the racing industry."



VODAFONE DERBY MEETING APPROACHES




There is under a fortnight ago until the 2001 Vodafone Derby meeting takes place at Epsom Downs on Friday and Saturday, June 8 and 9, and the three feature Group 1 races - including the two premier classics - are building into ultra-competitive events.


The Vodafone Derby line-up is set to include a potential superstar in Sagitta 2000 Guineas hero Golan, Irish-trained Galileo, bidding to give trainer Aidan O'Brien a first success in the premier classic, and a whole host of other progressive colts will be lining up for the £1 million contest on June 9.


The Vodafone Oaks on June 8 promises to be one of the most open renewals in years. The Queen, who has not won a classic since 1977, has a major chance of setting the record straight with Flight Of Fancy. Mot Juste and Tarfshi, who finished first and second in Newmarket's Listed Pretty Polly Stakes, are likely to bid for classic success, while Foodbroker Fancy, winner of last week's Lupe Stakes at Goodwood, is set to be supplemented for the classic at a cost of £20,000.


The June 8 card also includes the Group 1 Vodafone Coronation Cup. The 21 runners still engaged include four-time Group 1 winner Golden Snake and last year's St Leger hero Millenary, both trained by John Dunlop, the 2000 Emirates World Series Champion Fantastic Light, and star filly Petrushka, winner of the Irish Oaks, Yorkshire Oaks and Prix de l'Opera last season.


ASIAN HEIGHTS FACTFILE
3 b c Hernando (FR) - Miss Rinjani (Shirley Heights)
Form: 1-21 Owner: John Pearce
Trainer: Geoff Wragg Breeder: John Pearce

Asian Heights
A home-bred half-brother to last year's Vodafone Derby seventh St Expedit, Asian Heights ran once as a two-year-old, winning a Lingfield maiden on heavy ground in October. That day trainer Geoff Wragg reported that although he knew his charge would go in soft ground, he had been concerned about the testing surface.

The going was again heavy for Asian Heights on his seasonal debut as he fought out a thrilling finish with Chancellor in the cantorindex.com Classic Trial at Sandown in April, going down by three quarters of a length.

Experiencing fast ground for the first time was no problem for Asian Heights as he indicated just how good a horse he was by winning the Listed Predominate Stakes at Goodwood on May 22 on his last run. Considering that he was slowly away from the stalls and had to make up ground in the early stages of the race and later found himself boxed in this was a remarkable effort and he goes to Epsom with every chance.



John Pearce
Born in 1918, John Pearce, who was educated at Charterhouse and served as a major in the Royal Artillery in World War II, was for many years a director of the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation and spent much of his time in the Far East, though he has had horses in training in this country for more than 40 years, at one stage with Geoffrey Brooke, at whose Knocktoran Stud in Ireland he used to keep his broodmares. He later had horses with Doug Smith, who had been Geoffrey Brooke's stable jockey and more recently Geoff Wragg and Michael Bell have trained for him. This season he has nine horses, two four-year-olds (including the 2000 Epsom seventh St Expedit), three three-year-olds and four juveniles with Wragg.

The best race he has won is the Gold Cup at Ascot which he took in 1994 with Arcadian Heights, who was also placed in the Goodwood and Doncaster Cups. He had another Royal Ascot winner when Bali Dancer won the Britannia Handicap and has won the Horris Hill Stakes with Welsh Harmony, the Fred Darling with Miss Paris and the Lupe with Miss Beaulieu. Most of the fillies he has bred and raced have been called Miss .... with a place name suffix. He currently has a team of half a dozen broodmares which he keeps at the Mount Coote Stud in Ireland and Lanwades Stud at Newmarket.

Vodafone Derby Record (since 1965): 2000 St Expedit (7th)

Geoff Wragg
Born in Newmarket on January 9, 1930, Geoff Wragg had originally wanted to be a vet but instead became assistant to his father Harry in 1953. It proved to be a long apprenticeship - Geoff Wragg only took over the Abington Place yard at the start of the 1983 season, when his father was 80. Harry Wragg, nicknamed ‘The Head Waiter' for his ability to hold a horse up for a late run, was one of the great 20th-century jockeys and trainers. He rode three Derby winners (1928 Felsted, 1930 Blenheim, 1942 Watling Street) and saddled one as a trainer (1961 Psidium).

Geoff Wragg continued where his father left off, winning the world's most famous Flat race with Teenoso in his first season with a licence.

Wragg, who has a team of 50 listed in training for 2001, boasts a formidable big-race haul including the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes (1984 Teenoso, 1996 Pentire), Irish 1,000 Guineas (1992 Marling), Sussex Stakes (1992 Marling, 1996 First Island), Ascot Gold Cup (1994 Arcadian Heights) and July Cup (1994 Owington).

Vodafone Derby Record: 1983 TEENOSO (WON); 1987 Most Welcome (2nd); 1988 Red Glow (4th); 1998 Gulland (11th); 2000 St Expedit (7th).

CHANCELLOR (IRE) FACTFILE
3 ch c Halling (USA) - Isticanna (USA) (Far North (CAN))
Form: 91-1 Owner: Bill Gredley
Trainer: Barry Hills Breeder: Norelands Bloodstock
Chancellor
Bred in Ireland by Harry McCalmont's Norelands Bloodstock, Chancellor was sold at Tattersalls for 62,000 guineas as a foal, then realised 190,000gns in the same ring at the Houghton Yearling Sales. He made his racecourse debut at Newbury in September in a seven-furlong maiden, making steady progress in the last two furlongs to finish ninth to West Order. Better for the experience, the Halling colt travelled north to Doncaster for his next outing in a similar event two months later. Always going well, he won with authority, beating Afghan by two and a half lengths when justifying 11/4 favouritism. Chancellor made his reappearance in the Group 2 cantorindex.com Classic Trial, over 10 furlongs, at Sandown on April 28. Run on heavy ground, the five runners set a sedate pace with Chancellor and Asian Heights drawing clear of their rivals at the business end of the race with Chancellor scoring by three quarters of a length. Asian Heights has since franked the form by taking Goodwood's Compass UK Leisure Predominate Stakes. After Chancellor's Sandown win, trainer Barry Hills said: "He quickened up really well and I'm sure Chancellor will stay a mile and a half in the Derby." Jockey Michael Hills added: "It was a really good performance and it felt like I had a lot of horse under me. He quickened away from the others in good style. I love him to bits."
Race Record: Starts: 3; 1st: 2; 2nd: 0; 3rd: 0; Win and place prize money: £39,331

Bill Gredley
A major supporter of racing for many years, Gredley had his biggest moments in 1992 when User Friendly, trained by Clive Brittain and ridden by George Duffield, won four Group 1 races - the Vodafone Oaks, the St Leger, the Irish Oaks and the Yorkshire Oaks. Environment Friend, trained by James Fanshawe, won the Coral Eclipse and the Dante Stakes the previous season. Gredley, who was said to be worth £95 million in the 2001 Sunday Times Rich List, is a property developer who has his racing headquarters at Stetchworth Park Stud near Newmarket and keeps a team of some 28 broodmares there. Most of the 20 horses he has in training - they are principally with Barry Hills at Lambourn, with Martin Pipe having a few of his jumpers - are now home-bred. User Friendly was with Clive Brittain, one of a number of men who have trained for Gredley over the years including David Elsworth, William Haggas, Robert Armstrong, Susan Piggott and private trainers Nigel Wright, Richard Shaw and Gary Rimmer. Gredley has at various stages put Stetchworth Park on the market and has indicated plans to reduce dramatically the number of horses he has in training and at stud, stating the economics of maintaining them are far too costly. And he further demonstrated his unhappiness with racing's finances in 1992, the year in which User Friendly did so well for him and when he was voted Owner of the Year by the Horserace Writers' Association, by calling for an owners' strike to make the government aware of racing's plight due to the low levels of prize money and the amount that VAT and other taxes were extracting from those involved. He later called off the idea after discussions with the Jockey Club and its then senior steward Lord Hartington.
Vodafone Derby Record: 1980 Braughing (17th); 1981 Golden Brigadier (15th); 1991 Environment Friend (11th); 1992 Paradise Navy (14th); 1999 Through The Rye (16th); 2000 Zyz (9th).

Barry Hills
Born April 2, 1937, Barry Hills rode nine winners as an apprentice between 1954 and 1957 before working as a stable lad for Fred Rimell and George Colling. He was able to start training after winning £15,000 in bets in 1969 and bought South Bank Stables at Lambourn with the proceeds. La Dolce Vita's victory at Thirsk on April 18, 1969 got the trainer off the mark, and he was soon to taste big-race success when Hickleton landed the 1970 Great Metropolitan Handicap at Epsom and Golden Monad, the 1970 Dee Stakes at Chester. Rheingold's narrow defeat by Roberto in the 1972 Derby was a great disappointment for Hills, however, the colt gained compensation with victory in the following year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Hawaiian Sound (1978), Glacial Storm (1988) and Blue Stag (1990) have also filled the runner-up spot in Hills's quest to land the premier classic. A spell at Robert Sangster's Manton stables in 1987 was followed by a move back to South Bank in 1991. Since then, Hills has transformed the yard into a highly-modern equine establishment. Hills' twin sons, Richard and Michael, are both successful jockeys. Michael rode Shaamit to victory in the 1996 Vodafone Derby, Richard is retained by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, eldest son John trains in Lambourn while Charlie, another son who rides as an amateur, is assistant to James Fanshawe in Newmarket.

Vodafone Derby record: 1971 Meaden (9th); 1972 Rheingold (2nd), Our Mirage (4th); 1973 Natsun (11th), Proverb (17th); 1974 Regular Guy (10th); 1975 Royal Manacle (7th); 1976 Danestic (9th); 1978 Sexton Blake (15th), Hawaiian Sound (2nd); 1979 Tap On Wood (12th), Two Of Diamonds (14th), Cracaval (8th); 1980 Saint Jonathon (13th); 1981 King Of Hush (16th); 1982 Father Rooney (13th); 1983 The Noble Player (11th); 1985 Royal Harmony (9th); 1987 Water Boatman (16th), Sir Harry Lewis (4th); 1988 Glacial Storm (2nd); 1990 Missionary Ridge (10th), Blue Stag (2nd); 1991 Arokat (12th); 1993 Blues Traveller (3rd); 1996 Busy Flight (18th), Prince Of My Heart (19th); 1997 The Fly (5th), Musalsal (8th); 1998 The Glow-Worm (6th); 1999 Through The Rye (16th); 2000 Zyz (9th).

MR COMBUSTIBLE (IRE) FACTFILE
b c Hernando (FR) - Warg (Dancing Brave (USA))
3-9-00 Form: 72-21
Owner: Dick Bonnycastle Trainer: Barry Hills
Breeder: Jeremy Hill

Mr Combustible
Mr Combustible, who was bought as a yearling at Goffs for IR£30,000, is from the first crop of 1993 French Derby winner Hernando out of Warg, making him a half-brother to Ribblesdale winner Miletrian and two-year-old scorer Marksman. He began his career by finishing seventh to Londoner in a Newmarket seven-furlong maiden in July last year. He was then unlucky not to win a similar event at Pontefract in September after being hampered over one furlong out, running on strongly to go down by a short head to Tiyoun over a mile.

Stepped up to ten furlongs on his first start this term, Mr Combustible, the evens favourite, was second in a Doncaster maiden in March, beaten a length by Prize Winner, the pair ten lengths clear.

Barry Hills decided to step Mr Combustible up in class for his next outing and he lined up in the Group Three Chester Vase on May 8. This decision was proved right when the colt defeated Snowstorm by three quarters of a length in a very quick time - previously his trainer had quipped that the horse was named after himself! Race Record: Starts: 4; 1st: 1; 2nd: 2; 3rd: -; Win & Place Prize Money: £38,522

Dick Bonnycastle
Mr Combustible carries the colours of Dick Bonnycastle, who is based at Calgary in Canada. Born on September 26, 1934, Bonnycastle has invested in and started a series of companies since graduating from the University of Manitoba in 1956 and was a partner in the venture capital company that providing the original backing to Compaq computers. He is behind plans to build Chinook Park, a new racecourse north of Calgary, and was chairman of Harlequin Enterprises, the world's largest publisher of romantic fiction, from 1968 and 1981 and has himself published three books. He gives generously to charity, owns a number of broodmares, has horses with Roger Attfield in Canada and Barry Hills in Britain. Hills trained the outsider Enstone Park to win the 1978 1,000 Guineas for Bonnycastle.

He shares Mr Combustible with Yorkshire-based Jack Hanson, who is 11 years Bonnycastle's senior and trained for 40 years before handing in his licence last season, former Vodafone chairman Sir Ernest Harrison, 75, and Bob Wharton.
Vodafone Derby Records since 1965: Dick Bonnycastle - no runners, Sir Ernest Harrison - no runners, Jack Hanson - 1969 Sylvalgo (23rd), 1976 Frankie (14th), 1977 Sultan's Ruby (19th), 1978 Majestic Maharaj (owned with Robert Ogden) (14th), Bob Wharton no runners

Barry Hills
Born April 2, 1937, Barry Hills rode nine winners as an apprentice between 1954 and 1957 before working as a stable lad for Fred Rimell and George Colling. He was able to start training after winning £15,000 in bets in 1969 and bought South Bank Stables at Lambourn with the proceeds. La Dolce Vita's victory at Thirsk on April 18, 1969 got the trainer off the mark, and he was soon to taste big-race success when Hickleton landed the 1970 Great Metropolitan Handicap at Epsom and Golden Monad, the 1970 Dee Stakes at Chester. Rheingold's narrow defeat by Roberto in the 1972 Derby was a great disappointment for Hills, however, the colt gained compensation with victory in the following year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Hawaiian Sound (1978), Glacial Storm (1988) and Blue Stag (1990) have also filled the runner-up spot in Hills's quest to land the premier classic. A spell at Robert Sangster's Manton stables in 1987 was followed by a move back to South Bank in 1991. Since then, Hills has transformed the yard into a highly-modern equine establishment. Hills' twin sons, Richard and Michael, are both successful jockeys. Michael rode Shaamit to victory in the 1996 Vodafone Derby, Richard is retained by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, eldest son John trains in Lambourn while Charlie, another son who rides as an amateur, is assistant to James Fanshawe in Newmarket.

Vodafone Derby record: 1971 Meaden (9th); 1972 Rheingold (2nd), Our Mirage (4th); 1973 Natsun (11th), Proverb (17th); 1974 Regular Guy (10th); 1975 Royal Manacle (7th); 1976 Danestic (9th); 1978 Sexton Blake (15th), Hawaiian Sound (2nd); 1979 Tap On Wood (12th), Two Of Diamonds (14th), Cracaval (8th); 1980 Saint Jonathon (13th); 1981 King Of Hush (16th); 1982 Father Rooney (13th); 1983 The Noble Player (11th); 1985 Royal Harmony (9th); 1987 Water Boatman (16th), Sir Harry Lewis (4th); 1988 Glacial Storm (2nd); 1990 Missionary Ridge (10th), Blue Stag (2nd); 1991 Arokat (12th); 1993 Blues Traveller (3rd); 1996 Busy Flight (18th), Prince Of My Heart (19th); 1997 The Fly (5th), Musalsal (8th); 1998 The Glow-Worm (6th); 1999 Through The Rye (16th); 2000 Zyz (9th).


PUTRA SANDHURST (IRE) FACTFILE
b c Royal Academy - Kharimata (Kahyasi)
Form: 5-2 Owner: H R H Sultan Ahmad Shah
Trainer: Michael Jarvis Breeder: Neville O'Byrne

Putra Sandhurst
Trained by Michael Jarvis, who won his first British Classic earlier this season when Ameerat took the Sagitta 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, Putra Sandhurst will attempt to give the Newmarket handler his first Vodafone Derby victory at Epsom Downs.

Although still a maiden, Putra Sandhurst has performed creditably on both of his outings to date. The Royal Academy colt, who cost 120,000 guineas as a yearling and Ir38,000gns as a foal, raced once as a juvenile, finishing fifth behind Welsh Border in a Newmarket conditions event in October.

He made his three-year-old debut in the Lingfield Derby Trial in May where he ran a cracking race to finish second to Perfect Sunday, beaten two and a half lengths. Considering that this was only his second start the Lingfield effort was extremely creditable and after the race Jarvis commented: "He's a nice prospect and has a lot of improvement in him."
Race Record: Starts: 2; 1st: 0; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 0; Win and place prize money: £13,446

HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah
A member of the royal family in Malaysia, where he also serves on the country's Olympic Committee and Asian Football Federation, Sultan Ahmad Shah has enjoyed considerable success as a racehorse owner in Britain.

Sri Pekan, now a successful stallion, won five races as a two-year-old in 1994, including the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, Richmond Stakes at Goodwood and Champagne Stakes at Doncaster. His colours were also carried to success in the 1997 Lincoln Handicap by Kuala Lipis. His trainers have included Paul Cole, Gay Kelleway and Michael Jarvis, and bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon-Watson is responsible for buying most of his horses, including Putra Sandhurst.

Vodafone Derby Record: No previous runners

Michael Jarvis
Born August 14, 1938, Michael Jarvis is one of Newmarket's longest-serving trainers, having held a licence since 1968. Jarvis rode three winners as a jump jockey, served as head lad to Towser Gosden for six years, had a further two years in the same role with Gordon Smyth, during which time he oversaw the 1966 Derby winner Charlottown, before becoming private trainer to owner David Robinson, a post he held for eight years.

Based at Kremlin House Stables in Newmarket, where he has a team of 95 listed in training this year, he has enjoyed several notable big-race victories. These include the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe with Carroll House in 1989, last season's French Derby with Holding Court and this year he enjoyed a first British classic triumph when Ameerat took the Sagitta 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Vodafone Derby Record: 1970 Meadowville (5th), 1979 Man of Vision (7th) and 1990 Treble Eight (8th).
STORMING HOME FACTFILE
b c Machiavellian (USA) - Try To Catch Me (USA) (Shareef Dancer (USA))
Form: 9129-13 Owner: Maktoum Al Maktoum
Trainer: Barry Hills Breeder: Gainsborough Stud Management Ltd
Storming Home
Maktoum Al Maktoum's home-bred Machiavellian colt Storming Home ran green on his first racecourse start at Kempton in July, finishing ninth behind Dance On The Top, but the following month he was victorious in a Newmarket maiden, proving two and a half lengths too good for better-fancied stablemate Canada.
Stepped up in class next time, he finished runner-up to King's Ironbridge in the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown and on his last run of the season Storming Home came ninth in a Group 3 contest at Newmarket, beaten three lengths by winner King Charlemagne.

Storming Home proved that he could handle the unique Epsom course when easily winning the Stanley Racing Blue Riband Trial by four lengths from Tamiami Trail on his reappearance in April. He was not disgraced in the Group 2 Convergent Communications Dante Stakes at York on May 16, when under a length behind the winner Dilshaan in third spot.

Race Record: Starts: 5; 1st: 2; 2nd: 1; 3rd: 1; Win & Place Prize Money: £39,491.87

Maktoum Al Maktoum
Born in 1942, the eldest son of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Said al Maktoum is now ruler of Dubai. He bought his first thoroughbred, Shaab, in 1977 and his famous blue-and-white-chevroned colours made their racecourse debut two years later. But the full weight of the impact he and his three brothers would bring to bear on racing worldwide was first signalled when they spent $6.5 million on eight yearlings at the 1981 Keeneland July Sale under the banner of the Aston Upthorpe Stud.

His present stud farms include Gainsborough Stud near Newbury, Woodpark Stud in County Meath, the recently acquires Ballysheehan Stud near Cashel and Gainsborough Farm in Kentucky, which house around 165 broodmares. He has just under 200 horses in training spread across Britain, Ireland, France and the United States, and has yet to own a Vodafone Derby winner although his son Saeed took the premier classic in 1995 with Lammtarra. Derby record: 1982 Touching Wood (2nd); 1985 Shadeed (13th); 1986 Jareer (12th); 1987 Ascot Knight (11th); 1991 Mujaazif (13th); 1992 Twist And Turn (5th); 1993 Blue Judge (2nd), Desert Team (11th), Shareek (15th); 1994 Just Happy (8th), Jabaroot (16th); 1995 (In partnership with Godolphin) Vettori (6th); 1997 Musalsal (8th).

Barry Hills
Born April 2, 1937, Barry Hills rode nine winners as an apprentice between 1954 and 1957 before working as a stable lad for Fred Rimell and George Colling. He was able to start training after winning £15,000 in bets in 1969 and bought South Bank Stables at Lambourn with the proceeds. La Dolce Vita's victory at Thirsk on April 18, 1969 got the trainer off the mark, and he was soon to taste big-race success when Hickleton landed the 1970 Great Metropolitan Handicap at Epsom and Golden Monad, the 1970 Dee Stakes at Chester. Rheingold's narrow defeat by Roberto in the 1972 Derby was a great disappointment for Hills, however, the colt gained compensation with victory in the following year's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Hawaiian Sound (1978), Glacial Storm (1988) and Blue Stag (1990) have also filled the runner-up spot in Hills's quest to land the premier classic. A spell at Robert Sangster's Manton stables in 1987 was followed by a move back to South Bank in 1991. Since then, Hills has transformed the yard into a highly-modern equine establishment. Hills' twin sons, Richard and Michael, are both successful jockeys. Michael rode Shaamit to victory in the 1996 Vodafone Derby, Richard is retained by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, eldest son John trains in Lambourn while Charlie, another son who rides as an amateur, is assistant to James Fanshawe in Newmarket.

Vodafone Derby record: 1971 Meaden (9th); 1972 Rheingold (2nd), Our Mirage (4th); 1973 Natsun (11th), Proverb (17th); 1974 Regular Guy (10th); 1975 Royal Manacle (7th); 1976 Danestic (9th); 1978 Sexton Blake (15th), Hawaiian Sound (2nd); 1979 Tap On Wood (12th), Two Of Diamonds (14th), Cracaval (8th); 1980 Saint Jonathon (13th); 1981 King Of Hush (16th); 1982 Father Rooney (13th); 1983 The Noble Player (11th); 1985 Royal Harmony (9th); 1987 Water Boatman (16th), Sir Harry Lewis (4th); 1988 Glacial Storm (2nd); 1990 Missionary Ridge (10th), Blue Stag (2nd); 1991 Arokat (12th); 1993 Blues Traveller (3rd); 1996 Busy Flight (18th), Prince Of My Heart (19th); 1997 The Fly (5th), Musalsal (8th); 1998 The Glow-Worm (6th); 1999 Through The Rye (16th); 2000 Zyz (9th)



RESEARCH TO BENEFIT RACEHORSES




Monitoring the effects of training on racehorse bone using blood markers, and avoiding tendon injury by appropriate training of young horses are two exciting new research projects that the Horserace Betting Levy Board will fund.


These projects and others were approved within the Levy Board veterinary budget to be implemented in October, when the budget will increase by 2.5% to £1.62 million compared to the current year.


Racing's research priorities, identified by the Board's Veterinary Advisory Committee (VAC) working with the Jockey Club Veterinary Committee and the British Equine Veterinary Association, are also reflected in other decisions on expenditure of the veterinary budget.


Focus on infectious bacterial respiratory disease will continue in a new project that will lead up to testing a vaccine for Strangles. There will be the first-ever study of the structure and properties of the valves in the horse's aorta, the initial step towards preventing and treating valvular disease.

And there will be funds for a major survey of causes of wastage in Thoroughbred foals from weaning to the time they enter training. This information is needed to improve management and thus reduce wastage.

The Levy Board is committed to providing funds for equine veterinary research and education while levy income continues. Because research projects and education awards often go on for three years, some of the money available in the 2001/02 budget will be stretched out from October, 2001, to September, 2004.

This means that fewer new research and education awards could be funded this year compared to past normal levels.

Professor Hugh Miller, the VAC Chairman, said: "Prioritising expenditure for the next three years on a restricted budget was no easy task for the VAC, and we are sorry for the disappointed applicants whose projects cannot be funded.

"However, by making what money there is go as far as possible, we did our best to ensure that racehorse welfare and racing's veterinary interests are served as best they can be over the next three years."

As well as seven new research projects, the budget will support three new research training scholarships plus 17 ongoing research projects and seven ongoing education awards.


Also support will be renewed for the Animal Health Trust Diagnostic Services for a further two years, and funding for the Equine Influenza Surveillance Programme, also operated by AHT, will continue to September 2003.


Five members were reappointed to the VAC to June, 2003. They are Professor Barrie Edwards of Liverpool University, Professor Os Jarrett of Glasgow University, Professor Ivan Morrison of the Institute for Animal Health, Compton, Professor Claire Wathes of the Royal Veterinary College and Mr John Parker, a veterinary practitioner from Wendover.


For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive


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