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Thursday, May 13, 2004



MILLION-POUND PRIZE FOR BHB SUMMER TRIPLE CROWN




Following the success of the initiative in its inaugural year in 2003, the British Horseracing Board (BHB) has continued its Summer Triple Crown in 2004, again offering a £1 million prize for any horse which achieves the feat.


However, following consultation over the winter with the media and other key industry parties, BHB has made the format of the series more flexible by allowing a horse to win any three of the four legs of the BHB Summer Triple Crown to capture the prize, rather than 2003's requirement to win all of legs 1, 2 and 3. The Grand Slam, which was felt by trainers to put too much pressure on top-class horses, has been dropped.


The seven races which formed the BHB Summer Triple Crown and Grand Slam in 2003 constitute the 2004 BHB Summer Triple Crown:

First leg (any one of four)
Vodafone Coronation Cup, Epsom Downs
Vodafone Oaks, Epsom Downs
Vodafone Derby, Epsom Downs
Prince of Wales's Stakes, Royal Ascot

Second leg:
Coral-Eclipse, Sandown Park

Third leg:
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, Ascot

Fourth leg:
Juddmonte International, York

The 2003 Summer Triple Crown received great support from trainers and from the four racecourses involved and BHB is delighted that those racecourses have once again committed to promoting it in 2004. Across the seven races in the series, the yearly average field size in each year from 1995 to 2002 never reached double figures, but in 2003 it was 13.1, with the Coral-Eclipse and King George seeing their biggest fields since 1975 and 1978 respectively. Attendance at each meeting was, on average, up 4% on 2002.


BHB will also again run its well-received Middle Distance Championship, taken last year by Falbrav. If no Summer Triple Crown winner emerges, the Middle Distance Championship will recognise the outstanding performer over the seven races. A prize of £100,000 will be awarded for the horse which collects the most points in the series.


As last year, in each of the seven races the first six horses home will be
awarded points:

Position Points


First 10
Second 6
Third 4
Fourth 3
Fifth 2
Sixth 1

This Championship, which is a valuable prize in its own right, will ensure that interest and anticipation is maintained to the end of the competition and will also encourage participation in all the races in the series.

Peter Savill, Chairman of BHB, said: "The 2003 Summer Triple Crown initiative was a great success, achieving its objectives of encouraging British-trained horses to race in Britain rather than abroad and in assisting the development of a clearer narrative across the British Flat racing season. We hope that the £1m prize coupled with the improved format will encourage even more owners and trainers to target the BHB Summer Triple Crown and we are confident that it will further increase racegoing attendance and media coverage. The views of many people have been taken into account, just as we promised, and I am convinced that the BHB Summer Triple Crown series will go from strength to strength."



MIDLANDS RACING LAUNCHED




Midlands Racing is a new, unique and exciting body within the horse racing industry. Nine racecourses all under different ownership with the generous assistance of the Totepool have united to try and force attendance levels at their race meetings to greater heights. With co-ordinated marketing campaigns stretching across the entire Heart of England Midlands Racing hopes to encourage the public to experience racing for the very first time.

The courses that make up Midlands Racings are a diverse group. All the major racecourse groups are represented, with Market Rasen, Warwick and Nottingham representing Racecourse Holdings Trust. Southwell, Wolverhampton and Worcester represent Arena Leisure and Uttoxeter representing Northern Racing. Independent racecourses Stratford and Leicester complete the group. With such a range of courses involved Midlands Racing is able to satisfy any race goer's wishes, be it flat, all-weather or jumping action, evening or weekend.

Midlands Racing is to launch with a spectacular introductory offer. During June and early July beginning at Southwell on June 10th entry at one of the nine nominated meetings will cost only five pounds. This £5 entry fee will include admission to the Tattersalls or Grandstand enclosure, a race card and a Tote discount betting voucher.



ROA AND TBA JOIN FORCES TO PUBLISH THOROUGHBRED OWNER & BREEDER MAGAZINE




The Racehorse Owners' Association and the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association will be launching a new monthly magazine in September entitled Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder.


The magazine will be a high quality, full colour glossy, designed primarily for racehorse owners and thoroughbred breeders and for people who are professionally involved in the racing industry. However, its publishers also expect the magazine to appeal to a wider cross section of horseracing enthusiasts.


Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder will replace the ROA's existing Owner magazine and the TBA's Thoroughbred Breeder magazine. It will be sent free of charge to all members of both associations as part of their membership packages and, as a result, will have a guaranteed combined monthly circulation of 9,000 copies with an expected readership of approximately 50,000. It will also be available to non-members through postal subscription.


A new non-profit-making company has been set up to produce the magazine, in which the ROA and the TBA have a 50-50 share.


The ROA Chief Executive Michael Harris said today:

"Our intention is to publish the best horseracing magazine ever produced in this country - or for that matter anywhere else.


"The magazine's editorial will contain hard comment on industry matters, combined with a range of features that will both inform and entertain. It will also contain unique statistics, especially designed to appeal to professional breeders."

Harris, an ex-editor and Chief Executive of the Racing Post, and one of the driving forces behind the new venture, says some of racing's most talented writers and photographers will contribute to the magazine, while high quality reproduction will be enhanced by what he describes as an "exciting" graphic design.


"This will not be a coffee table magazine, to be flicked through and discarded," he continued. "This will be a publication with high editorial standards that members of our associations will regard as a must-read. It will also serve as a racing industry magazine with a hard editorial edge, involving itself in the numerous issues and arguments that are all part of the racing and bloodstock industries."

Philip Freedman, the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Chairman, added: "This will be a magazine produced by owners and breeders for owners and breeders. There is a recognition that, while owners and breeders might sometimes have their differences, we have the common goal of wanting a prosperous racing and breeding industry. What is good for owners generally must be good for breeders. Combining our thoughts editorially will strengthen both associations.


Giles Anderson, who has wide experience in the field of international bloodstock advertising sales, will join the magazine as Advertisement Sales Director. Anderson said:

"There cannot be a richer circulation for the racing professional. Anybody who wants to sell a stallion nomination, to promote a stud farm or ensure that their yearling is going to maximise its sale price will surely find advertising in Thoroughbred Owner & Breeder as the most direct way of achieving their aims."

The new magazine will be complemented by a closed user-group web site that will provide bloodstock professionals and enthusiasts with a wide range of statistical information. The data will be provided by Weatherbys who will also host the site.


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