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Friday, May 21, 2004


At The Races today announced that it will start live coverage of UK racing on Friday 11 June.

It has also completed an agreement with SIS as its broadcast production partner.

Live coverage will commence with meetings at Chepstow and Southwell and will be available from launch to more than 9 million homes with no extra subscription required.

Announcing the developments Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of At The Races, said; "We have a firm launch date. On Friday 11 June quality live UK racing will return on a channel dedicated to the sport, available at no extra cost, in over 9 million homes."

"The countdown continues on schedule and exactly as we have outlined, consistently, to the racing industry. We are working with our racecourse and production partners and will deliver on our promises.

"We are delighted to be starting our coverage with meetings from Chepstow and Southwell and look forward to providing an average of two meetings per day in the summer months ahead.

"This is very good news for all the racecourses working with us and we are particularly pleased for all the viewers and punters who have been so supportive of At The Races over the years - they will soon have live racing back on their screens."

Simon Clarke, Deputy Chairman of Chepstow PLC, said; "We are pleased that Chepstow will be the first course to be live on the new At The Races service - subject to our expected favourable conclusion of the exclusive negotiations. We are looking forward to welcoming their cameras and their viewers to a great meeting on 11th June and to many more in the years ahead. It will be great to be back in business on the channel again."

Ian Renton, Director of Racing at Arena Leisure, owners of Southwell, said; "We are very pleased that Southwell will be seen on the first day of live racing and look forward to the extensive coverage that At The Races will provide from all Arena's racecourses. The guarantee of quality coverage on a dedicated channel that can be seen at no extra cost in millions of homes from the outset is very important to us. We welcome the launch of At The Races and look forward to the benefits it will bring to racing."

For At The Races, SIS have been contracted to produce live race coverage, live programming from the tracks and all studio programming. The channel's emphasis will be on live coverage from the courses with production standards and editorial control resting with At The Races.

On the new production deal, David Holdgate, Chief Executive of SIS, said; "We are delighted to be involved with At The Races in the production of the new service. Our preparations are already well in hand for the launch on June 11 and it's good to be able to look forward to bringing back a regular live racing service, with very high standards, for millions of homes."


At The Races has today agreed key commercial terms for media rights with Newton Abbot Races Ltd.

Today's agreement brings the total number of UK courses working with At The Races to 26.

At The Races has now entered negotiations to conclude its discussions and looks forward to including race coverage from Newton Abbot in forthcoming schedules.

Live UK racing on At The Races will start on Friday 11th June and will be available from launch to more than 9 million homes with no extra subscription required.

Confirming the agreement, Pat Masterson, Managing Director of Newton Abbot, said; "After many weeks of deliberation the Board of Directors at Newton Abbot Racecourse firmly believes that At The Races is the best way forward and very much looks forward to a successful partnership."

Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of At The Races, said; "We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Newton Abbot and very much look forward to their first televised meeting on the channel on Tuesday 15 June. For national hunt racing enthusiasts this is particularly good news as Newton Abbot offers great jump racing all year round."

He continued; "We remain in a serious and advanced state of negotiation with a number of other courses and are confident that we will be going to air on June 11th with more than the current number of racecourse partners."


Wayne Lowe and James Cole will be playing this week to create betting shop history. The two totescoop6 winners from last Saturday have to select the winner of the 3.25 at Newmarket (Coral Sprint Handicap), to scoop the bonus fund which currently stands at £1,212,590. Both punters are small stake players, and if one of them wins outright they will become the biggest winner in betting shop history and the biggest winner in all totepool betting history. The previous biggest totescoop6 wins were a German syndicate who won £917,021 in Jan 2000, and Ron Nicholson, a hotel worker from Bournemouth who won £878,939 as recently as April 2004.

James, 59, originally from Ireland, placed his bet at his local totesport bookmakers in Boston Manor Road, West London where he is a regular punter. His favourite bets are the toteplacepot, toteexacta and totescooop6. He has played the totescoop6 since the launch of the bet in 1999 and has come close to being successful on a number of occasions. His biggest win to date was on the totejackpot a couple of years ago when he won £1,400 for a permutation 10p bet. John runs his own building business.

Wayne, 29, from Barnsley, placed his £2 bet at his local totesport bookmakers in Pontefract Rd, Barnsley where he is a regular football punter. He and his childhood friend, John Bright, who he bets on the football with, have an agreement that any winnings will be split 50/50. They have done this in every bet they have won on in the past 6 years and see no reason to stop now. Wayne is an assistant manager at a local supermarket.

The totescoop6 races this week are divided between Newmarket and Ayr. As ever players will be out in number in the hope that the bonus fund eludes both Wayne and James and that they can have a shot at the massive bonus fund next week.

totescoop6 TV C4 Legs

Leg 1 1.00 Ayr - Debbie Electrical Handicap
Leg 2 1.50 Newmarket - Newmarket Countryside Raceday Handicap
Leg 3 2.20 Newmarket - Haven and British Holidays Fairway Stakes
Leg 4 2.50 Newmarket - Cheveley Park Stud King Charles 11 Stakes
Leg 5 3.15 Ayr - Lickit Products Handicap
Leg 6 3.25 Newmarket - Coral Sprint (Handicap)

The Bonus Race is the 3.25 Newmarket - Coral Sprint (Handicap)

Bonus Fund £1,212,590


At its meeting yesterday, the BHB Board confirmed that it did not endorse any move to cease to use the term "National Hunt".

BHB Chairman Peter Savill said: "The BHB's Racing Review Committee considered this issue at length last year and made no recommendation that such a change should take place. The Committee recognised that the two terms "National Hunt" and "Jump" were synonymous and interchangeable and that both should continue to be used as appropriate."

The Board considered for the first time the Report of a working party which had been set up last year to develop a document produced by RHT in November 2003. The Board decided that further discussion on the working party's other recommendations would take place between interested parties before the Board was asked to endorse the proposals.

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