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Wednesday, May 26, 2004


The Horse Racing Channel - under the new brand name of 'Racing UK' - will commence coverage from the country's top racecourses on Saturday 29th May at 1.00 p.m. Rishi Persad will present Racing UK's first broadcast live from Kempton Park and the programme will include racing from Doncaster, Musselburgh and Cartmel.

Racing UK will provide viewers with high quality British racing all year around. The channel will broadcast about 4,000 races from UK courses each year and be on air for between 5-8 hours on race days.

This summer's highlights on Racing UK include live coverage of the Vodafone Derby meeting from Epsom, the July meeting from Newmarket, Glorious Goodwood, the Tote-Ebor Festival from York and the St Leger Meeting from Doncaster.

Racing UK will air on iSports TV, operated by the Digital Interactive Television Group (DITG), broadcast on Sky digital platform channel 425. Racing UK's programmes will be produced by Highflyer, one of the UK's top TV sports production companies.

Cartmel racecourse is the latest course to give its support to Racing UK, which now has backing from a clear majority of the country's racecourses. Racing UK is wholly owned and managed by 30 racecourses, including Aintree, Ayr, Cheltenham, Doncaster, Goodwood, Newmarket and Sandown. The 30 racecourses backing Racing UK collectively account for over 55% of total off-course racecourse betting.

Andrew Brown, Project Director of Racing UK, said: "Racing UK will bring the best of British racing to TV viewers in the UK and beyond. We are looking forward to going live on Saturday and to establishing Racing UK as the broadcast home of British horseracing."

Says Damian Cope, Managing Director of DITG Gaming: "DITG is delighted to help The Horse Racing Channel start broadcasting its own premium product. We know that everyone, especially the punters, will be very pleased to have UK horseracing back on TV after a two-month absence."


The improvements made last year to the Millennium Grandstand, which dominates the skyline on Newmarket's Rowley Mile Racecourse, have not just had a positive effect on racedays. They have also helped the racecourse's burgeoning non-raceday business to develop, with a record level of business forecast for May.

The wide range of events catered during the first two weeks of this month alone included Shell Livewire's "Entrepreneur of the Year Awards" followed by a celebration dinner; a May Ball for 350 guests of International Flavours & Fragrances Ltd, based in Haverhill; the launch of a new Astra for 'Drive Vauxhall' of Bury St Edmunds; an Antiques & Collectors Fair organised by DMG Antiques, at which the BBC filmed an edition of Bargain Hunt; a public clothes exhibition for Charles Tyrwhitt and the White Company; an NHS exhibition organised by Lewis Live Group; and meetings for Barclays Bank and the East of England Development Agency.

Lisa Hancock, Managing Director of Newmarket Racecourses, said: "The success of our exhibition, conference and banqueting business under the guidance of Donna Talbot, our Conference & Banqueting Sales Executive, is tremendous news for the racecourse. Since we currently race on only 18 days a year on the Rowley Mile - though our hopes for an all-weather track may change that soon - we need to maximise the use of the excellent facilities we have on the other 347 days.

"The Rowley Mile is now widely recognised as one of the East of England's major venues for such activities. Our Leisure and Events Team have been doing a fantastic job on both the marketing and operational side and deserve all the credit for this success story."



The James Toller-trained Bachelor Duke denied home favourites Azamour and Grey Swallow a famous local success when taking the EUR400,000 Group 1 Boylesports Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday.

A maiden going into the race, Bachelor Duke finished well to win by a length from Azamour (Night Shift) with Grey Swallow (Daylami) half-a-length away in third place.

Another English raider, Leitrim House, finished fourth ahead of the Aidan O'Brien-trained pair, Grand Reward and Newton.

The winner is now heading for the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot while runner-up Azamour is now unlikely to go for the Epsom Derby. Grey Swallow is either heading to France for the Prix Jean Prat or the Irish Derby late next month.


Attraction created her own piece of history at the Curragh when she became the first filly to complete the English/Irish 1,000 Guineas double on Sunday.

Trained in England by Mark Johnston, Attraction added to her all-the-way success in the Newmarket Classic when again making all the running to land the EUR400,000 Boylesports-sponsored Irish equivalent.

She proved too strong for the Jim Bolger-trained Alexander Goldrun (Gold Away) who was best of the Irish-trained runners in second and the next three places were filled by English-trained fillies, David Loder's Illustrious Miss, Kinnaird (Dr Devious), trained by Pat Haslam and the Barry Hills-trained Secret Charm.

Aidan O'Brien saddled five runners in the race and Necklace fared best of the quintet, finishing sixth.


The Aidan O'Brien-trained Powerscourt made all the running to win the EUR260,000 Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on Sunday.

The son of Sadler's Wells, unlucky not to win the Irish Field St Leger at the course last September, was making his seasonal reappearance and could not have been more impressive.

With Jamie Spencer in the saddle, Powerscourt raced to a six length victory over the highly consistent filly Livadiya (Shernazar) with the Richard Hannon-trained Nysaean (Sadler's Wells), third.

The winner now heads for the Prince Of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot and will be campaigned over distances between a mile and a mile and a half, according to the winning trainer. Powerscourt was giving Spencer his first Group 1 win since becoming stable jockey at Ballydoyle.


The classy Soviet Song, an Irish-bred daughter of Marju, scored a stunning success in the EUR130,000 Group 2 Ridgewood Pearl Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.

She stalked the pacesetter Echoes In Eternity until showing quite a devastating turn of speed to race clear over a furlong and a half from the line. She had six lengths to spare over the Harry Rogers-trained Livadiya and will bid to follow up at Royal Ascot where she has a couple of options.

Johnny Murtagh rode the winner for trainer James Fanshawe.


Trained in England by David Evans, The Kiddykid ran out a narrow winner of the EUR80,000 Group 3 Weatherbys Greenlands Stakes from fellow cross-channel hope Arakan with Ringmoor Down completing a clean sweep for English runners at the Curragh on Saturday.

Only a head separated the first two home with many observers believing the runner-up would have got there in another few strides. The winner was bred at Knocklong House Stud and is a son of Danetime.


Although he failed to land a blow in either of the Irish Guineas run over the weekend, it was not all bad news for trainer Aidan O'Brien at the Curragh.

He shared a treble with his stable jockey Jamie Spencer and the feat was completed when Meath added to the earlier victories of Oratorio (Danehill) in the opening EBF Maiden and Powerscourt in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Meath made all the running, as did the other two Ballydoyle winners to win the EUR80,000 Group 3 Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes.

Although strongly challenged in the straight, the son of Sadler's Wells held off his closest market rival Cairdeas (Darshaan) to win in fine style.


The Aidan O'Brien-trained Russian Blue became the first Irish-trained two year old to win three races this season when comfortably landing the EUR58,000 Listed Isabel Morris Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday.

The son of Danehill made all the running to win by a length from dead heaters L'Altro Mondo and Kay Two in the five-furlong sprint and now heads for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot next month.


Moss Vale, a son of Rathbarry Stud sire Shinko Forest, was the three-length winner of the Listed Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.

A winner over this six-furlong trip at Windsor last season, Moss Vale dropped back to the minimum distance when scoring in a handicap at Chester earlier this month and clearly continues to improve.

On the evidence of this win, he will not be out of place in Group races over the coming months.

Pongee gave Rathbarry their second Listed success of the afternoon when she won the EBF Joan Westbrook Pinnicle Stakes over 12 furlongs.

Pongee is a daughter of Barathea and was winning for the fifth time in 11 starts.


The Irish-bred Best Mate, who captured his third Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, has been announced as the British Horseracing Board's 2004 Jump Horse of the Year.

The accolade was one of 12 to mark equine and human achievement in British Jump Racing over the 2003/04 season. The equine awards were based on and coincided with the publication of the Anglo-Irish Classifications.

Irish-bred horse featured prominently during the award ceremony with Champion Novice Hurdler going to Fundamentalist, the Champion Novice Chaser is Strong Flow, the Dessie Hughes-trained Hardy Eustace was crowned as Champion Two-Mile Hurdler and the Champion Two-Mile Chaser is Moscow Flyer.

Jessica Harrington's charge was also named as the Champion Two-and-a-half Mile Chaser and as well as his Jump Horse of the Year award, Best Mate was honoured as the Champion Three Mile Chaser.


TV3 has announced that the popular programme "Go Racing" has more than doubled its growth in ratings since the new series launched last month.

In excess of 100,000 viewers now regularly tune in the 30 minute programme and the show has already exceeded its projected ratings in the most desired television demographics.

The new series provides viewers and racing enthusiasts with a colourful guide to the world of horse racing in Ireland. The half-hour weekly programme is broadcast at 7.30pm on Thursday nights and repeated at 10.00am on Saturday.

Upcoming Irish National Hunt Sales

The Goffs Land Rover and June National Hunt Sale gets underway at 10am on Tuesday 1st June and runs until Thursday 3rd June. It includes candidates for the Goffs Land Rover Bumper, the Bewleys Hotels & EBF Fillies Championship Bumper, and the Bewleys Hotels & ITBA Bonus Fillies Bumper. Catalogues are available on line at www.goffs.com or by contacting Goffs on +353 45 886600.

Tattersalls Derby Sale takes place on the 24th and 25th June. There are 550 lots catalogued and the catalogue is available online at www.tattersalls.ie or by contacting Tattersalls on +353 1 8864300.

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

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