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Monday, May 3, 2004


The three-day Chester May Meeting, which starts on Wednesday, has tremendous racing and the opening-day highlight, the £120,000 totesport Chester Cup, will be run with a maximum field of 18 it was revealed today.

The weights are headed by the Paul Cole-trained Swing Wing, the mount of champion jockey Kieren Fallon, on 9st 10lb, with totesport’s ante-post favourite Anak Pekan on 8st 2lb and last year’s runner-up Big Moment carrying 8st 12lb.

The historic handicap, first run in 1824, received 20 declarations today but, because of the safety limit of 18, the two horses at the bottom of the handicap, High Point and Sailor A’hoy, are unfortunately eliminated from the race.

Chester’s two classic trials, the 12-furlong MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase on Thursday and the 10-furlong Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes on Friday, have attracted 12 and 13 entries respectively.

The £65,000 MBNA Europe Bank Chester Vase has two Aidan O’Brien-trained colts, Book Of Kings and Five Dynasties, among the entries, while Ireland’s champion trainer has also put Five Dynasties in the £70,000 Jardine Lloyd Thompson Dee Stakes.

Richard Thomas, Chester’s chief executive, said: “I am very pleased with the level and quality of the entries for our classic trials and hope this translates into a decent level of runners on Thursday and Friday.”

The £75,000 Betdaq Ormonde Stakes, for older horses over just beyond 13 furlongs on Friday, has 16 entries, including two from Godolphin, Delsarte and New South Wales, while The Whistling Teal will be aiming to give trainer Geoff Wragg his fourth successive victory in the race.

Ed Gretton, Chester’s clerk of the course, reported today that there was a millimetre of rain overnight. The going remains good to firm but a further of five millimetres of rain are expected by the end of the day.


Class B, Heritage Handicap, £120,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.55pm, Chester, Wednesday, May 5, 2004. For four-year-olds and upwards, two miles, two furlongs and about 147 yards. Lowest weight 7st 12lb, highest weight not less than 9st 10lb. Penalties: after April 17, a winner 3lb. Note - any horse rated above 110 (or 114 if such a horse is four years old) shall initially be treated as having that rating and the highest weight allotted shall be 9st 10lb. Subsequently, the excess over 110 (or 114 if such a horse is four years old) in any rating shall be added to the weight allotted to that horse without limitation to the highest weight to be carried. Entries closed April 14, entries and weights revealed April 21 (41 entries), five-day confirmation stage April 30, final declaration stage 10.00am, May 3 (18 declared runners). Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Sunday, May 1, 2004 (may not include some overseas form).

Form Horse Age/Wgt Owner Trainer
1)3/31533-5 SWING WING 5-9-10 Sir Martyn Arbib Paul Cole
2)521356- RAYSHAN (IRE) 4-9-02 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
3)05/1440- UNLEASH (USA) 5-9-00 Cheveley Park Stud Philip Hobbs
4)122611-0 MISTERNANDO 4-8-13 John Duggan Mick Channon
5)160303- COLLIER HILL 6-8-12 Ashley Young & R H Hall Alan Swinbank
6)420440- BIG MOMENT 6-8-12 R Doel,A Black,Dr J Howells & D Broad Amanda Perrett
7)4/00303- DISTANT PROSPECT (IRE) 7-8-06 The Rae Smiths and Pauline Gale Andrew Balding
8)601433-0 MANA D'ARGENT (IRE) 7-8-05 Daniel Couper Mark Johnston
9)23250-0 RANDOM QUEST 6-8-04 Terry Warner Bernard Llewellyn
10)052400- ARCHDUKE FERDINAND (FR) 6-8-04 Catherine Corbett & Chris Wright Paul Cole
11)302010- NUMITAS (GER) 4-8-03 Cheveley Park Stud Philip Hobbs
12)55034-1 RAHWAAN (IRE) 5-8-03 Six Iron Partnership Chris Fairhurst
13)21222-1 ANAK PEKAN 4-8-02 HRH Sultan Ahmad Shah Michael Jarvis
14)03102-(0) GRALMANO (IRE) 9-8-01 Coleorton Moor Racing Kevin Ryan
15)30(1)31-0 PONDERON 4-8-01 Mrs P Robeson Fulke Johnson Houghton
16)101564- ALMIZAN (IRE) 4-8-00 Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum Mick Channon
17)556233-5 KRISTENSEN 5-7-13 Equiname Ltd Don Eddy
18)30000/-(0) GRACILIS (IRE) 7-7-12 Michael Watt Alan Swinbank

18 declared runners

Lingfield Park Racecourse Announce New Derby Trial and Oaks Trial Sponsors

The Lingfield Park Derby Trial, known to be the most significant of the trials, on Saturday 8th May is to be sponsored for the first time by Gallagher Group Ltd.

Lingfield Park has been undergoing a major £5.5 million refurbishment in which Gallagher Group has been heavily involved.

However, the sponsorship deal was struck when Kate Hills Head of Marketing and PR for Arena Leisure’s Racecourse Division approached Managing Director Pat Gallagher after his horse Leitrim House won the International Trial Stakes at Lingfield in March.

Pat has horses in training with both Brian Meehan and Neville Callaghan. Lingfield Park is his favourite track where he regularly runs his horses and is local to his Maidstone-based company.

Kate Hills said, “We are really pleased to have Gallagher Group sponsoring our most prestigious race, Pat Gallagher is a good friend and supporter of Lingfield. His company Gallagher Group have played an important role in the new grandstand refurbishment which the majority of will be in use for the first time at the Derby Trial meeting.”

The Oaks Trial also has a new sponsor - Guy de Havilland - who has given the race to his fiancé as an engagement present. The race will be called the Antonia Cridland Oaks Trial, and Guy said that he intends to continue the sponsorship for years to come.

Antonia, 32 was a very accomplished rider, and did well showjumping on the junior circuit until she suffered a bad riding accident where she fractured her skull and was forced to stop competing. She is now a successful author of animal books and a very talented animal portrait artist. Antonia and Guy, 39 plan to get married in May 2005.

Arena Leisure Racecourses – Closer to the Action

Once again racecourse owners Arena Leisure are leading the way in improving the service to their customers.

Chief Operating Officer of Arena’s Race Courses Ted Taylor has taken a giant step forward by purchasing mobile screens for use at Folkestone, Lingfield Park and Royal Windsor Racecourses covering more than 150 meetings per year. The screens, costing over £800,000, will also be used at their concerts and firework evenings and be available for hire by racecourses and other users when available.

Taylor said, “We’ve traditionally spent considerable sums renting screens in but it’s not viable to do so at every meeting. This has always annoyed me and I’ve finally found a solution that brings huge benefits to all racegoers and makes great sense financially. Customers, particularly those at Folkestone and Lingfield Park, will benefit enormously as they will always now have a great quality screen bringing them much closer to the action. It’s another massive investment in our racecourse infrastructure and in tandem with the considerable improvements we have made to general customer facilities it will pay dividends to us and our customers.”

Barco, manufacturers of the screens, are leaders in the field of visual display units. The chosen Barco display solutions are a Mobile 40sq metre SLite 10 unit, and a transportable 22sq metre SLite 10. The screens will be in use at the southern Arena racecourses from 1st of July 2004.

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