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Friday, June 22, 2001

Ladbrokes Prices For Tomorrow

2.30pm Ascot

18-Shoeshine Boy,
11-Give Back Calais,
40-Taras Emperor,
28-Nearly A Fool,
25-King's Ballet,
25-Flying Millie,
25-Prince Of Blues,
16-Time N Time Again,
16-Bois De Citron,
7/4-Funny Valentine,
6-Muja Farewell,
22-Indian Prince,
50-Travel Tardia,
14-Miss George,
11-Blakeshill Boy,


Ascot Racecourse is celebrating another successful Royal Meeting tonight with news that today’s final day crowd smashed through the 60,000 barrier for the first time.

The total attendance during the week was slightly down on last year but comfortably beat the figures for the previous two years. Gold Cup Day saw a record-breaking 72,589 people through the gates while today’s crowd of 60,862 was 2,526, or 4.3%, up on last year.

The Tote was in clover throughout the week with record after record falling on a daily basis. Turnover was up a massive 11% on Thursday and nearly 13% up today. Total turnover broke the £7-million mark for the first time.

Sodexho, resident caterers at Ascot throughout the year, reported a rise in sales of 12.5% on Tuesday, 9% on Wednesday and a remarkable 20% on Thursday. The Royal Ascot Village capacity was increased by 25% this year and sold out for all four days and an increased product range contributed to their success story.

Ladbrokes was particularly pleased with its webcast, which covered all 24 races during the week. The company reports that new registrations over Royal Ascot have been around double what was expected and that turnover on the non-televised races was massively up on last year.

Sales for the Royal Ascot Collection, now in its second year, were up 110% over the first three days of the meeting and the newly-refurbished Grandstand shop proved a valuable addition to the sales outlets, which saw a 54% increase in trade.

Douglas Erskine-Crum, Ascot’s Chief Executive, commented: “We have had a marvellous Royal Ascot, with the second-biggest overall attendance ever and a record Friday crowd.

“Back in the spring, when the weather was appalling and the foot and mouth crisis was at its height, bookings slowed down to a near standstill. That is normally a busy time for our booking staff and so we are particularly delighted with how things have turned out this week, blessed with the most wonderful weather and the best racing in the world.”

Royal Ascot Attendance Figures
Year/ Tuesday/ Wednesday/ Thursday/ Friday/ TOTAL
1998/ 48, 604/ 54, 088/ 67, 326/ 51, 914/ 221, 932
1999/ 45, 977/ 54, 092/ 69, 860/ 55, 662/ 225, 591
2000/ 50, 609/ 55, 763/ 72, 546/ 58, 336/ 237, 254
2001/ 46, 924/ 53, 433/ 72, 589/ 60, 862/ 233, 80
Change +/-/ -7.3%/ -4.2%/ +0.1%/ +4.3%/ -1.5%


Storming Home lived up to his name when he got the better of Snowstorm in the opening race of the last day and he could be back at Ascot on July 28 for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes. In anticipation of that, William Hill have clipped his price from 25/1 to 16/1 behind 7/4 favourite Fantastic Light.

Storming Home had run very well in the Derby, when he was fifth to Galileo, but that was less than a fortnight ago and his trainer Barry Hills was concerned that this race might have come a bit quickly for him.

“I was a bit worried about that, but he has done really well since Epsom and worked very well the other day. We did think about the short time between the two races, but there was really nothing else to go for with him and he seemed so well that we thought we would run,” the trainer said.

“He has never been the easiest horse to ride,” Hills added as he reported that his jockey son Michael, who rode Storming Home here and at Epsom, thought he would have been placed in the Derby if he had had a better run in the closing stages.

“The penny is finally dropping with him and I think there may well be more improvement to come,” added Hills senior, who looks set to run Vodafone Derby fourth Mr Combustible against Galileo again at the Curragh on Sunday week.

“I think that if the Derby had been run at a stronger pace then Galileo would have won by further, but we shall take him on again in Ireland,” Hills declared.


The Michael Bell-trained Snowstorm found Storming Home a length and a quarter too good when finishing second in the opening King Edward VII Stakes.

“He deserved to win a nice race and will do so,” said the runner-up’s trainer Michael Bell. “He’s run a blinder and off the top of my head I’d think the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood might be the next stop for him.”

John Gosden was pleased with the efforts of Theatre Script, who finished three quarters of a length further back in third.

The Manton handler said: “I’m delighted with him, he’s just taken a bit of time to come to himself. He was staying back on again at the end and I think we will take the Great Voltigeur/St Leger route with him.

“He is a big leggy horse who will be better as a four-year-old.”


Royal Ascot’s leading trainer Henry Cecil notched his 69th career winner at the meeting and first of 2001 when Sandmason beat Zindabad in a tight finish to the Hardwicke Stakes with more-fancied stablemate Wellbeing only fifth.

“It took me A while to get a winner,” said Cecil. “And Wellbeing was definitely the first string. But Sandmason is very tough and you can see why I ran both of them.

“Sandmason has a lot of guts and loves this ground. He deserved to run and there’s nothing else for him at the moment. Being rather greedy I hoped we might get first and second in the Hardwicke. I’ll have to look through the Programme Book before deciding where he’ll go next.

“The tactics were right but I thought the other horse would come through and take the race.

“It’s been an up-and-down week and its nice to have a win. Most of my horses have just not been finishing in the last furlong and a half. I don’t know why, they have been galloping well at home. Wellbeing is the fifth of mine to disappoint this week and on the first day I thought I might well have three winners with Shibboleth, Year Two Thousand and Western Verse, who came back wrong. I find it very frustrating.”

Winning jockey Willie Ryan added: “He’s very genuine and goes on the ground well. He had to battle today but got his head down well.

“Driving here this morning, I thought Wellbeing would win and we’d be in the first three.

“It’s important to me to ride a winner for Henry and for Lady Howard de Walden, whose late husband was always a big supporter of mine.”


“The Irish St Leger is the sort of Group 1 race he could win,” said Mark Johnston after Zindabad had been beaten just a head by Sandmason in the Hardwicke, but the trainer, whose horses have been in cracking form all week, then qualified the thought.

“The trouble is that the ground by then would almost certainly be soft, and it does seem that he wants it on top. This is only the fourth time that he has run since he came to me, so I am still finding out about him, but Joe Mercer (racing manager to Zindabad’s owner Abdullah Ali) told me when he came that he does seem to be better on faster ground.

“When I walked him on to the track before his win the other day (at Leicester on Sunday), I had doubts about him running because of the ground, and when he ran at Sandown before that he slipped a couple of times.

“Although he has won from in front, he certainly does not have to make it and we do not want him to be in there to do the donkey work for everyone else. But he has run really well and I am delighted with him.”

The Vodafone Coronation Cup winner Mutafaweq confirmed Epsom form with Wellbeing even on 5lb worse terms, but Godolphin’s racing manager Simon Crisford had reservations about the performance.

“I think that he did not run as well here as he did at Epsom,” he said, before explaining that the reason Mutafaweq was taken out of the unsaddling enclosure before the official signal.

“He gets distressed after his races, which he has done for a long time, and sometimes kicks out afterwards. It could be dangerous in an area like this with people all around him, so we feel that the best thing to do is to take him out of the way as soon as we can.”


Banks Hill produced an exhilarating turn of pace to take the Coronation Stakes, passing about half a dozen fillies in the final furlong to win by a length and a half from her fellow 4-1 jt-favourite Crystal Music.

“This is always one of the very hardest races for a three-year-old filly to win,” said her trainer Andre Fabre after Banks Hill had provided the raiders from France with their first success of the meeting,

“She was very unlucky when she was just beaten in the French Guineas two runs ago, and I blame that on the ground. She just could not go with the early pace and match the speed of the leaders.”

The trainer’s belief that Banks Hill could turn round the Longchamp form with the Poule d’Essai winner Rose Gypsy was more than justified as Rose Gypsy ran way below her French form and finished last but two.

“I was very confident from the very beginning because she is an outstanding filly - she is a star in my stable. I think this race is one of the nicest for fillies to win - for a mile filly it is the ultimate target. From the way she was finishing, I feel that she may well be able to stay further than a mile,” Fabre went on, though he did not commit himself to running Prince Khalid Abdulla’s home bred filly over a longer trip in the immediate future.

“We shall talk about that idea, but we will probably have to take on the boys now. She will have to improve on what she has done today against the colts. It is always a big pleasure to have a winner at Royal Ascot.”

When asked to compare this filly with his previous Coronation Stakes winner Golden Opinion, Fabre confined himself to saying that the two fillies “are very different.”

Winning jockey Olivier Peslier commented: “I didn’t want to go too soon as she has a very good turn of foot. She looks like the best European miler, and she is more confident and stronger every time she runs.”



Crystal Music, winner of last season’s Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile, narrowly failed to bag a second Group 1 success when losing out by a length and a half to French raider Banks Hill in the Coronation Stakes.

John Gosden, who trains the runner-up for owner-breeder Lord Lloyd-Webber, said: “She has run a blinder in a very high-quality Coronation. The filly I really feared beforehand was Banks Hill, who looked unlucky in the French Guineas and won the Prix Sandringham well last time. I have been proved right unfortunately.

“We’ll freshen up Crystal Music and the Nassau Stakes may well be her next race. There are also races for her in America.

“In the English Guineas she was not quite ready and she missed a week of work prior to the Irish Guineas but today she was spot on.”

Godolphin’s Tempting Fate finished third and racing manager Simon Crisford said: “Seven furlongs would probably be better for her but there aren’t many seven-furlong races around. She has run a really good race and hopefully there will be plenty of opportunities throughout the course of the year and she’ll be given a chance to go and win a nice race.”


Class A, Group One, £250,000 guaranteed, 1m, for three-year-old fillies. Weights: 9st. Penalty values: 1st: £156,600; 2nd: £59,400; 3rd: £29,700; 4th: £13,500; 5th: £6,750; 6th: £4,050

1 BANKS HILL (Khalid Abdulla) Andre Fabre FR 3-9-00 Olivier Peslier [4] 4-1 jfav
2 CRYSTAL MUSIC (USA) (Lord Lloyd-Webber) John Gosden 3-9-00 Richard Hughes [12] 4-1 jfav
3 TEMPTING FATE (IRE) (Godolphin) Saeed bin Suroor 3-9-00 Frankie Dettori [2] 12-14 LETHALS LADY (Ecurie Vallin) Robert Collet (FR) 3-9-00 Dominique Boeuf [5]
5 AMEERAT (Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum) Michael Jarvis 3-9-00 Philip Robinson [9]
6 TOROCA (USA) (Evie Stockwell) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Johnny Murtagh [6]
7 MONNAVANNA (IRE) (Rebecca Philipps) Geoff Wragg 3-9-00 Darryll Holland [3]
8 ENTHUSED (USA) (Niarchos Family) Sir Michael Stoute 3-9-00 Kieren Fallon [14]
9 LADY MILETRIAN (IRE) (Miletrian Plc) Mick Channon 3-9-00 Craig Williams [8]
10 SEQUOYAH (IRE) (Sue Magnier) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Jamie Spencer [13]
11 ROSE GYPSY (Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor) Aidan O'Brien IRE 3-9-00 Michael Kinane [7]
12 LIL'S JESSY (IRE) (Razza Pallorsi) Jeremy Noseda 3-9-00 Pat Eddery [10]
13 LURINA (IRE) (Shirley H Taylor) John Gosden 3-9-00 Robert Havlin [1]

13 ran Non-runner No. 2 Amonita (vet’s certificate)

Tote: Win: £5.60; Places: £2.40; £1.90; £1.90; Exacta: £24.90

Time 1m 39.61s Distances: 1.5, 0.5, Nk, 1.25, Hd, 0.5, 0.5, Nk, 0.75, Nk 1, 12

Breeder: Juddmonte Farms Breeding: Danehill - Hasili (Kahyasi)

Winning trainer:-Name: Fabre, Andre (FR) Date of Birth 9/12/45. British Classic wins: (4) Vodafone Oaks (1993 Intrepidity), Sagitta 2000 Guineas (1993 Zafonic, 1995 Pennekamp), Pertemps St Leger (1991Toulon)Major wins include: Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (1987,Trempolino,1992 Subotica,1994 Carnegie, 1997 Peintre Celebre), Vodafone Coronation Cup (1986 St Estephe,1990 In the Wings, 1994 Apple Tree, 1995 Sunshack, 1996 Swain); July Cup (1988 Soviet Star); Irish Oaks (1993 Wemyss Bight), Irish Derby (1993 Winged Love); Arlington Million (1988 Mill Native), Breeders’ Cup Turf (1990 In the Wings), Breeders’ Cup Classic (1993 Arcangues) Dewhurst Stakes (1992 Zafonic, 1994 Pennekamp, 1997 Xaar); Prix Ganay (2000 Indian Danehill); Prix de Barbeville (2000 Amilynx), Prix Royal-Oak (2000 Amilynx) Horses in training (1992-2001): 206:222:234:234:228:245:232: 228:189: 169 Trains at Chantilly, France Royal Ascot wins: (4) Coronation Stakes (1989 Golden Opinion, 2001 Banks Hill), Queen’s Vase (1993 Infrasonic), Ribblesdale Stakes (1996 Tulipa) First Royal Ascot win: Golden Opinion (June 21, 1989 - Coronation Stakes)

Winning jockey:-Name: Peslier, Olivier Born: Cossé-le-Vivien, France, 12/1/71 Apprenticeship: School for Jockeys in Moulin a Vent, followed by apprenticeship with Patrick Biancone. Major wins include: Vodafone Derby (1998 High-Rise), Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (1996 Helissio, 1997 Peintre Celebre, 1998 Sagamix), Prix du Jockey-Club (1997 Peintre Celebre), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (1997 Air Express, 1998 Desert Prince), Irish Derby (1995 Winged Love), Coronation Stakes (1996 Shake The Yoke), Dante Stakes (1997 Benny The Dip, 1996 Glory Of Dancer), Dewhurst (1997 Xaar), Prix Ganay (1997 Helissio, 2000 Indian Danehill), Prix Lupin (1997 Cloudings, 1999 Gracioso), Grand Criterium (1993 Lost World, 1995 Loup Solitaire), Prix Saint-Alary (1994 Moonlight Dance, 1995 Muncie, 1997 Brilliance); Prix d’Ispahan (1994 Bigstone, 1998 Loup Sauvage); Prix Jean Prat (1993 Le Balafre), Grand Prix de Paris (1997 Peintre Celebre, 1998 Limpid); Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (1996 Helissio, 1998 Fragrant Mix); Prix Royal-Oak (1999 and 2000 Amilynx), Prix du Moulin (1998 Desert Prince); Prix de la Foret (1994 Bigstone, 1995 Poplar Bluff); Prix Vermeille (1997 Queen Maud); Prix du Cadran (1994 Molesnes); Prix Marcel Boussac (1995 Miss Tahiti, 1999 Lady Of Chad), Prix de la Salamandre (1997 Xaar), Dewhurst Stakes (1997 Xaar); Irish 2,000 Guineas (1998 Desert Prince, 1999 Saffron Walden); Deutsches Derby (1997 Borgia), Prix Jean de Chaudenay - Grand Prix du Printemps (2000 First Magnitude); Prix de Barbeville (2000 Amilynx) Royal Ascot wins: (8) First Royal Ascot win: Southern Power (June 18, 1996, Ascot Stakes Handicap) Major Royal Ascot wins: Coronation Stakes (1996 Shake The Yoke, 2001 Banks Hill)


Pip Payne enjoyed his first success at Royal Ascot and first win of the turf season when Nice One Clare landed the Wokingham Stakes, in which she finished fifth last year.

“It has been the plan since this time last year although these 32-runner races are a lottery,” said Payne.

“We didn’t get a race into her before coming here 12 months ago but we did this year. She ran better than I thought she might first time out when she beat Harmonic Way and we were lucky enough to book Johnny Murtagh.

“She was unlucky in this last year and the Tote race. It’s all the more difficult when the handicapper puts you up without winning and you need a bit of luck in running. She’s been going well in these big handicaps which suit her because she likes fast-run races and a lot of pace.

“I think there is a little improvement in her, she seems to be a better horse this year than last. She put on a lot of weight over the winter and maybe there is a Listed or Group 3 win in her.

“It’s been one of my ambitions for a long time to win here.”

The mare races for her breeders Noel and Clare McGinn. “Last season was very disappointing but we thought let’s go for it again and she runs a cracker. Pip has done a wonderful job with her,” said Mrs McGinn.

“We bred her and have got the dam in Co Limerick. She has just had a Grand Lodge filly and has been covered by Daylami. I think we’ll be breeding from Nice One Clare. This is Noel’s life, he thinks about nothing else.”


“He has run a great race and there are no excuses,” declared Eric Alston after Ellen’s Academy had just been run out of the big sprint by Nice One Clare. “The ground was no problem for him; he came to win his race but was simply beaten by a better horse on the day.”

Alston did not seem overly keen on the Vodafone Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood, and was thinking about a closer target. “He has had a hard race here, but if he comes out of it all right we might look at the Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle next weekend.

“We won that last year with Tedburrow when it was a Listed race and it is Group 3 this season. He could have a go at that,” said Alston, who would have loved to have won, not only because of the prize but also because he would have received his memento from Lester Piggott.

Barry Hills was equally delighted with third placed Seven No Trumps, who looks certain to go to the big Goodwood sprint.

“He has run a very good race, though this ground was fast enough for him and he did not pick up immediately.It just took him that bit of time to start to run on. The Stewards’ Cup is very much the plan for him.”


Kalanisi, who finished second in Wednesday’s Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, has suffered a hairline crack to his near-fore shin.

The four-year-old, who is trained by Sir Michael Stoute for the Aga Khan, won last season’s Champion Stakes at Newmarket and the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Churchill Downs.


There was probably no more popular winner through the entire meeting than Irony, whose neck defeat of Steaming Home was a first Royal Ascot success for his second season trainer Jamie Osborne.

The former star jump jockey has come through all sorts of problems in his first year with a licence, and the pleasure that this result gave all round was very apparent as he was congratulated on all sides, not least by Dermot Weld, trainer of the runner-up.

“That is a great relief,” said the trainer. “When I was riding I never lost a wink of sleep on the nights before a big race, because if one horse ran badly I was lucky enough to know that there was always going to be another one next week.

“But this is the first time since I started training that I have come to a big race with a realistic chance, and I did not sleep all that well last night. This horse is so far and away the best of the two-year-olds I have that I was sure if he did not win, or at least run well, then we were in trouble.

“Ascot has always been a very special place for me. I rode my first winner back after injury when Coome Hill won the race named after John Durkan. That was a very emotional moment, but this runs that race very close.

“We bought him as a breeze-up horse and it is very unusual for a breeze-up horse to come and win a race like this at Ascot, but Pat (Eddery) said that he would not have to improve that much from what he did when he won at Haydock to have a big chance here, and I certainly thought that he had improved.

“We came through all sorts of problems last year and everyone has worked very hard to help us over them. I really cannot believe it.”

Dermot Weld, trainer of runner-up Steaming Home, said: “Frankie was very pleased with her and said maybe he should have won but I thought he gave her a lovely ride.

“She’s a beautiful filly with a lot of improvement in her and will be coming back over here later in the year for something like the Cheveley Park.”


Life Is Life, who was bought by owner Ray Green with hurdling in mind, justified 2/1 favouritism to take the concluding Queen Alexandra Stakes.

“She might have another go at the Gold Cup next year,” said trainer Michael Jarvis. “We have just taken a long time to realise that she wants fast ground.

“She didn’t really take to jumping, her class helped her to win a novice hurdle but she hated soft ground.

“Ray likes to send me the odd jumper, he thinks I get lazy in the winter. If I have my way she won’t be going jumping again but Ray may disagree. She will go for the Goodwood Cup next.”

Green added: “I bought her as a Triumph Hurdle prospect and refuse to accept that she doesn’t like jumping!”

Life Is Life and runner-up Kahtan were both bought by Anthony Bromley, who with David Minton has just set up Highflyer Bloodstock.


“This really was just like a jumping race,” said Nicky Henderson after Kahtan had finished second to Life is Life in the closing marathon of the Queen Alexandra.

“Raymond Anderson Green, who owns the winner, is a great jumping man, and look at Dorans Pride, who was third. Our fellow won over hurdles only a few days ago.

“When he kicked I thought he might have nicked it, but then you only had to look back a bit to see how well the winner was going. But he has run a great race.

“There has been some talk of the Cesarewitch, but I think he would get too much weight as he is still rated 105.”

Michael Hourigan was delighted with the run by Dorans Pride, who was running for the second time at the meeting after having been unplaced in the Ascot Stakes on Wednesday. “That was his race, but he had no luck in running, though as we were here we thought he might as well run again,” he said.

“He will have a bit of a break now and probably come back for the Irish Cesarewitch. He had a bad run in that race last year and then came out and won the November Handicap a few days later.

“Look at him; he is 12 years old but he does not look anything like that, does he?,” enthused the trainer.


Jockeys/ Wins
Johnny Murtagh 5
Frankie Dettori 3
Michael Kinane 2
Kieren Fallon 2
Steve Drowne 2
Kevin Darley 1
Darryll Holland 1
Michael Hills 1
Jamie Spencer 1
Pat Eddery 1
Francis Norton 1
Olivier Peslier 1
Michael Roberts 1
Phillip Robinson 1
Willie Ryan 1


Trainers/ Wins
Aidan O’Brien IRE 4
Mark Johnston 3
Sir Michael Stoute 3
Saeed bin Suroor 1
John Gosden 1
Henry Cecil 1
Mick Channon 1
Geoff Wragg 1
Barry Hills 1
David Loder 1
Roger Charlton 1
Ed Dunlop 1
Andre Fabre FR 1
Michael Jarvis 1
Jamie Osborne 1
John Oxx IRE 1
Pip Payne 1


Tuesday, June 19
Queen Anne Stakes Medicean Sir Michael Stoute Kieren Fallon
King’s Stand Stakes Cassandra Go Geoff Wragg Michael Roberts
St James’s Palace Stakes Black Minnaloushe Aidan O’Brien IRE Johnny Murtagh
Duke of Edinburgh H’cap Takamaka Bay Mark Johnston Darryll Holland
Queen’s Vase And Beyond Mark Johnston Kevin Darley
Coventry Stakes Landseer Aidan O’Brien IRE Jamie Spencer

Wednesday, June 20
Jersey Stakes Mozart Aidan O’Brien IRE Michael Kinane
Queen Mary Stakes Queen’s Logic Mick Channon Steve Drowne
Prince of Wales’s Stakes Fantastic Light Saeed bin Suroor Frankie Dettori
Royal Hunt Cup Surprise Encounter Ed Dunlop Frankie Dettori
Ascot Handicap Cover Up Sir Michael Stoute Kieren Fallon
Chesham Stakes Seba David Loder Frankie Dettori

Thursday, June 21
Ribblesdale Stakes Sahara Slew John Oxx IRE Johnny Murtagh
Norfolk Stakes Johannesburg Aidan O’Brien IRE Michael Kinane
Gold Cup Royal Rebel Mark Johnston Johnny Murtagh
Cork & Orrery Stakes Harmonic Way Roger Charlton Steve Drowne
King George V Handicap Beekeeper Sir Michael Stoute Johnny Murtagh
Britannia Handicap Analyser John Gosden Francis Norton

Friday, June 22
King Edward VII Stakes Storming Home Barry Hills Michael Hills
Hardwicke Stakes Sandmason Henry Cecil Willie Ryan
Coronation Stakes Banks Hill Andre Fabre FR Olivier Peslier
Wokingham Stakes Nice One Clare Pip Payne Johnny Murtagh
Windsor Castle Stakes Irony Jamie Osborne Pat Eddery
Queen Alexandra Stakes Life Is Life Michael Jarvis Philip Robinson


Peter Savill, the British Horseracing Board Chairman, said: “I am absolutely delighted to announce that last night the board of the BHB made what I believe are two historic decisions, first of all to support the Go Racing deal by issuing licences on terms that we have agreed with Go Racing and secondly, and as important, to agree the terms between the industry for the Future Funding Plan (FFP).

“The FFP discussions have been ongoing for over a year and I am delighted that we have now signed-up agreement between the industry, although we still have to get specific ratification of the racecourses to this. These are their rights. There have been some modifications to the FFP and there have been some modifications to the media rights agreement between Go Racing and the RCA which require the approval of the 49 racecourses.

“Keith Brown (Chairman of the RCA) will be sending a letter today seeking that approval by 2pm on Monday but we are hopeful that that approval will be delivered.

“The Go Racing contract first. We have announced and agreed with Go Racing that we will issue them with three licences.

1) A bookmaker licence for two years on our standard terms.

2) A five-year media licence on terms that we have negotiated over the past two weeks.

3) A two-year technology licence which we have negotiated over the past few days.

“The other element, which I am delighted to say, is that we have agreed with them is that BHB and Go Racing will enter into a joint venture - on a 50-50 partnership - to develop two very important elements of income stream for the racing industry and Go Racing.

“These are the development of visual data, which, put in layman’s terms, is dots on screens telling you where horses are in races, and, secondly, the concept - yet to be developed in a much more finite way - of a worldwide Superbet.

“Those two products and elements will be developed in that joint venture by Go Racing and the BHB with a view of greatly enhancing the revenue streams of both racing and of Go Racing.

“It has been, as everybody knows, a long and tortuous process and I think that we have undoubtedly all learned an awful lot about how we would have done it if we all went back and started with a clean sheet of paper.

“That has enabled us to realise that it is important to have an agreed structure within the racing industry about how we might agree with such things in the future, as well as deal with the income streams that will arise from the Go Racing contract.

“As a result of that we resolved last night to face up to the decision to ratify the FFP with some adjustments to it, which are good adjustments and ones we have agreed to make with hindsight, having seen over the last 12 months how the FFP is actually operated.

“We have agreed the main changes to that FFP as being the right of the BHB to have a veto over any future media rights deals negotiated through Newco or the RCA as identified in the FFP.

“That is a reciprocal veto because for the development of levy replacement deals led by the BHB, there is a veto in the hands of the RCA.

“It was also agreed in the FFP that the BHB, in leading the negotiations on the commercial replacement of the levy, would also be responsible for decisions and negotiating the delivery to betting shops of the pictures. In other words the downlink - RaceTech will be the uplink.

“It is very difficult to distinguish between the delivery into the betting shops from the actual commercial replacement of the levy.

“Thirdly, there are a number of areas of income stream which will come directly to the BHB. Those in particular are a) the income streams from the window that the BHB has negotiated on mobile telephony deals for the next three years. The BHB is hopeful of shortly negotiating an exclusive licence for a limited period of time.

“ The others are income from the joint venture that the BHB is setting up with Go Racing and the new technology licences.

“The final thing that is an adjustment to the original terms of the FFP is that we all agreed that it was extremely important to endorse the strategy group that I talked about at the (BHB) AGM (eight days ago).

“I think there is a very strong feeling now within the industry that if we have the RCA and the racecourses negotiating media rights deals and the BHB negotiating levy replacement deals that they are so potentially interwoven that we must have a strategy group sitting at the top of that pyramid - not to make final decisions, but purely as the development of the industry strategy as to how it should best package and utilise in future its rights.

“It is a body which will be inclusive of all of the industry and the major investors in the industry. Not only will the industry come together in a much inclusive way but we will also have a better way forward in developing those rights.

“Those are the fundamental principles and changes to the FFP were approved by the BHB board last night and will go into effect almost immediately.

“We are particularly delighted that the Go Racing deal now, in our opinion, does not in any way complicate or work against the commercial replacement of the levy which was our over-riding and over-arching consideration and we are also convinced that it gives the racing industry a much better ability to understand what is going on with all elements of the Go Racing contract and we believe it will provide for a much better partnership, not only within the racing industry, but also between the racing industry and Go Racing.

“Those were the decisions that we made last night. There is no question that we are extremely relieved to have got to this point. We all feel, I think, comfortable with that decision and very comfortable about moving forward with Go Racing.”

Keith Brown, the Chairman of the RCA, commented: “I think when I came into this job one of the things I was quoted as saying was that it was immensely important for this industry to conclude a deal on media rights.

“Last Sunday I was staring into an abyss and I think the industry was as well. This is not a victory for one particular group or other, rather a victory for racing. It was immensely important that we came together last night, conceding pieces here and pieces there which were in the round not significant relating to the total. and then we can go forward dealing with the levy replacement.

“So from our perspective, I have to go back to 49 racecourses. During the course of yesterday I was in constant touch with my RCA board, keeping them informed of events and keeping them on side with what we were doing.

“Therefore, I am very confident that in going back to the courses and asking them to sign up on this that they will support us. The 49 racecourses have been immensely loyal in sticking with us during this process. There have been lots of temptations to go elsewhere but they have released that we were negotiating very much on their behalf and I think we have achieved a great deal in this process.

“I think we have learned an awful lot in this process. Perhaps if we started with a clean sheet of paper, we would not have done it the way we did. But we have learnt from that process and I believe that as board (BHB) we are much better equipped to go ahead and negotiate the levy replacement transactions - a strong united board.

“I would like to pay tribute to Peter’s leadership during the last few days - I think at the end of last Sunday we were all immensely depressed but we brought it back from a life-support machine. We now have a deal that we can all support and go forward for the good of racing.”

Chris Stoddart, the Chief Executive Officer of Go Racing, said: “Go Racing is absolutely delighted that agreement has been reached with the BHB to add to our agreement with the racecourses. We are particularly working on plans to bring British racing to a wider public both in this country and overseas.

“I think that everything that has been added to the deal through the agreement with the BHB will help us do that. I think the ideas of working on a joint venture, with the various aspects of that including the Superbet will give us some big ideas for bringing racing to a broader public and that is going to be our goal through our partners, Channel 4, Sky and Arena Leisure. I think it is very important that we keep developing new ideas in conjunction with everyone in racing. That is what Go Racing is going to be about.”

Christopher Spence, the Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, declared: “I absolutely delighted for racing that this deal has been consummated.

“I have firmly believed for a long time that it is in the best interests of racing if we could get the right terms. I would like to pay great tribute to Peter and advisers.”

Rhydian Morgan-Jones, the Chairman of the Industry Committee, said: “I kept the constituent parts of the Industry Committee totally involved. I believe that all the members of the committee will support the deal which is a good deal for everyone.”

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

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