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Monday, June 6, 2005



ADVANCE SALES STORMING AHEAD FOR LADIES' DAY AT NEWMARKET




Advance sales for Ladies' Day on Tuesday 5th July, the opening day of Newmarket's three-day July Meeting, are nearly 80% up on last year.

Last year, Ladies' Day drew a record opening day crowd for the July Meeting. However, it looks odds-on that this figure will be eclipsed in a month's time.


"Ladies' Day at Newmarket has gone from strength to strength in recent years, but with no Royal Ascot in the south this year we have seen a huge rise in the demand for tickets," commented Newmarket's Sales & Marketing Manager, Gaynor Haxby.

"There's nothing quite like the rustic charm of the July Course in the summer and I hope that those coming to Ladies' Day for the first time as an alternative to Ascot will be very taken with our event.


"The big race of the day, the UAE Equestrian & Racing Federation Falmouth Stakes, is also for the ladies. Last year it brought together for the only time Europe's two star fillies over a mile, Soviet Song and Attraction. With Attraction now set to miss her intended engagement at York in favour of another crack at the Falmouth, a rematch could be on the cards in this year's race. That would be the icing on the cake for what I know will be a very special day."

Tickets for all three days of the July Meeting can be booked in advance by visiting www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk or by calling 01638 675 500:

Tuesday 5th July: Ladies' Day
Wednesday 6th July: Classic FM Raceday, when the July Course will host its first ever classical concert after racing featuring international star Katherine Jenkins
Thursday 7th July: Darley July Cup Day, featuring Europe's premier sprint race

A Fabulous Caribbean Holiday plus a £1,000 designer Outfit on offer to Newmarket Racecourses' Best Dressed Lady.


Escape Hotel and Spa and Virgin Holidays have teamed up with Newmarket Racecourses to offer a fabulous first prize for this year's "Best Dressed Lady" Competition. Held on Ladies' Day on the first day of the July Meeting on Tuesday 5th July.

Not only will the most stylish lady win a fantastic £1,000 outfit, but she will also be jetted off for a luxury seven-night holiday for two in Barbados where they will be guests of the President of the Barbados Turf Club for racing Caribbean style.

The runner-up will win a fantastic weekend away for two at The Swan at Lavenham, while third prize will be fantastic hospitality package for four people to the finale Newmarket Night on 12th August 2005 plus a visit to the regions only traditional Thai Spa, located on Newmarket High Street, for a Thai massage and Facial.

Ten finalists will be selected from amongst the racegoers by a panel of judges who will mingle with the crowd from gate opening time until the first race. The finalists will be invited to the Winner's Enclosure for the final judging to take place. Each finalist will all receive a stylish hat courtesy of Newmarket Hat Hire and a goody bag.


Newmarket's annual flagship summer event - The July Meeting - is a three-day festival of classic English racing beginning with Ladies' Day on 5th July, which is without doubt the most stylish of them all as well as being an important and distinctive occasion in the social and racing calendar.

Classic FM Race day on Wednesday 6th July welcomes the National Symphony Orchestra and the remarkable voice of Katherine Jenkins for an early evening concert immediately following the afternoon racing.

The meeting culminates on Thursday 7th July with the pinnacle race of the meeting - Europe's best sprint race, the Darley July Cup.

Tickets range from £7 - £28 (with 14-day advance booking discounts subject to availability) and are available from the Box Office 01638 675500 or can be booked online at www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk Booking in advance is advised as ticket sales are up a staggering 45% on this time last year.

Set on the Suffolk / Cambridgeshire borders, on the outskirts of the town centre and at the heart of the international horseracing world, the Rowley Mile and July Racecourses which make up Newmarket Racecourses are just 12 miles from Cambridge and 60 miles from London.



AT THE RACES, WILLIAM HILL AND 3 LAUNCH UK'S FIRST LIVE INTERACTIVE 3G SPORTS SERVICE




At The Races and William Hill today announced the launch of the UK's first live, daily, interactive 3G sports service on 3, the UK's leading video mobile network. The service, which has its official launch today, has now been live and operational for over a month.


At The Races 3G will make available all of At The Races' previews, news, analysis and UK and Irish horseracing content as a live broadcast to over 3 million subscribers on the 3 video mobile network. At The Races joins 3's leading range of sports content over 3G, from UEFA Champions League action to highlights from Ricky Hatton's big fight.


With over 6 million 3G handsets now in use in the UK, the mobile video market is tipped to explode as interactive content becomes more readily available to users via video short codes.


Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of At The Races said, "We are delighted to be the first UK broadcaster to launch a service of this kind and particularly pleased that it is British and Irish horseracing leading the field. 3G technology is perfectly suited to coupling horseracing content with a betting application and our service is very straightforward to use with no need to download special players. In addition, transmission by means of the 3G video stream is no more than a second behind the TV broadcast."

Gareth Jones, COO of 3, commented: "This new TV streaming service launched first on 3 means racing fans up and down the country won't miss a thing. 3's customers already enjoy the best 3G services in the UK, whether that's watching Ricky Hatton's big fight or watching all the action from the Big Brother house live on mobile. "

William Hill to be betting partner for At The Races 3G service

The At The Races 3G service is also the first to mix interactivity with video content via short code access.

Through an agreement with William Hill, the world's largest telephone bookmaker, At The Races 3G allows users to place bets while they watch live racing on their phone.

Using their video call function users simply dial 83415 on their handset to view live ATR TV coverage with full commentary and then press '1' at any time to connect directly through to the William Hill call centre. From there they can place a bet, if they are over 18 with a valid account, while they watch and press '#' to revert instantly to the live coverage with full audio feed.

David Harding, Chief Executive of William Hill, said: "As the world's largest telephone betting operator we have been looking for some time at what opportunities 3G might afford us. We believe that this market has a lot of potential and are very pleased to be working with At The Races to deliver this unique service exclusively for our customers."

Matthew Imi added, "The launch of At The Races 3G is simply another example of how we intend to make top quality British and Irish racing content available to as many people, and via as many distribution platforms, as possible. Coupled with the considerable strengths of William Hill in the telephone betting market we think ATR 3G will be a very attractive service and look forward to marketing the product with our mobile network partners in the coming months."

The At The Races 3G service will shortly be available to Vodafone and Orange customers.


The At The Races 3G service is powered by Requestec which aims to launch a number of similar short code applications for other brands.


Video call charges for the At The Races 3G service are billed by the network operator on a per second basis at £1.00 / minute.


Users wishing to bet over the service must be registered customers of William Hill or can register when they opt to go through to the call centre to place a bet.




SHAMARDAL COMPLETES TATTERSALLS DERBY DOUBLE IN FRANCE




Godolphin's SHAMARDAL completed an extraordinary Tattersalls Derby double on Sunday, when landing the Prix du Jockey Club at Chantilly, following MOTIVATOR's runaway triumph in the Vodafone Derby a day earlier.


SHAMARDAL, a son of GIANT'S CAUSEWAY and already a Classic winning Champion two-year-old, was purchased by Michael Goodbody, stud manager for Sheikh Maktoum al Maktoum's Gainsborough Stud, for 50,000 guineas at the 2003 Tattersalls Houghton Yearling Sale where he was consigned by agent Ted Voute. Trained by Mark Johnston as a two-year-old, SHAMARDAL ended his juvenile year as unbeaten European Champion after a two and a half length win in the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, and met his only defeat to date on the Nad al Sheba dirt in the UAE Derby, before returning to winning ways in the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp.


Two Tattersalls Derby winners in two days for an average price of 62,500 guineas should be enough to encourage racehorse owners for many years to come, and with MOTIVATOR and SHAMARDAL boasting three Classic wins and only one defeat between them, the outstanding duo look set for even greater things.


The next Tattersalls Sale is the July Sale (July 5th - 7th), which numbers more than 700 lots and features high class consignments from many of the world's leading owner/breeders including Cheveley Park Stud, Darley, Gainsborough Stud, Juddmonte Farms, and Shadwell Estate Company.




NEW RACECOURSE MANAGER APPOINTMENT AT HUNTINGDON RACECOURSE




Amy Starkey has been appointed Racecourse Manager at Huntingdon Racecourse. Amy, 24, will join the Huntingdon team at the beginning of July, taking over from Tina Dawson, who joins The National Stud as Commercial General Manager.


Amy comes from a strong racing background and she freely admits that racing is her passion. In her student days Amy worked part-time for Skybet and William Hill, but it was her first full-time position with The Racecourse Association, where Amy was on a BHB Graduate Course placement, that determined her ambition to become a Racecourse Manager. Gaining substantial racecourse related experience and contacts through the RCA, she then moved to Sedgefield Racecourse where she filled the post of Commercial Executive before going on to the post of Senior Commercial Executive at Newcastle Racecourse.


Huntingdon Racecourse Chairman, Christopher Sporborg said he "was delighted that Amy had decided to make the move, and was sure she would make an invaluable contribution to the future success of the racecourse". Amy admitted "although she would be sad to be leaving Northern Racing she relished the challenge of racecourse management and particularly at a wonderful grass roots National Hunt track with the huge potential of Huntingdon"



JOHNSTON, FANNING AND CALLAN SET THE PACE IN RACE FOR YORKSHIRE TROPHIES




Middleham trainer, Mark Johnston along with jockeys Joe Fanning and Neil Callan lead their respective categories in the race for the coveted Sky Bet trophies presented to the top trainer and rider who record the most number of winners on the Yorkshire racecourses during the 2005 Flat season which concludes at Doncaster on Saturday, November 5.


Johnston has won the trainers' trophy fives times since the inception of both awards in 1995, including last season, when the Scotsman recorded 38 winners in the White Rose county. So far this term, he has achieved an impressive tally of 14 winners on the Yorkshire tracks since the campaign began on March 29, followed by David Nicholls (13 winners), Richard Fahey and Kevin Ryan (both with ten winners). Johnston's stable jockey, Joe Fanning and Neil Callan have both partnered 13 winners on the Yorkshire courses this year, one more than Robert Winston who was last year's top rider in the county with 36 successes in Yorkshire. Paul Hanagan is on the eleven-winners mark, followed by Philip Makin and Adrian Nicholls who have both recorded ten winners.


The trophies will be presented to the respective winners at the 'Go Racing in Yorkshire' Annual Lunch in November, an event also sponsored by Sky Bet.




BLUE DIAMOND UP FOR GRABS AT BEVERLEY





To celebrate ‘Blue Diamond Night' at Beverley on Thursday evening (June 16) – a meeting which coincides with Royal Ascot at York - every racegoer will be given the opportunity to enter a special draw to win a Blue Diamond valued in excess of £1,000. The superb prize is donated by Guest & Philips Jewellers of Beverley, Cottingham and Driffield, who support one of the feature races of the evening, The Guest & Philips Novice Stakes for two-year-olds.


It is anticipated that several top jockeys, along with well-known owners and trainers will make the journey from the Royal Ascot at York meeting to be present on the Westwood as the sporting spotlight falls on the region.


Regular sponsors to Beverley, The Jaguar Centre of Hull, return to support a competitive handicap contest for sprinters over the minimum distance of five furlongs, while The Cottingham Park Golf and Country Club are new sponsors to Beverley, putting their name to a Classified Stakes race over the extended mile.


Racing on Thursday evening begins at 6-45 p.m. and racegoers will be assisted in following all of the action courtesy of the totesport giant screen, while the Saratoga Jazz Ensemble provides the musical entertainment.




THIRSK IN ACTION ON MONDAY




Thirsk stages a seven-race programme on Monday (June 13), starting at 2-30pm The highlights include The Members Fillies' Handicap Stakes (a £14,000-added contest for fillies and mares over one mile), along with a couple of £10,000-add races – The Dove Handicap Stakes (for sprinters over six furlongs) and The White Swan Ampleforth Handicap Stakes, a contest over one mile and a half, the longest race of the afternoon.




PLENTY OF PRIZE MONEY UP FOR GRABS AT RIPON ON SATURDAY




It's action all the way at Ripon's ‘totesport Day' on Saturday (June 11), when the seven-race programme at Yorkshire's ‘Garden Racecourse' begins at 2-20 p.m. and features a new Heritage Handicap, The totesport.com Stakes – a contest for three-year-old sprinters with a total prize fund of £50,000, making it the joint richest race ever staged at the course.


Strong support is provided by the £20,000-added totescoop6 Handicap Stakes over nine furlongs and The totepool Awaybet Handicap Stakes over one mile, which offers prize money of £10,000.


A dream Caribbean Cruise for two is the ultimate prize in a special racecard competition held during the summer on each of the nine Yorkshire racecourses, and Saturday's racecard features the competition, with the afternoon's winner being entered for the main draw concerning the top prize as well as receiving a weekend break for two to Paris, taking in the richest race in Europe, The Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. They will also be presented with a copy of ‘Travelling The Turf 2005'.


Ripon's permanent giant screen will assist racegoers in following all of the action, while the Harrogate Band provides the musical entertainment from the bandstand. There's a selection of attractions for young racegoers in the Course Enclosure, while the two children's playgrounds will be in use.




MAJOR PETCH REMEMBERED AT CATTERICK ON FRIDAY




Major Leslie Petch OBE, one of the great administrators of Yorkshire racing in the post-war era, is remembered at Catterick on Friday (June 10), when the feature race of the afternoon – a £10,000 contest for sprinters over six furlongs – is named to commemorate him.


Associated with several Yorkshire racecourses, particularly Catterick, Redcar and York, Major Petch's connection with Catterick lasted 35 years, from 1948 until he passed away in 1983. During that time at Catterick, he was manager, clerk of the course (on the Flat), managing director and director.

Further highlights on Friday include The ‘Go Racing In Yorkshire' Handicap Stakes (a race for stayers over two miles) and The Green Hammerton Handicap Stakes (one mile and a half), while racing begins at 2-15 p.m. with a contest for novice two-year-olds supported by The European Breeders Fund.




CHARITY SUNDAY RACEDAY AT DONCASTER




There's competitive action on the track and a host of attractions for the whole family at Doncaster on Sunday (June 12), The Amateur Jockeys' Association Charity Raceday on Town Moor, which starts at 2-20 p.m.


Britain's first-ever Sunday meeting took place at Doncaster back in July 1992, and this weekend's programme is the backdrop to raising funds for The Spinal Injuries Association and The Injured Jockeys Fund. Sponsors supporting races in aid of the charities include Fox Security Systems, totesport and leading recruitment specialists, Pertemps. After racing, a special charity race, The Creature Comforts High Performance Feed & Bedding Charity Sweepstakes is being held over the straight mile, with several trainers having rides, including Heather Dalton, Ann Duffield, Simon Griffiths, Derek Shaw, Bryan Smart and Lisa Williamson. Another rider in this race is Jeremy Milnes, the Sales & Marketing Manager at Doncaster Racecourse, who has been preparing for his moment of glory in the saddle at the nearby Northern Racing College.


The various attractions in the Family Enclosure include a ‘Travelling Paddock' from the Horseracing Museum at Newmarket; a ‘Rodeo Bull', Cresta Run, Punch & Judy shows, bouncy castle, face painting and an obstacle course. While stocks last, there's a free goody bag for children and vouchers for free ice-cream. The supervised crèche facility is available @ £1-80 per hour.


A pair of giant screens will enable racegoers to follow all of the action on the track, while musical entertainment is provided by the Tom Roberts Jazz Band, The Doncaster Youth Jazz Orchestra (prior to racing in the Parade Ring), The ‘Gershwin Gang' (in the main Betting Hall) and a Steel Band on the Members' Lawn.


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


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