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Tuesday, July 18, 2000


The Tote contributed £14.1 million to racing in the last year, up 14.4 per cent from the previous year. Total profit now stands at a record £20.6 million, based on turnover of £498 million.

Tote chairman Peter Jones commented: "The Tote has emerged from one of its most challenging years of recent times with immense credit. Record turnover was achieved across the group and every division made significant progress. At a crucial time for crucial time for racing's financial position it is immensely gratifying to give more to the sport than we have ever done in the past."


At today's Tote AGM, chairman Peter Jones has outlined the proposed Racing Trust to whom the Tote will probably transferred to when it is sold off by the government.

Jones stated that the Racing Trust should consist of representatives from the BHB, Racecourse Association, the Jockey Club, BHB Industry Committee and Racehorse Owners Association. The board, which would also include representatives of Tote staff and customers, would be responsible for the Tote's commercial operations.

The Tote chairman went on to state: "The government's decision to sell the tote to racing, announced in March, was outstanding news for the Tote and the whole of racing. We are looking at government bringing forward legislation, by November 2001 at the latest to establish a Racing Trust. The transfer price would subsequently be negotiated between the Trustees and the government."


Chester Racecourse have appointed a Chief Executive. Richard Thomas will take up his appointment shortly. Previously Chester had not had its own Chief Executive, but had been using a management service provided by Aintree.

Bobby McAlpine, chairman of Chester Racecourse stated: "We are delighted to welcome Richard to Chester. He has had a successful career as Chief Executive and then Managing Director at Haydock Park Racecourse. Chester has been very pleased with the service Aintree has provided which has raised the standards of Chester Racecourse and with this growing profile the Race Company feels it needs a full time Chief Executive."


Spread betting firm City Index are to sponsor two series of races over seven furlongs and one mile at Kempton and Windsor between July 19 and September 3. The series have been named as the "City Index 4 over 7 Series" and the "City Index 4 over 8 Series."

Trainers will receive £1,000 for each race that they win and there will be an added bonus of £4,000 to the overall winner of the series. The series will be scored by trainers receding one point for each race entry and two points for each runner. In addition, the winner of each race will receive points according to the starting price and the runner-up will receive points equivalent to half the SP odds. If a horse is returned at evens or less, they will only receive one point.

Simon Mansell, Managing Director of City Index stated: "City Index is about innovation and fun with a serious edge. The two series embody the ethos of City Index - Endeavour with Reward."


Sedgfield launches its Summer Festival with an evening meeting on July 20. There will be further meetings on July 27 and August 3. The highlight of the first meeting is £6,000 added Stan James Telebetting Handicap Chase over two miles and five furlongs.

Over the three days, the racecourse will place a notional £1 bet on every runner. Based on the starting price, the trainer and jockey with the largest profit will each receive £500.


Jockey Johnny Murtagh has landed the ride on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Daliapour in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes at Ascot on July 29.

Murtagh, who won both the Vodafone and Budweiser Irish Derby on Sinndar as well as the Kildangan Stud Irish Oaks on Petrushka this season, will replace the suspended Pat Eddery.

Murtagh commented: "I'm to have got the ride and have to pinch myself that things are going so well. I owe a lot to the Aga Khan who has always stood by me alongside John Oxx, and am grateful to Sir Michael Stoute for this opportunity."

Daliapour is currently second favourite at around 7/1 in most bookmakers' lists behind Montjeu for the Ascot showpiece.


Three runners from Scandinavia may make a possible challenge in the Tote International Handicap at Ascot on July 29.

El Gran Lode and Senador are two entries from Sweden while Denmark could be represented by Woven Roving.

Bo Gilborg, Director of racing at Malmo racecourse in Sweden stated: "All three are in very good form with El Gran Lode looking particularly impressive. It will be very interesting for Scandanavian racing to see how they run and they must have a fair chance."

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