Friday, July 13, 2001
BEST PRICES FOR CHESTER, ASCOT AND YORK TOMORROW
2.50 Chester - Arthurs Dyke City Wall Stakes, 5f
Bishops Court - NON-RUNNER
Repertory - 5 L, T
Eastern Purple - 9 L
New Options - 40 L
Rosselli - 25 L
Tedburrow - 4 C, T
Charlie Parkes - 28 WH
Damalis - 14 T
Ivory's Joy - 10 WH
Red Millennium - 28 C
Danehurst - 7/2 T
Superstar Leo - 5 C
3.05 Ascot - Gala Group Handicap, 5f
Iftitah - 33 WH
Ambitious - 12 T, WH
Compton Banker - 8 C
Mitcham - 33 T, WH
Blue Velvet - 20 C, T, WH
Henry Hall - 20 C
The Trader - 40 C, T, WH
Muja Farewell - 8 C, T
Bon Ami - 33 T
Smokin Beau - 10 L, T, WH
Brave Burt - 6 L
Premier Baron - 25 L
Peruvian Chief - 33 C, T, WH
Leozian - 10 T
Corridor Creeper - 14 C, T
Boanerges - 16 T, WH
Connect - 20 T
Double Brew - 28 C
Delegate - 14 WH
Passion For Life - 40 C, L
4.10 York - John Smith's Cup, 1m 2½f
Man O Mystery - 14 C, T, WH
Zafonium - 50 L, WH
Prince Alex - 12 WH
Sharp Play - 33 L, T, WH
Pantar - 25 C
Lermontov - 40 L
Blue Sugar - 14 L, T
Riberac - 16 C, L, T, WH
Prize Winner - 16 C, T, WH
Parisien Star - 22 C
Chem's Truce - 9 C, L, T
Bawsian - 40 T
Foreign Affairs - 7/2 C, T
Jedi Knight - 25 T
Little Amin - 14 C, L, T
Golconda - 16 L, T, WH
Pinchincha - 33 T
Gudlage - 40 C, T
Denise Margaret - 25 T
Pension Fund - 12 T
Ballet Master - 16 T
Octane - 40 T
WILLIAM HILL GO TAX FREE FROM TODAY
In response to today's Government announcement regarding the scheduled abolishment of betting duty from Saturday, October 6th, 2001, William Hill are offering UK punters their first opportunity to bet 'Tax- Free' TODAY.
Hills have issued betting for the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe on October 7th with Fantastic Light the 9-4 favourite and David Hood, Hills PR manager explained, "We wanted punters to receive the benefits of Tax free betting with immediate effect. Therefore we are now offering tax-free betting on all events which will be resolved after October 6th and since The Arc falls on October 7th it is the perfect race. The Arc is now part of the Emirates World Series and is one of the scheduled races for Fantastic Light in the Autumn."
"This is the best news punters have received for years and the Government has handed punters an odds-on winner by bringing the introduction date forward by almost three months", said Hill's Chief Executive David Harding.
SUPERLATIVE NEWBURY - HANNON REVEALS HAND FOR SUPER SPRINT
Newbury Racecourse is very much the place to be on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, 2001, as the Berkshire track plays host to two days of high-class racing, with the feature event being the £135,000 WEATHERBYS SUPER SPRINT (2.35pm) on the second day.
This prestigious and unique five-furlong contest is being run for the 11th time, with Weatherbys again the sponsor. The Weatherbys Super Sprint is restricted to less expensive horses, who cost 40,000 guineas or less at public auction, and offers them the opportunity to win a very valuable prize.
The William Haggas-trained Superstar Leo, who showed amazing speed, won last year's renewal by three-and-a-half lengths. The College Chapel filly later captured the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster and finished runner-up in two Group 1 events, including the Prix de l'Abbaye at Longchamp.
Marlborough-based trainer Richard Hannon has a marvellous record in the Weatherbys Super Sprint having won the race three times, with Lyric Fantasy in 1992, Risky a year later and Miss Stamper in 1996. He has also had four seconds, including last year's in Elsie Plunkett, who clearly came up against a superstar.
Out of the 63 entries still going forward for the 2001 Weatherbys Super Sprint after the forfeit stage on July 3, Hannon has nine representatives - Octennial, My Raggedy Man, Princess Petardia, Sir Northerndancer, Lady Links, Partytime, Woodsmoke, Yarrow Bridge and Inquisitive.
The trainer revealed today: "I will probably have at least two runners, with Partytime and Lady Links being the two definites at the moment. I guess the reason that I have such a good record in the Weatherbys Super Sprint is that I buy the right horses!"
Partytime followed places at Leicester and Newbury with victories at Leicester and Salisbury before finishing 13th of 24 in the five-furlong Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, beaten just over five lengths. The extra furlong should suit her and Lady Links, a half sister to Brave Edge and Bold Edge, will also appreciate the six furlongs after staying on well when beaten three quarters of a length by Diamond Ring over the minimum trip at Salisbury.
Whatever happens, the maximum field is 25 on Saturday July 21 when there is a seven-race card which begins at 1.30pm with Ruinart UK Ltd again sponsoring the £22,000-added Listed RUINART CHAMPAGNE STAKES. Last season this six-furlong event was won by the Godolphin-owned Auenklang, who broke the course record in scintillating fashion to defeat Harmonic Way by six lengths. The former top-class German runner's display has proved even more meritable as the runner-up has gone on to register victory this year in the Group Two Cork & Orrery Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The second Listed race on Saturday, July 21, is the £22,000-added STEVENTON STAKES (3.40pm), over one mile and two furlongs. The John Dunlop-trained Claxon justified favouritism in last year's renewal before conducting an overseas raid in Italy where she won the Group Two Premio Lydia Tesio at Capannelle in October.
Ladbroke Group Plc again contribute to racing at Newbury with their sponsorship of the LADBROKE HANDICAP (2pm) and the one competitive mile event has a prize of £40,000, while the £18,000-added TRAVIS PERKINS CONDITIONS STAKES (3.10pm), over seven furlongs, is a two-year-old race which is part of a series of races held at different racecourses.
The other two exciting races on Saturday's card are the £10,000-added SALLY WINFIELD 40TH BIRTHDAY HANDICAP (4.10pm), over six furlongs, and the £10,000-added HBLB HANDICAP, a one mile and five furlong contest concluding the afternoon's competitive action at 4.40pm.
There is another seven-race card on Friday, July 20, featuring the six-furlong £18,000-added Listed ROSE BOWL STAKES (3.30pm) for two-year-olds. Former England footballer turned racehorse trainer Mick Channon scored in this race last year with Ascension, who went on to win a Group Three contest at Deauville on her next outing, once again demonstrating the wonderful nature of the racing offered by Newbury.
Warwick-based company Systems By Design, which designs and fits office interiors, sponsors two races on Friday's programme following its recent near £500,000 sponsorship deal with the Lambourn Trainers' Association. The £15,000-added SYSTEMS BY DESIGN CONDITIONS STAKES (3.00pm) is over seven furlongs while the £6,000-added SYSTEMS BY DESIGN AUCTION FILLIES' STAKES (2.30pm) is for two-year-old maiden fillies over the same distance.
Three competitive handicaps on Friday, July 20, are the £6,000-added TOTE QUICK PICK FILLIES' HANDICAP (4.00pm), over one mile and two furlongs, the £6,000-added READING EVENING POST HANDICAP (4.30pm), the longest race of the two-day meet at two miles, and the £5,600-added TRAINERS IN TOUCH 0906 75 76 77 3' HANDICAP over seven furlongs. The last-named of the trio is the concluding race of the day at 5pm and sponsored by the Charlie Mann/Brian Meehan tipping service.
The other race on Friday's card is the £6,000-added EUROPEAN BREEDERS FUND ECCHINSWELL NOVICE STAKES (2pm). Last year trainer John Gosden gave Endless Summer his racecourse introduction in this six-furlong contest and the Zafonic colt exhibited blistering speed to win by two-and-a-half lengths and then took the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood's July meeting on his next start.
While Newbury's two-day meeting in the third week of July is a must for every racegoer's diary, the Newbury Travel Club is able to offer racing trips of a lifetime between November, 2001 and February, 2002.
Why not join the Club at Cape Town, South Africa, between November 1-12 for a trip which includes horseracing at Kenilworth? Or for those who enjoy Irish craic perhaps a trip to Navan in from November 17-19 tickles the appetite. The year 2002 sees the Club jet off to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates between January 27 and February 3 for a vacation full of Middle Eastern promise.
Anyone interested in any of these three fabulous trips please contact Lisa Ward, the Marketing Manager, at Newbury Racecourse on 01635 40015.
Mark Kershaw, Newbury's Managing Director, said: "Newbury's two-day meeting on Friday, July 20, and Saturday, July 21, 2001, is justifiably popular and, with prize money of over £320,000, horseracing of the highest order can be expected."
AMERICAN STEEPLECHASE NEWS
GOLF TOURNAMENT, BET TO BENEFIT NEW YORK RACING CHARITY
The NSA's Saratoga golf tournament gets a new theme and a new charity for its seventh renewal Tuesday, July 31 at Kingswood Golf Club.
The tournament will again include four-person teams, a scramble format, numerous on-course skills contests, lunch and refreshments. This year, the tournament will be built around the theme "Why steeplechasing is an important part of Thoroughbred racing at Saratoga." Participants are being asked to respond to that statement, with the best answers to be published at the tournament, and used to help the NSA work with New York Racing Association management to increase steeplechasing's impact on Saratoga.
With an eye on that theme, this year's tournament will benefit the Belmont Child Care Association, which incorporated in 1998 to raise money to establish a child care center for the children of NYRA backstretch workers and NYRA employees. Endorsed by such racing luminaries as NYRA Chairman Barry Schwartz, Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, owner/breeder Richard Bomze and others, BCCA is a worthy charity close to the hearts of anyone associated with racing. Backed by a $1 million pledge from Thoroughbred owner Eugene Melnyk, the BCCA is in the midst of a $2.5 million capital campaign. Construction on "Anna House," named after Melnyk's 2-year-old daughter, begins this fall on the grounds of Belmont Park.
Once based at Belmont Park, the NSA will show its good will by donating 2001 golf tournament proceeds to the BCCA.
"The tournament has raised at least $10,000 annually for steeplechase-oriented projects like safety wings, photo finish cameras, and a promotional video," said Bill Gallo, NSA director of racing. "This year, it's time to give something back to a racing jurisdiction that puts nearly $600,000 into the NSA's annual purse structure.
The benefit aspects of the tournament will be augmented by a promotional betting challenge done in partnership with The Saratoga Special, a new racing newspaper which will debut at Saratoga this summer. A portion of the golf tournament proceeds will be set aside for a wager on the Aug. 30 New York Turf Writers Cup. Overseen by a committee to include The Saratoga Special and other representatives, a bet will be made in an attempt to further increase the BCCA donation.
A donation of at least $10,000 will be guaranteed, with at least $5,000 set aside for the bet. Similar to a successful promotional campaign organized by radio personality Don Imus during the 2001 Triple Crown, the bet can mean a substantial increase in the donation and some priceless public awareness for the BCCA and steeplechasing.
Anyone wishing to participate in the tournament as a chairty sponsor ($2,500) team sponsor ($1,000) or hole sponsor ($500) should contact the NSA at (410) 392-0700 or through the Saratoga Race Course steeplechase office.
COLONIAL DOWNS HOSTS JUMP STAKES
Nine horses were entered in Saturday's $50,000 Zeke Ferguson Stakes (NSA-III) at Colonial Downs. Part of the Virginia Derby card at the track, the fourth running of the Ferguson is a key prep for Saratoga-bound stakes horses and will be the fifth of 11 races on the card. The day also features a $25,000 maiden hurdle race as the second race.
The Ferguson, named in memory of longtime Virginia steeplechase owner whose horses included 1960s timber star Leeds Don, attracted a headliner in Praise The Prince but the 2001 earnings leader probably won't run. Trainer Sanna Neilson will most likely leave the racing to Spring Salute, who hasn't won since taking the 2000 Ferguson over Al Skywalker and Pompeyo last October.
Owned by Landslide Farm, the 7-year-old Landslide Farm runner stands out as a rare inconsistent horse in the Neilson barn. Since the win, he's lost four straight starts including three this year.
"He's a frustrating horse to train because there's a difference in him on his best days," said the trainer, who added that Praise The Prince is a runner if something happens to Spring Salute before Saturday. "I haven't quite figured out what the key to him is, and if it was Praise The Prince I'd be a little more confident, but Spring Salute should be pretty solid in (the Ferguson). He's training well."
The defending champion faces a talented field including Grade I winner Al Skywalker, budding star Quel Senor and talented newcomer Golden Marvel in a likely field of eight. Al Skywalker opened the year with an upset in the $100,000 Bank of America Carolina Cup in March, but quieted the skeptics by taking Radnor's $50,000 Mellon National Hunt Cup in May. With the scratch of Praise The Prince, Al Skywalker will be the starting highweight at 154 pounds.
Trained by Tom Voss, Quel Senor has won three of four U.S. jump starts including his last two. The French-bred has been highly regarded since being purchased by Coppertree Farm out of flat trainer Neil Drysdale's barn last fall.
On paper, the race features several speed horses including Darn Tipalarm, Al Skywalker and Quel Senor. Spring Salute sat behind a speedy pace in the 2000 race, and won by eight lengths. Avanico, Golden Marvel and Indispensable can follow a similar running style.
The Ferguson field with jockey, weight and morning line odds:
1. Darn Tipalarm, Chip Miller, 146, 6-1.
2. Little Hurt, Michael Coonoey, 142, 20-1.
3. Spring Salute, Gus Brown, 148, 12-1.
4. Golden Marvel, Robert Massey, 144, 6-1.
5. Al Skywalker, Tom Foley, 154, 5-1.
6. Avanico, David Bentley, 144, 10-1.
7. Quel Senor, Cyril Murphy, 152, 4-1.
8. Indispensable, J.W. Delozier, 144, 20-1.
9. Praise The Prince, No rider, 158, 2-1.
COLONIAL OPENER A HIT
Steeplechasing played a big part in a successful opening to the first summer meet at Colonial Downs. Jump races on July 4 contributed to a strong turnout of more than 8,500 fans, $900,000 in total handle and more than $121,000 bet on the steeplechases.
Steeplechasing continues at Colonial on the next three Saturdays - July 21, July 28 and Aug. 4.
STEEPLECHASING AIMS FOR SARATOGA
Starting July 25, all of Thoroughbred racing will turn its eyes on Saratoga and its championship-style meet that annually attracts the best horses in training. Steeplechasing is no different, as Saratoga will play host to nine jump races worth in excess of $460,000.
The total number of races was trimmed by three from the 2000 schedule in hopes of attracting larger fields to the jump races, but the emphasis will again be on quality steeplechasing. Races are written for classy allowance types and high-priced claiming veterans. A qualifying rule of restricting Saratoga hurdle races to horses that have finished in the first three places of a sanctioned race is in effect.
Highlights include the $75,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial (NSA-II) on Aug. 9 and the $100,000 New York Turf Writers Cup (NSA-I) on Aug. 30. Stakes horseslike Campanile (who tries to become the first horse to win three straight Smithwicks), Quel Senor, Canta Ke Brave, Flat Top, Ninepins and Praise The Prince are pointing for the Spa. Steeplechase races will take place July 26, Aug. 1-2, Aug. 9, Aug. 15-16, Aug. 23 and Aug. 29-30. Each will be the first race of the day, except the Turf Writers. The jump racing starts early at the annual Saratoga Open House, a day that includes free admission, 2-year-old trials and other events, on July 22.
NEWS AND NOTES
Dogwood Stable unveiled what looks like a promising steeplechase prospect in Comanche Raider. The 4-year-old son of Cozzene won a $15,000 maiden at Colonial Downs July 4 for trainer Sanna Neilson and jockey Gus Brown.
Comanche Raider, purchased at Keeneland in 1999, is a half-brother to Grade I steeplechase winner Hokan . . . That win moved Neilson in a 10-10 tie with Tom Voss atop the NSA trainer standings and pushed Brown out to a 15-10 lead on Craig Thornton among the jockeys.
SUMMER RACING DATES
July 14 Colonial Downs Racetrack; New Kent, Va. ($50,000 Zeke Ferguson Stakes).
July 21 Colonial Downs Racetrack; New Kent, Va.
July 22 Saratoga Open House; Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
July 26 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
July 28 Colonial Downs Racetrack; New Kent, Va.
Aug. 1-2 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Aug. 4 Colonial Downs Racetrack; New Kent, Va.
Aug.9 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y. ($75,000 A.P. Smithwick Memorial).
Aug. 15-16 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Aug. 23 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Aug. 29 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Aug. 30 Saratoga Race Course; Saratoga Springs, N.Y. ($100,000 New York Turf Writers Cup).
Sept. 9 Arlington Park; Arlington Heights, Ill.
FALL RACING DATES
Sept. 22 Fairfax; Leesburg, Va.
Sept. 29 Shawan Downs; Butler, Md.
Sept. 30 Foxfield; Charlottesville, Va.
Oct. 6-7 Virginia Fall; Middleburg, Va.
Oct. 8 Philadelphia Park racetrack; Bensalem, Pa.
Oct. 13 Genesee Valley; Geneseo, N.Y.
Oct. 13 Morven Park; Leesburg, Va.
Oct. 20 Far Hills; Far Hills, N.J.
Oct. 20 International Gold Cup; The Plains, Va.
Oct. 20 Maryland Million; Laurel, Md.
Oct. 27 Aiken; Aiken, S.C.
Oct. 28 Pennsylvania Hunt Cup; Unionville, PA
Nov. 3 Callaway Gardens; Pine Mountain, Ga.
Nov. 3 Montpelier; Montpelier Station, Va.
Nov. 11 Charleston Cup; Charleston, S.C.
Nov. 18 Colonial Cup; Camden, S.C.
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink