STIMULATION AMONG 18 ENTRIES FOR THE GROUP TWO BETFAIR CUP
DUNELIGHT PRIMED FOR BETFAIR CUP
STRONG ENTRIES FOR BETFAIR GORDON STAKES AND BETFAIR MOLECOMB STAKES
East Ilsley trainer Hughie Morrison is hoping for further improvement from his classy three-year-old Stimulation as he takes on older horses for the first time in a fantastic renewal of the £155,000 Group Two Betfair Cup (3.30pm) over seven furlongs at Glorious Goodwood on Tuesday, July 29.
The prestigious contest has attracted a top-class 18-strong entry at today’s six-day closing stage.
Stimulation nosed out Fat Boy to win the Listed Free Handicap over the distance on his seasonal debut at Newmarket in April, before finishing mid-division in the Group One 2000 Guineas over a mile in May.
The Choisir colt has been campaigned at seven furlongs on his latest two starts, going down by a head to Calming Influence in the Listed King Charles II Stakes at Newmarket on May 24 and then running with credit to take fourth behind Aqlaam in the Group Three Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 18.
Morrison revealed this morning: “Stimulation has been entered and he seems fine after Ascot. He always seems fine and I’ve had no issues with him this season but he’s been on the go a long time and it’s difficult to get improvement out of three-year-olds when they’ve been on the go since early April.
“In the Jersey Stakes, he ran the sort of race that confuses regarding the trip. At Newmarket, on his previous start, he looked as if he tied up in the last 50 yards after having plenty of use made of him. Then at Ascot he just didn’t show the same turn of foot as he did at Newmarket and I can only guess that might be because of the ground. He would want decent ground.
“He hasn’t run on a course with anything like Goodwood’s configuration so we’ll only know if he handles it when he runs.
“It’s bound to be a very competitive race. The Betfair Cup is a Group Two and he was only fourth in a Group Three last time, although the winner that day was fresh and looked progressive. It would be great to win it but it’s usually a hot contest.”
Lambourn trainer Clive Cox is confident of another bold show from last year’s Betfair Cup third Dunelight, who looked the winner two furlongs out before being headed inside the final 100 yards by the victorious Tariq and Asset.
The front-running five-year-old is a Listed winner over a mile at Goodwood and is yet to finish out of the first four in five starts there. He showed himself to be in great form at Windsor on June 28, when making all for a two and a half length verdict over Ordnance Row in the Listed Midsummer Stakes over a mile.
Cox revealed today: “Dunelight is very much on course for the Betfair Cup. He won his Listed race very well last time at Windsor. He’s shown a positive liking for the track at Goodwood and we go there with a horse in good nick.
“He ran a blinder last year and was really only touched off close home. For me, he’s probably just strengthened a little bit again this year, so if he can produce a similar effort to last year, which I’m confident he’ll be able to with a dry forecast, then I’ll be hopeful of a big run.”
Also among the entries are Jersey Stakes runner-up Il Warrd and Group Three winner Elusive Warning, both trained by Saeed bin Suroor, Group Two Park Stakes winner Arabian Gleam and the progressive William Knight-trained King Of Dixie.
Trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam, responsible for last year’s winner Tariq, could saddle Group Three winner Al Qasi as well as Winker Watson, who lost his unbeaten tag when a creditable seventh on his seasonal bow in the Group One Prix Jean Prat.
Irish handler Kevin Prendergast could saddle last season’s Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Dimenticata, while compatriot Jessica Harrington has entered Jumbajukiba who defeated Al Qasi in a Group Three at the Curragh last time.
The Betfair Cup is one of three fantastic races sponsored by the leading betting exchange, the other two being the £70,000 Group Three Betfair Gordon Stakes (2.50pm) and the £60,000 Group Three Betfair Molecomb Stakes (4.05pm).
This year marks the first time that Betfair has sponsored the Betfair Gordon Stakes. The mile and a half contest for three-year-olds is often a significant pointer to Group One success in the St Leger and has attracted 12 classy entries.
These include the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of Hebridean and King Of Rome, who could bid to give the trainer back-to-back wins after Yellowstone took the spoils last season.
Also entered are the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Conduit, runner-up to Campanologist in the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot, as well as the Andrew Balding-trained Listed Bahrain Trophy winner Donegal.
Recent winners to go on and secure the historic Doncaster Classic include Sixties Icon in 2006, Millenary (2000), Nedawi (dead-heated with Rabah in 1998), Minster Son (1988) and Commanche Run (1984).
Phoenix Reach, victorious in the 2003 Betfair Gordon Stakes, subsequently secured Group/Grade One triumphs in Canada, Hong Kong and Dubai for trainer Andrew Balding, while the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned pair of Maraahel (2004) and Bandari (2002) both went on to be prolific Group race winners in recent times.
The Betfair Molecomb Stakes over five furlongs is one of the ultimate speed tests for two-year-olds and has an exciting 19-strong entry, including recent Weatherbys Super Sprint winner Jargelle, trained by William Haggas.
Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor has entered impressive Yarmouth maiden winner Global City, while Flashman’s Papers, successful in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes for trainer John Best, could be joined in the field by stablemate Noverre To Hide.
Richard Hannon has entered dual course and distance winner Icesolator alongside Bonnie Charlie, while Jeremy Noseda has engaged Leicester maiden winner Waffle.
There was a vintage renewal last year as the Noseda-trained filly Fleeting Spirit edged the verdict by a neck from Kingsgate Native, trained by Best.
Fleeting Spirit added the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes, while this season she took the Group Two Temple Stakes in record time and was a close third to Equiano in the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Kingsgate Native went on to become a rare juvenile winner of the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York and then ran another fine race against his elders when finishing runner-up to Benbaun in the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp in October. At Royal Ascot in June, the colt triumphed in the Group One Golden Jubilee Stakes.
QUEEN’S FREE AGENT AMONG 117 URBAN-i CHAMPAGNE STAKES ENTRIES
The unbeaten Free Agent, owned by the Queen, is among a tremendous entry of 117 for the £100,000 Group Two Urban-i Champagne Stakes, run over seven furlongs at Doncaster on Ladbrokes St Leger Day, Saturday, September 13.
The two-year-old home-bred came from last to first to take the Listed Chesham Stakes at the Royal Ascot on June 21 and provided Her Majesty with a first Royal Meeting success for nine years.
John Warren, racing & bloodstock advisor to the Queen, has been impressed with how the Richard Hannon-trained colt has developed so far this season and sees the Urban-i Champagne Stakes as a potential target before the son of Dr Fong is put away in preparation for his Classic season.
Warren said: “Free Agent has been entered in the Urban-i Champagne Stakes and he could line up at Doncaster. He’s come out of Royal Ascot fine but he’s very much a horse for next year and we expect to have a couple more runs this season and set him up for a three-year-old campaign.
“He’s so mature and strong that he’s been able to do everything that we have asked of him so far, and that’s the sign of a decent horse. He’s a very good individual with a lot of scope about him.
“We are pacing ourselves with him and Richard wanted to give him a break after the Chesham Stakes which is why we’ve entered him at Doncaster. Richard told the Queen early on that he was a nice horse and it’s all worked out well so far.
“It’s very exciting for the Queen to have such a nice horse because she thoroughly enjoys her racing. The main passion behind everything is the breeding. Her Majesty enjoys creating the matings, watching the horses grow and hopefully developing into horses such as Free Agent.”
East Everleigh-based Hannon could also be represented by Group Two Superlative Stakes runner-up Weald Park, recent Newmarket maiden scorer Jazz Police, and Oratory, who chased home the John Gosden-trained Doctor Crane in a conditions race at Newbury on Saturday.
Sir Michael Stoute has entered Holyrood and the Khalid Abdulla-owned pair of the unraced Marching Time and Zacinto, who leapt to the head of the betting for next year’s 2000 Guineas following an eight-length demolition of his rivals in a Sandown maiden on his only start.
Paul Cole has engaged Abbeyside, who won a Listed contest at Deauville on his racecourse debut and the progressive Wildcat Wizard, who scored over this course and distance in the Great British Golf Show Doncaster 2008 Novice Stakes at the end of June.
Barry Hills, who has a superb record in the Urban-i Champagne Stakes having taken the prize on five occasions with Sexton Blake (1977), Sure Blade (1985), Auction House (1998), Distant Music (1999) and Etlaala (2004), has this entered eight colts, including Ouqba, who was an impressive winner of a novice contest at Newmarket’s July Meeting.
A strong Irish challenge of 23 is headed by the Aidan O’Brien-trained Mastercraftsman, who stayed on well to take the Group Two Railway Stakes at the Curragh. Group Two Anglesey Stakes runner-up Westphalia, and the well-bred trio of Sirgarfieldsobers, Masterofthehorse and Black Bear Island, who are all full-brothers to Epsom Classic winners, are also amongst the master of Ballydoyle’s 21 entries.
The other two Irish-trained entries are the Tommy Stack-trained Ryehill Dreamer, who won the Listed Golden Fleece Stakes at Leopardstown at the start of July, and the unraced Galileo colt Loch Long, trained by Tracey Collins.
Other notable entries include The Cheka, who was a comprehensive 10-length victor of a novice stakes at Ascot on his racecourse debut for Eve Johnson-Houghton, the Richard Fahey-trained trio of Deadly Secret, Elmfield Boy and Master Noverre, and Firth Of Fifth, winner of the Group Two Superlative Stakes at Newmarket for trainer Tom Dascombe.
LANGS LASH CAN STEP UP FOR CHEVELEY PARK STAKES
The £170,000 Group One Cheveley Park Stakes, run on The NatWest Rowley Mile at Newmarket on Friday, October 3, day two of the Cambridgeshire Meeting, has attracted 77 fillies.
The top-class six-furlong event is very much on the agenda for the Mick Quinlan-trained Langs Lash, who landed the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 18.
The daughter of Noverre was an impressive winner on her debut at Folkestone on May 1 before finding Bahamian Babe half a length too good at York in a Listed contest on May 15. However, she had that rival well-beaten in 10th at the Royal Meeting and looks set to tackle six furlongs for the first time in the Group Two Lowther Stakes at York on August 21 en route to Newmarket.
Noel Quinlan, assistant trainer to his brother, said today: "The first part of the plan for Langs Lash is the Lowther Stakes. Depending how that goes and I suspect it will go well, she will be a definite for the Cheveley Park Stakes.
"She ran a fantastic race at Royal Ascot and it’s great to have a filly like her. We didn’t run her quick after Ascot purposely to give her time to mature more and get stronger.
"She is going the right way, so we’re very happy with her and she seems to take her races well. She has got stronger physically and has grown up even more mentally."
On her most recent start, Langs Lash made all to win by a neck but connections feel that she can be ridden from behind if needed.
He added: "She’s a fast filly, but at the moment we’re training her to settle a little bit, not that she’s a runaway or anything but she does a lot of it naturally. The day that she was second at York, she sat in and came through and finished well.
"I definitely think she will handle the step up to six furlongs. We could have gone six furlongs in the Cherry Hinton if we rushed her back after Ascot. That’s a stiff six, so let’s go an easy six first and then step her up to a stiff six furlongs in the Cheveley Park Stakes."
When Langs Lash reappears, she will be carrying the colours of the EHR Partnership - made up of "four or five Irish lads based around Keeneland in Kentucky" - having been sold by John Hanly since her Royal Ascot success.
She may re-oppose some of her Queen Mary Stakes victims in the Cheveley Park Stakes, including runner-up Shyrl and the unplaced quintet of Sugar Free (5th), Baileys Cacao (6th), Beat Seven (11th), Heart Shaped (14th) and Danehill Destiny (17th).
A large overseas entry has been received, with 16 Irish-trained and four French-trained contenders among the 77 entries. The Irish contingent includes the Jim Bolger-trained dual winner Blas Ceoil, while Aidan O’Brien’s six entries include Cherry Hinton fourth Heart Shaped.
Three of the four French raiders are from the stable of Criquette Head-Maarek, namely winners Denomination and Treasure, along with debut runner-up Pure Joy, while the remaining Gallic entrant is the Robert Collet-trained debut winner Enchanting Muse.
FINJAAN TO BE AIMED AT SHADWELL MIDDLE PARK STAKES
The £170,000 Group One Shadwell Middle Park Stakes, also run over six furlongs of The NatWest Rowley Mile on Friday, October 3, has attracted 57 exciting juvenile colts.
Marcus Tregoning has entered Finjaan, who has two options at Goodwood next week, but the Lambourn handler is hoping that his two-year-old will make it to Newmarket in October.
A winner of his debut over five furlongs at Newmarket on Stan James Guineas weekend, Finjaan subsequently finished a length and a half second to the Richard Hannon-trained Icesolator in the Listed National Stakes at Sandown on May 29.
"I hope Finjaan will run in the Shadwell Middle Park Stakes. He’s got to get through Goodwood first, where he will run in either the Molecomb Stakes over five furlongs on the first day or the Richmond Stakes over six furlongs on the Friday. That’s the plan at the moment, so we’ll see what happens," explained Tregoning this morning.
"He’s in great form and I’m very happy with him. He’s sure to run well at Newmarket as long as we get a trouble free run between now and then. I think six furlongs should be fine for him. He’s a very speedy horse but he should be fine over six."
Finjaan is home-bred by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum’s Shadwell Stud, long-standing sponsors of the £170,000 contest.
The son of Royal Applause could face stiff opposition from Michael Bell’s unbeaten colt Art Connoisseur, while Tom Dascombe has entered Group Two TNT July Stakes hero Classic Blade. The latter could be re-opposing the third-placed Prolific, another of Hannon’s three entries, and the seventh home Prime Delivery.
The valuable contest has attracted 12 Irish-trained entries, including the David Wachman Group Three Anglesey Stakes winner Bushranger, while Group Two Railway Stakes winner and fourth, Mastercraftsman and Sea Of Marmara, head Aidan O’Brien’s nine entries. The sole French-trained entrant is Robert Collet’s unraced Surdoue.
Other notable entries from the home team include the debut winners Masamah, from the yard of Ed Dunlop, and Patrician’s Glory, from Jane Chapple-Hyam’s stable, along with the Jamie Osborne-trained winner Blown It, while there are a host of interesting newcomers from top stables.
BALDING AND BUTLER TARGET TATTERSALLS TIMEFORM MILLION
- VITORIA AIMING FOR TATTERSALLS TIMEFORM FILLIES' 800
- TATTERSALLS OCTOBER AUCTION STAKES HAS 144 GOING FORWARD
Britain's most valuable two-year-old race, the Tattersalls Timeform Million, with guaranteed minimum prize money of £1,000,000, has 94 two-year-olds going forward at the latest forfeit stage - details of which are revealed today, Wednesday, July 23, 2008.
Exclusively for horses catalogued in Book 1 of the 2007 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, sponsored by Betfair, the seven-furlong contest takes place on Cambridgeshire Day at Newmarket, Saturday, October 4, 2008.
The race is one of three Tattersalls Sales races for graduates of Book 1 of the 2007 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale, which have a combined prize fund of £2.2 million.
Trainer Andrew Balding is aiming an assault on the lucrative prize with his impressive Salisbury maiden winner Prince Siegfried, who scored by seven lengths on his sole racecourse appearance over seven furlongs on July 12.
The Royal Applause colt was a 38,000 guineas purchase by his trainer at Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale for owner David Brownlow and is well-regarded by his trainer, who is already looking at Pattern race options for the juvenile.
Balding revealed today: "The Tattersalls Timeform Million is a race that I'm certainly looking to target with Prince Siegfried. The massive prize money is very much the attraction, there is nowhere else that you can race with two-year-olds for that kind of prize money and he looks the right type for it.
"I entered him today in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and he will probably get an entry in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood but the real plan is the Tattersalls Timeform Million, so we'll wait and see. I think he'll go on any ground."
Gerard Butler is also eyeing the massive prize as he prepares the unraced Cool One, a son of exciting first-season sire One Cool Cat out of the winning miler Kirk.
The half-brother to the trainer's Lancashire Oaks third Natalie Jane is progressing well and the handler is hopeful that he will make the line-up at Newmarket in October.
Butler reported: "I'm looking to point him at the Tattersalls Timeform Million. He hasn't run yet but hopefully in the next few weeks he will be making his debut.
"One Cool Cat has done very well with his first crop of two-year-olds and hopefully this fellow can add to his sire's reputation.
"His dam won over a mile and his half-sister stayed further, so I'd be hoping he'll stay seven furlongs this season.
"It's a massive prize and we'd be thrilled to get a bit of that money."
The Tattersalls Timeform Fillies' 800 also takes place at Newmarket on Saturday, October 4, and is restricted to two-year-old fillies who were catalogued in Book 1 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale of 2007.
The lucrative seven-furlong contest, the second richest two-year-old race in Britain with a guaranteed minimum prize fund of £800,000, sees 69 fillies going forward at the latest forfeit stage.
Newmarket trainer Mark Wallace has the race on the agenda for the Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed-owned Vitoria. The Exceed And Excel filly, a 120,000 guineas purchase, pleased her handler when an eye-catching runner-up on her debut over seven furlongs at Kempton on July 16.
Wallace revealed: "The long-term plan is to go for the Tattersalls Timeform Fillies’ 800. It looks like we've got a nice filly so we'd be mad not to go for the race as the prize money is huge.
"I was pleased with her at Kempton. She ran well and is a very nice filly, she might run at Thirsk on Friday to try and get her head in front in a maiden and then take it from there."
There are 144 horses going forward for the £250,000 Tattersalls October Auction Stakes, which takes place at Newmarket on Thursday, October 2, 2008.
Staged over six furlongs, the contest is for horses sold or bought in from Books 2, 3 or 4 of the 2007 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale.
All horses that went forward at the first forfeit stage for the Tattersalls Timeform Million and the Tattersalls Timeform Fillies' 800 are eligible for the 10-furlong £400,000 Tattersalls Timeform 3-Y-O Trophy which will be run for the first time at Newmarket's Craven Meeting in April, 2009.
YORK TO HOST SKY BET JOCKEYS’ DASH ON SATURDAY
Horsepower will be replaced by manpower prior to racing at York on Saturday, July 26, as jockeys take each other on the inaugural Sky Bet Jockeys’ Dash, a 100 yard sprint on the Knavesmire.
The race has been organised by Sky Bet and will give racegoers the unique opportunity to see some of their favourite jockeys thundering across the turf as they battle it out to find out who is the fastest in the weighing room.
Apart from bragging rights over the rest of the field, the winning jockey will receive £500 courtesy of Sky Bet, who will also give £200 to the runner-up and £100 to third home.
The Harrogate-based firm, who are sponsoring all seven races at York on Saturday including the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes and the competitive Sky Bet Dash, will also give a donation to charity for every jockey that takes part, ranging from £50 for every apprentice to £500 for every current or former champion jockey that participates.
Kevin Darley, Industry Liaison Officer for the Professional Jockeys’ Association, is looking forward to seeing some of his former colleagues take each other on in the name of charity.
“With York hosting the annual North versus South football match in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund at the Ebor Meeting next month, I am sure that there will be plenty of jockeys looking to prove their fitness with a good blow-out across the Knavesmire.
“We’ve texted all of the jockeys who have rides at York on Saturday encouraging them to take part because it’s a really good idea and it’s for such a deserving cause.”
Sky Bet PR Director Dale Tempest has been pleased with the response to the Sky Bet Jockeys’ Dash and is hoping that the contest will prove to be a hit with both jockeys and racegoers.
Tempest commented: “We have been speaking with the Professional Jockeys’ Association for a while and we wanted to come up with a fun event that gives the public the chance to see their favourite riders in a different light.
“From the early tissue, it looks like that David Allan could be a short-priced favourite but the Injured Jockeys Fund is set to be the guaranteed winner on the day.”
All proceeds from the race will be going to the Injured Jockeys Fund, while Sky Bet are also providing £250 a day in charity bets on each day of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival, which runs from July 19 to 27, with any winnings going to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.