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Thursday, July 3, 2008


Trainer John Best this morning reported dual Group One winner Kingsgate Native on target for the £400,000 Darley July Cup on Friday, July 11, the final day of the 2008 Ritz Cup July Festival at Newmarket.

The Mujadil colt won last season’s Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York as a two-year-old and went on to land the Group One Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last month under Seb Sanders, who the trainer added is “99 per cent likely” to be aboard in the Group One at Newmarket.

“Kingsgate Native has come out of Ascot fine - no problems at all. I’ve been absolutely happy with him the whole way through. The plan is still to go to the Darley July Cup. I’ve not had a day off with him and he seems absolutely 100 per cent,” reported Best.

“He came out of the race well. I always give him a little bit of time off immediately after a race. He had his little break, is back now and is in good form.

“I was delighted with him at Ascot. Whereas everything went wrong for us (when an unlucky 10th) in the King’s Stand Stakes, everything that could go right for us went right for us in the Golden Jubilee. He had Takeover Target to give him a lead, he was drawn on the right side and everything was perfect.

“Maybe for some of the other leading fancies things weren’t quite so good, same as what happened to me on the Tuesday.

“I just hope everything falls into place at Newmarket. There’s obviously some very special horses in there and maybe the draw bias won’t be the same in the Darley July Cup as it was at Ascot.

“I’m 99 per cent sure it will be Seb (Sanders) on top.”

Meanwhile, owner Willie McKay is looking forward to seeing 2006 Darley July Cup winner Les Arcs back in action and he reported that the eight-year-old will have his first run for over a year at Haydock on Saturday before lining up at Newmarket on July 11.

Les Arcs, a winner of 12 races in total including two at the highest level, has only raced twice since winning the six-furlong sprint in 2006, having suffered injury problems.

“The Darley July Cup is still the plan for Les Arcs. He did a piece of work on Wednesday and it went well,” explained McKay.

“York racecourse allowed us to give him a piece of work during races a few weeks ago and Doncaster racecourse have allowed us to give him a gallop as well. We were going to run him at Newcastle in the Chipchase Stakes but we by-passed it because of the ground.

“We’re running him at Haydock on Saturday (in a six-furlong conditions race) and then he’ll run the following Friday in the Darley July Cup.

“Darren Williams will ride the horse on Saturday because John Egan is in America at the moment but he’ll be back to ride him at Newmarket.

“Les Arcs is actually moving better now than he was after he won the Darley July Cup in 2006. A top young Irish vet, Peter Hynes, is employed at our Martin Grange Stables and he’s been looking after things. We also bought a spa which he’s been in twice a day and it has helped him.”

The Darley July Cup, the centrepiece of the three-day Ritz Club July Festival, is the most valuable sprint in the European racing calendar, with the 2008 running worth a record £400,000. For the first time, the Darley July Cup also becomes part of the Global Sprint Challenge.



Salisbury Racecourse rolls into high summer with four fantastic fixtures during the month of July, offering thrilling sport and rocking after racing entertainment with two of terrific stadium rock tribute acts.

The “Killer Queen” Event, sponsored by Castlepoint Shopping Park, brings the magic of Queen to Salisbury tomorrow evening, Friday, July 4, when the tribute act will play all the hits made famous by Freddie Mercury and his band, in a show that is guaranteed to rock you.

The six-race card is sponsored exclusively by Castlepoint Shopping Park and Killer Queen will play after the last race, the 9.10pm ‘Come Shopping At Castlepoint’ A3060 Bournemouth Fillies’ Handicap, worth £10,500.

Friday’s action commences at 6.35pm with the ‘Come Shopping At Castlepoint’ Bournemouth Maiden Auction Fillies’ Stakes for two-year-olds over seven furlongs.

The evening also features the £10,500 Castlepoint Supports Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance Handicap (7.35pm) over 10 furlongs, which has attracted a field of seven.

Ladies Evening at Salisbury is one of the highlights of the city’s summer scene and this year’s eagerly anticipated event takes place on Saturday, July 12, when the best dressed ladies in Wiltshire will be handsomely rewarded.

Salisbury’s most stylish women will be in line for cash rewards and other prizes, including short breaks in four star hotels, with an award being presented to the Best Dressed Lady, as well as prizes for the first and second runner-up.

Ladies are encouraged to adorn their heads with their finest millinery as a prize will be given for the best hat on show, while the best shoes and the most exotic outfit will also garner prizes.

The action on the track, which begins at 6.25pm with the Bathwick Tyres Lady Riders’ Series Handicap, includes the Bathwick Tyres Maiden Stakes (7.25pm) over seven furlongs for two-year-olds, a division of which was won last year by subsequent Group Three Acomb Stakes winner and Group One Dewhurst Stakes runner-up Fast Company.

The night’s feature contest is the concluding £16,000 European Breeders’ Fund Ladies Evening Fillies’ Handicap over a mile. The race was won last year by the Clive Cox-trained Perfect Star, who returned to the course to win the EBF Lochsong Fillies’ Stakes in September and closed out her campaign with a Listed success at Ascot.

For those horseracing fans seeking a relaxing afternoon at the races, Salisbury is the place to be on Tuesday, July 22, when the welcoming country racecourse can be seen in all its summer splendour.

The six-race card commences at 2.30pm with the five-furlong VC Bet Handicap and concludes at 5.10pm with the Country Leisure (GRP) Ltd Handicap. The feature event is the £8,000 Glenside Manor Healthcare Services Ltd Handicap (4.05pm).

Following on from Killer Queen, Status Quo tribute act Counterfeit Quo will give you ‘whatever you want’ on Saturday, July 26, so long as it is no-nonsense, upbeat, foot-tapping, adrenaline-charged guitar rock.

Playing all the hits from the Quo’s 1970s pomp, Counterfeit Quo crash their way through old favourites from Down Down to Rocking All Over The World.

Counterfeit Quo take the stage after the evening’s racing when the card is made up of six races, commencing at 6.05pm with the Butler Wright Tax Consultancy ‘Carnarvon’ Handicap (for Gentlemen Amateur Riders).

The concluding £8,000 TurfTV Fillies’ Handicap (8.40pm) over seven furlongs went to the Sylvester Kirk-trained Our Faye in 2007. The filly went on to triumph in the Shergar Cup Distaff at Ascot on her next start.

Salisbury is famed as a nursery for future stars and every season sees horses progress from victory at the course to success in the highest reaches of the sport.

June was a great month for Salisbury graduates. A glance back through the form book to October 3, 2007, reveals a future Classic winner opening her account at the Wiltshire course.

The Allied Irish Bank Southampton EBF Maiden Stakes over a mile saw the Ralph Beckett-trained Look Here make a winning debut at the expense of subsequent Group Three Chester Vase winner and Epsom Derby fourth Doctor Fremantle. Look Here triumphed in the Group One Juddmonte Oaks on June 6.

On the same afternoon, the Roger Charlton-trained Fifteen Love defeated Collection into second when winning the Upton McGougan Consulting Engineers EBF Novice Stakes.

At Royal Ascot on June 19, Fifteen Love took the Britannia Handicap and 35 minutes later the William Haggas-trained Collection won the Listed Hampton Court Stakes to provide another great advertisement for Salisbury.

At the Curragh on Saturday, June 28, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Promising Lead saw off Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Mad About You as she won the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes.

The filly has gone from strength to strength since winning the Listed EBF Upavon Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury in August, finishing runner-up in the Group One Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp in October and winning a Group Three at York in May.

Racegoers won’t miss any of the action on the track this season as the racecourse provides a big screen for every race meeting. There is also plenty of entertainment to keep the kids occupied.

Jeremy Martin, Clerk of the Course and General Manager, said: “It has been a dry month in this neck of the woods so the ground has been quite fast down here but the four meetings we staged in June passed off fine and we enjoyed some fantastic sport.

“With regard to events in June, it’s amazing looking back to October 3, when we saw the Oaks winner Look Here holding Doctor Fremantle. Then on the same card Fifteen Love defeated Collection and they both won at Royal Ascot, just 35 minutes apart.

“We are also delighted to see Promising Lead build on the promise she showed here last year by winning the Pretty Polly Stakes. We were told at the start of the season that Sir Michael Stoute had high hopes for her and he was obviously right.

“July is going to be a fantastic month here at Salisbury. Alongside tremendous racing, we are looking forward to the style and elegance of Ladies Evening as well as the excitement of the guitar-driven rock provided by Killer Queen and Counterfeit Quo. There really is something for all.”

Salisbury stages three race days in August, the prestigious Salisbury Splendour Summer Festival on Wednesday and Thursday, August 13 and 14, as well as the final evening fixture of the season on Friday, August 29.

Admission Prices: Day Member £18; Tattersalls Enclosure £11; Course Enclosure £6; Accompanied children under 16 are admitted free and all car parking is free. Tickets can be booked online for a 10% discount at www.salisburyracecourse.co.uk

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