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Monday, July 6, 2009


Royal Ascot heroine Habaayib bids to enhance her reputation with victory in the £80,000 Group Two Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes (2.35pm) over six furlongs at Newmarket on Wednesday, 8th July, day one of the Champagne Lanson July Festival.

Ed Dunlop’s charge saw off Lillie Langtry to win the Group Three Albany Stakes over the distance at Royal Ascot on 19th June.

The trainer said: "She was impressive at Ascot and we were obviously delighted with how well she performed. She seems to have come out of that race well and we are happy with her.

"I was also pleased to see the form stacking up with Jira - who was seventh in the Albany - subsequently winning a competitive Listed race at Newmarket.

"Hopefully Habaayib will run another big race on Wednesday. She is suited by top of the ground so we wouldn't want too much rain. If the ground was to go on the soft side of good, there would have to be a doubt about whether she would run."

A total of 10 horses are set to contest the prestigious race for juvenile fillies, including the second, third and fourth home in the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. The Clive Brittain-trained Misheer came out best of that trio, followed by the Bryan Smart-trained Ceedwell and Capercaillie from the Mark Johnston-yard.

The Richard Hannon-trained Crown was eighth that day, while another declared runner, the Tim Easterby-trained Little Scotland, was fourth against the colts in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The field also includes the Andrew Balding-trained Swan Wings, an impressive maiden winner at Salisbury on 24th June, Hairspray, Lady Darshaan and Raddy ’ell Pauline.

The three-day Champagne Lanson July Festival commences with a fantastic seven-race card on Wednesday, 8th July, with the feature contest of the day being the £200,000 Group One Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (3.10pm).

The prestigious mile contest brings together eight of the best fillies and mares in Europe, including the brilliant French raider Goldikova. The Freddie Head-trained four-year-old capped a fantastic 2008 campaign with victory in the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita in November.

Spacious gave trainer James Fanshawe and owners Cheveley Park Stud a Royal Ascot victory last month when defeating Heaven Sent (also owned by Cheveley Park Stud) in the Group Two Windsor Forest Stakes. The last-named, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, is out to avenge that length defeat.

Rainbow View was sensational last season when crowned champion juvenile filly. She bids for a first success of the current campaign after staying on to take third in the Group One Coronation Stakes at the Royal Meeting last month. Her trainer, John Gosden, is also responsible for Cosmopolitan, successful in a handicap over the course and distance on 20th June.

Penny’s Gift brings Classic-winning form to the table, having landed the Group Two German 1,000 Guineas for trainer Richard Hannon, while the Mick Channon-trained Eva’s Request was third to Spacious at Royal Ascot. Group Three winner San Sicharia represents Ireland and trainer Joanna Morgan.

The first race of the day is the 16-runner £40,000 EBF Hotel Chocolat Fillies’ Handicap (1.30pm) over seven furlongs. That contest is followed by the six-furlong £100,000 totesport.com Heritage Handicap (2.00pm). The seven-furlong £15,000 Mertoun Paddocks EBF Maiden takes place at 3.45pm, while the 10-furlong £15,000 TurfTV Maiden is off at 4.20pm.

Day one of the Champagne Lanson July Festival concludes with the £15,000 Home Of Racing Handicap (5.30pm) over a mile.

Aside from the very best in thoroughbred racing, day one also features one of the highlights of the year for pure-bred Arabian horses, the £30,000 Group Two Abu Dhabi International Stakes (4.55pm) over 10 furlongs.


The going ahead of the 2009 Champagne Lanson July Festival on Newmarket’s July Course remains:


Michael Prosser, Director of Racing at Newmarket Racecourses, said at 3.15pm today, Monday, 6th July: “We have had a couple of sharp showers today yielding around 3.5 millimetres of rain and it has been breezy.

“Today’s forecast was for between four and five millimetres of rain, so it would be no surprise to see further showers later today. We are flirting with the showers passing over the Newmarket area, so there is always a chance we could receive significantly more rain than forecast.

“The weather tomorrow is predicted to be almost identical to today, with further sharp showers predicted along with the chance of some thunder and lightning.

“Moving on to Wednesday, the showers should become far less prevalent while both Thursday and Friday are currently forecast to be dry with sunny spells.

“Temperatures for the second half of the week are predicted to be around 19 or 20 degrees Celsius, which is just marginally below the seasonal average.

“The GoingStick reading at 8.30am today was 8.4, although that was taken before the rain arrived.

“We will be racing on fresh ground for the 2009 Champagne Lanson July Festival. The ground was last raced on for our final meeting on the July Course last year (23rd August, 2008).”

The Champagne Lanson July Festival takes place from Wednesday, 8th July to Friday, 10th July.

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