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Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The going ahead of the 2009 Champagne Lanson July Festival, which kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday, 8th July, remains:


Michael Prosser, Director of Racing at Newmarket, commented at 5.00pm today: “We will be leaving the going as good.

“So far today, we have received 3.5 millimetres of rain and showers are still likely up until around 9.00pm this evening.

“It is forecast to be dry overnight and there is a chance of a light shower tomorrow.

“Temperatures are forecast to be 19 degrees Celsius tomorrow and on Thursday, rising to 20 degrees Celsius on Friday. Thursday and Friday are forecast to be dry with sunny spells.

“The GoingStick reading taken at 8.30am today was 7.5 and I would say that still reflects where we are at.”

The three-day Champagne Lanson July Festival, Newmarket’s summer highlight on the July Course, runs from Wednesday, 8th July through to Friday, 10th July.

Fresh ground will be utilised for the 2009 Champagne Lanson July Festival. The ground was last raced on for the final meeting on the July Course last year (23rd August, 2008).


Niran is seeking to land a hat-trick and maintain his 100 percent record in the £80,000 Group Two TNT July Stakes (2.00pm) at Newmarket on Thursday, 9th July, with trainer Clive Brittain hopeful about the colt’s chances in the six-furlong contest.

The Caption Rio two-year-old made a winning debut on the Rowley Mile Course on 16th May, defeating previous winners in the betinternet.com Novice Stakes over the distance. Niran followed up with a length defeat of Brisbane in a similar contest at Yarmouth on 28th May.

Brittain revealed this morning: “Niran has made good progress since his last run. He would have gone to Royal Ascot for the Coventry Stakes but the race came a bit soon for him so we waited for the TNT July Stakes.

“I was very pleased with his two wins. He’s a horse that switches off and then produces a bit of speed, so I thought the July Course would suit him - we go there with a live chance.

“I had him in the seven-furlong Superlative Stakes on Friday but decided that if the ground is a little bit more testing than he’s encountered, the six furlongs would be the better distance. We would certainly have no fear stepping up to seven furlongs in the future.

“He’s won on good and good to firm and it will be in the laps of the Gods as to what the ground might be. Newmarket can drain and dry out in a few hours or you can have a torrential downpour before the off and it gets quite soft. That’s the July Course, so we won’t be worrying about what we can’t control.”

Also among the declared runners for the TNT July Stakes are the Richard Hannon-trained Angel’s Pursuit, a winner over five furlongs on the Rowley Mile in May, Newbury debutant winner Arcano, from the Brian Meehan stable, and impressive Ayr scorer Ghostwing, who makes the trip down from Richard Fahey’s Malton yard. Reignier, Tawaabb and Nosedive finished second, third and fourth respectively in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot while the Barry Hills-trained Red Jazz bids to bounce back from a slightly disappointing seventh in the Group Two Coventry Stakes at the Royal meeting. Tom Dascombe, who won this contest in 2008 with Classic Blade, runs impressive recent Salisbury winner Orpen Grey.

The other highlight on day two of the Champagne Lanson July Festival is the £100,000 Group Two Princess of Wales’s Blue Square Stakes (3.10pm), which will see nine runners go to post. All The Aces was impressive winner of the Listed Fred Archer Stakes over the course and distance on 27th June while Godolphin is doubly represented with last year’s King Edward VII Stakes victor Campanologist and Schiaparelli. Sir Michael Stoute’s record in the Princess Of Wales’s Blue Square Stakes is outstanding, with the master of Freemason Lodge having sent out no less than six winners of the mile and a half event. This year he is represented by Doctor Fremantle, last year’s Derby fourth who will be bidding to bounce back to form after a disappointing run at Royal Ascot. Fellow Newmarket handler John Gosden is doubly represented with Duncan and the one three-year-old in the race, Alwaary, while also lining up are Drumfire, Enroller and Indian Days.

Thursday’s card kicks off with the £65,000 Bahrain Trophy (1.30pm), which has been promoted to Group Three status for 2009 and for which eight runners go to post including the Queen’s Free Agent while a competitive contest is in prospect for the £80,000 Blue Square Heritage Handicap (2.35pm, 16 runners) over a 10 furlongs for three-year-olds. The other three races on the card are the EBF Conditions Stakes (3.45pm, 10 runners), the Portland Place Properties Conditions Stakes (4.20pm, 7 runners) and the concluding Racing UK Sky 432 Handicap (4.55pm, 18 runners).


Fryvolous, the world’s highest-rated Purebred Arabian racehorse, will be seen in action for the first time on European soil at Newmarket’s July Course on Wednesday, July 8.

Trained by Rod Simpson, the six-year-old gelding by leading sire Dormane, has been widely regarded as the best horse in training following his impressive victory in the Dubai Kahayla Classic, the Group 1 race for Purebred Arabians, run as part of the Dubai World Cup night at Nad Al Sheba.

A winner of seven Group Races to date from five furlongs to a mile and a quarter, Fryvolous is likely to go into Wednesday’s Abu Dhabi International Stakes, sponsored by the Emirates Equestrian Federation, who also sponsor the Falmouth Stakes on the same day, as a strong favourite - and with good reason.

“Fryvolous was already owned by Al Asayl when I took on the trainer’s licence a year ago and I feel he was at his lowest at that time. Despite that, he had just finished fifth in the Kahayla Classic which told me that he had quality and ability in there,” says Simpson.

“I still don’t think we have seen the best of him, although if I didn’t think that there would be no point doing my job! He has a habit of pricking his ears and easing off in races which you can see him do when he won this years Kahayla Classic. About two furlongs from home, when he was clear he pricks his ears and backs off. People say he recorded a fast time but it would have been even faster if he hadn’t done that.”

Success on Wednesday could see Fryvolous take on two of the world’s other highest-rated Purebred Arabian horses, Al Dahma and No Risk Al Maury, in the Shadwell Dubai International Stakes (Group 1 PA), at Newbury Racecourse on Sunday, July 19, a contest that would set the Arabian Racing world alight.

Seven others will line up alongside Fryvolous at Newmarket, including El Rigoletto, travelling from France for trainer Francois Rohaut, and Marsak, trained by Newmarket-based Gill Duffield, both representing Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, a well known force in Arabian Racing.

Swedish competitor, Skan Skan, trained by Pia Hoiom, has won some big prizes in his home country but is as yet unproven on British turf and could turn out to be an exciting contender.

Local runner Tidarbret, owned by Newmarket’s Middleton Stud, has produced some promising results in Group races over the past 18 months and is sure to make a bold show for trainer, Dennis Batteate.


New format for Champagne Lanson July Festival fashion prize judging

Newmarket Racecourse is increasing the profile of the fashion competitions at this year’s Champagne Lanson July Festival by inviting racegoers to enter “Fashion At The Festival” each day and give themselves a chance of winning one of the amazing prizes on offer.

Whilst spotters will still mingle with racegoers to offer one or two fast-track places into each day’s final (in previous years the final line-up comprised only those racegoers selected by the spotters), an entry into the day’s competition can be made by anyone suitably attired. They simply need to go to the new “Fashion at the Festival” marquee in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure (also accessible to Premier Enclosure racegoers) by 1.15pm each day where they will have their photo taken for the judges to assess. Later in the day they will be able to collect their photo as a memento of the occasion.

On Wednesday it is “Most Stylish Accessories”, on Thursday “Best Dressed Lady” and on Friday “Best Dressed Couple”. The judges will pick 10 finalists each day, each of whom will receive a goody bag with prizes, and from the finalists the top three will be selected. The announcement of the winners and the presentations will take place in the parade ring at 4.30pm on Wednesday, 2.45pm on Thursday and 3.55pm on Friday.

Final line-up of prizes:

WEDNESDAY “Most Stylish Accessories”

1st prize: Week for two on a cocoa plantation in St Lucia, courtesy of Hotel Chocolat

2nd prize: Champneys’ midweek spa break for two at Henlow Grange

3rd prize: £50 accessories voucher at ‘Ghost’, the ladies fashion shop in Cambridge

All 10 finalists receive a box of Hotel Chocolat chocolates and a pair of tickets to see Boyzone at the Newmarket Nights on Friday 14 July.

THURSDAY “Best Dressed Lady”

1st prize: a year’s supply of Champagne Lanson (deemed to be 52 bottles)

2nd prize: dinner, bed & breakfast for two at the Bedford Lodge Hotel in Newmarket

3rd prize: £100 voucher for ‘Ghost’, the ladies fashion shop in Cambridge

All 10 finalists will receive a mini bottle of Lanson Champagne and a pair of tickets to see Boyzone at the ‘Newmarket Nights’ on Friday 14 August.

FRIDAY “Best Dressed Couple”

1st prize: 20 night luxury cruise for two to Dubai and Muscat, courtesy of Premier Travel, plus 20% off a travel wardrobe at ‘Ghost’, the ladies fashion shop in Cambridge

2nd prize: Sporting Weekend for two at Stapleford Park Country House Hotel, Spa, Golf and Country Club

3rd prize: table for 4 in the Summer House Restaurant for the penultimate Newmarket Night on Friday 7th July, when Scouting For Girls will be play live after the last race

All 5 pairs of finalists will receive a pair of tickets to see Scouting For Girls at the ‘Newmarket Nights’ on Friday 7 August.


2 for 1 offer to Australian passport holders

TV screens in the Royal Academy and Soviet Star bars in the Grandstand & Paddock Enclosure (also accessible to Premier Enclosure racegoers) will show live coverage of the First Ashes Test between England and Australia from Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

All eyes will be on the west of Britain from 8-12 July when the 1st Ashes Test takes place, but Newmarket are keen to point out to Aussies who are over here that there’s also a powerful Australian challenge in the east of the country thanks to the participation of Scenic Blast and Takeover Target in Friday's Darley July Cup.

The racecourse will be giving two tickets for the price of one to any Australian passport holder who comes to the July Course on Friday 10 July to cheer them on.

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