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Thursday, July 1, 2010


Royal Ascot heroine Strawberrydaiquiri could bid for a first Group One victory in the £185,000 Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes (3.10pm) on Wednesday, 7th July, day one of Newmarket’s three-day Champagne Lanson July Festival.

Nine top-class fillies and mares remain at the six-day stage for what promises to be a vintage renewal of the prestigious mile contest.

Sir Michael Stoute’s charge has won six out of eight starts, her only reversal since a debut defeat coming when fourth in the Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket in October, her only previous foray into the top grade.

The grey Dansili filly has subsequently captured the Group Three StanJames.com Dahlia Stakes over nine furlongs on the Rowley Mile and the Group Two Windsor Forest Stakes over a mile at Royal Ascot, following a thrilling duel to the wire with Spacious.

Gary Coffey, racing manager for owner Newsells Park Stud, revealed today: “Strawberrydaiquiri gave us a great thrill at Royal Ascot and has come out of it in good shape. Sir Michael is happy with her and while we have not quite firmed up running plans for next week, the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes is under serious consideration.


After the completion of a five-year exclusive sponsorship agreement with StanJames.com for The Newmarket Guineas Festival, where The 2000 and 1000 Guineas are the world-class highlights of a 14-race programme, Newmarket Racecourse is now seeking a new commercial partner for the 2011 meeting.

This means that this year's two-day meeting, which took place on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd May and included eight races shown live on Channel 4 with strong international coverage, was the last run under the Gibraltar-based bookmaker's banner.
Stephen Wallis, Newmarket Racecourses’ Managing Director, said: “We are very grateful to Stan James for their support over the last five years and I know that they have been extremely happy with all that they have achieved through this sponsorship.

“A fantastic opportunity now exists for a new sponsor to put their name to the first two Classics of the British season and the other 12 high class races that support them.

“The Guineas Festival is undoubtedly one of racing’s international highlights of the year - the 2000 Guineas was the highest rated turf race in the world two years ago and was won by world champion Sea The Stars last year.

“With the planned raising of the profile of Britain’s premier races and racedays under the "Racing For Change" initiative, The Guineas Festival will become the high profile new opening to the premier flat season. A new sponsor can expect to reap an even greater return on its investment.”

Charlie McCann, Head of PR for Stan James, said: “A sponsorship of this nature has a natural life. We have thoroughly enjoyed our association with Newmarket and Stan James has derived considerable benefit from it. However, we are reviewing our sponsorship strategy moving forward and investigating new opportunities.

“Stan James is thoroughly committed to supporting British horseracing. We are continuing to support a number of current sponsorships. We are also planning to sponsor a new marquee event in 2011 and will announce details when this is completed.”

“We are all very proud of the filly and very grateful to Sir Michael and his team for the work they have done with her. She has been brought along nicely to progress through the ranks and hopefully she can make it to the top bracket.

“She is honest and has guts - more importantly she has class. Every time we raise the bar she responds but as we all know only too well, there are no easy Group Ones.

“We are all very much looking forward to her next run and if Sir Michael is happy to go there, it could well be at Newmarket next week.”

The Cheveley Park Stud-owned mare Spacious, a length third to the great Goldikova in last year’s Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes, is set to renew rivalry.

Heading the all-star line-up is the Criquette Head-Maarek-trained dual Classic winner Special Duty, victorious in both the StanJames.com 1000 Guineas and the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches in May. Last season’s champion two-year-old filly is one of five three-year-olds set to take on older rivals for the first time.

Poised to oppose the French raider is another Group One-winning filly from the Classic crop, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Lillie Langtry, who held the reopposing Gile Na Greine to win the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot on 18th June. The latter, trained by Jim Bolger, filled the same berth in the 1000 Guineas.

Music Show has captured the Group Two Lotus Evora Rockfel Stakes and the Group Three Leslie Harrison Memorial Nell Gwynn Stakes on the Rowley Mile. Mick Channon’s filly heads to the nearby July Course hoping to finally clinch a Group One success.

Completing the three-year-old challenge is the thrice-raced Mark Johnston-trained Rainfall, whose rapid elevation saw her defeat colts to take the Group Three Jersey Stakes over seven furlongs at Royal Ascot last month.

Gerard Butler is set to saddle the top-notch globetrotter Lahaleeb. The four-year-old, runner-up in last year’s Irish 1,000 Guineas, landed the Grade One E P Taylor Stakes in Canada last season when trained by Mick Channon.

Godolphin’s Antara, trained by Saeed bin Suroor, had classy form in Germany and transferred that to Britain when winning the Group Three Princess Elizabeth Stakes at Epsom in June, on her first start for her current connections. The four-year-old Platini filly showed she is going the right way when three-lengths third in the Windsor Forest Stakes last time.

The fantastic seven-race card on Wednesday, 7th July, also features the £70,000 Group Two Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes (2.35pm).

A tremendous spectacle is on the cards with 10 exciting fillies potentially set to line up for the six-furlong contest, including the unbeaten Richard Hannon-trained Memory, victorious in the Group Three Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot on 18th June.

Runner-up on that occasion was the Michael Bell-trained Margot Did, while the Jim Bolger-trained Group Three winner Radharcnafarraige was fourth and the Sir Mark Prescott-trained Hooray eighth.

The Alan Jarvis-trained Serena’s Pride was fourth of 18 to Maqaasid in the Group Two Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, while the Aidan O’Brien-trained Wild Wind landed a Curragh maiden on 26th June and Godolphin’s Tanfeer was successful on her only start at Doncaster a day earlier.

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