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Monday, July 5, 2010


Serious Attitude could bid for a second Newmarket Group One triumph in what promises to be a typically top-drawer renewal of the £400,000 Darley July Cup (3.10pm) over six furlongs at the July Course on Friday, 9th July.

The prestigious contest, the third British leg of the Global Sprint Challenge, is the feature event of the three-day Champagne Lanson July Festival - Wednesday, 7th July to Friday 9th July.

Trainer Rae Guest saddled the filly through an unbeaten two-year-old campaign in 2008 that culminated with victory in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes over the distance on the Rowley Mile course.

The Mtoto four-year-old proved herself among of the best sprinting fillies of her generation in 2009 with a Group Three triumph at York before muscle problems curtailed her campaign later that season.

Serious Attitude showed herself well capable of mixing it with the finest sprinters around when only beaten four and three-quarter lengths behind Starspangledbanner in the six-furlong Group One Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, despite racing from an unfavourable draw.

Guest revealed this morning: “Serious Attitude is fit and ready to go so the plan is for her to run in the Darley July Cup. We would be hopeful of a bit of rain - there is supposed to be a little bit on Wednesday and if it did not arrive, that would be our one concern.

“At Ascot last time she was last on the far side early on and had to switch to come up the middle on the worst ground. She had everything against her on the day so we were pleased with her but just not how everything worked out.

“After the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville last year, she got a bit jarred up and sore. We hoped to get her back for the Haydock Sprint Cup but ran out of time so just gave her a break and that is why we don’t want to chance her on too firm ground on Friday. We are dying to run her but we have had no rain to speak of in Newmarket for nearly two months. It’s nobody’s fault and the surface is in great condition up there, so if we did get a sprinkling of rain it would help our cause.

“She is in great form at the moment so it will be a shame if she can’t run.”

The Darley July Cup is set to feature a host of top sprinters, including brilliant Aidan O’Brien-trained Group One Golden Jubilee Stakes victor Starspangledbanner, dual Group One King’s Stand Stakes hero Equiano from the Barry Hills yard and last year’s Darley July Cup winner Fleeting Spirit, trained by Jeremy Noseda.

Australian star Nicconi was a strong-finishing fourth in the King’s Stand Stakes over five furlongs last month and could step out again for trainer David Hayes, while compatriot Alverta may take her chance for trainer Paul Messara.

The James Fanshawe-trained Society Rock was runner-up in the Golden Jubilee, a race in which Showcasing, winner of the Group Two Duke Of York Stakes in May, was a disappointing last.

Also among the possible contenders, the 2008 winner Marchand D’Or could take his chance alongside US speedster Kinsale King and fellow Group One winners Kingsgate Native, Varenar and War Artist.

Friday’s fantastic seven-race card also features the £70,000 Group Two 32Red.com Superlative Stakes (2pm) over seven furlongs for two-year-olds and the historic Bunbury Cup, run as the £80,000 32Red.com Trophy (2.35pm), over the same distance.


The jockeys competing in the four team Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup will wear team colours for the first time at this year’s renewal on Saturday, 7th August.

The Racehorse Owners Association (ROA) and Ascot Racecourse, both mindful of the many and varied current industry initiatives aimed at broadening the appeal of the sport, have agreed to this one-year trial in the belief that this will add to the sense of competition and to the spectacle.

The three jockeys riding for the Great Britain team will wear red and white colours, the jockeys representing Ireland will wear green and white, the jockeys riding for Europe will wear blue and white and the Rest of the World team will wear black and white.

Distinguishing caps and sleeves (checks, hoops and stars) will allow commentators, racegoers and TV viewers to differentiate between the jockeys riding within each team.

“We are very grateful to the ROA for giving us the go-ahead for this trial,” said Ascot’s Head of Communications, Nick Smith.

“Seeing their horses in their own colours is obviously important to owners so the ROA is to be applauded for its flexibility and foresight in lending its weight to the initiative, which is aimed at enabling racegoers to follow more easily this unique team competition.

“The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup has been the best attended raceday at Ascot outside the Royal Meeting in recent years, attracting a crowd of around 30,000, many of whom are new to the sport and to whom this initiative is expected to appeal. It should also add to the sense of fun for viewers watching at home on At The Races, who have exciting plans for all-day coverage from Ascot, which is their stand alone afternoon card.”

Michael Harris, Chief Executive of the Racehorse Owners’ Association, said: “Ascot has always made this one-off day rewarding for owners, with no entry fees, decent prize money for races of their grades paid down to last place, number cloth sponsorship for every runner and complimentary hospitality throughout the day. This is a one off event and I hope that owners really get behind the trial.”

Nick Attenborough, PR Director for Racing For Change, added: ‘We’re delighted that team silks have been agreed for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup. Ascot has done a great job of building this day into a major event which attracts many novice racegoers. This latest initiative will further enhance it.”

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