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Friday, August 22, 2003


Doncaster Racecourse is delighted to announce that the 2003 renewal of the world's oldest Classic will be run as the SEABISCUIT ST LEGER STAKES.

In a partnership deal with major movie company Buena Vista International (UK), part of the Walt Disney corporation, the famous one mile six-furlong contest will form the highlight of the four-day SEABISCUIT ST LEGER FESTIVAL, which runs from Wednesday, September 10 through to Saturday, September 13 inclusive.

The film Seabiscuit has recently opened in the US to rave reviews and tells the true story of how the racehorse Seabiscuit gave hope to all Americans during the depression hit 1930s. Featuring Hollywood stars Jeff Bridges, Academy Award Winner Chris Cooper and Spiderman star Tobey Maguire as well as leading American jockey Gary Stevens, whose wife coincidentally originates from Doncaster. Seabiscuit is due to open in the UK on November 14th and the Seabiscuit St Leger Festival at Doncaster is sure to give the production some memorable publicity ahead of its British release.

Seabiscuit is dominating the Cinema box office in the US this summer and will surpass $100 million. It is expected to be a front-runner for next years Oscars.

Foaled in 1933, Seabiscuit was handled under the patient eye of his virtually mute trainer Tom Smith and despite a whole host of training problems, went on be crowned American Horse of the Year in 1938. The incredible Seabiscuit story was told in the bestselling book "Seabiscuit: An American Legend" by Laura Hillenbrand, winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2001.

John Sanderson, Chief Executive at Doncaster, commented: "Doncaster Racecourse is both delighted and honoured to be involved in helping to promote the incredible Seabiscuit story. The St Leger has a tradition as strong as any race in the world and I feel that the Seabiscuit branding is sure to be of benefit to both the St Leger Festival and the amazing movie 'Seabiscuit' ahead of its release in Britain."

Robert Mitchell, Vice President of Marketing at Buena Vista International (UK) added, "We are so proud to be able associate this wonderful movie with such a prestigious event in the racing calendar and look forward to a successful relationship with Doncaster Racecourse."

The Seabiscuit St Leger Sakes is worth £400,000 in 2003, when it will be being run for the 227th time. The next forfeit stage takes place on Tuesday, August 26, with details of this revealed on Wednesday, August 27.


Stable staff have a tremendous opportunity of winning a holiday of their choice of up to £2,500 in value at Goodwood Racecourse tomorrow.

Every lad or lass that was fortunate enough to win a best turned out award in each of the 35 races during this year's Festival raceweek will have their name entered into a draw. If a lad or lass won more than one best turned out award during Festival raceweek, then their name will be entered into the draw for each award they won.

The draw will be held shortly after the opening race of the afternoon, the March Stakes, at 2.00pm and will be performed by the Duke of Richmond.

Rod Fabricius, Managing Director at Goodwood, commented: "Goodwood Racecourse is delighted to be able to offer this exciting prize to members of stable staff.

"Stable staff play such a vital role in our great sport and we are proud to be able to reward one of them in this way."


The Jockey Club confirmed today that restrictions on the use of mobile phones by jockeys will commence from 1st September, as previously announced. However, in order to enable further discussion and consultation with jockeys regarding the long term application of the proposal some interim amendments have been made to the intended system.

From 1st September the restrictions will operate as already outlined by the Jockey Club in their correspondence to all riders, with the following exceptions:

* Calls made on Jockey Club supplied phones will not be recorded

* Jockeys, with the permission of WRSO's, may check their own phones for messages during racing in a designated area and,

* Jockeys may make outgoing calls on their own phones in the designated area should a Jockey Club supplied phone not be available.

Earlier this week representatives from the Jockey Club met with Martin Cruddace of Schillings, who is representing a number of jockeys who are concerned about the proposed restrictions. Following the meeting, the Jockey Club received a request to postpone the implementation of the measures.

Explaining the decision to go ahead but with interim concessions and amendments, Julian Richmond-Watson, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, said:

"The introduction of restrictions on the use of jockeys' mobile phones was recommended by our Integrity Review Committee and has been endorsed by the independently chaired Security Review Group. The restrictions have been carefully developed over many months, in consultation with all the relevant parties, and we do not believe that the introduction of the measures should be subject to a further delay.

"However, we recognise that many of the jockeys still have genuine concerns about the restrictions. Therefore we have made these interim amendments to the proposal to enable further discussion and consultation which will take account of how the system has operated in practice and assist in reaching an agreement on the application of the restrictions in the long term. We look forward to considering suggestions from jockeys which could effectively allay the concerns of both parties.

The Senior Steward continued: "The Jockey Club has no wish to unnecessarily inconvenience the jockeys but we consider the introduction of an effective restriction on the use of jockeys' phones to be both necessary and proportionate. It is our hope that the jockeys' concerns can be resolved through open and constructive dialogue and without the need to dispute the matter in court, however, we have taken legal advice and retain confidence in our position."

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