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Wednesday, August 27, 2003



23 GO FORWARD FOR FINAL CLASSIC




A total of 23 horses remain after Tuesday's forfeit stage for the 227th running of the world's oldest Classic, the £400,000 Seabiscuit St Leger, with this year's race - run at Doncaster on Saturday, September 13 - promising to be an ultra-competitive renewal. There were 17 horses remaining at the same stage last year.


Aidan O'Brien's pair Brian Boru and Powerscourt, who finished first and second in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy on their last visit to Doncaster in October, head a five-strong entry from the Ballydoyle stable after respectively coming second and first in last week's Group 2 Daily Telegraph Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.


Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Yesterday, Irish Oaks second L'Ancresse and Curragh Cup runner-up Arundel complete a powerful team for O'Brien. The Dermot Weld-trained Maharib, who beat Arundel in the Curragh Cup, and Cruzspiel, winner of Sunday's Listed Ballycullen Stakes at Fairyhouse, add to a strong entry from Ireland.


As well as Powerscourt and Brian Boru, who were separated by a neck when in the Great Voltigeur Stakes, the York form is also represented by third-placed Hawk Flyer, bidding to give trainer Sir Michael Stoute a first win in the final Classic, and sixth home High Accolade, successful earlier this season in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.


The filly Moments Of Joy is unbeaten in two starts, most recently when scoring in Listed company at Glorious Goodwood, while another winner at the meeting, Peugeot Gordon Stakes victor Phoenix Reach, bids to give Andrew Balding a second Classic success in his first season with a licence.


No current trainer boasts more Classic triumphs than Henry Cecil, who has won the St Leger four times before, and the master of Warren Place has entered Leicester maiden winner Sayadaw and Singleton, third in last week's Listed Galtres Stakes at York, to try and add to that total.


Westmoreland Road, winner of a conditions event at Newmarket on August 16, the James Given-trained Summitville, winner of last year's Group 3 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster and third in last week's Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, Derby seventh Let Me Try Again and Tote Ebor third Salsalino are others with good recent form.


Clive Brittain is doubly represented via Santando and Titurel, David Elsworth also has two in the race, Gold Medallist and Wavertree Boy, Brian Meehan has entered Hilbre Island, who has not run since finishing sixth in the Predominate Stakes at Goodwood in May, while Forest Magic has not been out since winning the Listed Zetland Stakes at Newmarket in November.

Steven Clarke, Doncaster's Racecourse Manager, commented: "The 2003 Seabiscuit St Leger is one of the most open in recent years with plenty of entries looking to have excellent chances. The race promises to provide a fitting climax to four wonderful days of racing at Doncaster from September 10 to 13."

There is a £25,000 supplementary entry stage for the Seabiscuit St Leger on Monday, September 8.


THE SEABISCUIT ST LEGER STAKES

Class A, Group One, Total Prize fund £400,000. Doncaster, Saturday, September 13, 2003, 1m 6f 132yds. For three-year-olds only, entire colts and fillies. Weights: colts 9st; fillies 8st 9lb. Entries closed Wednesday, July 9, 2003 (48 entries). Forfeit stage Tuesday, August 26, 2003 (23 remain). £25,000 supplementary entry stage September 8, 2003. Five-day confirmation stage Monday, September 8, 2003. Final 48-hour declaration stage 10.00am, Thursday, September 11, 2003. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and include the racing of Monday, August 25, 2003. May not include some overseas form.


2-126 ARUNDEL (IRE) 3 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
121-3042 BRIAN BORU 3 Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
0144331 CRUZSPIEL 3 Pat Garvey John Oxx IRE
5211- FOREST MAGIC (IRE) 3 Peter Gleeson, Julian Smith, Loz Conway Paul D'Arcy
2101516 GOLD MEDALLIST 3 Jeff Smith David Elsworth
21133 HAWK FLYER (USA) 3 Saeed Suhail Sir Michael Stoute
03-111626 HIGH ACCOLADE 3 Lady Tennant Marcus Tregoning
66-2466 HILBRE ISLAND 3 E H Jones (Paints) Ltd Brian Meehan
15-204P25 L'ANCRESSE (IRE) 3 Michael Tabor & Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
0-(2)(1)12054 LET ME TRY AGAIN (IRE) 3 Terry Mills Terry Mills
22111 MAHARIB (IRE) 3 Hamdan Al Maktoum Dermot Weld IRE
11 MOMENTS OF JOY 3 Matthews Breeding and Racing Rae Guest
2-11 PHOENIX REACH (IRE) 3 Winterbeck Manor Stud Andrew Balding
2212-611 POWERSCOURT 3 Sue Magnier Aidan O'Brien IRE
(0)4243243 SALSALINO 3 Nigel Bunter Alan King
13120425 SANTANDO 3 Rabi Khan Clive Brittain
21 SAYADAW (FR) 3 Niarchos Family Henry Cecil
2123 SINGLETON 3 Khalid Abdulla Henry Cecil
10-00353 SUMMITVILLE 3 Mountain High Partnership James Given
42-34440 TITUREL 3 Brian Voak Clive Brittain
50110303 WAVERTREE BOY (IRE) 3 Wavertree Racing Club (2002) David Elsworth 2-1131 WESTMORELAND ROAD (USA) 3 Belinda Bauer Amanda Perrett
631-0124 YESTERDAY (IRE) 3 Sue Magnier & Rosin Henry Aidan O'Brien IRE

23 entries remain after August 26 forfeit stage
7 Irish-trained




ROA PRESIDENT URGES OWNERS TO TAKE NOTE OF PRIZE MONEY




The ROA President, Chris Deuters, who is leading a campaign against prize money reductions for the last four months of the year, today urged all owners and trainers to be scrupulous in checking prize money levels before they enter and run horses.


"Next Tuesday is a black day for British horseracing," said Deuters. "It is a day when 14 of the 19 races to take place will have added prize-money of under £4,000. There is a so-called ‘showcase' handicap at Southwell that has added prize-money of £2,750. It is an insult not only to owners, but to trainers, jockeys and stable staff."

The ROA campaign has been prompted by a £6 million Levy Board cut to prize money and is based on not running horses rated 45 or above in races worth less than £4,000 added. The ROA is also advising owners not to run horses rated below 45 in races with less than £3,000 added.


"Now is the time for owners to vote with their feet," said Deuters. "We should support those courses like Hamilton, Pontefract and Salisbury who are setting an example by putting their own money into prize money to ensure their races are run at minimum values or above.


"I realise it may be difficult for many owners to forego running opportunities but we must make a stand on this very important issue. Owners and trainers should make a particular point of looking look at the prize money level for individual races well in advance."

Yesterday the National Trainers Federation came out in support of the ROA, encouraging their members to follow the ROA's example.


"Owners and trainers must grasp this opportunity to show they will not put up with prize money that barely covers their expenses.


"This situation has been brought about by the Levy Board, but the BHB definitely has the money to alleviate the situation if it chooses to do so.


"It is unfortunate for racecourses that their prize money allocation has been halved but this four-month period will show which of them is prepared to use their own money to maintain minimum values. We must not forget they have betting shop picture income at £4,000 a race, an £11,000 fixture incentive payment for non-Saturday fixtures and a per-fixture payment from Attheraces. For most meetings, racecourses are receiving £40,000 over and above the funding they receive from the Levy Board specifically for prize money.


"Owners and trainers must be become aware of the importance of our campaign."


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