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Wednesday, August 18, 2010



Doncaster Racecourse is pleased to announce today two new sponsors at the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival. The Eddie Stobart Group generously backs the £160,000 Group Two Park Stakes, while Neptune Investment Management is the new sponsor of the £100,000 Group Two Champagne Stakes (see separate release below).

Both contests take place at Doncaster on Saturday, September 11 - Ladbrokes St Leger Day which is the final day of the four-day Ladbrokes St Leger Festival (September 8-11).

First run in 1978, the Eddie Stobart Group Park Stakes is for three-year-olds and upwards over seven furlongs. Although currently a Group Two contest, there are no penalties for previous Group Two or Group One winners so the race is run with Group One conditions.

Always one of the highlights of the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival, Duff landed the 2009 renewal of the Eddie Stobart Group Park Stakes by a neck from Cat Junior in a four-way blanket finish that saw 2007 and 2008 winner Arabian Gleam a head back in third, and Ouqba a further neck away in fourth.

Edward Lynam’s charge, who was also runner-up to Arabian Gleam in the 2007 Eddie Stobart Group Park Stakes, has been in and out of form in his native Ireland this season, his best effort coming when finishing runner-up in the Group Three Minstrel Stakes on July 17, when conceding 12lb to the winner Air Chief Marshal. He was sixth of nine on his latest start in a six-furlong Group Three at the Curragh on August 8.

Lynam revealed today: “Duff will definitely go to Doncaster for the Eddie Stobart Group Park Stakes. We like Doncaster, it is a good track and they have been great to us over there - last year’s win in the race was brilliant.

“Duff’s form dipped this year, with the exception of that run at the Curragh, but we are freshening him up and, seeing as he ran his two career best races in the Eddie Stobart Group Park Stakes, we are hoping a return there can bring the old spark back into the horse.

“He has been unlucky in Ireland this year. He has had to carry double penalties and he hasn’t had his ground - he needs proper Flat racing ground to be at his best. He is getting a bit older, like everybody, but he just might have one more kick in him and that is the race we are keeping him for.

“We actually plan to send a few horses to the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival. Duff’s half-sister, Tweedy, is useful and she might take her chance in the seven-furlong Listed Japan Racing Association Sceptre Stakes (for fillies).

“We also have Sole Power who might go. He is in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York this week, which is a big ask for him, but we may send him to Doncaster afterwards for the Listed Scarbrough Stakes over five furlongs.”

A fantastic entry for the Eddie Stobart Group Park Stakes also includes the Henry Cecil-trained Group One victor Lord Shanakill, successful at the same distance in the Group Two Betfair Cup at Goodwood on July 27.

The Brian Meehan-trained Cat Junior was runner-up that day, ahead of the Alain de Royer-Dupre-trained Dalghar in third and fourth-placed Main Aim, trained by Sir Michael Stoute. Royer-Dupre, based at Chantilly in France, has also engaged Group One Prix de la Foret hero Varenar.

Richard Hannon could run triple Group One winner Paco Boy, a good third behind Makfi and Goldikova in the Group One Prix Jacques le Marois at Deauville on August 15.

The Saeed bin Suroor-trained Shakespearean landed the Group Two Hungerford Stakes over seven furlongs on August 14, with Cat Junior again filling the runner-up berth.

Sea Lord, trained by Mark Johnston, made it four wins on the bounce when landing the Group Three Sovereign Stakes by a nose from the Suroor-trained Poet’s Voice over a mile at Salisbury on August 12.

Johnston could also saddle Awzaan who won the Group One Middle Park Stakes in an unbeaten two-year-old campaign, Group Three Jersey Stakes heroine Rainfall, who was a fine third to Music Show in the Group One Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket’s July Festival, and St Mortiz, who saw off Palace Moon to win the Bunbury Cup at the same meeting.

Premio Loco landed the Group Two Summer Mile at Ascot in July and was third behind Canford Cliffs and Rip Van Winkle in the Group One Sussex Stakes at Goodwood last time.

Beethoven, winner of the Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket in October for trainer Aidan O’Brien, was fourth in the Sussex Stakes and clinched the Group Three Desmond Stakes on August 12. O’Brien may also run recent Group Three Minstrel Stakes winner Air Chief Marshal and Emperor Claudius, unbeaten in three starts this season.

About Stobart Group
Stobart Group provides a number of multimodal services; road transport, rail freight and ports, distribution and warehousing and infrastructure services. Today, the Group operates over 1,850 trucks, 3,000 trailers as well a rail freight service and a port. It also operates around six million square feet of state-of-the-art storage facilities and a rail freight/container handling terminal. Stobart Group employs more than 5,000 people over 40 strategically located sites across the UK and Europe. Stobart Group counts many of the UK’s leading names amongst its customers including Tesco, Knauf Insulation, Knauf Drywall, Proctor & Gamble, Maersk, Danone Waters, Coca Cola Enterprises, Johnson & Johnson, Homebase, Nestlé, Purina Petcare, Britvic and Masterfoods.

The company’s involvement with racing is not new - Stobart Group CEO Andrew Tinkler is a major racehorse owner, while the company sponsors trainer Tom Dascombe’s yard in Cheshire.


Doncaster Racecourse is pleased to announce today another new sponsor at the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival, with Neptune Investment Management the new sponsor of the £100,000 Group Two Champagne Stakes on Saturday, September 11, Ladbrokes St Leger Day.

The Neptune Investment Management Champagne Stakes takes place over seven furlongs for two-year-old colts and geldings. The historic contest was first run in 1823 and the £100,000 Group Two race often provides an insight into stars of the future.

Recent winners including the subsequent Group One winners Noverre (2000) and Dubai Destination, who defeated the mighty Rock Of Gibraltar in a thrilling renewal back in 2001.

King Torus could take his burgeoning reputation to Doncaster for the Neptune Investment Management Champagne Stakes. The high-class colt’s owner, Yorkshireman Sir Robert Ogden, has three other candidates for the race; the Jeremy Noseda-trained pair of Casual Glimpse and Garde Cotiere are also engaged as is Star Of Dance from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard.

King Torus, trained by Richard Hannon, blitzed his rivals when winning the Group Two Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes by six lengths over the same distance at Goodwood on July 28.

Barry Simpson, racing manager to Sir Robert, revealed today: “Plans are very fluid on all four horses and we will know more later this week after I have spoken to all of Sir Robert’s trainers.

“King Torus has lots of options and the Neptune Investment Management Champagne Stakes is one of those but anything is possible at this stage.

“King Torus is one of those horses that does absolutely nothing at home and would be one of the worst horses in the yard so far as home work is concerned.

“He is the same when he goes down to the start, you wouldn’t pick him out, but as has been said many times, it’s not how they go down, it’s how they come back.

“I was pleased with his Goodwood win. I know excuses were made for one or two of the other horses but we were very happy with the way he won there.”

Casual Glimpse easily captured a six-furlong conditions race at Newmarket last month and heads to York today for the Group Two Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes.

Simpson continued: “Casual Glimpse is another Neptune Investment Management Champagne Stakes possible. He was supplemented for the Gimcrack Stakes at York, so he goes there and we are very happy with him.

“It is a major step up, going from a conditions race to a Group Two, but we got very positive vibes from Ryan Moore, who rode him last time.”

Of Sir Robert’s other two Neptune Investment Management Champagne Stakes entries, the unraced Garde Cotiere has Group One entries later this year in the Dewhurst Stakes and the Racing Post Trophy over a mile at Doncaster in October. The Stoute-trained Star Of Dance showed promise when sixth in a seven-furlong Sandown maiden on July 28.

Simpson said: “Garde Cotiere is a horse which we would have liked to have run in a maiden by now but he is just going through different stages of growth.

“He certainly wouldn’t go straight to the Neptune Investment Management Champagne Stakes - he would need a prep run before going down that route and he will be running shortly.

“There is a lot more to come from Star Of Dance. I don’t know whether he is quite at that sort of level yet in terms of how Sir Michael wants him.

“We will know more once the trainers have all been consulted, then we will come to some plan regarding which horses could go to the Neptune Investment Management Champagne Stakes.”

Other notable entries for the Neptune Investment Management Champagne Stakes include the Aidan O’Brien-trained Zoffany, winner of the Group One Phoenix Stakes and the Hannon-trained Libranno, unbeaten winner of the Group Two Richmond Stakes and Group Two July Stakes.

About Neptune Investment Management
Neptune is an award-winning fund management house and one of the fastest growing investment firms in the UK. Founded in 2002 as a long-only equity investment firm, Neptune now manages nearly £6 billion of assets on behalf of private investors, advisers and institutional clients. Neptune is privately owned, with employees and directors holding a 75% stake, which helps align its interests with those of its clients.

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