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Tuesday, September 9, 2003



TOTE SELECT STAKES THE HIGHLIGHT AT GOODWOOD THIS WEEKEND




Goodwood Racecourse opens its doors on Friday and Saturday for two days of quality action, with the highlight being the £50,000 Group Three TOTE SELECT STAKES over nine furlongs, 192 yards on the Saturday.


A total number of 18 entries have been received at the five-day stage for the Tote Select Stakes, headed by the recent Group Two Celebration Mile winner Priors Lodge from the Marcus Tregoning yard, who could return to the scene of his greatest triumph. Two others entries have been received from Kingwood House Stables - Bustan and Ekraar.


Marcus Tregoning revealed today that his running plans for his three entries are dependent on the weather: "Priors Lodge is quite likely to go for the Tote Select Stakes. I've put three in the race - it just depends on what the weather does.


"Priors Lodge would run as long as the ground is not soft. If it was soft, then either Bustan or Ekraar would run instead.


"All three of them are in great form. Priors Lodge has come out of the Celebration Mile very well - we think he will handle the step up in trip in the Tote Select Stakes. Willie Ryan will ride him once again if he runs."

Godolphin's Moon Ballad won the Tote Select Stakes in very impressive fashion last season and broke the track record in the process. Moon Ballad went on to win the world's richest race in 2003, the Dubai World Cup. This year the Maktoum family's operation could be represented by Naheef, victorious in the Group Three Strensall Stakes at York last time out as well as Highdown, Songlark and the filly Hi Dubai.

Other interesting contenders for the Tote Select Stakes include Barry Hills' smart performer Chancellor, the improving Leporello, Sir Michael Stoute's Researched, successful in the Listed Glorious Rated Stakes at Glorious Goodwood earlier in the season and the Brian Meehan-trained Kaieteur, who recently finished runner-up to Sulamani in the Grade One Arlington Million inChicago.


Friday, September 12, features a seven-race card with the highlight of the day being the £25,000 Listed RENAULT VAN RANGE STARDOM STAKES, a one mile contest for two year olds. This race has attracted a quality entry of 18 at the five-day stage and it looks sure to be a highly-informative affair. Included amongst the entries are Jamie Osborne tough and consistent performer Milk It Mick, the John Gosden-trained Privy Seal, who has already won a Listed event. The son of Cape Cross denied Wathab by a length in the Tyros Stakes on his last outing at Leopardstown in July. Juvenile wizard David Loder could be represented by Hunting Lodge, unbeaten in two starts. Both victories have come in small fields but he could not have been more impressive than when winning a novice stakes at Nottingham in August, coming home four lengths ahead of Billy Allen. Richard Hannon has five entries to choose from including Sgt Pepper, winner of the Listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury and Psychiatrist, whose two victories this season include the EBF Trundle Maiden Stakes at Goodwood on the first day of August.


Once again at this meeting, Goodwood racecourse will be refunding the entry fees for all horses that start in Listed races.


Saturday, September 13, is Community Raceday at Goodwood and around 400 Rotarians will be attending.


In addition to the Group Three Tote Select Stakes, the day also features the Listed £50,000 STARLIT STAKES, a six-furlong event for three-year-olds and upwards that has attracted a very healthy entry of 28. Included amongst the 28 hopefuls are Acclamation, runner-up in the Group Two King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, Godolphin's duo Three Points and Country Reel, Danehurst from the Sir Mark Prescott yard, David Nicholls' tough campaigner Bahamian Pirate and the John Dunlop-trained Vision Of Night.


The big handicap of the day is the TOTE betXpress HANDICAP over six furlongs which looks all set to be a highly-competitive contest with 48 entries having been received, including Mutawaqed from the small yard of Mikael Magnusson who looked a little unlucky when seventh in the Vodafone Stewards' Cup at the Glorious Goodwood meeting and Terry Mills' A Very Good Year, triumphant in a good handicap at Kempton Park at the weekend.

Brewery Hall & Woodhouse sponsor two races over the course of two days - the BADGER NURSERY STAKES on Friday and the HALL & WOODHOUSE FAMILY DAY HANDICAP on Saturday. The brewery have held a promotion which will hopefully bring around 3,000 racegoers to the Gordon Enclosure on Friday while on Saturday staff of Hall & Woodhouse and their families will be able to enjoy a number of attractions including a bouncy castle and face painting.


Rod Fabricius, Chief Executive at Goodwood, commented: "We have two good days of racing coming up on September 12 and 13 offering more prize money than last year despite a reduction in Levy Board contribution of £65,000.


"We extend our thanks to the Tote for their backing of the Group Three Select Stakes in addition to their traditional sprint handicap."


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