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Friday, September 18, 2009


Some of the leading hopefuls for the £160,000 totesport.com Cesarewitch put their credentials to the test in the inaugural £40,000 Investec Cesarewitch Trial (3.20pm) at Newmarket tomorrow, Saturday, 19th September.

Nine of the 11 declared runners for tomorrow’s two mile and a quarter mile heritage handicap also hold an entry in the prestigious second leg of the Autumn Double, which is run over the same course and distance on Champions’ Day, Saturday, 17th October.

The weights for Saturday’s race are headed by the Marcus Tregoning-trained Aajel (9st 10lb), who is quoted as a 14/1 chance for totesport.com Cesarewitch glory with the race sponsor. The five-year-old gelding took a two-mile handicap by five lengths at Yarmouth on 30th August, despite having been off the course for nearly two years.

Alan Swinbank has declared his unexposed four-year-old Saga de Tercey (8st 11lb), who also comes into the Investec Cesarewitch Trial on the back of a victory in a two-mile handicap, having stayed on well to beat the William Knight-trained Ragamuffin Man (7st 13lb) by a length and a half at Thirsk on 28th August.

Saga de Tercey is currently also rated a 14/1 shot for the totesport.com Cesarewitch with totesport, while Ragamuffin Man is quoted at 50/1 for the same race.

Baddam (8st 9lb), who has landed valuable handicaps at Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood, is on course for his fifth consecutive appearance in the totesport.com Cesarewitch, for which he is a 33/1 chance.

The seven-year-old has yet to sparkle in the Autumn showpiece, enjoying his best finish when 15th behind Sergeant Cecil in 2005, but trainer Ian Williams is hopeful that a dress rehearsal over the course and distance will give his stayer the confidence to post a better performance in this year’s race.

Williams reported: “We are going to let Baddam take his chance in the Investec Cesarewitch Trial and it gives us an ideal opportunity to assess whether to return for the big race next month.

“He’s won on the July Course but he has failed to give his true running on the four times that he has run in the totesport.com Cesarewitch. I hope that we can get him used to the course and distance in a slightly less competitive environment and he can run his race tomorrow.“

Baddam was fourth to Askar Tau in the Group Two Lonsdale Cup at York on 19th August and goes into Saturday’s race on the back of a comfortable success in a Worcester novice hurdle on 6th September.

Williams added: “He enjoyed his spin over hurdles and it is something different for him. I think that it has given him a confidence booster and he goes to Newmarket in good form. He ran up to his mark on his latest Flat appearance at Warwick (26th August) and he will certainly like the good to firm ground.”

Other contenders hoping to advertise their claims for the totesport.com Cesarewitch in the race include Alanbrooke (8st 7lb), who was second in the Listed Melrose Heritage Handicap at York on 21st August and is a 20/1 shot to give trainer Mark Johnston a third victory in the totesport.com Cesarewitch following on from Contact Dancer in 2004 and Spirit Of Love in 1998.

The John Quinn-trained Aleatricis (8st 7lb), currently priced at 40/1 for the totesport.com Cesarewitch, has only finished out of the frame on one of his 11 previous starts and rattled up a five consecutive wins last summer.

Double Banded (8st 5lb) will be looking to build on his recent second in a two-mile Chester handicap for trainer Kevin Ryan, while veteran Inchnadamph (8st 4lb), from the yard of Tim Fitzgerald and the Mark Tompkins-trained Inchpast (7st 12lb) will also be hoping to pick up a penalty in a bid to make the cut for the totesport.com Cesarewitch. All three horses are quoted as 33/1 chances for the 17th October contest.

The two runners in the Investec Cesarewitch Trial without entries in the totesport.com Cesarewitch are the appropriately Pat Phelan-trained Epsom Salts (8st 3lb), who has won on four occasions over the Derby course this season, and Melrose Stakes third Bernie The Bolt (7st 12lb), from the Kingsclere stable of Andrew Balding.

The seven-race card at Newmarket gets underway at 1.45pm and also includes the £14,000 Bloodstock South Africa EBF Fillies' Handicap (2.25pm), with eight fillies due to go to post for the mile and a half contest, while a field of eight is set to line up in the 10-furlong £20,000 Phumelela Gold Enterprises Handicap (3pm).
Tomorrow is Racing South Africa Day, which provides a shop window in this country for the South African racing & bloodstock industry.

All seven races are sponsored by Racing South Africa or by South African companies with a horseracing association.

totesport.com Cesarewitch - selected prices:
14 Aajel, Saga De Tercey, 20 Alanbrooke, 33 Baddam, Double Banded, Inchnadamph, Inchpast, 40 Aleatricis, 50 Ragamuffin Man
Each-way a quarter the odds 1-2-3-4-5


Prince Khalid Abdullah, through his Juddmonte Farms, is no stranger to Breeders’ Cup success and, following on from the victories of Banks Hill (2001) and Intercontinental (2005), the Saudi owner could bid for a third success in the 10-furlong $2 million Grade One Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita this year with his outstanding home-bred Midday.

The three-year-old daughter of Oasis Dream, trained by Henry Cecil, was beaten a head in the Group One Oaks at Epsom in June before going on to be third in the Irish equivalent at the Curragh the following month.

She gained a deserved success at the highest level when taking the 10-furlong Group One Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, beating fellow Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf hopeful Rainbow View by two and a quarter lengths.

“Midday may go for the Filly & Mare Turf and we will make a final decision after she has run in the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on October 4.” revealed Abdullah’s European racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe.

“Her victory in the Nassau Stakes was especially sweet, particularly on that ground, but she’s acted on a faster surface earlier in the season and going to Santa Anita wouldn’t be a problem. “

Grimthorpe also announced possible Breeders’ Cup plans for several other horses owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah.

Midday’s stable companion Father Time could be aimed at the $500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon, having been fourth in the final British Classic of the season, the extended 14-furlong Group One St Leger at Doncaster on September 12. The three-year-old Dansili colt had previously recorded a four-length verdict in the Group Two King Edward VII Stakes over 12 furlongs at Royal Ascot in June.

Grimthorpe added: “Father Time could go for the Breeders’ Cup Marathon. He stayed most of the St Leger trip and I would be hopeful that he could get a mile and six furlongs around Santa Anita.

“I think that the St Leger was a very good, competitive race this year and he seems to have come back fine.”

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Spanish Moon, a five-year-old by El Prado, has already proven himself as one of the world’s top middle distance performers, following a close second in the Group One Dubai Sheema Classic at Nad Al Sheba in March with a brace of victories in France, including a decisive success in the Group Two 12-furlong Prix Foy at Longchamp on September 13.

Grimthorpe continued: “Spanish Moon also has the Breeders’ Cup as an option. We are thinking about the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (October 4) at the moment and there’s also the Pattinson Canadian International (October 17), which could lead to the Breeders’ Cup Turf. There is also Hong Kong to think about.

“The idea is to have him on song for the top international races and the Breeders’ Cup obviously comes into the equation. I thought he ran really well in the Prix Foy considering that was his first appearance since the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (June 28) and he was a bit rusty - that run should bring him on a ton.”

Lightly-raced Zacinto, who is also trained by four-time Breeders’ Cup winner Stoute, may book his ticket for Santa Anita if he performs well in either the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot on September 26 or the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket on October 17. Both Group One contests are part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.

Another son of Dansili, the three-year-old was narrowly denied by subsequent Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf runner-up Westphalia in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September last year. He was second in Group Two company on his latest appearance in the Celebration Mile at Goodwood at the end of August.

Grimthorpe commented: “We haven’t decided whether Zacinto is going to Ascot or Newmarket at the moment. They are both part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge but we would see how he goes in either race before deciding whether to let him run at Santa Anita. It’s doubtful at the moment that he will go for the Breeders’ Cup but it’s certainly possible.”

The Breeders’ Cup Challenge is an international series of 63 races whose winners earn qualifying positions into a corresponding race at the World Championships, following the payment of applicable entry fees on October 26.

There are 11 Challenge races held in Europe this year, with the next events taking place at Ascot on Saturday, September 26. The three Ascot contests are the Group Two Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes (winner receives a place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf), the Group One Meon Valley Stud Fillies’ Mile (winner receives a place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf) and the Group One Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, one of Europe’s premier all-aged mile contests, for which the victor will be guaranteed a place in the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile.

For the full schedule of the Breeders' Cup Challenge races, please visit http://www.breederscup.com/content.aspx?id=40070

About Breeders' Cup

The Breeders' Cup administers the Breeders' Cup World Championships; Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of 14 races and $25.5 million in purses, which makes it the richest event in sports. At last year's Breeders' Cup, more than $100 million in winning wagers were returned to fans at betting locations around the globe. The Breeders' Cup also administers the Breeders' Cup Challenge qualifying series, and the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program. Breeders' Cup has offices in Lexington, Kentucky, and in New York City. Breeders' Cup press releases appear on the Breeders' Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You may follow the Breeders' Cup on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BreedersCup

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