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Monday, October 13, 2003


Champions' Day 2003 looks all set to live up to its billing with fabulous entries and confirmations at today's five-day stage. In total, there are 177 horses declared for the seven-race programme on Saturday, October 18.

The highlight of Saturday's programme, the Group One Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, has 23 five-day confirmations including the Irish Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes hero ALAMSHAR from John Oxx's stable, who is having the final outing of his career before taking up stud duties in Japan.

Another horse set to make his last racecourse appearance in Saturday's £400,000 contest is the 2001 Emirates Airline Champion Stakes winner NAYEF. Godolphin, aiming to land its first Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, rely solely on recent acquisition VESPONE, victorious in the Group One Grand Prix de Paris on his latest outing.

Champion trainer Aidan O'Brien, who has also still to record his first success in the ten-furlong contest, has three possibles to choose from - Irish 1000 Guineas heroine YESTERDAY as well as MIDDLEMARCH and STATUE OF LIBERTY.

Other interesting contenders include the Sagitta 1000 Guineas victor RUSSIAN RHYTHM, who showed she was equally effective at ten furlongs when landing the Group One Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in August, the 2002 Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes victor TOUT SEUL who will be hoping to win a second Group One race on Champions' Day and INDIAN HAVEN, successful earlier this season in the Irish 2,000 Guineas before pleasing connections last week with a gallop at Newmarket racecourse.

Saturday's Group One £230,000 Darley Dewhurst Stakes promises to be the juvenile race of the season. THREE VALLEYS, runaway winner of the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and triumphant on his latest start in the Group One Shadwell Stud Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, bids for his second Group One success and could once again face BALMONT, runner-up in the Middle Park. Mark Johnston, so successful with his two-year-old runners this year, could rely on Champagne Stakes winner LUCKY STORY, PEARL OF LOVE and DUKE OF VENICE, who won a maiden at Sandown Park by an impressive 13 lengths last month and has been supplemented today for the seven-furlong race at a cost of £15,000. Also amongst the 23 five-day confirmations are the impressive Royal Lodge Stakes winner SNOW RIDGE from the Marcus Tregoning yard and GREY SWALLOW, trained in Ireland by Dermot Weld and impressive in winning his only start at Galway in July by ten lengths, as well as Sir Michael Stoute's unbeaten colt IMPERIAL STRIDE. Aidan O'Brien, who sent out the first three in the 2001 Darley Dewhurst Stakes, has eight possibles to choose from this time around.

There is sure to be a maximum field for the big handicap of the day, the £125,000 Tote Cesarewitch which has 51 confirmations. Both the 2001 hero DISTANT PROSPECT and last year's heroine MISS FARA could bid to become the first dual winner in the history of the 2m 2f contest while Sir Mark Prescott, successful in the first leg of the Tote Autumn Double with Chivalry on October 4, has three possibles left in the Tote Cesarewitch - INGLIS DREVER, NO REFUGE and NUMITAS - as his stable chases the £100,000 offered by the Tote for any stable that can win both of these famous handicaps in 2003.

Of the remaining four races, there are 20 horses remaining in the £80,000 Group Two Victor Chandler Challenge Stakes over seven furlongs, including the exciting TRADE FAIR while the Group Three Newmarket Darley Stakes has 32 entries and the Group Two Owen Brown Rockfel Stakes has 12 entries.

Michael Prosser, Newmarket's Clerk of the Course, commented: "This year's Champion Day looks sure to live up its billing with an excellent renewal of the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes featuring a fascinating clash between Alamshar and Nayef, as both horses bid to end their career on a high note.

"The Darley Dewhurst Stakes really does look as if it will be the juvenile race of the whole year and whoever proves victorious must be a close contender for the leading two-year-old in Europe. The Tote Cesarewitch looks as competitive as ever and has the added excitement this year of Sir Mark Prescott's Heath House Stables chasing the £100,000 bonus offered by the Tote."


Champion Stakes
9-4 Alamshar, 11-4 Nayef, 4-1 Russian Rhythm, 13-2 Vespone, 14-1 Soviet Song, Yesterday, 16-1 Kaieteur, 18-1 Rakti, 28-1 Dano-Mast, Muqbil, Indian Haven, Indian Creek, 33-1 Carnival Dancer, Far Lane, 40-1 Tout Seul, Olden Times, Imperial Dancer, 50-1 Nysaean, Chancellor, 66-1 Middlemarch, 200-1 Lundy's Lane, Izdiham,

8-1 Shabernak, Distant Prospect, No Refuge, 9-1 Inglis Drever, 10-1 Ten Carat, Sindapour, 12-1 Numitas, 14-1 Direct Bearing, Landing Light, 16-1 Unleash, Big Moment, 20- Romany Prince, Tees Components, Archduke Ferdinand, Establishment, Misternando, 25-1 Ravenglass, Gulf, Sun Bird, Random Quest, Zibeline, Fourth Dimension, Tom Paddington, Albanov, Its Definite, 33-1 Bar


One Off won't run again this season; No Refuge needs rain

Sir Mark Prescott, bidding to become the first trainer since Sam Darling in 1925 to pull off the Autumn Double, has three horses left in the second leg, the £125,000 Tote Cesarewitch, on Saturday (October 18).

At stake is the £100,000 bonus put up for the first time this year by the Tote for any stable landing both the Tote Cambridgeshire and the Tote Cesarewitch, Newmarket's two big autumn handicaps.

Having won the Tote Cambridgeshire with Chivalry nine days ago (Saturday, October 4), the master of Heath House has Inglis Drever, No Refuge and Numitas primed for the Tote Cesarewitch. His fourth entry, One Off, has been retired for the season. However, the trainer warned today that No Refuge will not run if the ground is too fast.

Assessing his chances this morning (Monday, October 13), Sir Mark said: "Mathematically, No Refuge is best in, but he would need good or softer ground and I won't run him if it's firm. Even if he runs, he has never been beyond one mile five furlongs before, so will he stay?

"Inglis Drever is mathematically next best in. He's never run beyond one mile six furlongs. Goodish ground would be what he ideally wants, but he would run if it was faster. Numitas is sure to stay and will love fast ground, but he's handicapped up to the hilt. So all three of my runners are fragile!"

Talking of the Tote Autumn Double bonus, which would see his 21 lads share £70,000 and him receiving £30,000, Sir Mark commented: "The Tote bonus is a great idea.

"It's a tremendous bit of fun and caused a lot of tension in the yard. For a yard of our size £70,000 would be the equivalent reward for the lads of winning a Derby and a Guineas."

He added with a smile: "But the poor old trainer only gets thirty grand which is very disappointing!"

Reflecting on his previous record in the Tote Cesarewitch, Sir Mark added: "Hasten To Add started the shortest-price favourite in the history of the race and looked sure to win two furlongs out, but didn't stay.

"Alleluia looked a handicap certainty and would have won half the track, but she fractured her pelvis and could only manage sixth. So my record in the Cesarewitch is appalling!"


Watering has begun today (Monday, October 13) on the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket in order to ensure a decent racing surface for the October Meeting, beginning on Thursday (October 16) and climaxing with Champions' Day, Newmarket's biggest raceday of the year, on Saturday.

"The forecast is for it to be dry all week and, with that in mind, we have started irrigating today," said Clerk of the Course Michael Prosser. "It will take three days to water the whole course and we will be aiming to produce decent fast ground with no jar."

"The far side rail has been moved in 15 metres, and on Thursday and Friday the stalls will be positioned on the far side. However, on Saturday, for all races of 10 furlongs or less, the stalls will be positioned on the stands' side - this is ground that has not been used since May. It has a particularly good cover of grass and is in excellent condition."


Countdown to the World's Richest Racing Carnival Begins

The Dubai Racing Club continues its' equine recruitment drive for the inaugural US$21,000,000 Dubai International Racing Carnival, with information brochures being sent to the leading racehorse owners and trainers around the globe. Dubai is preparing to welcome the elite of the world's racehorses to compete in the nine weeks of top class sporting action that is the Dubai International Racing Carnival.

Beginning on January 29th, the Dubai International Racing Carnival encompasses 55 races, of which 17 are run at either Listed or Group level, with six of these being run on the Nad Al Sheba turf course and the remainder on the dirt.

The total prize money during the Carnival is US$21,000,000 with an average of over US$117,000 per race, outside of the Dubai World Cup meeting. The Carnival also includes ‘Super Saturday' with three Group III races and the Group II final leg of the Maktoum Challenge, run over the Dubai World Cup course and distance.

The Dubai International Racing Carnival culminates on March 27th, with the richest day of global horseracing, the Dubai World Cup meeting, with two Group II races and four Group I events, including the US$6,000,000 Dubai World Cup.

Commenting on the Dubai International Racing Carnival, Ali Saeed Bilhab, Chairman of the Dubai Racing Club said, "We are all very excited by the prospect of the Dubai International Racing Carnival, seeing the best horses from around the world competing here in Dubai.

"I am sure that many trainers and owners will bring their horses here and take advantage of our state of the art facilities and our world renowned hospitality."

Trainers and owners who wish to take up the challenge will be offered a generous incentive package, including free transportation for their horses to and from Dubai. The equine athletes will be stabled throughout their stay in Dubai at the International Stables adjacent to the renowned Nad Al Sheba Racecourse at no cost.

Other incentives on offer are a starter's rebate, where US$2,000 will be paid to horses which finish from fifth through to tenth place in each Carnival race, excluding Maidens and the three Conditions events as well as each of the races on Dubai World Cup night.

Another exciting challenge for the overseas-based trainers is the US$50,000 prize, which will be awarded to the trainer with the most highest number of wins to his or her name over the nine week Dubai International Racing Carnival.

Horses based at the International Stables last season included the South African – trained pair Ipi Tombe and Victory Moon, who between them took home US$2,700,000 in prize money from races they had either won or been placed in during their stay in Dubai.

It is an attractive proposition and also a great place for owners and trainers to come and enjoy the climate and the generous hospitality that is Dubai.


Redcar stages a seven-race programme on Friday (17 October) when racing is scheduled to begin at 1.30 p.m.

The longest race on the card is The Weatherbys Insurance Services Handicap Stakes over one mile and threequarters sponsored by Weatherbys Group Ltd., providers of administrative services to the British Horseracing Board, along with commercial services to the racing industry in general.

Sky Bet, one of the leading betting and gaming companies in the U.K. support a couple of races - The skybet.com Handicap Stakes (for three-year-olds over seven furlongs) - while The Pickering Maiden Fillies' Stakes, a race for two-year-old fillies, once again enjoys the support of The European Breeders Fund.

The Racing Welfare Maiden Stakes over six furlongs draws attention to the national charity which represents the interests of stable staff in the racing industry.


Catterick's seven-race programme on Saturday (18 October) begins at 2.00pm with The European Breeders Fund Novice Stakes, a contest for two-year-old sprinters over the minimum distance of five furlongs.

The catterickbridge.co.uk Nursery Handicap Stakes is also a race for juveniles, over the longer distance of seven furlongs, while there should be an exciting dash to the line in The Parade Ring Bar Handicap Stakes over five furlongs.

The giant ToteVision Screen situated opposite the Stands will enable racegoers to see even more of the action, while the Rugby Union World Cup match between England and South Africa which kicks off at 1.00 p.m. in Perth, Western Australia, will be shown on television in a designated area.

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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