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Thursday, October 23, 2003



TIM JONES LEAVES HIGHCLERE AFTER SEVEN YEARS TO SET UP AS A TRAINER




Tim Jones, racing manager to Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, is to leave Britain's most successful horseracing multiple ownership company after seven years to set up as a trainer.

The 34-year-old, who has long held ambitions to train and follows in the footsteps of his father and mother, looks back with pleasure at his time at HTR which will end this month.

He commented: "I've been privileged to work alongside Harry Herbert for the last seven years.

"It has been a great learning process and I've been fortunate to be exposed to some very high-class horses. I hope one day to be in a position to be training horses of that calibre.

"Enormous thanks go to Harry and the HTR team for providing me with such excellent support and enabling me to gain such a good insight into the ownership and training of horses."

HTR has 21 ongoing syndicates involving 40 horses, 17 trainers and around 200 individual shareowners.

The company has been consistently successful since it launched in 1992, producing champion racehorses like Lake Coniston, Tamarisk, Delilah and Petrushka.

Harry Herbert, HTR's managing director, declared: "Highclere Thoroughbred Racing has been lucky to have had Tim as racing manager for the last seven years. During this time, over 50% of the runners that Tim has overseen have won or been placed, numbering some four hundred, including placed horses in all of the British Classics.

"His commitment, knowledge and enthusiasm have served the shareowners very well and we all wish him the best of luck in his new venture."

Tim plans to set up as a trainer, hopefully in Newmarket, in time to have runners in 2005 and before that will assist Gerard Butler in preparing and then looking after a team for the Dubai International Racing Carnival which runs from late January to the end of March.

He then plans to work for a Newmarket trainer for three or four months before setting up his own operation.

Tim added: "I have always yearned to train and am very excited to be in a position to do so. I am thoroughly looking forward to building for my future over the next twelve months during which time my priorities will be to assemble a top team of staff and to secure premises that will enable me to train my horses to their absolute optimum."

His father had a training permit which was taken over by his mother, Gill, who went on to have a public licence, handling good chasers like Gambling Prince and Ace Of Spies.



HBLB BREEDERS PRIZES SCHEME RETAINED IN 2004




The Thoroughbred Breeders' Association announced today that following confirmation by the Levy Board at their meeting on 22nd October, the HBLB Breeders Prizes Scheme will be fully operational and apply to horses of all ages in 2004.

The 2004 Scheme will receive Levy Board funding totalling some £1.9 million.


Chairman, Philip Freedman said: "The TBA intended to maximise the funds available in 2004 and set payment levels accordingly, thereby rewarding those successful Flat and NH breeders who continue to use British based stallions. This has proved possible with the support of the Levy Board, who have endorsed a proposal to enable the Scheme to continue on the same basis as 2003, with prizes on the Flat awarded at 10% of Minimum value. NH breeders prizes for Steeplechasers will be maintained at 25% of Minimum Value, whilst breeders of the winners of NH Novice Hurdles and NH Flat Races will receive 30% of the Minimum Value. This change was introduced with the support of the BHB to target young horses and thereby speed up the rate of reward to NH breeders."

TBA Executive Director Gavin Pritchard-Gordon and Chief Executive Louise Kemble welcomed the Levy Board's valuable contribution to the British Breeding Industry and thanked the BHB for their support: "We have been very strong on the importance of retaining the Breeders Prizes Scheme - and together with active direct lobbying by our members, and via the BHB Industry Committee, we have retained a Scheme which has done so much to improve the success of British bred horses, as evidenced by another great summer for British Flat-breds."

Full details of the 2004 Scheme will be published at the end of the year. The 2003 Scheme will continue to award prizes at 10% on the Flat and 25% for NH races. However, the suspension of Minimum Values from September to the end of this year may impact on the actual premium value applied by individual racecourses.




BREEDERS' CUP DRAW QUOTES




Classic Quotes

Bob Baffert (Congaree, Classic, post 9) - "He's never been 6-1 in his life. We finally get a price on that horse." (Congaree was 7-1 in the Kentucky Derby, the only time he has been above 6-1.) The draw is fine. Here you have the whole track to get position. The break will tell you what is going to happen."

Wallace Dollase (Ten Most Wanted, Classic, post 10): "The post will do him a lot of good, because he gets a little anxious in the gate and that problem will be solved because he'll be the last to load. Also, we'll be able to drop over and be close to the pace. He won't let these guys get too far away, so we might be laying just perfect on the outside. I'm pleased with that. There'll be plenty of pace and having Congaree just to the inside of us will help. He'll probably set the pace and we'll probably be three or four lengths off of him - right in the garden spot."

Bobby Frankel - "I think we drew pretty good with all of them. I was lucky all day long. I think every one of them got a decent post. I won't have any excuses because of the post position. All I can say is that they are all coming into their races exactly, exactly the way I want. It's unusual to run this many horses and have everything go right. The vets haven't been to any of them so far; they haven't touched one of them."

Murray Johnson (Perfect Drift, Classic, post 7)-"The post is fine. It looks like the speed is mostly outside of us with the exception of Funny Cide. I don't think there will be any problems for anybody. Everyone we need to watch is close to us, so we're in good shape. He places himself, so as long as he's comfortable (the post) doesn't really matter."

Distaff Quotes

Craig Dollase (Elloluv, Distaff, post position 6): "It's a perfect spot. It's just what we wanted; outside, with the speed on the inside of us. I couldn't be happier, and she's coming up to the race in great shape."

Juvenile Quotes

Steve Asmussen (Cuvee, Juvenile, post 12; Lady Tak, Distaff, post 3; Posse, Sprint, post 3)-"The 12 hole wouldn't have been my first choice for (Cuvee), but it is a full field. I thought the other two drew ideally."

Elliott Walden (Tiger Hunt, Juvenile, post 6)-"The post is good. He trained good this morning, so we're all set."

Sprint Quotes

Patrick Byrne (Ethan Man, Sprint, post 7)-"Sounds like everyone drew where they wanted, a non-descript kind of draw. I'm happy with seven. It's in the middle."

Jeff Mullins (Captain Squire, Sprint, post position 13): "The best of luck to all. The post is OK - at least there's no traffic out there."

Scott Lake (Shake You Down, Sprint, post 2)-"It beats number one, but it doesn't beat (posts) eight or 10. I said to myself, 'Just my luck.'

"I'm not going to send him, just see if we can get some kind of position, maybe lay second. He can do either, stalk or be on the lead. But I have a feeling one of Frankel's horses-Midas Eyes-will be the one getting out there. The horse inside of me (Zavata) has some speed, too.


"It (post 2) is not the worse thing in the world. I'll just let Luzzi (jockey Mike Luzzi) see what happens and try not to get buried on the inside."

Ted H. West (Bluesthestandard, Sprint, post position 8): "It's absolutely perfect. I'm very happy. It looks like most of the speed is to our inside. Our horse has tactical speed and I think it will make Mike Smith's job a little easier to see the race unfold in front of him. We're thrilled with the 8 hole."

Mile Quotes

Alan Cooper-(Six Perfections, Mile, post position 13, racing manager for Niarchos family): "Ideally we'd have liked posts 4 to 8 but there's no point being negative. Lure won from an outside post (12 of 13) in 1993, so we'll just need some luck on the day."

Mark Frostad (Soaring Free, Mile, post 4) - "It was a great draw for us. He's fast out of there anyway, so he should be able to get position and avoid trouble going into the turn."

Beau Greely (Century City, Mile, post 8) "We did great. The Europeans got the heat and the outside posts."

Juvenile Fillies Quotes

Bob Baffert (Juvenile Fillies in which morning-line favorite Halfbridled drew the No. 14 and Baffert's Class Above and Victory U.S.A. drew Nos. 7 and 8, respectively):

"I wasn't here for that draw, but I wouldn't wish that kind of luck on anybody (referring to Halfbridled). At certain tracks, they should have only 12-horse fields. You don't know what's going to happen until the break, but at least they won't be in the gate long. My fillies drew good, but I don't like to see them together coming out. But I would rather see them together, than have one in the 14."

Richard Mandella (Halfbridled, Juvenile Fillies post 14) "I guess we want to see how good she really is. It's not the one I would have picked. I never realized how far (out) it looked until I got it. I hope for good luck, which is more important than good post position."

John Shirreffs (Hollywood Story and Tarlow, Juvenile Fillies, post positions 3 and 12, respectively; Yankee Gentleman, Sprint, post position 12): "The draw wasn't too great for us. We would liked to have drawn somewhere in the middle [of the gate] just like everybody else. Outside will be OK for Yankee Gentleman. For the fillies, 3 is pretty good for Hollywood Story, but the outside post will be tough on Tarlow. What happens to her is pretty much up to Mike [Smith] because she came from off the pace in her first race [a victory] and was on the lead early in her last one [second to Halfbridled in the Oak Leaf]." Shirreffs' two fillies will ship over to Santa Anita on Thursday, to join Yankee Gentleman, who has been stabled on the grounds.


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