A fantastic afternoon of top-class racing will play out at Newmarket this Saturday, October 20, as Champions’ Day, featuring seven exceptional races worth more than £1 million in total prize-money, comes to the NatWest Rowley Mile.
The most valuable event on the card - the highest class raceday in the British Flat racing calendar - is the £350,000 Emirates Airline Champion Stakes (3.10pm), a Group One contest run over 10 furlongs.
A total of 14 possible contenders go forward at the five-day confirmation stage, headed by the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Notnowcato, successful three times at the highest level and the winner of the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown in July, when he got the better of Epsom Derby hero Authorized and last year’s Stan James 2000 Guineas winner George Washington.
Multidimensional, a Group Two winner in France last year and successful on his only run this term at Newbury in September, is a fascinating contender for the Henry Cecil stable, who could also be represented by Passage Of Time, while the Jean Claude Rouget-trained Literato, who boasts a record of eight wins from 10 starts, plus supplementary entries Doctor Dino, winner of the Grade One Man O’War Stakes at Belmont Park last month for French-based trainer Richard Gibson, and Godolphin’s Creachadoir, who took the Group Three Countrywide Steel And Tubes Joel Stakes at Newmarket on October 6, all add to a fascinating renewal.
The £250,000 Darley Dewhurst Stakes (2.35pm), run over seven furlongs of the NatWest Rowley Mile for two-year-olds, is the other Group One race on Champions’ Day, and all eyes will be on Jim Bolger’s unbeaten colt New Approach, bidding to emulate former stable companion Teofilo who landed the spoils 12 months ago.
His opponents could include Godolphin’s Rio De La Plata, who recorded an easy success in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp last time, and the John Gosden-trained Raven’s Pass, who has looked right out of the top draw in landing all three starts this year. They are among the 13 contenders who stand their ground at the five-day confirmation stage, joined by supplementary entry Moynahan.
The £90,000 Group Two VC Bet Challenge Stakes (2.00pm) over seven furlongs could feature Arabian Gleam, who gained reward for some luckless efforts in the Group Two Park Stakes at Doncaster last month, while French entry Toylsome may bid to follow up his 100/1 success in the Group One Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on Arc weekend.
An 18-strong entry for the £70,000 SERIOUSQUITTERS.co.uk Rockfel Stakes (4.25pm) for two-year-old fillies over seven furlongs, won for the past two years by subsequent Stan James 1000 Guineas heroines Speciosa and Finsceal Beo, includes Missit, fifth in the skybet.com Cheveley Park Stakes last time, and ready Newmarket maiden scorer Makaaseb.
The £50,000 Jockey Club Cup (5.00pm) is the last major race of the British Flat season for stayers and Scorpion, trained by Aidan O’Brien, will be hard to beat in the two-mile, Group Two prize if reproducing the form of his second to stablemate Yeats in the Irish St Leger at the Curragh in September.
The other Group Three contest on Champions’ Day is the £47,000 Igloos Bentinck Stakes (5.35pm), over six furlongs, in which Borderlescott could bid to go one place better than last year.
Alongside the six Group races is the £160,000 totesport.com Cesarewitch (3.50pm), one of the most competitive handicaps of the season. The 52 entries include Fair Along, who could bid to give trainer Philip Hobbs his second success in as many years in the two mile, two furlong contest following Detroit City in 2006.
LATEST totesport PRICES FOR THE totesport.com CESAREWITCH
9-2 Samurai Way, 11-2 Fair Along, 8 Leg Spinner, Macorville, 12 (from 16) Sunley Peace, 14 Enjoy The Moment, Inchnadamph, 16 Al Eile, Caracciola, Secret Ploy, Som Tala, Whispering Death, 20 Afrad, Raslan, 25 Desert Sea, Dr Sharp, Full House, Greenwhich Meantime, Missoula, Phreeze, 33 Aphorism, Diego Cao, Gee Dee Nen, Golden Quest, Kasthari, Land 'N Stars, Lightning Strike, Mamlouk, Ned Ludd, Souffleur, 40 baddam, Burntoakboy, Gallileo Figaro, Mudawin, Odiham, 50 Atlantic Cost, Attorney General, Great As Gold, Indonesia, Irish Quest, Olimpo, Rehearsed, Rio De Janeiro, Savannah Bay, Takafu, Trance, 66 High Point, Histroic Place, Jockser, Mister Arjay, Noddies Way, 100 Prince Zafonic
Each-way 1/4 - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
GOING GOOD ON NATWEST ROWLEY MILE
The going on Newmarket's NatWest Rowley Mile, where Champions' Day will take place on Saturday, is currently Good. Director of Racing, Michael Prosser, commented after walking the track this afternoon:
"What a sensational day's racing we're in store for on Saturday and the track is in great condition. On Friday we'll be racing on the Cambridgeshire Meeting ground, but for Saturday we'll be on the stands' side where approximetaly 20 metres of ground, not used since May, has been kept specifically for Champions' Day.
"We're Good ground at the moment, but we're forecast to get half an inch of rain tomorrow. That will be it in terms of rain for the week as high pressure is set to dominate from Wednesday through to beyond the weekend."
JEWSON BACKS A WINNER - New sponsorship deal with Jonjo O’Neill Racing
Jewson, the UK’s leading supplier of building materials, has announced a new sponsorship deal with top trainer and legendary jockey Jonjo O’Neill.
The three year agreement reflects Jewson’s strategic alignment with elite sports and will see the merchant become the exclusive sponsor of Jonjo O’Neill Racing. Based at state-of-the-art stables Jackdaws Castle in Gloucestershire, the trainer is poised for a successful season with an enviable team of championship horses.
Previous riding highlights for Jonjo include winning the Champion Hurdle on Sea Pigeon and the Gold Cup on mare Dawn Run. He has also trained winners such as Iris’s Gift (Ladbrokes World Hurdle and John Smith’s Liverpool Hurdle), Black Jack Ketchum (Spa Novices’ Hurdle & Sefton Novices’ Hurdle), Clan Royal (John Smith’s Topham Chase and placed in two John Smith’s Grand Nationals), and Exotic Dancer (Letheby & Christopher Chase and Betfair Bowl Chase) to name but a few, and is currently the leader in the British Jump Trainers’ Championship.
Tony Newman, Sales and Marketing Director at Jewson, says: “We’re delighted to be joining forces with Jonjo O’Neill Racing. Like Jewson, Jonjo is committed to being the best in his field and with jump racing such a popular sport among our core customers, our partnership seemed like a natural fit.
“This is an exciting time and at the start of the winter jumping season, with the first Cheltenham meeting just days away, the stables are hoping for some fantastic wins. We’re confident that this is the start of a successful partnership and wish Jonjo O’Neill and his team well as we embark on this new venture.”
Commenting about this new partnership, Jonjo O’Neill says: “I am delighted to welcome such a strong national brand as Jewson as our new sponsor. It has given the team a great lift at just the right time. New sponsor... new season ahead... great new riding gear and clothing for the lads and lasses and for our horses. We are raring to go, and well primed for the big challenges ahead!”
As a result of the sponsorship deal, sports fans across the country will see the familiar gold and blue Jewson logo emblazoned across all horsewear, jockey silks, and stable staff clothing, as well as on Jonjo O’Neill vehicle livery and at Jackdaws Castle.
For further press information about Jewson, please contact Kristina Crowe or Stuart Pearson at Phoenix PR on 01372 372 372 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
JEWSON NOVICES’ HANDICAP HURDLE FINAL
An exciting 21-strong entry has been received for the £22,000 Jewson Novices’ Handicap Hurdle Final, run over an extended two miles at Cheltenham on Friday, October 19. To be eligible, horses must have either run in or been eliminated from a Jewson Novices’ Hurdle Race Series Qualifier prior to October 13, 2007.
The Jonjo O’Neill-trained Hot Zone is looking for a four-timer, having landed the hat-trick in impressive style at Stratford on August 13, recording a facile 10-length success over Comeintothespace. The trainer says his charge has a “sporting chance.”
Top-weight Danehill Willy is on an upward curve. Evan Williams’ charge scored at the second time of asking over hurdles at Wincanton in May and was very impressive when beating Mon Michel by nine lengths at Uttoxeter on June 7, with John Spearing’s Rajeh further back in third.
Nigel Twiston-Davies has entered Platin Grounds, who got off the mark over hurdles at Perth on September 27, and Osprey View, who ran well to finish third behind the promising Gwanako in a handicap at Chepstow on October 13.
Another trainer who is doubly represented is Brendan Powell. Cape Greko came home three lengths clear of Maurice Barnes’ Skiddaw Jones at Sedgefield in August and went in again at Fontwell a month later, while Contra Mundum has raced consistently, winning at Stratford in the summer.
Golden Alchemist, trained by Mark Usher, had five lengths to spare over Osprey View at Market Rasen in July, following up his earlier victory at Huntingdon in May.
The Ben de Haan-trained Classic Gold was a ready winner at Huntingdon back in May but has not run since. Dan Buoy, trained by Alan King, made an impressive debut over jumps at Fontwell on August 23, when he defeated Art Virginia by eight lengths, but has not been able to get competitive in two subsequent runs.
Bon Viveur, from the powerful Philip Hobbs stable, was runner-up to Coda Agency at Towcester on October 10, with Investment Wings back in ninth. Liam Corcoran’s Im Busy, who broke his duck at Newton Abbott on August 22, finished fifth at the same course 11 days later.
Five-time Flat winner Augustine, trained by Lucinda Russell, qualified for a handicap mark over hurdles when a decent third at Hexham on October 5, while another recruit from the Flat, Palomar, has yet to really shine at the jumping game, and finished well behind Platin Grounds at Perth last time.
The two Irish entries are the John Carr-trained Compton Court, winner of his first two hurdles races at Kilbeggan and Roscommon before running seventh behind Plating Grounds at Perth on September 27, and Jim Lambe’s Andijan, who was third that day.
CHELTENHAM, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2007
3:30pm £22,000 JEWSON NOVICES' HANDICAP HURDLE FINAL (4-y-o+) 2m 110yds
No Form Horse Trainer Age/Weight
1) 4-11 Danehill Willy Evan Williams 5-11-12
2) 211123 Osprey View Nigel Twiston-Davies 4-11-06
3) 117 Compton Court John G Carr IRE 5-11-05
4) 53-11 Golden Alchemist Mark Usher 4 11-04
5) 0PP-1 Classic Gold Ben De Haan 6 11-00
6) -32111 Hot Zone Jonjo O´Neill 5-10-12
7) 87-13 Rajeh John Spearing 4-10-09
8) 3311 Cape Greko Brendan Powell 5-10-08
9) 056113 Andijan Jim Lambe IRE 6-10-08
10) 153 Dan Buoy Alan King 4-10-07
11) 54136 Contra Mundum Brendan Powell 4-10-04
12) 4213P9 Investment Wings Peter Kelsall 5-10-03
13) 4676-2 Bon Viveur Philip Hobbs 4-10-03
14) 1352-1 Platin Grounds Nigel Twiston-Davies 5-10-01
15) U2-P24 Art Virginia Nicky Henderson 8-10-00
16) 4-4615 Im Busy Liam Corcoran 6-9-09
17) 68-PFF Flinders Bay Milton Harris 7 9-08
18) 453 Augustine Lucinda Russell 6 9-06
19) 074-60 Palomar Nicky Richards 5 9-05
20) /0-020 Skiddaw Jones Maurice Barnes 7-9-01
21) 111 Deep Purple Evan Williams 6 NQ