Thursday, October 23, 2008
KING TRIO ON COURSE FOR THE PADDY POWER GOLD CUP AT CHELTENHAM
HALCON GENELARDAIS SET FOR THE SERVO COMPUTER SERVICES TROPHY
Meeting - The Open, Cheltenham Racecourse
Dates - Friday, November 14, Saturday, November 15 & Sunday, November 16
First race - 1.15pm Friday, 12.50pm Saturday, 1.10pm Sunday
Admission prices - Friday & Sunday: Club/Tattersalls: from £20; Club 16-24: from £17; Best Mate: from £9; Saturday: Club/Tattersalls: from £27; Club 16-24: from £22; Best Mate: from £10; Accompanied children under 16 admitted FREE to all enclosures. FREE car parking on Friday & Sunday, from £4 on Saturday. Tickets available from www.cheltenham.co.uk or by calling 08445 793 003.
Alan King could saddle a classy trio in the £150,000 Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup (2.35pm) at Cheltenham on Saturday, November 15, as he seeks a first victory in the extended two and a half mile showpiece. The prestigious race is the feature event at The Open, which takes place at Cheltenham from Friday, November 14 to Sunday, November 16.
King enjoyed a slightly unexpected success at The Showcase on October 18, as Ouzbeck scored a five-length victory in the Dick Francis “Silks” Handicap Chase over the Paddy Power Gold Cup course and distance.
The Barbury Castle trainer revealed his morning: “Ouzbeck delighted me at the weekend and will have an entry in the Paddy Power Gold Cup, as will Il Duce, who was second last year and I might give Pur De Sivola an entry as well.”
Il Duce went down by a neck to L’Antartique in last year’s Paddy Power Gold Cup and filled the same berth behind Stan over a further half-furlong in the Grade Two Mears Group Silver Trophy in April. Most recently, the eight-year-old was pulled-up in the toteswinger Summer Plate at Market Rasen in July.
King explained: “Il Duce ran in the summer, which was a waste of time. It didn’t work as they went too quick for him round Market Rasen. The Paddy Power Gold Cup will be his first run back and that’s the time to catch him, when he’s fresh. We’ll see how it goes but he’s done well at Cheltenham and ran another good race when second at the April Meeting.”
One of the stars of King’s 170-strong string is the consistently top-class stayer Halcon Genelardais, successful in the 2006 Coral Welsh National and runner-up under top-weight in the same contest last year before finishing fourth to Denman in the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup at The Festival. The eight-year-old, last seen out when second under top-weight in the Scottish Grand National on April 19, is being prepared for his first start of the season over three miles, three furlongs in the £60,000 Grade Three Servo Computer Services Trophy (2pm) at Cheltenham on the Saturday of The Open, November 18.
King said: “Halcon Genelardais is on course for the Servo Computer Services Trophy - that’s the plan. He has done very well through the summer and had his first school of the season this morning. He’s in very good form.
“It would be nice to get his head in front again at some stage. It’s not easy for him in handicaps because he’s got to be giving lumps of weight away but there’s nothing we can do about that. I would think it will be one run and then straight to Wales for the National again.”
The three days of The Open offer fantastic sport. Sunday’s six-race card features the £100,000 Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle (2.20pm) over an extended two miles, while the sextet of classy races on Friday includes the popular £25,000 Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase (3pm) over three miles, seven furlongs.
ALL STILL TO PLAY FOR IN 2008 CARTIER RACING AWARDS
With the European Flat racing season drawing to a close, everything is still to play for in the race for the 2008 Cartier Racing Awards.
The Cartier Racing Awards are now in their 18th year and celebrate the champions of the Turf, plus one person who will receive the Daily Telegraph Award Of Merit. European horseracing’s equivalent of The Oscars will be presented during a glittering ceremony before an invited audience at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on Monday, November 17.
The coveted eight horse awards are determined by points earned in Pattern races (40 per cent) combined with the opinions of a panel of racing journalists (40 per cent) plus votes from readers of the Racing Post and The Daily Telegraph (20 per cent), a system which accurately rewards supreme excellence. The totals given for each horse in this media release only relate to the points earned in Pattern races so far this season. The opinions of the panel of racing journalists panel and the results of the public vote will be added to the final total for each horse.
Derby winner New Approach (172 points) brought down the curtain on his career in devastating fashion at Newmarket on October 18 as he demolished the field in the Group One Emirates Airline Champion Stakes by six lengths. The Jim Bolger-trained colt is currently leading the race for the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award ahead of dual 2,000 Guineas hero and Breeders’ Cup Classic hopeful Henrythenavigator (152), Queen Elizabeth II Stakes victor Ravens Pass (106), who also is set to contest the Breeders’ Cup Classic, and Prix de la Foret winner Paco Boy (80).
New Approach’s Newmarket success could also have a bearing in the race for the Cartier Horse Of The Year Award, as he now currently lies in second behind Breeders’ Cup Classic-bound Duke Of Marmalade (184) and ahead of Henrythenavigator (152) and Zarkava (152).
Duke Of Marmalade, a five-time Group One winner in 2008, also leads the Cartier Older Horse Division ahead of Marchand D’Or (112), Youmzain (84) and Darjina (80).
Marchand D’Or is still way out in front in the race for Cartier Sprinter Award. The Freddie Head-trained gelding has won in Group One company on each of his last three starts. Other horses with points in this division are African Rose (48), Borderlescott (48) and Equiano (44).
Jim Bolger truly had a day to remember at Newmarket on Saturday. In addition to his success with New Approach, Intense Focus (56) prevailed by a nose from Lord Shanakill (52) in a thrilling finish to the Darley Dewhurst Stakes, giving the Irish handler a third consecutive success in the Group One event. Out in front in the Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt division are the two dual Group One scorers Mastercraftsman (84) and Bushranger (80). The latter is set to contest the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
In the Cartier-Two-Year-Old Filly division, the unbeaten Group One heroine Rainbow View (56) still leads the way, ahead of Again (48) and Serious Attitude (32) and Aspen Darlin (32), the first two home in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on October 3.
Zarkava has been retired to stud but the Aga Khan’s stunning Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine still has a commanding lead in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly division ahead of Lush Lashes (128), Halfway To Heaven (112), who is being aimed at the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf and Goldikova (104), who is set to take her chance in the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
The Group One Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp on Sunday, October 26, is the last major race for stayers in Europe. Triple Ascot Gold Cup victor Yeats (64) still leads the way in the Cartier Stayer division, ahead of Coastal Path (40), Geordieland (40) and Bannaby (36), as he bids to scoop the Cartier Stayer Award for the third year in succession.
Harry Herbert, Cartier’s Racing Consultant, commented: “New Approach’s victory at Newmarket in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes was one which will live on in everyone’s memory for a very, very long time and strengthens his claim for a Cartier Award.
“With the European Pattern now winding down, all eyes will be on Santa Anita this coming Friday and Saturday for the Breeders’ Cup. Races at the Breeders’ Cup have often played a pivotal role in determining Cartier honours and may well do so again this year with the likes of Duke Of Marmalade, Henrythenavigator and Bushranger set to do battle for the European team.
“I would like to remind readers of the Racing Post and the Daily Telegraph that their votes are vital in determining who will walk away with this years awards. Voting forms have now appeared in those two publications while online voting will commence next week.”
THE CARTIER AWARDS 2008
(Points earned from Pattern races up to and including Sunday, October 19, 2008)
CARTIER TWO-YEAR-OLD FILLY
RAINBOW VIEW 56
ASPEN DARLIN 32
SERIOUS ATTITUDE 32
CARTIER TWO-YEAR-OLD COLT
INTENSE FOCUS 56
LORD SHANAKILL 52
CARTIER THREE-YEAR-OLD FILLY
LUSH LASHES 128
HALFWAY TO HEAVEN 112
CARTIER THREE-YEAR-OLD COLT
NEW APPROACH 172
RAVENS PASS 106
PACO BOY 80
CARTIER OLDER HORSE
DUKE OF MARMALADE 184
MARCHAND D'OR 112
COASTAL PATH 40
MARCHAND D'OR 112
AFRICAN ROSE 48
CARTIER HORSE OF THE YEAR
DUKE OF MARMALADE 184
NEW APPROACH 172
For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink