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Monday, October 27, 2008



bet365 EXTEND SUPPORT OF CHARLIE HALL MEETING FOR A FURTHER THREE YEARS & MANN CONSIDERING AIR FORCE ONE FOR WETHERBY FEATURE




bet365 and Wetherby Racecourse are pleased to announce that bet365 will continue to support the Charlie Hall Meeting at Wetherby for a further three years, up to and including the 2011 renewal.


The Stoke-based firm, one of the world’s leading online gambling groups with over two million customers, has supported the feature race of Wetherby’s season since 2003 and the three mile, one furlong, contest has been won by some of the top staying chasers in recent years.


Howard Johnson sent out Ballybough Rasher to defeat Marlborough in the 2003 renewal and the Crook-based handler returned to the winner’s enclosure 12 months later with Scottish Grand National winner Grey Abbey, who ended the 2004/05 season as the country’s highest rated staying chaser after success at Wetherby and subsequent Grade Two victories at both Cheltenham and Aintree.


Our Vic, successful in 2006, went on to triumph at the highest level in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival earlier this year while Ollie Magern notched up a second bet365 Charlie Hall Chase last season following his initial win in 2005.


bet365 Chief Executive John Coates commented: “The bet365 Charlie Hall Chase represents the first major test of the season for the country’s leading staying chasers and we have seen some truly outstanding performers triumph in the race over the past five renewals.


“This season looks set to be yet another top quality affair and I am looking forward to bet365 continuing our support of Wetherby’s premier meeting for the next three years.”

Wetherby Racecourse Chief Executive Jonjo Sanderson added: “Wetherby has enjoyed a wonderful relationship with bet365 over the last 5 years and we are delighted that bet365 have extended their support of the bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting and we very much look forward to working together through to 2011 and beyond.”

This year, the £90,000 Grade Two bet365 Charlie Hall Chase (3.35pm), run on the second day of the Charlie Hall Meeting on Saturday, November 1, looks set to be another vintage renewal, with 13 top-quality staying chasers entered.


The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Ollie Magern looks set to attempt for an unprecedented third victory in the race following a game victory in last year’s renewal, and he could reoppose 2006 Hennessy Gold Cup scorer State Of Play, as well as bet365 Gold Cup hero Monkerhostin, who finished second and third respectively 12 months ago.


The trio could face stiff opposition from Ireland as Mouse Morris has entered 2006 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner War Of Attrition, who recently made a winning return to the racecourse after an absence of nearly 22 months in the Grade Three Star Chase at Punchestown.

Grade One Royal & SunAlliance Chase victor Albertas Run may make his seasonal reappearance in the race, and he could meet the Charlie Mann-trained Air Force One, who finished fifth behind the Jonjo O’Neill-trained chaser at Cheltenham, but ended his campaign with a stunning victory in the Grade One Champion Novice Chase at the Punchestown Festival.


Mann is keen to see his star chaser get his season underway soon and sees the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase as an ideal race in preparation for a tilt at the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at the end of November.


The Lambourn-based handler said: “We’ve entered Air Force One in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase and I would like to get a run into him this weekend. He’s also been entered in a handicap chase at Ascot and we will see how the entries compare before making our minds up.


“He’s in good form and I have been pleased with him over the summer. He’s strengthened up well and he’s in good order. He looks great and we are looking forward to getting him to a racecourse.


“He sometimes needs his first run but I would still be looking to seeing him run well on his seasonal debut. The plan has always been the Hennessy and I hope this race would get him spot on for Newbury next month.”

Paul Nicholls, successful with the mighty See More Business in 1999, could this year rely on Irish Hennessy Gold Cup runner-up Turko, while David Pipe, who enjoyed his first major training success with Our Vic in the race in 2006, has engaged Grade Three scorer Madison du Berlais.

Snoopy Loopy, Love That Benny, and the Howard Johnson-trained trio of Canada Street, Hard Act To Follow and Top Dressing are the other horses entered.


Saturday’s card also includes the £42,500 Grade Two John Smith’s Hurdle (3.00pm), which has attracted an entry of 13. Grade One winner Lough Derg may make his seasonal reappearance for David Pipe in the race, while Pettifour could bid to make an impact against some experienced opposition following his success in the Grade One Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in April.

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls has engaged Grade Two Aintree novice hurdle scorer Elusive Dream and 2007 Grade One Triumph Hurdle third Mobaasher, while fellow West Country trainer Philip Hobbs could be represented by high-class flat performer Liberate. The 2006 winner Redemption could return to the scene of his greatest triumph and he may oppose the Nicky Richards-trained Faasel, who found only Black Jack Ketchum too good in this race last year.


The £40,000 Listed bet365 Best Odds Guaranteed Mares’ Hurdle Race (2.20pm) has attracted an entry of 15, including the Nicky Henderson-trained pair of Grade Two scorer Chomba Womba and last year’s Grade Three Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Chase runner-up My Petra. Irish trainer Jessica Harrington may send over dual hurdle winner Cabin Point, while the Alan Swinbank-trained Programme Girl could bid for a fifth consecutive victory following a brace of wins at both Hexham and Sedgefield. Other notable entries include the Neil King-trained pair of Seraaphim and Zahra’s Place, who chased home subsequent Grade Two winner Whiteoak on her latest start at Ascot in February.


Friday’s quality six-race card includes the £18,000 Listed Weatherbys Bank Wensleydale Juvenile Novices' Hurdle (2.10pm). The extended two-mile race has attracted an entry of 17 horses including the Howard Johnson-trained duo of Indian Groom and Silk Drum, who have both been victorious on their debuts over timber. The Crook-based handler has also engaged the unraced pair of Woody Waller and Don’t Stop Me Now, while Alan King could run impressive recent winner Cosmea. The John Quinn-trained Graze On And On could also return to Wetherby following success here in the Rachel Wright Memorial Juvenile Hurdle on October 15.


Friday’s other Listed race is the £25,000 bet365.com Handicap Chase (2.45pm), for which 18 horses have been entered. Dual Grade Two scorer Moon Over Miami could make his seasonal debut in the extended two and a half mile contest, while Peter Bowen could be represented by Yes Sir, who finished third in the skybet.com Supporting Spinal Research Bobby Renton Handicap Chase at Wetherby’s opening fixture prior to coming home second in a competitive handicap chase at Cheltenham last time out. Tim Easterby has entered Pay Attention and Edmo Yewkay, while Seamus Mullins could be represented by Strawberry, who took a Listed mares only race at Newbury on her latest appearance. Irish Grade Three scorer Santa’s Son is one of three horses entered by Howard Johnson.


GROUND
The ground at Wetherby is currently good to firm, firm in places (watering).

Chief Executive and Clerk of the Course, Jonjo Sanderson, commented: “We had 10mm of rainfall over the weekend, however, we will continue to water the new areas of the course leading up to the meeting if necessary, and I anticipate the ground being similar to that which we had on our opening fixture, which was widely reported to ride better than it perhaps walked.


“The bet365 Charlie Hall Meeting is the highlight of Wetherby’s racing calendar and with Grade One winners such as Albertas Run, Air Force One and War Of Attrition among the entries for this year’s bet365 Charlie Hall Chase, I am looking forward to seeing some fantastic racing action over the two days.”

Advance tickets are selling very well and can be purchased by calling the course on 01937 582035 or online at www.wetherbyracing.co.uk

Latest prices from bet365 on the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase
War Of Attrition 3/1, State of Play 5/1, Albertas Run 6/1, Turko 6/1, Ollie Magern 6/1, Madison Du Berlais 7/1, Monkerhostin 7/1, Snoopy Loopy 10/1, Air Force One 10/1, Hard Act To Follow 66/1, Top Dressing 66/1, Love That Benny 66/1, Canada Street 66/1
Each-way 1/5 1-2-3



HAPPY FOREVER SEEKS LISTED GLORY AT NEWMARKET




PROMISING SPRINTER PALACE MOON RETURNS TO ACTION

Newmarket trainer Marco Botti hopes that Happy Forever can pick up some valuable black type in the £30,000 Listed EBF Igloos Bosra Sham Fillies’ Stakes (1.50pm) over six furlongs of The NatWest Rowley Mile on Friday, October 31.


The thrice-raced Dr Fong filly is bidding for a hat-trick following a brace of victories over five furlongs. Happy Forever’s most recent success came in a nursery at Kempton Park on October 4 when she justified favouritism to win by a neck.


Botti revealed today: “We haven’t made a final decision but Happy Forever should run in the EBF Igloos Bosra Sham Stakes. She’s fine and is in good shape. She worked Saturday and showed me that she is in good order, so I am pleased with her.


“Six furlongs at Newmarket is probably the limit of her stamina because she is a very speedy filly. That would be my only concern. She would handle soft ground and is improving.


“Happy Forever belongs to Newsells Park Stud and the aim is to get some black type as a breeding prospect. She is capable of that, if not this year then next season.”

Last year’s renewal of the Listed EBF Igloos Bosra Sham Stakes went to the Barry Hills-trained Spinning Lucy and the trainer has entered Art Princess this time around.


Richard Hannon has enjoyed a fantastic year and the trainer could saddle Watership Down Stud Sale Race winner Penny’s Gift, while German trainer Andreas Lowe has engaged recent Dortmund heroine Muriel.

Jim Bolger, fresh from a third straight victory in the Group One Darley Dewhurst Stakes on Champions’ Day at Newmarket, could saddle Sioduil, while compatriot Michael Grassick has entered Curragh maiden winner Flame Of Ireland.


Friday’s seven-race card is the first day of Newmarket’s two-day season finale, which concludes on Saturday and brings the curtain down on another fantastic year at the home of racing.

The corresponding fixture in 2007 proved to hold plenty of clues for the future with the brilliant Paco Boy among the winners. The Richard Hannon-trained colt saw off older rivals to win the six-furlong £12,000 NGK Spark Plugs Condition Stakes (3pm) under Ryan Moore and the Desert Style colt has gone from strength to strength this term, winning a brace of Group Two races before scoring most impressively in the Group One Prix de la Foret at Longchamp on October 4.


Hughie Morrison is looking for a similar effort from the lightly-raced Palace Moon, a Fantastic Light half-brother to the trainer’s Group One Darley July Cup winner Sakhee’s Secret. The twice-raced three-year-old, who races in the well-known Bridget Swire silks, was an impressive five-length winner of a maiden at Salisbury in July but has not been seen in public since.


Morrison commented: “Six-furlong maiden races by July aren’t great and the second horse was going backwards, so you can take Palace Moon’s performance whichever way you like. He won well and hopefully he’s a lot better than mediocre handicappers, which is what he was beating.


“Palace Moon has had a couple of little issues, which means that he’s not that far forward. It was nothing career threatening and he’s very happy in himself. We’re just running out of time with him because with a horse at this stage of its career, that has run twice and won once, it’s very difficult to run them in decent handicaps. Every time I try to enter, I find I can’t because he hasn’t run three times. This is a suitable race to get that third run into him.


“We’ll probably put him away until next year after Friday - it depends how we get on.

“He’s a decent horse so I hope we will run a big race - he might get tired. Most of the family are rated up to 100 and he has that potential. I think he’ll operate on most ground from soft through to good to firm, which is what he won on.”

Other top-class winners on show on this day last year include Tartan Bearer. The Ballymacoll Stud-owned colt made a promising career debut when runner-up to the Barry Hills-trained Foolin Myself in the £8,000 Prestige Vehicles EBF Maiden Stakes (12.40pm). At Epsom in June, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained colt, winner of the Group Two Dante Stakes at York in May, was denied only by the searing surge of New Approach as he took the runner-up berth behind Jim Bolger’s subsequent Emirates Airline Champion Stakes victor in the Derby.


The enthralling card also features the £14,000 EBF Igloos Fillies’ Handicap (2.25pm) over a mile and a half, as well as the £14,000 Brian Groves “Lifetime in Racing” Handicap (3pm) over six furlongs.

Newmarket’s final day’s racing of 2008 takes place the following day, Saturday, November 1, when the feature event is the Listed Zetland Stakes for two-year-olds over 10 furlongs, won last year by the Henry Cecil-trained Twice Over. The colt returned to The NatWest Rowley Mile to win the Group Three banshahousestables.com Craven Stakes at Newmarket in April and added the Group Two Prix Eugene Adam at Maisons-Laffitte before coming home second to New Approach in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes at Newmarket on October 18.


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