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Tuesday, January 22, 2002


The Ladbroke Trophy H'cap Chase - 2m 5f, Cheltenham, Saturday

4-King On the Run, 9/2-Foly Pleasant, 5-Lady Cricket, 5-Turgeonev, 7-Davoski 8-Frenchmans Creek, 10-Just Jasmine, 10-Moving Earth, 10-Dulas Bay, 12-Logician, 14-Tango Royal, 14-Ceanannas Mor, 16-Mr Baxter Basics, 20-Eskleybrook, 20-Gower Slave, 25-Luzcadou, 33-In The Blood, 50-Hopeful Lord

Each way ¼ the odds a place 1,2,3,4

The Great Yorkshire Chase - 3m, Doncaster, Saturday
4-Moor Lane, 6-Heidi Iii, 7-Frenchman's Creek, 8-Red Striker, 8-Strong Paladin, 10-Iris Bleu 10-Tresor De Mai, 11-Valigan, 12-Cadougold, 12-Raffles Rooster, 14-Ackzo, 14-Berlin Blue, 16-Carbury Cross, 16-Ceanannas Mor, 16-Granit D'estruval, 20-Native Wit, 20-Phar From A Fiddle, 20-The Quads, 20-Weaver George, 25-Bank Avenue, 25-Ever Blessed, 25-Gentle Rivage, 25-Kit Smartie, 33-Nosam

Each way ¼ the odds a place 1,2,3,4

The Irish Independent Arkle
7/2-Seebald, 6-Barton, 6-Moscow Flyer, 8-Fondmort, 14-Armaturk, 14-Youlneverwalkalone, 16-Blue Royal, 16-Il'athou, 16-Royal Auclair, 20-Asador, 20-Europa, 20-Grimes, 20-Hit And Run, 20-Mr Cool, 20-St Pirran, 25-Dark'n Sharp, 25-Jimmy Tennis, 25-Mantles Prince, 25-Phariwarmer, 33-Assessed, 33-Batswing, 33-Dantes Bank, 33-Reiziger, 33-Truckers Tavern, 33-Kadarann, 40-Be My Royal, 40-Copeland, 40-Imlight, 40-Just Our Job

Each way ¼ the odds a place 1,2,3

Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup
6-Looks Like Trouble, 7-Best Mate, 8-Lord Noelie, 8-Sackville, 8-Shooting Light, 10-Bacchanal, 10-First Gold, 10-Florida Pearl, 12-Behrajan, 14-Marlborough, 16-Cyfor Malta, 20-Foxchapel King, 25-Alexander Banquet, 25-Shotgun Willy, 25-Whats Up Boys, 33-Ad Hoc, 33-Commanche Court, 33-Kingsmark, 33-Legal Right, 33-Paris Pike, 33-Red Striker, 33-Rince Ri, 33-Sleeping Night, 40-Banker Count, 40-Bobby Grant, 40-Lord Of The River, 40-Moscow Express, 40-Rathbawn Prince, 40-Toto Toscato, 50-Arctic Camper, 50-Ikrenel Royal, 50-Siberian Gale, 66-Go Ballistic, 66-Hati Roy, 66-Hindiana, 66-Stormy Fairweather, 66-Take Control, 66-You're A Goodun, 100-Modulor, 100-Tresor De Mai, 300-No Retreat

Each way ¼ odds a place 1,2,3.

Smurfit Champion Hurdle
7/4-Istabraq, 3-Valiramix, 5-Landing Light, 16-Arctic Owl, 16-Bilboa, 16-Brother Joe 16-Marble Arch, 16-Ned Kelly, 20-Liss A Paoraigh, 20-Rodock, 25-Ansar, 25-Azertyuiop, 25-Geos, 25-Grimes, 25-Hors La Loi Iii, 33-Regal Exit, 33-Westender, 40-Lord Brex, 50-Milligan, 50-Mr Cool, 50-Penny Rich, 66-Bob Justice, 66-Chimes At Midnight, 66-Joe Cullen, 66-Mister Morose, 66-Rostropovich, 66-Rouble, 66-The French Furze, 100-Fait Le Jojo, 100-San Suru, 100-Sir Talbot, 100-Tikram

Each way ¼ odds a place 1,2,3.

Queen Mother Champion Chase
11/4-Edredon Bleu, 7/2-Flagship Uberalles, 7-Native Upmanship, 8-Fadalko, 8-Knife Edge, 14-Tiutchev, 16-Geos, 16-Latalomne, 16-Wahiba Sands, 20-Direct Route, 20-Turgeonev, 25-Exit Swinger, 33-Bellator, 33-Exit To Wave, 33-Ilnamar, 33-Redemption, 40-Eskleybrook, 40-Alcapone, 40-Cenkos, 40-Commanche Court, 40-Nordance Prince, 50-Ballinclay King, 50-Desert Mountain, 50-Killultagh Storm, 50-Rockforce, 66-Red Ark, 66-Tresor De Mai, 100-Ichi Beau, 500-Seek The Faith

Each way ¼ odds a place 1,2,3.

JCB Triumph Hurdle
10-Tempo D'or, 14-Green Ideal, 14-Prizeman, 14-Turtleback, 16-Burning Impulse, 16-Kelami ,16-Tender Cove, 20-Domirone, 20-Heezapistol, 25-Find The King, 25-Le Roi Miguel, 25-Newhall 25-Quazar, 25-Scolardy, 25-Volano, 33-Derivative, 33-Greenhope, 33-Hyderabad, 33-Live The Dream, 33-Sud Bleu, 33-Vol Solitaire, 40-Balapour, 40-Hawkes Run, 40-Hernandita, 40-Lord Joshua, 40-Pasteur, 40-Rigmarole, 40-Saddlers Wings, 50-Annie's Luck

Each Way ¼ odds a place 1,2,3,4.

Martell Grand National
14-Supreme Glory, 16-Papillon, 20-Smarty, 20-Behrajan, 25-Ad Hoc, 25-Beau, 25-Bindaree, 25-Commanche Court, 25-Davids Lad, 25-Foxchapel King, 25-Kingsmark, 25-Whats Up Boys, 25-The Last Fling, 33-Blowing Wind, 33-Mely Moss, 33-Narrow Water, 33-Royal Tommy, 33-Spendid, 40-Ackzo, 40-Amberleigh House, 40-Frantic Tan, 40-Moral Support, 40-Noble Lord, 40-Streamstown, 50-Edmond, 50-Inn At The Top, 50-Red Ark, 50-Youre A Goodun, 66-Village King

Each Way ¼ odds a place 1,2,3,4.

randombet.com Lincoln Handicap
14-The Judge, 16-Highland Reel, 16-Lord Protector, 16-Nimello, 16-One More Round, 16-Smirk, 20-Attache, 20-Calcutta, 20-Faithful Warrior, 20-Pietro Siena, 20-Pulau Tioman, 20-Thihn, 25-Atlantic Ace, 25-Cardinal Venture, 25-Danelor, 25-Duke Of Modena, 25-Gilded Dancer, 25-I Cried For You, 25-Midshipman, 25-Montpelier Street, 25-Norton, 25-Nose The Trade, 25-Putra Pekan, 25-Scotty's Future, 33-Banjo Bay, 33-Bomb Alaska, 33-Date, 33-Dayglow Dancer, 33-Deceitful, 33-Digital, 33-Finished Article, 33-Imperial Dancer, 33-Inspector General, 33-Indian Plume, 33-Lots Of Love, 33-Mana-Mou Bay, 33-Millennium Force, 33-My Lucy Locket, 33-Nashaab, 33-Nothing Daunted, 33-Soller Bay, 33-Swan Knight, 33-Taabeer, 33-Tarboush, 33-Tony Tie, 33-True Knight, 33-Wahj, 33-Welsh Wind, 33-Zucchero

Each Way ¼ odds a place 1,2,3,4.


£150,000 to Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charities

The Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust is delighted to announce that their six benefiting Trust charities are each to receive £25,000.

"I am absolutely delighted that, after donating £20,000 to each charity last year, we have been able to increase this to £25,000 following some extremely generous donations and bidding at last November's charity award lunch auction." said Sir Peter today.

" Our Christmas card sales have also done very well and have greatly helped us to maintain our increased annual income" he added.

Leading equine artists had donated works on the theme of Vincent O'Brien, the 2001 Award winner, and these were depicted on the Trust Christmas card and the originals were auctioned at November's lunch.

A ceremony is due to take place in Aintree's winners enclosure on Martell Grand National Day, Saturday April 6th, and it is planned that this presentation will feature on BBC Grandstand's build up to the big race.

Plans for the 2002 Award lunch on November 27th are well in hand and any one interested in securing a table or individual seats at the Savoy spectacular, should contact The Trust Administrator, Nigel Payne on 01494 87 5195 or fax 01494 87 4216 or email Nigel@earthsummit.demon.co.uk

For 2002 Christmas card enquiries contact Agnes Zauner at Red Dot Print on 020 7640 0240 or fax 020 7640 0246 or email mail@red.media.uk.com

Charities benefiting from the Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust are:
Blue Cross, Brooke Hospital for Animals, Compassion in World Farming, International League for The Protection of Horses, Racing Welfare and The Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre


Punters who follow big Tote Jackpot rollovers are in for another good day tomorrow as £80,046 will start the pool rolling when the bet visits Sedgefield, after this afternoon's monster pool was only part won at Leicester.

Today's Jackpot pool swelled from the £161,161 rolling over from the Wetherby card to a massive £400,231, and after only being won for 80p, another big pool of around £200,000 is expected tomorrow.

"The Jackpot pool this afternoon far outstripped even the most optimistic of our estimations," said Tote spokesman Jeremy Scott. "With the competitive Leicester card looking particularly tricky we saw a pool of £300,000 as a realistic target - but sometimes its nice to get it wrong!"

"The Jackpot story this afternoon followed the same lines as the one written yesterday, with two short priced winners at 8-13 and 4-6 taking the first two legs and making the bet seem destined to be landed in full."

"However, yet again Jackpot punters ignored the outsiders at their peril, with NDR's Cash For Fun, and Ello Ollie taking the next two legs at 16-1 and 33-1 respectively reducing the money running on from £81,102 going into leg three to just £26.70 coming out of leg four."

"Just £5.10 remained alive at 'the off' of the final leg, with just four of the 11 horses covered, one of which was eventual winner Premier Drive."

"The momentum behind the Jackpot at the moment is huge, and another £200,000 pool looks on the cards for the bet tomorrow."


The final fixture at Cheltenham before the National Hunt Festival takes place this Saturday, January 26, 2002, with the valuable seven-race card boasting prize money of nearly £250,000.

Topping the bill is the £75,000 Grade Two PILLAR PROPERTY CHASE (2.45pm), run over three miles, one and a half furlongs, which has attracted a quality entry of nine at the five-day stage.

One horse attempting to get back on the Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup trail is the Ferdy Murphy-trained Paris Pike and the ten-year-old will line up on Saturday.

Paris Pike, triumphant two seasons ago in the Scottish Grand National at Ayr, was off the track for 20 months with a leg injury before making his seasonal debut at Kelso in December when the one-length runner-up to Weaver George.

On his only subsequent outing, he was pulled up after jumping to the right at the ninth obstacle in the Grade Two Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown just after Christmas.

Murphy revealed: "We found the problem with Paris Pike after Leopardstown - he rotated his pelvis and we've got that hopefully put right. He's done plenty of schooling and he's jumped well and everything seems fine with him now.

"He's been around Ayr enough left-handed and never had any problem there. He's been around Uttoxeter - I don't think tracks make any or much difference. He's better going left-handed probably and I can't see Cheltenham being a problem. The better the ground the better it is for him."

The other eight entries for the Pillar Property Chase include Martin Pipe's Cyfor Malta, the winner two years ago. He showed he was on the way back after injury with a clear-cut success under 12st in a Newbury handicap chase on December 1.

Other possibles include Lord Noelie, the 2000 Royal & SunAlliance Chase winner, and the Nicky Henderson-trained pair Marlborough and Bacchanal, who finished third on his latest start in the Pertemps King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Ireland could be represented by two of its leading Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup possibles in the form of the Frances Crowley-trained Sackville and Ted Walsh's Rince Ri, while Jonjo O'Neill has entered his 1999 Tripleprint Gold Cup hero Legal Right. The field is completed by the 13-year-old evergreen Go Ballistic, runner-up in this event in both 1999 and 2000, as well as the 1999 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Hopes for both the Smurfit Champion Hurdle and the Bonusprint Stayers' Hurdle are put to the test in the Grade One BYRNE BROS CLEEVE HURDLE (3.25pm) over two miles, five and a half furlongs. This £50,000 contest has attracted 13 entries including the Heather Dalton-trained Run For Paddy who could take his chance in the race in which he finished unplaced for fellow handler Mark Pitman last season.

Speaking immediately after the other 12 entries had been revealed to her, Dalton commented: "We've got very limited opportunities with him and he likes decent ground. At least you can often get decent ground at Cheltenham and we'll have a look at the Byrne Bros Cleeve Hurdle."

The six-year-old has a fine record at Prestbury Park, winning a handicap hurdle there in October, 2000, and subsequently being placed at the home of National Hunt racing on three occasions, including his two most recent outings towards the end of last year, again in handicap hurdle company.

She added: "It's a level weights contest and he wouldn't be very well off with some of the others - I'll have to study the entries really. If we don't think he's got a chance of finishing in the first four and picking up a bit of prize money then he will not run.

"This is because we do want to save him for novice chasing [next season], and he's a very game and genuine horse who always gives his absolute every time - we don't want to go to the well too often.

"He has come out of his last race well and he wants good ground. He's quite a slight horse and we wouldn't want to run him on soft ground - he hated the soft ground at Aintree last season (when third in the Grade Two Mersey Novices' Hurdle) and he's run a couple of bad races on soft ground."

The eight other entries for the Byrne Bros Cleeve Hurdle include the 2000 Smurfit Champion Hurdle runner-up Hors La Loi III, Saturday's Haydock Champion Hurdle Trial winner Rodock ,as well as Effectual and Montalcino, both trained by Venetia Williams, who handled the popular Lady Rebecca to win the last three renewals of this contest. Mister Morose, fourth in the 1999 Smurfit Champion Hurdle, is set to make his comeback after injury, as is Effectual.

Good young hurdlers will run in the £25,000 WRAGGE & CO FINESSE JUVENILE NOVICES' HURDLE (1.40pm) over two miles and a furlong. Last season this leading trial for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival was won in emphatic fashion by the Guillaume Macaire-trained Jair Du Cochet and this year he has entered Tempo D'Or, who was victorious in the Grade One Worthington Classic Finale Junior Hurdle at Chepstow on December 27 (see yesterday's release).

There is another French contender in the contest in the shape of Nolt, formerly a fairly useful horse on the Flat. He is trained by Jean Lesbordes, who took the 1993 Arc de Triomphe with Urban Sea.

Leading British contenders for this event include the Nicky Henderson-trained Green Ideal, a comfortable winner of his only start over hurdles at Newbury in December, and the Martin Pipe-trained pair Dark Fairy, a dual winner already this season and the well-touted Londoner, who disappointed when running too freely on his debut at Kempton last Saturday.

James Stafford, racing manager of Green Ideal's owner Thurloe Thoroughbreds VIII, commented: "The intention is to run at Cheltenham, although he's also at Doncaster. It depends how much rain we get beforehand and if the going deteriorates. If the going is good or good to soft we'll go, if not we'll wait until the ground is better."

A maiden winner on the Flat for Amanda Perrett, the son of Mark Of Esteem made the perfect start to his jumping career by winning a 15-runner Newbury novices' hurdle. Green Ideal, who was purchased at the horses in training sale at Newmarket in October, gave his new connections a tremendous buzz on his winning debut.

Stafford added: "Obviously, it's a great thrill when a horse wins first time. He showed battling qualities and it was a very encouraging start. Nicky thinks a lot of him and that Green Ideal is a horse with scope. He thinks as he gets older he'll be a more and more serious horse - he's certainly in the premier division of Nicky's younger horses.

"He'll rank up with those entered for the Finesse and, with decent ground, he'll run a big, big race. He got home nicely at Newbury and we'll find out where we are on Saturday. Hopefully, Londoner will lead for the first couple of flights and then we'll take it up and go on to win!"

The enhanced LADBROKE TROPHY (3.55pm), over two mile and five furlongs, which has been increased in value to £50,000 due to both the Tripleprint Gold Cup at the Tripleprint Meeting and the Unicoin New Homes Chase at the New Year Meeting (both run over the same distance as the Ladbroke Trophy) being lost due to frost.

The Ladbroke Trophy has attracted 19 five-day entries including Cyfor Malta, this season's Thomas Pink Gold Cup runner-up Foly Pleasant, the Victor Chandler Chase winner Turgeonev and the 2000 Thomas Pink Gold Cup heroine Lady Cricket, who could make her seasonal debut.
Racing gets under way on Saturday with the ROYAL GLOUCESTERSHIRE HUSSARS NOVICES' HANDICAP HURDLE (1.05pm), over two miles and one furlong, which has 40 entries.

The remaining two races include the TIMEFORM NOVICES' HANDICAP CHASE (2.15pm) over two miles and five furlongs. The 23 entries are headed by the Martin Pipe-trained Seebald, a leading contender for the Irish Independent Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase at the National Hunt Festival.

Racing closes with the LETHEBY & CHRISTOPHER HANDICAP HURDLE (4.30pm) over two miles and a furlong.

Peter McNeile, Cheltenham's Commercial Manager, said: "Saturday's fixture is building up to be a thrilling day's racing, with plenty of clues on offer for the National Hunt Festival."


Catterick's meeting on Thursday (31 January) features The Tote Betxpress 0800 221 221 Handicap Hurdle, contested over the extended three miles and one furlong - the longest race of the afternoon.

The Stayers' Novices' Chase and The Marne Handicap Chase (both run over two miles, three furlongs) are further highlights, while the final race on Thursday is a qualifying contest in this season's European Breeders Fund Novices' Hurdle Series, in which the first four horses will be eligible to compete in the Final of the Series at Sandown Park in March.

Racing on Thursday is scheduled to begin at 1.50 p.m.



Kaapstad's influence on the Australasian breeding industry has impacted in so many different ways this season.

As a sire the regally bred son of Sir Tristram has been represented by six individual stakes-winners in the 2001-2002 racing year.

The latest of these black type race winners came at Trentham last Saturday when his daughter, Blanchard (ex Field Nymph), scored a fine win in the Group Three Trentham Stakes on the first day of the Wellington Racing Club's meeting.

Blanchard (ex Field Nymph), bred by Windsor Park, is now among the favourites to take out the $270,000 Lion Brown Wellington Cup (3200m) at Trentham this weekend.

Other stakes winners sired by Kaapstad this season are Mulan Princess, Kaapeon, Monterey Bay, Piper Star and Unknown Heights.

As a broodmare sire Kaapstad's list of stakes winners continues to grow.

Dreamworks (Maroof-Slanchyvah), who won the Group Two Royal Stakes at Ellerslie on January 2, is the latest black-type winner to come from a Kaapstad mare.

As a sire of sires Kaapstad is also making his mark in a major way.

In Australia last Saturday two of Kaapstad's sons, Kaaptive Edition and Simonstad, were represented by metropolitan race winners.

Next week Kaapstad has 22 yearlings up for sale at the National Yearling Sales series at Karaka January 28-February 5.


The powerhouse win by Vinaka in Monday's $100,000 Telegraph Handicap (1200m) at Trentham has seen his sire, Volksraad, hit the lead on the New Zealand general sires' table.

Volksraad's progeny earnings in New Zealand this season have now climbed to $571,205.

Furthermore the Windsor Park Stud-based sire has been represented by six individual stakes-winners in the 2001-2002 season - his others being Blackrock College, Modena Bay, Clifton King, Volkaire and Leeu.

Vinaka's first Group One win for his connections was fully deserved. He was denied such a victory last season when he was relegated from first to second in the Ford Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes.

Already this season Vinaka (ex Shepherd's Delight) had won the Group Three Hawke's Bay Guineas in brilliant fashion. He is the first three-year-old to win the Telegraph since 1997.

His Matamata trainer-breeder and part-owner, Jim Gibbs, has announced Vinaka will now head to Melbourne next month for a tilt at the Group One $A350,000 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 9.

Vinaka became the sixth individual Group One winner for Volksraad following on from Zola, One Under, Star Satire, Clifton King and Dantelah.

Volksraad will have 45 yearlings on offer at next week's premier session of the New Zealand Bloodstock National Yearling Sales at Karaka.



Johannesburg was allotted a rating of 126 in the recently announced International Classifications, making him the undisputed champion juvenile of Europe and North America.

Johannesburg is the third champion European juvenile in a row to be trained by Aidan O'Brien following Minardi and Fasliyev and is the highest-rated Irish two year old since El Gran Senor back in 1983.

The 2001 International Classification again saw Irish breeding and trainers to the fore. O'Brien's Ballydoyle yard dominated the two-year-old table though it was Mick Channon who handled the leading juvenile filly, Irish Bred Queen's Logic (122), who was sold for a mere 19,000 at Goffs as a foal. Other Irish-bred youngsters to star in the Classification were dual Group 1 winner Rock Of Gibraltar (119), Racing Post Trophy scorer High Chapparal (117) and Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner Ballingarry (115).

Irish-Bred Derby prospects Naheef and Shaanmer also figured prominently in the list both receiving a rating of 115 along with Moyglare Stud Stakes heroine Quarter Moon and San Siro Group 1 winner Sholokhov. The Group 1-placed colt Zipping and Group 3 winners Leggy Lou and Where Or When were other highly rated Irish-breds.

O'Brien's dual Derby winner Galileo (129) was the highest-rated three-year-old in Europe last year. His stable companions Milan and Mozart topped the staying and sprinting divisions respectively.

The Dermot Weld-trained Vinnie Roe, winner of two Classics last year, was awarded a rating of 120. Like Milan, Vinnie Roe stays in training this year as does the Irish-bred Golan, winner of the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas.

In 2001, Irish-trained horses won four out of the five domestic Classics, three out of the five English Classics along with two of the French Classics while keeping seven out of the 10 domestic Group 1 races at home.

Irish-Bred pair Indigenous (115) and Oriental Express (110) both advertised the resilience of the Irish Thoroughbred when reaching the International Classifications for the forth consecutive year.


IRELAND'S first bloodstock sale of 2002 takes place at Tattersalls (Ireland) on January 28th and 29th. This National Hunt sale will be the first in Europe to trade in euro and selling begins at 11am each day.

The mixed catalogue features a total of 361 horses including yearlings, untried/unbroken stock, racing prospects and in-foal mares. In addition there are 15 lots in the supplementary catalogue, of which 13 are from Lisaleen Farm.

As well as some older horses, there are plenty of mares in foal to some of the most popular and pre-potent Irish-based stallions. Yearlings make up a large portion of the catalogue and feature stock by proven sires such as Accordion (7), Lord Americo (7), Anshan (8), Supreme Leader (7) and Zaffaran (4), together with up and coming horses Darazari (6), Fourstar Allstar (4), Oscar (7), Portrait Gallery (6) and Taipan (6).

Irish Thoroughbred Marketing will continue to reimburse the flight costs of all overseas purchasers. For more information, see www.tattersalls.ie or www.itm.ie


TRAGIC ROLE and Runyon have arrived at Scarvagh House Stud in Co Down. There are now eight stallions at Scarvagh and stud director Alfred Buller is hopeful that the latest arrivals "will fill the gap between the stud's three superstars, Exit To Nowhere, Lahib and Deploy and the younger stars Pasternak, Beauchamp King and Clerkenwell."

Tragic Role is by Nureyev and a half-brother to seven other winners. From a limited number of runners, he has sired 45 winners of 91 races on the Flat and his best jumpers include Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Shadow Leader, Wave Rock and Tragic Hero.

Runyon has arrived from Australia where he has a strike-rate of 50% winners to runners. He has an impressive race record winning the Group 1 Underwood Stakes in Australia and the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes in the Curragh when trained by Tommy Stack. He is by Sadler's Wells out of the mare Deadly Serious, dam of five winners.


IRISH-BRED Gold Cup winner Looks Like Trouble could run at Leopardstown on February 10th. The 10-year-old returned from a 14-absence to record an impressive success at Wincanton on January 19th.

Reported to be in good shape the following day by trainer Noel Chance, Looks Like Trouble is being considered for the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup at Leopardstown though he is more likely to run at Newbury a day earlier.

The attractiveness of racing in Ireland was highlighted by British trainer Nicky Richards after he had saddled The French Furze (IRE) to finish second in the Grade 2 Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock. Explaining his plan to run The French Furze in the AIG Europe Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown, Richards said: "He will be my first runner in Ireland. The prize money is good even for the placed horses over there and they pay the travelling expenses so why not have a go - you win nothing when they are stuck at home in their boxes."

Missing from the AIG field will be the Jessica Harrington-trained Bust Out. Narrowly beaten by Istabraq at Leopardstown last month, the six-year-old gelding has met with a setback in training and will not race again this season.

Yet another Irish-bred to win a big race in Britain on January 19th was Majlis. This Caerleon gelding is being aimed at the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham following his victory in the prestigious Lanzarote hurdle at Kempton.


PAUL CARBERRY returned to the saddle on January 19th at Punchestown after a spell on the sidelines with a thumb injury. Out of luck at Punchestown, Carberry fared better at Fairyhouse the following day when partnering Arctic Copper to a decisive win in the Normans Grove Chase. Owned by members of the Irish parliament, the Noel Meade-trained winner will be going to the Cheltenham Festival for one of the supporting races.

Also at Fairyhouse, the bumper was won in great style by the Tony Mullins-trained newcomer Supreme Developer. "He will be a serious contender for Cheltenham as he was not fully wound up today," said Mullins. "He has scope and the temperament to be special."

Sheltering and Heezapistol were the two Cheltenham contenders to emerge from the Punchestown meeting a day earlier. Successful in a recent point-to-point, Sheltering had no difficulty in justifying odds-on favouritism in the Doherty Hunters Chase in the hands of the champion amateur Philip Fenton.

"I am delighted with that run as he wouldn't like the ground as soft as that," remarked winning trainer Edward O'Grady after watching the 10-year-old capture his 11th race on the course. He will run next at Leopardstown, before a trip to Cheltenham. He also holds an entry for the Grand National.

Heezapistol also jumped well when getting back on the winning trail in the Grade 3 Juvenile Hurdle in the hands of champion jockey Ruby Walsh. His trainer Willie Mullins confirmed that the horse will now be rested until the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham. Second place in this competitive hurdle was taken by Newhall, who under a 10lb penalty for her win over Christmas, did her triumph Hurdle chances no harm running gallant second.

IN BRIEF: MICHAEL GRASSICK has appointed Niall McCullagh as his retained jockey for the 2002 Irish Flat season. McCullagh replaces Eddie Ahern who recently notified Grassick of his intention to ride as a freelance this year...Pierse Hurdle winner Adamant Approach is expected to bypass the Tote Gold Trophy at Newbury and instead take on top mare Like-A-Butterfly in the Deloitte & Touche Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on February 10th...Sayarshan, a son of Darshaan out of the Kris mare Sayyara, will stand alongside New Frontier at Tullaghansleek Stud in Castletown-Geoghegan, Co Westmeath...The Irish-bred mare Dianehill ran out a three-length winner of a $30,000 stakes race over six furlongs on the dirt track at Turf Paradise on January 19th...Del Mar Oaks winner Golden Apples (Ire) is being prepared for the Grade 2 Santa Ana Handicap on March 23rd...

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