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Friday, January 23, 2004


The £80,000 Grade Two Pillar Property Chase (3.05pm) tops a magnificent day's racing at Cheltenham tomorrow.

There are six talented runners for the feature contest over three mile, one and half furlongs. The declarations are last year's Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up Truckers Tavern, the 2003 Royal & SunAlliance Chase second Jair du Cochet, 2002 Pillar Property Chase victor Rince Ri, Martin Pipe's exciting novice Therealbandit, Robert Alner's highly progressive performer Sir Rembrandt and Valley Henry, fourth in the 2003 Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Opening tomorrow's card is the £15,000-added Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Novices' Handicap Hurdle (12.55pm) which has attracted a maximum field of 20 runners.

Territorial Army soldiers from the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, proud of their history as a famous cavalry regiment, take on a very different role these days - crewing the mighty Challenger 2 tank and they will be at Cheltenham tomorrow.

Two RGH officers wearing ceremonial uniform and on horseback - Major Alex Bathurst, the Officer Commanding, and Captain Johnny Lee, recently returned from service in Iraq - will escort the winning horse back to the winner's enclosure. The winner receives the Aurora Cup, a Hussars trophy that dates back to the 19th century.

The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars form the Cirencester-based C Squadron of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, which also incorporates three more old cavalry regiments - the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, Royal Devon Yeomanry and the Dorset Yeomanry.

There could be plenty of Festival clues in the £20,000-added Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase (1.30pm), a race landed by subsequent Cathcart Chase heroine La Landiere in 2003. Seven horses go to post for this year's contest including the Martin Pipe-trained Tucacas, formerly a smart hurdler who has landed his last two starts over fences in impressive fashion.

A major trial for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival is the £30,000 Grade Two Wragge & Co Finesse Juvenile Hurdle (2.00pm), for which a field of 11 has been declared including Alan King's Howle Hill, winner of two of his starts over hurdles, Martin Pipe's unbeaten Lough Derg, Irish raider Guilt and two challengers from Guillaume Macaire's French stable Val Du Non and Meryl.

Mondul, Milton Harris's highly rated-juvenile hurdler, is another runner, together with his recent Chepstow conqueror, Sunray, trained by Evan Williams. He won his previous two hurdle races and was a decent performer on the Flat in Germany.

Harris said today " My horse is in good form but I'm hoping for a bit of rain as he is suited by soft ground".

Mondul has talented stable companions in Web Perceptions and After Eight, and the trainer added: "The intention at this stage is for all three to go for the JCB Triumph Hurdle."

Tomorrow's contest also sees the hurdling debut of Dalaram from the Howard Johnson stable. The half-brother to 1999 Derby runner-up Daliapour won three times on the Flat last season for Sir Michael Stoute.

Six horses go to post in the fourth race of the afternoon, the £50,000 Byrne Bros Cleeve Hurdle (2.35pm) over an extended two and a half miles, including this season's Fighting Fifth Hurdle victor The French Furze and Crystal d'Ainay, victorious in the Jet UK "Relkeel" Hurdle at Cheltenham and runner-up to Sh Boom in the Unicoin Homes Spa Hurdle at Cheltenham on his latest starts. Also in the field are the Irish challenger Hardy Eustace, hero of last season's Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, plus three returning from chasing, Redemption, Tarxien and Grey Abbey, who is having his first start for Howard Johnson.

Two very competitive handicaps end the afternoon, the £40,000 Ladbroke Trophy Chase (3.35pm) over two miles and five furlongs and the two mile and one furlong £20,000-added Western Daily Press Handicap Hurdle (4.10pm).

In the Ladbroke Trophy, 13 talented chasers go to post including last season's Cathcart Chase winner La Landiere, Impek, Hand Inn Hand, Horus, Tripleprint Gold Cup third Telemoss and Whereareyounow, triumphant over the course and distance last time out in the Unicoin Homes Handicap Chase on New Year's Day.

The Western Daily Press Handicap Hurdle has a total of 15 runners, headed Sud Bleu, runner-up to Thesis in the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot last time out, and Demi Beau, who landed the Tote Exacta RHT Winter Series Final Handicap Hurdle on his latest start on December 31.

Simon Claisse, Cheltenham's Clerk of the Course, reported this afternoon that the going is good, good to soft in places (7.7), with a dry day forecast for tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the last day of racing at Cheltenham before the 2004 Festival on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, March 16, 17 & 18.

Admission prices for this fabulous day's racing are Club and Tattersalls combined £18 and 16 to 24-year-olds £10. (please note that the Courage Enclosure is closed for this fixture).


What is the quickest, most exciting and probably the easiest way to win over £1 million this weekend? Answer: The Tote Scoop6.

Tomorrow's Scoop6 rollovers already stand at a Win Find rollover of £539,011 and Bonus Prize Fund rollover of £231,004. A huge pool is expected, and the Tote/Tote Direct estimate that a single winner will be looking at a Win payout of around £850,000 tomorrow, with a Bonus next Saturday of around £350,000 - a total of upto £1.2 million to be won.

Top quality Racing from Cheltenham and Catterick play host to the Scoop6, and the field sizes make having a go very very tempting indeed. There are only 59 declared runners to select from and plenty of favourites for "banker" legs. Certainly a crack at the Scoop6 looks a lot easier than the 14 million/1 odds of the Lottery, and it's more fun and potentially just as rewarding!

Well over 100,000 punters are expected to have a go tomorrow. If over £1 million is staked, it will be fifth time that's been achieved in Scoop6's relatively short history.

Tote Scoop6 legs and declared runners are:

Leg 1 1.30 Cheltenham - Timeform Novices' Handicap Chase (7 decs)
Leg 2 1.45 Catterick - skybetvegas.com Handicap Hurdle (11)
Leg 3 2.00 Cheltenham - Wragge & Co Finesse Juvenile Novices' Hurdle (11)
Leg 4 2.15 Catterick - skybet North Yorkshire Grand National H'cap Chase (11)
Leg 5 3.05 Cheltenham - Pillar Property Chase (6)
Leg 6 3.35 Cheltenham - Ladbroke Trophy Chase (13)


Hong Kong born jockey Stanley Chin made his Nad Al Sheba Racecourse debut on Thursday evening and got up in the final stride to win the fourth race of the evening, the Greenline Cup over 1,200 metres aboard the Aditiyan Selvaratnam-trained Mister Dickens.

Chin, who is in Dubai as stable jockey for UK trainer Mark Johnston for the Dubai International Racing Carnival, which begins next Thursday, had Mister Dickens always well placed with Next Knight under Daragh O'Donohoe setting sail for home in the straight. Chin kept the pressure on and got up to win by a short head from Next Knight and Indian Dreamer, a further short head back in third.

After his win Chin said, "I am very honoured to be here and I would like to thank Aditiyan Selvaratnam for his support, as a newcomer I know it is hard to find races and he has been very supportive."

James Frazier Jr landed the opener, the National Bank of Dubai Cup over 2,000 metres for Purebred Arabians with Agrab Al Nas. Prince d'Eau took the field along with the Richard Hills-partnered Al Awal taking the lead 400 metres from the line.

Paul Hanagan got to work on Agrab Al Nas who got up in the shadow of the line to win by a length and a quarter from Al Awal and Millennium Storm.

Martin Smith won his third amateur race in a row when partnering Mr Spa to a length and a half win in the Al Manara Thoroughbred Handicap over 1,600 metres, Mark Roberts and Meshty were second with Shaard in third.

Ides gave first season trainer Musabah Al Muhairi his first win of the season when landing the third race of the evening, the Al Baraha Thoroughbred Handicap over the straight 1,200 metres.

Ides, who was giving in form jockey Richard Mullen a win at his twelfth consecutive racemeeting in the UAE, took the lead just after half way. The son of Sadler's Wells was briefly challenged by the Paul Smith-partnered Najmati, but Ides was always going to get to the line, winning by a neck.

Mullen continued his run of form with his second win of the evening in the fifth, the Al Dhagaya Thoroughbred Conditions race over 1,600 metres, aboard the Ali Rashid Al Raihe-trained Surbiton.

Willie Supple looked to have the race won with the Doug Watson-trained Dubai Status, but Surbiton was always closing and got up to cross the line a neck ahead of Dubai Status and Valdancer.

Supple was back for a win in the final race of the evening with the Watson-trained Crafty Trust in the Bu Hail Thoroughbred Handicap over 2,000 metres.

Thursday, January 22nd, 2004
Weather: Fine. Dirt. Track: Fast.

Key: The figures beside the race conditions (ie 00-80) are for horses rated in that division and these figures are in pounds. The UAE Dirham (Dhs) is fixed at US$3.68. All races on dirt unless stated.

Race One. National Bank of Dubai Cup. Purebred Arabians 2,000m. 4YOs & Up 60-85
Prizemoney: Dhs42,000. 1st: Dhs27,300. 2nd: Dhs8,400. 3rd: Dhs4,200.

4th: Dhs2,100
1. AGRAB AL NAS (FR) 53.5kgs
1998 ch h Way To Go – Madawa (Djelfor)
Owner: Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Breeder: Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan
Trainer: J Frazier Jr. Jockey: P Hanagan
2. AL AWAL (GB) 55kgs
1999 ch h Bengali d'Albret – Kahina el Kihm (Djelfor)
Owner: Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Breeder: Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Trainer: D Watson. Jockey: R Hills
3. MILLENNIUM STORM (US) 52.5kgs (incl 0.5kgs ow)
1998 gr h Ala Croixnoire – Mufka (Partner)
Owner: Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: Helen E Burger
Trainer: M Al Kurdi. Jockey: T Durcan
Then came (in order): Kal Barq (FR), Prince d'Eau (FR), Danidor (FR). 6
Margins: 1 Ό, 2, 3 Ύ. Time: 2m 18.78s

Race Two. Al Manara. Thoroughbreds 1,600m. NH 4yo+ & SH 3yo+ Amateur
Riders 50-80 Prizemoney: Dhs42,000. 1st: Dhs27,300. 2nd: Dhs8,400. 3rd: Dhs4,200. 4th: Dhs2,100
1. MR SPA (ARG) 73kgs
1999 b g Numerous – Espadilla (Our Native)
Owner: Janet Smith
Breeder: Firmamento
Trainer: A Smith. Jockey: M Smith
2. MESHTY (IRE) 75kgs
1995 b g Lahib – Merry Devil (Sadler's Wells)
Owner: Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: James F Hanley
Trainer: M Al Kurdi. Jockey: M Roberts
3. SHAARD (IRE) 70.5kgs
1998 b h Anabaa – Braari (Gulch)
Owner: Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Breeder: Shadwell Estate Co Ltd
Trainer: E Charpy. Jockey: P Deymonaz
Then came (in order): Attentive (IRE), Harnour (GB), Kashmor (USA), Tajseed (IRE). 7 ran. Margins: 1 ½, 3, 4 Time: 1m 40.73s

Race Three. Al Baraha. Thoroughbreds 1,200m. NH & SH 4YOs & Up Maiden.

Prizemoney: Dhs30,000. 1st: Dhs19,500. 2nd: Dhs6,000. 3rd: Dhs3,000. 4th: Dhs1,500
1. IDES (GER) 56kgs
1998 b g Sadler's Wells – Idraak (Kris)
Owner: Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: Darley Stud Ltd
Trainer: M Al Muhairi. Jockey: R Mullen
2. NAJMATI (GB) 54kgs
2000 b f Green Desert – Society Lady (Mr Prospector)
Owner: Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Breeder: Sheikh Ahmed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Trainer: A Smith. Jockey: P Smith
3. BALLET (ARG) 56kgs
2000 b g Kitwood – Ballesta (Pepenador)
Owner: Ziad Galadari
Breeder: Vacacion
Trainer: M Al Kurdi. Jockey: S Sanders
Then came (in order): Literator (FR), Transcendency (AUS), Aazim (USA), Mount Joy (GB), Red Astaire (NZ), Hollow Dynasty (USA), Arch of Light (GB), Shapinsay (USA), Etoile de Moscow (IRE), Live Danger (USA). 13 ran. N/R: Maqadeer (IRE) Margins: nk, 2 Ύ, 1 Ό. Time: 1m 12.45s

Race Four. Greenline Cup. Thoroughbreds 1,200m. NH 4yo+ & SH 3yo+ 50-80 Prizemoney: Dhs42,000. 1st: Dhs27,300. 2nd: Dhs8,400. 3rd: Dhs4,200. 4th: Dhs2,100
2000 ch c Mister Baileys – Hidle (Unbridled)
Owner: Mohammed Al Jamali
Breeder: Samual A Houston
Trainer: A Selvaratnam. Jockey: S Chin
2. NEXT KNIGHT (USA) 55.5kgs
1999 b h Royal Academy – Zitkala (Regal Classic)
Owner: Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: North Wales LLC
Trainer: S Seemar. Jockey: D O'Donohoe
1999 dk b or br g Indian Ridge – Truly A Dream (Darshaan)
Owner: Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: Kilfrush Stud Ltd
Trainer: E Charpy. Jockey: S Sanders
Then came (in order): Nazeeh (USA), Mr Magistrate (AUS), Flower State (GB), Kameynn (IRE), Wathbat Mujtahid (GB), Francal (FR), Wilde (GB), Saabrin (GB). 11 ran. Margins: shd, shd, 2 Ύ. Time: 1m 12.60s

Race Five. Al Dhagaya. Thoroughbreds 1,600m. NH 4yo+ & SH 3yo+ Limited Conditions Prizemoney: Dhs50,000. 1st: Dhs32,500. 2nd: Dhs10,000. 3rd: Dhs5,000. 4th: Dhs2,50
1. SURBITON (USA) 57kgs
2000 ch c El Prado – Mastina (Gulch)
Owner: Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: Paul Bisby & Cynthia Busby
Trainer: A Rashid Al Raihe. Jockey: R Mullen
1999 b g Seeking the Gold – Possibly Perfect (Northern Baby)
Owner: Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: Mr & Mrs Robert A Witt
Trainer: D Watson. Jockey: W Supple
3. VALDANCER (IRE) 58kgs
2000 b c Groom Dancer – Valdara (Darshaan)
Owner: Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Trainer: P Rudkin. Jockey: P Hanagan
Then came (in order): Wahsheeq (GB), Gamar Beynoona (GB) 5 ran. Dubai Excellence (GB) Withdrawn at start. Margins: nk, 1 Ό, 5 ½. Time: 1m 39.73s

Race Six. Bu Hail. Thoroughbreds 2,000m. NH 4yo+ & SH 3yo+ 55-80 Prizemoney: Dhs42,000. 1st: Dhs27,300. 2nd: Dhs8,400. 3rd: Dhs4,200. 4th: Dhs2,100
2000 dk b or br g Crafty Prospector – Blind Trust (Bold Rukus)
Owner: Sunland Farm
Breeder: North Wales LLC
Trainer: D Watson. Jockey: W Supple
2. RIORDAN (USA) 53kgs
1998 b h Theatrical – Noble Rose (Caerleon)
Owner: Khalifa bin Ghulita
Breeder: Darley Stud Management Inc
Trainer: M Al Kurdi. Jockey: D O'Donohoe
3. DESERT SANDS (AUS) 59.5kgs
1998 b g Danewin – Desert Wish (Shirley Heights)
Owner: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum
Breeder: Emirates Park Victoria
Trainer: S Seemar. Jockey: T Durcan
Then came (in order): Fight (USA), Jasmin da Noite (BRZ), Prado's Wish (USA), Ijtihad (GB), Forest of Dreams (GB), Golden Fitz (ARG). 9 ran. Margins: 1 Ύ, 4 Ό, 2. Time: 2m 06.35s

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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