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Wednesday, November 2, 2005



OLLIE MAGERN AND CELESTIAL GOLD HEAD WEIGHTS FOR PADDY POWER GOLD CUP




Recent Charlie Hall Chase winner Ollie Magern (11st 12lb) and last year's winner Celestial Gold (11st 9lb, 12/1 with Paddy Power) head the weights for the £110,000 Paddy Power Gold Cup, the highlight of Cheltenham's Open Meeting on Saturday, November 12, details of which are revealed today, Wednesday, November 2.


Ollie Magern is one of three entries from the Nigel Twiston-Davies yard, who won the race in 1992 with Tipping Tim, along with Redemption (9st 13lb, 20/1) and Gazump (8st 11lb, 50/1).

Philip Hobbs, successful in the race in 1989 with Joint Sovereignty, has three entries headed by Monkerhostin (11st including 6lb ex, 7/2), third last year and successful in the 2004 bonusprint.com Gold Cup. He has been promoted to favouritism after a winning reappearance in yesterday's Haldon Gold Cup Chase at Exeter, for which he collects a 6lb penalty. Lacdoudal (10st 9lb, 6/1), who made a successful seasonal debut over hurdles at Chepstow last month, and Tamango (9st 11lb, 25/1) complete Hobbs' trio.


Martin Pipe has nine entries in a race he has won a record seven times, including Celestial Gold, who carried 10st 2lb to victory 12 months ago, last year's Irish Independent Arkle Chase winner Contraband (11st 2lb, 16/1), It Takes Time (11st 1lb, 20/1), Therealbandit (11st 1lb, 20/1), leading ante-post fancy Our Vic (10st 12lb, 6/1), Horus (10st 3lb, 33/1), Tango Royal (10st 1lb, 33/1), Zeta's River (9st 11lb, 20/1) and Windsor Boy (8st 12lb, 33/1).


The Paul Nicholls stable has a seven-strong entry, headed by last year's runner-up Thisthatandtother (11st 8lb, 14/1), who could be joined by stablemates Le Roi Miguel (11st 5lb, 20/1), Armaturk (11st 4lb, 25/1), Kauto Star (10st 12lb, 10/1), My Will (10st 12lb, 10/1), Le Passing (10st 5lb, 20/1) and Ladalko (8st 13lb, 33/1).


Nicky Henderson has five entries to choose from with 2003 hero Fondmort (11st 3lb, 20/1), Iris Royal (10st 5lb, 20/1), Liberthine (10st 1lb, 20/1), Chauvinist (10st, 25/1) and Scots Grey (9st 6lb, 33/1).

No Irish horse has won the Paddy Power Gold Cup since Bright Highway in 1980, trained by Michael O'Brien, who has the exciting Forget The Past (11st 2lb, 12/1) entered this year. The Irish challenge is completed by the Noel Meade-trained Watson Lake (10st 13lb, 14/1), Euro Leader (10st 5lb, 25/1), Always (10st 2lb, 33/1), Mariah Rollins (10st, 25/1), Sir Oj (9st 7lb, 25/1) and Pearly Jack (9st, 40/1).


The Henrietta Knight-trained Impek (10st 8lb, 16/1) and Brooklyn Breeze (10st 6lb, 8/1) from the Len Lungo stable are other leading contenders for the extended two and a half mile chase, the first major contest of the 2005/06 season.


LATEST PADDY POWER PRICES

Monkerhostin 7/2
Our Vic 6/1
Lacdoudal 6/1
Brooklyn Breeze 8/1
Kauto Star 10/1
My Will 10/1
Celestial Gold 12/1
Forget The Past 12/1
Watson Lake 14/1
Thisthatandtother 14/1
Contraband 16/1
Impek 16/1
Kandjar d'Allier 16/1
Lord Sam 16/1
Therealbandit 20/1
Le Passing 20/1
Zeta's River 20/1
Fondmort 20/1
Iris Royal 20/1
It Takes Time 20/1
Le Roi Miguel 20/1
Liberthine 20/1
Redemption 20/1
Backbeat 25/1
Quazar 25/1
Sir Oj 25/1
Armaturk 25/1
Chauvinist 25/1
Euro Leader 25/1
Full House 25/1
Mariah Rollins 25/1
Our Armageddon 25/1
See You Sometime 25/1
Tamango 25/1
Mister McGoldrick 33/1
East Tycoon 33/1
Always 33/1
Horus 33/1
Jakari 33/1
Ladalko 33/1
Scots Grey 33/1
Tango Royal 33/1
Tigers Lair 33/1
Banker Count 33/1
Vandas Choice 33/1
Windsor Boy 33/1
Europa 40/1
Graphic Approach 40/1
Pearly Jack 40/1
Royaleety 40/1
Turgeonev 40/1
Flame Creek 50/1
Ball O Malt 50/1
Ballybough Rasher 50/1
Gazump 50/1
Wet Lips 50/1
Wrags To Riches 50/1
Baby Run (Not Qualified)
Ollie Magern (Dbt)

ROOSTER BOOSTER AGAIN TAKES HIGH ORDER IN GREATWOOD HURDLE

Hurdling favourite Rooster Booster (11st 9lb) is one of two previous winners of the £50,000 Greatwood Hurdle to take high rank in the weights released today, Wednesday November 2, for the Grade Three race to be contested on the final day of The Open at Cheltenham, Sunday, November 13.


Rooster Booster, shouldered 11st 12lb to success in 2002 before tasting Smurfit Champion Hurdle glory the following March, and the veteran carried the same weight to a fourth-place finish behind Accordion Etoile in this extended two-mile contest last year, while Westender (11st 6lb), successful in the Greatwood Hurdle in 2001 and second last season, is again a leading contender.


Howard Johnson's Ladbrokes World Hurdle winner and BHB Order of Merit Champion Inglis Drever (11st 12lb) heads the weights, while stablemates No Refuge (10st 11lb), winner of the Royal and SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle at The Festival in March and Dalaram (10st 1lb) are also possible starters.


Genghis (10st 8lb) captured last season's Scottish Champion Hurdle at Ayr and ran second to Rooster Booster at Huntingdon first time out this season. He had Royal Shakespeare (10st 13lb) behind in Scotland.


Noel Meade's Irish raider Power Elite (10st 3lb) has shown smart form on the Flat recently, as has the Emma Lavelle-trained Self Defense (11st 2lb).


Last season's unbeaten novice Mighty Man (10st 2lb) may line up along with Martin Pipe's prolific winner Marcel (10st 6lb) and Tamarinbleu (10st 8lb), winner of the Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle at Sandown in January.


The five-day confirmation stage for both the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Greatwood Hurdle is on Monday, November 7.


The Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Greatwood Hurdle are seventh and eighth respectively of the 63 races involved in the British Horseracing Board's Order of Merit competition. The overall winner with the most points throughout the season will receive £200,000 - 75% to the owner, 12.5% to the trainer and the same again to the stable staff.


The winners of both contests, as Grade Three events, will score 10 points while horses placed second to eighth will be allocated points on a sliding scale down to one point for eighth.


The Open (Friday, Saturday & Sunday, November 11-13) is three days which herald the moment when jump racing takes centre stage and people gather to celebrate top quality steeplechasing and hurdle racing. Each day has its own character and together they form an irresistible package. In recent years horses have travelled over from Ireland and Cheltenham has welcomed international challengers from France, Norway and the Czech Republic.


Friday, November 11 is Countryside Day, Saturday, November 12 is Paddy Power Gold Cup Day, Cheltenham's first great occasion of the season with a crowd of 25,000 expected to witness the £110,000 Paddy Power Gold Cup, while Sunday, November 13 features the £50,000 Greatwood Hurdle.


Friday/Sunday admission prices are Club/Tattersalls: £20 (£18 in advance, £16 if booked online); Group Rate (15 or more): £16; 16-24s: £12; Best Mate: £8 (£6.40 if booked online); Rooster Booster Raceday Package: £46 and Best Mate Raceday Package: £25.


Saturday's admission prices are Club: £30 (£25 in advance, £24 if booked online, 16-24s £20); Tattersalls: £20 (£18 in advance, £16 if booked online); Group Rate (15 or more): £16; Tattersalls seat: £15; Best Mate: £10 (£8 in advance); Group Rate (15 or more): £7; Rooster Booster Raceday Package: £46 and Best Mate Raceday Package: £25.


THE PADDY POWER GOLD CUP

Class A, Grade Three, Order of Merit Race No 7, £110,000 Total Prize Fund. 3.15pm, Cheltenham, Saturday, November 12. For five-year-olds and upwards, two miles, four and a half furlongs. Penalties: after October 29, a winner of a Class C chase 3lb; of a Class A or B chase 6lb; no penalty to increase a horse's weight above 11st 12lb. Entries closed October 26, entries revealed October 27 (59 entries), weights revealed November 2, five-day confirmation stage November 7, final declaration stage, 10.00am November 11. Form figures suppiled by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Tuesday, November 1.


Form Horse Age/Weight Owner Trainer
21U12-1 OLLIE MAGERN 7-11-12 Roger Nicholls Nigel Twiston-Davies
21/1130- CELESTIAL GOLD (IRE) 7-11-09 David Johnson Martin Pipe
2/22214- THISTHATANDTOTHER (IRE) 9-11-08 Graham Roach Paul Nicholls
53124F-6 MISTER MCGOLDRICK 8-11-07 Richard Longley Sue Smith
45225-5 LE ROI MIGUEL (FR) 7-11-05 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
03036-1 ARMATURK (FR) 8-11-04 Trevor Hemmings Paul Nicholls
F/0002P- FONDMORT (FR) 9-11-03 Bill Brown Nicky Henderson
11212-1 FORGET THE PAST 7-11-02 Sean Mulryan Michael O'Brien IRE
213103-5 CONTRABAND 7-11-02 David Johnson Martin Pipe
431042- IT TAKES TIME (IRE) 11-11-01 David Johnson Martin Pipe
020330- THEREALBANDIT (IRE) 8-11-01 David Johnson Martin Pipe
6/13213-1 MONKERHOSTIN (FR) 8-11-00 (6lb Ex) Martin St Quinton Philip Hobbs
1143-21 WATSON LAKE (IRE) 7-10-13 John Corr Noel Meade IRE
353/112-2 KAUTO STAR (FR) 5-10-12 Clive Smith Paul Nicholls
11521-2 MY WILL (FR) 5-10-12 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
113/FPP- OUR VIC (IRE) 7-10-12 David Johnson Martin Pipe
11/1F3P- LORD SAM (IRE) 9-10-10 Plain Peeps Victor Dartnall
13224-1 LACDOUDAL (FR) 6-10-09 Carol Skan Philip Hobbs
F25532-4 SEE YOU SOMETIME 10-10-09 J A G Meaden Seamus Mullins
552-221 IMPEK (FR) 9-10-08 Jim Lewis Henrietta Knight
1301-26 QUAZAR (IRE) 7-10-06 David Carr Jonjo O'Neill
00341-1 BROOKLYN BREEZE (IRE) 8-10-06 Ashleybank Investments Ltd Len Lungo
12553-4 LE PASSING (FR) 6-10-05 The Hon Mrs & J R Townshend Paul Nicholls
2/111P2/- IRIS ROYAL (FR) 9-10-05 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
0-4111F EURO LEADER (IRE) 7-10-05 John Cox Willie Mullins IRE
606020- HORUS (IRE) 10-10-03 Brian Kilpatrick Martin Pipe
5-F5411 ALWAYS 6-10-02 Des Sharkey Noel Meade IRE
211FP-2 BACKBEAT (IRE) 8-10-02 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
62-1600 TANGO ROYAL (FR) 9-10-01 Brian Kilpatrick Martin Pipe
230410- LIBERTHINE (FR) 6-10-01 Robert Waley-Cohen Nicky Henderson
P3F1-F1 FULL HOUSE (IRE) 6-10-01 The Chamberlain Addiscott Partnership Paul Webber
12413P- CHAUVINIST (IRE) 10-10-00 Bunny & Nick Roberts Nicky Henderson
1216-F3 MARIAH ROLLINS (IRE) 7-10-00 Gone West Racing Syndicate Pat Fahy IRE
3P5-022 VANDAS CHOICE (IRE) 7-10-00 J Petterson Lucinda Russell
U2000-2 REDEMPTION 10-9-13 John Duggan & Michael Purtill Nigel Twiston-Davies
121P14/- OUR ARMAGEDDON (NZ) 8-9-13 Leslie Garrett Richard Guest
1/U42PR- BALLYBOUGH RASHER (IRE) 10-9-12 BDR Partnership Howard Johnson
00/1132- KANDJAR D'ALLIER (FR) 7-9-12 Let's Live Racing Alan King
03/05P-0 JAKARI (FR) 8-9-11 The Earl Cadogan Henry Daly
11325-3 BANKER COUNT 13-9-11 Mrs Hector Brown Venetia Williams
B11513 TAMANGO (FR) 8-9-11 The Brushmakers Philip Hobbs
21220-P ZETA'S RIVER (IRE) 7-9-11 David Johnson Martin Pipe
065500- ROYALEETY (FR) 6-9-08 Mr & Mrs John Poynton Ian Williams
34-1114 TIGERS LAIR (IRE) 6-9-08 Gay Smith Jonjo O'Neill
F0B0-0P EUROPA 9-9-08 Trevor Hemmings Ferdy Murphy
2-10044 EAST TYCOON (IRE) 6-9-07 Gay Smith Jonjo O'Neill
6004-6P TURGEONEV (FR) 10-9-07 David Sills Tim Easterby
F3/113U- GRAPHIC APPROACH (IRE) 7-9-07 Mr & Mrs Peter Orton Charles Egerton
1U504-6 SIR OJ (IRE) 8-9-07 Brian Keenan Noel Meade IRE
U0055-0 SCOTS GREY 10-9-06 Henry Ponsonby Nicky Henderson
21612-P WRAGS TO RICHES (IRE) 8-9-04 No Illusions Partnership Jimmy Frost
331012 WET LIPS (AUS) 7-9-02 Concertina Racing Three Richard Guest
F-20416 BALL O MALT (IRE) 9-9-01 Declan Kinahan Richard Fahey
3-60432 PEARLY JACK 7-9-00 Mrs A McCarthy Davy Fitzgerald IRE
2521-33 LADALKO (FR) 6-8-13 Paul Barber & Margaret Findlay Paul Nicholls
01511F- WINDSOR BOY (IRE) 8-8-12 Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited Martin Pipe
61P61-5 GAZUMP (FR) 7-8-11 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
1436/F-F FLAME CREEK (IRE) 9-8-11 Martin Wesson Partners Noel Chance
5/2212-1 BABY RUN (FR) 5 NQ Mr & Mrs Peter Orton Nigel Twiston-Davies
59 entries, 7 Irish-trained

THE GREATWOOD HANDICAP HURDLE
Class A, Grade Three, Order of Merit Race No 8, 50,000 Total Prize Fund. 2.40pm, Sunday, November 13, 2005, For 4yo+, two miles and half a furlong. Penalties: after October 29, a winner of a Class A to C hurdle race 6lb - no penalty to increase a horse's weight above 11st 12lb. Entries cllosed October 26, entries revealed October 31 (54 entries), weights revealed November 2, five-day confirmation stage November 7, final declaration stage, 10.00am, November 11. Form figures supplied by Weatherbys and are correct up to and including the racing of Tuesday, November 1.


Form Horse Age/Weight Owner Trainer
21112-1 INGLIS DREVER 6-11-12 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
2051-41 ROOSTER BOOSTER 11-11-09 Terry Warner Philip Hobbs
345/460- INTERSKY FALCON 8-11-08 Interskyracing.com & Jacqui O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill
3134R-4 WESTENDER (FR) 9-11-06 Matt Archer & The Late Jean Broadhurst Martin Pipe
3010/1F- SPORAZENE (IRE) 6-11-03 Ged Mason Paul Nicholls
1-31110 YES SIR (IRE) 6-11-02 Ms Y M Hill Peter Bowen
2/42102- SELF DEFENSE 8-11-02 Fraser Miller Racing Emma Lavelle
4302F-P ROYAL SHAKESPEARE (FR) 6-10-13 John Webb Steve Gollings
203-51P PEROUSE 7-10-13 S Mcvie Paul Nicholls
0U13-43 HASTY PRINCE 7-10-13 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
1211- NO REFUGE (IRE) 5-10-11 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
102024- TAMARINBLEU (FR) 5-10-08 The Arthur White Partnership Martin Pipe
1111-62 GENGHIS (IRE) 6-10-08 Khan Partners Peter Bowen
51011-1 ADMIRAL (IRE) 4-10-08 Willie McKay Richard Guest
211306- MARCEL (FR) 5-10-06 David Johnson Martin Pipe
3113/05- POWER ELITE (IRE) 5-10-03 Des Sharkey Noel Meade IRE
121/- LINGO (IRE) 6-10-03 J P McManus Jonjo O'Neill
22321-1 DON'T BE SHY (FR) 4-10-03 David Johnson Martin Pipe
134046- MADE IN JAPAN (JPN) 5-10-02 Terry Evans Philip Hobbs
002/42-1 ALBUHERA (IRE) 7-10-02 David & F A Jackson Paul Nicholls
1111- MIGHTY MAN (FR) 5-10-02 Joss Hanbury Henry Daly
03330-2 HOWLE HILL (IRE) 5-10-02 Mrs J Brown, R Benton, R Devereux, R Lucas Alan King
10140-1 CERIUM (FR) 4-10-02 Barry Fulton, Tony Hayward, S Fisher, Liam Brady Paul Nicholls
13132- DUSKY WARBLER 6-10-01 Mike Charlton And Rodger Sargent Gary Moore
211100- ROMAN ARK 7-10-01 Richard Collins Malcolm Jefferson
01303-4 DALARAM (IRE) 5-10-01 Andrea & Graham Wylie Howard Johnson
116252- PHAR BLEU (FR) 4-9-13 The Stewart Family Paul Nicholls
FF1105 FONTANESI (IRE) 5-9-13 David Johnson Martin Pipe
1-31113 FAIT LE JOJO (FR) 8-9-12 M Ephgrave Liam Corcoran
16-1111 BUENA VISTA (IRE) 4-9-12 Matt Archer & The Late Jean Broadhurst Martin Pipe
440/521/- TRAMANTANO 6-9-11 Raymond Mould Nigel Twiston-Davies
121-1 THE MARKET MAN (NZ) 5-9-10 Sir Robert Ogden Nicky Henderson
123411 DARRIAS (GER) 4-9-09 Peter Hart Paul Nicholls
33-3234 BORORA 6-9-09 Mrs E M Clarke Richard Lee
2/FF000- NON SO (FR) 7-9-09 ROA Dawn Run Partnership Nicky Henderson
P4440-4 ADAMANT APPROACH (IRE) 11-9-09 Greenstar Syndicate Willie Mullins IRE
10/115-0 HANDY MONEY 8-9-06 William Dixon Alan King
F6026-P FENIX (GER) 6-9-06 P Aphilipps, T S Redman & J S Redman Lucy Wadham
1210- DIEGO CAO (IRE) 4-9-06 Vetlab Supplies Ltd Gary Moore
312-24 AFRAD (FR) 4-9-04 The Not Afraid Partnership Nicky Henderson
21-5410 SIRIUS STORM (IRE) 5-9-03 Sirius Racing Syndicate Paul Nolan IRE
0021-41 EYE CANDY (IRE) 4-9-02 Sandra McCarthy Sandra McCarthy IRE
21216-4 KARELIAN 4-9-02 John Duddy Colm Murphy IRE
51100- MANORSON (IRE) 6-9-02 Byrne Bros (Formwork) Limited Oliver Sherwood
3r1230 BLUE CORRIG (IRE) 5-9-01 Exors Of The Late R Forristal Joe Crowley IRE
405-211 FRENCH ACCORDION (IRE) 5-9-00 Padraig Brady Paul Nolan IRE
015125 KILBEGGAN LAD (IRE) 7-8-13 Golf at Ballyneety Syndicate Michael Hourigan IRE
4-31601 MASRAHI (IRE) 4-8-12 Mirage Racing Syndicate Noel Meade IRE
25055-3 CHOCKDEE (FR) 5-8-11 John & Barbara Cotton Paul Nicholls
011/5/1-2 GURU 7-8-08 Will Bennett Gary Moore
661103 RIGHTS OF MAN (IRE) 6-8-05 Mrs A McCarthy Davy Fitzgerald IRE
401324 NASSARO (IRE) 5-8-03 B Healy Mick Halford IRE
66-412F MOUNTAIN SNOW (IRE) 5-8-02 Austin Fanning Willie Mullins IRE
10-4r12 HERONSTOWN (IRE) 6-8-01 Noel Monaghan William O'Brien IRE

54 entries
13 Irish-trained



CALLAN, AHERN AND QUINN DISCUSS THEIR PROSPECTS FOR THE NEW ALL-WEATHER SEASON & TRAINERS TALK ABOUT THEIR HOPES FOR THE NEW ALL-WEATHER SEASON




CALLAN, AHERN AND QUINN DISCUSS THEIR PROSPECTS FOR THE NEW ALL-WEATHER SEASON

The 2005/2006 all-weather season opens at Wolverhampton on Monday, November 7, and promises to be the most exciting ever, with jockeys choosing to stay in Britain over the winter for it, before the campaign comes to an end on Saturday, March 18, 2006, at Lingfield - betdirect.co.uk Winter Derby Day.

Neil Callan ended last winter as the leading jockey on the all-weather with 70 winners and has enjoyed a fruitful campaign on the turf, notching Group One and Group Two successes in partnership with Kevin Ryan. Callan is looking forward to riding one Ryan horse in particular.


Callan said: "Quiet Times won a few last year and we saved him for the all-weather because he's not really a grass horse."

Please see below for more quotes from Neil Callan.


Eddie Ahern enjoyed a successful winter last term as he mixed success on the all-weather with big-race wins in Dubai.


Ahern observed: "Talking to the jockeys in the weighing room, a lot of them are staying home this winter to ride on the all-weather so it's going to be competitive."

Ahern outlines his hopes for the new season below, along with Jimmy Quinn.


Kate Hills, Head of Public Relations at Arena Leisure, said: "This season will be Arena Leisure's fifth on the all-weather since we first used the Polytrack at Lingfield Park.

"Who would have expected the incredible difference that surface has made to all-weather racing? Wolverhampton's new Polytrack has been equally successful and demand is so high that other courses are now following suit all over the world.

"We are extremely grateful to Littlewoods Bet Direct for their continued sponsorship of the all- weather season which promises to be very exciting, particularly as so many trainers have a team specifically aimed at the winter season. With prize money reaching nearly £5 million, opportunities for all grades of horses, and the championship titles to go for, including a new apprentice title, the competition will be strong."

NEIL CALLAN

Neil Callan was the outstanding jockey last winter and broke the record for the most successes on the winter all-weather circuit, riding 70 winners during the season, to emerge as leading rider. He was also the top jockey at Southwell where he partnered 23 winners and was runner-up to Eddie Ahern at Wolverhampton and Lingfield, where he was successful 24 and 23 times respectively.


He said: "It was a record to ride 70 winners for the season. I struck up a good partnership with David Loder and got on some nice maiden winners for him. Kevin Ryan, who I ride for, always has about a dozen horses to run and they're pretty consistent on the all-weather. I'm looking forward to it. I don't know if I can beat 70 winners but hopefully I can win the title again."

Callan is looking to build on the success of the past 12 months which has seen him link up with Ryan, to great effect. The pair enjoyed their first taste of Group One glory in the Middle Park Stakes with Amadeus Wolf and also collected the Group One Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday with Palace Episode.

Callan is confident that the pair can continue in similar vein: "There's a particularly decent horse called Quiet Times. He won a few last year and we saved him for the all-weather because he's not really a grass horse. He's a dirt horse and we took him out to Dubai last year but he just wasn't quite up to it on the deep surface, so we've saved him and he's dropped a few pounds since then. We'll bring him back for those big handicaps on the all-weather. Kevin has a few new horses that he bought at the horses in training sale and they'll be running on the all-weather too."

Quiet Times finished an encouraging fourth at Lingfield on October 30 in the Unicorn Handicap, his first start since March.


Callan added: "A lot of the boys go away for the winter but when I used to ride for Karl Burke we'd have all-weather horses and I just had to stay and work away at it. Now, riding for Kevin, he always has a dozen that run through the winter and I thought it would be best to stay here - you need to keep your name in."

EDDIE AHERN
Eddie Ahern was the top rider at the two Polytrack courses with 25 winners at both venues. The Irishman was runner-up to Callan in the national title race, booting home 51 winners from 299 rides, and may have pushed the champion close had he not enjoyed excursions to Dubai for the International Racing Carnival.


Ahern said: "I'm definitely looking forward to the season. I rode some nice horses last year at Lingfield where I had great success and the new Polytrack at Wolverhampton was brilliant. A lot of the big trainers introduced a lot of nice horses and weren't afraid to run them so they're going to go into this year with plenty of confidence about running better quality horses on the all-weather.

"I'd like to think that I'd ride the same amount of winners as I did last year and by doing that I might end up being leading rider on the all-weather but I'll just go out with the idea of trying to get on the best rides and hopefully they'll win. I'd like to think that I'll have the same amount of trainers that supported me last year again this year and hopefully things will work out well for me. Last year I had a great season with David Loder's horses but he's retired now.


"Talking to the jockeys in the weighing room, a lot of them are staying home this winter to ride on the all-weather, so it's going to be competitive. I probably won't be going to Dubai but I will be going to Macau for the month of January to ride for the trainer M C Tam. I rode winners for him at the Dubai Carnival so he said why not come out to get a taste of Macau racing."

JIMMY QUINN
Jimmy Quinn partnered 29 winners last winter that put him fourth in the national jockeys' table. Most of his winners came at Wolverhampton where he partnered 16 from 125 rides.


Quinn revealed: "I have a preference for Wolverhampton because I have a bit more luck there. The Polytrack is a nice surface and it rides well, the horses enjoy it and so do the jockeys. I had a slow start last winter but it picked up in the second half of the season. You basically look to get good rides and ride winners.

"Jeff Pearce's stable is a bit stronger this year so I'm hoping I can do alright again. At the moment we're going through a list of horses to see which ones will keep going, which ones will rest and which will get out early."

TRAINERS TALK ABOUT THEIR HOPES FOR THE NEW ALL-WEATHER SEASON

The 2005/2006 all-weather season opens at Wolverhampton on Monday, November 7, and promises to be the most exciting ever, with a host of trainers priming increasingly strong teams to compete for almost £5 million in prize money on offer, before the campaign comes to an end on Saturday, March 18, 2006, at Lingfield - betdirect.co.uk Winter Derby Day.


Chris Brown, New Media Gaming Director at Littlewoods Gaming said: "Bet Direct has benefited enormously from their long term association with all-weather racing over the past four seasons. We are looking forward to another season of winter racing which runs from November 7 through to March 18 culminating with the £100,000 betdirect.co.uk Winter Derby at Lingfield Park."

Trainer Andrew Reid, successful with Eccentric last season in the betdirect.co.uk Winter Derby and the only handler based in Greater London, is looking forward to another successful winter and has strengthened his hand with an interesting new recruit from overseas, the South American star Freddy.


Reid revealed: "I have the champion horse of South America, Freddy, from a couple of seasons back. He's won a classic and five Group One races."

See below for more information on Andrew Reid's all-weather challenge.


Kevin Ryan is also looking forward to the coming campaign and has assembled a strong team.


He revealed: "I think we'll have a team of about 20 for the all-weather this winter and there'll be some nice horses amongst them to go for the better races."

Ryan reveals more of their thoughts on the all-weather season below.


Mark Brisbourne is hoping to build on his success of last season when he was leading trainer at Wolverhampton. He has assembled a good team and is expecting to challenge for some of the better prizes

Brisbourne said: "We'll have a nucleus of about 15 or 20 horses for the all-weather season. Those would include a few fresh ones but also old-stagers."

For more information on Mark Brisbourne and his horses, read below.


ANDREW REID
Eccentric was the undoubted star of last winter, winning five times on the Polytrack. Eccentric progressed from his success on the all-weather, to land the Group Three Winter Hill Stakes on turf at Windsor this summer. His campaign for the forthcoming season is likely to be geared towards Dubai but the Mill Hill handler has another potentially exciting horse to look forward to on the all-weather.


"I'm looking forward to the new season. I have about 10, which is less than before."

Reid, who was top trainer at Lingfield last winter, is hopeful that a new addition to his Mill Hill string can go some way towards emulating Eccentric's success of last winter. Freddy was a star in Argentina in 2002, when his wins included South America's premier all-age race, the Group One Gran Premio Carlos Pellegrini at San Isidro over a mile and a half.


He said: "I do have a very interesting horse here. I have the champion horse of South America from a couple of seasons back. He's a horse called Freddy and he's won a classic and five Group Ones in South America. He then went to California where he's done absolutely nothing for the last three years. He will be looking for action by the end of November.


"I'd hope to be able to produce the same number of winners as last season. I've got some two-year-olds coming in and some nice three-year-olds that I didn't run so I think it's achievable even with a smaller amount of horses."

PAUL BLOCKLEY
Paul Blockley ended the 2004/2005 all-weather season as the leading trainer nationally with 24 winners to his credit from 211 runners, and would be happy to repeat that effort but is not chasing any lofty ambitions.

The Newport trainer enjoyed the patronage of last winter's leading all-weather owner Nigel Shields, whose Wessex was never out of the first three in seven outings at Southwell and Wolverhampton last term. The five-year-old notched a hat-trick of victories over seven furlongs and a mile between December and February.


Blockley said: "I don't have a target but I live in hope that I can have another good season . I had the same approach last year, I just take it as it comes. We get the turf season over, go on holiday, then come back, look at the all-weather and see what we've got."

MARK BRISBOURNE
Mark Brisbourne topped the trainers' table at Wolverhampton with 18 of his 20 winners coming at the Midlands track, which is like a home from home for his string.


Brisbourne revealed: "The Polytrack at Wolverhampton is virtually the same as the gallop my horses work on at home so they know what's underfoot. It's a good surface and more trainers are installing it.


"If a track suits your horses then that's a bonus. The other thing about Wolverhampton that appeals so much to me is that it's only about 40 miles away. My owners love going there and it's a very laid-back set-up."

The Shropshire trainer is looking forward to the coming campaign and has his team primed for action, including Roman Maze, winner of three races from 10 starts at Wolverhampton last winter, as well as two placed efforts at Lingfield.


He said: "Hopefully we'll have a nucleus of about 15 or 20 horses for the all-weather season from November to March. Those would include a few fresh ones but also old-stagers like Iced Diamond who won at Catterick in September, Roman Maze and Merry Maker. They all won at Wolverhampton last season and Roman Maze will go for a couple of the bigger handicaps before having a break after Christmas."

Iced Diamond raced nine times last winter and was seen at all three all-weather tracks. The six-year-old scored over seven furlongs at Lingfield and Wolverhampton in February. Merrymaker raced four times last winter, each outing coming before Christmas, and picked up a one mile six furlong handicap at Wolverhampton last November.


DAVID BARRON
David Barron's 15 winners at Southwell saw the North Yorkshire handler emerge as leading trainer at the Nottinghamshire venue.

He said: "I've had a lot of success at Southwell. I prefer going there than any of the other all-weather tracks because it's a lot handier for me and my preference is for that surface as well. It's a good deep slow surface which suits my horses.

"I'll start this season the same as every season, with no targets. We'll see what we end up with. We probably won't have too many runners there this side of Christmas, but will have a few there later on. We have a few horses about but saying that there are no plans. We'll just see what we have. We have a few two-year-olds and three-year-olds that are likely to run."

KEVIN RYAN
Kevin Ryan ended last winter with 17 all-weather winners from 131 runners. That put him in fourth place in the national trainers' championship, while his nine winners at Southwell placed him third at the Midlands track.


Ryan said: "I think we'll have a team of about 20 for the all-weather this winter and there'll be some nice horses amongst them to go for the better races. I love it and the prize money every year is getting better. When you've got that sort of prize money on offer and you've got the right horses to run on it, I think it's great. If you've got backward two-year-olds that really are maybe not coming to hand until this time of year, it allows you to get some experience into them as well."

The Irishman is looking forward to sending runners south from his North Yorkshire yard and hopes to collect some of the all-weather's more valuable events with stable stalwarts like Quiet Times and Cardinal Venture. Quiet Times finished an encouraging fourth at Lingfield on October 30 in the Unicorn Handicap, his first start since March.


He declared: "We've got a few for the bigger races. Quiet Times did very well in one or two of the decent sprints last year. He's an all-weather horse who doesn't go on grass so he's had a nice long break and he'll be targeted at some of the better sprints.


"Hopefully, we'll also have one or two to aim at the Lincoln trial which is a bit later and Cardinal Venture, who did very well last year, will be running all winter. We have a few other horses that haven't had before and we'll be campaigning them too but at the moment we haven't made any firm plans exactly what we're going to run."

GARY MOORE
Gary Moore was second to Reid on prize money won at Lingfield and ended the season with 14 winners from 84 runners. The trainer's Dark Parade won at all three Arena Leisure tracks last winter, a rarity for a Moore horse, as the East Sussex-based trainer had only four winners in total away from Lingfield.


Moore said: "Lingfield is the closest but it's also the nicest racecourse of the three. It's a marvellous surface and it's really horse friendly. I have about half a dozen horses for this season. Dark Parade will be going on the all-weather again if he doesn't take to jumping. He just got back from Spain where he's been racing in Mijas, so it will take him a while to get over that. I have a few two-year-olds that could also run."

TONY CARROLL
Tony Carroll has a soft spot for Wolverhampton. He was third overall on the national table with 21 winners and enjoyed a particularly good winter at Dunstall Park, where 18 winners from 98 runners yielded an 18% strike-rate and saw him finish second to Mark Brisbourne on prize money won at the course.


"We're happy to run at all three all-weather tacks but Wolverhampton is my favourite. We enjoy Wolverhampton because it's close to us and I feel that the surface is the best of the three."

He continued: "We'll have about 12 to 15 for the all-weather, including a couple of the old-stagers from last year but a few have moved on, like Ziet d'Alsace who has gone to stud, so there are a few fresh ones for this year. We've some nice horses. Savoy Chapel and Plausabelle did well last year but they've gone up the handicap. That's not to say they won't win but they'll be harder to place."


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