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Friday, November 6, 2009


Meeting: The Open
Dates: Friday, Saturday & Sunday - November 13, 14 & 15
Gates Open: 10.00am Friday & Saturday, 11.00am Sunday
First Race: 1.15pm Friday, 12.50pm Saturday, 1.10pm Sunday
Admission prices from £9. Go to www.cheltenham.co.uk for further information

Alan King is likely to be double-handed in the £100,000 Grade Three Greatwood Hurdle (2.20pm) at Cheltenham on Sunday, November 15, with the Barbury Castle trainer’s Medermit and Squadron set to contest the feature event on day three of The Open.

Both horses will be making their seasonal debut in the extended two-mile contest before moving into the novice chase sphere.

Medermit was a high-class novice hurdler last term, winning a Grade Two contest at Ascot, as well as finishing the neck runner-up to Go Native in the Grade One williamhill.com Supreme Novices’ Hurdle over the course and distance at The Festival in March. Squadron was fourth to Numide in last year’s running of the Greatwood Hurdle.

King revealed this morning: “Medermit and Squadron are both intended runners in the Greatwood Hurdle. The plan is to go novice chasing with Medermit but I wanted to take in this race first and then go on from there, so the Greatwood has always been his target.

“Squadron ran very well in the race last year and he would probably go chasing after the race as well. They both worked this morning and everything is fine.”

The Open offers three days of excellent racing from Friday, November 13, to Sunday, November 15. The feature race at The Open is the prestigious £150,000 Grade Three Paddy Power Gold Cup (2.35pm), staged over an extended two and a half miles, which takes place on Saturday, November 14. The King-trained Tarotino is 7/1 second favourite for the race with the sponsor, behind the Paul Nicholls-trained 6/1 joint favourites Poquelin and Chapoturgeon.

Five-day confirmations for the Paddy Power Gold Cup and the Greatwood Hurdle take place on Monday, November 9.


Chase & Hurdle Course: Good, Good to Soft in places

Cross Country Course: Good, Good to Firm in places

Simon Claisse, Cheltenham’s Clerk of Course & Director of Racing, commented today: “The forecast for the week leading up to The Open is for generally unsettled conditions.

“I am happy with the condition of the course at the moment - it is looking very good.”


Cheltenham Racecourse has announced that Georgie Browne, partner of Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls, will be the Official Ambassador for Ladies Day 2010 at The Festival next year. Ladies Day will take place on Thursday, March 18, the third day of the four-day Festival.

As the Official Ambassador, Georgie will be involved in a number of promotional and media events in the run up to the day. She will be working closely with the racecourse to encourage more women to attend Ladies Day while also helping the fundraising drive for Cancer Research UK, the Official Ladies Day Charity for 2010.

Georgie, who grew up in Lambourn, Berkshire, was formerly a trainer herself. She and partner Paul now live together at the couple’s home in Ditcheat, near Shepton Mallet in Somerset. Having previously ridden out Denman and Kauto Star during training sessions, Georgie is now work rider for, the dual Seasons Holidays Queen Mother Champion Chase winner, Master Minded.

Georgie said: “I am thrilled to be the Ladies Day Ambassador for 2010. As someone who lives for jump racing, I want to encourage more women to attend The Festival and see for themselves how thrilling a day at the races can be. Ladies Day at Cheltenham has grown over the past few years to become a great social event which also celebrates the part women have to play in racing. The atmosphere at The Festival is truly unique and I look forward to being closely involved with Ladies Day this season”.

Ladies Day was launched in 2007 and now stands alone as an important part of The Festival. A number of special events take place on Ladies Day, including the highly coveted Fashion Awards which attract hundreds of participants annually. As in previous years, there will also be the presentation of “The Outstanding Contribution made by a Lady to Jump Racing Award”. The 2009 award was presented to Nina Carberry, the top female Jump Jockey.

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