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Tuesday, December 23, 2003



SKY BET TO OFFER 110% BOOK ON WELSH NATIONAL




Sky Bet customers, new and old, will receive a festive bonus on Saturday, 27th December when the Harrogate-based company will produce a 110% book on the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow.


The special prices will be available from 9am on the morning of the race and, as per Sky Bet's usual price guarantee, will be held for 15 minutes before any changes are made.

The 110% margin will be maintained all the way up until the first show of the day from Chepstow so even if one horse shortens the price of another runner will increase immediately.


Throughout the past year, Sky Bet customers have taken advantage of the special offer for races such as the Cheltenham Gold Cup where Sky Bet were top price for eight of the 16 runners, and in the Epsom Derby Sky Bet customers could latch onto the biggest odds on 15 of the 20 horses!

Last year Jonjo O'Neill's Mini Sensation landed a huge gamble at Chepstow defeating Chives and Gunner Welburn. Mini Sensation and Gunner Welburn are both entered again this year while the leading fancies include Sir Rembrandt, Hedgehunter, Bindaree and Joss Naylor.

Sky Bet Public Relations Director Dale Tempest said, "The 110% offer has been extremely well received and, whilst it gives our horserace odds compilers a bit of a headache, I'm sure our customers will think it's worth it."

"MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM EVERYONE AT SKYBET"

Sky Bet, a wholly owned company of BSkyB, is one of the country's leading betting and gaming companies and industry leaders in the development of interactive TV betting.


To access Sky Bet just press red on your Sky Digital remote when watching a Sky Channel, alternatively you can visit www.skybet.com or call Freephone 08000 722 421 for Sky Bet Debit betting.




IRISH RACING & BREEDING NEWS




BEST MATE CONFIRMED FOR ERICSSON CHASE

Trainer Henrietta Knight today confirmed that dual Gold Cup winner Best Mate will run in the Ericsson Chase at Leopardstown next Sunday.

Last year's winner Beef or Salmon along with Jonjo O'Neill's Keen Leader and the Noel Meade trained Harbour Pilot look to be the main contenders for Best Mate. The final declarations will be confirmed on St. Stephens Day.

The Ericsson Chase is the highlight of four days of truly top class racing at Leopardstown beginning on St. Stephen's Day and running through to Monday, December 29. For all bookings and enquiries call Leopardstown Racecourse on +353 1 2893607.

SOLERINA GOES ON TRIAL FOR CHELTENHAM

The immensely popular mare Solerina will go on trial for the Smurfit Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown early next week.


A winner of eight of her last nine starts, Solerina had a choice of engagements over the holiday period but now her trainer Michael Bowe has come down firmly in favour if the EUR80,000 December Festival Hurdle which will be run at the Dublin track on Monday, December 29.


"We want to find out whether she has enough pace to cope with the two-mile horses or whether she is just a stayer, and now is the time to find out. Provided the ground remains on the easy side she runs," he said.


TOP FILLY RETIRED TO THE PADDOCKS

Dress To Thrill, winner of the Grade 1 Matriarch Stakes at Hollywood Park, has been retired and is likely to be covered by leading sire Sadler's Wells at Coolmore Stud.


Owned by Moyglare Stud, the daughter of Danehill began her highly successful career with Dermot Weld, finishing second in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at two and winning three Pattern races for the Curragh trainer at three.


She flourished as a four-year-old in America and gained her most important win in the Matriarch Stakes last autumn.


CURRAGH GUINEAS GAIN NEW SPONSOR

Both the Irish 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas will be sponsored by bookmakers Boylesports in a deal secured with the Curragh Racecourse, it was announced last week.


The welcome new arrangement will run until at least 2006 and with both races being run on the same weekend, the occasion will be known as the Boylesports Irish Guineas Festival. There will be a prize fund of EUR400,000 for each of the Classics.

ALL CHANGE AT THE TOP AT THE TURF CLUB

Pierce Molony has been officially installed as the Turf Club Senior Steward. He succeeds Ray Rooney who has retired after completing his two-year term of office.

Molony is the owner of the Malton Stud and has also been a board member of Horse Racing Ireland since it was set up in 2001. Mr. Molony was also Chairman of the Association of Irish Racecourses between 1991 and 1998.

The role of Deputy Senior Steward has gone to Frank Clarke, a well-known Senior Counsel and racehorse owner.

GRADE 2 SUCCESS FOR SUPREME PRINCE

The Supreme Leader gelding Supreme Prince defied a penalty for his earlier win at Chepstow to land the Grade 2 cantorsport.co.uk Novices' Chase at Ascot on Saturday.


Purchased for IR 100,000 guineas at the Tattersalls (Ireland) Derby sale in 2000, Supreme Prince was winning for the second time in just three starts over fences. After being headed at the last he rallied in fine style to win by two lengths from See You Sometime.


LISTED WINS FOR IRISH-BREDS AT ASCOT

The Irish-bred Torus was the convincing winner of the Listed cantorsport.co.uk Silver Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot on Saturday.


The Martin Pipe-trained eight-year-old son of Teenoso proved strong enough to win from the classy Behrajan to record his sixth success from 13 starts.


The novice Thesis, a son of Definite Article, was the winner of the valuable Listed Ladbroke Handicap Hurdle for trainer Venetia Williams and Irish-born jockey Brian Crowley.

Thesis was adding to wins earlier this year at Worcester and Wetherby and was winning his fourth race in just nine starts over hurdles.


STALLION NEWS

Mount Abu, the Group 1 winning son of Foxhound, has been purchased by Aidan Sexton to stand at Sweep Lane Stud, Co. Kildare. A six time winner, Mount Abu's successes include the Gr.1 Prix de la Foret and the Gr. 3 Supreme Stakes. His fee for 2004 is EUR3500.

Another Gr. 1 winner coming to stand in Ireland next season is Viking Ruler. Purchased for Aus $1.5 million as a yearling, the son of Danehill won the AJC Spring Champion Stakes in Australia. He will stand at Oak Lodge Stud in Co. Kildare for a fee of EUR6500.


An excellent year for Irish National Stud sire Celtic Swing was topped off with a win by Celtos in the Gr. 2 C B Cox Stakes at Belmont Park at the weekend. Celtic Swing, who also sired Breeder's Cup Mile winner Six Perfections, stands for a fee of EUR12,000 in 2004.


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