WALSH AIMS TO TRUMP BOYLEPOKER.COM CHASE RIVALS WITH JACK HIGH & JOHNSON EXPECTING BIG RUN FROM COMMERCIAL FLYER IN £100,000 EVENT
Co Kildare handler Ted Walsh is hoping to stage another successful raid across the Irish Sea when he saddles Jack High in the £100,000 Boylepoker.com Chase, run over three miles and one and a half furlongs at Cheltenham tomorrow, Friday, December 8. The contest has attracted a total of 15 runners.
Jack High has already tasted success on these shores, having landed the Betfred Gold Cup at Sandown in 2005. He comes into the race after a pipe-opener over hurdles at Naas on October 28, when he ran respectably to finish seventh of 19 behind Finger Onthe Pulse, keeping on well over the two and a half mile trip.
Walsh said this morning: "Jack High ran well enough on his return at Naas. He’s 11 years of age, so he’s not going to start improving now, but he’s come on like any horse would for his first run back.
"It’s a competitive race on Friday, but I would say I’ve seen more competitive races for the money on offer. It a very valuable prize, and that’s the reason he’s going to Cheltenham. He’s got a racing weight on his back and he’s got a chance.
"I wouldn’t say he’s that well weighted and he’s not very big, but he has what he deserves - he’s won a Betfred Gold Cup, a Troytown Chase and has been second in an Irish National - and at least he’s on the right side of 11st.
"He’s not easy to place with his rating, so we have to go the handicap route, and this race is worth £100,000. He’s won on all types of ground, so the surface won’t bother him."
The John Smith’s Grand National - in which Jack High unseated at the Chair in April - could again be on the agenda, although his trainer will see what happens at Cheltenham on Friday before nominating any future targets.
Walsh continued: "We’ll see how he gets on at Cheltenham before deciding where we go next - at his age you don’t want to make too many plans. If he’s sound and well come next April, the National would always be the objective - but then that’s the same for every horse in training that stays three and a half miles.
"I hope he has a good run. If he runs up to his very best, which he will need to do, then he shouldn’t be too far away."
Owner David Johnson is expecting a bold show in the Boylepoker.com Chase from Commercial Flyer, a winner on his chasing debut at Taunton in February, but disappointing when pulled up on his two subsequent starts at Cheltenham and Aintree.
Johnson said today: "The Boylepoker.com Chase is a £100,000 race, and we thought we had more chance of winning that than the Boylesports.com Gold Cup on Saturday.
"He didn’t fulfil what we hoped he would last year, but he had some niggling problems that David (Pipe) and Martin (Pipe) seem to have overcome, and we’re expecting a big race from him. If Timmy (Murphy) can get him settled, we think he will go very close."
Speaking about his other runners tomorrow, Johnson said: "Standin Obligation (Cleanevent Novices’ Chase, 12.10pm) had done nothing wrong. It’s a pretty tight race but we do hold the horse in high regard - I really think he is a star. He jumps superbly well and I’d expect him to run a big race tomorrow. To be frank, I’d be a bit disappointed if he didn’t win.
"Medison (CFR Group Handicap Hurdle, 2.30pm) has been disappointing. He looks the part but finds nothing when the questions are asked. I don’t know if we’ll find the key tomorrow - he goes there more in hope than optimism."
Looking ahead to Saturday’s £150,000 Boylesports.com Gold Cup, Johnson continued: "Bannow Strand is definitely an intended runner in the Boylesports.com Gold Cup on Saturday. He is nicely weighted. He came with a big reputation from Ireland and I suppose he was disappointing early on, but he won a couple of nice races at the back-end of last year.
"He’s very, very well at home and he’s got a nice racing weight, although it’s very competitive. With Timmy riding him he’s my main chance, which is probably why he’s shortened up. I’ve had a small bet each-way."
Meanwhile, Boylesports have reported good money for Hardy Eustace ahead of the £200,000 Boylesports.com International at Cheltenham on Saturday, December 9. The Irish challenger has been trimmed from 5/2 into 9/4, with favourite Detroit City pushed out from 4/9 to ½. They then bet 12/1 Arcalis, 20/1 Blazing Bailey, 25/1 Mephisto and 50/1 Crow Wood.
Cheltenham experienced 3.5 millimetres of rainfall overnight, with the going on the chase and hurdle courses now good to soft, soft in places, and the cross county course soft, good to soft in places. The forecast is for a further 3-4 millimetres of rain today, and Friday looks like being mainly dry, with a chance of showers. Saturday is expected to be dry and sunny.
Tickets will be available on the door for both days of the Boylesports International.
Admission prices for both days are Club/Tattersalls: £20 (16-24s: £15); Best Mate £8.
Parking is free on both days.
Gates open at 10.00am.
BOYLEPOKER.COM HANDICAP CHASE
(3m1f 110y) CHELTENHAM 1.20pm LIVE ON TV
My Will 6/1
Commericial Flyer 7/1
New Alco 7/1
No Full 7/1
Model Son 10/1
Church Island 11/1
Cornish Rebel 14/1
All In The Stars 16/1
Jack High 20/1
Nil Desperandum 20/1
2006 TBA BREEDERS' AWARDS ANNOUNCED
The 2006 Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA) Awards, of which 12 of the 14 are announced today, Thursday, December 7, acknowledge the achievements of a diverse selection of British breeders, both large and small.
Ouija Board is the undoubted darling of British racing and the five-year-old mare's exploits during the summer in winning the Group One pair of the Prince Of Wales's Stakes and Vodafone Nassau Stakes, ahead of becoming the first British-trained runner to win two Breeders' Cup contests when securing the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, sees Lord Derby's Stanley House Stud receive the TBA Silver Salver Award for special merit.
Peter Stanley, manager of Stanley House Stud, declared today: "In a very international world, with extremely wealthy owners and breeders, to be fortunate enough to breed a horse good enough to win an award is a great honour, as well as being a great privilege for all of us at the stud who have been a part of it.
"People compare the Nassau Stakes to the Grundy/Bustino epic (in the 1975 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes), which I'm just old enough to remember, and it's remarkable to think that we bred a horse that could be involved in a comparable duel.
"I watch the Nassau Stakes again and again and it's hard to believe what those two mares did - let's not forget Alexander Goldrun, who is a very good mare in her own right and was incredibly gallant and brave in defeat.
"Ouija Board has been more than a remarkable mare because she's been so genuine the whole way through. When anything's gone wrong it hasn't been her fault, it's just been the way cards have fallen.
"We've had three, if not four, amazing years racing her. We've thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it and we're very excited and looking forward to the next challenge, which is to breed one as good as we possibly can from her.
"It's fantastically exciting. Every stud master dreams of having mares like her on their stud. We bid for various mares at the sale this year, and whatever I was bidding on I knew that none of them were in a comparable league to our own Ouija Board."
Harry Ormesher of Old Suffolk Stud, based at Hundon in Suffolk, takes the Small Breeder of the Year Award for Flat racing, the Langham Cup - the stud produced the Epsom Derby winner Sir Percy.
Ormesher purchased Percy's Lass from Darley and Sir Percy was the mare's last foal as she died aged 19, leaving the future Derby hero an orphan.
"I'm absolutely delighted and honoured. It's a wonderful thing for a small stud like mine with just eight mares - it's incredible really.
"I have 30 acres and I feel eight mares is just about right. We never have colts as yearlings. We sell the colt foals and normally run the fillies on to yearlings, so we have two fillies we'll be selling on next year.
"I've been in Hundon for coming up to 10 years and I'm fortunate enough to have a great record in that time. Of all the horses I've bred that have run, only two haven't won, and they've won well over 50 races, so I think that's actually as good as an achievement as Sir Percy.
"Everyone says it's terrible that I lost the mare (Percy's Lass) and it is, but I've had an amazing two years with what he's done. I sent Percy's Lass to Mark Of Esteem five times in all and the full-sister, Lady Kar, sold for 700,000 guineas last week. The other full-sister, Love Token, unfortunately died. She was owned by the actor Albert Finney and was a good filly.
"I bought Percy's Lass from Darley and there were three reasons I bought her. One was that I saw her win the September Stakes and she displayed a great turn of foot to win that Group Three.
"The second reason was because she was in foal to Mark Of Esteem, and apart from the fact he's one of the most brilliant milers I've ever seen, I felt that his sire Darshaan would work with that wonderful Moller family. I was convinced that it would eventually throw up something really good.
"The third reason was Will Edmeades. I wanted to buy three mares at the sale and I couldn't get up the first two days and I gave poor Will 64 mares to look at. He came to a short-list and I had a list, and Percy's Lass was at the top of both lists. I don't know what would have happened if he had knocked her off the list, I probably wouldn't have bought her. We agreed that she was the only mare we really wanted.
"Sir Percy was a most wonderful foal and the best colt I'd ever seen in my life. He kicked me on the head with his near fore when he was 10 seconds old, and I knew then he was precocious. All he wanted to do was get up on his feet and get out into the world and run. He had wonderful balance from the day he was born.
"We have a nice line of mares. We have a Chief's Crown mare called Crown Water and we have her daughter, a good two-year-old in America called Bull's Crown, who is in foal to Mark Of Esteem, so we're really looking forward to that."
The Queen's Silver Cup, awarded to the breeder who accrues the most prize money on the Flat in Britain and Ireland throughout the season with UK-resident mares, goes to David and Patricia Thompson's Cheveley Park Stud, which finally overcame the Khalid Abdullah and Maktoum camps.
The Group One winning fillies Nannina (Coronation Stakes) and Peeress (Lockinge Stakes) were the most high-profile contributors to Cheveley Park's successful season.
The BBA Silver Cigar Box, given to the leading British-based sire based on earnings, went to the classy and versatile Dalham Hall stallion Mark Of Esteem, who enjoyed a superb year thanks principally to the exploits of his Derby-winning son Sir Percy and dual Group One winning sprinter Reverence.
The Barleythorpe Cup is awarded to the leading British-based sire in terms of individual winners, and this year saw a fascinating season-long duel between the Cheveley Park stallion Pivotal and his Banstead Manor Stud rival Dansili.
Pivotal clinched the award with 60 winners to Dansili's 55, with the pick of his successful progeny comprising the Group winners Peeress, Excellent Art, Brazilian Bride, Alzerra, Enticing, Pivotal Point and Violet Park.
Cheveley Park Stud's fantastic year was augmented by the success of Pivotal's son Kyllachy, who stands alongside his sire at the operation's Newmarket base.
Kyllachy is rewarded for a fine first crop by securing the Tattersalls' Silver Salver for the leading British-based first season sire, with 17 winners of 24 races and £262,250 in prize money. His main flag bearers were the speedy Listed winners Sadeek and Blue Echo, who helped him to an excellent fourth-place on the overall list for two-year-olds in Britain and Ireland.
The exceptional Juddmonte Farms matron Hasili takes the Broodmare of the Year Award - H J Joel Silver Salver - thanks to the exploits of the Danehill own-brothers Dansili, Banstead Manor Stud's flagship stallion, dual US Grade One victor Cacique and Champs Elysees, a winner and placed in two French Group races. The remarkable Hasili is also the dam of the champion race mares Banks Hill, Heat Haze and Intercontinental.
Hasili and her stallion son Dansili helped Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms to the coveted TBA Silver Rose Bowl, a discretionary award presented to the Breeder Of The Year.
Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Rail Link was the owner/breeder's principal European campaigner in 2006, and his sire, Dansili, traces back three generations to a mare acquired 25 years ago, while his dam, Docklands, is a grand-daughter of a mare purchased in 1984 for the Juddmonte broodmare band.
Alflora confirmed his standing as the dominant British-based National Hunt stallion to secure a third successive Whitbread Silver Salver for leading British-based National Hunt sire by earnings. The prolific stallion, who stands at Shade Oak Stud in Shropshire, sired 27 winners of 41 races for earnings of £369,166.
Last year, Alfora was the outright winner of the Horse & Hound Cup for the leading active British-based sire determined by individual chase winners, having shared the accolade with stud companion Rakaposhi King in 2004, and he takes the award again.
Missed That, who tragically died in a gallops accident in November, was responsible for his dam, Not Enough, securing the Dudgeon Cup for National Hunt Broodmare of the Year.
Missed That, winner of the 2005 Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the Cheltenham Festival, added two Leopardstown Grade One triumphs last season in the Durkan New Homes Novice Chase and the Baileys Arkle Perpetual Cup Novice Chase, before scoring in the Grade Two Ellier Developments Novice Chase at Punchestown in April.
The late trainer/breeder Tom Corrie bought Missed That's fifth dam, Apolda, in 1938, and Not Enough's four-year-old Sir Harry Lewis gelding, Kia Kaha, carries on the late mare's legacy after winning a Wincanton bumper in the colours of J P McManus on his career debut in November.
Charles Wilson, chairman of the TBA National Hunt Committee for the last 10 years, is the recipient of the Queen Mother's Silver Cup, the National Hunt Achievement Award.
Based at Pitts Farm Stud in Dorset, he was first co-opted to the TBA Council in 1996 and receives the accolade in recognition of his initiative and unstinting efforts to advance the cause of National Hunt breeders in Great Britain.
The Awards will be presented at the TBA Awards Dinner at the Hyatt Regency London Churchill Hotel on the evening of Tuesday, January 9, 2007, when the winners of two special awards for contributions to the British Breeding Industry are announced.
For further information, please contact Louise Kemble, Chief Executive of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, or Gavin Pritchard-Gordon, Executive Director of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, on 01638 661321.
2006 THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS' ASSOCIATION AWARDS
TBA Silver Salver (Special Merit) - Stanley House Stud
The Langham Cup (Small Breeder of the Year) - Harry Ormesher
Queen's Silver Cup (Leading British-based Breeder, Flat earnings) - Cheveley Park Stud
BBA Silver Cigar Box (Leading British-based Stallion, Flat earnings) - Mark Of Esteem
Barleythorpe Cup (Leading British-based Sire, individual winners) - Pivotal
Tattersalls' Silver Salver (Leading British-based First Season Sire) - Kyllachy
HJ Joel Silver Salver (Leading British-based Flat Broodmare of the Year) - Hasili
TBA Silver Rose Bowl (Flat Breeder of the Year) - Juddmonte Farms
Langham Cup (Small Breeder of the Year) - Old Suffolk Stud
Whitbread Silver Salver (Leading Active British-based NH Stallion, earnings) - Alflora
Horse & Hound Cup (Leading Active British-based Stallion, individual chase wins) Alflora
Dudgeon Cup (NH Broodmare of the Year) Not Enough
HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother's Silver Salver (Outstanding contribution to National Hunt racing and breeding) - Charles Wilson
Duke of Devonshire Award - Announced on January 9, 2007
Dominion Award - Announced on January 9, 2007
TRNI SIGNS AGREEMENT WITH UK TOTE TO COMMINGLE BETS INTO US HOST TRACKS
TRN International are pleased to announce that they have entered into agreement with the UK Tote Credit trading as Totesport to provide wagering services that will allow Totesport to commingle all wagers on US races directly into the US host pools. The TRNI software supports the US racing distributed by At The Races (ATR) on channel 415 and is supplied under a recently announced agreement with Television Games Network (TVG), the main broadcaster of horse racing in the US.
The Tote is one of the principal betting organisations in Britain with more than 4,000 employees, over 540 shops, a major presence on each of the 59 racecourses in Britain as well as Internet and telephone betting facilities.
Over 74 million bets are placed through the Tote every year, with profits going back to racing. The Tote is present on all British racecourses and Totepool is the only pool betting operation in British horseracing.
The Tote’s Annual Reports and Accounts were presented before Parliament on July 11, 2006.
Chief Executive, Trevor Beaumont, commented on the results: “The pools operation is being supported strongly by developing new systems and international partnerships, all of which are making it an attractive business increasing pool sizes with overseas money and delivering great returns to our customers.”
TRNI have been promoting US racing into the UK and Ireland for the last 6 years via its FastBet software that provides all of the betting data necessary to allow pari-mutuel wagering directly back to the host track via the Scientific Games Worldwide Tote Hub. This service has recently expanded to include racing from Australia and additional racing is planned for early in the New Year and will be broadcast as part of the new ATR offering for 2007.
Bill Hogwood, President, TRNI said: ''I am delighted to bring Totesport into our line up of wagering partners. We now have most of the major UK bookmakers and Totesport with its long history in tote wagering provides a significant opportunity to promote wagering directly into the US host tracks. International wagering is an important expansion for horse racing that requires the Industry to work together. Having The Tote commingling to the US pools reciprocates the arrangement set-up with our recent TVG deal, whereby, the US outlets commingle wagers back to the UK and Irish totes on the ATR tracks shown on the TVG channels throughout the USA. I am pleased that TRNI are active in helping to achieve this. I am excited by our recent agreements that will expand our service in the New Year and fully expect to be able to add to these during 2007.''
Keith Oliver, Managing Director, Totepool E-Gaming, said: “We are delighted to be able to offer our telephone and Internet customers the opportunity to bet directly into the US racecourse pools from early next year. This further increases our growing portfolio of international pool bets and helps us to capitalise on the growing interest in US racing from armchair racing fans.”
Matthew Imi, Chief Executive of At The Races, said: “We work closely with the Tote and TRNI across many different areas of our business and are very pleased to be extending that relationship through this agreement. That so many UK bookmakers have chosen to partner with TRNI in this part of the market is testament to the excellent relationships which have been built up by Bill Hogwood and his team over the years and that can only have been helped recently by our recent announcements of improved US racing coverage through our deal with TVG as well as with Australian Racing.”
SKY BET PROUD TO CONTINUE AWARDS FOR STABLE STAFF
Sky Bet is pleased to announce that it will continue to offer stable staff some of the very best prizes in racing.
Sky Bet began its programme of race sponsorship on a large scale four years ago and the Harrogate-based bookmaker, always at the forefront of innovation, has consistently recognised the vital role played by stable staff in the racing industry. A prize of £200 minimum per race is always guaranteed in a Sky Bet-sponsored race.
A prize of £100 is always presented to the member of stable staff in charge of the horse judged to be the best turned-out in all races sponsored by Sky Bet. However, Sky Bet go one step further by also giving £100 to the member of stable staff in charge of the winner in every race sponsored by the company.
In addition, the three premier races sponsored by Sky Bet on the Flat, the Sky Bet Dash Heritage Handicap and the Sky Bet York Stakes at York, plus the Group One Sky Bet Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket, have enhanced prizes for the winning groom of £200 for each of the York races and £500 for the Newmarket contest.
While financial rewards obviously play a huge role in rewarding stable staff, Sky Bet also acknowledges that public recognition is of major importance and therefore successful stable staff are always invited on to the podium alongside the winning owner, trainer and jockey in all races sponsored by Sky Bet.
Dale Tempest, Sky Bet's PR Director, commented: "With the recent publicity surrounding the prizes given to stable staff, Sky Bet is delighted to continue to provide minimum cash guarantees for every Sky Bet-sponsored race.
"Sky Bet has been rewarding stable staff in charge of both the best tuned-out and the winner in every race we have sponsored for the last four years as Sky Bet feels it is important to offer incentives and recognition for people at the very heart of racing.
"A place on the podium for the winning groom ensures that the role of stable staff is always rewarded in the public eye as well as financially."