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Monday, March 26, 2001



LATEST WILLIAM HILL ANTE-POST PRICES




2001 MARTELL NATIONAL: 8-1 Mely Moss, 12-1 Beau, Earthmover, 16-1 Moral Support (from 25), Noble Lord, 20-1 Smarty, 25-1 Browjoshy, Dark Stranger, Inn At The Top, Take Control, 33-1 Addington Boy, Djeddah, Edmond, General Wolfe, Northern Starlight, Paddys Return, Red Ark, Red Marauder, The Last Fling, 40-1 BAR

2001 TWO THOUSAND GUINEAS: 5-2 Nayef (from 3), 5-1 Tobougg, 9-1 Minardi (from 7), 10-1 Tamburlaine (from 12), 16-1 Rumpold (from 14), West Order, 25-1 Amiwain, Beckett, Clearing, Endless Summer, Golan, Mozart, Raneem, 33-1 BAR

2001 ONE THOUSAND GUINEAS: 11-2 Regal Rose, 8-1 Crystal Music, Enthused, Karasta, 10-1 Muwakleh, 12-1 Autumn Rythmn, 16-1 Quick To Please, 20-1 Flight Of Fancy, Sayedah, Sequoyah, 25-1 Ascension, Fallen Star, Imagine, Katherine Seymour, Khulan, La Passione, Mala Mala, Siringas, South Of Saturn, Summer Symphony, Tempting Fate, Toroca, 33-1 BAR

2001 VODAFONE DERBY: 8-1 Nayef, 12-1 Galileo, Golan, 16-1 Dilshaan, Tobougg, 20-1 Celtic Silence, Hemingway, 25-1 Atlantis Prince, Beckett, Milan, Perigee Moon, Rumpold, Vacamonte, Wareed, 33-1 BAR

2001 VODAFONE OAKS: 7-1 Autumn Rythmn, 14-1 Flight Of Fancy, Karasta, 16-1 Crystal Music, Imagine, Muwakleh, Sayedah, 20-1 Choc Ice, Relish The Thought, (Others Upon Application)



LEVY BOARD APPROVES £7,750,000 INTEREST-FREE LOAN FOR COUNTY STAND REDEVELOPMENT AT YORK




An interest-free loan of £7,750,000 to York Racecourse for a new County Stand has been given the go-ahead by the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

The Knavesmire Stand in the Tattersalls Enclosure, which opened in 1996, set new standards for racegoers and the York Race Committee wants to provide improved facilities in the County Stand which is much older.


The County Stand attracted over 75,000 customers last year and has seen a 24% rise in attendance over the past ten years. There are currently 1,800 annual members, with a waiting list of a further 500.


Subject to formal planning consents, the existing County Stand will be demolished and replaced with a new five storey stand. This will be built between the Listed Barber Pole Stand and the Knavesmire Stand and the total cost is estimated at £20 million.


The new stand will offer improved viewing and seating areas as well as increased bar space and more toilets. It will incorporate a new facility for Annual Members.

Initial work is due to start later this year, with completion scheduled for May, 2003.

Racing will continue throughout the period and temporary facilities for County Stand racegoers will be made available in other areas.


John Smith, Manager, Secretary and Clerk of the Course at York, commented: "York is delighted to be receiving this £7,750,000 interest-free loan from the Levy Board for the new County Stand. Last year York had record attendances and this new development emphasises the determination of the Committee to provide top class facilities to match the high quality horses that York attracts."



GERRARD EXTEND BONUS SCHEME FOR 2001




Private client investment management company Gerrard are to extend their involvement in sponsorship this flat season by offering a £100,000 bonus to any horse that can win two of the races in their 10 race series and then the final at Newbury in October.


The series (previously known as the Caple Cure Sharp Series) has been extended from eight races to ten races for 2001 and now includes the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood's July meeting and also the Eglinton Nursery at the York Ebor meeting.


Christopher Moorsom, Managing Director of Gerrard, commented: "We hope our extended programme will make it slightly easier than last year but still extremely difficult to win."

Newmarket-based hander William Jarvis, who landed a maiden race in the series at Leicester last season with Earl Grey said: "The link between the races and racecourses makes it easier for a trainer to plan out possible routes for a horse.


"The possibility of picking up a bonus of £100,000 is very attractive.


"However, we're slightly in the hands of Mr Matthew Tester, the handicapper, because to win two of the qualifying races and then that third race is not going to be an easy task.


"I hope I've got a couple of two-year-olds who can compete in the Gerrard Series.


"I think it will be pretty difficult to pick up the bonus but as long as we can be competitive then that's what we want."



WOLVERHAMPTON ON TOMORROW




Tomorrow's all-weather meeting at Wolverhampton will go ahead as the course is currently just outiside an exclusion zone for foot and mouth disease.



CLARKE CRITICAL OF BHB STANCE ON FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE




Northern Racing supremo and leading owner Sir Stan Clarke has criticised the BHB over its stance on not allowing meetings to go ahead in areas infected by foot and mouth disease.


Clarke told The Times today: "The BHB must revisit this issue, there is no doubt about it.


"There are serious financial implications and racing is still being singled out unfavourably.


"You can look at several courses which have houses and supermarkets next door where life goes on as usual and golf courses in the middle where people still play.


"They can stage fairs and exhibitions unquestioned but racing cannot take place there.


"I can't see the logic in this. Uttoxeter has Alton Towers five miles up the road still open for business and thriving yet we are told we cannot race because we are in an infected area.


"Last week we lost our biggest day of the year, the Midlands National, and I would estimate that it cost the Uttoxeter area around £2million."

"If it is deemed acceptable for thousands of people to go to a location such as Alton Towers or a football match that falls in an infected area the only question is whether horses carry the virus more than humans and we are told that is not so."

However, the BHB's Communications Manager Alan Delmonte has hit back at Clarke's comments.


Delmonte said: "Our policy from the start has been that when a course is in an infected area then the meeting will be cancelled and we have no plans to reconsider our policy.


"We understand the difficulties such courses are facing but our policy is a clear one and one everyone can understand."



BESTS TO RETURN TO EUROPE




Best Of The Bests, who finished down the field in eighth place in Saturday's Dubai World Cup will return to Europe to contest some of this season's best races on turf.


The Machiavellian colt's trainer Saeed bin Suroor told Gulf News: "What we saw wasn't the real Best Of The Bests. He's a much better horse and should not be judged by this race alone.


"He did everything right up to the race but when the time came to really make a race of it he did not try. Obviously it's a disappointing result but these things happen in horse racing.


"He will ship with the rest of our horses, as we always do during the end of April. We'll find some nice Group races for him."

Commenting on Ekraar and Broche, seventh and tenth respectively on Saturday, bin Suroor commented: "Ekraar also has not taken well to the dirt. He will join Best Of The Bests in England.


"Last year he was developing very nicely but he does not seem to have improved much this year. But we still believe that he has a lot of promise and is a genuine Group horse.


"Broche will also go to Newmarket. But we have not yet made any race plans."

Simon Crisford, Godolphin's Racing Manager, confirmed that Fantastic Light, second in the Dubai Sheema Classic, will once again be aimed at the Vodafone Coronation Cup and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes, races in which he finished second last season.




CHANGE IN RULES FOR MELBOURNE CUP




Australian racing officials have changed the rules for qualification for the 2001 Tooheys Melbourne Cup which will now mean that the winners of both the Doncaster Cup and Jefferson Smurfit Irish St Leger will now be guaranteed a run in Australia's most famous race.


If they decide to line up, the winners of the above two races will be exempt from the ballot for the race, which has a safety limit of 24.


The race committee will continue to have the right "in its absolute discretion" to exempt any horse from the ballot.


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


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