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Friday, March 30, 2001



BEST PRICES FOR ASCOT AND HAYDOCK TOMORROW




2.15 Ascot - Grosvenor Casino Handicap Chase, 2m 3 ½f

Celibate - 9/2 T, WH
Robbo - 4 T
Eau De Cologne - 5 L
Super Coin - 6 WH
The Land Agent - 4 L
Super Tactics - 12 T, WH
Native Fling - 15/2 WH

Each way 1/5 odds places 1,2

2.50 Ascot - Weatherbys Hurdle, 3m

Anzum - 9/4 WH
Teaatral - 11/4 L, T
Merry Masqurade - 4 T
City Hall - 50 L
Frosty Canyon - 4 L
Maidstone Monument - 300 L
Maid Equal - 14 WH
Monicas Story - L, T, WH

Each way 1/5 the odds places 1,2,3

3.10 Haydock - Tote Scoop6 Handicap Hurdle, 2m 7 ½f

McHattie - 9/2 T, WH
Seven Towers - 16 L, T
Winchester - 14 L
Zahari - 20 L
The Pickled Duke - 100/30 T
Misty Class - 16 T, WH
Reverse Charge - 25 WH
Briery Ann - 14 T
Vilprano - 14 L, WH
Glacial Dancer - 14 L, T, WH
Sau-Mynde - 14 L, T, WH
Bowles Patrol - 16 L, T
Hunting Slane - 20 L, WH
Cottstown Boy - 33 L, WH
Ballynattin Blue - 33 L, WH
My Good Son - 25 T
Columbus - 25 L, WH
Brian James - 33 L, T, WH
Supertop - 50 L
Young Steven - 50 T, WH
Nicholas Plant - 150 L, WH
Sea Tarth - 200 L

Each way 1/4 odds places 1,2,3,4

L=Ladbrokes T=Tote WH=William Hill



£100,000 JACKPOT TO HELP BEAT MONDAY-BLUES




A Tote Jackpot rollover of £101,372 will start the pools off nicely when the bet resumes on Monday-the likely venue being Lingfield-after a frustrating afternoon for punters at Southwell today.


" 'Rollover fever' seems to have taken over, with big pools going unwon in the Scoop6 over the last few weeks, and now the Jackpot getting in on the act," said Tote spokesman, Jeremy Scott. "When the jackpot pool closes on Monday, there will be well over £150,000-possibly £175,000-up for grabs for anyone being smiled upon by Lady-luck."

"However punters will hope the results on Monday prove to be a little more favorable than they were on today's jackpot where they were dropping like flies at Southwell. Winners at 8/1, 12/1 and 25/1 in the first three races ensured that no-one even made it on to leg four of todays bet."



£500,000 SCOOP6 ROLLOVER POOLS UP FOR GRABS




Punters playing the Scoop6 this weekend have the luxury of betting into pools already loaded with over £500,000 in rollover funds as the live Channel 4 races from Haydock and Market Rasen play host to this Saturday's bet.


The Win fund has not been landed for over a month and stands at £181,529 while the Bonus fund was last landed seven weeks ago, and has reached £322,158.


"Strong Scoop6 pools over the last few weeks have seen the rollovers steadily grow to the healthiest they have been since November last year," said Tote spokesman, Jeremy Scott. "By the time the pools close tomorrow a single winner Scooping the Win fund and next weeks Bonus fund would be looking at a total win in the region of £600,000. With 70% of Win fund winners to date being £2 line players the bet looks a shrewd investment for all players tomorrow."

"Total Scoop6 revenue reached the £25 million mark last Saturday-with an average weekly pool of just under £300,000-proof if it were needed that the bet has become firmly established as a Saturday favourite with the punters.


"Over its short history the Scoop6 has also proved to be the value option for punters with the Win fund dividend returning on average 130% more than a £1 SP accumulator equivalent. With another healthy pool predicted this Saturday, these figures should be boosted further."

Saturday's Scoop6 legs:

leg 1 3.10 Haydock - Tote Scoop6 Hurdle
leg 2 3.40 Haydock - Haydock TV Handicap Chase
leg 3 3.55 Market Rasen - Welland Handicap Chase
leg 4 4.10 Haydock - Northwest Racing Club Handicap Hurdle
leg 5 4.25 Market Rasen - Levy Board Handicap Hurdle
leg 6 4.40 Haydock - Buzz Handicap Chase




BBC SPORT OFFERS THREE-WAY LIVE COVERAGE OF 2001 GRAND NATIONAL




BBC SPORT's coverage of the 2001 Martell Grand National is set to be an odds on favourite with viewers, listeners and Internet users as live coverage of the world's greatest steeplechase is brought to the nation in all three media on Saturday, April 7.
BBC Television's winning combination of Sue Barker and Clare Balding returns to Aintree to present all the action and excitement as the 154th running of the legendary race forms the climax to three days of top quality horse racing action on the BBC (April 5-7).

BBC ONE will mount the biggest jump racing outside broadcast in the world for the National with a total of 48 cameras around the course - both on and off the track - to ensure that every angle of the action is covered.

A total of 12 races will be screened live over the three days of the Aintree meeting. And on the eve of the race as the anticipation builds, BBC ONE presents a special A Question Of Sport: Grand National Special while BBC TWO previews the big race in The Night Before The National (more details on page 4).

In a first for BBC SPORT Online, Internet users will also be able to watch the Grand National online this year after the rights to web cast the races live from the celebrated meeting were secured. With action from all three days of racing, the new deal also gives BBC SPORT Online exclusive access to archive footage including some of the greatest Grand National finishes. All these features can be found on BBC SPORT's Online dedicated site, which is also a first for the big race, on www.bbc.co.uk/grandnational which goes live on Friday, March 30.

Peter Salmon, Director of BBC SPORT said: "Only the BBC could offer the nation and horse racing such a comprehensive sports service. The Grand National is more than just a horse race, it literally brings the nation to a halt, and it is only right that the nation's network sports broadcaster brings it home to the nation."

Following on from the success of the innovative wirecam experienced used during last year's Grand National and Royal Ascot coverage, the technique will be extended this year.

Malcolm Kemp, BBC Executive Producer of racing coverage said: "Wirecam gave us some unique views of the finish last year, so we have decided to extend it's ability to over half a kilometre, effectively covering the course from final fence past the chair and finish line, out around the corner which leads the horses out into the country. The camera will also be slightly lower to give us even more spectacular pictures of both the race and huge crowds."

"We have also decided to extend the camera tracking system at Canal Turn.


Using a technique that is more often used at athletics events, last year's pictures of the almost 90 degree corner were the best they have ever been. Building on from that success we have decided to extend the shot to give the viewer more time to follow the horses in the build-up to the fence.

"And with more cameras in the crowd to capture the best of the atmosphere and hopefully many of the celebrities who will be there, the BBC's highly successful jockey helmet camera plus extended use of graphics displaying the jockeys colours onto the track and paddock, the BBC is all set to bring viewers the best and most informed seat in the house."

On the big day itself, BBC ONE's Grandstand hosted by Sue and Clare will guide viewers through the build-up to the biggest horse race of them all.


With live coverage of three races in the lead up to the National, the race itself, and a re-run from every conceivable angle, BBC ONE is the place to follow the highs and lows of the afternoon.


Jim McGrath leads the commentary team of John Hanmer and Tony O'Hehir, with expert opinion and analysis from Richard Pitman and Peter Scudamore. Angus Loughran, the BBC's betting expert, provides viewers with valuable pointers to the afternoon's racing.

Clare returns later in the evening with highlights of the day's Aintree action in a Grand National Review (BBC ONE 11.35pm - 12.00 Midnight).

BBC SPORT Online's dedicated site for the race will be on www.bbc.co.uk/grandnational and goes live on Monday, April 2. As well as web cast broadcasts of key races over the three days, and archive footage, the site will also feature all the latest news, features and pre and post-race analysis. Plus a host of clickable guides including Richard Pitman's guide to the course and Aintree fences; Claire Balding's guide to the runners and riders; Tic-tac man - an animated guide for punters to try and work out the bookmakers actions as they signal the latest prices around the ring; Sixty fascinating facts about the Grand National and a brain-teasing Grand National quiz completes the site.

BBC Radio Five Live will feature live coverage of 12 races over the course of the meeting, with four races on the Thursday and Friday featured during the afternoon's programming. Sheila Fogarty will also be at Aintree on Friday with previews, news, interviews and features.


On the day itself, the build-up to the race gets underway throughout the morning with reports, interviews and features. Live coverage of the afternoon's action will be featured in Sport On Five, live from Aintree's hallowed turf as Mark Pougatch makes his Grand National presenting debut and Peter Bromley his final National commentary.

Joining Peter will be Lee McKenzie, Cornelius Lysaght and Dave Smith.

Radio Merseyside will have two live programmes from Aintree on the day of the National. Alan Jackson presents Good Morning From Aintree (10.05 -12.00 Midday) with features from behind the scenes, interviews and all the latest in the final preparations. And as the hour of the race draws even closer, Alan Jackson presents Merseyside Sports Special (1.05 - 5.30pm).

BBC Television also provides pictures for the world as host broadcaster. This year's race, via BBC Worldwide, will be seen in over 148 countries, ensuring that most of the world from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe from Equitorial Guinea to Tajikistan now has access to live coverage of the greatest steeplechase in the world.




LEICESTER RACECOURSE FINED BY JOCKEY CLUB




The Disciplinary Committee of the Jockey Club held an enquiry on 30th March 2001 to consider whether or not, following an audit of the medical facilities at Leicester Racecourse on 18th September 2000, Leicester Racecourse Co. Ltd, the Managing Executive of Leicester Racecourse, had committed breaches of Rule 80 (ii) (a) of the Rules of Racing, in the light of Rule 80 (ii) (b) and Jockey Club General Instruction 11.1, headed "Requirements for the Provision of Racecourse Medical Services" and 11.2, headed "Responsibilities of Racecourse Medical Officers and Other Medical Staff" in that:

1. JCGI 11.1 (paragraphs 15 (b) & (c)) - the Standing Orders did not include a plan of the racecourse, copies of the current JCGIs Part 11, and a detailed inventory of the equipment and supplies located in the front line Paramedic Ambulance and the other ambulance, the Jockeys' Medical Room and those carried by the Racecourse Medical Officer (RMO);

2. JCGI 11.1 (paragraph 16) - the Standing Orders were not complied with on the day of the inspection;

3. JCGI 11.2 (Annex A) - the equipment and supplies carried by the RMOs did not comply with the requirements of the Instruction;

4. JCGI 11.1 (paragraph 1 (c)) - the RMOs on duty were not fully conversant with the operation of all the medical equipment on the racecourse;

5. JCGI 11.2 (paragraph 3 (d), (f) and (g) (i), (ii) & (iii)) - the Senior RMO failed to ensure that all the Medical Staff on duty were aware of the nature and location of their duties, failed to carry out a full briefing of all Medical Staff, at least 45 minutes before the first race, and failed to ensure that all the medical arrangements on the racecourse were sufficient for racing to commence by not checking that:

i) The Jockeys' Medical Room was provided with all the medical equipment and supplies listed in Annex A to this Instruction;
ii) The equipment and supplies listed in Annex A were contained in the ambulances;
iii) The ambulance crews' training and qualifications complied with the requirements of JCGI 11.1.


The Committee heard evidence from, Capt NickLees, the Clerk of the Course and a representative of the Managing Executive, Dr John Oldring, the Senior Racecourse Medical Officer on 18th September, and Dr Michael Turner, the Chief Medical Adviser of the Jockey Club and Mr Jeff Jann, a Senior NHS Ambulance Officer, who were responsible for carrying out the Medical Audit.


Having considered the evidence, the Committee accepted an admission from Capt Lees that the Executive was in breach of Rule 80 (ii) (a) on count 2, and count 4 in respect of one RMO.


It also found the Executive to be in breach of Rule 80 (ii) (a) in respect of counts 1, 3 and 5.


It imposed a fine of £5000 upon Leicester Racecourse Company Ltd, this being their second offence within the previous two years.




HIGGINS NEW MANAGER AT WINCANTON




Stephen Higgins will be the new manager at Wincanton and will take over from the outgoing Ian Renton on April 15.


Higgins, a 29-year-old Chartered Surveyor was previously the consultant project manager for the £16 million development project for the Lawn Tennis Association in Bolton. He is also a former point-to-point rider.


Speaking on his appointment, Higgins commented: "I want to build on the achievements of Wincanton and see this as an exciting personal challenge which enables me to apply what I've learned in the leisure industy."



CHASING SURVIVES AT RASEN




Tomorrow's meeting at Market Rasen will go ahead, including with the four chases scheduled on the card.


After an inspection at the Lincolnshire venue this morning, Charlie Moore, Clerk of the Course, reported: "It has dried out a bit and the chases go ahead. It is heavy on the chase course, good to soft in the back straight with a very heavy patch in the home straight.


"We will move some rails and miss out the last fence. We wouldn't want a lot more rain but I felt an area of just around 100 yards wasn't enough to knock four chases on the head."

"We will have an eight-race card.We will divide the opening novice hurdle with the second division run as race eight."



CAROLINA CUP KICKS US SEASON INTO HIGH GEAR




It's been called the biggest cocktail party east of the Mississippi, but the Carolina Cup is far more than a mere good time. In addition to 70,000 or so screaming fans, Saturday's day of steeplechase racing in Camden, S.C. includes the year's first Grade I steeplechase and five other races worth a combined $200,000 in purses. Gates open early to accommodate the crowd, annually the largest on the NSA schedule, and the races start at 1:30 p.m.


Highlight of the day is the $100,000 Bank of America Carolina Cup, a 2 1/4-mile affair run under allowance conditions. The race attracted a quality field of seven including Grade I winners Campanile and Romantic. The latter, owned by Timber Bay Farm and trained by Jonathan Sheppard won the Colonial Cup over the course last fall and carries top weight of 154 pounds in his 2001 debut.


Greg Hawkins' Campanile won the 2000 Carolina Cup in dominating fashion, but was disqualified for interference. The Janet Elliot-trainee gets a second chance. Campanile has a bigger target on his agenda, however, with a date in Japan's $1.4 million Nakayama Grand Jump April 14. The Carolina Cup will be his final prep for the world's richest steeplechase.


In addition the big two, the field includes dangerous Bruce Miller horse Turkish Corner, 1999 NSA 3-year-old champion Addinson, speedy front-runners Assurance and Al Skywalker and recent European import Canta Ke Brave. Of the potential upsetters, Turkish Corner looms the logical threat. The 5-year-old, a son of champion Lonesome Glory's sister Good Wishes, won twice last year. Miller won the Carolina Cup in 1980 with Uptown Swell and in 1997 and 1999 with Lonesome Glory.


"I've always liked (Turkish Corner) and I hope he'll be competitive," said Miller. ‘He's getting better all the time, but he's got a big jump up to run against those kind of horses."

The Carolina Cup field (with jockeys) in post position order: Turkish Corner (Matt McCarron), Al Skywalker (Tom Foley), Canta Ke Brave (Robert Massey), Romantic (Arch Kingsley), Campanile (Blythe Miller), Assurance (Richard Boucher) and Addinson (Gus Brown).


Last year's NSA novice champion Pompeyo competes on the undercard, as one of seven entered in the $50,000 Woodward-Kirkover Cup (NSA-III). The race is a key prep for the Steeplechase Triple Crown, which begins May 3 at Churchill Downs. In addition to Pompeyo (5-for-9 and an Eclipse Award finalist in 2000), the field includes 2001 winners P.C. Plod and War Talk and three-time winner Flasher.

CAMPANILE'S QUEST

A 7-year-old son of Lear Fan, Campanile will represent the U.S. against rivals from Australia, New Zealand and Japan in the April 14 Nakayama Grand Jump at Nakayama Race Course near Tokyo. European horses were not invited to the world's richest steeplechase because of the Foot-and-Mouth Disease outbreak. Campanile will fly to Japan on April 3, in the company of Elliot assistant Mary Teter and retired jump jockey Sean Clancy (who will serve as exercise rider for the big bay gelding). Trainer Janet Elliot and jockey Blythe Miller will arrive after the horse leaves quarantine.


Campanile finished third in a March 24 training flat race at Aiken, S.C. and appears ready to challenge the world. Elliot is happy with the preparations.


"(The flat race) worked out perfectly. I told Blythe to get him in the back and let him run through the lane and that's what happened," the trainer told Steeplechase Times. "He closed pretty damn nicely. I was pleased. Really pleased."

Japan won the 2000 race (worth more than $700,000 to the winner) with Gokai, as U.S. horse Ninepins finished ninth. New Zealand's Rand won the $320,000 Pegasus, a Grand Jump prep, at Nakayama March 24. The unbeaten horse set a track record (3:45.5) for about 2 1/16 miles, and defeated 13 foes including Australia's Marlborough. Campanile ran that distance in 3:40 in Saratoga in 1999.

The Grand Jump is run at a distance of about 2 5/8 miles, and will include 16 runners including Rand and Marlborough.


NEW COURSE TO DEBUT IN NORTH CAROLINA

The Stoneybrook Steeplechase returns to the NSA schedule at a new course at Five Points Horse Park in Raeford, N.C., on Saturday, April 7. Stoneybrook was a fixture for 49 years in Southern Pines, but closed its gates after the 1996 running. The new track, designed with the help of former NYRA track superintendent Joe King, will be baptized by a six-race card worth $90,000.


The $30,000 Stoneybrook Stakes, a $30,000 hurdle race, attracted eight nominations this week: Aggro Crag, Commanders Palace, Darn Tipalarm, Devil's Reach, Hunt Lane, Indispensable, Rain Alert and Rarity Bay.


NEWS AND NOTES

The NSA's Brookhill Steeplechase will ‘jump' at Friday night's Carolina Hurricanes-Washington Capitals NHL game in Raleigh. Brookhill, which holds its ninth annual race meet to benefit the Raleigh Jaycees May 5, will distribute promotional material and hold special events between periods of the game . . . Former flat jockey Andrea Seefeldt won a steeplechase point-to-point (a race with no purse for amateur jockeys) at Willowdale in Pennsylvania March 24. Seefeldt, who retired in 1994, won more than 600 races on the flat and rode in the 1991 Kentucky Derby . . . NSA timber champion Ironfist was named the Maryland Thoroughbred Breeders Association steeplechase champion for 2000. Owned by Harry and Dorian Filbert and trained by Tom Voss, Ironfist went 4-for-4 last year and will make his 2001 debut in April . . . Through the season's first three stops, Kathy Neilson and John Griggs are tied atop the trainer standings with two wins apiece.


Craig Thornton (three wins) leads Matt McCarron (two) in the jockeys' race. McCarron is the nephew of Hall of Fame flat jockey Chris McCarron . . . Virginia-based Devil's Reach won the $30,000 Regions Bank Imperial Cup at the Aiken Steeplechase March 24 in Aiken, S.C. McCarron rode the son of Horatius for owners Bruce and Edie Smart and trainer Jimmy Day . . . The Carolina Cup will be part of the April 4 Racehorse Digest program on ESPN at 1 p.m. Eastern.


DEFINITIONS, DEFINITIONS

American steeplechase racing is the same as flat racing ­ Thoroughbred horses competing in races ­ except for the fences. A few definitions to help people understand the sport:

National Fence: A synthetic steeplechase fence used at most stops in the U.S. Also called a hurdle, it consists of a steel frame stuffed with plastic ‘brush' at a height of 52 inches. A foam-rubber roll, covered with green canvas, is placed on the takeoff side. Horses can brush through the top few inches of a hurdle. The uniform and consistent fences replaced hedges and jumps of packed pine or cedar in 1974. About 75 percent of the NSA's more than 200 steeplechase races are run over hurdles.


Novice: A horse in the early stages of its steeplechase career. Can be compared to a 3-year-old on the flat. Novice races, including the Steeplechase Triple Crown, are restricted by the date a horse breaks his maiden over hurdles. Age restrictions are less common, because a horse can start his steeplechase career at any age. Example: Novice races on the spring schedule are restricted to horses that have not won over hurdles before March 1, 2000.


Timber fence: Natural, wooden fence constructed of boards, logs or posts and rails. Timber races are longer (3-4 miles) and place more of an emphasis of jumping precision than hurdle races. Historic timber races include the Maryland Hunt Cup, which will be run for the 105th time on April 28, and the Virginia Gold Cup, which will be run for the 76th time on May 5. Maryland Hunt Cup winners Ben Nevis II and Jay Trump used the race as a springboard to victories in the English Grand National.


SPRING RACING DATES

For a complete schedule, see www.nationalsteeplechase.com or www.steeplechasetimes.com. The March/April NSA schedule:

March 31 Carolina Cup; Camden, S.C.

April 7 Stoneybrook Steeplechase; Raeford, N.C.

April 14 Atlanta Steeplechase; Kingston, Ga.

April 14 Strawberry Hill Races; Colonial Downs, New Kent, Va.

April 14 My Lady's Manor Races; Monkton, Md.

April 21 Middleburg Spring Races; Middleburg, Va.

April 21 Block House Steeplechase; Tryon, N.C.

April 21 Grand National Races; Butler, Md.

April 27 Keeneland; Lexington, Ky.

April 28 Foxfield Races; Charlottesville, Va.

April 28 Maryland Hunt Cup; Glyndon, Md.

April 28 Queen's Cup Steeplechase; Mineral Springs, N.C.




NEW £25,000 RACE AT HAMILTON




A new £25,000 has been added to the programme at Hamilton Park for this season.


The £25,000 Tennent's Scottish Stewards Cup will take place at the Scottish venue on Friday, July 13 at Hamilton's Fair Friday holiday evening meeting. Also featuring on the same card will be the Velvet Handicap (for the resurrected Tennent's Trophy).


David Peacock, Tennnent's Velvet brand manager commented: "Fair Friday is a West coast tradition as is the visit to the races. Our involvement will, I hope, revitalise a traditional holiday pastime in a modern way attractive to new and regular racegoers.


"Tennent's Velvet's stratergy is to re-energise and mdernise the ale market and make ale drinking more attractive to a younger audience. Hamilton Park is also investing in attracting a younger audience to the racing so there is a good synergy there.


Morag Gray, Hamilton's Chief Executive, added: "The resurrection of the Tennent's Trophy after two years is gratifying to see, and the Tennent's Stewards Cup - based on the famous Goodwood race - promises to be a magnificant affair.


"I'm sure punters coming along to what we are now calling Velvet Fair Friday will see an exciting and potentially lucrative race card."


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


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