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Thursday, April 20, 2000



VICTOR CHANDLER GUINEAS PRICES




The Sagitta 2,000 Guineas 1m
Saturday, May 6


Giants Causeway 3
Distant Music 7-2
Barathea Guest 7
Misraah 8
Cape Town 8
Monashee Mountain 10
Bernstein 12
Bachir 16
Zoning 16
Umistim 16
Kings Best 16
Fath 20
Primo Valentino 20
Mull Of Kintyre 20
Alfini 20
Igman 20
25-1 Bar


Sagitta 1,000 Guineas
Sunday, May 7


Petrushka 2
High Walden 8
Teggiano 8
Amethyst 12
Seazun 16
Saintly Speech 20
Iftiraas 20
25-1 Bar



NO DECISION ABOUT BOARDS ON RAILS




At its meeting yesterday, the Horserace Betting Levy Board discussed the recommendations of its Pitch Administration Arrangements Review Committee which is made up of the three independent Government-appointed members of the Levy Board, chairman Robert Hughes, Sir John Robb and Keith Elliott.


It was decided that more time was needed to give full consideration to all the relevant issues. The matter was therefore deferred for further discussion at the Board's next meeting on May 24, 2000.



MARKETING GO-AHEAD

The Levy Board yesterday heard a presentation of the Three-Year Marketing Plan for Racing and Betting by the three marketing consultants who had prepared it.

The Plan, which will see vigorous marketing of both racing and betting, was supported by the Levy Board and its implementation will be overseen by Sir John Robb, who heads the Levy Board's Marketing Sub-Committee. Details will be published in May.


The Levy Board agreed to spend up to £3 million in 2000/01 in support of the Plan. The Board agreed earlier this year that at least £10 million would be needed to support marketing over the next three years.



ACKZO CUT FOR IRISH NATIONAL




The Ferdy Murphy-trained Ackzo has been cut to 9-2 from 7-1 with Cashmans for the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse on Monday.


The seven-year-old who won over 4m 2f on his last outing at Uttoxeter should have the ground in his favour as he enjoys a bit of cut in the ground.


Course manager Dick Sheil said: "The ground had dried to good to yielding, and I expect it to be on the soft side of good in the morning.


"The forecast for the next few days is for dry, breezy weather with some showers, and I don't expect the ground to be any worse than yielding over the weekend.


Another horse expected to join Ackzo is Sweep Gently trained by Sue Smith. The eight-year-old needs cut and Smith said: "It's looking as if Sweep Gently will go to Ireland Seamus Durack taking the ride.


"He wants cut in the ground. I've just spoken to Fairyhouse and it's good to soft there at the moment with a fair amount of rain forecast.





NEWBURY RACECOURSE GOES FORWARD





Newbury Racecourse plc returned a profit after tax of £146,000 for the 12 months to December 31, 1999, compared with a loss of £313,000 in 1998.


The Hon Sir David Sieff, the Newbury Racecourse Chairman, attributes this mainly to the cost-cutting measures which happened at the start of 1999. The full Chairman's statement is included later in this release.


The construction of the new £8.6 million Tattersalls Grandstand started in November, 1999, and is on schedule to be finished in time for the Hennessy Meeting on November 24 and 25, 2000.


No dividend will be paid by Newbury Racecourse plc because of the need to conserve cash during the construction period and to optimise the company's tax position.


The Hon Sir David Sieff concludes his remarks by saying: "Without everyone's enthusiasm and hard work, we could not have achieved the progress made. There is still much to be done, but we are very excited by future prospects.


"My thanks to all our supporters, including annual members, owners, trainers and their staff, to all racegoers, and all who use the racecourse facilities - we welcome your comments."


For more information please contact Mark Kershaw, Managing Director, or Sarah Hordern, Financial Controller, at Newbury Racecourse on 01635 40015



NEWBURY RACECOURSE PLC
CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT


Review of the year

I am pleased to report a significant improvement in the results with a profit after tax of £146,000 (1998:loss £313,000). The improved performance is due mainly to the cost cutting measures implemented at the start of the year.


In a year of much activity the major project has been the commissioning of the new Tattersalls Grandstand. Foster and Partners were appointed as architects to design the new stand, and planning permission was granted in October, 1999. Work commenced on the three storey building in November immediately after the Hennessy Meeting and construction is currently on target for completion by the 2000 Hennessy Meeting. The new stand is being financed by a combination of the proceeds of the 1998 rights issue, a £4 million interest free loan from the Horserace Betting Levy Board, and a ten year loan from HSBC Bank plc.

Changes during the year include the new Champagne Bar in the Hampshire Stand which has provided additional comfort for members, while the original facility has been converted to an Owners and Trainers bar. The Members' Dining room has been enlarged and new facilities for the connections of winning and placed horses have been provided in the Royal Box stand, now renamed the Pall Mall boxes.


In addition to improving the facilities for racegoers, £83,000 has been spent on the National Hunt racetrack to ensure that we maintain our position as a premier National Hunt course.

There has been a marked improvement in the Golf Course, and The Cannon Health Club (formerly the Pinnacle Club) has met its target turnover for the year and the Company has received rent of £62,000 in the year (1998: Nil).


The directors have recommended that no dividend should be paid this year. In arriving at this decision the directors have taken into account various factors, including the requirement to conserve cash during the new stand construction period and the need to optimise the company's tax position through the use of surplus tax paid on dividends in prior years.


Sponsors

I thank all those sponsors who have supported Newbury Racecourse during the year, especially Aon Ltd, Courage Ltd, Dubai Duty Free, Juddmonte Farms, Ladbroke Group, Lane's End Farm, MoŽt Hennessy UK Ltd, The Tote, Vodafone and Weatherbys who have been generous in their support over many years.


Events since the year end

I am pleased to welcome The Hon Harry Herbert who joined the board earlier this year.


There have been a number of significant events since the year end, the most important being the announcement by a consortium of twelve leading racecourses that a provisional agreement on a media rights deal with a consortium of the BBC, Channel 4, and Premium TV, a subsidiary of NTL, has been reached. Newbury Racecourse is one of the twelve racecourses.

The Local Plan Inspector's Report into the Newbury District Local Plan Deposit Draft 1991-2006 has been announced. The Inspector has recommended that an area of approximately 13 acres on the south side of the Racecourse be allocated for residential use, of which approximately 6.5 acres is owned by the Company. The Inspector's recommendation is subject to a full planning application and is not a guarantee of planning permission being granted.


Development of the racecourse site itself is continuing with work commencing on a new enlarged facility for the Rocking Horse Nursery in the former workshops. This will provide the Nursery with a purpose built, self-contained unit, and will free up the existing building for use as additional raceday facilities.


In addition we have moved into the 21st century with the launch of a new website at www.newbury-racecourse.co.uk. The site will be developed further during the year and an online ticket sales facility will be introduced.


Share dealing

A number of members have requested further information on dealing in the Company's shares. The shares are traded on OFEX, a facility managed and operated by J P Jenkins Ltd. Details of OFEX prices and companies are distributed by Newstrack Ltd. The Newstrack website at www.newstrack.co.uk includes the current share price for Newbury Racecourse plc together with any announcements.

OFEX shares must be purchased and sold through a stockbroker. According to OFEX most major banks except HSBC will deal in shares traded on OFEX. In addition shares may be purchased through any stockbroker who offers an execution only service. An execution only service is one where no investment advice is given and no other services are provided. Please see page 2 for details of firms that are known to deal in the Company's shares.


My Board colleagues and I would like to thank Mark Kershaw, Clerk of the Course, Sarah Hordern, Financial Controller, and all the Newbury team for their support throughout what has been a very demanding year. Without everyone's enthusiasm and hard work, we could not have achieved the progress made. There is still much to be done, but we are very excited by future prospects.


My thanks to all our supporters, including annual members, owners, trainers and their staff, to all racegoers, and all who use the racecourse facilities - we welcome your comments.


THE HON SIR DAVID SIEFF
Chairman



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


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