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Monday, June 21, 2004



PEKAN WILL BE HARD NUT TO CRACK




Ladbrokes have installed Anak Pekan as 7-2 favourite for Saturday's John Smith's Northumberland Plate.


Ladbrokes spokesman Damian Walker said: "Trainer Michael Jarvis wants to see some rain for Anak Pekan and there looks to be plenty forecast this week. After the way Anak Pekan won the Chester Cup we are taking no chances with him."

John Smith's Northumberland Plate
2m, Newcastle, 26th June 2004
7-2 Anak Pekan, 5 Barolo, 7 Escayola, 7 Promoter, 8 Zibeline, 9 Jagger, 10 Dorothy´s Friend, 12 Land ´n Stars, 16 Distant Prospect, 16 Misternando, 16 Shredded, 20 Defining, 20 Mamcazma, 20 Pagan Dance, 20 Swing Wing, 22 Collier Hill, 25 Red Lancer, 25 Silver Gilt, 33 Gulf, 33 Kristensen, 33 Royal Cavalier, 40 High Point, 40 Jorobaden, 40 Mirjan, 40 Rayshan, 40 Self Defense, 40 Spectrometer, 40 Tiyoun, 50 Dovedon Hero, 50 High Action, 66 Sahem, 66 Valance

King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes
1m 4f, Ascot, 24th July 2004
7/4 Doyen, 3 North Light, 8 Powerscourt, 10 Vallee Enchantee, 12 Papineau, 16 Let The Lion Roar, 16 Rule Of Law, 16 Warrsan, 20 Bandari, 20 Brian Boru, 20 Day Flight, 20 Phoenix Reach, 25 Gamut, 25 Hard Buck, 25 High Accolade, 33 Percussionist, 40 Dubai Success (1/5 Odds 1,2,3) Others on request

Top Flat Trainer 2004 (UK Win & Place prize-money, 25th March to 6th Nov) 4/9 Saeed Bin Suroor, 13/8 Sir M. Stoute (Others on request)



NEWMARKET DISMAYED BY LACK OF FIXTURE SUPPORT




Plans for new All-Weather Track put on ice until next year

Newmarket Racecourses will not be going ahead this year with their planned building of a new all-weather track alongside the Rowley Mile racecourse after they were only offered 3 fixtures for 2005 by the British Horseracing Board's (BHB's) Fixture Allocation Group (FAG). Newmarket plans to try again next year when it hopes that the allocation of fixtures for 2006 will bring it enough racedays to justify the required £6m investment in the project.

Lisa Hancock, Managing Director of Newmarket Racecourses, said: "The Newmarket Executive is exceptionally disappointed by FAG's decision on our application for all-weather fixtures in 2005. Of the 38 National fixtures that could be applied for, only 3 have been allocated to Newmarket.

"Clearly FAG and the BHB do not want racing on an artificial surface at Newmarket in 2005. We received the go-ahead for our application to build a new course from the BHB, via its New Racecourse Committee, in the spring following the granting of planning permission in February. Now after a great deal of time and £300,000 in expenditure, the same organisation is failing to back us. It would have saved us a huge amount of effort and cost if we had been told at the outset by the BHB not to apply, and the reasons for not doing so.


"It is with deep regret that the Newmarket Executive informs FAG that it will not be proceeding with the installation of an all-weather surface at Newmarket in time for racing in 2005 and therefore it will reluctantly not be able to take up the 3 fixtures allocated to it on 11th and 12th September and 27th November.


"We trust that the BHB will ensure that the new 2006 fixture allocation process, when there are expected to be 300 new fixtures, will allow a level playing field for Newmarket when it bids for them with other new courses and existing all-weather tracks."

Peter Player, Chairman of Newmarket Racecourses, added: "It almost beggars belief. The BHB gave us the green light by approving our all-weather track as a new course for 2005, yet has then only allocated us three fixtures. How can anyone be expected to invest £6m on that basis?

"All the detailed plans had been drawn up and all the research into new surfaces had been done. We were ready to start construction at a moment's notice. It is incredibly disappointing. In these days of escalating costs coupled with the issues surrounding stable staff that were highlighted last week, it seems to me that with such a large horse population on Newmarket's doorstep, our proposed all-weather track represented an opportunity like no other."

Richard Johnston, Managing Director of Newmarket Racecourses' parent company, Racecourse Holdings Trust, said: "For whatever reason, the FAG process has been skewed towards Arena which has prevented the creation of an AWT for 2005 at Newmarket. We are now likely to see Newmarket and Kempton Park both competing for all weather track fixtures for 2006."

Responding, BHB Communications Manager Alan Delmonte said: "No racecourse could have been in the slightest doubt about the position for 2005.


"Every racecourse - new and existing - has known for months that the Levy Board was not funding any more fixtures in 2005 and that this meant that the only additional fixtures were going to be Regional fixtures, which Newmarket have decided not to apply for.


"Newmarket's statement today suggests that there were 38 non-Regional fixtures available in 2005 but that only 3 were given to them. This gives the wrong impression. The 38 fixtures already exist - they are 'BHB', as opposed to 'Racecourse', fixtures, and most of them are staying at their existing venues next year. They are doing so because they are working well in their present locations.


"Back in February we wrote to Newmarket reiterating the widely understood position regarding the limitations for 2005 and said that we hoped that 2006 would see a 'fixture allocation process that is more responsive to the commercial requirements and aspirations of all racecourses, new and existing'.

"It has also been clear from the outset of the new racecourse process that being given the go-ahead to participate in fixture allocation for 2005 was the first step and that getting fixtures was the second step, and that there could be no guarantees."



SATURDAY NIGHT ACTION AT DONCASTER




Doncaster stages its popular Saturday evening meeting this coming weekend (June 26), when the action commences at 6.50 p.m. with a race for maiden two-year-old fillies supported by The European Breeders Fund.


Doncaster Racecourse teamed up with Hallam FM for an on-air charity auction where listeners could bid for a race title and hospitality package with all proceeds going to The Ashgate Croft School Megan Pool Appeal. The top-bidder, Car Crashline, has generously named the Classified Stakes (one mile - round course) after the appeal.


Regular sponsors at this meeting The Castle Working Men's Club support the longest race on the card - a handicap contest over the St. Leger distance of one mile, six furlongs and 132 yards, while two further handicap heats should ensure there's plenty of competitive racing on show.


Musical entertainment during the evening is courtesy of The Tom Roberts Jazz Band, while racegoers will also benefit from a close-up view of proceedings courtesy of the giant Mitsubishi DiamondVision screen.




GERRARD ‘LADIES DAY' A FIRST AT PONTEFRACT




Pontefract's first-ever ‘Ladies Day' takes place on Monday (June 28), with Gerrard Wealth Management, one of the leading private client wealth managers in the UK, supporting the day. The first 300 ladies entering the Club Enclosure will receive a free buttonhole and glass of champagne, while there's also a special competition to find the ‘Best Dressed Lady'.


The action on the track starts at 2.15 p.m. with the feature race being The £15,000-added E.B.F. Gerrard Wealth Management Fillies' Handicap Stakes over six furlongs, supported by the Trustees of the European Breeders Fund and one of two races sponsored by Gerrard Wealth Management.


A further highlight is The Spindrifter Conditions Stakes, a contest for two-year-olds also over six furlongs, held annually to commemorate the achievements of the record-breaking juvenile who won 13 races as a two-year-old in 1980, three of which were recorded at Pontefract.


Spindrifter was owned by Grahame Waters, who will make the journey to Pontefract to present the challenge trophy to the successful owner.


Monday's final race is Round Three of the 2004 betfair.com Apprentice Series. Daniel Tudhope, having won the first two heats, has a commanding lead in this five-race series held at Pontefract and supported for the third year by the world's leading sports betting exchange company, betfair.com. The prize for the leading apprentice rider, at the conclusion of the series in September, is a fortnight's working holiday next winter at Gulfstream Park, Miami with a leading United States trainer.


There's a special racecard competition for racegoers during the afternoon with nine pairs of Paddock tickets into Pontefract's popular Red Shirt Night (July 16) up for grabs, while the totesport giant Screen is in operation offering a close-up view of proceedings.




RACING RETURNS TO CATTERICK ON WEDNESDAY




Catterick resumes its 2004 season on the Flat on Wednesday (June 30), after the course was closed down for three months in order that a new stable yard could be constructed.


To celebrate the re-opening, racegoers will receive a voucher entitling them to a complimentary racecard, free Tote bet, 50% off a future race meeting at Catterick in 2004, automatic entry in a prize draw that will take place during the afternoon to win a television, and upon arrival all racegoers will receive a glass of complimentary Bucks Fizz.


Derby House Stabling Limited and Project Management Scotland, the design team who designed and built the new stable yard, each sponsor a race at the meeting - The Derby House Stabling Handicap Stakes (seven furlongs) and The Project Management Scotland Handicap Stakes (five furlongs).

Racing on Wednesday is scheduled to start at 2.30 p.m. with The European Breeders Fund Zetland Median Auction Stakes (two-year-olds over seven furlongs), one of two races supported by The Trustees of The European Breeders Fund.


A giant screen will also be in operation offering racegoers a close-up view of proceedings.


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


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