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Friday, July 11, 2003


The stage is set for a classic confrontation in the Darley Irish Oaks this Sunday at the Curragh. The 400,000 euro contest, which will be the highlight of the Co. Kildare venue's 2 day Summer Racing Carnival, has attracted an exceptional line up of runners. These include Epsom Oaks winner Casual Look (Martin Dwyer). The American bred daughter of Red Ransom, who is owned by USA Ambassador to Britain Will Farish, will renew rivalry with Epsom runner up Yesterday (Michael Kinane). Spanish Sun (Richard Hughes) winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot, the John Gosden trained Ocean Silk (Kevin Darley) and Audi Pretty Polly Stakes winner Hanami (Kieran Fallon) will also feature in the line up, while Frankie Dettori will partner Vintage Tipple for trainer Paddy Mullins.

The Italian born rider will also partner Leicester Square for trainer Mark Johnston in the Dubai Duty Free Anglesey Stakes where Aidan O'Brien will saddle the likely favourite One Cool Cat in the 6 furlongs contest, while he will ride the David Loder trained With Reason in the Emirates Airline Minstrel Stakes, with opposition headed by the William Haggas trained Suggestive and Millennium Force trained by former England soccer star Mick Channon.

Camels, belly dancers and men on flying carpets will also be the order of the day with the 2nd Dubai Race Day on Sunday including a variety of themed entertainment, together with free competitions and giveaways and the Newbridge Silverware Style Awards. A fashion show in aid of the Jack and Jill Children's Foundation is also been held in the Curragh Catwalks Pavilion during the afternoon.

Saturday features the 130,000 euro Goffs International Stakes with Entenmann's Irish 2000 Guineas runner up France likely to start favourite, while one lucky race goer can win a 10,000 euro Roca Bathroom in the race card competition.


Richard Hannon, the Marlborough-based trainer, is set to have three runners as he attempts to win £135,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury for the fifth time on Saturday, July 19.

He has been successful in the very valuable five-furlong race, which is for two-year-olds who cost 40,000 guineas or less, with Lyric Fantasy (1992), Risky (1993), Miss Stamper (1996) and Presto Vento (2002).

Hannon, who has also trained the runner-up in the Weatherbys Super Sprint on four occasions, said today: "I will probably be three-handed in If Paradise, Vermilliann and Prince Of Denmark.

"They are the better ones who stand in the race very well. They weren't expensive horses, one cost 13,500gns (If Paradise) another 14,500gns (Prince Of Denmark) and the other one was a little dearer, about 35,000gns (Vermilliann cost 50,000 Euros).

"These are three excellent horses and I hope one of them comes good. - there is a lot of money at the top of the page in the Weatherbys Super Sprint."

Prince Of Denmark won his first three races and last time out came second in the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown while Vermilliann has landed her two starts at Newmarket and Salisbury in impressive fashion.

If Paradise has had three runs, winning a maiden at Leicester before finishing fourth behind the useful Milk It Mick in a conditions event at Salisbury on his latest outing,

The Weatherbys Super Sprint, first run in 1991, offers a fantastic opportunity for less expensive two-year-olds to reap a substantial prize. There is a 1lb allowance for each 2,500 guineas less than 40,000 guineas that a horse cost.

Another trainer with plenty of entries to choose from is Rod Millman, who could be represented by Bathwick Bill who has landed his latest two starts at Bath and Lingfield, Cop Hill Lad, successful in a conditions event at Pontefract on his penultimate start, La Vie Est Belle and Cholemic. Millman won the 1997 Weatherbys Super Sprint with Lord Kintyre.

Tim Easterby has already trained two Weatherbys Super Sprint winners in the form of Flanders (1998) and Good Girl (2001). This time around the Yorkshire trainer has Danesmead, a Doncaster maiden winner who went down by one and a half lengths last time out in the valuable Goffs Challenge at the Curragh on June 27.

Last season James Given's Wunders Dream found only Presto Vento too good. This year Given could bid to make amends with Fishlake Flyer, thrice just denied in maiden company, and Four Amigos, Fishlake Flyer's conqueror at Lingfield last time out..

There are two potential challengers from Ireland in the form of Francis Ennis' Miss Childrey, who finished fifth behind Attraction in the Group Three Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, and the Tom Hogan-trained Sand N Sea, a comfortable winner of a Limerick maiden last time out.

Other interesting possible contenders include John Gosden's once-raced maiden winner Nyramba and Romancero, trained by Mark Wallace and a Listed winner at San Siro in Italy on July 6.

Nick Craven, Commercial Director at Weatherbys, commented: "Weatherbys is thrilled to continue to back the £135,000 Weatherbys Super Sprint which gives the smaller owner a real chance to win serious prize money. The 2003 renewal is shaping up well and another big field is expected."


Australian sprint sensation Choisir has been purchased by Coolmore Stud ­ subject to a veterinary inspection - following his excellent effort in yesterdayıs July Cup. The son of rising star Danehill Dancer will go into quarantine in Ireland before shuttling to Coolmore Australia for the upcoming stud season.

The champion two-year-old colt and Group 1 winner in his homeland, Choisir arrived in Britain three weeks before Royal Ascot where he literally turned the racing world upside down. On the opening day of the meeting ­ despite carrying a Group 1 penalty- he blitzed his 19 rivals in the Group 2 Kingıs Stand Stakes over five furlongs with an awesome display of front running. Just four days later, and from an unfavourably wide draw, he added the six-furlong Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes in similar fashion, breaking the track record in the process. In doing so he was emulating his grandsire Danehill who had broken the track record in the same race in 1989. Choisir also became only the third horse in history to land the Royal Ascot sprint double and the first since Diadem back in 1920. Choisirıs efforts are all the more meritorious when one considers that he had to carry the same weight as the northern hemisphere-bred 4-year-olds despite still being a 3-year-old.

In yesterday's Group 1 July Cup Choisir ran another fine race but couldn't withstand the late challenge of the much fresher Oasis Dream. The Gosden-trained colt was champion 2-year-old in Europe last year and had finished third behind Choisir at Ascot on his seasonal debut. Trainer Paul Perry said afterwards, "Heıs been beaten by a horse that was trained for the race. The winner was on his way up, while we were probably just on the way down. Heıs done the job he came for and it was a very courageous effort to finish second in a race that was really just an afterthought."

"A really strongly made colt from the sire-producing Danehill line, I think he'll prove very popular with commercial breeders both here in Ireland and in Australia. Weıre delighted to have got him," commented Coolmore's Christy Grassick on the new acquisition

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