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Friday, August 27, 2004



NATIONAL STUD'S NEVER SAY DIE CLUB TO BACK PARK HILL STAKES




The National Stud's Never Say Die Club is the new sponsor of Doncaster's Group Two Park Hill Stakes on Wednesday, September 8. The race will be run as the National Stud Never Say Die Club Park Hill Stakes, in recognition of the stud's exciting new owner/breeder club.


The club takes its name from Never Say Die, a former stallion at the National Stud whose place in racing history was secured when provideding Lester Piggott with the first of his nine Derby winners. Never Say Die also won the 1954 St Leger at Doncaster, when Charlie Smirke was in the saddle.


This new club is the third owner/breeder club run by the National Stud and, unlike other syndicates, gives the general public a chance to become involved in both the owning and breeding of racehorses, with particular emphasis on the breeding side. Running over a five-year duration and at a total cost of £3,000 to each new member, the club will initially purchase three broodmares and a yearling filly to go into training next year. Each year, one of the offspring will be retained to race on behalf of the Club while the remainder will be sold.


A distinctive feature of the National Stud Never Say Die Club is that members will be very much involved from the start. They will be sent details of prospective horses that the stud considers would be worth purchasing and will also be encouraged to attend the sales themselves. At the end of the club's duration in 2009, all bloodstock will be sold and any surplus money will be distributed equally among members.


First run in 1829, the National Stud Never Say Die Club Park Hill Stakes is run over the same course and distance of the betfair.com St Leger, namely one mile, six furlongs and 127 yards. For this reason, it is often referred to as the "Fillies' St Leger." Originally restricted to fillies from the classic generation, it has been open to older fillies as well since 1991.


Over the years some great fillies have triumphed in the National Stud Never Say Die Club Park Hill Stakes including one of the greatest mares of all time, Pretty Polly, who in 1904 won the race and the St Leger. In 1922 the race was won by Selene, owned by Lord Derby and one of most significant broodmares of all time as she produced Hyperion. Oaks winner Pia triumphed in 1967.

In more recent years, Henry Cecil has been the most successful trainer in the National Stud Never Say Die Club Park Hill Stakes, recording five victories between 1977 and 1996. His 1996 heroine, Eva Luna subsequently produced the 2003 St Leger winner Brian Boru at stud while his 1990 Park Hill Stakes winner, Madame Dubois, produced the 2003 Irish 2,000 Guineas victor Indian Haven.

Doncaster's Chief Executive John Sanderson commented: "We are pleased to welcome the Never Say Die Club to sponsor the Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster.


"The race has a rich tradition in producing some fine broodmares and looks to be the perfect vehicle for the National Stud to promote its Never Say Die Club."

Andrew Parrish, Chairman of the National Stud, added: "We are delighted to be sponsoring this prestigious race at Doncaster. The Never Say Die Club will appeal to a wide range of racegoers who wish to become more closely involved with owning and breeding and this provides us with a perfect opportunity to inform potential members."


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