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DECEMBER 2016

Farewell to a legend as Sprinter Sacre retires

FOCUS ON THE CORAL WELSH GRAND NATIONAL BUILD-UP TO THE TINGLE CREEK CHASE STEPHEN HILLEN TALKS BLOODSTOCK

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EDITOR’S WELCOME

Welcome to a bumper December 2016 issue of Course Specialist magazine!

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t the time of writing we have enjoyed a feast of international and domestic jumps racing, not to mention a glut of important end of year sales in Europe and North America. However, pride of place has to go to the retiring superstar Sprinter Sacre, who at his very best illuminated the sport with a series of peerless performances. We look back on the career of a modern great. In this issue we look back at another memorable Breeders’ Cup meeting, with Beholder and Songbird serving up a treat on the Friday, followed by the drama of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, as Arrogate cut down California Chrome in another unforgettable race. We also review the action from Cheltenham’s Open Meeting and the Hennessy meeting from Newbury. There is much to look forward to in December, with a special look at the Tingle Creek Chase Meeting from Sandown Park and an in-depth look at the history of the King George VI Chase. We are privileged to speak with Paul Nicholls, who recalls the career of his first superstar, See More Business and also catch up with Steve Parlett, General Manager of Kempton Park Racecourse, who answers all of our questions on the history and operations at this popular venue, ahead of the 32Red King George VI Winter Festival. Christmas also sees a busy spell for Chepstow Racecourse and we look at the history of the Coral Welsh National, while Luke Harvey recounts his 1990 success aboard Cool Ground. With a busy few weeks at the sales ring, bloodstock agent Stephen Hill very kindly took time out to share insight into what has made him such a success in such a short space of time, while we also welcome the first Racing FX column, as leading Irish rider Paul Townend signs up. With our regular news sections and a summary of the major sales activity, we hope there is something for all racing enthusiasts. Our next issue will be published around January 9th, so our look ahead includes highlights from the opening week of 2017. May we thank you for your support during the year and wish you all a very happy holiday season and a peaceful and fulfilling New Year. With best wishes,

EDITOR & PUBLISHER Andrew Pelis PHOTOGRAPHERS Steven Cargill Pat Healy www.healyracing.ie Mark Cranham www.cranhamphoto.com A.J. Byles Toby Connors Eclipse Sportswire / Breeders’ Cup Photos PRODUCTION Follow Creative www.followcreative.com Tim Colman, Kasey Moore Posterity IT ON THE COVER Sprinter Sacre and Nico De Boinville after winning the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase © Steven Cargill

WE’RE SOCIAL  /course-specialist  @CourseSpecial Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained within this magazine, no legal responsibility will be accepted by the publishers for loss arising from use of information published. No part of the publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrievable system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the publisher.

Andrew Pelis Editor and Publisher

Copyright 2016 © Andrew Pelis

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November 2016

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FEATURE SPRINTER SACRE

© Steven Cargill

Sprinter Sacre retires OUR TRIBUTE TO A CHASING GREAT

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December 2016


SPRINTER SACRE FEATURE

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icky Henderson has announced that the brilliant Sprinter Sacre has run his last race and been retired. The outstanding horse of his generation lit up the racing world with his flawless performances as a novice chaser in 2011/12 and the following season, when he cleared up all the major races in the two-mile division. Henderson broke the news via his Twitter account @ SevenBarrows, stating: “It is with deep regret that I have to announce the sad news that Sprinter Sacre has been retired. He was the horse of an absolute lifetime.” He was indeed, winning 18 of his 24 races, including eight Grade 1 races and over £1.1 million in win and place prize money. But the bare statistics do not really tell the story, for it was the manner of his victories that set the scene on a quite brilliant career. He would take on the best horses and pass them with barely the move of a muscle, powering away. At his best, there was not a single horse that could live with him. This exquisite, muscle-bound, near black horse, with a coat that shone, was the perfect visual specimen. No horse looked even remotely like him. The performances and his appearance gifted him the nickname “The Black Aeroplane” – and he flew in his races. After a fine novice hurdle campaign ended with third place behind Al Ferof in the 2011 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Sprinter Sacre made a tremendous impression on his chasing debut at Doncaster in December 2011, winning by 24 imperious lengths. But it was that Christmas when the world really began to take notice of this burgeoning talent, as he demolished the highly-regarded Champion Hurdle runner-up Peddlers Cross by 16 lengths in Kempton Park’s Grade 2 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase. His ability was then tested against seasoned chasers in the Grade 2 Game Spirit Chase, readily accounting for stable mate French Opera by six lengths and he still had not really been tested. In the Grade 1 Arkle Novice Chase, the talented Al Ferof and Cue Card took on the Sprinter. But the pace told on Al Ferof who made a dreadful blunder and it was left to Cue Card to chase Sprinter Sacre home, a respectable 7 lengths the margin in March 2012. A month later the Grade 1 Maghull Novices’ Chase was little more than a walk in the park for this superstar, as he slammed Toubab by 13 lengths. course-specialist.co.uk

The winter of 2012/13 saw Sprinter Sacre truly light up the jumps racing scene. Henderson’s young chaser did not reappear until the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park in December, where he seemingly faced a real rival in Sanctuaire, who had routed seasoned chasers at the same track in April. Sanctuaire set off to try to break Sprinter Sacre by opening up a wide-margin lead. However, long before the field left the back straight, Barry Geraghty had effortlessly closed the gap and the writing was on the wall. Sprinter Sacre took full command in the home straight, breaking Sanctuaire who could only manage third, as his rival beat Kumbeshwar by 15 easy, brilliant lengths. A cold winter saw the Grade 1 Victor Chandler Chase move from Ascot to Cheltenham in late January of 2013. With snow surrounding Prestbury Park, Sprinter Sacre was in his element and again made mincemeat of his rivals, beating Mad Moose by 14 lengths. Sprinter Sacre’s seemingly inevitable March to Champion Chase glory continued to gather momentum and in March the day finally arrived at Cheltenham, when he would face his destiny.

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FEATURE SPRINTER SACRE Racing down the hill for the final time, the 2011 Champion Chaser Sizing Europe was fighting gallantly to keep in touch with the Champion elect, but slightly stumbled, as Sprinter Sacre’s engine purred serenely away. At the line the victory and crowning of a new champion came with a 19 length distance. Sprinter Sacre was truly a champion of champions, untouchable, peerless. In April 2013 Henderson stepped his charge up to 2 ½ miles for the Grade 1 Melling Chase and a memorable clash with Cue Card (who had since won the Ryanair Chase), the former two mile champion Finian’s Rainbow and the highclass Irish chaser Flemenstar. Cue Card was at his best that day, but Sprinter Sacre still had too much class and power to win by 4 ½ lengths. Later in April Sprinter Sacre headed to the Punchestown Festival, where, perhaps feeling the effects of his tough season, he was made, for the first time over fences, to dig deep, beating the magnificent veteran Sizing Europe by 5 ½ lengths in the Grade 1 BoyleSports.com Champion Chase. It was Sprinter Sacre’s tenth straight win over fences and his seventh consecutive Grade 1 success. The God’s had seemingly delivered a bomb-proof, untouchable superstar in jumps racing. There was talk of the equine equivalent of the Second Coming and racing was looking forward to years of domination from Sprinter Sacre. However, there were murmurs in the autumn that he had taken time to come to hand and that Henderson was not fully happy with his charge. The Tingle Creek Chase, a traditional starting point for the champion, came and went, with Sprinter Sacre not in the line-up, as the up and coming Sire De Grugy stated his case for honours. The two met in the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park over Christmas 2013, with a race set to define the champion and a mouth-watering clash. However, what should have been a Christmas highlight turned to horror as Barry Geraghty pulled-up Sprinter Sacre down the back straight, unhappy with his partner. The racing world soon became familiar with the term fibrillating heart, as Sprinter Sacre was sent to Newmarket for tests. As Sire De Grugy won the Queen Mother Champion Chase in March 2014, Sprinter Sacre’s career hung in the balance. A good summer and autumn saw Sprinter Sacre return to Seven Barrows and back in training, although he missed the first half of the season. When he finally returned in Ascot’s Grade 1 Clarence House Chase, in January 2015, Sprinter Sacre looked physically different, not quite the same imposing, muscular presence.

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In the circumstances, after thirteen months off the racetrack, his three lengths second to Dodging Bullets, the latest Tingle Creek Chase winner, was a perfectly admirable effort, although he rarely jumped with the same spectacular flamboyance of earlier years. Henderson reported him to have come out of the race well and he duly lined-up in the 2015 Queen Mother Champion Chase, bidding to reclaim his title. However, it appeared that time and the division had moved on and having looked a threat racing down the hill, Sprinter Sacre emptied to nothing and was pulled up, as Dodging Bullets became the new Champion. It seemed a real low point and one wondered if we would see Sprinter Sacre race again. What did seem a certainty was that the 2015 Sprinter Sacre was not quite the horse of old. One final start that season saw a flicker of improvement as he ran six lengths second of seven to the smart Irish chaser Special Tiara, in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown Park in late April. Nicky Henderson reported Sprinter Sacre in good form in the autumn of 2015 and he made a relatively early return in the Grade 2 Shloer Chase at Cheltenham’s Open Meeting, in mid-November, By this stage, people were delighted to see the former champion, but expectations had been lowered and tempered by the previous season’s disappointments. Nico De Boinville, who rode the horse at home, took the ride. What followed captured the sheer joy and magic of National Hunt racing, as Sprinter Sacre tore down the Cheltenham hill before powering away from Somersby for a brilliant and emotional 14 lengths victory, that had the crowd both wowed and in raptures. It was vindication for the patience that Henderson and his team had exercised, and cast a new light on the two-mile division. Could he? Could he really be back? Old rival Sire De Grugy had also been on the comeback trail after a below par previous season, he had beaten Special Tiara in the Tingle Creek Chase. Now Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy were set for a long-awaited rematch in the Desert Orchid Chase at Kempton Park, two years after disaster had struck. This time there was to be no hiding place and no catastrophe, as the two former champions served up a Christmas treat for an appreciative crowd. It was Sprinter Sacre, having to scrap for the first time over fences, who showed a new winning trait, by beating his old rival by ¾ of a length. But the acid test was yet to come. •

December 2016


SPRINTER SACRE FEATURE

© Steven Cargill

Sprinter Sacre duly took his place in the field for the 2016 Queen Mother Champion Chase, taking on Somersby, Sire De Grugy, Special Tiara – and the mighty Irish horse Un De Sceaux, famed for pulverising his rivals from the front and never beaten when he had completed the course. Un De Sceaux and Special Tiara took each other on but racing down the hill, Sprinter Sacre and De Boinville became a huge threat and a roar went up from the packed stands. The image of Sprinter Sacre powering past Un De Sceaux on the home bend is one that will long live in the memory. He then drew clear, jumping the last two fences and scampering up the hill for a barely believable second win in the blue riband of two mile races. At the line the winning margin was 3 ½ lengths from Un De Sceaux. This was the stuff of dreams and we barely dared to believe this was really happening. It truly was one of the great comebacks in sport and drama personified. In April, Un De Sceaux was back for another crack at the new Old Champion in the Grade 1 Celebration Chase at Sandown Park. But this was the wrong day to be taking on Sprinter Sacre, who was back to his imperious best. Once he took up the course-specialist.co.uk

running, he simply roared away, in Rolls Royce style up the Sandown Park hill. Nico De Boinville held his stick aloft in triumph as Sprinter Sacre, in glorious sunshine, beat Un De Sceaux by 15 lengths. Much was expected this year, with Douvan the rising force in jumps racing, but it was not to be. Barry Geraghty rode the Nicky Henderson-trained superstar 17 times, winning on 13 occasions. The jockey said; “He’s something special and he is to be celebrated. I’ve never sat on a horse over fences like him - he was electric. The first day he won here (in the 2012 Arkle), just to see him sail away on the way to the last, I’ve never seen that before. He was just unbelievable.” Speaking at Cheltenham, Henderson, who trained Sprinter Sacre throughout his 24-race career, said: “He worked on Tuesday and everything was grand. We were just a bit worried on Wednesday night - he was a bit warm in one leg. We have scanned the leg, and it gave us the news we dreaded. I think knowing at his age, and where we’ve been, that you can’t come back for another session at 11 rising 12. I spoke to Caroline [Mould] yesterday, who is going to be here today, and I said I’m afraid we’ve got to say the journey’s over.” •

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FEATURE SPRINTER SACRE Henderson said: “Sprinter is going to parade before the Shloer and say farewell. If anyone wants him somewhere, to remind us of what he was like, he’s going to be able to come to these sort of dos. “We’re going to miss him. It’s been a great journey. I’ve got one very very sad lad up there. Sarwah Mohammed lives with him day and night; the horse bites him all day and all night and he laughs about it. “Life goes on without him, but it’s been an emotional time over five or six years, and we’ve loved every minute of it. “You wouldn’t know which leg it is - you can’t tell except on a scan. But it wouldn’t hold up in the short term and you can’t go for the long term, so we have had to bite the bullet. “I should think he will be going off to Shropshire at some stage [to David and Juliet Minton’s Mill House Stud to spend his retirement] but we’ll have to borrow him back quite a few times when he’s wanted for days like this “I think the saddest thing will be him in the paddock today - he thinks he’s going to go and have a right good spin round there this afternoon. He thinks he’s here for a completely different reason. He’ll want to race. “He’s been a great part of my life. It’s been an extraordinary journey. If we’d finished it after Kempton [when he was pulled

up in the Desert Orchid Chase in December 2013] then he would have just been the most fantastically good racehorse and you would have been able to leave it alone. But what happened last year is something that will never be repeated, in terms of emotions anyway - it took us all to the brink. “Ability and charisma went together with him - very often they don’t. You go to the sales and buy a beautiful horse and nine times out of 10 they are rubbish - just very pretty. He was the epitome of the horse who looks the part, moves the part, and it has worked. “I think he looks as well as he ever has. He is in staggeringly good form - there’s the sadness. We all said, if he didn’t want to do it, he’d be telling us in his work. He’s giving us all the right signs and is in fantastic form. It’s three weeks until the Tingle Creek and he would have worked yesterday. “We’ve been very lucky over the years, and I’m going on so there is room for more. For a long time I protected See You Then as my best horse, but those two years when Sprinter Sacre was unbeatable... He never disappointed, not until it went wrong - he was peerless. “There was probably no bigger day than today last year. It wasn’t his final hour - he improved all year afterwards, and to me he was nearly a better horse at Sandown than he was at

© Steven Cargill

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December 2016


SPRINTER SACRE FEATURE Cheltenham. This day, when it really had to happen, was the most crucial day. We knew that if it didn’t work that day, that would have been it - there’d be no more. It was a vital day. The amazing thing was the crowd that November afternoon was a March crowd. I think the horse knew it, and I have to thank everyone on his behalf. He adores the whole thing, and no one is going to enjoy this afternoon more than Sprinter Sacre himself. He’s alive and kicking - we’re not at his funeral, we’re at a celebration of his life. “It would have been sad if it had gone the other way and Douvan had come along and smashed him, we’d have thought we should have drawn stumps - not that we were going to be that negative; we were going to beat Douvan! Good luck Willie - look out, Altior is on the horizon, so get on with it quick... “Last March when he won was probably the biggest day of my career. You couldn’t fail to be moved by it, and it was very special. The support he has makes us know it is worthwhile. It’s like playing a home game - the crowd’s behind you. One of the greatest days was when we took him to Ireland, which we always promised we’d do. Their welcome to him, and that whole day at Punchestown, was one of the very special ones.” An emotional Henderson later told Racing UK said: “It has been an emotional rollercoaster with him for a very long time. His first two years over fences, he could do things other horse couldn’t. To all intents and purposes, he was unbeatable then - he was invincible. Then the wheels fell off and we had them ghastly two years with most people probably thinking ‘what is Henderson doing? He’s lost the plot’ and they were probably right, but the little bloom started to come again and he looked fantastic this time last year. It’s ironic he has to be retired today but he will be here to say goodbye and he will enjoy it. “The Shloer was crucial for him last year and if it hadn’t have worked out that would have been the end for him and they would have said we made a mess of a superstar. But the next six months, I don’t think we will ever go through that again. At Sandown the last day, I thought he was a better horse then. We had an amazing support from the crowds, we were very lucky to be the curator of this horse. “Caroline Mould has been brilliant throughout this. We have never been under any pressure. Raymond wasn’t with us last year but he was the same. There was no gun to our heads, if we wanted to go on we could if we didn’t want that was fine also. Sprinter Sacre is fine. He worked on Tuesday, everything was fine but his near ofre was a bit warm. He had a scan and I was going to work him again yesterday morning but I felt it again yesterday morning when we all had a look and I just course-specialist.co.uk

wasn’t happy. We scanned it and it gave us the news we all dreaded. To be fair, if you saw his leg this morning, you would work him but even so we don’t want to risk him again. “I went to see Caroline yesterday and I had to say to her that the journey is over. We have to appreciate him. We are going to be sad. Sarwah who has looked after him all those years is having a tough time and so am I. We are going to miss him but it is a celebration. He will enjoy today. At the moment, he thinks he is going racing - he has his own stable which he has had every year he has been here. He will want to race because he knows he was going to be ready for the Tingle Creek in two weeks time. “He’s here for a different reason and we’re here to say thank you to everybody in National Hunt racing. They have made him as he became that hugely popular show-off, charismatic, crazy horse. We have just been the lucky people to look after him. He and I are here to say thank-you to the press and the people who have made this such an incredible time. It’s not goodbye, we will enjoy it. He will have a jolly good retirement, I don’t think it will be the last time he is seen on a racecourse.” Barry Geraghty, who rode the horse early on in his career, commented: “He was something special. He is something to be celebrated. Nicky did so well getting him back like he did last year. On his day in his novice chase season and the season after when he won the Champion Chase, I’ve never sat on a horse over a fence like him. He was electric. When he won the two mile chase Game Spirit at Newbury, he was on a different level - that was something special. “It was special to see him back here last year. When he won the Shloer Chase at this meeting just to see him sail away down over the third last, I had never witnessed that sight before. He was a beautiful looking horse, did everything with such ease and grace, he was just brilliant.” •

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PAUL TOWNEND SIGNS WITH RACINGFX The online financial services provider, RacingFX has signed the Willie Mullins trusted rider and former Irish Champion Jump Jockey, Paul Townend as a brand ambassador. Townend, 26, will join Grand National winning jockey David Mullins as the latest addition to the RacingFX roster. Both jockeys will wear the RacingFX logo on their breeches and will produce regular blogs on the RacingFX website; www.racingfx.co.uk. A star-studded Cheltenham Festival Preview Evening is also being planned with both jockeys next year. Andy Rowland, CEO of RacingFX, said: “We are delighted to have signed Paul as an ambassador for our

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brand. Paul is well known to everyone in the industry and is no stranger to success at the top level, I am particularly looking forward to him providing some interesting content for readers on our website.” “Racing FX provides a simple, secure and cost efficient way to manage your money online 24/7. You can hold balances in six different currencies and unlike our competitors we don’t charge any account opening fees, set up or management fees. We also provide a network of industry services within each account to deliver fast and secure payments to suppliers” Townend commented: “I am thrilled to join the RacingFX team, they are an innovative company and provide useful online services for the sport I am passionate about. I am looking forward to forming a good relationship with the team and hope to carry their logo to victory plenty of times this season. Having opened an account, I would like to think that it will be a useful tool for converting some prize money if I am lucky enough on British soil this season.” •

December 2016


        

                                        

     

      


REVIEW BREEDERS’ CUP

BREEDERS’ CUP REVIEW

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December 2016


© Eclipse Sportswire / Breeders’ Cup Photos

BREEDERS’ CUP REVIEW

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December 2016

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REVIEW BREEDERS’ CUP

© Eclipse Sportswire / Breeders’ Cup Photos

FRIDAY BEHOLDER BEATS SONGBIRD IN ONE OF THE BREEDERS’ CUP’S ALL-TIME GREAT RACES You would wait years for a race of this billing to live up to the hype, but we got exactly that as Beholder inched out Songbird in a quite stunning home stretch fight for the Grade 1 LONGINES Breeders’ Cup Distaff at Santa Anita. Eight fillies and mares lined-up for this keenly anticipated heavyweight clash. Songbird burst into the lead from the gate with I’m A Chatterbox bustled up, while Stellar Wind missed the break badly. Songbird coasted down the back stretch with a two length lead from I’m A Chatterbox and Curalina, with Beholder fourth, but Gary Stevens moving up to third halfway down the back.

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© Eclipse Sportswire / Breeders’ Cup Photos

Up front, Songbird led by a length from I’m A Chatterbox with Beholder racing three wide on the home bend. As they straightened up, Songbird led Beholder and this pair left their rivals behind and settled down with the promise of a tremendous battle. The two did not disappoint, going toe to toe through the final quarter mile in a brilliant race, with neither horse willing to yield. For much of that tussle, Songbird, unbeaten in eleven starts, had her nose marginally in front, but in the dying strides Beholder levelled and it came down to the nod on the wire. •

December 2016


BREEDERS’ CUP REVIEW At the line they were virtually inseparable in one of the great Breeders’ Cup races. But it was the Richard Mandella trained six year old Beholder, in the final start of an illustrious career, who gained the day by the narrowest of margins. Beholder retires a perfect three from three in Breeders’ Cup contests and one of the most celebrated mares of modern times. In winning, she equalled the mighty Goldikova as the only three-time Breeders’ Cup winner. Stevens said: “It was a heck of a horse race. “I take my hat off to Songbird as a three-year-old, but I can’t say enough about this mare. “She’s six years old and the job Richard has done is unbelievable. “She’s such a smart mare and she gave me that loving feeling. She reads pace as well as any horse I’ve ever ridden. It was a hell of a way for her to go out.” Mandella said: “It means everything. I’ve put my life into this. She’s just a great horse in so many ways - ability, mind, soundness. She’s a great mare.” Jockey Mike Smith was delighted with the performance of Songbird in defeat. “I’m so proud of my filly as she came across the real Beholder today. Even though we lost, it feels like we won as she ran so well and gave me everything,” said the jockey. “I hoped that coming round the turn I would get away from Beholder, but she just stuck at it and we’ve gone down by a short nose. “Hopefully Songbird will be around next year. She’ll be bigger and stronger and I hope there’ll be a lot more to come.” There was a sad post script to the race as it was reported that the Argentine mare Corona Del Inca had broken a leg racing down the back stretch and had been taken back to the barn to be assessed. For the record, Forever Unbridled finished third, with Stellar Wind, greatly inconvenienced by that tardy start in fourth.

OSCAR WINNING PERFORMANCE TO GET BREEDERS CUP 33 UNDERWAY Perhaps Hollywood Park would have been an appropriate venue but there was still a quintessentially Hollywood feel to the opening race as Oscar Performance ran out a clear cut winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita. The 33rd Breeders’ Cup World Championships got underway with this mile contest and a field of fourteen. At the break it was Wellabled who went to the lead with course-specialist.co.uk

Keep Quiet and Oscar Performance, moving over from a wide draw. Taking the first turn Wellabled had the rail and led Oscar Performance and Channel Maker, with Made You Look and Keep Quiet well in contention. As the field continued down the back at a cracking pace, Wellabled and Oscar Performance had the lead and turned for home a few lengths clear of the field. But straightening up Oscar Performance shot clear under Jose Ortiz, as Wellabled gave way and dropped back. From behind, Lancaster Bomber came out of the pack to give chase, but Oscar Performance had first run by some distance and whilst his lead reduced in the final furlong, he had more than enough in the second fastest renewal of this race. A couple of lengths back came Lancaster Bomber, who was again confirming the strong form of the Dewhurst Stakes, while Good Samaritan was on his heels in third, this pair well clear of Ticonderoga in fourth. The Brian Lynch trained Oscar Performance is a son of Kitten’s Joy and was completing a hat-trick of victories.

TAMARKUZ SWEEPS MIKE SMITH TO A 23RD BREEDERS’ CUP VICTORY Tamarkuz came out well on top in a race of changing fortunes down the home stretch in the Grade 1 Las Vegas Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile at Santa Anita. Nine horses lined-up for this contest. As the field got away Runhappy and Dortmund were pushed up to dispute the lead, with Gun Runner racing wide on the opening bend. The 2015 Sprint winner Run Happy took the field along down the back stretch with Dortmund in close pursuit and then Gun Runner, with this three clear of Accelerate and Tamarkuz. Dortmund went on turning for home with Gun Runner and the latter wet into the lead with Tamarkuz on the wide outside the danger. Tamarkuz and Mike Smith forged clear inside the final furlong to give Kiaran McLaughlin a first victory at Santa Anita and a first success in the Breeders’ Cup. The same could not be said of Smith, the Breeders; Cup’s most successful ever jockey, recording his 23rd win here. Gun Runner, third in the Kentucky Derby, made a bold bid for victory down the home stretch and just held on for second ahead of Accelerate in third, with Dortmund the big disappointment in fourth. •

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NEW MONEY HONEY GETS THE BREAKS IN JUVENILE FILLIES TURF New Money Honey picked off the early trail blazers in a lightning fast renewal of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita. Fourteen fillies went to post for this contest, with plenty of European interest. At the break Lull was away well and led into the first bend from Roly Poly and Hydrangea, with Sweeping Paddy and New Money Honey prominent. Racing own the back stretch, Lull stormed 4 ½ lengths clear of Sweeping Paddy, with a gap back to Roly Poly, as the field went along at a blistering pace.

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Turning into the home stretch, Lull came under pressure with Sweeping Paddy and on the outside New Money Honey storming home. New Money Honey cut down the leader inside the final furlong to draw a couple of lengths clear under Javier Castellano. Significantly, as New Money Honey was making her move, Coasted and Mike Smith were having traffic problems and were hampered on the inside rail, gifting first run to the eventual winner. Coasted finished fast for second and can be considered a little unlucky in running, while Cavale Doree was best of the Europeans in third, ahead of the long-time leader Lull. The Chad Brown trained New Money Honey, a daughter of Medaglia D’Oro, had just two starts before this victory. •

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SATURDAY ARROGATE OUSTS CALIFORNIA CHROME IN A SENSATIONAL BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC Arrogate was given an ice cool ride by Mike Smith and bided his time before delivering the dagger to defeat California Chrome in a memorable clash for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita. The final race of a scintillating meeting was of course the big one and saw California Chrome bidding to crown a decorated career with victory in a race he had finished third in two years ago. Nine horses went to post for a race with its fair share of high octane drama and shocks down the years.

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As the gates burst open, California Chrome shot out of the stalls and into the lead, tracked through by Effinex to the inside and Melatonin to the outer. Racing around the first bend California Chrome led Melatonin and Frosted, with Arrogate taking closer order on the wide outside and Effinex to the inside. Victor Espinoza continued to take California Chrome along in front of Melatonin, with the field stretched out at the top of the turn. California Chrome turned for home in front with Arrogate giving chase and the pair a mile clear of their rivals. California Chrome was asked for more by Espinoza and kept finding, but Mike Smith and Arrogate kept creeping closer and in the final 100 yards moved into the lead to defeat the Chrome in a sensational finish. course-specialist.co.uk

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After a low key start to his career, Arrogate shot to prominence with an extraordinary 13 ½ lengths victory, smashing the track record, in the Grade 1 Travers Stakes at Saratoga in August. The question today was whether that was a one-off and whether tactically he could challenge California Chrome. The three year old son of Unbridled’s Song was giving Bob Baffert an unprecedented third successive victory in the Classic, following the 2014 success of Bayern and last year’s remarkable American Pharoah. Mike Smith was winning his fourth Classic, while Juddmonte Farms, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, more than gained compensation for Flintshire’s earlier defeat. Baffert said: “I was a bit worried, he was just loping around. I thought ‘man, I hope I have him fit enough’. “I thought there was no chance turning for home that he could catch Chrome - Chrome is such a great horse. It takes a lot to get me excited and that was some race. “That last 20 yards (I thought we had a chance). This horse is just learning how to run and what a great race. “I’m just glad I’m at the top end of it, California Chrome is a champion. I’m surprised I beat him, I didn’t think I could beat him going in.” California Chrome’s trainer Art Sherman was gracious in defeat and pointed towards the Pegasus World Cup invitational at Gulfstream Park in January as being the final race of California Chrome’s career. He said: “I’m very proud of the way he ran and there are no excuses. What can I say, he ran his eyeballs out. “This was really a great race. He will be back for sure.” Espinoza said: “I am so proud of him, he ran a great race. Maybe in hindsight I should have let him roll a bit earlier. We have had our ups and downs, and I know what it’s like to be down and then come back. “He was cruising, but we’ve probably met a good horse today.” •

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CHAMPAGNE ROOM CAUSES AN UPSET IN THE BREEDERS’ CUP JUVENILE FILLIES Champagne Room raced up with the pace and quickly put the issue to bed with a strong home stretch burst to land the Grade 1 14 Hands Winery Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies over one mile and 110 yards on the Santa Anita dirt track. Proceedings got underway on the main day of the 33rd Breeders’ Cup meeting with twelve fillies lining up for a fascinating contest. As the gates burst open on the opening race, With Honors broke well on the inside but Noted And Quoted soon moved into the lead and took the first bend with a clear advantage from Champagne Room to the outside with Sweet Loretta stalking these in third and then Colorful Charades and With Honors.

Noted And Quoted continued to blaze the trail as the field turned for home with Champagne Room challenging and nothing coming off the pace. Champagne Room quickly burst clear under Mario Gutierrez and opened up a three length advantage as Noted And Quoted gave way tamely. The Peter Eurton filly kept up the gallop with Valadorna staying on in second. However, Champagne Room, a daughter of Broken Vow had an unassailable lead and whilst the second closed late on, it was never enough. American Gal had a bad start and stayed on for third, with Daddys Lil Darling fourth. This was a first Breeders’ Cup success for Eurton and a second for Gutierrez, with a filly who had finished a well beaten fourth to Noted And Quoted last time out.

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BREEDERS’ CUP REVIEW

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QUEEN’S TRUST DELIVERS BREEDERS’ CUP GLORY FOR STOUTE AND DETTORI Queen’s Trust delivered a twelfth Breeders’ Cup victory for Frankie Dettori and a seventh win for Sir Michael Stoute with a dramatic late thrust to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita. Thirteen went to post for this 1 ¼ mile contest on a fast and firm turf course. As the field started it was Catch A Glimpse who broke fast and went on with Avenge. Settling down, Avenge moved into the lead from Catch A Glimpse on the inside and these were tracked by Kitcat and Pretty Perfect, with Sea Calisi fifth and then the Japanese horse Nuovo Record. Racing down the back strajght, Avenge was setting fast fractions with Catch A Glimpse as Pretty Perfect moved closer. Turning into the home stretch, Avenge held the lead with Catch A Glimpse under pressure as Sea Calisi and Lady Eli coming wide. But Avenge still held the lead as Lady Eli and Queen’s Trust stormed home down the outside. The pair caught Avenge late inside the final furlong and both carried great momentum towards the wire, with Frankie Dettori thrusting late on to get Queen’s Trust’s nose in front. At the wire there was little in it but the Sir Michael Stoute trained three year old, who had only ever won a maiden before this race, got up to give Europe its first victory of this meeting. Lady Eli ran a gutsy race in second, with Avenge a gallant third. Seventh Heaven was a little tapped for toe in fourth. Dettori said afterwards: “Sir Michael Stoute is a genius and he was very sweet on this filly. “She’d missed the target a few times and been very unlucky, but today everything went perfectly. We had a good trip, she found an extra gear in the last 100 yards and we got it on the line. course-specialist.co.uk

“I think the fast pace played to her strengths, she has a good kick. They went very fast up front and she showed her best. “The pace was crucial, especially with these short straights, and they have absolutely flown round the first turn. She dug very deep and when we flashed across the line I thought I had got there. “I wanted to get on to the wheels of Lady Eli, but I couldn’t do it until the middle of the turn - thank goodness we had enough yards to go for my filly to get there. “I wanted to find a spot from where I could put in a challenge. I badly needed that strong early pace that developed. My first reaction turning in was that I could finish a good third, but then she started to motor and when she got into top gear I thought ‘she can do it’.” Dettori was quick to send his thoughts to fellow rider Freddy Tylicki, who was left paralysed in the lower half of his body following a fall at Kempton on Monday. He added: “Can I take one minute to say we’re thinking of you, Freddy. We’re praying for you, pal.” It was a third win in the race for Stoute after Islington (2003) and Dank (2013). He said: “She has been unfortunate a few times this year. Thank God it went right today. “She ran a great race in the Nassau against Minding, and then had that unlucky run in the Fillies & Mares race at Ascot in which she could have finished quite a bit closer. “As we were coming to the end of the year, I weighed up what options were left. This one presented itself, but then I needed Mr and Mrs Thompson to give their blessing and thank goodness they did.” He added of Dettori: “He was quite good today!” Chris Richardson, managing director of Cheveley Park, revealed the winner will stay in training next season. He said: “She is the most beautifully balanced filly with a great temperament and full marks to Mr and Mrs Thompson for bringing her out here. I think she has never been as good as she is right now and hopefully we have a lot to look forward to. “She is a very talented filly and has been competitive throughout the year at the highest level, while not enjoying the rub of the green a couple of times. “She will definitely stay in training. Michael has trained for the Thompsons for 35 years, it’s a shame that they were not able to be here.” Seventh Heaven was fourth for Aidan O’Brien, who said: “I was pleased with the way Seventh Heaven ran, it was a good effort.” •

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DREFONG SCORCHES THE DIRT IN A PULSATING BREEDERS’ CUP SPRINT Drefong proved the fastest speedster in the West as he returned to California to win a cracking renewal of the Grade 1 Twinspires Breeders’ Cup Sprint over six furlongs on the Santa Anita dirt. With two scratchings a field of seven lined up for this contest. At the break it was Masochistic who went straight into the lead, with Drefong and the grey Delta Bluesman. Drefong and Masochistic vied for supremacy and moved several lengths clear as they turned into the home stretch. Drefong, a winner at Saratoga last time out, appeared to hold the advantage and in the final furlong the three year old pulled away with Mind Your Biscuits closing fast but just denied second spot as Masochistic tied up late on. A.P. Indian could never get in a blow and came home fourth. The Bob Baffert trained Drefong was given a perfect ride by Martin Garcia and continued his fine record at Santa Anita. For Baffert this victory would have delivered plenty of pleasure as his other leading contender Lord Nelson had to be scratched. Fifth time lucky for the veteran Obviously at the Breeders’ Cup Obviously got the breaks and trip with some style to win the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita. Fourteen horses lined up for this six furlong, 110 yard contest. At the break Celestine broke well along with Mongolian Sqturday, but Obviously soon got the lead. Settling down, Obviously led out of the shoot and held a 1 ½ length advantage racing downhill from Pure Sensation and

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Mongolian Saturday, with Ambitious Brew close and Holy Lute and Home Of The Brave not far behind. Obviously continued to lead into the straight, chased by Pure Sensation and he opened up a significant break. It got tight in the finish as Om ate into the lead, but Obviously, dropping down in trip, just held on under Flavien Prat, to win at the fifth attempt at the Breeders’ Cup, at the age of 8. Om was agonisingly touched off here, with Pure Sensation third and Calgary Cat fourth. The European challenge of Home Of The Brave, Karar and Washington DC failed to get in a blow. Winning trainer Philip D’Amato said of his eight-yearold gelding: “He gave him a great ride - picture perfect - and this is extra special. He’s a horse I shared with my late mentor Mike Mitchell and this is like a win for both of us. “He’s a barn favourite and if ever a horse deserved it, it’s him. He’s just a warrior. “It’s my first Breeders’ Cup win and it makes it all the more special.” O’Brien said of Washington DC: “Ryan (Moore) says he is a five-furlong horse, and that he didn’t get the six and a half round here, so we will go back to the minimum trip with him next season.” Palmer said of his Godolphin-owned colt Home Of The Brave: “I thought James gave him a beautiful ride, and there was just a moment when he angled out when I thought he was going to do something. “But I think now we will look for a change in distance and run him over a mile next year.”

CLASSIC EMPIRE STATES HIS CASE FOR TRIPLE CROWN HONOURS WITH BREEDERS CUP JUVENILE SUCCESS Classic Empire narrowly held off the late spurt from Not This Time to win the Grade 1 Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and potentially set up a rivalry for next year, at Santa Anita. Eleven lined-up for a race won last year by subsequent Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist. Syndergaard, Theory, Three Rules and Classic Empire all vied for the lead from the break and at the first turn it was Syndergaard who gained the day from Classic Empire. Settling down and racing down the back stretch, Syndergaard led Classic Empire narrowly with Three Rules right on their heels and then Theory and Not This Time. •

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At the turn for home, Classic Empire moved tto the lead on the outside of Syndergaard and went clear, with Not This Time and Practical Joke closing. But Classic Empire was two lengths clear of Not This Time who closed in the final half a furlong. It looked to be tight in the dying strides, but Julien Leparoux just had enough in hand to hold off Not This Time and give trainer Mark Casse another big race success. Practical Joke was well back in third, ahead of Lookin At Lee. Classic Empire, a son of Pioneerof The Nile, made it four wins from five starts, with his only blemish coming when he whipped around and lost his rider. For Not This Time it was a case of what might have been and connections will be relishing the opportunity of a rematch in the Triple Crown.

Heading down the back straight, Highland Reel and Seamie Heffernan continued to lead but the pace was not strong, despite his 3 ½ length advantage over Ectot. Halfway down the stretch Heffernan opened up a massive lead and was 8 lengths clear at the top of the stretch, pursued by Flintshire and Ectot. Highland Reel was gradually reeled in but had far too much in hand, passing the post still a comfortable couple of lengths clear of Flintshire. Found reportedly stumbled from the stalls but stayed on well to finish third and give trainer Aidan O’Brien first and third. The Sir Michael Stoute trained Ulysses ran a commendable race in fourth. The four year old Highland Reel, had been second to Found in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, but revelled in the conditions to give O’Brien a tenth Breeders’ Cup success and a sixth in this race.

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HIGHLAND REEL STEALS A MARCH ON HIS BREEDERS’ CUP TURF RIVALS Highland Reel and Seamie Heffernan pulled off a tactical masterpiece to take his rivals apart racing down the back stretch and win the Grade 1 LONGINES Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita. A dozen horses lined-up for traditionally one of the European stronghold races, over 1 ½ miles. At the break it was Ectot and Ashleyluvssugar who were fast away but soon passed by Highland Reel, who came across from a wide draw to take the rail. Settling down, Highland Reel bound along in a clear lead from Ectot and Ashleyluvssugar, with Flintshire fourth and then Money Multiplier and that was the order with a circuit to run. course-specialist.co.uk

Heffernan, bagging his first Breeders’ Cup success, said: “I was on a horse that handled the conditions well, the tight track and the fast ground. He is straightforward and is very sound, and he stays hardy. “If given the choice I’d have ridden Found, it’s nice to be on the team and nice to get the opportunities. I have a lot of people to thank.” O’Brien - striking at the top level for the 22nd time this year to move within three of the record set by the late Bobby Frankel - said: “Seamie has given this horse a star ride. “The horse has thrived every month this year, and I would like to mention a big word for David who rides him out at home - he has done an incredible job. “Nobody knows all the big horses better than Seamie, who is a master of his craft. He is in his early 40s but he is still getting better and nobody deserves it more than him. •

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“Highland Reel was at his heaviest weight ever, and he looked super special. He knows this horse so incredibly well, he handles the fast ground and he executed it brilliantly.” On plans for the winner, O’Brien said: “He will stay in training next year and go for all the top middle-distance races on the international spectrum, but he isn’t finished yet this year, as he is in the Japan Cup and a race in Hong Kong. “The Japan Cup is in three weeks and the Hong Kong race is six weeks away - he could take in one of those or he could possibly do both. We will take him home and see how he is.” O’Brien confirmed Found would now head for a deserved retirement. He said: “Ryan was delighted with Found, he wasn’t overhard on her on her last race before retirement and she has been a great asset to us. She has been a very special mare.” Part-owner Michael Tabor said: “This track and the ground, everything suited him. This is the race we hoped he’d be able to run in and sometimes it works out.” Ulysses was fourth for Sir Michael Stoute and Frankie Dettori, who teamed up to win the Filly & Mare Turf earlier in the evening with Queen’s Trust. Alan Cooper, racing manager for owners Flaxman Stables Ireland Limited, said: “We were delighted with the run, because he is essentially a horse to look forward to and he will be bigger and stronger next year.”

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FINEST CITY TOUGHS IT OUT FOR BREEDERS’ CUP FILLY & MARE SPRINT Mike Smith was peerless again as he landed his 24th Breeders’ Cup win aboard Finest City in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint. A field of thirteen lined up for this seven furlong contest. At the start it was Paulassilverlining and By The Moon with Finest City all prominent. Racing round the bend Gloryzapper had the lead to the inside rail from Paulassilverlining and Finest City, with By The Moon and Tara’s Tango all in hot pursuit. On the home turn Gloryzapper had the lead with Wavell Avenue to the outside delivering her challenge and coming with a strong surge to battle Finest City. However, Mike Smith and Finest City were not for passing and found a little more to edge this one from last year’s winner Wavell Avenue, with Paulassilverlining third and Tara’s Tango fourth. The Ian Kruljac trained four year old had endured plenty of injury frustrations along the way, but just like Obviously earlier on the card, benefitted from a drop in trip here.

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TOURIST HAS HIS BIG DAY IN THE BREEDERS’ CUP MILE After two disappointing efforts in the previous two renewals, Tourist finally came good in a big way to defeat Tepin in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita. A field of fourteen assembled for this race, including six European challengers. One of the most keenly anticipated races of the day got underway with What A View leading from Midnight Storm and Midnight Storm, with Limato settled in fourth as the opening quarter flew by. Racing down the back stretch What a View opened a decent lead from Midnight Storm and Miss Temple City, with Photo Call and Limato and then Tourist and Tepin. Into the home straight Midnight Storm took it up as the field fanned wide. But the danger lurked on the inside where Tourist and Joel Rosario began a big run, taking the lead with a furlong to race. Midnight Storm was unable to respond, but last year’s winner Tepin began to sprout wings on the wide outside, cutting into the lead. However, Tourist had first run and under a strong drive got to the wire in time. Tepin ran a super race to claim a closing second, with Midnight Storm third and the fastfinishing Ironicus fourth, as the Europeans failed to figure. The Bill Mott trained 5 year old Tourist is a son of that Breeders’ Cup legend Tiznow.

Mott said: “I looked at the horses in the field and I thought this is one of the most competitive races they have on this day. “You wonder if you are coming in with a horse that is good enough, and he was good enough. But you have to have the trip (clear run). “The trip is so imperative, he got an inside trip, saved ground and opened up going for home.” Tepin’s trainer Mark Casse said: “I’m just proud of her, this filly has been good for so long. “Unfortunately we just came up a touch short, but we are going to go away with our head held high. She’s just an unbelievable horse. “I wouldn’t bet on that (run last last race), she has trained as well as she has ever trained. She can come back again next year.” Candy said of Limato: “He was a little bit free early on, everything went right except for that and it is nothing to do with the (mile) trip, as he wasn’t going to win from two out. “It is too late in the year, really. I’ve enjoyed the experience of coming here immensely and there are plenty of good days ahead to look forward to.” Bentley added: “He flew the gates, in fact he came out so fast I had to take him back. But if anything he was a little keen and then just approaching the final bend he was not quite going in his usual way.” O’Brien said of Alice Springs: “Alice was a little bit flat, she has had a long, hard season. We will freshen her up and look forward to next year.”

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CHELTENHAM OPEN MEETING REVIEW

CHELTENHAM OPEN MEETING REVIEW

THISTLECRACK WINS EASILY OVER CHELTENHAM FENCES DESPITE NOVICE ERRORS

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Thistlecrack got the job done but left plenty of hearts in mouths along the way, as he won the MallardJewellers.com Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. Just four horses went to post for this race with all eyes on last season’s World Hurdle winner Thistlecrack, who had impressed on his chasing debut at Chepstow last month. Thistlecrack was straight into the lead under Tom Scudamore, jumping big and bold at the first and passed by the Irish runner Marinero. At the first ditch Thistlecrack stood back too far and made a bad mistake, leaving Marinero back in front. Thistlecrack again stood off too far at the second open ditch, at the top of the hill. Marinero meanwhile, continued to lead racing downhill, with Thistlecrack in second but racing out wide, then came Ballycross and Aqalim, who did not appear to be enjoying the experience. Racing down the back straight again, Thistlecrack went 10 lengths clear of Marinero, with another gap back to Ballycross, while Aqalim was pulled up. The lead was about twelve lengths heading to the last ditch, where Thistlecrack again stood off too far and belted it. Thistlecrack turned for home and extended his advantage over Marinero who tried hard to close but was unable to bridge the gap when Scudamore let out a little rein on the leader. At the last fence Thistlecrack was again a little novicey but got over the fence well enough, coasting to an easy win over the gallant Marinero, with Ballycross third. •

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O O SEVEN IMPRESSES ON CHASING BOW AS BARTERS HILL PULLS UP

PEREGRINE RUN SOARS TO IRISH CHELTENHAM SUCCESS

O O Seven made a lovely chasing introduction as he made the most of the situation, with the highly-regarded Barters Hill pulling up injured in the Steel Plate and Sections Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on the opening day of The Open meeting. Barters Hill and Sizing Tennessee took the first in front but the latter clouted it and lost momentum. Having jumped the seventh fence in front of the stands, Barters Hill was pulled up having seemingly picked up an injury. Its’ Afreebee was left in front racing down the back straight from Sizing Tennessee and O O Seven, who was matching strides with Rock The Kasbah with Theinval and then a gap to Flying Angel.

There was a first victory for Ireland at this year’s Open Meeting, as Peregrine Run came with a well-timed move to land the Grade 2 Neptune Investment Management Hyde Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. At the top of the hill and four out, West Approach landed a couple of lengths ahead of Wholestone and Crosshue Boy, while Peregrine Run started to make eye catching progress. West Approach landed in front of Wholestone at the second last and turned for home in front, but Peregrine Run was still full of running, while Wholestone kept on to the inside. At the last the three were almost in a line as they landed, but West Approach was soon to crack, leaving a terrific scrap between Peregrine Run and Wholestone. Roger Loughran had to work hard on Peregrine Run who got up by about a length from Wholestone, with West Approach third and then Spiritofthegames who stayed on nicely in fourth. The Peter Fahey trained 6 year old Peregrine Run had run miserably in his first seven starts over timber, but was winning for the fourth consecutive race here.

DEFI DU SEUIL WINS ATTRITIONAL TRIUMPH HURDLE TRIAL Racing downhill, Its’Afreebee led from Sizing Tennessee and O O Seven, travelling well between these two and there was a gap back to Theinval and Rock The Kasbah who was labouring. Racing to the home turn, O O Seven opened up and went on clear of Sizing Tennessee, although he stumbled on landing at the second last. At the final fence O O Seven was clear and jumped better, although he veered to his right, getting very tired, before Nico de Boinville straightened him out. The Nicky Henderson trained 6 year old was well clear however and kept on once straightened up for a clear cut victory. Sizing Tennessee ran a most gallant race in second, with Rock The Kasbah sprouting wings to pip Theinval and Its’ Afreebee. Ben Pauling later announced that Barters Hill had slipped a tendon off a hock and would be off the track for the foreseeable future, although his injury was not thought to be career-ending.

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Defi Du Seuil coped best of all with the conditions to complete his hat-trick in the Grade 2 JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Registered as The Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle) at Cheltenham. Red Hot Chilly took the runners downhill and over the third last but was passed by Dino Velvet and Defi Du Seuil, with this pair racing wide and chased by Diable De Sivola. Racing to the last, Defi Du Seuil led from Diable De Sivola, while a tired Dino Velvet was clumsy and lost his footing, taking a tumble. The Philip Hobbs trained Defi Du Seuil and Barry Geraghty travelled much the strongest from the last and was not really troubled to record a comfortable victory from Diable De Sivola, with the remaining finishers miles back. Lambeau Filed was third and then Hazamar, with Red Hot Chilly the only other finisher as the rest pulled up.

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CHELTENHAM OPEN MEETING REVIEW

VICONTE DU NOYER CEMENTS NEW POTTS-TIZZARD PARTNERSHIP Viconte Du Noyer ran out a resolute winner of a dramatic race for the Grade 3 BetVictor Handicap Chase at Cheltenham today. Any Currency and Shotgun Paddy were away quickly and led at the first with Le Reve racing between horses. At the second fence Le Reve made a bad blunder and unseated Nico De Boinville, who it later transpired had suffered a broken arm. With a circuit covered and racing to the first in the straight, Shotgun Paddy led from Any Currency but there was drama and a horrific incident as the loose Le Reve ran across the fence and caused a pile-up with Cogry, Racing Pulse and Midnight Prayer all falling or brought down. All horses and jockeys were reported to be OK. Racing down the hill for the final time, Shotgun Paddy and Sausalito Sunrise landed over the third last in front of Upswing and Viconte Du Noyer, with Minella Rocco staying on. Racing to the second last there were plenty in with chances, but it was Viconte Du Noyer and Warrantor going on at the last. The grey Viconte Du Noyer lead with Warrantor battling on and Minella Rocco staying well, but Harry Cobden kept the grey up to his work and he won well

Warrantor claimed second, with Minella Rocco and eye-catching third off a big weight. Fourth Act, despite not jumping fluently, stayed on for fourth, ahead of Shotgun Paddy and the staying on Alvarado. This was a first major success for the new partnership of the Potts family and Colin Tizzard, with the 7 year old Viconte Du Noyer.

TAQUIN DU SEUIL DEFIES HUGE WEIGHT TO WIN THE BETVICTOR GOLD CUP Taquin Du Seuil rolled back the years in more than one sense, as he came back to his old form and defied a monster weight to land the Grade 3 BetVictor Gold Cup Handicap Chase at Cheltenham. Seventeen lined-up for this first big handicap chase of the winter. Cheltenham lover Village Vic was straight into the lead from Vintage Vinnie and Potts Cross over the first, where More Of That ws not fluent. Settling down and racing to the third fence, Village Vic had a clear lead over Vintage Vinnie, with a gap back to Art Mauresque on the inside of Potters Cross and then came Sizing Granite and Frodon. Village Vic and Richard Johnson continued to lead by about four lengths from Vintage Vinnie as the field raced to

Š Steven Cargill

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REVIEW CHELTENHAM OPEN MEETING the fence in front of the stands, with the field quite bunched behind the leader as he took the seventh and headed away with a circuit to race. Racing down the back, Village Vic’s lead had been reduced with the two Rebecca Curtis runners in second and third still and then came Frodon and Bouvreuil, while Sizing Granite made a bad error and lost ground and Ballynagour continued in last place, where he had been throughout. With four to jump, Sizing Granite was pulled up. At the final ditch it was still Village Vic from Vintage Vinnie, while Frodon made an error and dropped back. Racing down hill Vintage Vic led while last year’s winner Annacotty was at the back and in trouble. Village Vic began the turn for home challenged by Aso and Taquin Du Seuil, with the rest struggling to keep in touch. Two out and Village Vic landed in front and he took the last well, with Aso tiring and Taquin Du Seuil rallying. Racing up the hill, Village Vic gamely stuck to his guns resolutely, but Taquin Du Seuil and Aidan Coleman had a sense of inevitability to their progress and inch by inch got upsides the long-timer leader before moving into the lead in the final strides. This was an agonising defeat for the gallant Villiage Vic, with Buywise staying on superbly to place once gain and then in fourth came Aso, ahead of Bouvreuil. The Jonjo O’Neill yard has been in quiet form of late but former Festival winner Taquin Du Seuil, a 9 year old now, powered up the final hill in great style. What made this performance all the more impressive was that he carried 11 stone and 11 pounds, the most any horse has carried to victory in this race since Bradbury Star won his second in 1994.

MOON RACER IMPRESSES AT CHELTENHAM Moon Racer convincingly upheld form with Ballyandy when successful in the Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices´ Hurdle at Cheltenham. The two Champion Bumper heroes clashed on their first starts over hurdles at Perth in September, with Moon Racer winning the argument by three-quarters of a length. But this time Ballyandy could only finish a staying-on third in the Grade Two over two miles, although a little short of room approaching the last flight. Mirsaale made most of the running, with Moon Racer and Ballyandy second and third respectively for a long way.

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© Steven Cargill

Moon Racer and Tom Scudamore then ranged up alongside the front-runner at the second-last and never looked like getting beaten from there on in. Mirsaale creditably stuck on for second, beaten two and a quarter lengths by the impressive winner.

LE PREZIEN VICTORIOUS IN CHELTENHAM GRADE 2 Le Prezien cashed in on a late fall from Some Plan to win the Racing Post Arkle Trophy Trial Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. Trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by Barry Geraghty, the successful five-year-old was far from fluent at a number of his fences and Some Plan travelled powerfully at the front as the field raced down the hill. However, the complexion of the race changed quickly as Henry de Bromhead’s raider fell two fences from home, with Le Prezien seizing the initiative under Geraghty. Nearest pursuer Hammersly Lake, who had sat in last place for most of the race, ran on well to claim second, as Three Stars faded.

FOX NORTON IMPRESSES IN A SOMBRE SHLOER CHASE Fox Norton continued his ascendency up the two mile ranks with an authoritative success in the Grade 2 Shloer Chase at Cheltenham but thoughts quickly turned to the stricken Simonsig, who lost his life here. A field of eight horses went to post for a contest won by the great and newly-retired Sprinter Sacre last year. The dual Champion Chaser was on show to parade for the appreciative Cheltenham crowd before this important race. •

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CHELTENHAM OPEN MEETING REVIEW As the tapes went up Special Tiara was straight into the lead and led over the first where Module pecked badly and Simonsig was also far from fluent. Special Tiara continued to bowl along in front of Module and Simply Ned, while Simonsig was unsettled and dropped to the back of the field. But the former Arkle Chase winner would not settle and took a heavy fall at the third fence. Racing down the back straight Special Tiara continued in front of Simply Ned and Fox Norton, with Just Cameron and Top Gamble, as Module started to struggle and Savello was patiently ridden at the back. Three out and it was Special Tiara clear of Fox Norton who travelled well, while Simply Ned was now being niggled along. Fox Norton, with the inside berth, travelled well under Aidan Coleman and move into the lead on the home bend, taking the second last well but now chase by the rallying Simply Ned, while Special Tiara faded. However, a good jump at the last saw Fox Norton sprint up the home straight and away from his pursuer, drawing away for a most impressive success. Simply Ned ran a super race in second, with Special Tiara a tired third. The race was marred by the early departure of Simonsig and it later transpired that the brilliant grey, who had along with Sprinter Sacre, lit up the 2012/13 season, had been put down after breaking a leg.

NORTH HILL HARVEY ANOTHER BIG CHELTENHAM WINNER FOR THE SKELTONS North Hill Harvey gave Dan and Harry Skelton another big handicap hurdle success at Cheltenham with victory in the Grade 3 StanJames.com Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. Sixteen horses lined up for this always competitive race and at the off it was predictably the habitual front runner Sternrubin who set off in front. As the field raced downhill to the third last, Sternrubin still led with Wolf Of Windlesham and then North Hill Harvey, who travelled strongly. Two out Wolf Of WIndlesham fell and North Hill Harvey scooted into the lead turning for home from Modus and Song Light and A Hare Breath. North Hill Harvey took the last in front but Modus stayed on strongly and the pair duelled in the final climb. North Hill Harvey found more though under Harry Skelton and the five year old edged back into the lead in the final few strides to win. Modus ran well in second, with Song Light just outstaying a A Hare Breath for third in a thrilling finish.

Š Steven Cargill

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SENSATIONAL CUE CARD LANDS HIS THIRD BETFAIR CHASE Cue Card once again confounded the doubters with arguably the greatest performance of his glittering career so far, as he saved every inch of ground and finished well on top in a memorable renewal of the Grade 1 Betfair Chase at Haydock Park. Heavy ground greeted the six runners for this mouth-watering clash. As the tapes went up it was the former Cheltenham Gold Cup winner COneygree, returning after a lay-off of just over a year, who went on from Silviniaco Conti and Seeyouatmidnight. Making the long run to the first fence, Coneygree led under Richard Johnson from Seeyouatminight and Silviniaco Conti, with Irish Cavalier next and then the French raider Vezelay, with Cue Card racing on his own towards the inside. Coneygree soon warmed to the task and leapt exuberantly at the fourth, opening up a three length lead over Silviniaco Conti and again jumped big at the first ditch. Racing into the home straight for the first time, Coneygree led Silviniaco Conti, with Cue Card, still hugging the inside, moving into third, ahead of Seeyouatmidnight, who had not always been faultless at his fences, and Irish Cavalier and then Vezelay. Racing out with a circuit to run, Coneygree led from Silviniaco Conti and Cue Card and the sextet bunched up turning away from the stands. At the tenth, the first down the back, Coneygree led Silviniavo Conti, with Cue Card next and then Vezelay, who had moved closer and travelled well. Further back, Irish Cavalier and Seeyouatmidnight were dropping back, with the latter pulling up. Coneygree took five out with Cue Card and this pair started to pull away from SIlviniaco Conti and Vezalay. Turning for home, Cue Card travelled the better but Coneygree was still there. Cue Card landed in front at the fourth last and bounded to the final ditch with Coneygree under pressure but responding. Cue Card pulled a little further clear though and racing to the last drew further away jumping well and six clear of a weary Coneygree.

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Cue Card stormed to the line with his head up and ears pricked, a brilliant three-time winner of the Betfair Chase, with Paddy Brennan, who celebrated his 1,000th career winner earlier in the week, punching the air in jubilation. Coneygree ran a cracker in second place, losing his unbeaten record but going down on his sword, miles clear of the French horse Vezelay, who was perhaps the revelation of this race. Silviniaco Conti came home a leg weary fourth. This was as good a performance as trainer Colin Tizzard could have hoped to see from the 10 year old Cue Card, having blamed himself for a tactical error when the horse came third to Irish Cavalier in the Charlie Hall Chase. For the second year running, health permitting, all roads should lead to Kempton Park on Boxing Day and the second leg of the Chase Triple Crown, with the King George VI Chase.

NATIVE RIVER CAPS A MARVELLOUS DAY FOR THE TIZZARDS WITH HENNESSY GLORY Native River continued his progression by grinding out a hard fought and narrow victory in the 60th running of the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury.

A field of 19 lined-up and at flag fall it was last year’s winner Smad Place who quickly went on with Holywell and Double Ross, with Native River also prominent and going on at the second. Saphir Du Rheu’s race was soon over as he was an early faller at the fourth, while Local Show also made an error. Up front, Native River and Double Ross were joined by Coologue and this trio took turns to lead throughout the first circuit. •

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NEWS UK RACING With a circuit to race, Double Ross, Native River and Coologue were still the pace setters, followed by Un Temps Pour Tout and Smad Place, with all 18 remaining horses still in touch. Down the back straight, Upswing made a bad blunder when already in arrears and he and Local Show started to drop away/ Meanwhile, the front three continued to travel well, while Regal Encore was pulled up. Native River and Double Ross landed in front at the Cross Fence for the final time, with Coologue to the outside and Blacklion travelling well and Vicente also looking a danger. Turning for home, Double Ross held a narrow advantage with Native River under pressure as Coologue back-pedalled and Blaklion now coming under a ride, while Carole’s Destrier was staying on. At the second last, the front two landed in unison but it was Native River who responded best as Richard Johnson got to work, and the Colin Tizzard 7 year old pulled clear heading to the last fence. A good jump at the last seemed to seal victory for Native River who surged clear on the flat. However, approaching the elbow, Carole’s Destrier began to stay on strongly, closing with every stride as Native River began to wander. However, the line came just in time for Richard Johnson, riding his first Hennessy winner, and the Aintree Grade 1 winner delivered victory for the Tizzards, to follow-on from the earlier success of the exciting Thistlecrack. Double Ross came home third, with Hadrian’s Approach fourth.

IRVING ROLLS BACK THE YEARS FOR A SECOND FIGHTING FIFTH TRIUMPH Irving has had more than his fair share of ups and downs but enjoyed a red letter day with his second victory in the Grade 1 StanJames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle. Six horses went to post for this two mile contest, with that wily veteran Hidden Cyclone showing plenty of early toe to lead the field under Danny Mullins.

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© Toby Connors

With a circuit to race, Hidden Cyclone had the lead from fellow Irish challengers Apple’s Jade and Petit Mouchoir. The order remained largely the same racing down the back, with Hidden Cyclone leading from the grey Petit Mouchoir and Apple’s Jade, while Sceau Royal was biding his time and Irving appeared to be niggled in fifth, whilst Mirsaale was tailed off. Into the home straight, Petit Mouchoir came to join Hidden Cyclone, but crashed out at the third last. All of a sudden Hidden Cyclone was flanked on either side by Irving and Sceau Royal, with Apple’s Jade seemingly under pressure and not really responding. However, the complexion of the race changed quickly racing to the final flight as Sceau Royal found little and Irving wet on, moving a length clear at the last. However, on the run-in, Apple’s Jade all of a sudden found a gear and closed dramatically on the leader, whilst Hidden Cyclone was staying on and closing too. At the line it became very tight, but the Paul Nicholls trained 8 year old Irving and Harry Cobden prevailed. •

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UK RACING NEWS

© Image supplied by Lingfield Park Racecourse

CAPTAIN JOY BACK FOR ANOTHER ALL-WEATHER CHAMPIONSHIPS Captain Joy has been one of the real stars of the AllWeather Championships for the past two seasons and the seven-year-old has the Sun Bets AllWeather Mile Championships on Finals Day, Good Friday, April 14, in his sights again this year. The popular grey enjoyed the biggest victory of his career when successful in the All-Weather Mile Championships at Lingfield Park on Finals Day last season, when he powered home to a game halflength success over Sovereign Debt in the hands of Pat Smullen. Tracey Collins reported: “Captain Joy is very well at the moment. He has come back from having a break. “We have to try and organise a winter campaign for him now. Unfortunately, there are not many races at Dundalk that are suitable for him, so we will probably have to travel over to England again with him. course-specialist.co.uk

“It will be more than likely that we will go down the Fast-Track Qualifier route with him again. The qualifier at Dundalk is not until March, which is a long way off. The horse will tell us when he is ready and we will map out a plan from there. “Captain Joy is just a horse that loves work and loves racing. He is a very consistent and genuine horse.”

NEWMARKET BOWS OUT WITH TRIO OF LISTED RACES Energia Davos returned triumphant after 315 days off the track to win another big prize at Newmarket for the second season running. After springing a 40-1 surprise in the Group Three Darley Stakes last October, the eight-year-old grey did it again in the Listed James Seymour Stakes on what was the final meeting of the 2016 at Headquarters. Jane Chapple-Hyam’s gelding got home by a neck from Educate in the hands of St Legerwinning jockey George Baker. •

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NEWS UK RACING “He’s a good old boy. He’s got a screw in his right hind fetlock, but he’s good and it was lovely to see him get the mile and a quarter after so many days off,” said Chapple-Hyam. Really Special lived up her name as she backed up her debut success by making all the running to take the Listed spoils in the British Stallion Studs EBF Montrose Fillies’ Stakes. Three weeks after making a winning debut in a Chelmsford maiden, the Saeed bin Suroor-trained filly looked a class act as she led from pillar to post in the hands of champion jockey Jim Crowley. Really Special looked content bowling along in front and found more when tackled by the other Godolphin runner, the Charlie Appleby-trained Kazimiera, to score in stylish fashion by two and three-quarter lengths. Island Vision and Tansholpan dead-heated for third place, half a length away.

ANTONY SHINES IN GOLD AS JUMPS RACING RETURNS TO ASCOT Antony built on a successful seasonal return at Fontwell when powering away from his rivals in impressive fashion to take victory in the Sodexo Gold Cup at Ascot. Receiving weight from all of his rivals the Gary Moore-trained six-year-old took full advantage to bag the £100,000 Grade Three pot and register the fourth win of his career. Arriving on the scene late in the day in the threemile contest, Jamie Moore’s mount powered past early leader Junction Fourteen before quickening clear up the run in to post a four-and-a-half-length success. The Paul Nicholls-trained Saphir Du Rheu plugged on for third, a short-head behind Junction Fourteen.

IRISH CAVALIER BACK TO FORM IN A CHARLIE HALL CHASE THRILLER

Estidhkaar just edged out stablemate Kool Kompany to give trainer Richard Hannon a onetwo in the Listed ‘Hats Off ’ To Steve Brown Ben Marshall Stakes. The two returning stars had the race to themselves a long way from home and became immersed in an enthralling duel. Kool Kompany made a gallant bid to make all, but Estidhkaar, who had finished second 19 days earlier in his first race for 14 months, just got up to win by a head. The pair were three and a quarter lengths ahead of Latharnach in third.

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Irish Cavalier, who had promised so much, delivered in spades with a gutsy performance to win the Bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. Dynaste set the early pace from Virak and Wakanda with Cue Card never too far away. Paddy Brennan sent Colin Tizzard’s star performer into the lead a long way from home in a bid to repeat last year’s success, but he could not shake off all his rivals. Blaklion, the RSA Chase winner looked a danger, while Menorah began to stay on, while down the outside, Jonathan Moore moved Irish Cavalier into a threatening position. Irish Cavalier landed in front at the second-last fence but Cue Card rallied gamely and Menorah continued to stay on. However, the Rebecca Curtis trained seven year old plugged on courageously to lift the Grade Two contest by three-quarters of a length from Menorah, with Cue Card third. Irish Cavalier is a former Cheltenham and Punchestown Festival winner over fences and made his race-fitness tell here, having had an outing at Chepstow earlier in the month. •

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EXCITING CHARBEL IMPRESSES FOR KIM BAILEY AT UTTOXETER Charbel made his mark over hurdles but always looked destined to make a chaser – and partly repaid that belief with a super round of jumping and a willing attitude to win the Kalahari King Beginners’ Chase at Uttoxeter. Charbel and Solstice Star took the field to the first fence, which they all jumped well. Charbel, fifth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, moved to the front at the second, ahead of Imperial Cup runner-up Solstice Star, with Top Notch, a Champion Hurdle runner in third and then Le Prezien, Kayf Blanco and Vendor. That was the order, as the field raced away from the stands with a circuit to race. Two from home, Charbel narrowly touched down ahead of Top Notch and took the last having extended his lead to a length again. There was a terrific scrap on the flat, as Top Notch and Le Prezien threw down stern challenges, but Charbel responded wonderfully for David Bass and knuckled down hard to repel his rivals, passing the post about ¾ of a length ahead of Le Prezien, with Top Notch losing little in defeat in third.

MORE SUCCESS AS MUFFRI’HA ROMPS TO LISTED SUCCESS AT LINGFIELD PARK Muffri’Ha continued her fine run of form with a decisive win in the Listed 32Red EBF Stallions Fleur De Lys Fillies’ Stakes at Lingfield Park.

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The fourth All-Weather Championships campaign got underway with a cracking heat for this one mile contest. There was drama beforehand, when Fran Berry, having weighed out, decided he was not fit to ride, having suffered a fall earlier in the afternoon. His intended mount Crowning Glory, was re-saddled, and Richard Kingscote came in for the ride. Ten fillies went to post for this first Fast-Track Qualifier of the season, with Gold Sands and Johara away well and Muffri’Ha, against the inside rails, also in a handy position. Up front, Gold Sands and Muffri’Ha vied for the lead with Home Cummins, away slowly, sneaking up the rail into third place, where Johara and Crowning Glory also raced well. Muffri’Ha cornered well and swept clear into the home straight, quickly putting distance between herself and her rivals, storming home for a most authoritative victory. Aljuljalah finished best of the rest in second, with Home Cummins and Battlement next. The William Haggas trained four year old Muffri’Ha has been in glorious form this autumn and retirement plans were put on hold for her to complete her hat-trick here.

SIR VALENTINO GETS THE GEORGE-HESKIN PARTNERSHIP OFF TO A FLYER IN THE HALDON GOLD CUP Sir Valentino was delivered with perfect timing but had to fight tenaciously to see off Garde La Victoire in a thrilling Grade 2 188Bet Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter. Eight horses went to post for the big race of the year at Exeter. As the tapes went up it was Ultragold who jumped off in front with Pain Au Chocolat to the inside and Garde La Victoire close up. Racing to the fifth fence, Ultragold continued to bowl along in front, with a 2 ½ lengths lead over Garde La Victoire. At the fence itself, the field had closed up and were rather bunched. Turning for home, Ultragold led with Garde La Victoire coming to join him and Dodging Bullets •

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NEWS UK RACING just in behind these. Garde La Victoire landed fractionally in front and racing for the second last, Sir Valentino came to challenge the leader. The pair drew away from top weight Dodging Bullets and both took the last well and fought out a tremendous battle on the flat. Neither horse would give way and at the line the pair flashed past the post together, with the result very much determined by the nod. After a photo finish the Tom George trained Sir Valentino was confirmed the winner from Garde La Victore, with Dodging Bullets, giving lumps of weight and race fitness away, back in third, having seemingly blown up.

FRODON IMPRESSES AT WINCANTON AS NICHOLLS WINNERS FLOW Frodon was the only horse to complete but was well on top as he extended his unbeaten record over fences to three in the Grade 2 Wincanton Rising Stars Novices’ Chase. Just the four horses lined up for a race with a wealth of history for producing top class chasers. Shantou Village took the field along and the order remained unchanged as the trio jumped the eighth fence and passed the stands with a circuit to race. With five to jump, Shantou Village moved to the lead but Frodon moved into a challenging position with ease, as Virgilio quickly dropped away. Racing into the home straight, the front pair matched strides three out, where Shantou Village made an error which handed the advantage to Frodon who took the second last well and powered to the last. Frodon jumped well but Shantou Village knuckled over on landing, while Virgilio had been pulled up, meaning the Paul Nicholls runner was the only finisher. The four year old Frodon was giving jockey Harry Cobden an 18th birthday Wincanton treble, as well as completing the same feat for Nicholls. He remains engaged in next weekend’s BetVictory Gold Cup at Cheltenham.

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SCEAU ROYAL STORMS TO ELITE HURDLE SUCCESS Sceau Royal had far too many guns for his rivals as he stormed to victory in the Grade 2 Stan James Elite Hurdle at Wincanton. Rayvin Black was straight into the lead with Aristo Du Plessis as the field took the first flight, with Zubayr in third. The front two headed down the back straight disputing the lead from Zubayr, with Sceau Royal and Peckhamecho. As the field raced towards the home straight Rayvin Black kept up the gallop as Aristo Du Plessis quickly folded, but Zubayr travelled powerfully into the lead two out, with Sceau Royal cruising in behind. Rayvin Black quickly gave way as Sceau Royal powered into the lead racing to the final flight and Zubayr had no answer as the Daryl Jacob ridden horse went clear. A good jumped sealed victory which was even more emphatic as Zubayr came down at the last, leaving the Alan King four year old to canter home clear of Rayvin Black.

GENTLEMAN JON LANDS AN INCIDENT PACKED BADGER ALES TROPHY There was plenty of drama as Gentleman Jon gained victory in the Badger Ales Trophy Handicap Chase at Wincanton. Gentleman Jon took the field of seven to the first fence at a very sedate pace and continued to lead from Southfield Theatre, while the novice Present Man belted the second and gave Jack Sherwood no chance, reducing the field to six. Set List moved clear and took the field into the home straight with a definite advantage over Gentleman Jon and Southfield Theatre, as the field passed the post with a circuit to race. However, having held a commanding advantage, at three out Set List appeared to tire and blundered badly as Gentleman Jon closed. Two out and Southfield Theatre seemed to be •

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UK RACING NEWS travelling well as he joined Gentleman Jon and Set List quickly dropped away. The front two appeared set for a fine battle at the last but Southfield Theatre crashed to the ground, leaving Gentleman Jon to coast home. Gentleman Jon and Tom O’Brien were left with an unassailable advantage for an easy win, with Set List second and Fingerontheswitch third, then Bob Tucker and Roc D’Apsis. The Colin Tizzard trained 8 year old took time to find his way over fences but was winning for the third time this season.

PRIZE MONEY GIVES GEORGE WOOD A VALUABLE VICTORY IN THE NOVEMBER HANDICAP Godolphin opened the Turf Season with success in the Lincoln Handicap at Doncaster with Secret Brief – and they ended the campaign on a triumphant note as Prize Money showed terrific fortitude to repel his rivals in the Betfred November Handicap at Town Moor. With eight non-runners, just 15 went to post for the final big race of the 2016 British Turf Flat Season. Soldier In Action and Fattsota were away well and settling down, it was the former who led over Rose Hill. As the field began to turn left, Soldier In Action continued to lead from Qassem and Dashing Star.

Turning into the long home straight, Soldier In Action held a length lead from Dashing Star to his outer and then Qassem and Mistiroc, with Prize Money just behind these as a wall of horses lined up. The first to commit was Prize Money, who powered into the lead with Cape Cova and Erik The Red and Trendsetter all looking big threats. However, Prize Money kept up the gallop as Erik The Red to his inside threw down his challenge, while Cape Cova closed on the outside, with this trio moving clear. But Prize Money found more for George Wood in the Godolphin silks and held on grimly for a valuable win. Erik The Red ran gamely for second, ahead of Cape Cova, with this three well ahead of William Hunter in fourth.

GROWL TAKES LISTED HONOURS AT DONCASTER Growl was given a well-timed ride to get up in the shadow of the post in the Listed Betfred Mobile Wentworth Stakes at Doncaster on the final day of the Turf Flat Season. Lady Macapa set the fractions at half way, with Dawaa to her outside and then Aeolus making ground to the outside and travelling well, followed by Growl. Aeolus hit the front with a furlong to race, but was tackled by Growl to the outside and the Graham Lee ridden Growl narrowly got his nose in front as the pair flashed past the post, clear of Kimberella. The Richard Fahey trained Growl had won twice earlier in the season and also finished second to Brando in the Ayr Gold Cup.

CARNACHY BOOKENDS HER YEAR WITH LISTED SUCCESS Carnachy came back to her best form under a forceful ride to land the Listed Betfred TV EBF Stallions Breeding Winners Gillies Fillies Stakes over 1 ¼ miles at Doncaster. Fifteen fillies and mares went to post for the final pattern race of the British Turf Flat Season. course-specialist.co.uk

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NEWS UK RACING Racing towards the halfway point, Marsh Pride had moved to the front with Aqualis and this pair had a length advantage over Ceol Na Nog as the field turned into the home straight. The front paid were joined by Dawn Of Hope to the inside and Entsar. However, Carnachy pressed on from Dubai Fashion in the final furlong and was hard ridden by Jamie Spencer to repel the renewed challenge of her rival, with Lady Of Camelot staying on well from miles back for third. The David Simcock trained Carnachy, a four year old daughter of Mastercraftsman, was bookending her year with Listed race victories.

SEEYOUATMIDNIGHT RELENTLESS IN CARLISLE SUCCESS Seeyouatmidnight put up a fine exhibition of jumping and galloped on relentlessly to beat Bristol De Mai in the Listed Colin Parker Memorial Intermediate Chase at Carlisle. The hugely disappointing defection of More Of That (on account of the ground), left a disappointing match race, albeit one involving two very smart horses. Seeyouatmidnight jumped off in front of Bristol De Mai, with the pair racing about a length apart over the first three fences. At the fourth Seeyouatmidnight was the more fluent and started to extend his lead, taking the sixth fence a couple of lengths clear of his rival and that was the order passing the winning post with a circuit to run, with the lead stretched to four lengths.

Bristol De Mai received a reminder two out and Seeyouatmidnight quickened on and sealed victory with two terrific leaps at the final two obstacles, coasting to a comfortable victory as Jacob accepted the situation and eased down.

SPIRITUAL LADY STORMS TO LISTED GLORY AT NEWMARKET Spiritual Lady made it three wins from four starts with a dominant performance to land the Listed Irish Stallion Farms “Bosra Sham” EBF Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket. The field of ten raced down the centre of the track and Dainty Dandy led with Perfect Angel being niggled along with two furlongs to race, while Classics Times and Romantic View looked to hold every chance and as the field fanned out, Spiritual Lady and Frankie Dettori began their run towards the stands rail. On the stands rails Spiritual Lady picked up really well and surged powerfully clear of her rivals, opening up a comfortable two length victory and was much too good for her rivals. Spy Ring came home an honourable second, with Mystic Dawn third. The Charlie McBride trained daughter of Pastoral Pursuits was racing for the first time since early August and was paying a handsome compliment to her Weatherbys Super Sprint conqueror Mrs Danvers.

UN TEMPS POUR TOUT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL RETURN AT AINTREE The Cheltenham Festival and former French Champion Hurdle winner Un Temps Pour Tout made a winning return to action in the Betfred Supports The BTRC Hurdle at Aintree. Just four horses went to post for this 2 ½ mile contest and Tom Scudamore took no prisoners from the tapes, moving into a clear lead from Zarkandar and Vyta Du Rock, with Mister Miyagi in fourth.

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UK RACING NEWS Amore Alato was spring-heeled at the last and scampered up the Sandown Park hill under Richard Johnson to record a terrific victory. Ballybolley ran well for second and was clear of Vivaldi Collonges and Voix D’Eau, a remote third and fourth. The Johnny Farrelly trained 7 year old Amore Alato, had put up some decent efforts in novice chases last season, but this was his first win over fences. The victory gave reigning Champion Jockey Richard Johnson his 100th winner of the season.

The pace increased heading out of the back straight for the final time, with Un Temps Pour Tout a length ahead of Zarkandar and the other two close up. Scudamore was at work two out, with Zarkandar seemingly travelling well. However, Un Temps Pour Tout responded well and Zarkandar blundered at the last, jolting his rider Sean Bowen out of the saddle. That left Un Temps Pour Tout in front but Mister Miyagi had not thrown in the towel and began to close the deficit. However, Un Temps Pour Tout found more to win a shade cosily by about two lengths, with a yawning gap back to Vyta Du Rock.

AMORE ALATO SPRING HEELED IN LISTED SUCCESS AT SANDOWN PARK Amore Alato jumped for fun and had plenty left for the final climb up the hill as he opened his account over fences with a convincing win in the Listed Future Stars Intermediate Chase at Sandown Park. Amore Alato went into the lead over the three Railway Fences, and left the back straight for the first time with a length advantage over Vivaldi Collonges. Racing down the back for the final time, Amore Alato’s jumping started to really warm up, while Vivaldi Collonge’s was falling to pieces somewhat, although he had not shaken off his three rivals. Amore Alato was again spectacular over the Railway Fences, but Ballbolley remained on his coat tails, with this pair drawing away from Voix D’Eau. course-specialist.co.uk

TEAM TALK SWEEPS TO DRAMATIC LATE WIN IN THE CHURCHILL STAKES Team Talk was given a brilliant ride by Sean Level and showed tremendous acceleration late on to win the Listed Betway Churchill Stakes at Lingfield Park. Beginning the turn for home, Berkshire was a length in front of Metropol and Flambeuse, with Educate and Energia Davos right on their heels. Metropol came to join the long-time leader on the home turn as Educate began his challenge and swept into the lead under James Doyle. Educate stretched clear and looked booked for victory, but late on, Team Talk flew home on the outside under Sean Levey, to continue and excellent day for trainer Saeed bin Suroor. Educate finished second, with Master The World another later finisher in third.

CH’TIBELLO KEEPS UP THE FINE FORM OF THE SKELTON YARD Ch’Tibello got the best of a tactical affair to run out a decisive winner of the Betfair Price Rush Hurdle over two miles, in heavy Haydock Park. Four horses faced the tapes but there was plenty of intrigue and quality on show here. Melodic Rendezvous took the field along from Ch’Tibello and Old Guard, with My Tent Or Yours settled at the back, but the early pace was sedate. Melodic Rendezvous turned into the straight in front and Richard Johnson tried to quicken away, but made a hash of the first in the straight. •

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NEWS UK RACING That gave Ch’Tibello the initiative and racing to the last, he held a five length lead and his rivals were struggling to close. Ch’TIbello and Harry Skelton took off and landed safely and scooted away from the final flight and the Scottish Champion Hurdle winner never looked in danger, passing the post a clear cut winner. Melodic Rendezvous stuck on really well to reclaim second, ahead of the disappointing My Tent Or Yours and Old Guard. The Dan Skelton trained Ch’Tibello is still just a five year old and could well have more improvement to come.

KRUZHLININ GAME IN FIXED BRUSH HURDLE SUCCESS Kruzhlinin showed the greatest resolve in a staminasapping renewal of the Grade 3 Betfair Exchange ‘Fixed Brush’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock Park. With two absentees, a field of thirteen set off over this gruelling trip of 2 ¾ miles. Yala Enki was soon into the lead with the grey Donna’s Diamond keeping close tabs on him and Point The Way also close up. Racing down the back, Kruzhlinin came to join Yala Enki and Donna’s Diamond, with Point The Way

and Theo’s Charm up with the pace as the field entered the home straight with well over a circuit to race still. Straightening up for home, Theo’s Charm came to tackle Kruzhlinin, with Yala Enki and Donna’s Diamond under pressure. Kruzhlinin found more for Richard Johnson and took the last flight a couple of lengths ahead of Theo’s Charm, who fought on, but could not close. At the line, Kruzhlinin won by a couple of lengths from Theo’s Charm, with Yala Enki third and Donna’s Diamond back in fourth, in a race in which few ever really got competitive. The Philip Hobbs trained 9 year old is better known these days as a chaser and ran in the Grand National last spring. However he has shown a new lease of life over hurdles this autumn.

ROYAL SUCCESS AT ASCOT Royal Regatta put up a lifetime best to make all the running and win the Grade 2 Stella Artois 1965 Chase in spirited fashion at Ascot. A fascinating field of seven went to post for a race that could have some bearing on the Ryanair Chase come the spring. Royal Regatta was soon into the lead and landed over the first ahead of Eduard and the former

© Steven Cargill

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UK RACING NEWS Champion Chaser Dodging Bullets, with God’s Own in close order. At the first ditch, Royal Regatta had moved a couple of lengths clear of Eduard, while at the fifth fence Vibrato Valtat made a slight error. The septet headed down the home straight for the first time with Royal Regatta increasing his advantage to about five lengths over the seventh fence and heading out with a circuit in front of him. The field raced down the back straight and all of a sudden Dodging Bullets dropped to the back and was pulled up before the tenth fence. Royal Regatta kicked off the home bend and Kylemore Lough came under pressure, while God’s Own moved smoothly into second. Racing to the last, Royal Regatta led under pressure, while God’s Own still appeared to have every chance. Kylmore Lough meanwhile got his second wind. It was Royal Regatta who landed in front at the last and all of a sudden God’s Own found nothing and the challenge came from Kylemore Lough on the flat. Royal Regatta became weary on the run-in, but gamely battled on under Tom O’Brien, as the pack closed. At the line it was desperately close as Kylemore Lough lunged, but after a photo finish, the bold Royal Regatta was called the winner. God’s Own, under a big weight, was a couple of lengths back in third, with Eduard and Vibrato Valtat not far behind. The Philip Hobbs trained 8 year old Royal Regatta, was winning for the first time at this grade and the second time at Ascot.

Rockerfeller, with Yanworth fourth and then Court Minstrel. Three out and Garde La Victoire touched down in front but all five held chances and it was Lil Rockerfeller who was first to make his move, joining the long-time leader on the home turn, but with Whelan hard at work to do so. Two out and Lil Rockerfeller lead as Garde La Victoire blundered. Yanworth meanwhile, had not picked up immediately. At the last Lil Rocker still led narrowly and Geraghty was hard at work to close on Yanworth, but gradually he knuckled down and inched closer, edging into the lead on the flat and eventually seeing his race out to beat Lil Rockerfeller by just under a length. The front pair were well clear of Garde La Victoire and Court Minstrel.

SIRE DE GRUGY WARMS THE ASCOT CROWDS WITH VICTORY Sire De Grugy gave the Ascot crowds a heart-warming performance off top weight as he rolled back the years in the Shawbrook Handicap Chase at Ascot. The field of nine got underway after a false start initially and included two previous winners in Croco Bay and Dresden, as well as the ever-popular former Champion Chaser Sire De Grugy, who shouldered top weight. Croco Bay and Upsilon Bleu were away quickly, along with Dresden at the first fence. Racing down the home straight, Croco Bay gained the overall lead but the field were well packed together passing the stands.

YANWORTH MADE TO WORK HARD FOR ASCOT HURDLE SUCCESS Yanworth made a satisfactory if unspectacular return as he fought hard to beat the tenacious Lil’ Rockerfeller in the Grade 2 Coral Hurdle, better known as the Ascot Hurdle. Garde La Victoire, back over hurdles, moved straight to the front from Zarkandar and Lil course-specialist.co.uk

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NEWS UK RACING At the sixth, the first open ditch, Upsilon Bleu went on from Croco Bay and Quite By Chance, with Sire De Grugy right on the heels of the leaders, while Vaniteux crept closer on the inside. Upsilon Bleu took the fourth last narrowly in front but Sire De Grugy soon went on and surged clear on the home turn, with Vaniteux giving chase. Racing to the second last, Sire De Grugy was clear and despite his weight burden, was going away at the last. On the run-in, Quite By Chance started to close, but the former Champion had plenty in hand for a heart-warming win under Jamie Moore. Vaniteux ran well on his seasonal return for third place, ahead of Cold March. The Gary Moore trained Sire De Grugy is ten now rising eleven. On what was a tough week for former Champion Chasers, with Sprinter Sacre retired and Dodging Bullets pulling up earlier on the Ascot card, this evergreen, ever-popular chestnut could well head to the Tingle Creek Chase next.

In driving rain, Black Corton jumped off in front but in no time at all, Altior and Noel Fehily had taken complete command, moving 30 lengths clear. The only semblance of a mistake came at the final ditch, five from home, when Altior got in a little close and clipped the top, although there was never any danger of him falling. Racing with his customary low head carriage, he entered the home straight 40 lengths or more in front and again nudged the top of the third last but otherwise was faultless, cantering past the post over a fence clear of his rival.

UNOWHATIMEANHARRY LAYS DOWN HIS WORLD HURDLE CREDENTIALS AT NEWBURY Unowhatimeanharry ran out an emphatic winner of the Grade 2 Bet365 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, on his seasonal return. Heading down the back straight, Menorah and Reve De Sivola matched strides as Maximiser took a breather, while Unowhatimeanharry crept closer up the inside and Ubak was nudged along. Racing to the home turn, Menorah led with Ubak to his outside and Reve De Sivola between the pair, while Unowhatimeanharry, Ballyoptic and Snow Falcon cruised in behind. Snow Falcon took a crashing fall three out when holding every chance, as Menorah led and headed to the second last tracked by Unowhatimeanharry who cruised along – and it looked a matter of when he would hit the front.

STRAIGHT FORWARD START FOR ALTIOR OVER FENCES Altior cruised to an emphatic victory on his chasing debut this afternoon, at a very wet Kempton Park. The Nicky Henderson trained six year old, winner of his last five starts over hurdles last season, including the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, faced just one rival today in the Weatherbys Supports Starlight Novices’ Chase over 2 ¼ miles.

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© Image supplied by Newbury Racecourse •

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UK RACING NEWS Indeed we did not have to wait long, as the Harry Fry trained 8 year old moved effortlessly away from Menorah, with nothing else emerging. Racing to the final flight, the Albert Bartlett winner went clear but was untidy on landing. However, he was 8 lengths clear of Ballyoptic who had no answer, while Menorah kept on gamely in third. Unowhatimeanharry smoothly drew further clear and was eased down late on by Barry Geraghty, to record a facile victory and lay down a serious marker for the World Hurdle. Ballyoptic ran on well in second, gaining confidence after his Wetherby fall, but was never able to strike a blow at the winner, whilst Menorah finished third, with Ubak fourth.

At the final fence down the back, Protek Des Flos made a slight error. Heading to the Cross Fence, Our Kaempfer led from Clan Des Obeaux, as Virgilio made another error and Protek Des Flos came under pressure. That was the order racing into the home straight, with Our Kaempfer leading at the final ditch but challenged by Clan Des Obeaux who powered on into the lead over two out. Racing to the last, the four year old was clear and jumped well, pouring it on to run out a hugely impressive winner, with Virgilio staying on for second, ahead of Our Kaempfer and Protek Des Flos. Winning trainer Paul Nicholls commented: “We knew he was good. When he ran at Chepstow earlier in the season it was just his fourth run over obstacles, he had only run three times over hurdles, and he needed something like that just to learn a little bit. He’s improved enormously since then and we’ve always thought he was going to be a very smart chaser and really one to look forward to. “He’s four and has a big future and I haven’t got any big targets for him. He is one I need to look after and one day could be very smart.”

CLAN DES OBEAUX POWERS TO GRADE 2 VICTORY AT NEWBURY

THISTLECRACK SMOOTH AT NEWBURY

Clan Des Obeaux made the most of his previous experience and put together a polished round of jumping before powering away from his rivals in the Grade 2 Fuller’s London Price Novices’ Chase (Registered as The Berkshire Novices’ Chase) at Newbury. As the tapes went up, it was Virgilio who went on from Our Kaempfer to his inside, while One Track Mind, the Grade 1 winning hurdler, belted the first fence. Settling down, Our Kaempfer went on under Noel Fehily, while One Track Mind was cautious at the second and lost more momentum, dropping a few lengths off the back of the pack and receiving reminders from Gavin Sheehan. Our Kaempfer continued to bowl along in front of Clan Des Obeaux and Protek Des Flos, while Virgilio made a bad error and One Track Mind continued to race detached from the rest of the field.

Thistlecrack put up a smooth round of jumping and powered away from his rivals for his third victory over fences in the Grade 2 bet365 Novices’ Chase (Registered as the Worcester Novices’ Chase) at Newbury.

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NEWS UK RACING A fortnight earlier, there had been much debate after Thistlecrack had jumped extravagantly and at times alarmingly at Cheltenham, but there was to be no repeat here. Thistlecrack jumped big at the first fence but thereafter really warmed to his task, measuring his fences well and always up with the lead. Cheltenham Festival winner Ibis Du Rheu helped to cut out the pace, whilst the only other serious contender Bigbadjohn, race several lengths off the pair. Racing into the home straight, Ibis Du Rheu began to find things tougher as Bigbadjohn closed and heading to the final fence, it looked as though he might throw down a challenge to Thistlecrack. However, Tom Scudamore exacted another super leap from the reigning World Hurdle winner and on the flat he simply powered away from his rival for a straight forward 8 lengths victory to fuel further debate of a Cheltenham Gold Cup bid.

LAMBOURN TRAINERS HARRY DUNLOP AND JAMIE SNOWDEN JOIN FORCES FOR A UNIQUE FESTIVAL VENTURE Cheltenham festival winning trainer, Jamie Snowden, and Group 1 winning trainer, Harry Dunlop have teamed up and bought 2 horses for the ‘Best of Both Worlds’ partnership which combines a jumper and a flat horse. Jamie Snowden will train Lord Topper, a gelding who is by the Derby winner, Sir Percy. Lord Topper had 3 runs as this year, for another Lambourn trainer, Charlie Hills and improved to win his final start. He looks an extremely exciting juvenile hurdle prospect and Snowden is aiming him at either the Triumph Hurdle or the Fred Winter Handicap at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Meanwhile, Harry Dunlop will train a two year old colt who is by Casamento, he is a half-brother to two Black type horses who have both proved to be racy 2 year old types. Dunlop, who trains just down the road from Snowden hopes to see the colt at Royal Ascot in June.

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There are still shares left to be part of this unique project and be involved in both racing codes. For further details, please contact jamie@jamiesnowden. co.uk or info@harrydunlopracing.com

MIDDLEHAM PARK RACING SELLS VENTURA STORM TO AUSTRALIA Group One winner Ventura Storm has been sold privately by Middleham Park Racing to continue his career in Australia. The three-year-old colt is seen as a possible Melbourne Cup contender for the future after showing top-class form over mile and a half and beyond. After striking at Listed and Group Three level, the Richard Hannon-trained son of Zoffany went close to Classic glory when second in the Ladbrokes St Leger at Doncaster before going one better in the Premio Jockey Club at San Siro last month. Middleham Park’s syndicate manager Tim Palin said: “David Hayes will be his trainer and he has been purchased by Astute Bloodstock. “I think they are buying him with the Melbourne Cup in mind. He does strike you as a horse that is almost tailor-made for that.” Ventura Storm won six of his 12 starts when in the hands of Hannon, amassing £327,000 in prize-money. •

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UK RACING NEWS

FREDDY TYLICKI SUFFERS LOWER BODY PARALYSIS AFTER KEMPTON PARK PILE-UP

CHELTENHAM GOLD CUP STALWART THE GIANT BOLSTER IS RETIRED The Giant Bolster, placed in the 2012 and 2014 renewals of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, has been retired. David Bridgwater’s stable star always saved his best for Cheltenham, winning three times at Prestbury Park, including when taking the Grade Two Argento Chase in January 2014. That was to be his last success and the 11-yearold bows out having won just under £373,000 in prize-money in a 40-race career. The Giant Bolster, who ran at seven consecutive Cheltenham Festivals, was a 50-1 runner-up to Synchronised in the 2012 Gold Cup and was beaten three-quarters of a length when third to Lord Windermere two years later. He also finished fourth to Bobs Worth in the 2013 renewal of chasing’s blue riband. According to Bridgwater, the decision made by owners Simon Hunt and Gary Lambton to retire the popular gelding was agonising. “He was probably a ‘nearly’ horse to everyone else, but to us he wasn’t,” the Gloucestershire handler told Press Association Sport. “With luck in running, he could have won two Gold Cups. “Had he done that, I suppose he would have been considered as one of the greats, but there is no question he has been our flagship horse for many years. “He’s given us some unbelievable days. It is like anything else, you will miss it when it isn’t there. “He has been a wonderful servant.” course-specialist.co.uk

Jockey Freddy Tylicki suffered paralysis to his lower body following a horrific four horse pile-up at Kempton Park on October 31st. A statement was released on his behalf by the Injured Jockeys Fund, which read: “After his fall at Kempton Park earlier this week, Freddy Tylicki was transferred to St George’s Hospital in London, where he has since undergone surgery to his spine. “His surgical team have confirmed that Freddy has a T7 paralysis, which means he has movement in the upper half of his body but not his lower.” Freddy had enjoyed his best ever year which included two Group 1 successes on the James Fanshawe trained Speedy Boarding, including in the Prix de l’Opera at Chantilly just four weeks before his accident. A subsequent fund was set up for the rider and managed to raise well over £275,000. In mid-November it was announced that Freddy had moved from intensive care to a general spinal ward. A statement issued by the Injured Jockeys Fund read: “Following 15 days in the intensive care unit at St George’s Hospital, today (Tuesday) Freddy Tylicki moved into a general spinal ward.” Course Specialist wishes Freddy and his family the very best as he recuperates and adapts.

JIM CROWLEY REPLACES PAUL HANAGAN AS FIRST RIDER FOR SHEIKH HAMDAN AL MAKTOUM Champion jockey Jim Crowley has been appointed as the new first-choice rider to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum. Crowley replaces Paul Hanagan, who did not have his contract renewed after nearly five years in the role. Sheikh Hamdan’s racing manager Angus Gold told At The Races: “It’s very exciting news and we’re thrilled to have him on board. •

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NEWS UK RACING “Once we’d spoken to Paul and Sheikh Hamdan decided not to renew his contract, we talked over it briefly and I spoke to Sheikh Hamdan last weekend and he said he definitely did want to have a contract jockey. “We discussed various options and he came up with the idea of Jim. “I spoke to Jim two nights ago and he confirmed he would be happy to do it. “He’s worked his way up and proven to be a top jockey. “He’s done a brilliant job this year to become champion and we’re very happy to have him.” Crowley, a former National Hunt rider, won the jockeys’ championship for the first time this year following a lengthy battle with Silvestre de Sousa. Hanagan, himself a former Champion Jockey, enjoyed Classic success in 2014 aboard the owner’s Taghroodah, who won the Oaks and Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, while Mukhadraam added another Group 1 victory in the same year’s Eclipse Stakes for the partnership and Muhaarar proved Champion Sprinter in 2015.

DENYS SMITH PASSES AWAY AGED 92 Denys Smith, perhaps best remembered for training the 1968 Grand National winner Red Alligator, has died at the age of 92. Training in Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, Smith was responsible for over 1,600 winners which included Group 1 wins on the Flat with Tudenham in the Middle Park Stakes and Mandrake Major in the Flying Childers, as well as Karinga Bay, who was second in the Dante Stakes, fifth in the Epsom Derby behind Quest For Fame and won the Group 3 Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood in 1990, before becoming a top class stallion. By the time he saddled his final winner – Monksford at Hamilton in 2002 – Smith had well and truly made his mark on the sport. He won the Lincoln with Foggy Bell, meaning he was one of only three trainers in history to saddle the winners of what was traditionally known as the “Spring Double” with the Grand National.

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Smith also won the Scottish Champion Hurdle with Dondieu and claimed a Cheltenham Festival success courtesy of King Cutler. But Red Alligator was his stand out winner and propelled the North-Eastern trainer into national recognition. Smith once stated that his biggest regret was not winning the Northumberland Plate, a race close to his heart. He twice trained the runner-up.

KAUTO STAR HONOURED BY JOCKEY CLUB CHASE TRIPLE CROWN TROPHY Kauto Star is to be honoured with a specially commissioned trophy to be awarded to the owner of the next horse that completes the Jockey Club Chase Triple Crown. The trophy, in addition to the £1million bonus, is up for grabs for any horse that can win the Betfair Chase, the 32Red King George VI Chase and the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup in the same season. Kauto Star is the only horse to achieve that feat during a stellar campaign in 2006-07 for owner Clive Smith, trainer Paul Nicholls and jockey Ruby Walsh. The winning owner will keep the trophy in perpetuity and will be asked for their permission to name a future bespoke trophy after their own Chase Triple Crown winner, who will have taken their place in the history books. Kauto Star was retired in March 2012 after an amazing career that saw him win 16 Grade One races, including the King George five times and the Gold Cup twice. He was put down in June 2015 following injuries he sustained as the result of a fall in his paddock.

FORMER GRAND NATIONAL WINNER RED MARAUDER PASSES AWAY Red Marauder, who won one of the most iconic Grand Nationals of the last quarter century, has passed away at the age of 26. The chestnut had been a smart novice chaser, •

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UK RACING NEWS winning his first five races over fences, including the valuable Grade 2 First National Bank Gold Cup Chase at Ascot in November 1998. But it was in April 2001, when Red Marauder made history, in deep, deep ground, in a Grand National that evoked powerful images. Just two horses jumped round, and Red Marauder, considered a sketchy jumper, was one of them. Drama had occurred at the Canal Turn on the first circuit, when Paddy’s Return, racing loose, galloped across the face of the fence, taking out many horse in one foul swoop. By the time the survivors had jumped the water and headed out on the second circuit, just seven of the original 40 horses were still in the race – and by second Bechers’ Brook, only Red Marauder and Smarty remained, although Blowing Wind and Papillon were later remounted. Up front, Richard Guest, who played an integral role in the horse’s training, along with owner/trainer Norman Mason, took it easy, along with Timmy Murphy aboard Smarty. The two horses carefully measured the final fences and it was clear in the home straight that Red Marauder had the most petrol left, coming away to win by a distance. The horse enjoyed a long and happy retirement with Guest, who now trains under his own name in Wetherby. A statement from the yard said: “It is with a heavy heart that we have to break the news that our beloved Red Marauder lay down for the last time on Tuesday night at the grand age of 26. “Since he ran his final race in 2003, he was looked after as the racing royalty he was, and he enjoyed his retirement living out in the paddock.” Describing the horse’s famous National triumph, the statement read: “The 2001 Grand National will always be remembered and is an unforgettable moment in racing history, with the sign of Red and Richard returning exhausted, victorious and coated in mud providing a memorable image, and summing up the bravery, determination and sheer guts of Red Marauder.” Red Marauder won £392,206 in win and place prize-money and nine of his 21 races.

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BHA ANNOUNCES AMENDMENTS TO HANDICAP RACE CONDITIONS The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced a change to entry criteria for handicap races which now enables horses rated 1lb or 2lbs higher than the allocated ratings band to be entered into the majority of handicaps at Class 3 and below. The change has been implemented as a result of a recommendation from the BHA’s jump racing review, but will be applied to handicaps on both flat and jumps. The jump review included extensive consultation and representation from across the racing industry and the change will provide increased flexibility for trainers by allowing horses who would have previously been prevented from running in handicap races – despite being only marginally outside of the handicap range – to take part. Horses who are entered in such a manner will be the first to be eliminated from oversubscribed races, with those 1lb above the rating range being favoured over those who are 2lbs above. Horses declared from above the range will carry 1lb or 2lbs above the maximum weight, as opposed to ‘shifting’ the weight range down to accommodate those horses. The changes will be applied to the vast majority of handicap races at Class 3 and below, with a small number of exceptions, such as consolation races, Class 3 open novices’ handicap chases and any historical significant races with special race conditions such as the Carlisle Bell. The change will be implemented from races staged on 12 December 2016.

THE JOCKEY CLUB LAUNCHES RACEPASS 18TO24 INITIATIVE FOR THE YOUTH MARKET The Jockey Club has launched a new initiative that enables all 18-to 24-year-olds to enjoy world-class horseracing for half-price and in the enclosure of their choice at its 15 racecourses nationwide. RacePass 18to24 is designed to ensure cost is not a barrier for young people to attend the nation’s second-biggest spectator sport. •

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NEWS UK RACING The Jockey Club’s racecourse arm stages well in excess of 300 racedays per year that are part of this half-price offer, including many of the sport’s crown jewel events at the likes of Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket. 18-to 24-year-olds are encouraged to register immediately at RacePass18to24.co.uk to receive their free RacePassmembership card, which is eligible for use at The Jockey Club’s racing fixtures from 1st December. This means young adults in the North of England will be able to visit Aintree from just £12.50 for racing over the Grand National fences at the Betfred Becher Chase on Saturday 3rd December or that same day in the South witness Grade 1 action at the Betfair Tingle Creek at Sandown Park from just £15. Paul Fisher, Group Managing Director of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: “The Jockey Club only exists to further British Racing and, while this move costs money in the short-term, it is a long-term investment in our sport’s future. We need to ensure that cost is not a barrier for young people wanting to go racing. It means that our relationship can be based on whether they have a fantastic experience at the races and we can focus on trying to ensure our incredible sporting heroes, stories and rivalries captivate that next generation.” The RacePass can be used in advance to order tickets online or upon entry at The Jockey Club’s racecourses to access the offer*. The dedicated website lists all participating fixtures. Getting a RacePass is free, unlike securing the likes of a Young Person’s Railcard for example, and Jockey Club Racecourses is guaranteeing a minimum of 250 tickets will be available for half-price at each of the fixtures involved. The move is an expansion of The Jockey Club’s preferential pricing offer for young people. Under18s already go racing for free at the vast majority of Jockey Club Racecourses fixtures, while students have been able to go racing for just £10 since last December, which this expanded offer now supersedes as it is available to all 18-to 24-year-olds. Visit www.RacePass18to24.co.uk for more information.

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THE BHA LAUNCHES THE ‘NORTHERN LIGHTS SERIES’ TO BOLSTER NORTHERN RACING Jump racing in the north has received a boost as the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has announced the launch of five new series of races designed to provide greater opportunities – culminating in a valuable finals day – for mid-tier jump horses at northern racecourses. The five series have collectively been named the “Northern Lights Series” and have the objective of providing a further incentive to own and train jump horses in the north, and stimulate investment into the grassroots of the sport in this region. 75 qualifying races will be held at 14 jump racecourses north of, and including, Doncaster racecourse, from January through to November 2017. They will be primarily made up of Class 4 handicaps with the exception of a mares’ series, which will also feature some Class 5 handicaps. The five series will culminate in a valuable finals day which will be held at Jockey Club Racecourses’ Carlisle racecourse on 3 December 2017. The five finals races will be Class 2 handicaps and will each be worth £25,000. A quality day of racing with total prize money of over £150,000 will be completed by the Listed Houghton Mares Chase on the same card. The series are not confined exclusively to horses who are trained in the North, but any horse wanting to take part in the finals at Carlisle will be required to run in at least two qualifying races, including being placed in the first eight on at least one occasion. The five Series and their corresponding £25,000 Finals are: • 3m Handicap Chase Series • 2 ½m Handicap Chase Series • 2m Handicap Hurdle Series • 3m Handicap Hurdle Series • 2 ½m Mares’ Handicap Chase Series The series has been created following the successful launch on the Jump Challenger Series, which is now in its second season and was implemented as a recommendation from the BHA’s Jump Racing Review. More information about the Challenger Series can be found here: www.challengerseries.org •

December 2016


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NEWS IRISH RACING

WILLIE MULLINS CONFIRMS DEVASTATING LOSS OF VAUTOUR Willie Mullins has confirmed the loss of his superstar Vautour. The brilliant seven year old reportedly suffered a fatal injury in a freak accident at the trainer’s County Carlow stables. “He broke a foreleg and has had to be put down,” reported the trainer. Vautour showed promise in his native France before being bought and sent to the yard of Willie Mullins in 2013. Racing in the colours of Rich Ricci, Vautour was an exceptional talent over hurdles, winning all five starts, culminating in a brilliant six length defeat of Josses Hill in the 2014 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. A month later he was 3 ½ lengths too good for Apache Stronghold in the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival. With many feeling Vautour was a Champion Hurdle winner in waiting, the decision was sent to send him chasing in the autumn of 2014. Following an easy 8 length victory from Clarcam

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on his chasing debut, Vautour suffered a first defeat of his career at the hands of the same horse, in the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown, over Christmas 2014. That defeat came after he had made a dreadful blunder – but Vautour would more than make amends. An easy victory at the same track in January 2015 proved a precursor to a perfect performance in the Grade 1 JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham in March 2015. With a heir of almost stag like grace, Vautour annihilated his rivals with a 15 lengths defeat of old rival Apache Stronghold. What was noticeable was that as his exhausted rivals returned, heads bowed, Vautour was still on his toes and a handful for Ruby Walsh long after the race. Vautour returned to action with a workmanlike defeat of Ptit Zig in an Ascot chase in November 2015. Whilst he had to work hard that day, Mullins was delighted with his run and it was all systems go for the step up to three Miles in the Grade 1 King George VI Chase. At Kempton Park last Christmas, Vautour put up a supreme effort, jumping well and still in front at the final fence, before Cue Card just caught him in the final strides. •

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IRISH RACING NEWS There was much discussion afterwards, as to whether or not Vautour stayed – and whether or not he would run in the Gold Cup. Connections suggested he was still Cheltenham Gold Cup bound, but on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in March, Ricci dropped the bombshell that his pride and joy would be running in the Ryan Air Chase, a decision that caused much acrimony and controversy at the time. However, in the race itself, Vautour was brilliant again, for the third year running dominating his rivals in a championship event and coming home a 6 lengths winner from Valseur Lido. He was fully expected to add the Grade 1 JLT Melling Chase at Aintree to his honours in April of this year, but suffered a shock early fall. Then at Punchestown he was upset by the Aintree benefactor, God’s Own, who beat him by two lengths in the Grade 1 BoyleSports Champion Chase in late April. Vautour looked all set to begin his campaign soon, with the King George VI Chase once again his target. Course Specialist has never seen a chaser so athletic and on his toes – in stark contrast to his beaten rivals after a race. Racing has today truly lost a great superstar.

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Aidan O’Brien, who enjoyed five domestic Group 1 victories in 2016, is once again the Champion Flat Trainer. The fillies Minding, successful in the Group 1 Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes, and Found were his big prize-money winners during another tremendous season for Ballydoyle. O’Brien saddled Seventh Heaven to land the Darley Irish Oaks while he also enjoyed top-level wins with the two-year-olds Churchill and Caravaggio. His other domestic Group 1 winner in 2016 was Alice Springs who won the Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. Pat Smullen set a personal record in terms

2016 IRISH FLAT CHAMPIONS CROWNED AT LEOPARDSTOWN Horse Racing Ireland chairman Joe Keeling presented trophies to the champion owner, trainer, jockey and apprentice as the 2016 Flat season drew to a close at Leopardstown this afternoon. Through her association with the likes of the brilliant Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes winner Alice Springs and the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes winner Caravaggio,Mrs Sue Magnier has done just enough to retain the title of Champion Owner. Mrs Magnier withstood a strong challenge from HH The Aga Khan who counted the recently retired Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner Harzand and Longines Irish Champions Weekend victor, Shamreen, among his big winners. course-specialist.co.uk

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of the number of winners and prize-money as he is crowned Champion Jockey for the ninth time. Smullen ended the term on the 115-winner mark and amassed over €3.5 million in prize-money, helped in no small part by the success ofHarzand in the Duty Free Irish Derby. He also enjoyed notable victories with Fascinating Rock, Shamreen and Zhukova. For the second successive year, Smullen beat Colin Keane, who rode 77 winners, into second place in the title race with Seamus Heffernan in third place. •

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Donnacha O’Brien (18) was another to enjoy a memorable year and in just his third season riding has captured the Champion Apprentice title with 48 winners. Donnacha finished clear of Gary Halpin, Killian Leonard and his sister Ana in the table. The standout moment of his season was undoubtedly his first Group 1 success which came at the Curragh on Longines Irish Champions Weekend where he won the Moyglare Stud Stakes on Intricately, trained by his brother, Joseph. For good measure, the filly was bred by their mother, Anne Marie. Donnacha also won a listed race and a Group 3 race on Order Of St George during the season. Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Horse Racing Ireland, said, “We have enjoyed another terrific season in 2016 and I congratulate all our Flat champions who are crowned at Leopardstown today. Our sport produces many wonderful ambassadors who continue to do us proud at home and on the international stage. Sue Magnier has enjoyed another excellent year as have Aidan O’Brien and his son Donnacha who are worthy winners in their respective categories. In Pat Smullen, we have an outstanding world-class jockey and many congratulations to him on his ninth title. Our champions are all very deserving winners and I wish them continued success.”

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DUBAI SAND COMPLETES BOLGER HAT-TRICK IN THE EYREFIELD STAKES Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning completed a hat-trick of wins in the TheTote.com Eyrefield Stakes courtesy of a gutsy success from Dubai Sand at the Curragh. The pair landed the last two runnings of the Listed event with Parish Boy and Moonlight Magic and once again it was the colours of Godolphin that were carried to victory as Dubai Sand repelled all challengers after kicking clear soon after turning for home. Diodorus caught the eye flashing home for second but left it too late and could only reduce the deficit to half a length at the line.

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IRISH RACING NEWS Bolger said: “He’s a nice staying two-year-old. He’s basically a middle-distance horse so it’s good that he could do that over a mile on goodish ground. We have something to play with. “We were restricted in the later part of the season with going and were finding it hard to get good ground. “With all due respect to Dundalk we didn’t want to go on the sand. “Hopefully he’ll be back here for the Derrinstown trial.”

GOLDEN SPEAR BRINGS NOVEMBER HANDICAP JOY FOR MARTIN Golden Spear stayed on strongly to collar British raider Nakeeta in a thrilling finish to the TOTE November Handicap at Leopardstown. After Wakea took them along for most of the race, Nakeeta eased into the lead turning for home but his move was tracked by Tony Martin’s charge and the pair did battle up the straight. Conor Hoban’s mount gradually wore down the leader and forged ahead in the last 100 yards to record a half-length margin over Ian Jardine’s gelding with another two lengths back to Magic Circle in third.

AIRLIE BEACH FINDS AGAIN FOR SIXTH STRAIGHT WIN AT DOWN ROYAL

SOVEREIGN DEBT ON TOP AT LEOPARDSTOWN Sovereign Debt continued his love affair with Ireland by landing TheTote.com Knockaire Stakes for the second year running at the Curragh. The Dandy Nicholls-trained eight-year-old took the Listed race 12 months ago and made it four wins on Irish soil in total with some authority. The returning Blue De Vega took it up from the pace-setting Truffles over a furlong from home but could not fend off the strong-travelling British raider, who picked up well for Declan McDonogh to cross the line two lengths clear of Colin Keane’s runner. “He seems to like it here. The ground was lovely for him as he just likes to get his toe in,” said McDonogh. “He retains plenty of enthusiasm, even though he’s rising eight next year. He felt good and I was always happy. course-specialist.co.uk

The smart mare Airlie Beach continued her run of victories with a hard fought success in the Grade 3 European Breeders Fund Lough Construction Ltd. Mares Novice Hurdle at Down Royal. Airlie Beach was quickly into the lead and took the field along from Shattered Love. The order remained the same as the pace increased, heading to the second last flight. Airlie Beach was still in front though under Ruby Walsh, © www.healyracing.ie but Shattered Love threw down a stern challenge heading to the last, where both horses jumped well. It then came down to the flat and it was Airlie Beach, with the inside rail to help, who found a little bit more to extend her unbeaten record to six from six. The William Mullins trained six year old, a daughter of Shantou, is now unbeaten in five starts over hurdles and looks a leading player in the mares’ hurdle division this winter. •

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RASHAAN IN APPLE TURNOVER AT DOWN ROYAL Rashaan caused a shock as he showed a smart turn of foot to turn over the potential superstar filly Apple’s Jade in the Grade 2 WKD Hurdle at Down Royal. Just the four went to post for this intriguing contest which saw the return to action of the outstanding filly Apple’s Jade. The dual Grade 1 winner was soon into a clear lead from Rashaan, with Petit Mouchoir third and then My Manekineko.

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Ruby Walsh continued to take the field along on the four year old, with a lead of a couple of lengths to Rashaan. The order was not changed as Apple’s Jade took the sixth flight from Rashaan and Petit Mouchoir. Turning downhill to the third last, Apple’s Jade still held the advantage, with Rashaan being niggled, while Petit Mouchoir travelled well heading to the final bend. Apple’s Jade jumped the second last under pressure from Rashaan and the pair raced upsides at the last flight, where Rashaan touched down narrowly in front. It became a battle of fitness on the flat and Rashaan, a former Grade 3 winner, scampered along and quickened well under Sean Flanagan to record a real upset, beating Apple’s Jade by about a length, with Petit Mouchoir, a little short of room, not far behind in third.

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The Colin Kidd trained Rashaan won three times last autumn but had not shown anything like this level of form since his Fairyhouse victory in late November of last year. This was a disappointing return for Apple’s Jade, who had been stunning in victory in two Grade 1 contests last spring. However, this was just a starting point and she is sure to improve, as she will need to, with bigger long-term targets.

VALSEUR LIDO IMPERIOUS IN DOWN ROYAL VICTORY Valseur Lido turned the Grade 1 JNWine.com Champion Chase into a procession as he ran out a hugely impressive winner at Down Royal. A high quality field of seven lined-up for this always informative contest, won last year by subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Don Cossack. As the tapes went up for this three mile contest, the dual King George winner Silviniaco Conti went into the lead with The Last Samuri and it was the latter who took off in front at the first. The front pair turned with a lead of three lengths over Sadler’s Risk and Don Poli, with Valseur Lido and Monksland next and then Lord Scoundrel. Silviniaco Conti took the first ditch more fluently than The Last Samuri and turned with the lead at the fourth and took the field into the home straight for the first time with a two length advantage.

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IRISH RACING NEWS Racing past the stands, Silviniaco Conti and Noel Fehily leapt well and headed out with a circuit to race, a length ahead of The Last Samuri, with Don Poli, being niggled along in third and then Sadler’s Risk and Valseur Lido, with Monksland and Lord Scoundrel not far behind. Racing down the back, The Last Samuri again took closer order as Silviniaco Conti took the field along and this pair moved a few lengths clear of Don Poli, who in turn had a gap on the remainder of the field but was still under pressure. Silviniaco Conti jumped the 11th fence beautifully and increased his advantage on The Last Samuri, who was being pushed along, as the leader increased his lead. Fuether back, Monksland was a faller but thankfully got up fine, while Don Poli dropped tamely away and was pulled up. Silviniaco Conti raced towards the third last clear, but with Valseur Lido making stealthy progress and travelling powerfully, with this pair clear of Lord Scoundrel, The Last Samuri and Sadler’s Risk. Valseur Lido and Ruby Walsh moved into the lead approaching two from home and jumped well, powering clear of Silviniaco Conti. The gap increased effortlessly racing to the last and a good jump saw Valseur Lido hack up most impressively. Silviniaco Conti, who always needs his first run back, was an honourable if respectful second, ahead of Lord Scoundrel and then Sadler’s Risk. Valseur Lido was twice a Grade 1 winner as a novice chaser but failed to add to his tally in his second season over fences. The 7 year old may just be coming to his peak now and looked a polished performer here on his first run for Henry de Bromhead, since switching from the yard of Willie Mullins.

SUB LIEUTENANT IN COMMAND AT DOWN ROYAL Sub Lieutenant put up a terrific performance to put to the sword a good field of rivals and run out a convincing winner of the Grade 2 Titanic Belfast Chase at Down Royal. Seven chasers lined-up for this race contested over just under 2 ½ miles. course-specialist.co.uk

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There was a delay as the third last fence was dolled off due to the angle of the sun. As they were finally sent on their way, Zabana went straight to the front from Sub Lieutenant and Net D’Ecosse, as they took the very long run to what became the first fence. The first six jumped fine but Celtic Thunder was all but down and quickly tailed off, making another erratic leap at the second, as the rest of the field headed out with a circuit to race. Sub Lieutenant moved into the lead from Le Mercurey and Net D’Ecosse, with Zabana settled in fourth and then Outlander and Shadow Catcher. Racing down the back straight, Sub Lieutenant and Le Mercurey virtually matched strides, with Zabana clouting the fifth. Up front the front pair continued to take each other on, with Net D’Ecosse moving well in third and then Zabana and Outlander, who belted a plain fence, losing momentum. Racing to the third last, Sub Lieutenant and Le Mercurey were still in front of Net D’Ecosse and Outlander, with Zabana now under pressure and Shadow Catcher losing ground. Heading to the second last, Le Mercurey came under pressure as Sub Lieutenant led on the inside, with Outlander closing. Sub Lieutenant took the second last in front and increased his advantage on the flat, heading to the last. He jumped the final fence well under David Mullins, striding clear to give trainer Henry de Bromhead a big race double. Outlander looked in need of the run in second, with the Gigginstown House Stud pair well clear of Le Mercurey in third. •

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TELL US MORE COMFORTABLY ON TOP AT NAAS Tell Us More ran out a convincing winner of the Grade 3 Brady’s Family Ham Supporting Kildare GAA Poplar Square Chase at Naas as Avant Tout was pulled up early. Five went to post for this two mile contest and as the tapes went up, it was Alisier D’Irlande who went on from Avant Tout and Tell Us More. However, Avant Tout made an extravagant leap at the first and was pulled up soon afterwards. Alisier D’Irlande took the remaining four out with a circuit to race, clear of Tell Us More and The Game Changer, with Dandridge in fourth. The order remained the same past halfway, with Alisier D‘Irlande and Robbie Power clear of Tell Us More and The Game Changer, with Dandridge becoming remote. The leader turned into the home straight with two left to jump, with Teel Us More taking closer order and then a gap back to The Game Changer. Two out and Tell Us More swept into the lead from Alisier D’Irlande, with The Game Changer closing. Tell Us More landed in front at the last and although The Game Changer threatened to challenge, he was unable to close the gap as Keith Donoghue

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pushed his horse out for a comfortable victory. The Game Changer passed the post about three lengths down in second, with Alisier D’Irlande third and clear of Dandridge.

ALPHA DES OBEAUX SCORES AT CORK AFTER WESTERNER LADY BLUNDER Alpha Des Obeaux made the most of a dreadful blunder from Westerner Lady and went on to make all in the Grade 3 Paddy Power Track My Bet European Breeders Fund Novice Chase at Cork. With two late defections, a field of just three lined up for this 2 ½ mile contest Westener Lady led Alpha Des Obeaux to the first with this pair soon a long way clear of Thanks For Tea. At the third fence, Westerner Lady made a dreadful blunder and lost a huge amount of ground, leaving Alpha Des Obeaux well clear, although he was slow into the fifth obstacle. Passing the post with a circuit to race, Alpha Des Obeaux raced along, some 20 odd lengths clear of Westerner Lady, with was right on her heels after her earlier mistake. The order remained the same as Alpha Des Obeaux and David Mullins cleared the fifth last, •

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IRISH RACING NEWS although Westerner Lady was gradually getting closer under Ruby Walsh. Turning into the home straight Alpha Des Obeaux was about five lengths clear of Westerner Lady and took the third last well, with Thanks For Tea also getting closer. Alpha Des Obeaux cleared the second last and quickened to the last, flying it well and holding on from his two closing rivals, with Westerner Lady just getting up for second, ahead of Thanks For Tea. The complexion of this race changed completely with that dreadful early blunder by Westerner Lady who was always playing catch-up thereafter. The Mouse Morris trained six year old Alpha Des Obeaux jumped well on the whole and will have learned plenty.

RAZ DE MAREE WINS HIS SECOND CORK GRAND NATIONAL The Gavin Cromwell trained veteran Raz De Maree had to fight hard on the run-in but held off Forever Gold to win his second Paddy Power Cork Grand National. A field of 16 assembled for this 3 ½ mile contest on good ground. There were two false starts initially and when they did finally get away, New Kid In Town led from A Decent Excuse and Akorakor and Raz De Maree. The field all took the first two fences and it was New Kid In Town who continued to lead from Akorakor and Raz De Maree, with Rogue Angel, Forever Gold and Thunder And Roses well up with the pace, with two circuits to race. Racing down the back straight, New Kid In Town was joined by Akorakor and this pair held a length lead over Rogue Angel and Raz De Maree. With a circuit completed, the order had not really changed up front but at the back of the field Captain Von Trappe fell and Wrath Of Titans was pulled up. Racing down the straight, New Kid In Town continued to lead Akorakor and Rogue Angel, with one circuit to race. At the twelfth, Akorakor moved into the lead from new Kid In Town and Rogue Angel, these three clear of Bearly Legal, Courtncatcher and course-specialist.co.uk

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Forever Gold. However, the field were still pretty bunched with five fences left to negotiate. Five out Akorakor narrowly led from New Kid In Town who raced on the inside, but there were still plenty in contention. At the fourth last Akorakor made a slight error and New Kid In Town went back to the front from Raz De Maree and As De Pique. New Kid In Town jumped three out in front but Raz De Maree and Forever Gold moved on and took the second last clear, racing to the last Raz De Maree held the lead and on the flat stayed on gamely for Ger Fox to win his second Cork National. Forever Gold fought gamely in second, with Undressed third and As De Pique. The 11 year old Raz De Maree had previously won this race four years ago and gave trainer Gavin Cromwell a first and fourth in this contest.

WAYNE LORDAN LOOKING FORWARD TO BALLYDOYLE ROLE Jockey Wayne Lordan is keen to embark upon an exciting new challenge when he links up with the powerful Ballydoyle operation in January. Lordan has for many years been closely attached to Tommy and Fozzy Stack’s County Tipperary yard, while he also played a significant role as first jockey to trainer David Wachman. But with Wachman, for whom he rode the Coolmore-owned Legatissimo to two Group One victories in 2015, now retired, Lordan has been recruited by Aidan O’Brien on a full-time basis . The jockey said: “I’ve been with the Stacks for about 16 years but this is a good opportunity for me. “I’ll keep my head down and give it a go.” •

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FASCINATING ROCK RETIRED TO BALLYLINCH STUD Fascinating Rock has been retired to stand at Ballylinch Stud. The five-year-old won eight of his 15 starts for trainer Dermot Weld and jockey Pat Smullen, including Group One success in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh. Weld said: “Fascinating Rock was an outstanding horse to train. He defeated the best horses in the world from Postponed to Found. A good stakes winner over a mile, he had the ability to carry that speed to win two Group One races over 10 furlongs. He has great conformation, size and scope and a lovely temperament.” Ballylinch managing director John O’Connor told The Irish Field: “We are delighted that owner/ breeder Maurice Regan of Newtown Anner Stud will partner with Ballylinch to develop Fascinating Rock’s stud career, and both will hold a sizeable interest in him with the remaining shares being syndicated among breeders.” Fascinating Rock will stand at a fee of €10,000.

CHRIS HAYES APPOINTED STABLE JOCKEY TO FOZZY STACK Fozzy Stack has announced that Chris Hayes will join his team as first stable jockey next year. Stack will take over the training duties from his father Tommy next term and is delighted to have recruited dual Classic-winning rider Hayes, who has been with trainer Kevin Prendergast since 2004.

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The 29-year-old partnered Prendergast’s Awtaad to victory in the Irish 2,000 Guineas this year and with former first rider Billy Lee staying with the Stack team, Hayes will still be able to ride for his long-term associate when appropriate. Stack told www.stackracing.live: “I am looking forward to working with Chris after the Dubai Carnival and hopefully we’ll have some good times together. He was champion apprentice three times, which is a rare achievement, and is a Classic winning rider. “Billy Lee, who had a brilliant season, will stay on in some capacity too and he will be used as Chris will still have the choice to ride for Kevin Prendergast when he so wishes.”

NINA CARBERRY TO MISS JUMPS SEASON TO GIVE BIRTH TO FIRST CHILD Nina Carberry has announced she will miss the rest of the 2016/17 National Hunt season as she is expecting her first child. The leading amateur, who boasts four wins in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival among her many achievements, is married to Ted Walsh jnr. Carberry tweeted: “I am going to miss the rest of the season as I am delighted to announce that I am expecting my first baby. I would like to thank all the owners and trainers who have supported me and I wish them every success in the season ahead.”

JOHNNY BURKE SPLITS FROM POTTS HORSES AND TURNS FREELANCE Johnny Burke is looking to the future after his partnership with owners Alan and Ann Potts came to an end. Burke has for the last two seasons been retained jockey to the Potts family, but they removed all of their horses from Henry de Bromhead in August, sending the majority to Colin Tizzard in Somerset. •

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IRISH RACING NEWS “Alan has a lot in the UK now but there are still some nice horses in Ireland like Sizing John and Supasundae to name just two,” said Burke. “But going forward, I just think this is the right decision for my career. “I’d like to thank Alan and Ann for the opportunity they gave me at such a young age and there is no doubt my career wouldn’t be where it is today without them. “Riding for Henry de Bromhead, Jessica Harrington, Colm Murphy and Mouse Morris has been a great experience. “I’ll go freelance and I’ve had support from a lot of trainers in my career to date so I hope they continue to support me. I’ll put my head down and work hard. “When I was younger I had contacts with Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott and I already ride for the likes of Sandra Hughes, Arthur Moore, Peter Fahey and Denis Hogan. “I’m looking forward to a new chapter.”

FOURTH SUCCESSIVE WIN FOR MISSY TATA IN NAAS FEATURE Missy Tata continued her great run of form with a solid performance to win the Grade 3 Fishery Lane Hurdle at Naas. Just the four horses went to post for the Grade 3 contest and it was Swamp Fox who jumped off in front of Missy Tata and Koshari, with Slow Motion settled at the back. The order remained the same as the quartet moved away from the stands, with Swamp Fox and David Mullins about a length ahead of Missy Tata at the third flight. Missy Tata went on heading to the second last and drew clear racing to the last, where she was clumsy but clear. The Gordon Elliott trained 4 year old filly was not troubled on the flat and went on to record her fourth consecutive victory by a comfortable margin. Swamp Fox tried hard to close, but in vain, and that probably cost him second place as Slow Motion got her head in front. course-specialist.co.uk

SNOW FALCON ON TOP IN THE LISMULLEN HURDLE Snow Falcon defied top weight and being short of room to run out a convincing winner of the Grade 2 Lismullen Hurdle at Navan today. Seven horses went to post for this contest over 2 ½ miles. De Plotting Shed took the field along from Dedigout and Snow Falcon, with Shaneshill settled behind the leaders. The order remained the same as the field went away on their final circuit, with De Plotting Shed still bowling along in front under Keith Donoghue. De Plottign Shed continued to lead as the field made the long run into the home straight, with three left to jump. As the pace quickened, De Plotting Shed took the third from home ahea of Dedigout who came under pressure, while Snow Falcon travelled well but had to be switched when short of room - and Shaneshill was struggling to keep tabs. De Plotting Shed led over the last with Snow Falcon the main pursuer, but halfway up the run-in, still appeared to have a sufficient advantage. However, Snow Falcon began to rally under Sean Flanagan and the Noel Meade trained 6 year old, conceding weight all round here, began to quicken. Snow Falcon hit the front in plenty of time and went away for a convincing victory, with De Plotting Shed running well in second and holding off Shaneshill, who having hit a flat spot, ran on well to close in third. Earlier on the card Labaik ran out an impressive winner of the Grade 3 For Auction Novice Hurdle. The Gordon Elliott trained 5 year old came under pressure behind pace-setters Le Martalin and Wakea from the fourth last flight and still look well held over two from home. However, he responded well as Ruby Walsh got to work and with Mick Jazz looking to have the race secure at the last, began to close on his stable mate. Late on Labaik collared Mick Jazz by ¾ of a length in an Elliott one-two.

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ARCTIC SKIPPER CAUSE A SHOCK IN THE FORTRIA CHASE Arctic Skipper delivered a big race double for jockey Sean Flanagan, as he rallied well on the run-in to narrowly beat Gilgamboa in a thrilling finish to the Grade 2 Thetote.com Fortria Chase at Navan. With Tell Us More an absentee, six horses went to post for this two mile contest. Ballycasey was straight into the lead from The Game Changer at the first fence, with Cause Of Causes next and then Arctic Skipper. The front pair passed the stands and headed out with the circuit to race, matching strides, a couple of lengths ahead of Arctic Skipper and Gilgamboa. At the first on the final circuit The Game Changer moved to the front by a couple of lengths from the grey horse, with Arctic Skipper and Gilgamboa next and then Cause Of Causes and Fago. The Game Changer extended his lead at the fifth and continued to bowl along as the field headed out of the back straight, chased by Ballycasey, who moved nearer at the final ditch.

Racing into the home straight, The Game Changer led from Ballycasey and this pair were clear of their rivals. The Game Changer clear the third last and still travelled well heading to the second last, with Ballycasey under pressure. However, the leader appeared to idle heading to the last, and not only Ballycasey, but also Arctic Skipper and Gilgamboa closed quickly on him. Arctic Skipped hit the front at the last fence and went on, but Gilgamboa, switched to the inside, began to rally on the inside, the pair drawing away for a fabulous finish. It looked as though Gilgamboa headed Arctic Skipper at one point on the run-in, but Sean Flanagan and Arctic Skipper found more to narrowly gain the verdict. Ballycasey came home third, as The Game Changer weakened. This was a huge shock as the Vince Halley trained 7 year old rallied gamely on his seasonal bow.

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ALELCHI INOIS PROFITS FROM LAST FENCE FALL OF OUTLANDER AT CLONMEL Alelchi Inois made stamina and safe jumping count as he profited from the final fence fall of Outlander, who was clear at the time, in the Grade 2 Clonmel Oil Chase. Seven horses lined-up for this 2 ½ mile chase. As the tapes were lifted it was Draycott Place who went into the lead with Dromnea to the inside and then Clarcam and Outlander, with a gap back to Alelchi Inois, Monksland and Days Hotel, as the septet made the long run to the first fence. Settling down, Dromnea moved into the lead from Clarcam and Outlander, with Alelchi Inois in fourth.

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Dromnea landed in front over the fourth, the first ditch, where Monksland, towards the back of the field, made a mistake. As the field raced in front of the stands and over the sixth, Dromnea led from the Gigginstown pair of Clarcam and Outlander, who matched strides, with Alelchi Inois tucked in behind these. Four out and Dromnea led Clarcam and Outlander, with Days Hotel moving closer and then Alelchi Inois and Monksland, who made another mistake at the final ditch. Up front, Dromnea was pushed along to lead Clarcam and Outlander, who moved strongly between the pair. Into the home straight and Outlander moved on with Clarcam hard pressed on his outside in second and Dromnea also under pressure. course-specialist.co.uk

Outlander jumped the second last well and was chased to the last by Clarcam and Alelchi Inois, but was clear at the last. However, the Bryan Cooper ridden Outlander took a heavy fall at the last when appearing booked for victory. That left the staying on Alelchi Inois and Ruby Walsh to pick up the pieces and gallop on to a clear cut victory over Clarcam, who ran his best race for some time in second. Happily Outlander and Cooper were quickly to their feet.

WESTERNER LADY WINS A THRILLER AT CLONMEL Westerner Lady had to pull out all of the stop and showed real willingness conceding weight all round as she won the Grade 3 European Breeders Fund T.A. Morris Memorial Mares Steeplechase at Clonmel. Six mares went to post for this 2 ½ mile contest won twelve months ago by the brilliant Vroum Vroum Mag. At the first Western Lady jumped away to her left and Hello Sweetie moved on and into a clear lead from the Willie Mullins runner, with Rock On The Moore next and then Thanks For Tea, Vicky’s Charm and Presenting Mahler. Hello Sweetie and Robbie Colgan moved into a five length lead over Westerner Lady as the field turned back towards the straight. With three to jump, Hello Sweetie held a narrow advantage over Westerner Lady, but was passed but that rival and Rock On The Moor as the field headed to the home turn.

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NEWS IRISH RACING Westerner Lady led with Thanks For tea to her inner and then Rock On The Moor, with this trio pulling quickly away from Hello Sweetie. Into the straight and Westerner Lady went on from Rock On The Moor but heading to the last, Thanks For Tea and Rock On The Moor rallied well. All three jumped the last well but Westerner Lady landed running and was kept up to her work to beat the renewed challenge of Thanks For Tea, with Rock On The Moor and encouraging third on her chasing debut. The six year old Westerner Lady had won her first three chases, completing a six-timer into the bargain, before a jolting mistake had halted her winning streak at Cork last time.

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IDENTITY THIEF MAKES IT BACK TO BACK VICTORIES IN THE PUNCHESTOWN FOG Identity Thief confirmed his class with a smooth victory as Henry De Bromhead runners dominated proceedings in the Grade 2 Ryans Cleaning Craddockstown Novice Chase at Punchestown. A field of five went to post for this two mile contest, with Henry De Bromhead responsible for three horses. It was a wintery scene that greeted the runners, with thick fog and heavy due as the quintet set off. Ordinary World jumped off ahead of Identity Thief and the De Bromhead pair disputed the lead as the field headed down the back straight, with Bentelimar next, and the Attribution and Ball D’Arc.

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The order remained the same as the field headed out of the back straight, with Ordinary World still narrowly ahead of Identity Thief and a gap opening up to Attribution and Ball D’Arc. Turning for home, the two De Bromhead runners continued to lead and at the last Identity Thief and Bryan Cooper went on and asserted his class by about a length over Ordinary World, with Attribution completing a clean sweep for the County Waterford trainer. The six year old Identity Thief won the Grade 1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle last year and looks set to contest novice chases at the highest grade this term.

A TOI PHIL IMPRESSES IN THE FLORIDA PEARL A Toi Phil came with a strong finish to quickly settle the issue in the Grade 2 Florida Pearl Novice Chase at Punchestown. Six horses lined-up for this contest, with Gigginstown House Stud responsible for half the field. Racing to the first fence it was Nambour who led from A Toi Phil and Disko, with Jetstream Jack racing to the inside. Nambour continued to bowl along in front under Mark Enright with Jetstream Jack moving into a clear second, ahead of Disko, with A Toi Phil, Space Cadet and Georges Conn and that was the order with a circuit to race. The order remained the same as the sextet headed out of the back straight, with Nambour leading by a few lengths from Jetstream Jack and Disko and then A Toi Phil.

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IRISH RACING NEWS The leader’s advantage was reduced racing to the third from home but Nambour touched down in front of Jetstream Jack and the improving A Toi Phil, with Disko now fourth. Two out and Jetstream Jack landed narrowly in front of Nambour, but between horses A Toi Phil came storming through and landed running strongly on the run-in, going clear of Jetstream Jack for an impressive victory, with Disko just denying Nambour for third place. The Gordon Elliott trained 6 year old was making it two from two over fences after opening his account at Down Royal in early November.

Racing down the back straight, the front pair almost raced side by side, still clear of Sempre Medici and Simenon, with Ivanovich Gorbatov maybe 12 lengths behind the leaders. Nichols Canyon and Jer’s Girl continued to set the pace and raced to the second last flight clear of Sempre Medici. Turning for home, Nichols Canyon shot well clear and jumped the last flight in total command. The Willie Mullins trained 6 year old sauntered to a facile victory, with Jer’s Girl giving second best, clear of Ivanovich Gorbatov staying on well in third and then Sempre Medici. This race undoubtedly lost plenty of gloss when it transpired that neither Annie Power nor Faugheen would be in the line-up, but once again, Nichols Canyon proved himself a very capable horse as he won his seventh Grade 1 race.

CHAMPAGNE FEVER RETURNS VICTORIOUS AT THURLES

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NICHOLS CANYON DOMINATES IN HIS SECOND MORGIANA HURDLE WIN Nichols Canyon and Ruby Walsh were in full control throughout as they eased to a comfortable victory in the Grade 1 StanJames.com Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown this afternoon. Five horses lined-up for this significant contest, with Willie Mullins responsible for three of the runners, including last year’s winner Nichols Canyon. Indeed it was Nichols Canyon who took the five to the first hurdle, pursued by the smart mare Jer’s Girl, with a break back to Simenon and Sempre Medici, as the Triumph Hurdle winner Ivanovich Gorbatov settled in last place. Racing away from the stands, Nichols Canyon and Jer’s Girl led the way by a few lengths. course-specialist.co.uk

Champagne Fever won the battle of the comeback kings as he narrowly repelled the rejuvenated Lord Windermere in a thrilling finish to the Listed Boomerang Animal Bedding & Boomerang Horse & Country Store Chase at Thurles this afternoon. Six horses went to post for a fascinating contest over 2 ¾ miles, featuring two dual Cheltenham Festival winners in Champagne Fever and the 2014 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere, both returning from long absences. Racing past the post with a final circuit in front of them, Champagne Fever momentarily headed Wounded Warrior, who moved back in front with seven fences to jump.

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NEWS IRISH RACING The front two duelled up front with Lord Windermere not far off in third and then Roi Des Francs, who had crept closer and began to look threatening. Wounded Warrior took the fourth last narrowly in front of Champagne Fever and hit the third last, leaving the grey in front of Roi Des Francs and Lord Windermere. Champagne Fever turned into the home straight with Roi Des Francs and Lord Windermere and this trio raced to the last in a line. Champagne Fever landed narrowly in front but Lord Windermere renewed his challenge. Ruby Walsh had to get to work on Champagne Fever and the Willie Mullins trained 9 year old just held on. Roi Des Francs ran well in third, with Wounded Warrior not finding much after his mistake in fourth.

MIN MAKES A WINNING START OVER FENCES Min made all the running and jumped pretty well on his chasing debut, before lengthening clear from the last in the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Beginners Chase at Navan. The Willie Mullins trained five year old, runnerup to Altior in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last March, led from the off and turning for home, the big field were well strung out, with the pace starting to tell on his long-time nearest pursued Fire In Soul. Racing to the last, Min extended his lead over Three Wise Men and he stormed away on the flat to win by a wide margin. Three Wise Men ran well in second, ahead of Edwulf, who was not always fluent at his fences, staying on for third.

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Afterwards, winning rider Ruby Walsh said: “He had a good look at the first but he jumped very well, he sets himself up nicely. He is pretty easy to ride. He organises himself going to the fences.

EMPIRE OF DIRT MAKES CLASS TELL IN THE TROYTOWN Empire Of Dirt defied a huge weight to run out a convincing winner of the Ladbrokes Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan. A huge field of 25 went to post for this three mile contest, one of the big handicap chases of the season in Ireland. At the off it was Shadow Catcher who led with Raz De Maree and Domesday Book, with the dual Cork National winner going into a clear lead at the second fence. Settling down, Raz De Maree held the advantage from Domesday Book and the mare Bonny Kate, but moving out of the back, Domesday Book went on, with Thunder And Roses and Akorakor not far behind the front trio. Heading down the straight for the first time, Domesday Book and Bonny Kate set the pace with Raz De Maree in close order and to the inside Akorakor, then Thunder And Roses and Noble Endeavour. The front two moved four lengths clear heading out on the final circuit, with Thunder And Roses moving into this and then Raz De Maree, while Cause Of Causes was detached from the main body of the field. Up front, Bonny Kate inched ahead of Domesday Book but the front two continued to duel, a few lengths ahead of Raz De Maree and Akorakor. Cause Of Causes was the first horse out of the race, pulled up. Racing to the final ditch, four out, Bonny Kate and Domesday Book still led, but the pack were closing and poised to ounce. Bonny Kate pressed on at the home turn with Domesday Book under pressure and Noble Endeavour challenging. Bonny Kate still led at the second last, but Abolitionist and Noble Endeavour challenged while Empire Of Dirt was staying on to the inside. •

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IRISH RACING NEWS Empire Of Dirt hit the front racing to the last and cleared it well, storming away for a brilliant victory. Abolitionist came second, with Bonny Kate third and then Noble Endeavour. The 9 year old was last seen winning the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate at the Cheltenham Festival in March. Back then he was trained by the now-retired Colm Murphy. In the Trotown, he made a spectacular debut for the very in-form Gordon Elliott, for whom he was delivering the fourth leg of a four-timer at Navan. He did so under the burden of 11 stone 8 pounds.

FORMER CHAMPION JEZKI ON TRACK FOR CHRISTMAS RETURN Jezki is set to make his long-awaited return to action in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown. The winner of eight Grade One races including the 2014 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, the JP McManus-owned eight-year-old has not been seen in competitive action since beating old foe Hurricane Fly on his first start over three miles in the Ladbrokes World Series Hurdle at Punchestown in April of last year. Jessica Harrington’s stable star is set to take the staying route this season and bid for a second Cheltenham Festival success in the World Hurdle next March. “He is in good form and he will be back at Leopardstown over Christmas for the three-mile race,” said Harrington.

HRI ANNOUNCES MEASURES TO IMPROVE FIELD SIZES HRI are introducing a further series of measures to improve field sizes, and therefore the competiveness of racing, following on from a number of successful initiatives earlier in the year. These included the payment of prize money being down to fifth place in all races, which has resulted in a significant increase in the number (up from 3606 to 4121) and percentage (up from 59% to 65%) of individual course-specialist.co.uk

runners winning prize money so far this year compared to the same period in 2015. Earlier in the year HRI extended the 10am declaration deadline for Weight-For-Age races with less than five declarations by 15 minutes, and the 12pm entry deadline will now also be extended by 45 minutes for any race with less than ten original entries. No withdrawal of an entry (including any new entries made after 12pm) may be made within this supplementary time period. In calculating the ten figure, a maximum of two entries per trainer will be counted, and HRI’s RAS system now displays the number of different trainers which have made entries for races. Trainers will be notified by RAS and via text message when any race is re-opened for additional entries. Additionally following a request from the Trainers Association to review the ‘Summer Novice’ season, the time period has been extended and will now allow horses which win a hurdle or steeplechase for the first time after February 1st (rather than March 1st previously) to run in novice races until the Fairyhouse Winter Festival meeting in early December (previously this ended at the Super Sunday meeting at Tipperary in early October), other than if they win a Grade 1 race prior to the end of the Punchestown Festival. This change is expected to improve field sizes in maiden hurdles and beginners chases in the spring period and to enhance the competitiveness of Novice races during October and November. Announcing these changes, HRI Director of Racing Jason Morris stated: ‘HRI are introducing these measures with the aim of attracting more runners in races which might have historically struggled with small entries and in attempt to improve field sizes at specific times of concern within the National Hunt season. HRI are always striving to improve the competitiveness of Irish racing, and it is pleasing to report that our average field sizes have increased in 2016, particularly in the second half of the year. In the four months since the start of July, average field sizes have improved under both codes, from 10.6 to 11.3 on the Flat and from 10.5 to 11.7 for National Hunt racing. It is hoped that these new measures will build on this momentum and see a continuation of this positive trend.’ •

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NEWS FRENCH RACING “For now though, we are just going to enjoy this moment.” Boudot’s two victories at the highest level this year have come on National Defense for Criquette Head-Maarek in the Lagardere on Arc day and the Andre Fabre-trained Waldgeist in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud.

BOUDOT SETS NEW RECORD FOR EUROPEAN WINNERS Jockey Pierre-Charles Boudot chalked up a new European Flat record when a four-timer at Chantilly saw him post his 275th winner of the year. Sir Gordon Richards famously set a benchmark of 269 winners back in 1947, with German champion Peter Schiergen surpassing that target in 1995 with 271 victories. Boudot has now topped both, with victories for Ambivalence, Firouzeh, Nalon and Djoko seeing him set the new standard on the level. Sir Tony McCoy’s total of 289 wins in the 2001/2 jumps season is now in Boudot’s sights, although his agent Herve Naggar believes the rider will be eager to celebrate his new milestone before setting out in pursuit of the National Hunt legend. Naggar said: “It’s unbelievable. He won four races today which means he has had 275 winners in France this year, which breaks Peter Schiergen’s previous record of 271. “It’s a great achievement and he will continue riding to the end of the year, so hopefully he can get close to 300 winners or maybe close to Tony McCoy’s record. “The aim from the middle part of the season was to break the record as whatever he touches seems to win. It’s just been unbelievable. “You must also remember he is not a light jockey, so it’s not easy to make the weight all the time. It’s very impressive. “He will ride until the end of the year and he does have rides in Japan this weekend and in Hong Kong, but they will be round trips so he can carry on riding in France.

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WALDGEIST KEEPS THE CRITERIUM DE SAINT CLOUD ON HOME SOIL Waldgeist showed plenty of improvement and determination to land the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud this afternoon. Thirteen horses lined-up for this 1 ¼ mile race, with only two French representatives – one of whom was the eventual winner. As the stalls burst open it was Taj Mahal and Frankuus who went on with Douglas Macarthur and Rekindling. Settling down, Taj Mahal held the lead from Douglas Macarthur and Prinz Hlodowig, with the three almost matching strides. In behind Cunco and Rekindling tracked the leaders, with Frankuus to the inside, while Best Solution raced wide. Turning into the home straight, the field again came across to the stands rail, fanning out across the course. The early leaders came under pressure and Best Solution on the stands side, went into the lead, with Waldgeist, Douglas Macarthur and Capri all challenging.

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FRENCH RACING NEWS But it was the Andre Fabre trained Waldgeist who responded best under Pierre-Charles Boudot and the French-trained colt showed the best turn of foot to move a length ahead of Best Solution, with Capri staying on in third, ahead of Douglas Macarthur. Waldgeist, a son of Galileo out of a Monsun mare, had won on debut before finishing ½ a length third to Frankuus in the Group 3 Prix du Conde, earlier this month.

THUNDER SNOW SLAMS RIVALS IN THE CRITERIUM INTERNATIONAL Thunder Snow and South Seas gave the Dewhurst Stakes form a solid boost as they finished first and second in the Group 1 Criterium International at Saint-Cloud this afternoon. A field of nine went to post for this seven furlong contest on soft ground. At the break Capchop unseated Pierre-Charles Boudot and it was the Godolphin pair of Bay Of Poets and Thunder Snow who went into the lead from South Sea and Promise To Be True. Bay Of Poets and William Buick led by about 1 ½ lengths as the field turned for home, with Thunder Snow travelling well as the eight remaining runners headed to the stands rail.

Thunder Snow went on from South Seas and quickened well under Christophe Soumillon, moving right away from his rivals inside the final furlong and passing the line clear of South Seas, with Promise To Be True in third. The Saeed bin Suroor trained Thunder Snow, a son of Helmet, was leading home a one-two for horses beaten by Churchill in the Dewhurst Stakes. That form looks solid now, given the victory last week by Rivet in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy.

SIYOUSHAKE BOUNDS TO VICTORY IN THE PRIX PERTH Siyoushake came with a strong finish to land the Group 3 Prix Perth at Saint-Cloud. Crazy Horse and Maximus Aurelius were away quickest and it was the latter who towed the field along in this one mile contest. Maximus Aurelius was still in front turning for home, with Royal Julius and Wanderina in close order and then Crazy Horse. Into the straight, Show Day on the outside moved into the lead with Crazy Horse, but Siyoushake and Stephane Pasquier quickened well from widest of all and took a length and a half out of the field, with her rivals unable to close. That margin remained in place as Siyoushake passed the post, with Crazy Horse just holding off Kourkan for second place. The Freddy Head trained four year old Siyoushake, a daughter of Siyouni, had run with credit at Group 1 level last time out when fourth to Alice Springs in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket.

DAME DU ROI RULES IN THE PRIX MIESQUE Dame Du Roi showed excellent acceleration to win the Group 3 Prix Miesque at Maisons-Laffitte. Moonlit Show was soon into the lead as the field of eight bunched, with Thrust Home coming to join the leader and tracked by Thais. course-specialist.co.uk

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NEWS FRENCH RACING At halfway, Moonlit Show still narrowly held the advantage from Thrust Home, but with two furlongs to race the field fanned out with Thais and Upendi quickening along with Kambura towards the far side. On the stands side though and off the pace, Dame Du Roi responded well for Aurelien Lemaitre and showed an impressive turn of foot. The daughter of Dark Angel swept through and into the lead and passed the post a length clear of Kambura and Thais.

THE RIGHT MAN WELL ON TOP IN FRENCH GROUP 3 The Right Man and Francois-Xavier Bertras recorded a decisive victory in the Group 3 Prix de Seine-Et-Oise Stakes at Maisons-Laffitte. Twelve horses lined up for this six furlong contest. At the break it was Pupa Di Sarono who lead with Marsh Hawk prominent and Porthilly. Settling down, Porthilly took up the running with Daring March down the centre of the track and La Rioja going well further wide. La Rioja just about moved into the lead but The Right Man, racing widest of all, powered clear and was chased through by Finsbury Square. However, The Right Man was not stopping and drew clear for an impressive victory, with Porthilly keeping on well for second on the stands side, and then La Rioja. Alex De Larredya impresses in the Grand Prix D’Automne Alex De Larredya ran out a convincing winner of the Grade 1 Grand Prix D’Automne as the British pair of Ptit Zig and Aubusson ran out of petrol late on at Auteuil. Thirteen went to post for this three mile contest. Racing out wide, Blue Dragon had a clear lead but on the final circuit, was chased by Ptit Zig and Zolway and as the long-time leader’s run came to an end, Solway moved on. Solway, on the inside, moved into a clear lead from Ptit Zig, with Aubusson under pressure in third, as the field turned into the home straight. Solway turned with a five length advantage over Ptit Zig and took the second last clear still, with

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Alex De Larredya travelling powerfully in behind for Gaetan Masure. At the last Solway still held the advantage but showed sure signs of tiredness with a clumsy leap. That opened the door for Alex De Larredya and Ptit Zig, who both closed. But Alex De Larredya had much the best momentum and strode clear on the flat for an authoritative 7 length victory over Solway in second, with Ptit Zig running a little tired on his comeback in third, clear of another British raider Aubusson in fourth.

GOLDIKOVA’S DAUGHTER TERRAKOVA MAKES A WINNING DEBUT AT CHANTILLY Freddy Head plans to train Terrakova for the French 1,000 Guineas after the daughter of the mighty Goldikova made a winning debut on the all-weather surface at Chantilly. The two-year-old filly, by prolific sire Galileo, got off the mark in pleasing fashion as she comfortably landed the odds over nine furlongs by three and a half lengths in the hands of Maxime Guyon. “I’m very happy. She won very well. She’s a pro and has done what I thought,” said Head. “The family are not very precocious horses. They need a bit of time, a bit like the mother did. “I chose to run her on the Polytrack and am happy with her. “We’ll see next year where we go with her. I’ll probably keep her over a mile and we’ll try for the French Guineas. She’ll have a prep run first.”

FOOTPAD NARROWLY BEATEN IN AUTEUIL The Willie Mullins-trained Footpad just lost out to Capivari in a close finish to the Grade One Prix Renaud du Vivier at Auteuil. Richard Hobson’s Chic Name made the running until the second-last hurdle where Device, ridden by James Reveley, took a heavy fall when looking a major danger. •

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FRENCH RACING NEWS Footpad had every chance, but could not hold Francois Cottin’s Capivari, who just prevailed in the hands of Regis Schmidlin. The Paul Nicholls-trained Adrien Du Pont was on their heels in third place.

FRANCE COULD FEATURE HIGHLY ON UN DE SCEAUX’S AGENDA THIS WINTER Plans for Un De Sceaux remain fluid but there is a strong possibility he could be racing in France a good deal. The Willie Mullins-trained eight-year-old was last season put in his place by Sprinter Sacre at Cheltenham and Sandown before returning to winning ways in France in May, after which he found three miles too far back at Auteuil in June. “It’s been very dry, which isn’t good news for us,” said part-owner Colm O’Connell.

“That said, he’s never out too early so it won’t affect us and it’s got to start raining soon. “He’s usually out the third week in November and he’ll start off somewhere between two and two and a half miles. “There are races in France we’ll be looking at. He really seems to suit Auteuil and they are so valuable. “Obviously there’s the Tingle Creek (Sandown) but I’d prefer to avoid Sprinter Sacre if we could given what happened at Cheltenham and Sandown. “There’s the Ascot race Vautour won last year (Stella Artois 1965 Chase), and that could be an option. “We might see Sprinter Sacre in March but then again we might not as we’re so unlikely to get the ground we excel on. “We might just concentrate on France. We love going there and he loves it, too. “Willie never has his horses ready too early they are always trained backwards from March - so I don’t expect us to be out just yet, looking at what he’s done in the past.”

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RYAN MOORE AND MAURICE LAND THE TENNO SHO AUTUMN IN GRAND STYLE En-route to Melbourne, Ryan Moore struck gold again in Japan as he rode Maurice to victory in the Tenno Sho (Autumn) in Tokyo. The pair had struck up a formidable partnership in late 2015, with victories in the Kyoto Mile Championship and the Hong Kong Mile, but the horse had been beaten in recent starts and had to overcome doubts about his stamina in this 10-furlong contest. A Shin Hikari took the field along, but on the final bend he was engulfed by the field, with Maurice in a prominent position towards the outside, coming through to take over. At the line the five year old was 1 ½ lengths clear of the Dubai Turf winner Real Steel.

EX-GERMAN TRAINED ALMANDIN WINS THE MELBOURNE CUP Almandin agonisingly denied Heartbreak City in a thrilling finish to the Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup as the front two had the race between them and fought out a stirring finish.

A maximum field of 24 went to post for Australia’s premier race, with eight horses representing European-based trainers. Wicklow Brave and Frankie Dettori were the last to load up, from the widest draw of all. At the break Wicklow Brave stayed wide, while Big Orange was prominent early on. But settling down, it was Curren Mirotic and Excess Knowledge who led with Assign also well up with the pace as the field streamed past the packed stands. Racing down the back, Excess Knowledge led Assign and Secret Number, with Curren Mirotic and Wicklow Brave placed handily and then Big Orange, Grey Lion and Qewy. Secret Number moved to the head of affairs as the field continued down the back as Excess Knowledge and Curren Mirotic came under pressure. Secret Number led into the straight with Excess Knowledge, with Wicklow Brave coming under pressure, while at the back, Rose OF Virginia was eased down and all but pulled up. But the race quickly developed down the outside with Heartbreak City swooping through with Almandin and Hartnell. But it was the former pair who showed the best turn of foot and went clear and settled down to fight out the finish. The Tony Martin runner, under a fine ride from Joao Moreira, had his nose in front for much of

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INTERNATIONAL RACING NEWS the last furlong and a half, but Kerrin McEvoy, last successful in the Cup 16 years ago, had a little up his sleeve and the Lloyd Williams silks were carried to a fifth Melbourne Cup victory by a narrow margin. Heartbreak City, winner of the Ebor Handicap at York in August, was an heroic second, with the front two well clear of Hartnell, ahead of Qewy and Who Shot Thebarman. The Robert Hickmott trained 6 year old Almandin, was formerly trained in Germany and is a son of Monsun, again underlining the virtues of German breeding. Back in June of 2014 he had beaten another future Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist, in a Group 2 contest at Baden Baden. Winning rider McEvoy said: “He travelled well how lucky am I? It is just elation. He has been well prepared by Lloyd. “It is great to be part of it again and win my second Cup. “It is just a dream come true. I love these staying races and I love the Melbourne Cup.”

GUIGNOL CAUSES A SHOCK IN GERMANY Godolphin duo Hawkbill and Racing History were left to fill the places as Guignol sprang a 33-1 surprise in the Pastorius Grosser Preis Von Bayern at Munich. The four-year-old, pacemaker for his Jean-Pierre Carvalho-trained stablemate Savoir Vivre, made all the running under an enterprising ride from Michael Cadeddu. Guignol slipped the field after halfway, building up a lead of about eight lengths with Savoir Vivre leading the chase. Though the pack closed in the final quarter-mile, Guignol had enough of an advantage to hang on. Charlie Appleby’s Hawkbill just held the Saeed bin Suroor-trained Racing History in a tight finish for second place, as the pair tried a mile and a half for the first time. Savoir Vivre weakened disappointingly in the closing stages, while David Simcock’s Algometer never got into a challenging position. course-specialist.co.uk

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DUBAI AND ROYAL ASCOT MOOTED AS 2017 TARGETS FOR TEPIN Trainer Mark Casse is already eyeing a potential return to Royal Ascot next summer with Tepin ahead of her defence of the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Saturday. The brilliant mare was a dominant winner at Keeneland 12 months ago and has continued in the same vein this year, with her spectacular run including victory in the Queen Anne Stakes in June. She returned to North America to land the Woodbine Mile in September, before suffering a shock defeat at the hands of Photo Call in the First Lady Stakes at Keeneland almost a month ago. Photo Call is in the line-up once more this weekend, while Henry Candy’s Limato, the Charlie Hills-trained Dutch Connection and a trio of runners from Aidan O’Brien’s yard including Alice Springs represent a formidable European challenge. Casse, however, is in a confident mood. He said: “She’s happy, she’s wild, she’s great and she’s travelled better than the rest of us. She’s also got a great post position (eight). “There looks like being a fair amount of speed in the race, which is good for us. “She’s versatile and once we had won the Royal Ascot race, this was our main objective. “People ask me how highly that Royal Ascot experience ranks among all her successes and I would say it beats whatever happens here this week. We were that impressed. •

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NEWS INTERNATIONAL RACING “My big regret, however, is that owing to obligations with interviews after the race, I didn’t get to achieve my ambition and meet the Queen. “I think there is a chance that she could return to Royal Ascot, but more immediately, I’m keen to run her in a race at the Dubai Carnival - the Dubai Turf. That, of course, would be a fantastic new experience. “Now we have to focus on getting her to post as good as she can be on Saturday and I would say that when she was beaten by Photo Call, I thought she was just a touch off her game. “I’m hoping that is correct, but also that the same Photo Call doesn’t show up again.”

PROTECTIONIST RETIRES TO STUD The 2014 Melbourne Cup winner Protections is to take up stallion duties at Gestut Rottgen in Germany for the 2017 breeding season at a fee of €6,500. Originally trained by Andreas Wohler, Protectionist won a Listed Derby Trial at Bremen, abut really blossomed as a four year old with victories in the Group 2 Hansa-Preis and the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay. He then headed to Australia and defeated Red Cadeaux in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup. Protectionist stayed in Australia and was trained by Kris Lees but he returned to Wohler’s care earlier this year and won three races including the Group 1 Grosser Preis von Berlin in August.

FLINTSHIRE TO STAND AT HILL ‘N’ DALE FARM IN 2017 A partnership of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, S.F. Bloodstock, China Horse Club and Juddmonte Farms has been formed to stand Juddmonte’s superstar homebred Flintshire. The globe-trotting, royally-bred son of Leading Sire Dansili will stand at Hill ‘n’ Dale in Kentucky for 2017. Flintshire, the leading turf earner in the world today, has amassed career earnings of nearly $9

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million with Group 1 victories in the Grand Prix de Paris (G1) at Longchamp in France, the Hong Kong Vase (G1) at Sha Tin in Hong Kong, the Sword Dancer (G1) twice at Saratoga and the Woodford Reserve Manhattan (G1) at Belmont. In addition, the eighteen-time Graded/Group Stakes Performer ran second in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (G1), twice, the Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1), the Dubai Sheema Classic (G1), the Hong Kong Vase (G1), the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (G1), the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud (G1), and the Coronation Cup (G1) at Epsom in England. Flintshire is the #1 ranked turf horse by Daily Racing Form and he owns the two highest turf Beyer Speed Figures of 2016. “This is an exciting group that has come together to support and stand behind an incredible international star who brought his best race to every corner of the globe and distinguished himself truly as a Horse-of-the-World,” said John G. Sikura of Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms.

FRANCIS OF ASSISI GIVES APPLEBY ANOTHER BIG WINNER IN AUSTRALIA Francis Of Assisi ran out an impressive winner of the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Flemington in Australia. The Charlie Appleby-trained runner won the Bendigo Cup last month at Bendigo and added a second Group Three win in style as he powered home by 10 lengths from Vengeur Masque. “The horses have all done well and have all backed up well, but this horse you could just see, mentally, he was thriving,” Appleby told www.godolphin.com. While Francis Of Assisi has scored twice in Australia, he has also played a part in victories for stablemates Qewy and Oceanographer. “He’s been a great lead-out horse on the training track, helping us get the others fit,” Appleby said. “When you’re doing the sort of work he does at home, having those decent horses looming up alongside you every morning, once he got his own head in front and won his own race in the Bendigo Cup he thought he was King Kong.”

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INTERNATIONAL RACING NEWS

© A. J. Byles

POTEMKIN LANDS GROUP 1 VICTORY IN THE PREMIO ROMA At the end of July two sons of New Approach were first and third in the Group 1 Bayerisches Zuchtrennen with Elliptique proving victorious over Potemkin, but on Sunday 6 November the roles were reversed as Potemkin won his first Group 1 in the 2,000 metre Premio Roma. Coming into the race on the back of a victory in France in the Group 2 Prix Dollar, the improving five-year-old handled the heavy conditions well to beat Robin Of Navan by one-and-a-half lengths with a further five-anda-half back to Elliptique in third. Potemkin was bred by Gestut Fahrhof and is out of the Stakes-placed mare Praia, a half-sister to Champion juvenile and Group 1 winner Paita. New Approach, who is standing this coming season at a fee of £30,000, has sired 13 lifetime Group 1 performers including Classic winners Dawn Approach, Talent and May’s Dream in Australia. This season he has Group 1 winners Elliptique and Potemkin as well as Prix du Cadran place-getter Nearly Caught and Australian Derby runner-up Etymology.

MINDING CROWNED CARTIER HORSE OF THE YEAR Minding has been named the Cartier Horse of the Year at the 26th annual Cartier Racing Awards, European horseracing’s equivalent of the Oscars. The three-year-old Galileo filly, owned by a Coolmore partnership, trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore, was a five-time Group course-specialist.co.uk

One winner in 2016 including Classic success in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas and Investec Oaks. Her rivals in the Cartier Horse Of The Year category were Almanzor, Found, Postponed and recent Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Highland Reel. Minding also won the honours in the Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly category, ahead of Alice Springs, Quiet Reflection and La Cressonniere. Coolmore’s Found, who led home a remarkable 1-2-3 for O’Brien in Europe’s richest race, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, was named Cartier Older Horse. The other contenders for Cartier Older Horse Award were Postponed, Limato and Highland Reel. Order Of St George, winner of the G1 Gold Cup at Royal Ascot, was another success for Coolmore and O’Brien, with the four-year-old landing the Cartier Stayer Award ahead of Quest For More, Vazirabad and Sheikzayedroad. The fifth award to go to a Coolmore/O’Brien horse, in a stellar year, was Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt, won by Churchill. The Galileo colt finished a superb campaign with Group One victories in two of Europe’s best juvenile contests - the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes and the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes. The other nominees in this category were Caravaggio, The Last Lion and Mehmas. Alamanzor won the Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt Award. Owned by Ecurie Antonio Caro and Gerard Augustin-Normand, the son of Wootton Basset was superbly handled by Jean-Claude Rouget, who trains in South-West France, winning the French Classic, the Prix du Jockey Club and the QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes. The other Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt nominees were Galileo Gold, Harzand and The Gurkha. Quiet Reflection became the first three-yearold filly to win the Cartier Sprinter Award. This followed her victories at the highest level in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and the 32Red Sprint Cup at Haydock Park. Owned by Ontoawinner, Hubert Strecker and Karl and Elaine Buke, the Karl Burke-trained Showcasing filly gains the Cartier Sprinter Award in tight finish ahead of Limato, Mecca’s Angel and The Tin Man. Lady Aurelia was the other history-maker, as she became the first horse trained in the USA to win a Cartier Racing Award. Following a breathtaking all-

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NEWS INTERNATIONAL RACING the-way win in the G2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot and victory in the G1 Darley Prix Morny at Deauville, she landed the Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly Award ahead of Rhododendron, Brave Anna and Roly Poly. Lady Aurelia is owned by Stonestreet Stables, George Bolton and Peter Leidel and trained by Wesley Ward. The Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit went to Aidan O’Brien. Even by his own exemplary standards, the trainer, based at Ballydoyle in Ireland, has enjoyed a magnificent 2016, being responsible for 22 winners at Group/Grade One level. 2016 - CARTIER RACING AWARDS • Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt: Churchill • Cartier Two-Year-Old Filly: Lady Aurelia • Cartier Three-Year-Old Colt: Almanzor • Cartier Three-Year-Old Filly: Minding • Cartier Sprinter: Quiet Reflection • Cartier Stayer: Order Of St George • Cartier Older Horse: Found • Cartier Horse of the Year: Minding owned by Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier & Michael Tabor • Cartier/Daily Telegraph Award of Merit: Aidan O’Brien

FURTHER GLORY FOR GODOLPHIN IN AUSTRALIA Godolphin celebrated more joy in Australia with both Charlie Appleby and Saeed bin Suroor celebrating notable successes. Bin Suroor’s filly Beautiful Romance, seventh in the Melbourne Cup, got the better of Almoonqith in the Zipping Classic at Sandown with Michael Bell’s Big Orange back in third having tried to make all. She was ridden to victory by Glyn Schofield who told www.racing.com: “Once the gaps opened up (in the straight) and she found the split, for a horse that’s a stayer she surged quite strongly and kept that gallop up right to the line. “All the while I could see Almoonqith sort of peaked on his run 150m out. “I wasn’t sure whether I had won but when I heard Ollie (Damien Oliver) express his disappointment (on our way back to scale) I knew that I had won.”

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Jockey Damian Lane said of Big Orange: “He ran super today. On a still day he probably wins. He just did a length, length-and-a-half too much work down the back straight.” Earlier on the card former hurdler Qewy won the Sandown Cup for Appleby and Kerrin McEvoy, following up his win in the Geelong Cup and a fourth place in the Melbourne Cup. “The Melbourne Cup took a bit out of him, but he was still too good today,” said assistant trainer James Ferguson. “He’s such a good horse, genuine and brave. “I can’t tell you how proud the whole team is of him and our other horses. They’ve all run their hearts out.” Francis Of Assisi and Oceanographer also won big prizes while Scottish finished second in the Caulfield Cup making it a profitable few weeks for Appleby.

SUPERSTAR KITASAN BLACK DOMINATES THE 36TH JAPAN CUP Kitasan Black dictated and ultimately dominated the 2016 Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse. A field of seventeen lined-up for this lucrative end of year prize, including three European representatives. At the dates it was Kitasan Black who went into the lead with Gold Actor prominent. Settling down and passing the post with a circuit to race, Kitasan Black was into a clear lead from One And Only and Gold Actor, with Ryan Moore and Real Steel sat handily in fourth. Heading down the back, Kitasan Black opened up a clear lead of four lengths, while German raider Night Flower was last of all. Kitasan Black took the field to the home turn with Real Steel looking a threat, but with two furlongs to race Kitasan Black lengthened impressively kicking clear again. Late on Sounds Of Earth came out of the pack to finish fast, but was never getting to Kitasan Black and Yutaka Take, who passed the post the best part of three lengths clear. Cheval Grand came home third, with Gold Actor inching out Real Steel for fourth place. •

December 2016


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BIG RACE HISTORY TINGLE CREEK CHASE

© Toby Connors

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TINGLE CREEK CHASE BIG RACE HISTORY

BIG RACE HISTORY Tingle Creek Chase

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ery few race horses attain a level of popularity that thrusts them into the conscience of a wider public audience. Fewer still achieve such a following that a race is named after their exploits. In the 1970’s the two mile chaser called Tingle Creek, illuminated Sandown Park racecourse with a string of exhilarating performances and breath taking jumping that drew audiences far and wide. When the horse retired, the Tingle Creek Chase was established in his honour and for many years during the 1980s, the old boy would appear and parade at his beloved Sandown Park before the race took place. The inaugural race was won in 1979 by another popular veteran in Artifice and the handicap chase was quickly established as an important stepping stone for the leading two mile chasers of the season, when the classy News King followed up with successive wins in 1981 and 1982.

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© Image supplied by Mike Deeley

The race gained even greater kudos in 1987 and 1988 when the legendary Desert Orchid was first beaten by Long Engagement and then won the race in what proved to be his Gold Cup season. His trainer David Elsworth used the race as a stepping stone to Dessie’s King George VI Chase races – a pattern that would be repeated some 20 years later by another super star. Long Engagement won another renewal in 1989 before Young Snugfit defeated an ageing Desert Orchid in 1990. With the race having become established as a Grade 1 chase, the popular Waterloo Boy took the next two runnings and Viking Flagship, dual Champion Chase winner, won in 1994. The exciting young Irish chaser Sound Man won back to back renewals in 1995 and 1996, defeating the tough Viking Flagship and Direct Route was a popular winner in 1998, before Flagship Uberalles won three Tingle Creeks. •

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© Toby Connors

© Toby Connors

The classy Moscow Flyer was a wonderful winner in 2003 and the following year won a memorable renewal, defeating Champion Chase winner Azertyioup and the exciting Well Chief in a thrilling race. If Moscow Flyer was a tough act to follow, in 2005 Paul Nicholls unleashed another legend of the sport in Kauto Star, who was another dual winner, using the race in 2006 as a launch pad for his first King George and Cheltenham Gold Cup.

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Remarkably, Kauto Star’s two wins were the first of six successive wins in the race for trainer Paul Nicholls, who would follow-up with Twist Magic and Champion Chaser Master Minded, both winning the race twice. Another Champion Chaser in Sizing Europe, dominated the race in 2011 and he was followed by the exciting Sprinter Sacre, who demolished his field in 2012, before winning the Champion Chase at Cheltenham. With Sprinter Sacre an absentee in 2013, the door opened for a new champion and it was Sire De Grugy, a popular chestnut with a big white face, who stepped up to the plate and landed the Tingle Creek before dominating the two mile division. In 2014, both Sire De Grugy and Sprinter Sacre were on the sidelines and once again it was a young up and coming horse who filled the breach, as Dodging Bullets beat Somersby, runner-up for the second year running. A new order was thus established, and come Cheltenham and the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Dodging Bullets again beat Somersby in a race containing both former •

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TINGLE CREEK CHASE BIG RACE HISTORY

champions. Once again, the Tingle Creek Chase had proved the significant race in determining the year’s hierarchy of two mile chasers as for the third year running the winner went on to be crowned champion. In 2015, it was Dodging Bullets’ turn to be sidelined, while Sprinter Sacre was on the comeback trail but missed Sandown Park. Whilst Sire De Grugy had disappointed earlier in the autumn, the Gary Moore team came to Sandown Park in December in remarkable form. In the race, Henry de Bromhead’s spectacular chaser Special Tiara took the field along, but as they left the back straight Sire De Grugy came to challenge and went on into the lead. Controversy followed as at the last fence Sire De Grugy appeared to jump across his rival, hampering him in the process. Special Tiara rallied late on in a stirring finish, but just failed to catch his opponent. A Stewards’ Enquiry ensued, but Sire De Grugy kept the race to win his second Tingle Creek.

This capped an extraordinary meeting for Gary Moore, who trained a treble at Sandown Park on consectuvei days, also winning the Grade 1 Henry VIII Novices’ Chase with Ar Mad. The Tingle Creek has thus established itself as a fitting tribute to an exciting chaser of the 1970s and one of the most significant two mile chases of the entire season. It is fair to say it is the big early season target for the best horses at this distance.

TINGLE CREEK CHASE PAST WINNERS 1979 Artifice 1980 Stopped 1981 News King 1982 News King 1983 no race 1984 Far Bridge 1985 Lefrak City 1986 Berlin 1987 Long Engagement 1988 Desert Orchid 1989 Long Engagement 1990 Young Snugfit 1991 Waterloo Boy

1992 Waterloo Boy 1993 Sybillin 1994 Viking Flagship 1995 Sound Man 1996 Sound Man 1997 Ask Tom 1998 Direct Route 1999 Flagship Uberalles 2000 Flagship Uberalles ] 2001 Flagship Uberalles 2002 Cenkos 2003 Moscow Flyer 2004 Moscow Flyer course-specialist.co.uk

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015

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Kauto Star Kauto Star Twist Magic Master Minded Twist Magic Master Minded Sizing Europe Sprinter Sacre Sire De Grugy Dodging Bullets Sire De Grugy

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DAY TWO

On Boxing Day, all eyes turn to Kempton Park and the 2016 King George VI Chase, which forms the centre piece of a cracking two days of racing, making up the 32Red Winter Festival. Day one of the two day showpiece, on Boxing Day, features no fewer than three Grade 1 races including the Festival’s flagship race, the 32Red King George VI Chase - won by greats including Captain Christy, Wayward Lad, Burrough Hill Lad, Desert Orchid, The Fellow, One Man, See More Business, Best Mate, Kauto Star, Long Run and, most recently, Cue Card. Future stars are also very much in mind on this outstanding racecard, with the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase over three miles, one of the most important novice chases of the season ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. Two years ago this race was won by subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree, while last year saw history made, as Tea For Two’s success gave Lizzie Kelly the first ever Grade 1 chase victory by a lady rider on these shores. The top class action continues with the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle, won by countless champions including Lanzarote, Dawn Run, Kribensis, Binocular and for the last two years by Faugheen. Gather friends and family at this festive time and head along for one of the biggest days of racing in the whole calendar with a whole host of star horses set to be on show from both the UK and Ireland.

The second day of this holiday meeting always proves a popular, festive day out for all the family, the second day of the Festival, on 27th December 2016, stars two Grade 2 races and a host of competitive handicaps, always providing key clues for the rest of the National Hunt Season. There’ll also be a variety of free children’s entertainment available. The big race is undoubtedly the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase over two miles, commemorating the flying grey who won the hearts of the nation with four King George VI Chases at Kempton Park in the 1980s and early 1990s. Last year saw a thrilling race between old adversaries Sprinter Sacre and Sire De Grugy, with the former narrowly prevailing before going on to reclaim his Queen Mother Champion Chase title at the Cheltenham Festival. The other Grade 2 contest on the card is the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase, remembering the brilliant three-time winner of the King George VI Chase. This is another race with a history of producing stars, including: Celtic Shot, Remittance Man, Fondmort, Riverside Theatre, Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig, Dodging Bullets, Vibrato Valtat and Ar Mad.

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BOXING DAY

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Š Steven Cargill

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32 RED WINTER FESTIVAL KEMPTON PARK PROFILE

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KEMPTON PARK PROFILE 32 RED WINTER FESTIVAL WHAT IS THE CROWD CAPACITY FOR KEMPTON PARK? On King George VI Chase day we have a capacity of 22,000 people. WHAT SPECIAL MEASURES ARE IN PLACE FOR THE KING GEORGE IN TERMS OF CROWD CONTROL AND ENSURING EVERYONE’S COMFORT? We tend to sell out on Boxing Day, so cap the number of tickets at a level to ensure our customers’ comfort. Last year we reduced the number of tickets in the Premier enclosure, to further enhance the experience for our racegoers. We have around 250 stewards on site for the King George VI Chase day to ensure the safety of all our racegoers. © Image supplied by The Jockey Club

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empton Park is gearing up for another fantastic Christmas treat for racing fans as it prepares to stage the two-day 32Red King George VI Winter Festival. Course Specialist caught up with Steve Parlett, General Manager of Kempton Park Racecourse, ahead of this year’s spectacular, to find out more about this historic track. WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF KEMPTON PARK AND HOW LONG HAS RACING TAKEN PLACE THERE? Kempton Park Racecourse is steeped in history, having been established in 1878 and is London’s closest racecourse, just 16 miles from the city of London. Kempton Park is one of the busiest racecourses in Europe, hosting quality horse racing all year round – Jump racing from October to May, and afternoon and evening Flat racing on the all-weather track throughout the year. WHEN WAS JUMPS RACING FIRST INTRODUCED AT KEMPTON PARK? Kempton Park has held jump racing from its inception, in 1878. WHY WAS KEMPTON PARK CHOSEN AS THE VENUE FOR THE KING GEORGE VI CHASE? The race, run over a distance of about 3 miles, was first run in February 1937 and named in honour of the new monarch. It was run twice before the outbreak of World War Two. The race then returned to the racing calendar on Boxing Day 1947 and had been programmed on this day ever since. course-specialist.co.uk

WHEN DOES MARKETING TAKE PLACE FOR THE KING GEORGE? We plan for the Winter Festival throughout the year, with our tickets for the 32Red Winter Festival going on sale on 5 September this year. WHAT EFFORT IS MADE TO ENCOURAGE INTERNATIONAL RUNNERS FROM IRELAND AND FRANCE? Our Regional Head of Racing, Barney Clifford has an excellent relationship with trainers in Britain, Ireland and France and is in contact with many of them throughout the year to discuss campaigns for their horses. This year the Jockey Club are continuing the £1m Chase Triple Crown bonus – for a horse winning the Betfair Chase at Haydock, the 32Red King George VI Chase at Kempton Park and the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. The chance to pick up the £1m bonus should be an extra incentive for many owners and trainers! Last year we saw Cue Card win the first two legs only to fall three fences from the finish when in contention in the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup. HOW MUCH OF A CHALLENGE IS IT TO MARKET A MEETING TAKING PLACE OVER CHRISTMAS? HOW MUCH OF A CHALLENGE IS THE PUBLIC TRANSPORT SITUATION? The 32Red Winter Festival is a great day out for racing and sport fans, as well as families. It is an opportunity to watch jump racing of the very best quality and a great way to blow away the cobwebs after the Christmas break. Boxing Day boasts the prestigious 32Red King George VI Chase and the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novice’s Chase (in memory of Nigel •

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32 RED WINTER FESTIVAL KEMPTON PARK PROFILE

HOW MANY STAFF ARE EMPLOYED AT KEMPTON PARK? WHAT NUMBER DOES THIS SWELL TO FOR THE KING GEORGE MEETING AND DOES ANYONE GET CHRISTMAS OFF? We have 25 staff based in the racecourse office throughout the year, as well as our team of dedicated groundstaff and year-round support from the Jockey Club’s London region for marketing, sales and sponsorship. For each raceday this number swells with stewards, hospitality staff as well as raceday officials. To put on such a top sporting event the team are very dedicated and many work throughout the Christmas period – but most get Christmas Day off !

© Image supplied by The Jockey Club

Clark). The second day (27 December) offers great racing, most notably the Grade 2 32Red Desert Orchid Chase, as well a plethora of free kids entertainment, making it a great family day out. There are no trains running on Boxing Day but we offer a free Park & Ride service for all racegoers from BP in Sunbury, with buses running to and from the racecourse throughout the day. For underground users there is a bus pick up point from Kew garden station. We also have a range of extra car parks available for customers – as with all major sporting events, we recommend booking tickets and parking in advance.

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HAS KEMPTON PARK MADE ANY MAJOR INVESTMENT IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE TRACK AND FACILITIES RECENTLY? IF SO, WHAT IN AND WHY? Kempton Park opened its all-weather track in 2006, following significant investment in its creation. In the last four years The Jockey Club has invested nearly £1m on maintaining the quality of the all-weather racing surface. This is part of an ongoing commitment to provide and excellent racing surface, reflecting the Jockey Club’s mission to act for the long-term good of British racing. Three years ago we were delighted to open the renovated Owners & Trainers area, which won an award from the Racecourse Association. As part of The Jockey Club group we are lucky to have •

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KEMPTON PARK PROFILE 32 RED WINTER FESTIVAL

© Image supplied by The Jockey Club

a rolling plan for investment and development. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes is invested back into racing to support its long-term health. This allows us to continually invest in the facilities to improve the customer experience. WITH THE ALL-WEATHER NOW WELLESTABLISHED, HAS THIS HELPED TO IMPROVE REVENUE STREAMS AND TAKEN THE PRESSURE OFF THE BIG JUMPS MEETINGS? There is pressure on our team at every fixture to make sure we put on the best possible racing and our customers have a good experience at our racecourse. TELL ME ABOUT THE 32RED SPONSORSHIP, WHAT THIS COVERS AND FOR HOW LONG? On 3 September we announced 32Red as the new sponsors of the King George VI Winter Festival, as part of a three-year partnership. 32Red also signed up to sponsor the Lanzarote Hurdle Day at Kempton Park, and extended its support for Tolworth Hurdle Day at sister-course Sandown Park. We warmly welcome 32Red as our new partner and we are delighted to expand our relationship to a new level on account of their status as a founding Authorised Betting Partner of British Racing. A founding Authorised Betting Partner of British Racing, 32Red is already the sponsor of 45 fixtures at Kempton Park this year alone and began its association with Sandown Park’s 32Red Tolworth Hurdle back in 2011. course-specialist.co.uk

HOW MANY DAYS RACING WILL KEMPTON PARK STAGE IN 2017? 70 WHAT ARE THE MAIN OPERATIONAL CHALLENGES ON RACE DAYS? Deep frost – we have raced following heavy snow and rain, but deep frost can even cause problems for all-weather surfaces. Fortunately, to reduce the chance of abandonments due to frost The Jockey Club have invested in 45 acres of frost covers for use on the racing surface. WHAT IS YOUR OWN PERSONAL FAVOURITE MEMORY OF THE KING GEORGE VI CHASE? Kauto Star winning his fifth King George VI – his record in the race may never be matched. It was such an emotional day; everyone seemed to understand we were witnessing history being made. WHAT DISCOUNTS ARE ON OFFER AND WHERE CAN PEOPLE PURCHASE TICKETS FOR THE KING GEORGE FESTIVAL? Tickets are available with a 20% discount until the end of October. Tickets can be bought at the following website: http://kempton.thejockeyclub.co.uk/events-tickets/whatson/winter-festival-26_12

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Memory Lane PAUL NICHOLLS RECALLS SEE MORE BUSINESS

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MEMORY LANE 32 RED WINTER FESTIVAL

I remember Richard saying to me in the autumn that he was one of the nicest horses that he had ever seen – PAUL NICHOLLS

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or any racing fan, Christmas has that extra bit of magic with the promise and expectation of the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day. This is a race with remarkably few winning names on the trophy down the years. But then it is a race dominated by the cream of jumps racing, in a sport where, health permitting, the best come back year after year to defend the crown. It was on King George Day in 1993, that the young up and coming trainer Paul Nicholls first made a really significant mark with his first Grade 1 winner, as See More Indians, a son of Seymour Hicks, won the Feltham Novices’ Chase by 2 ½ lengths from Crystal Spirit. Little did the racing world then realise the impact that Paul Nicholls would have on many Christmases to come. Very sadly, See More Indians’ career was cut tragically short following an accident in a field, but not very long afterwards, a small gelding by the same sire, started to make an impression in the point to point field. He would go on to become the first Paul Nicholls superstar and would become the brightest illumination at Kempton Park over Christmas. His name was See More Business and he helped take the master of Ditcheat to new levels of success and was the trail blazer for future superstars such as Big Buck’s, Denman, course-specialist.co.uk

Kauto Star, Master Minded and Silviniaco Conti. However, it took time for See More Business to find his way to Ditcheat, as his trainer recalls: “He was originally trained by Richard Barber and owned by Richard Williams. Paul (Barber) had seen him at the sales and thought he wasn’t big enough but Richard did a deal with him that if he turned out to be good, Paul could have first option on him. “I remember Richard saying to me in the autumn that he was one of the nicest horses that he had ever seen.” It did not take long for those good looks to transform into a good prospect, as See More Business won his first two point to points, before falling on his third start. Even so, he had capably demonstrated his raw ability and it was not too long before he transferred to Nicholls. Whilst looks and winning form were attractive attributes, being by Seymour Hicks too, might have helped to sway the deal, although completely coincidental; “I think we just got lucky!” Nicholls smiles. “He was quite lazy at home and bad tempered and boisterous and very difficult to clip. He had a real temper about him but I suppose that is not a bad thing in a racehorse,” Nicholls reflects. Later in his career, blinkers brought about an immediate transformation in his attitude, as he had become lazier still. •

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“Fitzy (Mick Fitzgerald) schooled him one day and he was lack lustre so we put the blinkers on and he was a different animal and bolted, jumping from outside the wings of the fences. I suppose the blinkers gave him a badge of courage.” However, as a new recruit to Ditcheat, See More Business went hurdling in his first few months, winning all three starts over timber, culminating in a Grade 2 success at Sandown Park in December 1995, ridden on all three occasions by AP McCoy, in his first season as a professional jockey. Unfortunately the horse picked up a tiny leg injury and did not race again that season, with his trainer content to give this exciting prospect plenty of time to recover and strengthen up further. By November 1996 See More Business was ready to make his novice chase debut at Chepstow and impressed as he landed the Grade 2 Rising Stars Novices’ Chase by 8 lengths from the useful Wee Windy. The following month, he made the first of two visits to Ireland, which yielded two second place efforts behind the former Stayers’ Hurdle winner Dorans Pride.

“We got beat twice by Dorans Pride and I remember he was very novicey in his jumping on both occasions,” Nicholls says. Even so, Dorans Pride was a top class horse and went on to finish third in that season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup as a novice, so the form was very good. See More Business however, had his season truncated for the second successive time, after falling in the Racing Post Chase, his first foray into handicap company against seasoned campaigners. “We were intending to run him in the RSA Chase afterwards, but he jumped deplorably and eventually fell in a schooling session at Wincanton just before Cheltenham and we decided to finish him for the season. “He returned to action in the Edward Hanmer Memorial Chase at Haydock Park the following November and ran third to Suny Bay, but what we had really wanted that day was a clear round and a confidence-booster.” Suny Bay went on to frank the form by winning the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury shortly afterwards, but he would not get things his own way on his next encounter with See More Business. The Paul Nicholls 7 year old came out of the Haydock Park race well and in early December had another confidence-boosting run in the Rehearsal Chase at Chepstow, where, carrying top weight, he beat the useful Indian Tracker by 4 lengths. “We knew he needed the Haydock Park run and we were aware that he needed plenty of experience. It was just that he wasn’t the biggest in the world. “We always thought that three miles at Kempton Park would suit him, despite his previous experience there,” says Nicholls, and consequently See More Business was set to line-up in a very high-class renewal of the King George VI Chase in December 1997.

We always thought that three miles at Kempton Park would suit him, despite his previous experience there – PAUL NICHOLLS

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MEMORY LANE 32 RED WINTER FESTIVAL “On the day, Timmy (Murphy) was banned and we felt travelling well. that Andrew Thornton with his long legs, might suit him in See More Business stuck his head in front on the home the King George. We knew there was lots of improvement to bend with Suny Bay to his inside, while Challenger Du Luc come and I always felt he was a true stayer.” and AP McCoy continued to stalk the leaders and One Man Even by normal King George standards, this was a fought his way back into contention. formidable field, with dual winner One Man seeking a hatSuny Bay was soon under pressure and One Man emerged trick of wins in the race, Grand National winner and Gold as a major threat three fences from home, jumping alongside Cup runner-up Rough Quest, Hennessy winner Suny Bay, See More Business, as Challenger Du Luc crept ever closer Mackeson Gold Cup winner Challenger Du Luc, Gold and the long-time leader faded. Cup runner-up and former winner Barton Bank and Senor See More Business landed narrowly in front at the second El Betrutti, who had won two major handicap chases at last, with One Man to his inner and Challenger Du Luc Cheltenham that autumn. almost upsides now on the outside, while further back, Rough The greys Senor El Betrutti and Suny Bay cut out the Quest was staying on. early running from Barton Bank, with the latter two taking One Man’s resolve finally cracked heading to the final command as the field entered fence, but See More Business the home straight on the first looked to have plenty on circuit. his plate as McCoy and Rough Quest and Challenger Du Luc loomed See More Business in the large and apparently full meantime, were patiently of running, whilst Andrew ridden towards the back of the Thornton was considerably field in testing conditions. more animated. Barton Bank took the However, as racing fans fence in front of the stands to would learn over the years, See a great roar from the Festival More Business was lion-like crowd, with Suny Bay and See when faced with a fight and he More Business taking closer battled hard on the flat, finding – PAUL NICHOLLS order and then the grey One extra reserves of energy and Man, with a circuit to race and resolve to win a famous King all still to play for. George as his rival floundered Racing down the back, and found very little. the field became bunched and At the line See More at the water jump on the far side, See More Business was Business won his first King George by two lengths from close to the lead as four horses took off almost in unison, with Challenger Du Luc, with a plethora of jumping stars well in Barton Bank, Suny Bay and the French horse Djeddah just arrears. The young protégé had now arrived into the big time. ahead of the young pretender. “He was held up and outstayed them and we got it right. With seven to jump, the pace appeared to quicken a little, Although See More Indians had won the Feltham, this was with Barton Bank and Suny Bay still to the fore and Andrew our first really big one. I am sure we ended up at Paul Barber’s Thornton poised in behind on See More Business, although that evening and had a party,” Nicholls recalls. one or two of his jumps had still seemed a little novicey. One As is always the case each Christmas, victory in the King Man also still travelled well and Challenger Du Luc was George projected See More Business into the Cheltenham starting to close on the leaders. Gold Cup picture and just a month later he rubber-stamped Five out and the pace and testing ground began to take his credentials with an impressive turn of foot as he won the their toll, as One Man belted the fence and lost valuable Pillar Property Investments Chase over the Gold Cup course. ground and momentum, with a jolting mistake. At the next “The Pillar got him right and we knew then that he got fence it was Barton Bank’s turn to part the birch, which left the Gold Cup trip. However, he then got carried out in the Suny Bay in front and See More Business almost upsides and Gold Cup,” says Nicholls.

He was held up and outstayed them and we got it right. Although See More Indians had won the Feltham, this was our first really big one.

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32 RED WINTER FESTIVAL MEMORY LANE That bitter disappointment was keenly felt by trainer, jockey and an expectant crowd, for the freak nature of what happened as Cyborgo was pulled up and carried See More Business and Indian Tracker out of the race, denied the race one of its leading lights. He once again returned to action at Haydock Park in November – and again met Suny bay at the peak of his powers, finishing fourth on his comeback. Then in early December he encountered good ground and got back to winning ways with his second victory in the Rehearsal Chase at Chepstow, beating Dom Samourai by 1 ¼ lengths. From there he headed back to Kempton Park, bidding to win back to back King Georges. However, it was not to be, as the progressive and distinctive grey Teeton Mill galloped his rivals into the ground. See More Business was out of sorts on the day and eventually pulled up in atrocious stormy conditions and soft ground. “I think it was a combination of the ground and getting lazy that contributed to his performance that day,” Nicholls says. After running third to the young chaser Cyphor Malta in the Pillar Property Chase, the ground came right for See More Business at Cheltenham in March and furthermore, he was to don the blinkers that would make all the difference. To many, See More Business had become something of a forgotten horse as a new cast of fashionable chasers had captured the imagination that winter, led of course by Teeton Mill and the Irish superstar Florida Pearl. Suny Bay and Dorans Pride were there again, along with another promising Paul Nicholls contender in Double Thriller. Senor El Betrutti and Dorans Pride took the field along through the first circuit, but racing down hill for the first time, the grey had faded and the Irish raider was joined by Double Thriller, while See More Business and Mick FitzGerald were handily placed to the outside in third. There was drama as further back, Teeton Mill sadly suffered a tendon injury and was pulled up and never raced again. Racing down the back for the final time, Dorans Pride and Double Thriller led from Simply Dashing to the outside, while See More Business was hunted along behind these. At the top of the hill for the final time, Double Thriller led and had seen off Dorans Pride, but outsider Go Ballistic now arrived on the scene, looking a big threat, while See More Business continued to race just off the pace. Go Ballistic went into the lead racing downhill, with Double Thriller now under pressure and See More Business staying on, while further back, Florida Pearl was starting to creep closer.

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Three out and Go Ballistic was clear, but rounding the home turn, FitzGerald rousted See More Business along and he began to respond, sticking his little head down gamely. Florida Pearl was still there, but his reserves were about to run to empty. At the second last fence, Go Ballistic landed narrowly in front of See More Business, with the pair racing wide apart, but on the flat and racing to the last, the latter began to close. Both horses were tiring and under pressure racing to the last and neither jumped the fence tidily, but they landed together and set off for an epic climb to the finish. Both horses, honest to the end, gave their all, not an inch of concession, but it was See More Business, so unlucky twelve months earlier, who edged into the decisive lead in the final 50 yards for a famous victory by a length. It was the meeting to end all meetings for Nicholls, who three days earlier had never trained a Cheltenham Festival winner. By the end of the week he had trained Flagship Uberalles to win the Arkle Chase, Call Equiname to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase and then See More Business to land the Blue Riband Cheltenham Gold Cup. See More Business had confounded his critics and Nicholls had retained his faith in the horse and been fully vindicated, as the better ground and blinkers had made the world of difference. The blinkers would stay on the following season and See More Business put up a sparkling performance to win first time out in October in the Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby, beating Simply Dashing by five lengths. He then headed back to Kempton Park for the King George and a run that Paul Nicholls describes as probably his very best.

He was very good at Kempton Park in the 1999 King George. He achieved a rating of 177 and that was his highest-ever rating, although he ran between 177 and 174 for the next 18 months. – PAUL NICHOLLS

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See More Business, Call Equiname, Flagship Uberalles painting

He pulverised Go Ballistic by 17 lengths on that occasion to regain his King George title, before the racecourse was evacuated thanks to a bomb scare. “He was very good at Kempton Park in the 1999 King George,” Nicholls reflects. “He achieved a rating of 177 and that was his highest-ever rating, although he ran between 177 and 174 for the next 18 months.” See More Business was never forgotten again by the racing public. He transcended the sport to become one of those racehorses taken to the public’s heart, remembered for his big triumphs and longevity. He never won another King George or Gold Cup, but as a veteran, ran a truly remarkable race in the 2002 Cheltenham feature, finishing 9 ¾ lengths third of 18 to racing’s newest jumping superstar, Best Mate. See More Business won another seven races after that 1999 King George, raising the roof with his final victory in the Listed Country Gentlemen’s Association Chase at Wincanton in February 2003. By that time, See More Business was two months short of his thirteenth birthday and retirement beckoned. His final start came in the Rehearsal Chase at Chepstow, in December 2003, when he ran fourth to Sir Rembrandt. In all, See More Business won 18 of his 36 races and over course-specialist.co.uk

£700,000 in win and place prize money. He passed away peacefully in his field at the age of 24 in 2014. Paul Nicholls has enjoyed unprecedented levels of success in the sport since See More Business. Horses like Azertyiuop, Kauto Star, Denman, Big Buck’s, Twist Magic, Master Minded, Neptune Collonges and Silviniaco Conti turned Ditcheat into the most successful stable in the country. And at the heart of that success has been a remarkable run of victories in the King George VI Chase. “It is an awesome race, one of my favourites and the midwinter Gold Cup. I have won nine now and need to get that magical tenth! “See More Business got things rolling in the race, with Kauto Star and Silviniaco Conti following on, but you treat them all as individuals. Looking back on See More Business’s preparations for the race, there wasn’t the Betfair Chase back then at Haydock Park, while the Rehearsal Chase was run at Chepstow but isn’t any more. There were a different set of races back then. “See More Business played a massive part in my early career,” he affirms. You can find out more about Paul Nicholls’ career and the latest news from Ditcheat by visiting www.paulnichollsracing.com •

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ndoubtedly the King George VI Chase, run at Kempton Park on Boxing Day, has become the Crown Jewel in British Steeplechasing’s first half of the season. The race provides more than a touch of class and has been won by young up and coming chasers, two mile experts stepping up in trip and future Gold Cup winners and defending champions alike. The focal point of Christmas for any racing fan, the race has been won by racing’s glitterati and the race’s distance and the Kempton Park racetrack, bring together stars from different distances, in a way that the slightly further Cheltenham Gold Cup cannot do. The race had a relatively low key beginning in 1937, when it was won by 12 year old Southern Hero. After Airgead Seos had won the following year, war broke out and the race did not return until 1947, when the Fulke Walwyn trained Rowland Roy won. A year later Cottage Rake, one of the finest Gold Cup winners of all time, won for the magician that was Dr Vincent O’Brien. Throughout the 1950s the race gathered momentum with stars like Halloween (twice) and Galloway Braes winnign the race, before Mandarin also won two King Georges. The great Mill House followed up his Gold Cup and Hennessy Gold Cup wins with a King George in 1963, before the peerless Arkle claimed the 1965 prize. Sadly the following year saw Arkle’s career-ending injury. The 1970s brought two victories for the spectacular Pendil – still one of the finest chasers never to win a Gold Cup, while the brilliant Captain Christy won in 1974 and 1975, adding to a Gold Cup win. The decade ended with the emergence of a major stable, as first Gay Spartan and then Silver Buck won in 1978 and 1979. Silver Buck would follow up the next year too, in a thrilling race which saw him outstay the headstrong mare Anaglogs Daughter, following the capitulation of Night Nurse as he made his challenge. Silver Buck would go on to claim a famous Gold Cup victory in 1982. By 1982, denied his opportunity of a treble the previous year due to frost, Silver Buck – by now in the veteran stage, was beaten by his youthful stable companion Wayward Lad, who beat Mackeson winner Fifty Dollars More in an exciting finish. It was the first of three memorable victories in the race for one of jump racing’s most popular stars, with Gold Cup winner Burrough Hill Lad breaking up the sequence of wins in 1984 by inches, against Comb’s Ditch. •

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It was hard to believe Wayward Lad’s exploits could be matched but within the space of a year racing had a new super star as the near white two mile chaser Desert Orchid confounded the doubters to jump his rivals silly in 1986. Although the unconsidered French horse Nupsala won the following year, Dessie dominated Kempton Park’s showpiece chase, winning in 1988, 1989 and emotionally in 1990, beating the likes of Charter Party, Barnbrook Again, The Fellow and Norton’s Coin. The Fellow, himself a Gold Cup winner, won the King George twice for French trainer Francois Doumen, who won again in 1994 with Algan.

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Memories of Desert Orchid flooded back with the emergence of the exciting grey One Man in 1995, although his first King George actually took place in January 1996 after the weather had claimed the Boxing Day fixture. Gordon Richard’s “rubber ball” duly followed up in December 1996, beating future Gold Cup winner Mr Mulligan and Grand National winner Rough Quest. The following year another Gold Cup winner See More Business had his major breakthrough at Kempton and would win again in 1999. Before then, Teeton Mill had annihilated the field in 1998, having won the Hennessy Gold Cup beforehand and the former hunter chaser looked destined for the top. Florida Pearl was an emotional winner in 2001, beating future superstar and triple Gold Cup winner Best mate, who would himself win the next year. Kicking King then won a brace of King George VI Chases, sandwiched with a Gold Cup victory, before injury ruined his career. His wins though, paved the way for racing’s next super star: Kauto Star. Kauto Star had been winning two mile races before stepping up in trip to land the 2006 Betfair Chase over three miles at Haydock. Astonishingly, given the status of the race and the quality of the competitors, Kauto Star went on to win five King Georges, memorably gaining revenge on the 2010 winner (and Gold Cup winner) Long Run in 2011. Long Run himself went on to win a second King George in 2012. In 2013 there was a changing of the guard and it was the Paul Nicholls trained Silviniaco Conti who got the better of Cue Card in a dramatic end to the race. •

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BIG RACE HISTORY 32 RED WINTER FESTIVAL Silviniaco Conti once again proved the Christmas King in 2014 with perhaps his most impressive performance to date, comfortably beating Dynaste to continue Paul Nicholls’ remarkable record in the race. However, there was a new, if very familiar name added to the roll of honour in 2015, as the popular chaser Cue Card battled his way to victory. Silviniaco Conti was back again but was never a real factor as the pace intensified, with the exciting young pretender from Ireland, Vautour, looking a danger to all. Vautour took the field into the home straight, with Cue Card and Don Cossack closing. However, two fences from home, Don Cossack jumped low, hit the fence and came down, leaving a battle between Vautour and Cue Card. The younger horse landed in front at the last but slightly knuckled on landing, while momentum brought the 9 year

old Cue Card level with him on the flat. Under a fine ride from Paddy Brennan, Cue Card brought news levels of noise from an appreciative crowd to get up right on the line. Back in third place came the gallant grey Al Ferof, third for the third consecutive year. A measure of the quality of this King George was that Don Cossack went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March, with Cue Card looking a major threat until falling three fences from home. Vautour was also a Cheltenham Festival winner, landing the Ryan Air Chase. Whilst the Cheltenham Gold Cup requires guts, class and stamina, a King George winner typically needs good racing speed too. The two races put different demands on a horse and are run on completely contrasting courses, so the fact that so many horses have won both races, suggests that the two races really do define a champion.

KING GEORGE VI CHASE PAST WINNERS 1937 Southern Hero 1938 Airgead Sios 1939–46 no race 1947 Rowland Roy 1948 Cottage Rake 1949 Finnure 1950 Manicou 1951 Statecraft 1952 Halloween 1953 Galloway Braes 1954 Halloween 1955 Limber Hill 1956 Rose Park 1957 Mandarin 1958 Lochroe 1959 Mandarin 1960 Saffron Tartan 1961–62 no race 1963 Mill House 1964 Frenchman’s Cove 1965 Arkle 1966 Dormant 1967–68 no race 1969 Titus Oates

1970 no race 1971 The Dikler 1972 Pendil 1973 Pendil 1974 Captain Christy 1975 Captain Christy 1976 Royal Marshall II 1977 Bachelor’s Hall 1978 Gay Spartan 1979 Silver Buck 1980 Silver Buck 1981 no race 1982 Wayward Lad 1983 Wayward Lad 1984 Burrough Hill Lad 1985 Wayward Lad 1986 Desert Orchid 1987 Nupsala 1988 Desert Orchid 1989 Desert Orchid 1990 Desert Orchid 1991 The Fellow 1992 The Fellow 1993 Barton Bank course-specialist.co.uk

1994 Algan 1995 One Man 1996 One Man 1997 See More Business 1998 Teeton Mill 1999 See More Business 2000 First Gold 2001 Florida Pearl 2002 Best Mate 2003 Edredon Bleu 2004 Kicking King 2005 Kicking King 2006 Kauto Star 2007 Kauto Star 2008 Kauto Star 2009 Kauto Star 2010 Long Run 2011 Kauto Star 2012 Long Run 2013 Silviniaco Conti 2014 Silviniaco Conti 2015 Cue Card

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Memory Lane LUKE HARVEY REFLECTS ON THE UPS AND DOWNS OF A JOCKEY’S LIFE

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Air Broker really helped to get me going again after a tough spell; I had lost my claim and then got injured and like many jockeys, my riding deteriorated and my career hit a low. Then Air Broker came along. – LUKE HARVEY

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his Christmas sees the 25th anniversary of Cool Ground’s victory in the Coral Welsh National, a race that signposted a coming force in National Hunt racing who would win a Cheltenham Gold Cup, whilst providing jockey Luke Harvey with an undoubted career high in the saddle. Luke is best-known these days for his television and radio work which does so much to attract interest in racing, particularly through his exploits with former Flat jockey Jason Weaver on the ‘Get In’ Show on Attheraces. But away from the screen, Luke is very proud of the hard working career he enjoyed as a jockey, that significantly helped to define the man today. All jockeys have to face up to the all too imminent risks to their health and in Luke’s case, there was a shocking catalogue of injuries, often as a result of his hard-working and willing “can-do” attitude, that helped to forge a career but put him on top of some less than safe conveyances. Whilst injuries (in one year he broke his collarbone seven times) were a constant threat, Luke looks back on his career fondly and with pride and says “I never had any regrets whatsoever when I retired. I think that I over-achieved for my ability and I will never have a better time in my life than when I was a young jumps jockey. course-specialist.co.uk

“I was living at Captain Tim Forster’s yard and everything was covered, so I had no mortgage worries of payments to make or pensions to worry about. In those early days I could just focus on riding.” Luke’s career had an exciting start and reached a high point in 1987 when he rode Taberna Lord for trainer Jim Wilson to win the Coral Golden Hurdle Final (now the Pertemps Network Final) at the Cheltenham Festival on the day that Pearlyman beat Very Promising and Desert Orchid in the Queen Mother Champion Chase. But it was a much less heralded triumph that resulted in Luke getting the ride on the future Gold Cup winner Cool Ground. “After riding out my claim I got the job riding for Reg Akehurst, who trained a horse called Air Broker who was something of a dodgy jumper. One day I said that I would ride him and get him round but the next time he ran he fell again. After that, connections said that they would only run him when I was available to ride and I got him to win and got the job riding for Reg who was based in Epsom in those days,” Luke recalls. In fact, the record books show that dodgy jumper or not, the partnership was solid and Air Broker won four races under Luke. •

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CORAL WELSH NATIONAL MEMORY LANE “Air Broker really helped to get me going again after a tough spell; I had lost my claim and then got injured and like many jockeys, my riding deteriorated and my career hit a low. Then Air Broker came along. “From my youth I always dreamed of becoming Champion Jockey and winning the big races and I have always had a good work ethic and could do 10 stones. From the age of 16 right until I gave up riding, I rode out 6 days a week and got plenty of rides, the trouble was that the calibre of horse meant that I was often riding to survive rather than win and that knocks your confidence.” There were still the occasional good chance rides as trainers remembered Luke’s application and along the way he got to ride the smart Tracy’s Special and Kittinger for Andy Turnell. “You do get to forge friendships and associations whilst claiming and I got to ride out quite a bit for Andy Turnell as well as Captain Forster.” The turning point came when Reg Akehurst grasped the opportunity to move to Whitcombe in Dorset, to purpose-built facilities owned by Peter Bolton – who happened to own a horse called Cool Ground, who had landed the 1989 Kim Muir Challenge Cup at the – LUKE Cheltenham Festival when ridden by Anthony Tory. “The irony was that I was living with Anthony Tory who rode Cool Ground for Richard Mitchell, so I knew of the horse but didn’t for one minute think that I would ever ride him,” Luke recalls. “Then Reg said that he was moving from Epsom to Dorset and wanted me to continue riding for him – and Mr Bolton’s horse became my ride.” The partnership between Luke Harvey and Cool Ground did not get off to the greatest of starts as they were soundly beaten 4 ½ lengths by one of Haydock Park’s finest warriors Twin Oaks in November 1990. Whilst that performance on paper was no mean effort given Twin Oaks’ formidable record at the Lancashire track, there were far greater reasons for optimism over Cool Ground’s run.

“There was a weighing machine at Whitcombe and it transpired that Cool Ground had been very overweight when he ran at Haydock Park. Once that was discovered, we knew that he was going to improve an awful lot,” Luke remembers. The next stop was the Coral Welsh National at Chepstow over the Christmas period. A field of 14 runners assembled, including former RSA Chase winner Envopak Token, the highly-rated Carrick Hill Lad, Gold Cup runner-up Yahoo and the dual winner Bonanza Boy. Cool Ground carried just 10 stones and a pound – but a welter of confidence. “Not being cocky, but we though he was an absolute certainty, he had improved so much,” Luke says. “He was rated just 144 going to Chepstow – and after the Gold Cup triumph he was up to 177 which gives you some idea of how much he improved. He started flying.” Even so Reg Akehurst’s training methods were in contrast to the Captain’s and left Luke feeling he was working on the slowest horse he’d ever ridden: “I only schooled him maybe once before Haydock Park but the training was very different. At the Captain’s things were very regimented and traditional – and the better horses would only ever HARVEY work to the slowest horse’s ability to build confidence. “Reg had a string of Flat horses and would gallop his horses hard. Cool Ground would seem very slow as he would often work with milers on the gallops. However, he was one of the fittest horses I ever rode and I was always going to ride him handy at Chepstow. “My only orders before the race were not to track Boraceva and Jimmy Frost, as this horse was not always the best of jumpers. “So we jumped off in front of the grand stand and rounded the bend before making the long run to the first fence. As we approached I looked up – and right at the tail of Boraceva! Fortunately there were no dramas at the first fence and from then on we never had a moment’s worry. “Reg’s horses were always so fit and he liked them to race prominently and to be kicked into their fences. I’ve always

He was rated just 144 going to Chepstow – and after the Gold Cup triumph he was up to 177 which gives you some idea of how much he improved. He started flying.

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MEMORY LANE CORAL WELSH NATIONAL been of the view that the perfect race ride is to sit third, fourth or fifth and to take it up about two fences out.” And that is pretty much how things panned out for Luke and Cool Ground in the Welsh National, sitting pretty in about fifth place as Carrick Hill Lad and Envopak Token led the runners into the home straight, with Mick’s Star and Cloney Grange dropping away to leave the pair in third place. “On the top bend, turning for home, I was on the inside and travelling well and had to take a pull. If you are on the best horse in a race you have the gears to do that and Cool Ground had a tremendous will to win and a way of jumping which really suited Chepstow. He was so agile over his fences for a big horse,” Luke remembers. At the final ditch the writing was all but on the wall, as Cool Ground smoothly moved through on the inside of Carrick Hill Lad and landed in front before drawing clear. Having popped the last, Cool Ground and Luke were home for all money, with Carrick Hill Lad an honourable second but unable to make any inroads into the commanding advantage, while back in third there was a tremendous tussle as Rowlandsons Jewels just repelled the late surge of Yahoo. The star was rising for both horse and jockey and a fortnight after their Chepstow heroics, they polished off the prestigious Anthony Mildmay, Peter Cazelot Memorial Chase at Sandown Park, defeating the up and coming star Docklands Express who was ironically partnered by Anthony Tory. Luke then suffered another bad fall that broke the ball off the end of his arm and left him with a dislocated shoulder. He missed the winning ride aboard Cool Ground in Wincanton’s Jim Ford Challenge Cup, as Jimmy Frost took the ride to beat Hennessy winner Arctic Call by 3 lengths. It was touch and go whether Luke would be back in time for Cheltenham but his dedication and hard work paid dividends and on Gold Cup Day, he was in the saddle. However, conditions were far from ideal for a horse Luke describes as “Probably one of the slowest horses I rode”. The 1991 Cheltenham Gold Cup took place one good ground but the reality was these were fast conditions. This is a race often understated, but one which with hindsight contained five former or future Gold Cup winners and a Grand National winner to boot. And that venerable grey Desert Orchid was there to set a red hot pace of course. “I was flat to the boards from the word go but he came from a different parish to finish fourth. At one point he course-specialist.co.uk

wasn’t far off a fence behind but his jumping kept him in the contest,” Luke states. Not long afterwards Reg Akehurst moved back to Epsom and Toby Balding took over at Whitcombe, with Cool Ground a terrific inheritance present! Meanwhile, Luke’s career was at a high as he got to ride horses like the Champion Chaser Katabatic, taking turns to ride him with Simon McNeill, who had the good fortune to be the man in situ at Cheltenham and missing the ride when a ban ruled him out of Aintree. Injury also prevented Luke from a reunion with Cool Ground in the 1992 Grand National, but which point the horse had won a famous Cheltenham Gold Cup victory, denying the French challenger The Fellow and old foe Docklands Express, as the hot favourite Carvills Hill had blown out. Even so, Luke’s confidence had received a huge shot by his exploits aboard Cool Ground: “Him winning and me starting to ride winners for Reg was a big boost as the Welsh National is a big race to win. To this day if you watch the all-weather jockeys, they are hugely talented but there remains a stigma until they win a big race. “It helped my career and you weren’t afraid to pick up the phone and call the big trainers. In the downtimes it really makes you appreciate the good times. The Welsh National was in the middle part of my career and really elevated me.” Further big rides followed on horses like Solidasarock who landed the SGB Chase at Ascot – and Country Member, who won the Agfa Diamond Chase (beating Gold Cup runner-up Rushing Wild) and was just beaten a short head at Cheltenham in the Ritz Club National Hunt Chase by Givus A Buck. Blueberry King became another favourite and Rubhahunish, a future Cheltenham and Punchestown winner, forged a fruitful partnership with Luke in his younger days. “The hardest thing for me was mixing riding top horses with bad one to earn a living. When I decided to retire I said on the Friday that I would give up after my last ride on the Saturday and I remember approaching the final hurdle in that race and thinking: “Christ this looks big!” “I do feel really proud as a jockey and it is a job that I would wholly recommend to anyone. It gives you a good work ethic and means you are working with the people mucking out horses and also lords and ladies. You learn about life. “I enjoy what I do nowadays in broadcasting and feel very blessed,” he concludes. •

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he Welsh National has a long and illustrious history as well as several home and calendar dates. The race originally had its home at Ely Racecourse in Cardiff, where the first running was held back in 1895. When Ely Racecourse closed in 1939, World War II intervened and the Welsh National didn’t resume until 1948, when it was relocated to Caerleon. Just a year later, the race was moved to Chepstow and since that time, the Welsh National has thrown up all manner of Gold Cup and Grand National horses. The conditions of the race, its prestige and prize money make it an attractive proposition for the young, up and coming staying chaser and that has played a large role in a terrific role of honour. The Welsh National is open to any horse over 4 years of age and cover roughly 3 miles and 5½ furlongs, which is often covered in the deepest winter ground. That wasn’t always the case however, and up until 1969 the race took place on Easter Tuesday, before being moved to February. However, February can provide adverse weather conditions and the race was moved again, taking place on the Saturday before Christmas, before finally moving to its present timing of the day after Boxing Day in 1981. The legendary jockey and author Dick Francis, rode Chepstow’s first Welsh National winner in the shape of Fighting Line. David Nicholson, later a successful racehorse trainer, rode three successive Welsh National winners in 1959, 1960 and 1961. In 1976, the race was won by Rag Trade, who would of course go on to Aintree glory, defeating Red Rum. Bad weather forced the race’s abandonment the following two years and in 1979, the progressive Peter Scot took the race defeating subsequent Gold Cup winner Master Smudge. The latter horse returned in 1980, along with the Hennessy Gold Cup runner-up Silent Valley, but neither were a match for the John Francome-ridden Narvik. A year later, the race was won by the hugely talented Peaty Sandy, a young horse, absolutely thrown-in at the weights, who would become a standing dish in staying chases for years to come. course-specialist.co.uk

Peaty Sandy was back to defend his crown in 1982, but the handicapper now knew his ability and at the weights, he faced a seemingly impossible task, as a thrilling finish was fought out between Pilot Officer and another 1980s favourite: Corbiere, with the top chaser Captain John also in the field. Jenny Pitman’s chestnut, with the bold white face, would win this en-route to a famous Aintree Grand National victory just 4 months later. Twelve months later, Pitman was back with another young chaser, who would go on to even greater heights. The 1983 renewal looked hugely competitive on paper and had a classy look to it with the likes of Royal Judgement, Corbiere, Lucky Vane and Bonum Omen all competing. With the first two of these heading the weights, Pitman’s other runner came into the race on just 10 stone 6 pounds and a terrific gamble ensued. Little wonder, as the world came to realise the talents of Burrough Hill Lad. John Francome starved himself over the Christmas period to ensure he could do the weight and the horse duly won as he liked. It really was just the starting point for a glittering career, which also saw Burrough Hill Lad add a Cheltenham Gold Cup that season, a Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup and King George VI Chase and one can only wonder what else he might have achieved had he not been blighted by injuries. In 1984, Michael Dickinson, that remarkable young trainer who had absolutely revolutionised British racing, walked away from National Hunt to join forces with Robert Sangster, who had purchased the famous Manton Stables from which Dickinson would train his beautifully bred Flat thoroughbreds. Back in Harewood, Dickinson’s mother Monica took over the yard and inherited a rich stock of talent. Among these was the improving 7 year old Righthand Man, who was sent to Chepstow along with stable mate Planetman. In a quality field that included A Kinsman and Tacroy, Lucky Vane and Peaty Sandy were back for more, while towards the bottom of the weights lurked a future Grand National winner a long way off, in the form of Little Polvier. The race proved a triumph for Monica Dickinson though as Righthand Man continued his progression with a victory over Lucky Vane and Planetman. By March, Righthand Man had improved enough to play a significant role in the finish to the Cheltenham Gold Cup, just losing out to Forgive ‘N Forget. A year later, another progressive young horse took the race as Run and Skip, runner up in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup, proved a ready winner, before playing his part in that famous Gold Cup of 1986, in which he vied for the lead for much of the way with Dawn Run. •

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CORAL WELSH NATIONAL BIG RACE HISTORY Jenny Pitman claimed a third victory in the race the next year as the big, black horse Stearsby was at the height of his powers. The rest of the 1980s belonged to two men, who have dominated National Hunt training during the last decade. In 1987 however, Paul Nicholls was still finding his way along as a jockey, riding for among others, David Barons. That year the stable had a real superstar in the big, white faced chaser Playschool. The horse had finished second in the Sun Alliance Chase to Kildimo but reversed form in the Hennessy Gold Cup and again prevailed in the Welsh National, which also contained two future Grand National winners in Rhyme N’ Reason and Little Polvier. Of course Paul Nicholls would make even more of an impact as a trainer, with his great rival for many years, the now retired Martin Pipe. From 1988, the latter dominated the Welsh National, winning 5 of the next 6 renewals. Bonanza Boy became a hugely popular chaser towards the end of that decade, into the early part of the 1990s. His size, ability and running style all helped to make him a horse to follow when the mud was flying and he was seen to great effect in 1988 and 1989 in the Chepstow race, winning the race under 11 stone and 11 pounds on the second of these occasions. Then in 1990, future Gold Cup winner Cool Ground ran out an impressive winner under Luke Harvey, beating the Gold Cup prospect Carrick Hill lad and Yahoo, the horse that had given Desert Orchid an almighty fright in the previous year’s Gold Cup. Cool Ground’s Gold Cup came in 1992 – and the horse he shocked on that occasion, Carvill’s Hill, added his name to the Chepstow roll of honour in 1991 in perhaps the most memorable renewal of them all. The strapping 9 year old had been Ireland’s hope of a longawaiting Cheltenham Gold Cup winner but had suffered back problems. He generally either won his races or fell and when leading owner Paul Green purchased the horse, he sent him to the prolific Martin Pipe. Intense schooling re-taught the horse how to shape at fences with the result an impressive comeback win in Chepstow’s Rehearsal Chase. What followed in the 1991 Welsh National was truly spectacular, as the horse, shouldering 11 stone 12 pounds, absolutely demolished a classy field containing: Party Politics (conceding a stone and 5 pounds to the subsequent Grand National winner), Aquilifer (a Festival winner in receipt of a stone and 3 pounds), Bonanza Boy (two-time winner of the race, receiving 7 pounds). There was a distance back to the rest of the field, which included prolific winner Zeta’s Lad, Cool Ground – who would win the Gold Cup four months later,

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Mountainous 2016

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Kildimo, Twin Oaks and Esha Ness, who would of course win the 1993 Grand National that was voided. Carvill’s Hill and Peter Scudamore set off in front despite giving 7 pounds and more to the rest of the field and simply went further and further clear. By the home turn for the final time, the rest of the field were strung out like washing and the race was completely sewn up. It was a weight carrying record for the race and Carvill’s Hill was eased down to win by 20 lengths from Party Politics. The 1992 running merely tightened trainer Martin Pipe’s grip on the Welsh National, as Run For Free lead home a quartet of Pond House runners, with Riverside Boy second, Miinehoma third (he would of course prove another Grand National winner) and old Bonanza Boy in fourth. Riverside Boy got his name on the winners’ list in 1993, beating the gallant Fiddlers Pike and Mrs Rosemary Henderson and Cool Ground. Then in 1994, Chepstow was unable to race due to conditions and the Welsh National moved to Newbury where another superstar emerged in the shape of Master Oats. Kim Bailey’s charge was another mud lover and took this race on his way to winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup. However this was another vintage line-up, with Earth Summit – who would eventually win an English, Scottish and Welsh National, in second place ahead of Party Politics. Weather then intervened in 1995 and 1996 and Earth Summit – who had suffered a bad injury and endured a long lay-off, came back into glorious form to take the 1997 Welsh National. Supreme Glory won a classy 2001 renewal, which saw subsequent Grand National winner Bindaree and runner-up What’s Up Boys in the line-up, as well as past Gold Cup winner See More Business and previous winners Jocks Cross and Edmond. •

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In 2003, Bindaree proved his Aintree win was no flash in the pan as he won a memorable race from three horses who would place in Gold Cups: Sir Rembrandt, Hedgehunter and Take The Stand. Hedgehunter of course would also win a Grand National, as would the 2004 Welsh National winner Silver Birch – trained by former riding sensation Paul Nicholls! The Ditcheat team followed up in 2005 too with the feisty mare L’Aventure, before classy Halcon Genelardais beat future Grand National winner Mon Mone in 2006. Alan King’s horse returned in 2007 but finished second to Miko De Beauchene in one of the race’s most emotional results, for winning trainer Robert Alner had recently suffered horrific, life-changing injuries in an accident. A year later Notre Pere became the first Irish trained winner of the race and in 2009, Dream Alliance, a horse who had been close to death, recorded a fairytale win. The Welsh National of 2010 went to one of those typical Jonjo O’Neill/JP McManus improving handicappers. This sentence is correct, but somewhat misleading, as the race took place in January 2011 following a spell of freezing weather – and the horse in question proved rather more than just an improving handicapper given a typically invigorating ride by the great Tony McCoy. For this winner was Synchronised and he went on to record Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in 2012. Eleven months on, it was the turn of Richard Lee’s Le Beau Bai, while 2012 saw the progressive Monbeg Dude take the race in a thrilling finish, just beating Teaforthree, after the race had been rescheduled due to bad weather. In 2013 trainer Richard Lee won his second Welsh National in three years, as Mountainous scaled the heights to win the big race. A year later, there was a terrific scrap as the Venetia Williams trained Emperor’s Choice got the better of Benvolio by just a short head in an exciting race. In December 2015 the race had to be moved due to waterlogging. The race was eventually run in gruelling conditions in January – and produced a sensational outcome. It was Mountainous who prevailed in stamina-sapping ground to give fledgling trainer Kerry Lee, daughter of Richard Lee, a major prize in her first season training. For Mountainous it was a second success in the race. The Coral Welsh National has become an important trial race for staying chasers, usually has a large, competitive field and often contains former winners and placed horses who return year after year. No wonder it has become a popular race for punters and racing enthusiasts alike. course-specialist.co.uk

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WELSH NATIONAL WINNERS SINCE 1976 1976 Rag Trade 1977–78 no race 1979 Peter Scot 1980 Narvik 1981 Peaty Sandy 1982 Corbiere 1983 Burrough Hill Lad 1984 Righthand Man 1985 Run and Skip 1986 Stearsby 1987 Playschool 1988 Bonanza Boy 1989 Bonanza Boy 1990 Cool Ground 1991 Carvill’s Hill 1992 Run for Free 1993 Riverside Boy 1994 Master Oats 1995–96 no race 1997 Earth Summit 1998 Kendal Cavalier 1999 Edmond 2000 Jocks Cross 2001 Supreme Glory 2002 Mini Sensation 2003 Bindaree 2004 Silver Birch 2005 L’Aventure 2006 Halcon Genelardais 2007 Miko de Beauchene 2008 Notre Pere 2009 Dream Alliance 2010 Synchronised 2011 Le Beau Bai 2012 Monbeg Dude 2013 Mountainous 2014 Emperor’s Choice 2015 Mountainous

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FEATURE STEPHEN HILLEN

STEPHEN HILLEN

A prime source for equine talent

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here have been some truly spectacular bloodstock auctions over the past few weeks, but of course the realisation of investment comes on the racetrack and picking one’s way through the minefield of catalogued lots takes time, knowledge, patience, money and skill. Then with a little luck, one may unearth a future star. In recent years, Stephen Hillen has come to the forefront as a tried and tested source for discovering future top class racehorses. His statistics underline that his results are far more than coincidence and he has become a much-respected buyer at the world’s leading auctions and an adviser on all aspects of bloodstock, including mating selections and ownership management. Course Specialist was privileged to catch up with Stephen recently, for an insight into what makes his operation so successful.

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FEATURE STEPHEN HILLEN HOW DID THE RACING BUG FIRST GRIP YOU? My late Father Charlie was a bookmaker and I went racing with him from a young age. TELL ME ABOUT HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED IN RACING AND WHERE YOU CAREER HAS TAKEN YOU SO FAR? I went to Donal Hassett a trainer in Co Clare Ireland from 12 to 18 years old, to work during my school holidays. I got a job as Pupil Assistant to Barry Hills in 1989 and worked for him for four years. Then I was Assistant Trainer to Paul Cole for ten years. WHAT PROMPTED YOUR DECISION TO START UP AS A BLOODSTOCK AGENT IN 2003? Whilst Assistant Trainer to Paul Cole, I did all his yearling inspections at the sales, providing a short list for him to work off. I did this for about eight years and thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the industry. Obviously training was an option, but I wanted to become a bloodstock agent. Although I did not have any clients when I started up, it was a case of now or never at that time! WHAT SERVICES DO YOU PROVIDE? I operate in all aspects from buying mares and foals, to yearlings and horses in training. Also assisting breeders with advice on mating plans etc. For racehorse owners I do provide a service where I oversee and manage their horses in training. TELL ME ABOUT THE BIGGEST SUCCESSES YOU HAVE ENJOYED TO DATE AND THE FAMOUS NAMES YOU HAVE PURCHASED The Grey Gatlby purchased as yearling for €24,000, went on to win the Dante Stakes, Prix du Jockey Club and Irish Champion Stakes. Astaire won the Gimcrack and the Middle Park Stakes. Benbaun won the Prix De L’Abbaye and seven other Group races. Other names of note include Mount Athos, Scottish and Brando, to name a few. DO YOU GO TO THE SALES WITH ORDERS FROM TRAINERS? DO YOU TEND TO WORK ON BEHALF OF THE SAME TRAINERS? Most of the trainers who I buy for are buying on spec, not with a definite order. I do have individual owners who I buy for to order. I buy yearlings for Kevin Ryan, Richard Hughes, Joseph Tuite and also this year Henri Devin.

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ARE YOU PURCHASING WITH YOUR OWN MONEY/ TRAINER/OWNER MONEY OR A MIXTURE OF ALL OF THESE? A mixture of all these. WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING A NETWORK OF “SCOUTS”? I do not use “spotters” at the sales. I like to see most of the horses myself, I make my mind up quite quickly. WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FOR IN A POTENTIAL PURCHASE? BLOODLINES, TEMPERAMENT, CONFORMATION, WALK? All of the above, however most of my yearling purchases are under £50,000 so on this budget I prefer to buy the individual rather than the pedigree.

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HOW MUCH TIME AND WORK DO YOU UNDERTAKE BEFORE VISITING THE SALES AND IS THERE A TRIED AND TESTED FORMULA THAT YOU WORK TO IN IDENTIFYING PROSPECTIVE PURCHASES? For yearling and foal sales I have all the ratings and sales prices entered in my catalogue. For the breeze up sales I spend a lot of time visiting the various consignors to see their horses canter and in work, prior to the sales. DO THE PURCHASES COME HOME WITH YOU INITIALLY? No we do not have any stables or stud. WAS THERE A DIP IN COMPETITION DURING THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS? After the crisis of 2008 there was a huge dip. However I find the market strong at present. Although there are still too many moderate mares being bred, which is a concern. •

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STEPHEN HILLEN FEATURE

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HAS COMPETITION IN THE SALES ARENA INTENSIFIED OF LATE? Very much so. I found it very difficult to buy in Tattersalls Book 2, where I had several horses to buy for around £100,000. DO YOU HAVE A SENSE OF A MORE GLOBALISED MARKET NOW FOR BLOODSTOCK? Absolutely, at the recent Horses in Training sale there were buyers from many different countries. Irish and British racehorses are immensely popular for the USA, Hong Kong and Australia. The weak currency is a big help for those buyers. IS THERE ONE PURCHASE OR HORSE THAT HAS GIVEN YOU MOST SATISFACTION? The first yearling I purchased when starting as an agent was called Clifden, he cost £5,000. I owned him with good friends Adam Kite and Mark Wallace. Mark trained him to win several races including a Group 3. We sold him on for a nice profit, which gave me a kick start on setting up my new venture. course-specialist.co.uk

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WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND GOALS FOR 2017? I hope to remain busy and do well for all my loyal clients. HOW CAN PEOPLE FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR SERVICES AND SUCCESS? www.hillenbloodstock.co.uk •

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NEWS BLOODSTOCK & SALES Vega for €530,000. Emmanuel De Seroux of Narvick International meanwhile went to €680,000 for Pacific Rim from the Wildenstein Dispersal, a Group 2 winner by Singspiel in foal to Zoffany (Lot 1412) who is bound for Northern Farm in Japan.

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BEAUTY PARLOUR TOPS EXTRAORDINARY MARE TRADE AT GOFFS NOVEMBER BREEDING STOCK SALE Beauty Parlour from The Wildenstein Stables Ltd Dispersal (Lot 1431) topped one of the most extraordinary day’s mare trade ever seen at Goffs at the November Breeding Stock Sale today when the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Pouliches winner in foal to Kingman sold for €1.6 million to White Birch Farm who outbid Paul Makin for the Classic mare. Intense demand for the top class breeding stock catalogued right throughout the day resulted in an 89% clearance rate, a 115% increase in turnover, a 98% rise in average price and 30% increase in median over the corresponding session in 2015. The level of trade at the top of the market was clearly illustrated by a steep increase in six figure sales, with 40 mares making €100,000 or more compared with 17 last year. The number of €250,000-plus mares trebled from 7 in 2015 to 21 today. The Wildenstein Stables Ltd Dispersal provided the top five lots of Day 1, with White Birch also accounting for the Stakes placed Galileo mare Amerique (Lot 1428) out of Champion race mare Aquarelliste and in foal to Pivotal for €975,000; the winning Invincible Spirit half-sister to Beauty Parlour named Blue Kimono (Lot 1432) in foal to Australia for €675,000; and the Peintre Celebre Stakes performer Altamira (Lot 1427) who is the dam of four winners including Stakes winner and Group 1 Prix du Moulin runner up Akatea in foal to Lope De

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GODOLPHIN HEADLINE STRONG TRADE AT GOFFS HIT AUTUMN SALE A solid day’s trade meant a strong finish for the two day Goffs UK Autumn Sale as today’s Horses-inTraining Session produced significant increases on the corresponding session last year. Godolphin’s draft of 32 horses produced the sale’s top lot with their four-year-old Wolfcatcher (Lot 307) selling to Ian Williams for £78,000 while Friarstown Stables’ last start winning twoyear-old Catch A Wave (Lot 281) was knocked down to Debbie Mountian for £70,000. This year’s £300,000 Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes winner Stormy Clouds (Lot 270B) made £60,000 to the bid of Howson & Houldsworth Bloodstock and Loughanmore Farms Ballyhome (Lot 349) shared that price when selling to A&K Plastics. 2016 AUTUMN HIT & YEARLING SALE FIGURES • Offered: 313 • Sold: 237 (76%) • Turnover: £2,151,100 (+58%) • Average: £9,076 (+26%) • Median: £5,000 (+25%) •

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BLOODSTOCK & SALES NEWS

GRADE 1 QUALITY AT THE GOFFS DECEMBER NH SALE Goffs has catalogued a Grade 1 selection of National Hunt foals, yearlings, older horses and breeding stock for the two day December NH Sale on 7 & 8 December 2016. The 564-lot catalogue is available online at www.goffs.com and from Goffs on 045 886600. Commenting on the publication of the catalogue, Goffs Chief Executive Henry Beeby said: “It is no exaggeration to say that the December National Hunt Sale catalogue this year is the strongest for this sale in recent times. Our National Hunt agents Gerry Hogan, Peter Molony, Jim Rossiter, Ros Easom and Kevin Ross have worked closely with Irish National Hunt breeders to select a superb catalogue with a consistently high level of quality throughout. The December National Hunt Sale looks set to be a fitting finale to Goffs’ 150th anniversary year”. Among the many standout lots is Lot 534, dual Grade 1 winner Petite Parisienne in foal to Shantou.

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DARLEY ANNOUNCES FEES FOR ITS 2017 ROSTER With 25 Group 1 victories around the world in 2016, Darley’s European stallions have enjoyed a hugely successful year. The current roster sired no fewer than 103 Group winners in 13 countries in the latest season, excelling over distances from five furlongs to two and a half miles. course-specialist.co.uk

Darley will stand nine new stallions in Europe in 2017, headed by Champion two-year-old and Group 1 Lockinge Stakes victor Belardo, who will stand for €15,000 at Kildangan Stud, and Group 1 Prix Jean Prat winner Territories, standing at £12,000 at Dalham Hall Stud. Two exceptional winners of the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes also join Darley. Charming Thought, triumphant in the 2014 renewal of the famed stallion making race, will stand at Dalham Hall Stud for £8,000. The beautifully-bred son of Oasis Dream defeated subsequent Champion sprinter Muhaarar to record a brilliant win at Newmarket. The Last Lion, who captured this year’s contest with a stunning all-the-way victory over Blue Point, will stand at Kildangan Stud for €12,000. Three new stallions have already been announced for the Darley CLUB in 2017 and Bow Creek, Buratino and Toormore are already proving very popular with breeders. Joining Darley’s shuttle stallions in 2017 is Australia’s Champion three-year-old of 2015-16, the record-breaking sprinter Exosphere. The Group 1-winning son of Lonhro broke records over both six and seven furlongs and was higher rated than fellow reverse shuttlers Redoute’s Choice, Choisir and Darley’s own Exceed And Excel at three. Exosphere will stand at Haras du Logis for €6,000. Fast Company, sire of this year’s Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Jet Setting from his second crop as well as the Group 1 miler Devonshire and Group 2 Royal Ascot winner Baitha Alga from his first, will stand at Kildangan Stud for €7,000. Reverse shuttlers Sepoy, standing for £15,000, and Helmet, at £10,000, have both got off to a flying start at stud, both siring G1 two-year-olds including Helmet’s stunning Group 1 Criterium International winner Thunder Snow; they both return to Dalham Hall Stud, while Helmet’s close relative Epaulette, whose first yearlings have averaged over six times their conception fee this autumn, will again stand at Kildangan Stud at €7,000. The established stars of the European roster are headed by Dubawi, who will stand for £250,000 at Dalham Hall Stud. The highlight of his season was the dominance of Postponed in the midsummer middle-distance Championship races, his three •

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NEWS BLOODSTOCK & SALES Group 1 triumphs including the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes. Dubawi’s undefeated two-year-old daughter Wuheida flew the flag for her outstanding sire by landing the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc day. Exceed And Excel, who has enjoyed another exceptional season with his juveniles headed by the record-breaking Yalta, will stand for €50,000 at Kildangan Stud. Teofilo, whose ten Group 1 performers this year include Prix du Cadran victor Quest For More and 2,000 Guineas runner-up Massaat, will stand alongside him for €40,000. Iffraaj, sire of the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois winner Ribchester – the season’s highest rated miler – will stand for £27,500 at Dalham Hall Stud.

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AYDOUN FETCHES TOP PRICE AT €200,000 AT GOFFS HIT SALE A top price of €200,000, clearance rate of 90% and rises of 144% and 19% in turnover and average respectively were recorded at a strong renewal of Goffs Horses In Training Sale. Top billing went to the winner Aydoun from the Aga Khan Studs (Lot 89 - pictured). The son of Mastercraftsman out of a sister to Alamshar is a half-brother to three Group performers. The three year old was purchased by Bill Dwan for €200,000. Ebediyin from the Aga Khan Studs draft (Lot 97) was another to make six figures, with Michael

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Donohoe of BBA Ireland securing the dual winning Raven’s Pass colt out of Champion filly Ebadiyla for €150,000 on behalf of Zhang Yuesheng. Fox Covert Stables’ two year old Kodiac colt Grand Coalition (Lot 38), a winner this year and placed in the Listed Ripon Champion 2yo Trophy, fetched €75,000 selling to Galway Bay Bloodstock, while Harold Kirk and Willie Mullins purchased another highlight of the Aga Khan Studs’ consignment when going to €65,000 for Sayar (Lot 64), a three year old colt by Azamour out of a sister to Champion miler and four time Group 1 winner Sendawar.

SHARE IN CLASSIC SIRE LE HAVRE SOLD FOR €400,000 ON ARQANAONLINE.COM Hesmonds Stud was the buyer of the very first stallion share to be offered on the innovative platform Arqanaonline.com back in November 2015, a share in Siyouni for €355,000, and returned to the well to secure the final share in Wootton Bassett for €120,000. Nurlan Bizakov’s East Sussex farm was back in action today and had the final word for the share in Classic sire LE HAVRE at €400,000. Over 20 breeders had registered for the rare opportunity to step into a stallion whose limits are still unknown: his first three crops to race, produced off a €5,000 fee, have lifted 17 black type winners including the dual classic victrix AVENIR CERTAIN and LA CRESSIONNIÈRE. The latter is still unbeaten in 8 starts and set to stay in training next year. Le Havre is also the side of Group winners/ performers SUÉDOIS, ZGHORTA DANCE, AUVRAY, QUEEN BEE, CRISOLLES etc.

Image supplied by Arqana © La Cauviniere •

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BLOODSTOCK & SALES NEWS

FIREWORKS AT CHELTENHAM NOVEMBER SALE AS POLI ROI SELLS FOR £300,000 Demand at the Cheltenham November Sale was fierce from the outset and throughout producing a top price of £300,000 and turnover in excess in two million pounds. There was also a considerable rise in the aggregate of 16% to the final total of £2,042,000. The median and average also experienced rises of 2% and 4% respectively. It was a case of fireworks and frantic bidding in the vibrant Cheltenham Sales arena as Poli Roi (Lot 32), the impressive ten length winner of the fouryear-old Maiden at Rockfield was sold for £300,000. Offered by Ballyboy Stables for owner Alan Harte, the son of Poliglote was the subject of a bidding duel between Bryan Drew and the eventual purchaser combination of Mags O’Toole and Gordon Elliott. Denis Murphy’s Ballyboy Stables also offered the second highest price of the sale with the highly regarded relation of Champion Chaser FINIANS RAINBOW in Finian’s Oscar (Lot 21). As a result of his stunning performance to win the four-yearold Maiden at Portrush, the combination of Tom Malone and Colin Tizzard in the company of Alan Potts outbid Bryan Drew and secured Edelle Logan’s outstanding model by top sire Oscar. Colin Tizzard also secured Warren Ewing’s Storm Home (Lot 39). The son of King’s Theatre, sire of Tizzard’s multiple Grade 1 winning CUE CARD was knocked down to the Dorset handler for £130,000. Demon D’Anou (Lot 30) offered by French based Haras des Rouges Terres was placed twice in France before visiting the sales arena. Frank Berry, in the company of JP and Kieran McManus signed for the son of the Martaline. This Lot offered bidders an opportunity to secure solid French Form by a recognised sire and the combination of the two captured the imagination of the bidders.

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Image supplied by Tattersalls Ireland Ascot Image supplied by Tattersalls Ireland

SIGNIFICANT GROWTH AT TATTERSALLS IRELAND ASCOT NOVEMBER SALE A top price of £40,000 and increases in the aggregate by 53%, the median by 44% and the average by 8% further complimented by an increased clearance rate of 67% was achieved at the Ascot November Sale earlier today. Top honours went to Lot 91, the Kremlin Cottage Stables (Hugo Palmer) consigned Ettihadi. The son of Rip Van Winkle, lightly raced and placed this season, was bought by top National Hunt trainer Tim Vaughan and Select Racing Bloodstock for £40,000. The eye-catching offering of Rightdownthemiddle, a three-time winning Oscar from Oristown House Stables (Lot 137) caught the attention of agent Tom Malone and trainer Gordon Elliott and they purchased the gelding for £35,000. •

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NEWS BLOODSTOCK & SALES Leading purchaser of the sale, Tally-Ho Stud whose purchases totalled six at an average of €14,450 and an aggregate of €86,700, secured Lot 127 as their top lot of the day. Tony O’Callaghan signed for an Elzaam filly who is out of winning dam Ladytown and consigned by Ladytown House Stud for €22,000.

SADDLER MAKER GELDING TOPS OPENING DAY OF TATTERSALLS IRELAND NOVEMBER NH SALE

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POSITIVE START TO THE FLAT FOAL AND BREEDING STOCK SALE AT TATTERSALLS IRELAND The new Flat Foal and Breeding Stock Sale at Tattersalls Ireland got off to a positive start with the highest priced lot of the day selling for €78,000. The aggregate ended on €726,400, while the median and average concluded on €4,400 and €8,071 respectively. Derrinstown Stud on behalf of Shadwell consigned the top price of the sale, Lot 147 Alsalwa. The two-time winning mare, closely related to Bossy Guest and Liberating, was offered with an enviable covering to Exceed And Excel and was bought by Yeomanstown Stud’s Gay O’Callaghan for €78,000. Derrinstown Stud mares continued to prove popular throughout the day. Atlantic Bloodstock secured Lot 180, Naizah; a half-sister to MUNADDAM covered by Raven’s Pass for €30,000. In total, Derrinstown Stud sold 7 mares at an aggregate of €149,000 and an average of €21,286. A colt by First Season Sire Heeraat from Mickley Stud topped the foal section of the Flat Foal and Breeding Stock Sale. Lot 129, a March born son of Lexington Rose was bought by UK motor dealer Peter Hughes who plans to retain and race the colt as a two-year-old. Heeraat himself was a Group winning sprinter for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum and today saw the first offering of his produce.

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The November National Hunt Sale opened with a Saddler Maker gelding topping trade, selling for €54,000. The aggregate on day one resulted in €1,257,100, with the median at €7,750 and the average at €11,428. Saddler Maker provided the top lot of €255,000 at the most recent record breaking Derby Sale and the trend continued on the opening day of the November National Hunt Sale. Consigned by Stephen Kemble Bloodstock, regular Derby Sale vendor Dick Frisby struck for the gelding that is already named Luck Of Starlett and secured Lot 182 for €54,000.

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The next two top lots were purchased for €50,000 apiece. The first lot fetching €50,000 was notably a collector’s item; the first produce of the magnificent 16time winning mare QUEVEGA, the Irish National Stud consigned daughter of Beat Hollow was knocked down to Keatingstown Bloodstock (Lot 110). •

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BLOODSTOCK & SALES NEWS

STRONG DEMAND FOR FOALS AT TATTERSALLS IRELAND NOVEMBER NATIONAL HUNT SALE Day one of foal trade at the Tattersalls Ireland November National Hunt Sale saw strong demand for quality foals throughout the day. At the end of sale on Monday 7 November, the aggregate resulted in €1,872,000 while the median and average both showed increases of 11% to €10,000 and 6% to €12,235 respectively. Headlining the day was the son of the popular sire Flemensfirth. Gearoid Costello acting on behalf of owner Carl Hinchy bought the in demand colt, who is closely related to Monkey Kingdom, owned by Hinchy and trained by Costello’s partner Rebecca Curtis. Consigned by Mr Thomas Horgan and out of the mare Sleepless Eye, Lot 334 was knocked down for €58,000.

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Demand for Flemenfirth’s progeny continued throughout the day where he also took second top spot on the leading lots table. Exactly 99 slots later, Lot 433 entered the ring under the Ballincurrig House Stud banner and was quickly knocked down to agent Aiden Murphy. A regular leading purchaser at Tattersalls Ireland, Murphy bid to €55,000 to secure the colt who is from the family of Diamond King. Murphy is familiar with this pedigree; in 2011 he purchased the Cheltenham Festival winner at the Derby Sale for €95,000. course-specialist.co.uk

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SON OF KAYF TARA TOPS DAY TWO FOAL SESSION AT THE TATTERSALLS IRELAND NOVEMBER NH SALE Colts by the leading British-based stallion; Kayf Tara, sire of the World Hurdle winner, exciting Novice Chaser and November National Hunt Sale graduate THISTLECRACK, took the top and third-best prices of Tuesday’s session. Both colts are out of talented race mares and bloodstock agent Aiden Murphy gave €65,000 for the third foal out of the Definite Article mare WHOOPS A DAISY (Lot 644), winner of five races including a Listed Mares’ Hurdle. “He is by a top sire, out of a good racemare, he ticks all the boxes,” said Murphy of the Goldford Stud consigned colt, adding: “He is coming back to my farm near to Stratford-Upon-Avon.” Pinhooker Dick Frisby spent €58,000 on an April born colt out of the Moscow Society mare, OLIGARCH SOCIETY. She is a Listed winner, Grade 3 placed and a half-sister to the Grade 1 winning chasers WRATH OF TITANS, winner of the Kerry National and the Irish Grand National winner THUNDER AND ROSES (Lot 605). The Kayf Tara pair were separated by a son of Shantou (Lot 731), who sold for €60,000 and was bought by regular November Sale purchaser Ben Case. From the Grade 1 winning family of THISTHATANDOTHER, CARLINGFORD LOUGH and THE TOTHER ONE, he was offered by Kenilworth House Stud. •

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EXCELLENT TRADE ON DAY FIVE OF THE TATTERSALLS IRELAND NOVEMBER NH SALE

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COLT FOALS BY ROBIN DES CHAMPS AND MARTALINE HEADLINE DAY 4 OF THE TATTERSALLS IRELAND NOVEMBER NH SALE Ian Ferguson bought the session topper by Rathbarry & Glenview Stud’s Robin Des Champs (Lot 889) for €70,000 from the Hillview Stud draft. Ferguson has bought 14 horses so far this week..” Bidding for Lot 997, a colt by Martaline, became a battle of the Murphys - Michael Murphy from Longways Stables versus bloodstock agent Aiden Murphy. Both buyers were taking instructions on the telephone. The two went head to head from the €40,000 mark, but it was Michael Murphy who succeeded at €65,000 Colts by Flemensfirth filled the next two places on the price list - Aiden Murphy giving €62,000 for Hollywood Samba’s colt (Lot 897), a half-brother to Murphy’s former November National Hunt Foal Sale purchase, the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle winner CAPTAIN CUTTER, while Len Walker bought the colt out of Keep Face, a half-sister to the brilliant 2 mile Chaser MASTER MINDED, for €60,000 from Ballincurrig House Stud (Lot 932).

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The strong bidding witnessed all week at the November National Hunt Sale continued into today’s last session of the foal section. A top price of €55,000 was given by Patrick McCann for the Flemensfirth colt out of Hotline, a Poliglote halfsister to the dual Queen Mother Champion Chase Grade 1 winner MASTER MINDED (Lot 1127). It is a family McCann knows well - last year the buyer spent a sale-topping €110,000 on the Flemensfirth colt out of Keep Face, a full-sister to Hotline. McCann’s purchase was a close run thing as he was only just arriving at Fairyhouse as the foal was going through the ring. Nelius O’Keeffe, who had sold a Yeats foal earlier in the day, led up by his daughter, bought the second foal out of the 11-time winning, and Grade 1 racemare, VOLER LA VEDETTE (Lot 1201). Figures for the last day of the foal sale were up considerably compared to 2015 with significant increases of 45% and 33% seen in the median and average, which took those figures to €8,000 and €10,405, while the aggregate rose by a remarkable 64% from €912,700 to €1,498,350. Overall, the four-day foal sale produced highly satisfactory trade and improved figures all round recording an increased aggregate of €9,995,600, a rise of 4%, an average of €14,550, an increase of 6%, while the median of €11,000 was level with 2015. Of the 967 foals offered, 71% of the foals offered found new homes.

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BLOODSTOCK & SALES NEWS

ROBUST TRADE AT THE TATTERSALLS IRELAND NOVEMBER NATIONAL HUNT SALE 2016 Valyssa Monterg (Lot 1394), a Grade 2-winning mare by Network and in-foal to Shantou, claimed top lot honours in the broodmare session held on the last day of the November National Hunt Sale. She was sold for €160,000, the second-highest price given for a mare at the November sale since 2007.

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Offered by trainer Willie Mullins’s Closutton Stables, she became subject of a head-to-head bidding battle between Michael Carty of Kilmoney Cottage Stud and eventual purchaser Colm Murphy’s Tomgar Bloodstock. Murphy also bought the preceding lot, Bayside Belle (Lot 1393) for €42,000. She is an unraced mare by Old Vic and half-sister to four black-type siblings, including Pique Sous, an eight-time winner who finished third in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper Grade 1 and won a Grade 2 over hurdles. Leading foal consignor Peter Nolan Bloodstock turned purchaser when buying the Goldford Studoffered Prettyasapicture (Lot 1422), in-foal to Walk in the Park, for €56,000. She is a half and full-sister to the black-type quartet of Diamond Sal, Ring The Boss, Theatre Girl and Conflictofinterest. The mares’ session saw a 15% increase in the average to €16,729, a 25% rise in the median to €10,000 and a turnover of €786,250. Overall the sixday November National Hunt Sale produced a solid and satisfactory set of returns on a par with 2015. course-specialist.co.uk

The average of €14,264 for the 844 horses sold was an increase of 3% on 2015, while the median of €10,500 was exactly equal to 2015. There was a slight fall in aggregate from €12,753,750 to €12,038,950, a reflection of this year’s smaller catalogue.

FAST COMPANY COLT TOPS OPENING DAY OF GOFFS NOVEMBER FOAL SALE A son of Fast Company from Rathasker Stud topped the opening day of the Goffs November Foal Sale when selling to Francis Killen for €42,000. The colt (Lot 154 – pictured) is a half-brother to the two year old filly Zelaniya, the dam’s first runner, who won second time out for Dermot Weld and His Highness The Aga Khan at Gowran Park last month. Willie Browne’s Grangebarry accounted for the next highest priced Lot on Day 1 when going to €38,000 for a son of Dandy Man (Lot 132) consigned by Hill Head, while another popular Dandy Man foal was Darnstown Stud’s filly (Lot 191), a half-sister to a Stakes placed filly, that was knocked down to Tally Ho Stud at €31,000.

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DANDY MAN COLT TOPS DAY 2 OF THE GOFFS NOVEMBER FOAL SALE

KODIAC FILLY LEADS THE WAY AT GOFFS NOVEMBER FOAL SALE

A colt by Ballyhane Stud’s Dandy Man (Lot 458 pictured) out of a winning Celtic Swing mare proved to be the star on Day 2 of the November Foal Sale when knocked down to Paul McCartan on behalf of CBS Bloodstock for €85,000, consigned by Glenspring Farm. Another stallion from Ballyhane Stud finding favour with purchasers on day 2 was Elzaam, with Lot 377 from The Station Stud, a colt out of a winning Cape Cross mare selling to Tally Ho Stud for €41,000.

Trade picked up a gear on the third day of Goffs November Foal Sale where a daughter of Kodiac (Lot 609 - pictured) topped proceedings selling to Tally Ho Stud for €105,000. Consigned by Kellsgrange Stud, the filly is a half-sister to the Listed winner and Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes placed Newsletter. Kodiac continued to dominate with the jointsecond highest price of the day achieved for Milltown House Stud’s colt out of a winning sister to two Stakes winners (Lot 529) purchased by Ennistown Stud for €70,000. Also making €70,000 was a filly foal by Teofilo from Beechwood Stud (Lot 600) out of a daughter of Group 1 performer Theoretically, purchased by Duck Bloodstock. Among the other highlights was a pair of €60,000 sales in Rathbarry Stud’s colt from the first crop of Alhebayeb (Lot 735) as well as Glynn Park’s Zoffany filly (Lot 584) that was knocked down to Howson and Houldsworth Bloodstock.

KODIAC COLT THE STAR ATTRACTION OF DAY 4 OF GOFFS NOVEMBER FOAL SALE Image supplied by Goffs

Sons of Dandy Man continued to be the order of the day with Lot 397 from Beechlawn Stud, a colt out of a sister to Group 1 Prix de la Foret winner Toylsome and Firth of Clyde Stakes winner Coral Mist, selling to Lynn Lodge Stud for €40,000 and Lot 423 from Barrettstown Farm House going to Redpender Stud for €34,000. Stallions with their first crop of foals on offer also proved popular on day 2. Brendan Boyle Bloodstock purchased Lot 460, a colt by Shadwell Stud’s Mukhadram from Ballincurrig House Stud for €38,000, while Cooneen Stud purchased a son of Tara Stud’s Alhebayeb for €36,000 (Lot 304) from Moyfinn and MC Bloodstock purchased Lot 219 by the Irish National Stud’s Gale Force Ten for €34,000.

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Sons of Tally Ho Stud’s Kodiac were hot property on day 4 of the Goffs November Foal Sale, with colts by the sire accounting for three of the top six lots. Leading the way was Lot 907 (pictured), a colt consigned by Linacre House Stud out of a winning sister to Stakes winners San Sicharia, Tucuman, Spin Cycle and Spinacre, purchased by Ennistown Stud for €150,000. The demand continued for Kodiac as Lot 887 a colt out of an own sister to Champion Norse Dancer went to Abbeylands Farm for €110,000 from Oaklawn Stud. Lot 972 a colt from Galbertstown Stud out of a Group 2 winning own sister to Beauty Halo sold to Honore for €85,000, and Lot 941 a colt from Ballyreddin Stud out of a sister to Prix Miesque winner Magic America, was purchased by Oaks Farm for €82,000. •

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A colt from Middlelane Farm from the first crop of Coolmore’s Ruler of The World out of a winning sister to Group 3 winner Graphic, and from the family of Halicarnassus, ensured a lively end to proceedings as Lot 1011 was snapped up by Glenvale Stud for €96,000.

SIYOUNI FILLY FROM THE WILDENSTEIN STABLES LTD DISPERSAL TOPS NOVEMBER FOAL SALE A Siyouni filly from The Wildenstein Stables Ltd Dispersal, consigned by The Castlebridge Consignment, was the star of a strong final day at Goffs November Foal Sale when selling to Shadwell Estate for €775,000. Named A Nous La Liberte, (Lot 1199 - pictured), this stunning filly is out of the Stakes placed Galileo mare Amerique who is a daughter of three time Group 1 winning Champion race mare Aquarelliste. Classic winner Beauty Parlour’S filly foal by Dansili (Lot 1201), half-sister to this year’s Orby €1.4 million sales topper, was another highlight of the Wildenstein draft this evening when selling to White Birch Farm for €450,000. The same purchaser secured a second Wildenstein foal by Dansili in the colt out of Group 2 winner Pacific Rim (Lot 1187) who sold for €320,000. The only Kingman foal in the catalogue was another to hit the €320,000 mark as Ballybin Stud’s half-brother to dual Group 2 winner Breton Rock (Lot 1155) was knocked down to Stephen Collins for Shadwell Estate, while also in great demand course-specialist.co.uk

was Old Carhue Stud’s Sea The Stars half-brother to multiple Group 2 winner Here Comes When (Lot 1102), out of a Group winning dam, that was purchased by Rabbah Bloodstock for €240,000. An Oasis Dream sister to both Group 3 winner and Group 1 Matron Stakes runner up Lily’s Angel and the Listed winner Zurigha from Neilstown Stud (Lot 1086) was another standout today when selling to Stauffenberg Bloodstock for €220,000. A Dark Angel filly from Jockey Hall Stud (Lot 1125) meanwhile continued a strong sale for her sire when the half-sister to a Listed winner was bought by Mountarmstrong for €230,000, and earlier in the day another daughter of Dark Angel, Esker Lodge Stud’s sister to ten winners including five Stakes performers (Lot 1024), sold to Richard Knight Bloodstock for €190,000.

SOLID TRADE ON DAY 1 OF ARQANA HORSES IN TRAINING AND STORES AUTUMN SALE Demand was solid throughout the first session of the three-day Autumn Sale, comprising horses in training and stores, with some fierce bidding battles taking place around the best performers, whether on the flat or over jumps. On the back of a record-breaking renewal, figures still managed to show significant gains. 83.8% of the 216 horses on offer sold, up 3 points from 2015, and they grossed €5,327,500, a 7% increase and new landmark for the session. The average price was marginally down at €29,434 (-1%) and the median progressed steadily from €13,500 to €14,000. Four horses broke the €200,000 mark and a total of 12 sold for six figures, including 4 representatives of the ever more popular AQPS stud-book. JP McManus paid his first visit to Deauville and the buying team led by Hubert Barbe’s Horse Racing Advisory proved as busy as ever, topping the buyers’ standings for the second year running with 5 horses purchased for a total €788,000. They included the two highest-priced horses in training on the day, who both joined the catalogue as Wild Card entries. DOSTAL PHIL (lot 185), an AQPS threeyear-old who went through the ring as the •

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NEWS BLOODSTOCK & SALES winner of his only start, commanded a closing bid of €295,000. The son of Coastal Path saluted over 2500m at Deauville in October for trainer Yannick Fouin. On that occasion, he was holding off Louis Baudron’s DEMON D’AUNOU, who was also snapped up by McManus for £130,000 at Cheltenham last Friday via Frank Berry. Dostal Phil is from the same family as Gr.2 Golden Cynet Novice Hurdle scorer A TOI PHIL.

TRIO OF SIX FIGURE NH YEARLINGS HEADLINE DAY 2 OF ARQANA AUTUMN SALE Yearlings bred for the jumping game provided the highlights of the second day of the Autumn Sale, which saw 124 youngsters sell for an aggregate of €2,165,000, a 9.5% dip from last year and a reflection of the slipping 67% clearance rate, down from 70% in 2015. The average settled at €17,460 (-5%) while the median price remained stable at €11,000. Colts by Haras d’Etreham’s Saint Des Saints proved in high demand from buyers coming from both sides of the Channel, with two of them selling for six figures including the day’s top price. Overall, his six yearlings to sell averaged €58,533, a hefty return on their €7,000 conception fee. Leading sires Martaline, Blue Bresil and Kapgarde all had at least one offspring above the €50,000 mark. The market leader (lot 336) was offered by Carlos de Sousa’s Hamel Stud and will join JP McManus’s squad after Hubert Barbe paid €125,000 for the bay. He is the fourth foal out of Monika, a Listed winner over hurdles at Auteuil who has been emulated by her first two runners, MOMITA HAS and MOCALACATO HAS. 20 lots later, Saint Des Saints’ former trainer Guillaume Macaire offered a final bid of €110,000 for a colt (lot 356) out of Playact, a Listed winner and Group performer on the flat who previously produced the leading hurdler PIERROT LUNAIRE, winner of the Gr.2 Top Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree and Eclipse Champion Steeplechaser of 2012 after landing three Grade 1 races in America. The colt was bred and offered by Jean-Claude Campos’s Haras des Brousses.

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KEENELAND NOVEMBER SALE RESULTS REFLECT MARKET DEMAND FOR QUALITY Keeneland’s November Breeding Stock Sale concluded Sunday with solid results that further recent trends toward selectivity and strength in the top and middle markets. Spirited competition among the world’s top buyers for quality individuals resulted in the sale of 19 horses for $1 million or more, highlighted by the $3.8 million paid for 2010 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (G1) winner and millionaire Unrivaled Belle, the most expensive Thoroughbred sold at public auction in the world this year, and the $3.5 million given for Group 2 winner Secret Gesture (GB). Conducted Nov. 8-20, this year’s 13-day •

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November Sale grossed $215,213,000 for 2,653 horses, dipping from last year’s 12-day auction when 2,575 horses brought total sales of $218,959,400. The cumulative average of $81,121 decreased 4.6 percent from last year’s $85,033. The median price of $25,000 was down 16.67 percent versus $30,000 in 2015. “The November Sale reflected what we’ve seen recently: perceived quality or commerciality is wellrewarded,” Keeneland Vice President of Racing and Sales Bob Elliston said. “Participation by a deep buying bench comprising domestic and international interests was as strong as ever, with enthusiastic duels from multiple bidders who were willing to stretch their budgets for the premier horses. The horses of racing age portion of the sale also created energy and successfully attracted leading trainers and end-users. The money is here, but you must have course-specialist.co.uk

something of value.” During the first two sessions of the sale, which made up the premier Book 1, 18 million-dollar horses sold to 14 different entities representing major buyers from the U.S., Australia, China, Dubai, Ireland and Japan. Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm acquired the sale-topping Unrivaled Belle, in foal to leading sire Tapit. Whisper Hill purchased four horses for $7.2 million to be the November Sale’s leading buyer by gross. A fifth horse was purchased by Whisper Hill in partnership with Gainesway for $950,000. Tapit was the sale’s leading covering sire by gross with seven in-foal mares selling for $9,625,000. Korea’s K.O.I.D. ranked as the sale’s leading buyer by number purchased, acquiring 63 horses for $1,487,700. The November Sale also featured the Complete Dispersal of Ernie Semersky and Dory Newell’s Conquest Stables, which sold 100 horses for $11,207,500. The dispersal was topped by the sale of Grade 1 winner My Conquestadory, in foal to Tapit, for $1.5 million to SF Bloodstock and Newgate Farm. Prominent offerings from the Conquest Stables dispersal and from WinStar Farm further strengthened the horses of racing age segment of the November Sale, held Nov. 14-15, and contributed to significant gains during those two sessions. Three Chimneys Farm paid $1.075 million for Uptown Twirl, a 3-year-old stakes-winning half-sister to Classic Empire, winner of this year’s Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1), Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) and Bashford Manor (G3). It marked the first time in November Sale history that a horse has sold for seven figures during the second week of the auction. Lane’s End, which consigned the Conquest Stables dispersal as well as Uptown Twirl and multiple Grade 2 winner She’s Not Here, a broodmare prospect sold to China Horse Club for $1.3 million, ranked as the sale’s leading consignor, selling 265 horses for $26,030,300. John Ferguson, principal buyer for Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, paid $3.5 million for Group 2 winner Secret Gesture, a 6-year-old Galileo (IRE) mare in foal to War Front, consigned by Hunter Valley Farm, agent. •

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NEWS BLOODSTOCK & SALES While demand continued to be strong for premium horses, strengthening upper and middle markets, the November Sale confirmed a recent trend at sales at Keeneland and around the world. Buyers remain increasingly selective in their purchases and are unwilling to take a risk on less commercial horses. The downturns seen in the final days of the November Sale elicited a note of caution from Keeneland officials. “There is a polarization creating two distinct markets – commercial and non-commercial,” Keeneland Director of Sales Operations Geoffrey Russell said. “There is plenty of money for horses that meet the market, but it’s a different story for horses that don’t meet the criteria set by the market. Buyers are sending a clear message: They want quality. “This is an industry issue worldwide, not just in America,” Russell added. “The number of annual sale days is ticking up again. This is a troubling sign given buyers’ selectivity. We as an industry don’t want to forget the difficult lessons we learned from a similar situation just a few years ago.” Denali Stud’s Craig Bandoroff, who sold the broodmare Lassofthemohicans for $1.05 million, echoed concerns about the market for those horses

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that lack commercial viability. “We had a very good sale in Books 1 and 2; quality sold well,” he said. “Once you got to Book 4, to me it was like somebody popped a balloon. I would say the market is a lot thinner than you’d like it to be. It’s bad (for breeders) because you’re not covering costs on horses. Unfortunately, there are some stallion programs that are encouraging it. It’s keeping horses in production that don’t need to be kept in production. “The good weanlings sold well but it was a much smaller group,” Bandoroff said. “If you had a really good physical today (on Day 12), there’d be somebody here to buy it. The price is determined by the pedigree, but to get to that first step, you’ve got to have the physical. “Our business is good,” he said. “I’m not a doom and gloomer by any means. But there are definitely some signs on the horizon that this (market) is not healthy all the way through.” The November Sale’s most expensive racing or broodmare prospect was 2016 Just a Game (G1) winner Celestine, purchased by Moyglare Stud Farm of Ireland for $2.55 million. Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent, consigned the 4-year-old daughter of Scat Daddy who is to resume training with Christophe Clement in Florida. Coolmore’s M.V. Magnier paid $1.45 million for the sale’s top-priced weanling, a son of War Front consigned by Hill ‘n’ Dale Sales Agency, agent. The colt is out of Drifting Cube (AUS), a sister to Group 2 winner and Coolmore Australia stallion Rubick and from the family of Australian Group 1 winner and leading sire Redoute’s Choice. The auction’s third session on Nov. 10 included the sale of nine horses consigned by Claiborne Farm, agent for Phipps Stable Reduction, for $2,592,000. At $530,000, the high seller was Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) winner and millionaire Pleasant Home, in foal to Orb, sold to Charles Fipke. The depth and breadth of Keeneland’s buying bench were reflected in the diversity of buyers participating deep into the second week of the sale. Joining the strong domestic presence were buyers from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Korea, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among others. •

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Turkish bloodstock agent Omer H. Aydin bought 19 horses in Books 2-7 for a total of $656,500. Among his purchases was the stallion General Quarters for $50,000. Winner of the 2009 Toyota Blue Grass (G1) at Keeneland and the 2010 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (G1) at Churchill Downs, General Quarters is to join such Americanraced stallions as Victory Gallop, Lion Heart and Sea Hero owned by The Turkish Jockey Club. Aydin said he has bought horses at Keeneland for 20 years. “You can find dirt horses, turf horses, sprinters, everything here,” he said. “The American horse has a big influence on the improvement of racehorses. They encourage speed. I like British racing, but I believe the U.S. Thoroughbred is the best.” course-specialist.co.uk

FRANKEL COLT TOPS TATTERSALLS DECEMBER YEARLING SALE A colt by the all-conquering FRANKEL topped the one-day Tattersalls December Yearling Sale at 250,000 guineas on a day that saw a record average and median and robust trade throughout the day. 142 lots were sold for 4,377,500 guineas which was a rise of 7% on last year’s corresponding session, whilst the average and median rose 7% and 8% respectively to a record 30,827 guineas and 21,500 guineas. The clearance was an impressive 85%. The star turn for the day was the FRANKEL colt out of the ANABAA mare DEBONNAIRE. The half-brother to the multiple Group 1 winner •

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NEWS BLOODSTOCK & SALES and recent Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate placed HARTNELL was knocked down to Charlie Gordon-Watson for 250,000 guineas after he saw off former Champion Australian trainer Peter Moody and Oliver St Lawrence. “My client wanted to buy two horses today, but I suggested that we target one,” reported GordonWatson. “This is a very nice horse out of a very nice mare. There is an Arc winner on the page and he out of an Anabaa mare, which I particularly like. He is all two-year-old.” The colt was sold by Highclere Stud, on behalf of Greg Goodman’s Mount Brilliant Farm, and Lady Carolyn Warren said: “He is a lovely horse. We foaled him at Highclere, he went to the US and failed to sell earlier in the year. He came back to us and has done really well.” McKeever Bloodstock’s Johnny McKeever bought the SEA THE STARS half-sister to the Group 1 winners CHARITY LINE and FINAL SCORE for 170,000 guineas. Out of the HERNANDO mare HOLY MOON, the filly is a sibling to no fewer than four Group winners and was consigned to the sale by Old Buckenham Stud.

KYLLACHY COLT TOPS OPENING DAY OF TATTERSALLS DECEMBER FOAL SALE The Tattersalls December Foal Sale got off to a solid start and it was a colt by KYLLACHY that achieved the highest price on the opening day when selling for 48,000 guineas. A total of 260 lots were sold for 2,102,350 guineas, at an average of 11,243 guineas and a median of 8,000 guineas. It was a son of Cheveley Park Stud resident KYLLACHY that topped proceedings on the opening day of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale when selling to Kate Barclay for 48,000 guineas. Consigned by Brook Stud, the chestnut colt is out of ROYAL APPLAUSE mare AMICABLE TERMS, the dam of two winners and a half-sister to the Japanese Listed winner KEI WOMAN from the family of French Classic winner RIVERMAN. Dwayne Woods of Brook Stud commented:

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“We bred the dam Amicable Terms and bought the grand-dam a while ago. We have lots of the family, including further back we have a half-sister to Rock Of Gibraltar. “This colt looks speedy, he is a really straight forward individual, sound and has a great temperament. He deserved to make that price and I wish all the best to the new connections.” A son of GREGORIAN achieved the second highest price on Day 1 of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale when selling to the farm that stand the freshman sire, Rathasker Stud, for 47,000 guineas. Consigned by Maywood Stud, the February foal is out of winning mare MISKIN DIAMOND, a half-sister to Group 1 Phoenix Stakes-placed CATCH A GLIMPSE, the dam of US Grade 3 winner SUCCESSFUL OUTLOOK. Bearstone Stud were responsible for the third •

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BLOODSTOCK & SALES NEWS at 190,000 guineas. A total of 211 lots were sold for 8,441,000 guineas, down 2% on last year albeit with 13% less lots offered. The average was up 9% to 40,005 guineas whilst the median rose 15% to 30,000 guineas. The clearance rate was a strong 82%. The dual-Group 1 winner TORONADO is one of a plethora of sires whose first foals are on offer this year and leading the way for the son of HIGH CHAPARRAL was the colt out of the DANSILI mare RASKUTANI. Consigned by The Castlebridge Consignment on behalf of James Stewart’s Wellsummers Stud, the half-brother to the Group 1 Irish St Leger runner-up AGENT MURPHY was knocked down to MC Bloodstock’s Jim McCartan for 190,000 guineas. The session-topping price of 190,000 guineas was matched late in the evening when the colt by KODIAC out of the TEOFILO mare INYOUDREAMS was knocked down to Eugene Daly. Consigned by Paul and Sara Thorman’s Trickledown Stud on behalf of the Ellis family’s Bolton Grange Stud, the colt is a son of the Listed winner INYORDREAMS, herself a daughter of the Group 2 Flying Childers winner WUNDERS DREAM. Image supplied by Tattersalls Ltd

highest priced foal of the day. Catalogued as Lot 328, the son of DELEGATOR out of winning KYLLACHY mare IRRATIONAL was sold for 43,000 guineas to Tony O’Callaghan of TallyHo Stud, fending off competition from eventual underbidder Maurice Burns of Rathasker Stud.

TORONADO AND KODIAC COLTS TOP SECOND DAY OF TATTERSALLS DECEMBER FOAL SALE Trade stepped up a level on the second day of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale with 17 lots selling for 100,000 guineas or more and colts by KODIAC and TORONADO sharing top billing course-specialist.co.uk

TATTERSALLS DECEMBER FOAL SALE SUSTAINS MOMENTUM ON FINAL DAY There were a further two lots that sold for 100,000 guineas or more on the final day of the Tattersalls December Foal Sale, bringing a close to the fourday sale. The final session saw 160 lots sell for 3,257,000 guineas taking the four-day total to 743 lots sold for 30,568,350 guineas. The average and median finished on a comparable level to last year at 41,142 guineas and 21,000 guineas respectively, whilst the clearance rate rose four points to 78%. The top lot on the final day was the colt by SHOWCASING out of the SHAMARDAL mare SUNRISE STAR who realised 110,000 guineas to the bid of bloodstock agent Richard Knight.

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WHAT’S ON DECEMBER

WHAT’S ON RACING HIGHLIGHTS IN DECEMBER © Steven Cargill

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December 2016


DECEMBER WHAT’S ON Bar One Racing sponsored Grade 1 contests: The Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, won last year by Arctic Fire, the Grade 1 Drinmore Novice Chase and the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle. There is also a new €100,000 handicap hurdle on this brilliant card.

T

he 2016 racing year ends with a real bang and a quality month of action. On Friday 2nd December, Sandown Park hosts the opening day of its two-day Tingle Creek Festival, with the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase, one of the big two mile races of the whole season, taking place on Saturday 3rd. That day also features an important two mile novice chase, the Grade 1 King Henry VIIIth Novices’ Chase.

On Sunday 4thDecember, the action switches to Huntingdon’s big race of the year, the Grade 2 Peterborough Chase, a race won in the past by the likes of Wayward Lad, Very Promising, Sabin Du Loir, Remittance Man, Travado, Martha’s Son, Dublin Flyer, One Man, Edredon Bleu, Best Mate, Racing Demon, Monet’s Garden, Menorah, Wishfull Thinking and Al Ferof.

© www.healyracing.ie

Friday 9th December the action returns to Cheltenham for the two-day International Meeting. The highlights take place on Saturday 10th with the Caspain Caviar Gold Cup Handicap Chase and the Grade 2 Bula Hurdle, a well-defined Champion Hurdle trial. On the same two days, Doncaster hosts some quality jumps racing with its Bet354 Festive Jumpers race days. The Saturday features a brace of Grade 2 races likely to throw up clues for the Cheltenham Festival, including the December Novices’ Chase. Sunday 11th December is an important afternoon of racing in Ireland and sees The Kerry Group Raceday at Cork, with the Grade 2 Hilly Way Chase the highlight on a cracking card. Meanwhile, Punchestown stages the always-informative Grade 1 John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase.

© www.healyracing.ie

© Supplied by The Jockey Club

Meanwhile, in Ireland, Fairyhouse stages its two-day Winter Festival on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th December. The undoubted highlight comes in Sunday with a trio of course-specialist.co.uk

As we gear up for a busy Christmas period, there are important meetings at Ascot and Haydock Park on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th December. On the Friday, Ascot plays host to the Grade 2 Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle, a contest which often throws up Cheltenham Festival clues. The same is true of the Grade 2 Mitie’s Novices’ Chase. •

December 2016

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WHAT’S ON DECEMBER Saturday sees the action ramp up to Grade 1 level at the Berkshire track with the Long Walk Hurdle, won by the likes of Big Buck’s, Reve De Sivola and last year by the outstanding Thistlecrack. This top class card of racing also features the fiercely competitive Ladbroke Hurdle as well as the Sodexo Silver Cup Handicap Chase. Over at Haydock Park, one of the most familiar race names on the northern circuit is the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase, a race with an impressive roll of honour including: Little Owl, Gaye Chance, Earls Brig, Forgive ‘N Forget, The Thinker, Celtic Shot, Twin Oaks, One Man, The Grey Monk, Bobby Grant and Cannington Brook. On Boxing Day, Kempton Park’s 32Red Winter Festival gets underway with three Grade 1 contests on an outstanding card. The highlight is of course the King George VI Chase, which brings together the very best chasers from Britain and Ireland and was won last year by Cue Card. Also on this card are the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase and the Christmas Hurdle, won for the last two years by Faugheen – and a major Champion Hurdle Trial. In Ireland, Boxing Day is of course known as St Stephen’s Day – and features the opening day of the four-day Leopardstown Christmas Festival. The highlight on the first day is the Grade 1 Racing Post Novice Chase, won last year by the imperious Douvan.

© www.healyracing.ie

Limerick’s four-day Shannon Airport Christmas Festival also gets underway with the Grade 2 Greenmount Park Novice Chase the highlight on St Stephen’s Day. On the 27th, the Grade 2 Dorans Pride Novice Hurdle will also provide plenty of clues for the big spring festivals. Down Royal also features it’s big Christmas meeting, with an always-informative hunter chase and familiar names on show. Tuesday 27th December sees the second day of Kempton’s big meeting, with the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase the highlight. Last year saw the brilliant Sprinter Sacre defeat Sire De Grugy in a memorably race. Another superb card also features the Grade 2 Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase.

© Steven Cargill

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course-specialist.co.uk

December 2016


DECEMBER WHAT’S ON

© Image supplied by Tattersalls Ireland

Leopardstown continues on Wednesday 28th December with the big race of the meeting, the Grade 1 Lexus Chase, a race with a rich history and won last year by Don Poli. The Leopardstown meeting closes on the 29th with the Grade 1 Ryanair Hurdle, often a pointer to the Champion Hurdle. The year ends with a bang on New Year’s Eve at Newbury, when the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle and the Mandarin Chase round off proceedings for another fabulous year.

Meanwhile, Chepstow stages its biggest day’s racing of the year with the Coral Welsh Grand National, won for the second time last year by Kerry Lee’s Mountainous. A high class card also features the Grade 1 Finale Juvenile Hurdle which often throws up clues for the Triumph Hurdle. (Mountainous – Image supplied by Tattersalls Ireland) Over at Leopardstown it is the second day of the Christmas Festival, featuring the Grade 1 Paddy Power Dial-A-Bet Chase and the Paddy Power Feature Champion Novice Hurdle. course-specialist.co.uk

JANUARY The New Year gets off to a flying start with Cheltenham’s traditional opener and some classy action, headlined by the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase and the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle. On Saturday, January 7th Sandown Park stages the first Grade 1 contest of the New Year with the Tolworth Hurdle, won last year by subsequent Cheltenham Festival winner Yorkhill.

December 2016

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WHAT’S ON DECEMBER

DECEMBER 2016 FIXTURE LIST 1st

Leicester

Market Rasen

10th

Wincanton

Chelmsford City (Awt) 2nd

Thurles Exeter

Wolverhampton (Awt) Limerick 3rd

Dundalk (e) Chepstow Aintree

Sandown Park Wetherby

Wolverhampton (Awt) 4th

5th

6th

7th

Kelso

Fairyhouse

Fontwell Park

Southwell (Awt)

Kempton Park (Awt) Lingfield Park (Awt)

130

15th

Newcastle (Awt) Dundalk (e)

Cheltenham Doncaster

Southwell Punchestown

23rd

Plumpton

Wolverhampton (Awt)

26th

Ffos Las

Catterick Bridge

16th

17th

27th

Huntingdon

Limerick

Chepstow

Kempton Park Wolverhampton (Awt) Leopardstown

28th

Limerick

Catterick Bridge Leicester

Lingfield Park (Awt)

Ascot

Leopardstown

Haydock Park

29th

Fairyhouse

Limerick

Doncaster Kelso

Southwell (Awt)

Fakenham

Lingfield Park (Awt) Thurles Ayr

Lingfield Park

Chelmsford City (Awt) Kempton Park (Awt) Southwell (Awt)

course-specialist.co.uk

Fontwell Park

Wetherby

Dundalk (e)

Navan

20th

Dundalk (e)

Leopardstown

Ascot

Newcastle

19th

Chelmsford City (Awt)

Down Royal

Tramore

Lingfield Park (Awt)

18th

Wolverhampton (Awt)

Wolverhampton (Awt)

Newbury

Wolverhampton (Awt)

Bangor-On-Dee

Wincanton

Kempton Park (Awt)

Uttoxeter

Ffos Las

Wetherby

Musselburgh

Newcastle (Awt)

Newcastle (Awt)

Sedgefield

Wincanton

Newcastle (Awt)

Ludlow

Market Rasen

Southwell (Awt)

Exeter

Taunton

Kempton Park

Chelmsford City (Awt)

Bangor-On-Dee Cheltenham

21st

22nd

Towcester

Taunton

Clonmel

Carlisle

20th

Lingfield Park (Awt)

Newcastle

Doncaster

10th

14th

Hexham

Chelmsford City (Awt)

9th

13th

Uttoxeter

Warwick

9th

12th

Lingfield Park (Awt) Ludlow

Navan

Cork

Ayr

Leicester 8th

11th

Fairyhouse

Huntingdon

Newcastle (Awt)

Wolverhampton (Awt)

Sandown Park Sedgefield

Lingfield Park

December 2016

Leopardstown 30th

31st

Limerick

Haydock Park

Newcastle (Awt) Taunton

Lingfield Park (Awt) Newbury

Uttoxeter Warwick

Punchestown


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Course specialist december 2016 pages  

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