Grendisar could head for Winter Derby Trial

 A horse with one of the most remarkable records on all-weather surfaces is Grendisar, who before Christmas led home a one-two for Newmarket-based trainer Marco Botti in the 10-furlong £40,000 Listed Coral App Download From The App Store Quebec Stakes at Linfield Park.
Grendisar winning at Lingfield Park earlier this month

Grendisar winning at Lingfield Park earlier this month  Photo: ARC

The four-year-old ridden by Adam Kirby, scored his sixth victory from 21 All-Weather starts and he has also been second 10 times and third once. Grendisar is still on the upgrade and that win was his second in Listed company and first at 10 furlongs since his initial success back in January, 2013. The other four successes for the Invincible Spirit colt have come at 12 furlongs.

Botti said: “Grendisar is very good on the All-Weather and he loves the Polytrack surface at Lingfield. He can do any trip – the Lingfield victory was over  a mile and quarter but he does prefer a stronger pace.

“He is one of those horses who is never impressive, he saves something for himself. But I would say he is genuine and he has been so consistent. The handicapper has put him up to 108 now so we will keep him for Listed and Group races.

“There is another Listed race, the Winter Derby Trial, in February and then we will look forward to the Winter Derby (March 14) and the All-Weather Championships on Good Friday.”

The trainer reported that both Energia Davos, second to Grendisar, and his other winner at Lingfield the same day, the Luke Morris-ridden Edu Querido in the mile Ladbrokes Conditions Stakes, will be heading to Dubai for the World Cup Carnival which starts in January.

 

French filly qualifies for Lingfield Park championships

French filly Fresles, trained at Chantilly by Pia Brandt, has won the first French Fast-Track Qualifier for the All-Weather Championships at Lingfield Park on Good Friday. The victory came at Deauville this week when the three-year old filly, with Alexis Badel up, won by a nose in a thrilling finish.

The 52,000 euros Prix Miss Satamixa, run over seven and a half furlongs on Polytrack, gave a guaranteed place to this Royal Applause filly Fresles in the £150,000 32Red.com Fillies & Mares Championship over seven furlongs on finals day.

Competitive racing in the qualifiers

Competitive racing in the qualifiers

The James Tate-trained Lamar ran the best of the three British challengers when staying on in fourth, another three quarters of a length in arrears, while the Clive Cox-trained Stereo Love finished eighth and Stosure from Gay Kelleway’s yard came home 10th of the maximum field of 16.

Brandt said after the race: “Finals Day at Lingfield Park is the goal with Fresles. I thought six furlongs was her trip before today but she has proved she stays further and seven furlongs should be perfect on Good Friday. This was going to be the second of three qualifying runs but her victory means she can now go straight to Finals Day.

“She is improving and now so much better mentally. Even though she won by a nose, she had one ear pricked and has more to give.”

Fresles raced in Britain last month, when second by a neck to Intransigent at Lingfield Park in the Listed Unibet Golden Rose Stakes, a Fast-Track Qualifier over six furlongs.

Horses qualify for the seven championship contests on the £1.1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 3, 2015) by winning a specified “Fast Track Qualifier” or running in a minimum of three races at Britain’s five All-Weather tracks, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, owned by ARC, The Jockey Club’s Kempton Park and Chelmsford City, between October 30 and March 30.

Alternatively, one of the three qualifying runs can come at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse (dirt) or on the All-Weather surfaces at Ireland’s Dundalk and the French tracks of Cagnes Sur Mer, Chantilly and Deauville.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodwood racecourse’s record sponsorship deal

Goodwood Racecourse is to receive the single biggest sponsorship deal ever in British racing, thanks to a 10-year partnership with Qatar. Bginning in 2015, this makes the Qatar Goodwood Festival one of the most significant and valuable meetings in the world.

The partnership results in over £2 million being invested into prize money for eight key races during the Qatar Goodwood Festival 2015 as well as a commitment to increase this year-on-year. Total prize money on offer for the week now totals £4.5 million, with Qatar once again demonstrating their passion and support for British racing.

Record ten year sponsorship deal for Glorious Goodwood

Record ten year sponsorship deal for Glorious Goodwood

The Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes, scheduled for Wednesday, July 29, has a total prize fund of £1 million cementing its position as one of the most valuable mile races in the world. The Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes, the feature race on the Saturday of the Qatar Goodwood Festival is now worth £600,000, making it the most significant mid-summer race for fillies.

Each Group 2 feature race, The Qatar Lennox Stakes (Tuesday), The Qatar Goodwood Cup (Thursday) and The Qatar King George Stakes (Friday) are now worth £300,000, recognising their recent records for attracting some of the best horses at their respective distances. In addition, Qatar has guaranteed that if any current Group 2 race achieves Group 1 status, the prize money will rise to at least £500,000.

Exciting racing promised at Goodwood

Exciting boost for Glorious Goodwood races

Other races to benefit from increased prize money are the two Group 2 races for two-year-olds, The Qatar Vintage Stakes and The Qatar Richmond Stakes, each of which will run for £200,000, supporting their status as the proving grounds for future champions.

The Qatar Stewards’ Cup is the headline handicap of the week with prize money now totalling £250,000 and, as part of this uplift, the consolation race rises to £75,000. This is a perfect example of how strongly Goodwood and Qatar feel about supporting racing at all levels. The Qatar Sussex Stakes, The Qatar Goodwood Cup and The Qatar Nassau Stakes will remain part of the QIPCO British Champion Series.

The inaugural Qatar Goodwood Festival will take place from Tuesday July 28 to Saturday, August 1 2015.

Lord March, owner of Goodwood said:”I am delighted that Qatar have decided to play a significant part in Goodwood’s position as one of the finest racing experiences in the world. Goodwood has, for more than 200 years, been about the best racing in the most English of settings, accessible to everyone. Our partnership with Qatar will make an enormous contribution to horseracing in the UK.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank QIPCO for their continued support through our key races in the QIPCO British Champion series. This remains important to me and to the success of racing at Goodwood.”

Mr Hamad Al Attiyah, president of Qatar Equesrian Federation said  :”Thanks to the wise guidance of His Highness The Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Qatar supports sport all over the world.

“Goodwood is already one of the most iconic sporting festivals of the British summer season and we are delighted to be the title sponsor over the five days. The sponsorship demonstrates Qatar’s further commitment to British racing and, with such huge prize-money on offer, we hope it will help to attract international runners from all over the world as well as continuing to see the best in Britain, France and Ireland.

“We look forward to working with Lord March and the team at Goodwood and taking the racing festival to a world class racing platform.”

Five BEF medals awarded for outstanding achievement

The final event of the 2014 season, The London International Horse Show at Olympia, saw the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) pay tribute to the outstanding achievement and contribution of five individuals to the international equestrian world .

The medals, awarded by BEF Chairman Keith Taylor, were presented to: Equestrian Team GBR showjumping veterinarian Robrecht Cnockaert, lunger and vaulting coach John Eccles, Chef d’Equipe and Chairman of the British Eventing Pony Team Ginnie Keen MBE and owner, show organiser and dressage scorer Sara Green, for their exceptional achievements in their sport. World Class Director of Equine Sports Science and Science Medicine and FEI Vice President John McEwen MBE, was also presented with a Medal of Honour for his service to the sport and the British Equestrian Federation.

The Olympia presentation of BEF Medals of Honour Photo: Kit Houghton

BEF Medals of Honour  winners at Olympia Photo: Kit Houghton

As World Class Performance showjumping team vet, Robrecht has provided pivotal support to GBR athletes at two Olympic Games, three World Equestrian Games and four European Championships – as well as in excess of seventy top level Nations Cup teams. Specialising in the needs of the performance horse through his equine consultancy practice, he has travelled the globe with the teams to ensure the best level of support is delivered.

Lunging at the highest level for many years, John Eccles has facilitated the acquisition of 15 championship medals at junior and senior level for Equestrian Team GBR, adding to his medal tally at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, where he took gold and silver with his daughters Joanne and Hannah. A member of the FEI Vaulting Committee and a FEI 3* International judge; John also actively encourages and develops vaulting in Great Britain through his clubs, Wee County Vaulters and the Scottish Equestrian Vaulting Team.

Employed at Ernst & Young, Sara Green has been involved with dressage since the 1980s, as a rider, owner and show organiser. Rules and Fixtures Director for British Dressage (2006-2012), her work behind the scenes has ensured high standards have been maintained within the sport in Great Britain. She continues to influence through her work with the FEI. Running and supporting numerous international shows, Sara was also part of the scoring team at the dressage events of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

John McEwen has been at the very heart of international equestrian sport in Great Britain since the 1990’s and the World Class Programme since its inception. An outstanding ambassador for the sport at home and on the world stage, his work as team veterinarian with GB showjumping and dressage squads and as World Class Director of Equine Sports Science and Science Medicine, has contributed greatly to the preparation of Britain’s elite horses.

One of eventing’s most successful Chef d’Equipe and Chairman of Selectors in the last 15 years, Ginnie Keen led the British Pony team to 18 European Championship medals – five of them gold, since 1999. Her outstanding leadership and exceptional contribution to the sport – as a fence judge, District Commissioner of the Beaufort Hunt Pony Club, her work with Youth Action Wiltshire and Riding for the Disabled Association – has greatly benefitted the eventing community.

 

Local trainers did well at Fontwell’s Boxing Day meeting

Fontwell Park’s Boxing Day fixture drew the crowds yesterday, when persistent rain produced testing conditions but failed to mar the crowd’s festive spirit. Highlights of the day included a double for West Sussex trainer Lydia Richards, based at Funtington, and her regular local jockey Marc Goldstein.

Mark Goldstein and Venetian Lad Photo: Jeannie Knight

Course specialist Venetian Lad, a consistent nine-year-old roan gelding owned by the Venetian Lad Partnership with Marc Goldstein in the saddle, ran on to hold off The Sneezer, sent out by another Sussex trainer, Daniel Steele . A mistake in the closing stages by The Sneezer, ridden by Gavin Sheehan , cost him the race- but it was a good performance neverthess for this horse, beaten by only just over a length – the duo were 23 lengths clear of third-placed George Nympton.

The Sneezer trained by Daniel Steele Photo: Jeannie Knight

A delighted Lydia Richards said: “The horse won well, even though he prefers much better ground and he just kept on to win.”

The double came when she sent out Volio Vincente, a horse she bought at Ascot sales earlier in the month, to win the handicap chase over three and a quarter miles. She explained: ” He had won at Fontwell Park previously, with the latest win in late November. I was told his form could be erratic, but wanted to see what he would do for me today. Now he has won so well, I am going to sell shares in him and form another owners’ group.”

Volio Vincente with jockey Mark Goldstein Photo: Jeannie Knight

Volio Vincente with jockey Mark Goldstein Photo: Jeannie Knight

The opening juvenile hurdle race was won by Rock of Leon at 7-2, owned by Andy Jansons in conjunction with Alcester trainer Dan Skelton and ridden by David England. The Rock of Gibraltar three-year-old was clearly tired on the run in but the jockey kept him going to win by a neck from odds-on favourite Bishop Wulstan.

Upper Lambourn trainer Warren Greatrex and jockey Gavin Sheehan have proved to be a formidable combination and it was no exception when they won the Southern Cranes and Access Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Race with Miss Sophierose ridden by Gavin Sheehan. This gutsy six-year-old  beat the Phillip Hobbs-trained Meetmeatthemoon by just a nose.

Missaophierose with Gavin Sheehan and owners Photo: Jeannie Knight Photo: Jeannie Knight

Miss Sophierose with Gavin Sheehan and owners Photo: Jeannie Knight
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Lewes-trainer Suzy Smith had an excellent success when she sent out Beau Lake, owned by Sergio Gordon-Watson and Graham Willetts, to win the Handicap Hurdle race over two and a quarter miles ridden by amateur rider Harry Bannister. His useful 5lb claim certainly helped, but he also gave this tough 10-year-old gelding a fine ride to beat 9-2 shot Cappielow Park by a neck with odds-on favourite,Major Milbourne trained by Jamie Snowden, finishing 12 lengths further back in third place.

Owner Graham Willett (left) and his wife Sue, with Beau Lake, trainer Suzy Smith and jockey Harry                 Photo: Jeannie Knight

Owner Graham Willett (left) and his wife Sue, with Beau Lake, trainer Suzy Smith and amateur ridier  Harry Bannister Photo: Jeannie Knight

In the Mares Handicap Hurdle over two miles six furlongs, 10-1 shot Rosa Imperialis, trained for Lady Cobham by Robert Walford at Blandford, won impressively. The five-year-old had impressed in the paddock and was given a good ride by Gavin Sheehan, taking the lead two from home. The duo beat Sheena West’s Cannon Fodder by 12 lengths.

Rosa Imperialis with jockey Gavin Sheehan and trainer Robert Walford  Photo: Jeannie Knight

Rosa Imperialis with jockey Gavin Sheehan and trainer Robert Walford Photo: Jeannie Knight

Robert Walford said: ” She did that well and it is a welcome victory- I’ve had too many second places recently. I’m pleased with the way she has won that.”  He has around 16 horses in training at the moment- with Carole’s Spirit another progressive mare, which has won for him recently.

The final race of the day, a conditional jockey’s handicap hurdle race, made the long journey from Cowbridge in Wales worthwhile for trainer Tim Vaughan.  He sent out Benability at 5-1, with Connor Walsh in the saddle to win by four and a half lengths.

The next meeting at Fontwell Park is on Sunday January 18.

Chantilly-based Fresles wins fast-track qualifer for Lingfield’s all-weather championships

The first French Fast-Track Qualifier for the All-Weather Championships has been held at Deauville in France resulting in a thrilling finish, with the Pia Brandt-trained Fresles, with Alexis Badel up, winning by a nose.

The 52,000 euros Prix Miss Satamixa, run over seven and a half furlongs on Polytrack, gave a guaranteed place to three-year-old Royal Applause filly Fresles in the £150,000 32Red.com Fillies & Mares Championship over seven furlongs on Good Friday, April 3, at Lingfield Park.

Plaisanciere was a length and a quarter back in third. The James Tate-trained Lamar ran the best of the three British challengers when staying on in fourth, another three quarters of a length in arrears, while the Clive Cox-trained Stereo Love finished eighth and Stosure from Gay Kelleway’s yard came home tenth of the maximum field of 16.

Brandt, who trains in Chantilly, is keen to challenge for honours on Good Friday. She said after the race: “Finals Day at Lingfield Park is the goal with Fresles. I thought six furlongs was her trip before today but she has proved she stays further and seven furlongs should be perfect on Good Friday.

“This was going to be the second of three qualifying runs but her victory means she can now go straight to Finals Day.She is improving and now so much better mentally. Even though she won by a nose, she had one ear pricked and has more to give.”

 

Fresles raced in Britain last month, when the neck second to Intransigent at Lingfield Park in the Listed Unibet Golden Rose Stakes, a Fast-Track Qualifier over six furlongs and has had some experience of the track.

 

Horses qualify for the seven championship contests on the £1.1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 3, 2015) by winning a specified “Fast Track Qualifier” or running in a minimum of three races at Britain’s five All-Weather tracks, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, owned by ARC, The Jockey Club’s Kempton Park and Chelmsford City, between October 30 and March 30.

 

Alternatively, one of the three qualifying runs can come at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse (dirt) or on the All-Weather surfaces at Ireland’s Dundalk and the French tracks of Cagnes Sur Mer, Chantilly and Deauville.

Hickstead crowned as world’s best

The Longines Royal International Horse Show has been crowned the world’s best showjumping competition by the Horse International year book, L’Année Hippique.

The international show, which has been held at Hickstead in West Sussex since 1992, won the award for ‘Best Showjumping Event of the Year Award 2014’, taking a massive 40 per cent of the vote ahead of CHIO Aachen (19 per cent) and the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (11 per cent).

 Pictured are (L-R) Lizzie Bunn, Inge Van Der Net from Horse International, and Edward Bunn. Photo copyright:Trevor Meeks/Olympia

Hickstead directors Edward and Lizzie Bunn accepted the award from Inge Van Der Net from L’Année Hippique during a presentation at the London International Horse Show at Olympia.

“We’re delighted to accept this award,” said Lizzie Bunn, whose father Douglas founded the All England Jumping Course in 1960. “It’s an incredible honour, especially considering the calibre of the second and third placed events.

“We very much hope that this international recognition will encourage more overseas visitors to attend the show next summer. Britain is flying high with Scott Brash as world number one, and Hickstead as the world’s best showjumping event!” Lizzie added.

Hickstead is host to one of only three CHIO 5* events in the world, alongside Aachen in Germany and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The Longines Royal International Horse Show features the highest levels of showjumping alongside championship showing classes, while an international dressage nations cup is run concurrently within the venue by Dressage at Hickstead.

The Longines Royal International Horse Show boasts the only Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup leg held in Britain, where the world’s best teams go head to head. The show concludes with the British Grand Prix – formerly known as the Longines King George V Gold Cup – which has a €200,000 prize fund.

The show (patron: Her Majesty The Queen) is more than 100 years old, making it one of the oldest horse shows in the world. It is the official show of The British Horse Society.

Next year’s Longines Royal International Horse Show will run from 28 July to 2 August, and tickets are on sale now from www.hickstead.co.uk

Charlotte and Valegro were major Olympia highlight

There is no doubt that a major highlight of this year’s Olympia, The London International Horse Show was Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro not only winning the Reem Acra FEI World Cup™ Freestyle, supported by Horse & Hound, but breaking their own World Record score that they set here last year, as well as claiming their third successive victory at the show.

The pair entertained the full house last week with their practically foot-perfect programme to a compilation of emotive music from the soundtrack to the film ‘How to Train your Dragon’, – the same music that won them the World Championship title at the World Equestrian Games in August.

Charlotte Dujardin Photo British Dressage

Charlotte Dujardin when representing Britain
Photo British Dressage

 

They made piaffe-pirouettes, passage half passes and bold daring extensions look easy and the test that has to be the best freestyle ever ridden, received a standing ovation from a full house and a mark of 94.3 per cent from the judges.

“He is the most incredible horse, he just keeps giving and giving,” said Charlotte, who in April this year became the first Briton to win the World Cup title since the inception of the series in 1986. “I was absolutely thrilled with my ride – the last piaffe pirouette I was nearly in tears he was with me all the way.”

Charlotte Du Jardin

Charlotte Du Jardin

Olympia reported that as last year, leading Dutch rider Edward Gal and Glocks Undercover were second, with a test that made the most of Undercover’s rhythmic passage and piaffe. It was Edward Gal who in 2009 set the standard in freestyle, breaking the then world record score when winning at Olympia with Totilas.

“Charlotte, I know how you feel,” said Edward. “A standing ovation is a really great feeling because we work really hard and it makes the work worthwhile.”

Olympia debutante Jessica von Bredow-Werndl, a former European Young Rider Champion, gained third place with Beatrice Burchler-Keller’s Unee BB – an elegant black stallion by Gribaldi.

“It was a privilege for me just to sit next to Charlotte and Edward,” she said. “While I have not had a World Record feeling yet I am working on it.”

Danielle Heijkoop and Siro N.O.P., trained by Anky Van Grunsven – winner of the World Cup on nine occasions from 1995 to 2008, were fourth.

“Charlotte’s test was just out of this world – I  honestly thought in 2009 that we would never see the same again,” said Stephen Clarke,  President of the Ground Jury. “I am not sure what it is about this show that produces such dressage – the horses are incredible here.”

Hidden Gold heads for Lingfield’s Marathon Championships

Godolpin has gained its fourth fast-track qualifier success, following Hidden Gold’s recent victory in the £19,000 32Red Conditions Stakes over an extended two miles on Tapeta at Wolverhampton. She automatically gains a place in the two-mile £150,000 32Red.com Marathon Championships on Polytrack at Lingfield Park on All-Weather Championships Finals Day, Good Friday, April 3.

Exciting action on Lingfield Park's all weather track

Exciting action on Lingfield Park’s all weather track

The regally-bred three-year-old filly, by Shamardal out of a half-sister to Galileo and Sea The Stars, is now unbeaten in three starts on the All-Weather having been triumphant on her previous two starts on the Polytrack of Lingfield Park, including in the Listed 32red.com/Choose EBF Nominated River Eden Fillies’ Stakes over 13 furlongs on October 30.

Hidden Gold through to finals day Photo: John Simpson

Hidden Gold through to finals day
Photo: John Simpson

The 1/2 favourite was held up in the early stages before making significant progress as the field entered the home straight for the final time. She took up the running entering the final furlong and went on to record a cosy two-length success over Ted Spread (Suzy Smith/Luke Morris).

Winning rider Graham Lee said: “She is a nice filly and it all went pretty good.She can be a bit on and off but when this filly comes good, she is good. She has won quite tidily. Supposedly the key to her is that you cannot go in among horses, you have got to keep her out, so my biggest problem was making sure I didn’t get sucked into challenging on the inside.

“As I have come around to challenge, she has ended up doing it well. Everyone had said she would stay, although she may be happier at a mile and six furlongs. Thankfully it all worked out.”

Earlier in the evening, the £45,000 Coral Handicap (7.45pm) over an extended nine furlongs went to Earth Drummer (David O’Meara/Danny Tudhope), who scored by half a length from Spes Nostra(David Barron/Graham Gibbons). It was a first win on the All-Weather for the four-year-old at his fourth attempt.

Jockey Daniel Tudhope Photo:Jeannie Knight

Horses qualify for the seven championship contests on the £1.1-million All-Weather Championships Finals Day (Good Friday, April 3, 2015) by winning a specified ‘Fast Track Qualifier’ or running in a minimum of three races at Britain’s five All-Weather tracks, Lingfield Park, Southwell and Wolverhampton, owned by ARC, The Jockey Club’s Kempton Park and Chelmsford City, between October 30 and March 30.

Alternatively, one of the three qualifying runs can come at Dubai’s Meydan Racecourse (dirt) or on the All-Weather surfaces at Ireland’s Dundalk and the French tracks of Cagnes Sur Mer, Chantilly and Deauville.

Don’t miss Boxing Day racing at Fontwell Park

Fontwell Park is offering an outstanding day out on Boxing Day, with quality festive racing at this popular figure-of-eight track,  with seven races on the card. For this meeting only there is the opportunity to get even closer to the action with free parking in the centre of the course.

Festive racing at Fontwell Park on Boxing Day

Festive racing at Fontwell Park on Boxing Day

The course will show the prestigious King George VI race at Kempton Park at 3.10pm on the large screen. Plus there will ne a range of children’s entertainment including fun fair rides,  face painters to keep youngsters happy throughout the afternoon.

A great atmosphere is offered at this only figure-of-eight jumps course in the UK with seven top class races.Save money in advance with tickets that are just £15 if pre-booked by 3pm the day before racing and remember children under 18 go free. For tickets contact: http://www.fontwellpark.co.uk/whats-on/fixture/26-december or ring l 01243 543335

RACE TIMES:

12:20 The 32Red Handicap Hurdle Race (0-130)   2m 2f 110y

12:55 The Southern Cranes & Access Limited Handicap Steeple Chase (0-105)   2m 2f

1:30 The Auntie Bill and Auntie Pam Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle Race   2m 4f

2:05 The Mrs Claus Mares’ Handicap Hurdle Race (0-120)   2m 6f 110y

2:45 The Happy 60th Birthday Peter Bomphrey Juvenile Hurdle Race   2m 2f 110y

3:20 The Debra Clayton-Kyriakou 50th Birthday Celebration Handicap Steeple Chase (0-100)   3m 2f 110y

3:50 The 32Redpoker.Com Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle Race (0-100)   2m 4f