Raceday to raise funds for Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre

Moorcroft Racehorse Welfare Centre, based at Slinfold in West Sussex, is continuing its outstanding work to retrain and rehabilitate ex-racehorses so that they can go on to a useful life outside racing.
In order to fund the ongoing cost of retraining the deserving horses in its care, a Raceday supporting Moorcroft is to be held at Lingfield Park Racecourse, on Saturday September 14.  There will be a three-course lunch in the Pavilion Restaurant along with an auction of great prizes.
The centre, where Mary Frances oversees the retraining of ex-racehorses in its care, is a registered charity with an ongoing mission to reschool and rehabilitate these horses so they have a real chance of a second career outside racing.
Moorcroft is renowned for the high standard of its work- and fundraising is essential to enable it to continue. When retrained, these horses go on to enjoy a happy life beyond racing. They are retrained and rehabilitated at Moorcroft before going on to suitable new homes.

Long reining demonstration at Moorcroft  show casing work done at  this centre                                                                                        Photo: Mark Beaumont

It promises to be an excellent day out, with some of Moorcroft’s retrained ex-racehorses parading in the paddock before racing starts.  This enables racegoers to see first hand the impressive results achieved by the charity, giving ex-racehorses the opportunity go on to new and caring homes in the future.  To book your place, please contact Mary on  07929 666408.

Dandy Boy, impressively retrained by Moorcroft, parading at a past Plumpton Raceday           Photo: Jeannie Knight

Also, there is a regular programme of events at Moorcroft, with demonstrations and open days, offering the chance to see first hand the outstanding work done at this centre. Visitors can see for themselves the important role Moorcroft plays in enabling horses leaving racing to be retrained and rehabilitated with the prospect of a happy future ahead in carefully vetted new homes.

Please support this Raceday and help achieve funds to ensure Moorcroft’s vital work continues on into the future, enabling ex-racehorses to be successfully rehomed.
In addition Moorcroft can help with schooling ex-racehorses short-term or with veterinary advice regarding ex-racehorses.  Please call Mary Frances on 07929 666408 for any help or information needed, or contact her at: moorcroftracehorse@gmail.com

Two Nicholls runners to contest Galway Plate

Paul Nicholls is sending two runners over to Ireland to contest the Galway Plate, which takes place on Wednesday, July 31. He is hoping for better success this time with both  Modus and Black Corton being targeted at the €300,000 prize.

He had finished seventh with 10-1 chance Caid Du Berlais in his last attempt at landing this handicap race, sponsored by the Tote, in 2014.

He has revealed that these two  horses will both contest the Plate this year.

Bryony Frost will partner eight-year-old Black Corton, who recently ran in the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot. Paul Nicholls said he had run Black Corton at Ascot recently, because it was an opportunity for him to run after Sandown before the Galway Plate.

Winning rider Bryony Frost
Photo courtesy of Fontwell Park Racecourse

Nicholls said of his gutsy eight-year-old: “It was a hard task for Black Corton at Ascot but it was the chance to get a run in after Sandown and he ran as well as could be expected.

Galway manager Michael Moloney welcomed the prospect of further overseas runners taking up the challenge for the race which has seen an increase in prize money of €50,000 since last year.

He said: “Always around this time of year there’s a little bit of interest from overseas and we try to contact them to put it in the front of their minds.

“With huge prize money for the 150th running of the Galway Plate, we’d be hopeful of attracting runners over and it’s great to hear that Paul is targeting the race. It adds an extra dimension.”

As the quality of the race increases, life has become more difficult for smaller stables to have a runner in the chasing highlight of the festival – something Galway has attempted to address this year.



Enable faces Sandown rematch with Magical

Enable, winner of the Arc twice,  is likely to face a rematch with Breeders’ Cup Turf runner-up Magical on her return in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown on Saturday.

The seven-time Group 1 winner, who made a winning reappearance in the September Stakes last year, is unbeaten in her last nine starts and will be partnered by regular rider Frankie Dettori.

Enable and Frankie Dettori
Photo courtesy of Reuters

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Magical will have the benefit of race fitness having run four times this season, most recently when second to Crystal Ocean in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The eight-runner field also includes Regal Reality, an impressive winner of the Brigadier Gerard Stakes, whose rider will be Kerrin McEvoy,  as well as Dante winner Telecaster, and Lockinge hero Mustashry.

It is an impressive line-up, which looks set to create some exciting action.

English Derby placings contend today’s Irish Derby

The Irish Derby is the key race today, Saturday and the three runners which were virtually in a blanket finish in the Epsom equivalent will again be in opposition.

The quartet of Anthony Van Dyck, Madhmoon , Japan and Broome were separated by the narrowest of margins in a breathtaking finish in the English race, with Anthony Van Dyck ridden by Seamie Heffernan and trained by Aidan O’Brien,taking the race by half a length from Madhmoon.

Madhmoon – could this be his day?
Photo: courtesy of John Simpson

The latter, trained by Kevin Prendergast, did not have a clear run in closing stages and had to be switched. Given a good run, he has a chance of reversing the English one-two.

Meanwhile Anthony Van Dyck has the advantage of having achieved a good victory over talented rivals.  Also he appears to act on any going and has Ryan Moore in the saddle. He has a good turn of foot.

Japan, ridden by Wayne Lordan and trained  by A P O’Brien, was another close contender, beaten into third place in the English Derby by the smallest of distances-a nose, even though his rider dropped his whip 100 yards out.

Meanwhile Broome was a short head further  back in fourth place.

There is all to play for today  in what should be a fascinating race.












Good Fontwell win for trainer Nick Gifford

BLACK Lightning fulfilled all promise when winning the opening handicap hurdle in wet conditions at Fontwell Park yesterday- providing Findon trainer Nick Gifford with a well deserved win.

The six-year-old gelding had shown promise in his early National Hunt Flat races, but  when running over hurdles he had previously been well beaten. By Whitmore’s Conn, he benefited from a change in headgear for his latest race- and also was reported to have had wind surgery.

Here he was ridden for the first time by Tabitha Worsley and the duo clearly established a good rapport with Black Lightning putting in a good performance under his new rider- comfortably beating 8-1 shot Ormskirk, trained by Johnny Farrelly.

Black Lightning, ridden by Tabitha Worsley, winning the opening race. Photo courtesy of Fontwell Park Racecourse photography.

Not only that but much-loved stablemate Brown Bear, also ridden by Tabitha Worsley and sent off at 5-1, put in a fine effort when he finished a good second in the Jack Parnell Handicap Chase over two miles five furlongs.

The Maiden Hurdle race saw jockey Bryony Frost add to her growing tally of race wins, when she partnered five-year-old bay mare Slaine, sent off at 4-1 and trained by Neil King, to a fluent five length victory over 14-1 shot Moans Cross, a five-year-old gelding trained by David Bridgwater. The evens favourite, Dancing In The Sky, sent off as evens favourite for trainer Dr Richard Newland, ridden by Sam Twiston-Davies, finished third.

Winning rider Bryony Frost :Photo courtesy of Fontwell Park Racecourse

The Mares Novice Hurdle Race, over two miles three furlongs, attracted nine runners – with 11-10 favourite Jaunty Soria,  ridden by Sam Twiston Davies, trained by Neil Mulholland winning by just under three lengths in what proved to be a competitive finish.

Runner up was  33-1 shot Fu Fu, trained by Robert Walford and ridden by James Best.  They in turn beat home Tara Niece, trained by Seamus Mullins, sent off at 17-2, by just a neck.

Trainer Johnny Farrelly made the trip from Somerset pay off when he sent out eight-year-old gelding Bermeo to win the three miles two furlongs handicap chase in good style, ridden by Tom Cannon.

A Fontwell Park date for the diary is the highly popular Ladies Evening at Fontwell Park will take place on Thursday August 22 this year. Gates open at 2.30pm with the first of seven races at 4.40pm and the last at 7.50pm.





Goodwood raceday raises £14,500

GOODWOOD’S Family Race Day proved popular once again when approximately 10,000 racegoers enjoyed an afternoon of activities on the South Downs and a significant sum of £14,500 was raised for charity.

The fixture was run in aid of the WellChild, whose work helps support seriously ill children and their families. Fundraising included the sale of race sponsorship, children’s fun activities, and donations from racegoers.

On a day when the Gordon and Lennox Enclosures became one, children and adults alike enjoyed a traditional funfair and an activity tent, where Paw Patrol’s popular puppies Chase and Skye made much-anticipated appearances throughout the day. The British Champions Series area gave racegoers a chance to have a go on a mechanical equicisor, while Golf at Goodwood provided education for young enthusiasts.

Exciting racing action at Goodwood at the weekend
Photo:John Simpson

Former Clerk of the Course Seamus Buckley was on hand to host mini-course walks, while ex-racehorse, Army Of Stars, was the centre of attention, having been brought along by the excellent team behind the Retraining of Racehorses organisation.

On the track, Shani put in a tenacious effort to win The Incubex WellChild Selling Stakes under P.J. McDonald before going under the hammer in an atmospheric winner’s enclosure, selling to local trainer John Bridger for £8,000.

The local theme continued when Nuits St George, trained in Pulborough by David Menuisier put in a superb front running performance in the R L Austen Diamond Handicap Stakes to win comfortably under Sean Levey. The quality of the win means he could be aimed at the prestigious Goodwood Festival if the ground is right.

Winner Nuits St George

Trainer David Menuisier commented afterwards: “Despite a rise in the weights he has won that nicely. Nuits St George is very ground dependant, so if there is some cut in the ground come the Qatar Goodwood Festival, we will look to go there.”

Pulborough trainer David Menuisier

WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer commented; “We are thrilled with the amount of support and money raised at Goodwood’s Family Race Day, it will go a long way to helping seriously ill children and supporting their families through some incredibly tough times.

“I would personally like to thank the Goodwood team; our sponsors Infiniti, R L Austen, The Bennington Family, IncubEx, and Ed Chamberlin for their invaluable support.”

Goodwood now looks forward to the second Three Friday Night act on June 14, when Gorgon City take to the decks. The chart-topping duo consisting of two North London producers Kye Gibbon and Matt Robson-Scott, look set to wow the crowd come Friday night.






Frankie Dettori’s 200th career win at Goodwood

MORE than 23,000 racegoers enjoyed three days of culinary delights and racing thrills at Goodwood Racecourse, when the Sussex track hosted its May Festival last week.

Guests enjoyed some inspiring demonstrations from Matt Gillan, Jane Devonshire, and Sarah Jayne Stanes, while chefs from Goodwood House, Farmer, Butcher, Chef, and  Goodwood Academy showcased their flourishing talent.

A culinary crescendo was met when top jockeys stole the show with Jamie Spencer, Andrea Atzeni, Hollie Doyle, and Brighton based Jason Watson, swapping the saddle for saucepans. The three-minute Jockeys Omelette Challenge, judged by Goodwood Hotel Head Chef, Mark Foreman, saw Jamie Spencer and Jason Watson crowned champions.

As racegoers basked in the sun on Thursday, it was Frankie Dettori’s victory aboard Terebellum in the British European Breeders Fund Maiden Fillies’ Stakes which crowned his 200th career success at the Sussex track.

Frankie Dettori receives his 200th win award: Photo courtesy of Goodwood

The milestone comes 32 years after he rode Lizzy Hare to victory, and around 70 of those 200 triumphs have come during Glorious week down the decades.

The feature Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes went the way of Aloe Vera for Harry Bentley, having travelled beautifully throughout she went away readily at the line to beat favourite Shambolic. Winning trainer Ralph Beckett commented; “I was not expecting that. She’s from a very good family and it looks like we have something nice on our hands.”

Friday saw the highly touted Private Secretary land the feature Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Cocked Hat Stakes for John Gosden. Unbeaten in three starts this season he looked like a horse going places, Frankie Dettori commented; “He’s maturing all the time, and will stay further, he showed a good turn of foot to win.”

Middleham trainer, Mark Johnson, as usual had a successful few days at Goodwood, with three winners. Lake Volta put up an impressive performance in the Thames Materials Handicap, with the aim now being to come back for the Qatar Goodwood Festival. Elarqam, bounced back to form on Saturday with a win in the Betfair sponsored Listed Festival Stakes, while later in the card, Kings Advice showed a plucky performance to make all in the Betfair Exchange Handicap Stakes.

Mirage Dancer won back to back Tapster Stakes, trained by Sir Michael Stoute, the five-year-old looked every bit a class act with winning jockey Pat Dobbs commenting: “It was a messy race with a slow pace, so he’s done it the hard way, having strengthened up over the winter he really does look exciting.”

Alex Eade, General Manager of Goodwood Racecourse said; “We had a lovely atmosphere across the course for this meeting, alongside the top-quality racing, and it was great to see so many people enjoying the food demonstrations, Food Market and Mirabeau masterclasses.

“We now look forward to a busy June, with four fixtures coming up in quick succession. Our Three Friday Nights series kicks off on June 7 with MK headlining. This is then followed closely by our brilliant Family Raceday to enjoy on 10 June.”

Young rider is final jockey for Magnolia Cup race

A young rider from Brixton’s Ebony Horse Club has been confirmed as the twelfth and final jockey in this year’s Magnolia Cup race at Goodwood Racecourse on Thursday August 1.

Khadijah Mellah, 18, who has been a member of the Ebony Horse Club for five years will join model Vogue Williams, Olympian Victoria Pendleton and nine other amateur riders in the female only charity race which is the opening contest on Ladies’ Day and will take place before a capacity crowd of 25,000 sports fans.

Throughout her training for the race a documentary team will trace Khadijah’s journey from Brixton, South London, to one of the world’s most famous racecourses. The film will be jointly funded by Great British Racing, the sport’s promotional body; Goodwood Racecourse and The Racing Foundation, as official partners.

Magnolia Cup-rider,Khadijah Mellah, with Frankie Dettori and Ollie Bell.  Photo: British Horse Racing

Khadijah is currently revising for her A-Levels this summer and will combine studying with a gruelling fitness regime to prepare her for the transition from the club’s ponies to a thoroughbred racehorse in the race.

Having learned to ride at Ebony Horse Club she has already ridden out at Chris Wall’s yard in Newmarket and Simon Dow’s stables in Epsom where she will train, and visited a racecourse for the first time when attending Newmarket’s Craven Meeting in April.

She said, “I am super-duper excited about riding in the Magnolia Cup. It was a great experience riding at Chris Wall’s and Simon Dow’s yards and seeing how different racehorses are. It was my first time on a racecourse at Newmarket last month so it was good to get my head around what raceday is like and what it’ll be like on the day. It’s going to be a busy few months with my A-Levels as well but I can’t wait to get going.”

ITV Racing presenter Oli Bell who is a patron of Ebony Horse Club said, “I am incredibly excited about the documentary and its potential to shine a light on Ebony’s brilliant work and the ways in which it is opening up opportunities for its members in racing, the sport that I love.

“It will be an incredible achievement for Khadijah to go from riding at the Club to being able to compete on a racehorse at Goodwood and we are all so impressed with her commitment and drive. She is a great personality and a brilliant rider and we will all be rooting for her in the Magnolia Cup.”

Rod Street, Chief Executive of Great British Racing which is an official partner of the film and is part funding it said, “We are very proud and excited to be supporting this brilliant initiative. As a sport we need to be doing so much more to broaden the appeal of racing and we hope that Khadijah’s story will inspire and capture people’s imagination about the power of horses – be they at Ebony or on a racecourse – and prompt more people to consider the sport.”

The film is being produced by Tom Bolwell and Mattia Reiniger, who will document Khadijah’s life in the run up to race day including her riding and training regime, as well as her home life in Brixton.

Opening of Goodwood’s May Festival

The first day of Goodwood’s May Festival welcomed glorious sunshine and superb racing. The East Parade Lawn was a hive of activity throughout as local exhibitors including Perfectly Preserved, Yarty’s Vinegar and Horsham Coffee showcased their produce.

With brilliant cooking demonstrations from culinary professionals including Jane Davidson, 2016 winner of MasterChef, and Goodwood Estates very own Ben Hammett of farmer, butcher,chef, it was jockeys’ Hollie Doyle and locally born, Jason Watson, who stole the show when showcasing their talents off the turf in the Jockeys Omelette Challenge.

Jockeys cook up a storm at Goodwood Racecourse

Hollie Doyle appeared to command the kitchen throughout the three-minute cook-off, however, it was locally born Jason Watson who prevailed in the taste test, judged by Goodwood Hotel Chef, Mark Foreman. This marked a change of fortune for Jason who could only finish fifth to Hollie’s dominant display aboard Apex King in The Three Friday Nights Handicap Stakes, earlier in the afternoon.

The feature Listed Height Of Fashion Stakes went the way of Aloe Vera for Harry Bentley, having travelled beautifully throughout she went away readily at the line to beat favourite Shambolic.

Winning Trainer Ralph Beckett commented; “I wasn’t expecting that, she’s from a very good family and it looks like we have something nice on our hands. The aim would be The Park Hill Stakes at the end of the season; I don’t think she wants any further than a mile and a quarter.”

On the supporting card it was a day to remember for Oisin Murphy who scored aboard 16-1 shot Spirit of Appin in the British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap, before following up in the Jim Barry Handicap with Wedding Blue for trainer Andrew Balding.





Lingfield Park’s great racing and music events

A summer of great racing followed by a fusion of live music is on offer over eight separate dates at Lingfield Park Resort – with the first event certain to appeal to would-be rock stars.

Sunny raceday at Lingfield Park : Photo:Arena Racing Corporation Ltd

As the horses are led away to the stables for the night on Saturday June 1, visitors to the Surrey racecourse will be invited to celebrate all things ‘Queen’ as a live tribute band takes to the stage for a giant Bohemian Rhapsody-themed Massaoke.

“This is taking the concept of singing along at a gig to a whole new level,” commented Kieran Gallagher, executive director of Lingfield Park Resort.

“As the band sing and play all the best Queen hits on the stage, a giant screen will show the lyrics to the song, allowing the audience to be a complete part of the show.

“This is karaoke at its best!”

The stage for the summer gigs – all which follow an evening of racing – will this year be on the Grandstand side of the racecourse, allowing more people than ever to enjoy the live themed entertainment.

Just a week after the giant sing-along, JD King’s Elvis The Legend and his big band will take to the stage at the racecourse on June 8.  This Viva Las Vegas-themed night will appeal to all Elvis fans as one of his most popular impersonators brings to life some magic from Memphis.

With a sell-out Madness show on June 22,  the mood will change for the final Saturday on June 29 when the popular Take That Experience – regulars at Lingfield Park – entertain the race-goers.

A Lingfield Park capacity concert
Photo: Arena Racing Corporation

“We have tried to choose acts that appeal to our hugely eclectic audience,’ added Kieran Gallagher.  ‘Whether your choice of music is rock, pop or the real thing, we have something for everyone at Lingfield this summer.”

August sees a night to celebrate the roaring 1920’s as Gentlemen’s Day features the legendary Cheaky Blinders taking to the stage after racing. With a Best-Dressed Gents competition offering great prizes, this is sure to be a night to ‘Get you glad rags on’!

Jess Glynne will be increasing the tempo on August 10, with tickets selling out fast for this four-time Brit nominee star.

The season will end on August 31 with a fun School Reunion night featuring a 90’s Revival band. Dig out those school ties and pleated skirts and celebrate the sounds of Madonna, Whitney Houston and U2 as you take a trip down memory lane.

Tickets for all the live events are available from the Lingfield Park Resort website: https://www.lingfieldpark.co.uk or by calling the office on 01342 834800 (option 1).

Save £5 with advance purchase tickets.