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Published 31 July 2010

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NEWS BEFORE RACING - Saturday, July 31

ATTENDANCE UP AT GLORIOUS GOODWOOD

 

Rod Fabricius, Goodwood Racecourse’s Managing Director, said: "We expect a crowd of over 22,000 today, with advance bookings marginally ahead of last year.

"Hopefully, the damp start to the day will not deter racegoers from attending the fifth and final day of what has so far been a highly successful festival meeting."

DAY/YEAR 2010 2009 +/-

Tuesday 13,003 13,767 -764 (-5.5%)Wednesday 16,705 15,530 +1,175 (+7.7%)Thursday 20,607 19,414 +1,193 (+6.1%) Friday 20,723 20,209 +514 (+2.5%)Saturday ? 22,031

 

GROUND CONDITIONS AT 10AM

After four millimetres of rain up to 10am this morning, there is a slight change to the going.Straight course: GOOD

Round course: GOOD TO FIRM, GOOD IN PLACES GoingStick readings at 10am

(Overall): 8.1

(Round Course): 8.5

(Straight Course - Stands’ side): 7.5

(Straight Course - Centre): 7.5

(Straight Course - Far side): 7.7

Top bend and back straight watered - 10 millimetres applied

 

Seamus Buckley, Clerk of the Course, said: "With the forecast precipitation overnight, I didn’t want rain falling on firm ground, so the decision was taken to water the top bend after racing. That allowed the rain to absorb into the turf.

"The GoingStick reading overall is 8.1, so we are heading into the final day on very nice ground. I am delighted with the way the course has stood up to racing and the credit for that goes to the groundstaff who have worked hard to give us a wonderful surface.

"The rain is moving away and we are forecast to have a fine afternoon with temperatures of around 22 or 23 degrees Celcius."

 BLUE SQUARE FEARS RILEYSKEEPINGFAITH

This year marks the fourth occasion that the bookmaker Blue Square has sponsored the bluesq.com Stewards’ Cup (3.40pm) and the Group One Blue Square Nassau Stakes (3.05pm).

The bluesq.com Stewards’ Cup over six furlongs is one of the season’s biggest betting heats and Alan Alger, Blue Square’s on-course representative, reports sustained interest in jockey-of-the-moment Richard Hughes’ mount, Rileyskeepingfaith.

The Mick Channon-trained four-year-old missed all of 2009 but has returned with some smart efforts this term, including when splitting Blue Square’s current 8/1 joint-favourite Genki and Castles In The Air (22/1) at Haydock last time.

Alger reported: "Rilesykeepingfaith has been well backed all week. When the five-day declarations were made he was a 20/1 chance and that quickly shortened to 16/1. There was heavy support for the horse yesterday afternoon that saw him shorten further and he is now a 12/1 chance.

"It could be that we may not see much more for the horse now that the price has gone but we already have our liabilities, so I think I can safely say that Rileyskeepingfaith would be the worst result for us.

"Dandy Nicholls’ Evens And Odds was tipped by Pricewise and he is now 25/1 from 33/1 but that price will only go south."Midday is bidding for a repeat victory in the Group One Blue Square Nassau Stakes and Alger reports interest in the Henry Cecil-trained filly as well as in one of the two French raiders, Rosanara, who refused to board a plane to Ireland for the Irish Oaks earlier this month.

He said: "We had Rosanara as 3/1 joint-favourite with a run after she failed to make the race in Ireland. She then drifted out to 9/2 but was backed into 4/1 yesterday.

"Midday was 9/4 and is in to 2/1 this morning. Some firms went 7/4 but then Barry Dennis put her up as his Bismarck on The Morning Line and she drifted out a little bit. I expect she will be around a 2/1 chance.

"We haven’t seen any money for the other French filly, Stacelita."

 

 bluesq.com Stewards’ Cup facts & figure

- The Stewards’ Cup was first run in 1834 over a distance of a mile and a half.

- In a bid to attract a larger entry, the race was staged over its familiar distance of six furlongs for the first time on July 31, 1840, when 20 runners went to post. The race was won by Epirus.

- That 1840 contest was worth £300, whereas today the bluesq.com Stewards’ Cup carries prize money of £100,000.

- Since 1946, the winning margin has been a short-head on 10 occasions, a head eight times and a neck 11 times. In 2008, for the first time a new distance - a nose - could be utilised in a close finish.

- There has been one dead-heat in the Stewards’ Cup. The 1914 running went to both Golden Sun and Lord Annandale, the previous year’s winner.

- The biggest winning margin in the post World War II period came in 1987 when the Peter Calver-trained Madraco won by four lengths.

- Madraco returned at 50/1, making him one of three horses since 1946 to have triumphed at such mammoth odds. The other two were Ahonoora (1978), who subsequently sired the 1992 Derby winner Dr Devious, and Ashurst Wonder (1954).

- The shortest-priced winner since 1945 has been Patavellian who was returned as the 4/1 second favourite in 2003.

- The first German-bred winner of the Stewards’ Cup (pre-dating a French-bred victory on English soil by three years) was Count Hahn’s Turnus, who triumphed in 1850. He defied a penalty to add the Chesterfield Cup at the meeting two days later.

- With three wins apiece, Willie Carson, Paul Cook and Richard Hughes are the most successful jockeys in the post-war period. Richard Hughes has a chance to go clear today as he rides the well-backed Rileyskeepingfaith, while the other two riders have retired.

- There have been three dual winners in the history of the Stewards’ Cup. Marvel scored in 1890 and 1892, while Lord Annandale triumphed in 1913 and shared the spoils in a dead-heat the following year with Golden Sun. Sky Diver was victorious in 1967 and 1968. Genki attempts the feat today.

- Lochsong’s awesome victory in 1992 was the first in a hat-trick of major sprint handicap successes that season as the future Group One heroine added the Portland Handicap and Ayr Gold Cup on her next two starts.

- King’s Signet (1993) and Petong (1984) carried the highest weight to victory in the post World War II period - 9st 10lb.

- At the other end of the scale, the three-year-old Psalmsinger carried a featherweight 5st 4lb when triumphant in 1845. The minimum weight is now 7st 12lb.

- The bluesq.com Stewards’ Cup has a maximum limit of 28 runners these days but that has not always been the case and in 1861 Croagh Patrick defeated 44 rivals to take the famous sprint.

- Only 12 lined up in 1842 when Lady Adela took the spoils and that is the smallest field in the race’s history.

- The Stewards’ Cup was transferred to Newmarket from 1915 to 1917 and not run at all in 1918 during the First World War. There was also no race in 1940 during the second World War although a substitute, the Stewards’ Handicap, was staged at Newmarket in 1941 and won by Valthema, with Windso playing host from 1942 to 1945.

- Epirus was a six-year-old when winning in 1840 and 11 other winners have been that age. Four-year-olds have been most successful with 67 wins, while three-year-olds have taken the prize on 51 occasions.

- The John White-trained eight-year-old Shikari’s Son became the oldest winner in 1995, taking the distinction from Epaulet, who was seven when triumphing in 1958.

- Since starting stalls were first used in 1966, the luckiest draws have been stalls 11 and 19, with four winners coming from each.

- No winner has come from stalls 2, 3, 4, 7, 13, 17, 23, 24 and 26.

- Dermot Weld saddled Red Alert to success in 1974, the only Irish-trained winner of the Stewards’ Cup since the war.

- Dandy Nicholls rode the brilliant mare Soba to victory in 1982 and as a trainer he has tasted success twice with Tayseer (2000) and Gift Horse (2005). He saddles three runners in today’s renewal - Evens And Odds, Sonny Red and Striking Spirit.

- Sweetsauce won the six-furlong Stewards’ Cup at 20/1 in 1860 and just two days later was victorious in the Goodwood Cup over a stamina-sapping two miles and five furlongs.

- Probably the most popular winner of the Stewards’ Cup was Tudor Monarch, who carried the pink and chocolate colours of Sir Winston Churchill when ridden to victory by Geoff Lewis in 1959

- In 1883, the previous year’s Oaks winner, Geheimniss, was pipped at the post by the fast-finishing Hornpipe.

- Spillers was the first commercial sponsor of the Stewards’ Cup from 1970 to 1980. The 1981 renewal was backed by the tote and then William Hill sponsored between 1982 and and 1992. Vodafone supported the race from 1993 to 2006, initially under the Vodac banner. Blue Square, the current sponsor, took over in 2007.

- The Stewards’ Cup used to be run on the first day of Glorious Goodwood, the Tuesday, switching to the Saturday, the final day, under Vodafone’s sponsorship in 1993.

- Owners and trainers chose the stall position for their horses for the first time in 1999 - a tradition that carries on.

- The 1998 Stewards’ Cup saw the launch of the tote trifecta bet.

 

 

Blue Square Nassau Stakes Facts & Figures

- In 2006, Ouija Board defeated the previous year’s victor Alexander Goldrun in one of the most thrilling races ever seen. In doing so, the five-year-old joined the 1992 heroine Ruby Tiger as the joint-oldest winner of the Nassau Stakes.

- The race was opened to older horses in 1975 when the three-year-old Roussalka kept the prize for the younger generation. However, she returned the following year to become the first triumphant four-year-old.

- Ruby Tiger (1991 & 1992) and Roussalka (1975 & 1976) are the only horses to have won the race twice. Midday will attempt to join them today.

- Three-year-olds still dominate the race, with the older generation enjoying only seven successes in the last 35 renewals.

- In 2008, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Halfway To Heaven became only the fourth Irish-trained winner since the Second World War, the others being the O’Brien-trained Peeping Fawn in 2008 and the Jim Bolger-trained pair of Alexander Goldrun three years earlier and Park Express in 1986.

- Trainer Sir Michael Stoute, who has won the race a record seven times in total, and jockey Kieren Fallon, teamed up to notch a Nassau Stakes hat-trick between 2002 and 2004 with victories for Islington, Russian Rhythm and Favourable Terms. Sir Michael’s other winners have been Hawajiss (1994), Kartajana (1990), Optimistic Lass (1984) and Triple First (1977).

- Henry Cecil will bid to match that total with Midday today although Stoute will be looking to extend his tally with Strawberrydaiquiri. Midday gave Cecil his sixth success last year and the trainer’s other wins came with Roussalka (1975 & 1976), Connaught Bridge (1979), Nom De Plume (1987) and Lyphard’s Delta (1993).

- Fair Winter scored by six lengths in 1967 but that distance was bettered by the brilliant Ruby Tiger who registered the widest winning margin since the Second World War when defeating Shamshir by seven lengths in 1991.

- The legendary Lester Piggott is the winning-most rider, having enjoyed five victories in the Nassau Stakes, with the first of those being Aunt Edith in 1965. He was on top Roussalka for both of her triumphs and the second of those was the rider’s final success in the race.

- US Hall Of Famer Gary Stevens, who enjoyed wider acclaim on the silver screen as George Woolf in the film Seabiscuit, rode Godolphin’s Zahrat Dubai to success in 1999.

- The great fillies La Fleche (1892), Sceptre (1902) and Pretty Polly (1904) each won the Nassau Stakes en route to completing the Fillies’ Triple Crown in the St Leger, having earlier won the 1,000 Guineas and the Oaks.

- The Nassau Stakes was upgraded from Group Two to Group One status for the 1999 renewal.

- Since the resumption of racing following the war in 1946, the smallest field saw only three runners go to post in1952 when the race was won by Hortentia.

- The largest field size has been 11, with that number competing in 1981, 1982, 1985 and 2005.

- There have been four short-head winners since 1945, Hortentia (1952), Lucyrowe (1969), Favourable Terms (2004) and Ouija Board (2006).

- The longest-priced winner of the Nassau Stakes has been Crespinall, who landed the odds at 25/1 for trainer Richard Hannon in 1972.

- The great Pretty Polly was a prohibitive 1/33 favourite when winning the race in 1904. The shortest-priced winner since 1946 has been Lucyrowe, who was sent off the 1/2 favourite but only prevailed by a short-head under Frankie Durr in 1969.

- Park Express, successful for trainer Jim Bolger in 1986, is the dam of the 2008 Derby winner New Approach, who was also trained by the Coolcullen handler.

- In the last 16 renewals, 10 favourites or joint-favourites have been successful, the latest being Peeping Fawn in 2007 who scored as the clear 2/1 favourite.

- Wayward Belle won the 1946 Nassau Stakes as the 11/8 favourite and a further 23 market leaders have triumphed since that time.

 

 

MARKET MOVERS

1.55pm Play Britain’s Got Talent Bingo at Meccabingo.com Handicap

VALIANT KNIGHT - 15/2 from 12/1 with totesport

AVERROES - 11/1 from 12/1 with Coral; 11/1 from 16/1 with totesport

FINEST RESERVE - 10/1 from 14/1 with totesport; 10/1 from 16/1 with Paddy Power

WADNAAN - 4/1 from 5/1 with Paddy Power; 4/1 from 9/2 with Coral

IF I WERE A BOY - 14/1 from 16/1 with Coral

3.05pm Blue Square Nassau Stakes

MIDDAY - 15/8 from 2/1 with totesport and Paddy Power

3.40pm bluesq.com Stewards’ Cup

ENACT - 7/1 from 9/1 with Coral

PRIME EXHIBIT - 25/1 from 40/1 with totesport

EVENS AND ODDS - 20/1 from 25/1 with both Coral and totesport; 22/1 from 25/1 with Paddy Power

ANCIEN REGIME - 33/1 from 50/1 with Coral

SONNY RED - 33/1 from 50/1 with Paddy Power

4.15pm Moblile Betting At iphone.bluesq.com EBF Maiden

AERIAL ACCLAIM - 7/1 from 9/1 with Coral; 8/1 from 12/1 with Paddy Power

4.50pm Play Poker At gcasino.com Nursery

GOODWOOD TREASURE - 7/1 from 8/1 with Coral; 7/1 from 9/1 with Paddy Power

5.25pm bluesq.com Supporting Marie Curie Apprentice Handicap

PEPONI - 6/1 from 7/1 with Paddy Power

EUSTON SQUARE - 9/1 from 12/1 with Paddy Power

  

UPS ON THE DOWNS AT GLORIOUS GOODWOODIn an age when superficial celebrity has become a way of life, Glorious Goodwood’s proven format has shown once again that class is always popular.

Staging five-star sporting action in an absorbing location works time and again, and if the weather is kind you have a winner year in and out. People and horses come and go, but Glorious Goodwood remains a shrine of English summer excellence.

The 2010 version will be remembered for a performance that deserves recognition by every fan of horse racing. It has centred on a man, his son-in-law and the team that backs them.

Trainer Richard Hannon has not arrived overnight, an X-factor fancy soon to be forgotten - he has been plying his trade for 40 years, and handled numerous good horses, yet he is experiencing an annus mirabilis that begs the question, how does he do it? High-quality horses seem to be looking over every other door at his Wiltshire stables, and he brought the best of them all, Canford Cliffs, to Glorious Goodwood on Wednesday for the Group One Sussex Stakes.

What a treat for racegoers when Canford Cliffs reeled in another top-class miler, the 2009 winner Rip Van Winkle, in the process enabling Hannon’s son-in-law, Richard Hughes, to provide another example of brilliant race riding.

Not only is Hughes successful, he is also hugely entertaining, for it is his brand, and few other jockeys would attempt it. Leaving it late, arriving in time, and doing so while exuding cheeky confidence is the hallmark of his method, and crowds love it. Hughes is currently a sportsman at the crest of his career, but he’s entertaining too, and we are blessed to witness it.

Seven times in the first four days Hannon and Hughes have teamed up for victory, and five of those wins have been gained with two-year-olds, suggesting we can look forward to many more good times from the Hannon/Hughes double act. Their haul has included success in the two most important juvenile races of the week, by virtue of King Torus (Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes) - Hannon’s 50th Glorious Goodwood winner - and Libranno (Tanqueray Richmond Stakes). Another two-year-old, Kalahaag, gave Hannon his 200th success at all Goodwood meetings when taking the EBF New Ham Fillies’ Maiden.

The week’s emotional highlights centre on two horses who won on Thursday. Illustrious Blue’s success in the Artemis Goodwood Cup was his third at Glorious Goodwood and a fulfilling moment for locally-based young trainer William Knight, while Borderlescott’s success in the Audi King George Stakes was his second Glorious Goodwood victory and proved age can only partly wither quality. Borderlescott sustained a leg injury when winning, but is on the road to recovery, and, similarly, Age Of Aquarius is pulling through after tearing liagments during the Artemis Goodwood Cup. Professional veterinary care, a feature of Goodwood, undoubtedly played a role in alleviating these injuries.

Other highlights have included a return to his best by Lord Shanakill (Betfair Cup), a late, late flourish by Beachfire (TurfTV Summer Vase), strength and brilliance while netting three victories by champion jockey Ryan Moore, and an all-the-way triumph by Sea Lord (totesport Mile).

All treasured memories - and there is still one day to go!ROD’S GLORIOUS FAREWELL

Rod Fabricius bids farewell to Glorious Goodwood today after a 28-year stint at the helm of Goodwood Racecourse..

Fabricius hands over the role of managing director to Adam Waterworth at the end of the year but, at the conclusion of the racecourse’s premier meeting, he was keen to emphasise he is not saying goodbye to the world of horseracing.

He said: "I’m looking forward to moving on with new challenges, and I hope some will involve the racing industry, but Goodwood is in safe hands and will continue to entertain racegoers in this most quintessentially English of settings.

"I’ve no specific plans - I’m contemplating possibilities, and one will be to remain involved in Goodwood and to support Adam where I can while, avoiding risk of interference as a non-executive director of the racecourse. I’ll continue to live in West Sussex and my family are happy here, but I will certainly be seen more often on racecourses, because that’s what I enjoy most about the game.

"I made the decision to move on at 60 because I’ve exhausted my ideas and energies for the business and it requires new creative thoughts. It deserves the ambitions of a younger person.

"In so many respects the challenge at Goodwood is retaining what is so precious to the brand and those things which make it so special for hundreds of thousands of racegoers, yet it has to move forward in terms of customer expectations and raising the standard of racing."

Asked to consider the key changes during his time at the course, Fabricius was quick to nominate a piece of kit that is crucial to turf management. He said: "In terms of ensuring we can attract the best horses and have the confidence of top trainers the Upton Irrigator, which we bought for £40,000 15 years ago, has been a marvellous investment. Without it, our ability to provide consistently safe and level going would not have been possible.

"[For paying customers] The new paddock layout has had the greatest impact, but the Charlton and Sussex Stands have been a success and I’m thrilled we’ve been able to advance the fixture list from 15 to 23 days. Growing the number of black-type races has been rewarding, too, as has lifting the Betfair Nassau Stakes to Group One and the Audi King George Stakes to Group Two.

"Generating sales is crucial for investment in prize money or improvement in facilities, so the successful exploitation of picture rights, the attraction of corporate clients and sponsorship, and ticket sales to the public via advanced bookings on our website have all been key elements, and ones that Adam is ideally qualified to develop."

Asked for personal highlights during his tenure, Fabricius returned to horses, saying: "The Marling and Selkirk titanic battle [in the 1992 Sussex Stakes] was marvellous, and the Artemis Goodwood Cup has always played a big part in thrilling the crowd, not least through Double Trigger, Persian Punch and more recently Yeats, but maybe Canford Cliffs’ victory in Wednesday’s Sussex Stakes will prove to be a performance of Goliath standards."

And what are Rod’s future plans for leisure and pleasure? "I shall certainly be going racing more often, and my son Balthazar works in the [betting] industry so I shall help him in whatever way possible, but I’m also looking forward to spending more time with my family, playing a little more golf, and no doubt lingering in the garden and greenhouse when getting under my wife’s [Debbie] feet.

"What I must convey, however, is that none of the things achieved at Goodwood during my time would be possible without a brilliant team who have been exceptionally supportive, and that extends to the enthusiastic and knowledgeable board at Goodwood. They are true professionals, very competent, and we have built a great friendship."

 

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