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Horse Racing news 2005

Sunday 7th August 2005 - Racing news

Winston's title dream ends

ROBERT WINSTON'S dream of winning a first jockeys' championship ended with the news that he could be out of the saddle for at least two months with a broken jaw.

The Irishman, who led the title race with 98 winners, was involved in a nast fall at Ayr on Saturday night and will undergo an operation in Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock.

Winston was riding Pearl's A Singer when the filly appeared to slip on the home bend, sending him crashing through the rails.

Wednesday 3rd August 2005 - Racing news

Prix du Cercle, Deauville

CORRIDOR CREEPER, conqueror of Lafi in the Hong Kong Jockey Club Sprint Handicap for Milton Bradley last month, runs in the five-furlong Prix du Cercle at Deauville on Thursday, ridden by Shane Kelly.

Friday 22nd July 2005 - Racing news

Can Doyen win it again?

DOYEN will attempt to win the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes for the second time on Saturday with trainer Saeed Bin Suroor hoping the horse has returned to his very best.

Doyen was a three-length winner of the race last year and has been beaten on his three subsequent outings and trailed home fifth in the Hardwicke Stakes on his most recent run.

Doyen will now wear blinkers for the first time.

"After the King George last year, we took Doyen to Ireland and then to Newmarket for the Champion Stakes and he disappointed so we decided to give him a rest," Bin Suroor told

"When he was in Dubai for the winter and until three weeks before he ran at Royal Ascot at York, he wasn't showing us a lot.

"But then he started to work better and we were happy with him. He is a class horse and we thought he could go and run a big race in the Hardwicke Stakes.

"We checked him out thoroughly after he ran badly in Ireland and at Newmarket last year and also after York but found nothing wrong. He was not the real Doyen in those races.

"We thought the ground could have been the reason for his disappointing display at York but I am not sure. He is working fine again and seems happy.

"We still believe that Doyen has plenty of class and hopefully he will perform better on Saturday."

Saturday 16th July 2005 - Racing news

Fallon reunited with Arakan

Kieren Fallon will be back aboard Arakan for the first time this season when the horse aims for Group 3 glory in the Emirates Airline Minstrel Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday.

Fallon was the regular jockey of Arakan when he was stable jockey for Sir Michael Stoute prior to joining Aidan O'Brien at Ballydoyle.

This season, Arakan has had a different rider in all of his four races.

Monday 6th June 2005 - Racing news

Motivator could face elders next!

Johnny Murtagh had his ban reduced to 2 days and kept the Derby ride on Motivator.
Following the colt's scintillating success in Saturday's Vodafone Derby, Motivator could now be heading for a clash with his elders - and possibly Prix du Jockey Club winner Shamardal - as connections considered their options.

Trainer Michael Bell indicated that next month's Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown is now high on the list for Motivator, setting up a potential clash of Derby winners, as Godolphin indicated that Sandown was an option for Shamardal after his all-the-way success under Frankie Dettori at Chantilly.

Wednesday 25th May 2005 - Racing news

Murtagh likely to lose Motivator ride

Johnny Murtagh was on Tuesday given a ban for careless riding that now rules him out of the ride on Vodafone Derby favourite Motivator a week on Saturday.

Any hope of retaining the ride in the Epsom Classic now look extremely thin and rest on him overturning the three-day ban if he decides on an appeal.

Murtagh was found to have caused interference in the early stages of the Lingfield Leisure Club Median Auction Maiden Stakes,which he won on the James Fanshawe-trained Miss Brush, but later said he would consider an appeal.

“I am going to look at the tape tomorrow and decide,” he said.

Monday 16th May 2005 - Racing news

Ramsdens to Retire from Training

Lynda Ramsden is to retire from training at the end of this flat season and has decided to put her yard at Sandhutton, near Thirsk,up for sale.

It is the second time that Ramsden, 55, has relinquished her licence.

In 1998 Lynda and husband Jack, a proficient form expert and gambler, retired to France, but returned at the end of 2000 to prepare for the 2001 season.

Jack Ramsden, 63, was reported as saying: "We will be carrying on until the end of the season. We feel that we have done it for long enough.

“Prize-money isn’t great – and we own quite a lot of the horses ourselves – and finding suitable staff isn't easy. We will carry on owning a few horses but will be able to spend more time in the south of France, where we have a house.”

Wednesday 11th May 2005 - Racing news


The Met Office forecast sunny weather Wednesday and Thursday, with Friday set to be more cloudy but otherwise dry.

Clerk of the course William Derby said on Tuesday: “The ground is soft all round. We had a cloudburst on Sunday and it has been dry since but today was the first day that it has been spring-like and the temperature is now 15 degrees. We are expecting a dry but blustery week.”

Monday 2nd May 2005 - Racing news

FOOTSTEPSINTHESAND may bid for Guineas double!

FOOTSTEPSINTHESAND may bid for an English-Irish Guineas double after his win at Newmarket on Saturday - providing Kieren Fallon's gets his way.

Fallon suggested the colts' Classic at The Curragh on May 21st as a decent target.

He may have to renew rivalry with Rebel Rebel, the 100-1 shot that filled the second spot at Newmarket, and Dubawi, the beaten 11-8 favourite.

Fallon stated "The Irish 2,000 Guineas is a wild guess. That's usually the target for English Guineas winners.

"I haven't spoken to the owners or trainer, but I was asked where I would I like to go. English Guineas winners usually go to The Curragh. I'd like to see that happening, and it's worth a lot of money."

Monday 11th April 2005 - Racing news

Hedgehunter is the National Hero!

Hedgehunter received a tumultuous welcome at Leopardstown on Sunday afternoon following his gallant win in the Grand National at Aintree on Saturday.

The nine-year-old ran out an easy winner and justified favouritism with a 14-length success from Royal Auclair.

Trainer Willie Mullins arrived back from England in time to see his charge and officials at the course handed out small Irish flags for the crowd to wave as the horse was paraded around the paddock.

Mullins said, "It has always been my dream to win a National, and I can't believe the form the horse is in after running four and a half miles yesterday - he looks great."

Hedgehunter would scoop a £250,000 bonus for connections if he follows up his success in the Betfred Gold Cup at Sandown on April 23, for which the sponsors make him a 7-1 chance.

However, the trainer warned: "The Betfred might be a bit quick.

"I'm looking at the French Gold Cup (Grand Steeple-Chase de Paris on May 29) as well so we'll just see time-wise how he recovers."

Tuesday 5th April 2005 - Racing news

Bold show expected from Merchants Friend in the National

If, as seems likely, the ground is on the soft side for the National, Charlie Mann expects a bold showing from Merchants Friend, who was foot perfect when schooling over a Grand National style fence on Mandown on Sunday.

Mann said: “He’s rather unpredictable these days, but several pieces of form, including when winning by 15 lengths at Haydock in December and his near miss at the Cheltenham Festival, suggest he’ll run a big race if in the right mood. He jumped our National fence twice and was spot on. It just may be that the National fences will keep him interest and stop him getting bored.”

Monday 28th March 2005 - Racing news

Amberleigh House in Haydock workout.

In what was probably his final serious work before Aintree, Amberleigh House was put through his paces in a two mile workout by Graham Lee at Haydock on Sunday. Ginger McCain was said to be delighted with the horse's efforts though whether the trainer will be able to call on Graham Lee's services at Aintree next weekend is still not certain.

Graham Lee may be required by Howard Johnson for the Grand National. Jason Maguire is on standby to ride Amberleigh House if this is the case.

Tuesday 22nd March 2005 - Racing news

Gold Cup hero to try for Guinness Gold Cup next!

The Guinness Gold Cup at Punchestown next month now looks on the cards for Kicking King.

Trainer Tom Taaffe was quoted as stating, “He is so well in himself that it is pretty certain he will go there.”

About the Cheltenham Gold Cup hero, he said, "He has the speed, the class, the jumping ability and the intelligence to go back there for the next few years if he stays healthy.”

Wednesday 16th March 2005 - Racing news

Farmer Jack dies days before Gold Cup

FARMER JACK, who had been supplemented for the Gold Cup, died from a suspected heart attack on Wednesday morning.

The horse was a 9-1 shot with Totesport having run out a decent winner of the Racing Post Chase on his latest start.

Farmer Jack won ten of the 27 starts in his career, gaining more than £235,000 in win and place prize-money.

Thursday 10th March 2005 - Racing News

Best Mate is ruled out of Cheltenham Gold Cup!

Best Mate has been ruled out of the Cheltenham Gold Cup after breaking a blood vessel and bleeding through the nose whilst on the gallops on Thursday (10th March).

The 10-year-old was looking for a fourth successive win in the race, but will now not run again this season.

Ante Post backers have now lost their money but connections are hopeful that he will be back to normal next year and will bounce back in style.

Kingscliff is now the 7-2 favourite with Ladbrokes, William Hill and totesport.

Nicky Henderson
Friday 4th February 2005 - Racing News

Vodafone Gold Cup (Newbury Saturday 5th February)

Nicky Henderson has engaged both Scots Grey and Chauvinist in the £100,000 Vodafone Gold Cup on Saturday .

The trainer was quoted as saying, "I had to take Scots Grey out of the Racing Post Trophy last Saturday as it was pointless running him on that ground. He is a genuine two-and-a-half-mile horse on good ground, so hopefully that is what he will get."

Scots Grey ran poorly on his latest start when only finishing 10th, but that was when the Henderson stable was under a bit of a cloud. Chauvinist won easily by 11 lengths in his most recent race.

Henderson went on to say,"Chauvinist wouldn't mind it a little bit softer to be fair, but he deserves a crack at it. He was impressive at Sandown two weeks ago and rather than going to Cheltenham I am tempted to go to Newbury with him and then on to Liverpool."

Monday 21st February 2005 - Racing News

Is Farmer Jack A Handicap 'good thing'?

FARMER JACK will run in the £100,000 Racing Post Chase at Kempton on Saturday, and is officially eight pound ahead of the handicapper.

Trainer Philip Hobbs was quoted as saying that though he did not necessarily agree the horse should have gone up in the ratings by quite so much, he would not waste the opportunity to run under a three pound penalty at Kempton."It makes sense to run under the penalty because he’ll be eight pound well-in," stated the trainer.

Hobbs also runs Gunther McBride who won in 2002, and was runner-up to La Landiere in 2003.

Monday 21st February 2005 - Racing News

Iris's Gift to miss the Gold Cup

Robert Lester the owner of Iris's Gift stated disappointedly on Sunday that his dream of running Iris’s Gift in this year’s Gold Cup has ended as he revealed the horse will miss the Cheltenham Festival.

After Iris's Gift finished last in Saturday’s Totesport Chase, Lester still felt that the horse could take his chance in the Gold Cup, however after discussions with the trainer Jonjo O’Neill and jockey Barry Geraghty Lester decided to put things on hold for the moment. He felt that following the virus in the yard which caused a delayed start to the season for Iris's Gift, there was now not enough time before chasing's Blue Ribband event.

Iris's Gift won the Ladbrokes World Hurdle last year when it was called the Stayers’ Hurdle, but the horse has no entry in this year's race,and could now be targeted at Aintree’s Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle in April and then may go to the Punchestown Festival for the Champion Stayers’ Hurdle at the end of April.

Iris's Gift will now start with novice chasing next year, the owner stated.

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