Friday, 10 December 2010

Global Sprint Challenge Expands to Singapore

The Global Sprint Challenge (GSC) has been enhanced with the addition of Singapore’s premier turf sprint, the KrisFlyer International Sprint, from next year.

The introduction of the six-furlong Group 1 event, to be held at Kranji Racecourse on 22 May, takes to nine the number of races forming the $US10.8 million series.

The GSC will be exclusively run at Group 1 level in 2011 following the substitution of Japan’s Group 2 Centaur Stakes (six furlongs) with the Group 1 Takamatsunomiya Kinen (six furlongs) in that country on 27 March.

The Takamatsunomiya Kinen is held annually at Japan’s Chukyo Racecourse, but with the track under renovation in 2011, the race will be held next year at Hanshin.

GSC Chairman, Leigh Jordon, said: “The KrisFlyer International Sprint has proven itself a world class contest with winners from France, Australia and Hong Kong including Global Sprint Challenge stalwarts Takeover Target and Sacred Kingdom, and is a natural addition to the international series for turf sprinters.”

Nick Smith, Head of International Racing at Ascot, added: “Two Hong Kong-trained horses and one from Australia came to Royal Ascot after the KrisFlyer last year and we hope to see a similar pattern in 2011, with Singapore’s own star sprinter, Rocket Man, among those at the top our target list.”

Any horse that wins three races in three different countries outside its own racing jurisdiction will collect a $US1 million bonus to be split 75% to the owners and 25% to the trainer.

The 2011 GSC commences with the first of two Australian legs, the Coolmore Lightning Stakes (five furlongs), at Flemington Racecourse on 19 February.

It then moves to Japan and Singapore respectively for the two new legs, before continuing in the United Kingdom with the King’s Stand Stakes, Golden Jubilee Stakes and Darley July Cup over the summer.

The GSC returns to Japan on 2 October for the Sprinters Stakes (six furlongs) at Nakayama Racecourse, before making its second stop at Flemington for the Patinack Farm Classic (six furlongs) on 5 November.

The series will again reach its culmination in Hong Kong on 11 December with the Cathay Pacific Hong Kong Sprint (six furlongs) at Sha Tin Racecourse.

For further information please contact:

Leigh Jordon (Chairman GSC Committee)
General Manager – Racing Operations
Racing Victoria
Phone +61 (0) 3 9258 4661
Mobile +61 (0) 411 646 187
Email
l.jordon@racingvictoria.net.au

Nick Smith
Head of Communications and International Racing
Ascot Racecourse Ltd.
Phone +44 (0) 1344 878 524
Mobile +44 (0) 7771 791 449
Email
nick.smith@ascot.co.uk

Michael Prosser
Director of Racing
Newmarket Racecourses
Phone +44 (0) 1638 675 504
Mobile +44 (0) 7802 844 578
Email
michael.prosser@jockeyclubracecourses.com

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Sergeant Well-Drilled as Weights are revealed for The Ladbroke

Aegean Dawn is the 5/1 antepost favourite with Ladbrokes for The Ladbroke (2.35pm) at Ascot on Saturday, December 18, and Nicky Henderson’s rapidly improving charge has been allotted 11st 2lb for the ultra-competitive Listed two-mile handicap hurdle.

Henderson’s contender may boast a perfect four from four record but he faces his stiffest task to date in The Ladbroke, worth £150,000 and the richest handicap hurdle run in Britain, and Cheshire trainer Donald McCain is hoping that the Tim Leslie-owned Drill Sergeant (10st 7lb, 25/1) can be the horse to lower the favourite’s colours.

Drill Sergeant, a tough handicapper on the Flat and placed at Group Two level for trainer Mark Johnston, has made a pleasing start to his career over hurdles for McCain this autumn. Of his four runs over hurdles to date, the most notable came in a novice event at Haydock on October 27, when the front-running five-year-old pulled himself up after a circuit before being galvanised to victory under Tony McCoy.

Drill Sergeant returned to Haydock for his most recent start on November 20. After making most of the running, the gelding went down by eight lengths to the impressive Paul Nicholls-trained Toubab, to whom he was conceding 6lb.

Toubab (11st 6lb, 8/1), the current joint second-favourite with Ladbrokes, is set to reoppose Drill Sergeant on 19lb worse terms in The Ladbroke, giving McCain cause for optimism.

McCain revealed today: “Although Drill Sergeant hasn’t had a lot of runs over hurdles, he has an awful lot of experience on the Flat in strongly-run handicaps, so that justifies his entry in The Ladbroke and it is an option we are looking at.

“Haydock is very sharp now and a strong galloping two miles suits him better - he may even prove to be better over two and a half miles. The last Haydock run was a very solid effort and we are handicapped to be competitive if he is fluent enough over his hurdles for this type of contest.

“Toubab beat us senseless last time but the turn around in the weights will help. I wouldn’t say we’re well in but Drill Sergeant had to do a lot of the work that day and it might be that he’s a better horse in a big-field contest like The Ladbroke.”

Topping the weights on 11st 12lb are the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Get Me Out Of Here (12/1), Grade Two Elite Hurdle victor Nearby (16/1) from the Philip Hobbs yard and the John Hanlon-trained high-class Irish raider Luska Lad (20/1).

Henderson’s potential contenders also include Aintree Grade Two victor General Miller (11st 7lb, 20/1) and Oscar Whisky (11st 8lb, 12/1) whose sole defeat came when fourth to Menorah in the Grade One Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Sanctuaire (11st 8lb, 20/1) landed the Grade Three Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle for Nicholls last term and the Ditcheat handler’s Tito Bustillo (10st 12lb, 16/1) and Advisor (10st 9lb, 20/1) could also take their chances.

Alan King’s trio of entries are headed by Mille Chief (11st 7lb, 9/1) who has a 17lb pull with Aegean Dawn (including the latter’s 5lb rider’s allowance) for a four and a half-length defeat over the course and distance in November. King could also run the smart Salden Licht (11st 4lb, 10/1) and Manyriverstocross (11st 4lb, 10/1).

Tocca Ferro (11st 3lb, 8/1) is looking for a hat-trick after Listed wins at Ascot and Newbury for trainer Emma Lavelle, while Nick Williams could seek victory with James De Vassy (11st 6lb, 25/1) and For Non Stop (10st 11lb, 10/1), and the Hobbs contingent also includes Oldrik (11st, 25/1) and Karasenir (10st 7lb, 25/1).

Bothy (10st 12lb, 10/1) ran Menorah close off a featherweight in the Grade Three Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham last month and is one of three solid contenders from Brian Ellison’s North Yorkshire yard, the others being Palomar (10st 9lb, 14/1) and Ultimate (10st 7lb, 50/1).

The Irish-trained entries also include Pires (10st 3lb, 10/1), Son Amix (10st 12lb, 16/1) from the Tom Cooper stable and the James Hartnett-trained Lancetto (10st 11lb, 20/1).

Grade One winner Orsippus (11st 1lb, 40/1) could line up for Northumberland trainer Michael Smith, John Quinn’s novice Recession Proof (16/1) is set to carry 10st 10lb and the useful Karen McLintock-trained Bygones Of Brid (33/1) has 11st 4lb.

Others of note include the David Pipe-trained pair of Notus De La Tour (11st 3lb, 12/1) and Hunterview (10st 7lb, 20/1), as well as the Laura Mongan-trained Alsadaa (11st 2lb, 50/1), runner-up in 2007.

The Ladbroke - Latest prices from Ladbrokes

5/1 Aegean Dawn
8/1 Tocca Ferro, Toubab
9/1 Mille Chief
10/1 Manyriverstocross, For Non Stop, Pires, Bothy, Salden Licht
12/1 Notus De La Tour, Get Me Out Of Here, Oscar Whisky
14/1 Palomar
16/1 Recession Proof, Nearby, Tito Bustillo, Son Amix
20/1 General Miller, Prince Of Fire, Montan, Advisor, Hunterview, Luska Lad, Lancetto, Sanctuaire
25/1 Karasenir, James De Vassy, Secret Dancer, Art Professor, Westlin' Winds, Oldrik, Drill Sergeant
33/1 Fiulin, Rebel Dancer, Ballybriggan, Bygones Of Brid, Caravel
40/1 Gifted Leader, Orsippus, Washington Irving
50/1 Heron Bay, Alsadaa, Ciceron, Dani's Girl, Dr Livingstone, Toshi, Ultimate

For more information, please contact:

Nick Smith - Head of Communications & International Racing, Ascot,
07771 791 449
nick.smith@ascot.co.uk

David Williams - Horseracing PR, Ladbrokes, 07976 180236
david.williams@ladbrokes.co.uk

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Save £54 with the 2011 Ascot Family Day Pass

The 2011 Ascot Family Day Pass gets the thumbs up from Scotty!


Ascot first raced on 11th August 1711 which means next year will be our 300th birthday!

Look out for lots of fun activities and special events throughout 2011 to celebrate our tercentenary. We have five Family Day dates for your diary in 2011. Further details will follow in due course.

· Sunday 10th April: Countryside Alliance Raceday
· Sunday 24th July: Betfair Weekend Family Fun Day
· Saturday 6th August: Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and ‘80s Concert
· Saturday 29th October: United House Group Day and Firework Spectacular
· Saturday 17th December: Christmas Raceday

In celebration of our 300th Birthday you can now buy a Grandstand Admission ticket to include all five Family Days in 2011 for just £39.99 per person when booking before 1st April 2011. This is a whopping saving of over £54. Grandstand Admission tickets for Family Days are usually £17 per person expect for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup when they are priced at £25. So, this really is great value for money!

Simply quote Family Day Pass Offer when booking. To book, call 0870 727 1234 and talk to a member of the Sales Team. Don’t forget; kids under 18 go FREE! Offer limited to four 2011 Family Day Passes per household and must be booked before 1st April 2011.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Free Family Fun at Ascot this Christmas & Discounted Tickets with Twitter


BGC Christmas Raceday: Saturday 18th December
‘Deck the halls with boughs of holly, fa la la la la, la la la la!’ Ascot’s gone all festive for their Family Day on 18th December!
Join in the festive fun and meet Father Christmas in his Grotto where there will be a gift waiting for everyone that has been good this year.
To make the day truly festive, you can take a ride on the fairground, skate on the ice rink or have your faces painted with a Yuletide motif by one of Santa’s elves. And what more, you won’t break the bank as under 18s and all entertainment, including face painting, is absolutely free of charge.
On the track, Ascot's plays host to the most valuable day of its Jumps racing season with the Grade 1 £100,000 BGC Long Walk Hurdle. The undercard is no less impressive with the £150,000 ‘Ladbroke’ - Europe’s richest handicap hurdle.
After racing, join in the Christmas Carols in the Grandstand. The festive sing-along begins 20 minutes after the last race where a carol sheet will be provided free of charge. A trip to Ascot this December is guaranteed to blow away the winter blues and get you well and truly in the Christmas spirit.
Gates open at 10.45pm, first race 12.55pm, last race 3.40pm and the carols starts at 4pm.
Adult tickets from £16. Save £6 per ticket when you book in advance by calling 0870 727 1234 our visiting
http://www.ascot.co.uk/ quoting TWITTER. Under 18s and all entertainment is FREE.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Win a signed copy of the 2010 St. Leger Racecard in aid of Children in Need

The St. Leger Stakes Racecard signed by ALL the jockeys
We have been given a copy of the Doncaster racecard from St.Leger Day 2010 by our Twitter friend @willywoodpecker to auction in aid of the BBC’s Children in Need appeal. The racecard has been signed by ALL jockeys competing in this year’s St Leger Classic.

The signatories include:
• William Buick who rode the winner, Arctic Cosmos
• The Legendary Frankie Dettori
• Champion Jockey Paul Hanagan
• Ryan Moore
• Joe Fanning
• Jamie Spencer
• Colm O’Donaghue
• Eddie Ahern
• Daryl Holland
• Paul Mulrennan

All you have to do is bid the highest amount before the auction closes at 10pm, Friday 19th November 2010. To place a bid e-mail twitter@ascot.co.uk with your name, address and contact telephone number.

The winner of the auction will be notified by 10am, Saturday 20th November 2010 and will be sent the signed racecard by recorded delivery as soon as the cheque has been received. The Ascot Twitter page, @AscotInsider, will give regular updates of how high the auction has reached.

Go on, don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity to win this superb one off piece of horseracing memorabilia!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Royal Ascot Racing Club update

William Haggas reported that Expose has come out of Saturday's race in good form. William is of the opinion that Expose ran too freely during the early stages of the race at Doncaster and as a result did not have the stamina to be more competitive at the end of the race.

Prompter has also come out of the race on Saturday in good form and is on his way down to the stud for a winter break.


The first of the yearlings has successfully completed the breaking process and the Jeremy ex Can't Hurry Love Filly is on her way to Michael Bell’s Fitzroy House. The other yearlings are being long reined and are doing well and should be ready to move from the stud in the next week or so.

Mirabella and Pollenator head to the Tats December Mares Sale. They both go through the ring on Monday 29th November where Mirabella is lot No. 1369 and Pollenator Lot No. 1416.

Win 4 tickets to BGC Christmas Raceday at Ascot on Saturday 18th December

Rudolph fancies his chances in the 'Long Walk'!

All Ascot Facebook friends and Twitter followers who forward the original message on to others will be automatically placed in a draw to win 4 Premier Admission tickets to the BGC Christmas Raceday at Ascot on Saturday 18th December. The prize has a value of £104 and there is no cash alternative available.

The winner will be announced on both Facebook and Twitter at 3pm Monday 15th November 2010.

BGC Christmas Raceday is Ascot's most valuable day of Jumps racing, featuring the Grade 1 £100,000 BGC Long Walk Hurdle. The undercard is no less impressive with the £150,000 ‘Ladbroke’ - Europe’s richest handicap hurdle.

Off the track join in the festive fun and meet Father Christmas in his Grotto where there will be a gift waiting for everyone that has been good this year! (subject to availability).

To make the day truly festive why not have a go on the Rudolf ride or have your faces painted by one of Santa’s elves. You can also have your photo taken with the reindeer or a spin on the ice rink - new for this year.

After racing join us for a collection of Christmas Carols in the Grandstand. The festive sing-a-long begins after the last race where a Christmas Carol sheet will be provided.

Conditions of entry to Ascot Racecourse apply, please see
www.ascot.co.uk for full details.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Royal Ascot Racing Club Yearlings Update October 2010

Bay Filly - Jeremy ex Can 't Hurry Love
Cost: 65,000 Euros
Trainer: Michael Bell
The Jeremy filly is the first foal from the Desert Prince mare, Cant Hurry Love, who is a half sister to a stakes winner and this is the wonderful family of the late Dick Hollingsworth which traces to the Oaks winner, Bireme. Her sire, Jeremy, was a very good racehorse who won the Betfred Mile (Gr 2) at Sandown and the Jersey Stakes (Gr 3) at Royal Ascot. He was also placed second in the Queen Anne (Gr 1) at Royal Ascot as a four year old. This is his first crop of yearlings and he really has stamped his stock as they consistently appeared on John’s shortlist throughout the sales season. This is a neat, very attractive filly who moves beautifully and I suspect that Michael Bell will have her ready to run in mid-summer.


Chesnut Colt - Excellent Art ex Follow My Lead
Cost: 48,000 Guineas
Trainer: Richard Hannon
The Excellent Art colt will be trained by Richard Hannon and this is a really strong, precocious type by the first crop sire, Excellent Art, who won the Mill Reef (Gr 2) at Newbury as a two year old and who then went on to win the St James Palace Stakes (Gr 1) at Royal Ascot as a three year old. Excellent Art himself is by Pivotal and this colt really is the spitting image of his sire and grand sire. His dam, Follow my Lead, is a half sister to the multiple group winning Cape Cross colt, Halicarnassus who has amassed over £650,000 in prizemoney. He is a 12th March colt and I would hope that he could be ready to run before Royal Ascot in the hope that he is good enough to line up there next year.

Bay Colt - Halling ex Ae Kae Ae
Cost: 42,000 Guineas
Trainer: William Haggas
The Halling colt to be trained by William Haggas is much more of a time horse but he is full of quality and moves like a panther. His sire, Halling, was an amazing racehorse who won the Coral Eclipse (Gr 1) twice as well as the Juddmonte International Stakes (Gr 1) twice. He has produced numerous top class horses since retiring to stud including the Prix Ganay (Gr 1) winner, Cutlass Bay, as well as Cavalryman who won the Grand Prix de Paris (Gr 1). He is also sire of one of this season’s leading two year old fillies, Havant. This colt’s grand dam, Charmante, is a half sister to the brilliant miler, Zilzal, so he comes from a wonderful family with an interesting mix of speed and stamina. Hopefully, William will have him ready to run in late summer but this is a horse who will improve significantly as he gets older.

Both Expose and Prompter are all set for their respective races at Doncaster on Saturday and hopefully they will close the flat season on a much needed high. Advisor is in very good form and Paul Nicholls hopes to have him ready to run at Ascot on Friday 19th November.

Friday, 29 October 2010

The Benefits of becoming an Ascot Annual Badgeholder in 2011

The 2011 Ascot Annual Badge marking Ascot's tercentenary.
Learn more about the benefit of becoming an Ascot Annual Badgeholder in 2011. For just £320 including VAT in 2011, the Ascot Annual Badgeholder benefits include:

  • Access to the Racecourse and the Premier Admission areas on all 21 Ascot racedays outside Royal Ascot (Tuesday 14th to Saturday 18th June 2011).

  • Premier Admission access to British Champions' Day (Saturday 15th October 2011).

  • A comprehensive calendar of over 30 reciprocal dates, including Future Champions' Day at Newmarket (Saturday 8th October 2011).

  • Exclusive half price tickets on all days of Royal Ascot (maximum of four per person per day of Royal Ascot).

  • An Ascot Badgeholder metal badge and Badgeholder passcard. For existing Badgeholders, as soon as your renewal form is received, we will issue you a new passcard to allow you access into the Racecourse on all the relevant 2011 racedays. For new Badgeholders, a passport sized photograph will be required.

  • The opportunity to purchase metal guest badges with passcards.

  • Exclusive access to the Trackside Room, a private bar and restaurant facility located in the west end of the Grandstand offering a full bar facility, tea and coffee, hot dish of the day, sandwiches, baguettes and cakes.

  • Ascot Badgeholders are permitted to bring one accompanied Premier Admission guest into the Trackside Room on all racedays except Saturday 23rd July, Saturday 6th August, Saturday 15th October and Saturday 17th December.

  • Access to the Ascot Badgeholders’ viewing area on Level 2 of the Grandstand.

  • Access to Premier Admission on Level 4 of the Grandstand.

  • A car parking space in Car Park 1 or Car Park 2 at all 21 racedays.

  • Free copy of the Royal Ascot Magazine.


Children and Grandchildren aged 17 and under are welcome in the Trackside Room on all days.
Up to two tickets at half price to any day outside Royal Ascot to entertain friends and family.
The Ascot Badgeholder metal badge should be worn so that it is clearly visible at all times. In the event of an Ascot Badgeholder losing his or her badge, passcard or car park label an administration fee of £25 will be charged for replacements.

The Ascot Badgeholder passcard will act as the entrance ticket on the day of the meeting. Once inside the course, the metal badge will allow access to the Ascot Badgeholders’ facilities.

For further information, or to join, call 01344 878 513 or visit http://www.ascot.co.uk/?page=Racing_Information



Thursday, 28 October 2010

Ascot Racecourse Awarded Quality Assured Status by Visit England


Ascot Racecourse has been awarded Quality Assured status by Visit England. The accolade assesses the level of customer care and service at visitor attractions across the country with everything from hotels to zoos. By displaying the easily recognised Enjoy England Quality Rose at the Berkshire track, racegoers can be confident their experience will be of the highest quality.

The Enjoy England Quality Rose was created to reassure customers before they visit their chosen attraction. The criteria is judged by an independent assessor on an annual basis and Enjoy England can then ensure that the standards experienced are as high as possible and the venue is worthy of carrying this auspicious mark. Customers can relax, book with confidence and get on with the real business of having a fantastic day out in confidence. The Quality Rose is the mark of England’s official, nationwide quality assessment scheme and is an independent, reliable, impartial assessment of quality covering just about every type of place you might want to stay or visit.

‘We are thrilled to have been awarded the Quality Rose by Enjoy England. This recognition underpins our status as a first class national tourism attraction. It is especially exciting as it rounds off a wonderful ten days with Royal Ascot being awarded Gold in the Tourism South-East Excellence Awards last Thursday,’ said John Blake, Head of Sales and Marketing at the Berkshire track.

‘England has a world famous sporting heritage and for many parts of the country horseracing is at the core of the community. I can't think of a more thrilling day out than a day at the races. The Visit England Quality Rose marque provides a recognised stamp of approval showing visitors that Ascot Racecourse has been assessed along similar lines to a more traditional type of visitor attraction providing regular racegoers and first time visitors alike with a high quality, highly memorable experience,’ added James Berresford, Chief Executive of Visit England.

Ascot is committed to providing a value-for-money fun day out for all customers with Royal Ascot, live music, wine and beer festivals, family days and world class racing action.

For further information, images and logos, please contact:
John Blake, Head of Sales & Marketing, Ascot Racecourse, 01344 878512, 07917 521429,
john.blake@ascot.co.uk, www.ascot.co.uk

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Free Racing For Students at Ascot on Saturday 30th October

Saturday 30th October rases the curtain on the Ascot Jumps season


Fizz, Bang Pop! Don't miss the Fireworks Spectacular after Racing

Ascot Racecourse is opening its doors free of charge for all valid Student Card and NUS Card holders on Saturday 30th October: United House Group Day. The day heralds Ascot's first meeting of the 2010/2011 Jumps season and features the £100,000 United House Group Gold Cup Chase over three miles.

The offer is being communicated through British Horseracing Authority Student Ambassadors at universities across the country, promoted in the Student Racing magazine, via
www.studentracing.co.uk and through viral campaigns on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

‘Opening our doors free of charge to students gives Ascot the opportunity to show off our impressive Grandstand and showcase some great racing to an audience that would not otherwise consider a day at the races,’ said John Blake, Head of Sales and Marketing at Ascot Racecourse.

‘We’re delighted that Ascot is giving such strong support to our student racing programme. Racing for Change has been tasked with broadening the appeal of horseracing, especially amongst younger adults, so we’re delighted that students will be getting the chance to sample the sport at such a magnificent venue’, added Nick Attenborough, Director of Consumer PR, Racing Enterprises.

All students have to do is bring their Student Card and NUS Card along to any of the Ascot ticket offices from 10.45am on Saturday 30th October and they will be given a complimentary Grandstand Admission ticket that entitles them to a free day of racing. They can also stay on to watch the Firework Spectacular after racing in association with the Ascot Round Table.

To make the event more affordable, Ascot will be running its £5 Pie and a Pint promotion and the tote will be handing out betting booklets for students containing vouchers for £2 off £5 bets.

ENDS

Notes for editors
Free Student Racing is a Racing for Change/Racing Enterprises initiative designed to encourage more people racing and is run by the British Horseracing Authority.

Timings
· Gates open: 10.45am
· First Race: 1.50pm
· Last race: 5.35pm
· Fireworks commence: 6.30pm

Standard Ticket Prices
· Premier Admission: £26
· Grandstand Admission: £16
· Children under 18: Free
· After 4,30pm, Ascot Round Table will take over the ticket offices for Fireworks only tickets which are charged at £7 for an adult 13+, £5 for a child aged 5 to 12 and under 4s are free

For further information:
John Blake, Head of Sales and Marketing, Ascot Racecourse; 01344 878512 / 07917 521429
Nick Attenborough, Director of Consumer PR, Racing Enterprises: 0207 152 0236

Please contact John Blake for logos and images.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Pitstop Brewery’s Horsepower Wins Ascot’s Beer of the Festival 2010

Frankie Dettori performs his flying dismount after winning the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by Sony) on board Poet's Voice
23,250 pints were consmed over the two days of this year's Ascot Beer Festival

4th CAMRA Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival: Friday 24th & Saturday 25th September 2010

Horsepower, an American style IPA heavily hopped Centennial, Chinook and Cascade hops and brewed especially for the Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival, beat off 202 other real ales to scoop the Beer of the Festival award as voted for by racegoers. A great achievement in itself, but made even more remarkable as Pitstop Brewery won the same accolade last year with Sump, a Russian style stout.

Pitstop Brewery in Wantage and is the brainchild of Peter Fowler. ‘The Beer of the Festival award is keenly contested and to win two years in a row is a fantastic achievement for Pitstop as Peter only started brewing commercially 2 years ago’ said John Blake, Head of Sales and Marketing at Ascot Racecourse.

Peter Fowler, head brewer at Pitstop, said he was absolutely delighted that Horsepower had won the Beer of the Festival Award at Ascot. ‘This was the second year running that the fledgling brewery has scooped the award. What makes this award special is that it’s voted for by the drinkers at the Beer Festival, rather than a panel of judges. It’s particularly pleasing that a beer that was created for Ascot proved so popular, especially considering that there were over 200 to choose from’. Peter will now be adding Horsepower to his expanding portfolio. Peter said that the continuing success of Pitstop’s craft beers means that he is currently looking for larger premises to meet the increasing demand for his beers.

‘Yet again the Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival proved to be huge success despite the cooler weather. The choice and quality of the beer on offer was excellent and Pitstop Horsepower proved to be a deserved winner and clearly comes from a thoroughbred stable!’ added Nick Boley, Berkshire South-East CAMRA branch chair.

Record crowds attended the two day beer festival, which combines real ale with superb quality horseracing. Whilst Horsepower won the plaudits on the track, Frankie Dettori stole the show with four consecutive wins on Saturday; most notably partnering Poet’s Voice in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, sponsored by Sony.

The 5th Ascot Racecourse CAMRA Beer Festival will be held on Friday 30th September to Saturday 1st October 2011.

ENDS

Notes for editors
· Attendance over the two days was 35,210, 2% up on 2009
· A total of 23,250 pints were consumed over the two days; 12% up on 2009
· The Beer Festival showcased a total of 228 real ales, ciders and perries predominantly form local craft brewers and producers; 20% more than in 2009.

Past winners of the Beer of the Festival Award as voted for by racegoers are as follows:
· 2007: Summer Lightning brewed by Hop Back Brewery, Downton, Wiltshire.
· 2008: Barbus Barbus brewed by Butts Brewery, Great Shefford, Berkshire.
· 2009: Sump brewed by Pitstop Brewery, Wantage, Oxfordshire.
· 2010: Horsepower brewed by Pitstop Brewery, Wantage, Oxfordshire.

For further information:
John Blake, Head of Sales and Marketing, Ascot Racecourse; 01344 878512 / 07917 521429
Peter Fowler, Head Brewer, Pitstop Brewery; 07870 577742

Friday, 24 September 2010

Confirmed Ascot racedays for 2011

Saturday 22 January (Jumps)
Saturday 19 February (Jumps)
Sunday 10 April (Jumps)
Wednesday 27 April (Flat)
Friday 6 May – evening (Flat)
Saturday 7 May (Flat)
Tuesday 14 June (Royal Ascot)
Wednesday 15 June (Royal Ascot)
Thursday 16 June (Royal Ascot)
Friday 17 June (Royal Ascot)
Saturday 18 June (Royal Ascot)

Friday 8 July (Flat)
Saturday 9 July (Flat)
Friday 22 July (Flat)
Saturday 23 July (Flat)
Sunday 24 July (Flat)
Saturday 6 August (Flat)
Saturday 3 September (Flat)
Friday 30 September (Flat)
Saturday 1 October (Flat)
Saturday 15 October (Flat – British Champions’ Day)
Saturday 29 October (Jumps)
Friday 18 November (Jumps)
Saturday 19 November (Jumps)
Friday 16 December (Jumps)
Saturday 17 December (Jumps)

British Racing Unites to Create Richest-Ever Day from 2011

British Champions’ Day, the richest fixture in British racing history, will be introduced from 2011, offering more than £3 million of prize money, it was announced today.
Racing’s stakeholders have come together to create the major new day, which will be hosted at Ascot on 15 October 2011. British Champions’ Day will feature the Champion Stakes, Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Diadem Stakes, Jockey Club Cup and Pride Stakes, as well as a high profile Handicap.
Ascot’s prime location and capacity are viewed as important to help set the stage for British racing to create a larger and more prestigious climax to the premier Flat season for three year olds and upwards. The long-term aim is for this event to rank with the USA’s Breeders’ Cup and France’s Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.
The new event will be heavily marketed and is seen as a crucial step towards broadening the appeal of the sport in Britain, whilst also attracting audiences from around the world. British Champions’ Day will be the culmination of a series of races showcasing the best of British Flat racing throughout the season.
Britain already stages many of the world’s top Flat contests and this will be communicated more effectively to a wider public by branding them British Champions’ Series races. Other sports have proved that successfully differentiating and marketing premier events can transform their popularity, with the benefits felt by the whole sport, including increased attendances, betting revenues, sponsorship and media rights value.
The Series will launch on Saturday 30 April 2011 with the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course and climax with British Champions’ Day at Ascot. It will comprise five separate championship categories, namely Sprint, Mile, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Fillies and Mares
[1], featuring six of the highest-rated races in each category to create easy-to-follow storylines for a wider audience.
With a total prize money pot of more than £13 million, British Champions’ Series will be staged at ten of the UK’s leading racecourses: Ascot, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Goodwood, Haydock Park, Newbury, Newmarket’s July Course, Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, Sandown Park and York. It will encompass British racing’s key festivals, including the Guineas Festival at Newmarket, the Epsom Derby Festival, Royal Ascot, the Newmarket July Festival, Glorious Goodwood, the Ebor Festival at York and the Doncaster St Leger Meeting.

Karl Oliver, Chief Executive of British Champions’ Series Ltd, said:
“British racing is the best in the world, but we need to give our sport a major new platform to compete for the public’s attention. Britain’s richest-ever day of racing is the opportunity to attract the very best British and overseas horses to compete at our top international racecourse. It can be the autumn climax that British racing deserves.
“By also introducing a series framework, we can highlight and use the best races throughout the Flat season to engage a much wider audience in our sport. In time, British racing can be proud that it backed British Champions’ Series and British Champions’ Day.”
The British Champions’ Series has no bearing on the official start and end of the Flat racing season in the UK, with the Jockeys’ Championship and Trainers’ Championship still being awarded at Doncaster in November 2011.
Establishing British Champions’ Day and the British Champions’ Series
The highly complex and challenging process of establishing British Champions’ Series has seen a combined effort from a wide range of British racing’s stakeholders, led by the Racing for Change (RfC) industry group and the racecourses involved, supported by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the Racecourse Association (RCA) and The Horsemen’s Group, representing owners, trainers, breeders, jockeys and stable staff.
The race programme has required several fixtures to switch venue from their 2010 location and/or move into new slots. Achieving this has required unprecedented steps to be taken by The Jockey Club, Newmarket Racecourse and Ascot Racecourse in particular, in the best interests of British racing.
An extensive consultation process has been conducted throughout the formation stage of the project, with many prominent racehorse owners, trainers, breeders, racecourses, media companies, prospective commercial partners and racing authorities in the UK and abroad.
Future Champions’ Day unveiled
As part of reaching agreement for British Champions’ Series, Newmarket will host an annual Future Champions’ Day. This will help to identify racehorses with the potential to compete in the British Champions’ Series in the following year. Next year this will be hosted at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course on Saturday 8 October 2011 and feature the Dewhurst Stakes (Group 1), Middle Park Stakes (Group 1), Rockfel Stakes (Group 2) and Autumn Stakes (Group 3) for two-year-old horses, and the Challenge Stakes (Group 2), Darley Stakes (Group 3) and the Cesarewitch Heritage Handicap for three-year-olds and upwards.
Another aspect of the agreement will see Newmarket Annual Members benefit from a reciprocal arrangement with Ascot at British Champions’ Day and in return, Ascot’s Members will be welcomed at Newmarket on Future Champions’ Day.
Commercial structure and funding
A new company will be formed, British Champions’ Series Limited (BCS Ltd), to run the series and finale. The investors in the British Champions’ Series project are the BCS racecourses and REL, which will benefit from equity stakes reflecting their respective investments in the new company.
Karl Oliver, Project Director for Premier Racing at Racing Enterprises Ltd (REL), is appointed Chief Executive of BCS Ltd, effective immediately, having been central to its formation. Oliver will oversee the marketing and commercial rights associated with the new series. A robust business case for BCS Ltd through until 2018 has been established and has been endorsed by RfC, REL and the BCS racecourses.
The terrestrial broadcast rights to all races that will feature in British Champions’ Series are currently contracted to the BBC (11 races) and Channel 4 (19 races) through until 2012, with the exception of British Champions’ Day. BCS Ltd has already entered into discussions with its terrestrial broadcast partners about televising British Champions’ Day and in principle, both have expressed an interest to broadcast the fixture.
BCS Ltd has also entered into discussions with a number of prospective commercial partners to British Champions’ Series. A business plan is in place to evolve the series’ sponsorship model as its potential impact grows.

For further information please contact:
Karl Oliver, Chief Executive, British Champions’ Series, 020 7152 0192 / 07785 254 024
Nick Attenborough, Director of Consumer PR, Racing for Change, 020 7152 0193 / 07714 146 528
Scott Bowers, Group Director of Communications, The Jockey Club, 020 7611 1814 / 07809 665 840
Nick Smith, Head of Communications, Ascot Racecourse, 01344 878 524 / 07771 791 449
Rod Street, Chief Executive, Racing Enterprises Limited, 020 7152 0190 / 07584 171 252Selected endorsements for British Champions’ Series:Paul Roy, Chairman of the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“Our intention to create a new autumn highlight which will grow in stature in the international racing calendar was always an exciting project that we wished to progress within the boundaries of, and with the blessing of, the European Pattern Committee.

“The European Pattern has stood the test of time. European racing nations have worked together very effectively, as clearly demonstrated by the success of the top races within Europe and the volume of horses competing outside their home country.

“The Committee has undertaken a number of effective negotiations over the years, for example producing the enhanced programme for older fillies and mares in recent times, which has had significant success in keeping some quality horses in training; a clear example of the value of working together.

“We have the utmost respect for the European Pattern system, and the work of the Committee in upholding its integrity. We greatly appreciate the work of Committee Chairman Brian Kavanagh and the other members of the Committee in helping us to bring this project to fruition. The considerable goodwill amongst the individuals that sit around the Committee table has been evident and we are very grateful to them. Britain has listened to the Committee and acted responsibly throughout this process in order to promote the Pattern and all that it is there to achieve in the interests of European racing.”

Chris McFadden, Chairman of Racing Enterprises Ltd and Racing for Change, said:
“We believe strongly that British Champions’ Series and British Champions’ Day will enable us to tackle some of the key challenges facing British racing, including the declining Levy yield and share of the betting market, attendances, media rights and sponsorship value, terrestrial TV audiences and giving owners more reason to stay in the sport.
“Our new Flat racing finale will also give us a long-overdue alternative to the Arc and Breeders’ Cup. Seven of the top twelve most highly rated Flat races in the world take place in Britain so it seems unfair to get upstaged annually by overseas events.”
Simon Bazalgette, Chief Executive of The Jockey Club and Board Member of Racing for Change, said:
“A lot of hard work and some challenging decisions have gone into establishing the British Champions’ Series. Now we must use this platform to tell our sport’s brilliant stories and appeal to the public’s imagination. High drama, thrilling competition and big rewards; I firmly believe we are creating a catalyst for many more people to become captivated by our sport.”
Charles Barnett, Chief Executive of Ascot Racecourse, said:
“We are delighted to be hosting British Champions’ Day, which is the result of the whole racing family coming together to do what is best for the sport. The Champion Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at £1 million plus races have the platform to become the world’s premier turf events in the ten furlong and mile categories. We look forward to working with the BHA and our European partners to develop the Diadem, Pride and Jockey Club Cup into Group One events as soon as possible.
“We have worked with Newmarket for many years on several initiatives and the idea of a climax for the two-year-olds on the Rowley Mile and for the three-year-olds and upwards at Ascot has natural synergy. Newmarket is the home of racing and their part in this project is a perfect example of the innovation that they and The Jockey Club have shown throughout their long history in the sport. It is entirely appropriate that the Jockey Club Cup on British Champions Day reflects their full partnership in this venture.”Stephen Wallis, Managing Director of Newmarket Racecourses, said:
“Newmarket’s Board fully supports the creation of this major new platform for British racing. We have played a central role in this initiative from the outset in an effort to help create the best possible opportunity for the future of our sport, while preserving its heritage and securing a strong race programme for Newmarket.
“British Champions’ Series will launch on the Rowley Mile, where we will stage two further series races and two more on The July Course. These will be followed by Future Champions’ Day, which can become a focus of real excitement in the British racing calendar. It promises a superb climax to the premier two-year-old Flat season and is a fixture befitting the Home of Racing, where many future champions of our sport are bred and trained.
“We appreciate why some people would rather the Champion Stakes remained in Newmarket, but I also hope they will recognise it is now part of a shared industry day that will help build the profile and finances of the sport we hold so dear.”
Nic Coward, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said:
“The Authority was set up to bring the sport together and lead on the major issues. Racing is changing, and today’s announcement is another significant step. The new series and the new British Champions Day will showcase the phenomenal excitement of great Racing on the sport’s greatest stages. This is one important element of how we are changing the fixture list, and how it is put together.”
Frankie Dettori, said:
"This is one of the toughest periods that British Horseracing will ever have to face. Our racing is the best in the world and Ascot is a world class venue at any level so it is fantastic that the industry is doing everything to help itself at this time. I congratulate everyone involved and look forward to racing at a world class event at my favourite track! This will equal The Melbourne Cup, The Breeders Cup and The World Cup in Dubai who have all led the way over the years with high class events."
Wilf Walsh, Non-Executive Director, Gala Coral Group, said:
“British flat racing needs a clear structure and a world class finale worthy of the sport and the BCS provides the ideal template going forward.”
Chris Palmer, Corporate Development Director, Ladbrokes, said:
“We are supportive of any initiative that increases the profile of the sport and can lead to increased revenues for all concerned.”
Nigel Payne, Chief Executive of the Horseracing Sponsors Association, said:
"Racing has eagerly awaited these details and we should not be at all disappointed. Here is a great opportunity to attract some Blue Chip partners and sponsors to our sport. Major sporting spectacles such as The Champions League and Formula 1 market themselves in this way and racing must be confident that we can do the same throughout the many media platforms available to us."
Professor Simon Chadwick, Founder and Director of the Centre for the International Business of Sport, said:
“Horseracing is actually an extremely well attended sport in the UK, but other sports have been quicker to modernise and make themselves relevant to a younger audience. In my view, establishing British Champions’ Series is exactly what British horseracing needs to propel it into the consciousness of today’s sports fans and sponsors, both domestically and internationally.”
Lord Grimthorpe, Racing Manager to His Highness Prince Khalid Abdullah and Juddmonte Farms, said:

"Racing needs to do something significant to re-engage the public. We have a wonderful sport and British racing is the best in the world. British Champions' Series will use our highest quality racing to inspire new followers, attract commercial partners and increase media rights. This is the right move for our sport."

Tony Kelly, Managing Director, Northern Racing, said:

“Racing needs to reach a bigger audience and there is sense in using the sport's key moments to to do. The fact that racing's key stakeholders have agreed upon a roadmap for the future to help achieve this is notable.”

The British Champions’ Series: Five Separate Champion Categories
Sprint
Temple Stakes
King’s Stand Stakes
Golden Jubilee Stakes
July Cup
Nunthorpe Stakes
Sprint Cup
Mile
2000 Guineas Stakes
Lockinge Stakes
St James’s Palace Stakes
Queen Anne Stakes
Sussex Stakes
Joel Stakes
Middle Distance
Coronation Cup
Derby
Prince of Wales’s Stakes
Eclipse
King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes
International Stakes
Fillies & Mares
1000 Guineas Stakes
Oaks
Coronation Stakes
Falmouth Stakes
Nassau Stakes
Yorkshire Oaks
Long Distance
Yorkshire Cup
Gold Cup
Goodwood Cup
Lonsdale Cup
Doncaster Cup
St Leger Stakes

Racing for Change is an initiative created by Racing Enterprises Ltd, the commercial arm of British horseracing. The Racing for Change board features all of the sport's key organisations and includes not only representation from the racecourses and the participants, but also the Horserace Betting Levy Board and the British Horseracing Authority, the bodies with responsibility for funding, governance and regulation.
www.racingforchange.co.uk

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Preview of the 2010 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, sponsored by Sony.

Johnny Murtagh and Rip Van Winkle following their victory in the 2009 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.

The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by Sony) is Europe’s championship race over one mile and presents the perfect opportunity for the brilliant three-year-old colt, Makfi, to crown his outstanding season in style.
Trained in France by Mikel Delzangles, Makfi may have only raced five times to date, but he has already left an indelible impression by winning four of those races in deeply impressive style, including a decisive victory in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.
His only defeat came here in the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal Meeting in June when he was found to be sick afterwards. He returned to the track at Deauville two months later in France’s premier mile race, the Prix Jacques Le Marois, where he defeated the outstanding mare Goldikova with a scintillating display.
If he can repeat that performance this afternoon, Christophe Soumillon’s mount will surely land the £150,000 first prize and see his name added to the race’s glittering roll of honour, where he would join his illustrious grandsire, Dubai Millennium.
His main opponent is last year’s winner, Rip Van Winkle. The top class, Aidan O’Brien-trained four-year-old has already taken the Juddmonte International at York this season and Ascot’s stiff mile suits him well. Johnny Murtagh, who has won five races on him, will be looking to exploit any chinks in Makfi’s armour.
Frankie Dettori’s mount, Poet’s Voice, has been improving steadily and could pose a threat, while Beethoven, Hearts of Fire, Red Jazz, Bushman and Air Chief Marshall are all talented colts in their own right.
Makfi is a very worthy favourite but he will be thoroughly tested, as one would expect in the outstanding mile race of the European season for which the winner earns automatic entry to the top mile race in the USA, the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Churchill Downs on 6 November.
“Win and You’re In” is the title of that promotion. “Win and you’re Europe’s champion miler” is what’s at stake for Makfi.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Royal Ascot Racing Club Update 17th September

Expose made a highly encouraging debut at Newbury this afternoon finishing third of the twelve runners, beaten only a nose and a length by the first and second. He was very relaxed throughout all of the preliminaries and went to post beautifully. William was worried beforehand that Expose might run a shade free early on as he had shown this a couple of times on the gallops, so the plan was for Shane Kelly to try and settle him in behind horses and then to come with a steady run without been knocked around. As it turned out the horse on his inside played up badly in the stalls which set Expose alight when the gates opened, making him run too free for the first furlong and a bit. He relaxed soon thereafter and travelled beautifully looking the likely winner a furlong and a half from home but the first and second, who had both run before, got the better of him inside the final 150 yards and Shane Kelly wasn’t in any way hard on Expose and accepted third place.

Expose will have learnt plenty from this debut and I would expect him to hopefully notch a victory next time he runs and he certainly looks to be the most promising colt in the making. William has made a provisional entry for him at Wolverhampton on Thursday, 23rd September but I suspect that it is unlikely that he will run so soon.

Richard has made two further entries for Mirabella on Thursday, 23rd September which are as follows:

The Simon Scrope Dalby Handicap Stakes over a mile and a quarter at Pontefract at 4.00 p.m.

The Bet in Play William Hill Handicap Stakes over a mile at Wolverhampton at 7.30 p.m.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

A Preview of the 2010 Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot

The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is the world’s premier international jockeys’ team competition. Three world-class riders will represent each of Great Britain (GBR), Ireland (IRE), Europe (EUR) and the Rest of the World (ROW).
The six races are limited to 10 runners with either two or three horses racing for each team (this will balance itself out over the course of the afternoon), and points are awarded on a 15, 10, 7, 5, 3 basis to the first five horses home (non runners score 4 points). Subject to full fields, each jockey has five rides and the team with the highest total after the sixth race lifts the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup.
All six races are handicaps and all will be run with identical prize money - £30,000 per race. Owners have a fantastic opportunity on Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Day - there are no entry fees for the races, there is prize money down to last place (with reserves that miss out on a run paid £500 travel money) and there is complimentary hospitality throughout the day.
Dubai Duty Free has been associated with the Shergar Cup since its inception, initially as team sponsor of the Rest of the World team and as a race sponsor. In 2006, the company became title sponsor of the whole event for the first time.
Captain for the GBR Team is Hayley Turner, riding in her fourth Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and the most successful female rider Britain has ever produced. She will be joined by Ascot-born Jim Crowley, who is enjoying a fantastic season as stable jockey to Ralph Beckett and Alan Munro, who will forever be associated with the great Generous, winner of the Derby and King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 1991.
Captain for the IRE Team is Richard Hughes, fresh from a record-breaking nine winners at Glorious Goodwood last week and twice winner of the Silver Saddle at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup. Hughes will ride alongside Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup debutants Pat Smullen, Ireland’s five-time champion jockey and successful in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot this season aboard Rite Of Passage, and Fran Berry, who was elevated to number one jockey to John Oxx and the Aga Khan in Ireland following the retirement of Mick Kinane. Smullen and Berry are currently the top two riders in this season’s Irish jockeys’ championship.
Captain for the EUR Team is Olivier Peslier, who will be making a speedy return to Ascot following his imperious victory aboard Harbinger in the King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes on July 24. He will be joined by Italian Umberto Rispoli, the 2009 champion jockey who smashed Frankie Dettori’s father’s long-standing record for most in winners in an Italian season, and French-based Belgian-born superstar Christophe Soumillon.
Captain for the ROW Team is Anton Marcus. The South African champion captured the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free aboard Jay Peg in 2008. His teammates are Luke Nolen from Australia, recently crowned champion in Victoria, and Yasunari Iwata from Japan who is the only Japanese jockey to have won the Emirates Melbourne Cup.
The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is being run for the 10th time at Ascot. The first running took place in 2000 when it was staged as an owners’ competition. It became a jockeys’ competition in 2001 and has gone from strength to strength ever since, attracting bumper crowds in each of the last six years it has been run (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 - it was not staged in 2005 when the racecourse was being redeveloped).
The jockeys competing in the four-team Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup will wear full team colours for the first time at this year’s renewal on Saturday, August 7. This is a one-year trial agreed with the Racehorse Owners Association. Please see page 4 for further information.
The three jockeys riding for the Great Britain team will wear red and white colours, the jockeys representing Ireland will wear green and white, the jockeys riding for Europe will wear blue and white and the Rest of the World team will wear black and white. Distinguishing caps and sleeves (checks, hoops and stars) will allow commentators, racegoers and TV viewers to differentiate between the jockeys riding within each team. Please see page 4 for further information.
Back by popular demand, a two-hour live 1980s concert will take place in the old paddock after racing. The line-up consists of Boy George, Johnny Hates Jazz, Cutting Crew, The Christians, Captain Sensible, Belinda Carlisle and Midge Ure.
Tickets start from £25 (10% discount if you book in advance) and are available from
https://www.ascotkiosk.co.uk Premier Admission SOLD OUT. Grandstand Admission tickets still available.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Teams Taking Shape for Saturday 7th August

The teams for this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup at Ascot a week on Saturday (August 7) are close to being finalised, with stars like six times British champion jockey Kieren Fallon, three times French champion Christophe Soumillon and five times Irish champion Pat Smullen signed up in the last 10 days for the world’s premier international jockeys team competition.

Both Soumillon and Smullen will be making their Shergar Cup debuts, while Fallon has not participated in it since 2004. All three of the Rest of the World jockeys – three times South African champion, Anton Marcus, top Japanese rider, Yasunari Iwata, and Melbourne’s reigning champion jockey, Luke Nolen – will be making their UK debuts.

Just four jockeys need to confirm their participation once they know whether they will be required by their retained stables – Ryan Moore and William Buick for the Great Britain team, Richard Hughes for the Ireland team and Frankie Dettori for the European team.

Great Britain
Hayley Turner (Captain)
*Ryan Moore
*William Buick

Ireland
Kieren Fallon (Captain)
Pat Smullen
*Richard Hughes

Europe
*Frankie Dettori (Captain) (Italy)
Christophe Soumillon (Belgium)
Umberto Rispoli (Italy)

Rest of the World
Anton Marcus (Captain) (South Africa)
Yasunari Iwata (Japan)
Luke Nolen (Australia)

* to be confirmed

At The Races, for whom this is a stand-alone afternoon card, will be the host broadcaster for the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup and will be looking to capture the whole flavour of the event.Racing will start an hour later than in previous years at 2.10pm, with the 12 jockeys signing autographs between 1pm and 1.30pm and the Opening Ceremony following straight on from that.

In the races, the jockeys will wear team colours for the first time, with the ROA having given its support to the initiative which should help bring alive the team competition more vividly for racegoers on the track and ATR viewers at home.

As last year, cheerleaders will be dancing in front of the stands when the horses reach the start before each race and they will dance again once each race is over to the winning rider’s team anthem.The anthems this year are:

Great Britain:Kasabian – Fire
Europe: Alphabeat – Fascination
Ireland: U2 – Elevation
Rest of the World: Black Eyed Peas – I Gotta Feeling

After the Closing Ceremony and presentation of the Shergar Cup, the Silver Saddle trophy for the top points-scoring jockey and the Dubai Duty Free Ride of the Day award, a free 80’s concert will take place in the Old Paddock with stars like Boy George, former Ultravox front man Midge Ure, Belinda Carlisle, the Christians, Captain Sensible, Cutting Crew and Johnny Hates Jazz entertaining the crowds.

Only a few tickets for Premier Admission (£35, but £31.50 if booked in advance) remain to be sold although there are still plenty of General Admission tickets available (£25, but £22.50 if booked in advance). All accompanied under 18’s are admitted free and there will be lots of additional free children’s entertainments.

Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free, said: “We are delighted with the way the day is shaping up and look forward to another exciting competition.

“We are very pleased that special guests Joe Mercer and John Reid will be joining us to judge the Dubai Duty Free Ride of the Day, a new award we introduced last year that we expect to be keenly contested once again.”

Ascot Head of Communications and International Racing Nick Smith commented: “In recent years the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Day has been our best attended race meeting outside the five days of Royal Ascot and there should be another fantastic atmosphere here next Saturday.

“It’s great to have a lot of new faces in the competition this year, all with tremendous international or domestic achievements to their name. For instance, it will be fascinating to see Frankie Dettori riding alongside fellow countryman Umberto Rispoli, the young rider who last year smashed Frankie’s father’s all-time record for the number of winners in an Italian season.

“And it will be just as interesting to see Yasunari Iwata from Japan, the only rider from his country to win Australia’s greatest race, the Emirates Melbourne Cup, riding alongside an up-and-coming Aussie star, Luke Nolen.

“Overall we have an outstanding array of jockeys taking part and a great line-up of acts for the post-racing concert. It all points to a vintage Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Day and with advance bookings on a par with last year, we should be on for another crowd not far short of 30,000.”

Further information:
Nick Smith, Head of Communications and International Racing, Ascot , 07771 791 449
Alistair Haggis, Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Event Manager, 07761 896500

Note to Editors
The Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup is one of the world’s major international jockeys’ competitions and was first staged at Ascot in 2000. Twelve top riders take part, three representing Great Britain, three Ireland , three Europe and three riding for the Rest of the World. The day features six races, all handicaps worth £30,000, with each jockey having five rides and sitting out one race. Points are awarded on a 15, 10, 7, 5, 3 basis to the first five horses to finish in each race and the team with the highest points total after the last race lifts the Shergar Cup trophy. The top individual points-scoring rider wins the Silver Saddle trophy and there is also the Dubai Duty Free Ride of the Day award.

Dubai Duty Free, the world’s number one airport retailer, has been involved with the Shergar Cup since its inception, and became title sponsor of the event in 2006.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Ascot Ales to brew a Festival Special for the 4th CAMRA Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival

It has been announced today that Ascot Ales will brew a festival special for the 4th Annual Ascot Racecourse CAMRA Beer Festival on Friday 24th And Saturday 25th September.

Ascot Ales Cob wil be a 4.5% Hazelnut Porter. Head Brewer Chris Gill explains ‘This beautiful smooth chestnut ale has an initial subtle hazelnut flavour followed with rich chocolate at the finish’. The name Cob represents the link between brewing, with the hazelnut base of the porter, and the equie world with Cob being another name for a a stout strong horse.

Ascot Ales have supported the Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival, organised by the Berkshire South East branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, since its inception in 2007 and the brewery will again be sponsoring the staff t-shirts in 2010. The racing over the two days of the Beer Festival is of the highest quality including Saturday’s Queen Elizabeth II Stakes sponsored by Sony, Euope’s highest rated mile race.


The Campaign for Real Ale campaigns for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. They are an independent, voluntary organisation with over 100,000 members and have been described as the most successful consumer group in Europe. CAMRA promotes good-quality real ale and pubs, as well as acting as the consumer's champion in relation to the UK and European beer and drinks industry: www.camra.org.uk.

Past winners of the Beer of the Festival Award as voted for by racegoers are as follows:2007: Summer Lightning brewed by Hop Back Brewery, Downton, Wiltshire.2008: Barbus Barbus brewed by Butts Brewery, Great Shefford, Berkshire.2009: Sump brewed by Pitstop Brewery, Wantage, Oxfordshire.

Ascot Ales
http://www.ascot-ales.co.uk/ brew five regular beers; their flagship bitter Posh Pooch so named after a local woman was seen walking a dog with a diamond necklace - the dog that is!

Ascot’s Alligator Ale, a wonderful hoppy golden ale, was originally a summer seasonal, but due to popular demand is now brewed all year round. It won Best Golden Ale at Woking Beer Festival in November 2008.

Their third regular is Anastasia's Exile Stout also, unusually, brewed all year round. This is another award winner and is the house stout at the Nags Head in Reading. On The Rails was originally brewed as a festival special for Ascot Beer Festival in 2008 and has since become a regular. It's a smooth drinking dark ale with caramel and chocolate flavours from the malt and a great aroma of pine and citrus from whole hop flowers making this a memorable session beer.

The latest addition is Alley Cat Ale at 3.8%. It's their new light copper ale packed full of flavour. Refreshing and hoppy with Brewers Gold hops giving gorgeous romas of tropical and lemony fruits - a terrific session ale.


Tickets for the Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival start from just £11. To book call 0870 727 1234 or visit ascot.co.uk. Gates and bars open at 11am with the first race off at 2pm. A voucher system will be in operation for all Beer Festival ales, perries and ciders. A half pint is priced at £1.40 and a pint £2.80. A limited edition commemorative oversized pint glass is available for £4.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

A brief history of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is a Group 1 contest run over one and a half miles. Open to thoroughbreds aged three years and older, it takes place each year at Ascot in late July. Compared with many prestigious races in Britain it has a relatively short history,

with the inaugural running taking place in 1951 won by Supreme Court. Its name came about through an amalgamation of two separate races held at Ascot, a two-mile event for three-year-olds founded in 1946 named after King George VI and a one-and-a-half mile contest formed in 1948 and named in honour of Queen Elizabeth. In its first year, to commemorate the Festival of Britain, it was titled the "King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Festival of Britain Stakes".

The great Lester Piggott managed to ride the winner on seven occasions, the most number of wins by any jockey in the history of the race. Dick Hern and Saeed bin Suroor each share the distinction of winning the race five times, a record among trainers. Some truly outstanding horses have graced the Winner’s Enclosure in years past, including all time greats such as Nijinsky, Mill Reef, Brigadier Gerard Shergar and Dancing Brave. Special mentions must also go to Dahlia and Swain who remain the only two horses to have won the race twice.

The “King George” has seen 13 Derby winners announce themselves as not only the best of the three-year-old generation but true champions of the turf in completing the historic double. The last horse to do so was Galileo, trained in Ireland by Aidan O’Brien, in 2001. Today, all eyes will be on the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Workforce, who is having his first run since romping to victory in course record time at Epsom.

Sir Michael Stoute, who saddled the first three home in last year’s King George, is also responsible for today’s likely second favourite, Harbinger, unbeaten in three races this year and winner of the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. Owned by Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, victory would confirm that syndicate-owned horses can compete successfully at the very highest level.

Also in today’s star-studded field is Aidan O’Brien’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby winner, Cape Blanco, who missed Epsom in favour of a European Classic campaign culminating in success at the Curragh. Cape Blanco will be looking to become the 12th Irish Derby winner to follow up at Ascot and has already beaten Workforce this year.

Football & Cheerleading Workshops for Children at the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup on Saturday 7th August

A cheerleading class from the 2009 Shergar Cup
Reading FC’s Kingsley will be cheering on the footie workshops

Coaches from Reading Football Club will be taking football master classes at the racecourse for the Shergar Cup. The master class will last 30minutes and you will be taken through the paces of a Championship Footballer by the coaches that train the team.

If football isn’t your idea of fun then the Cheerleaders from Hit TV Show The Pineapple Dance Studios hit TV show will be at the racecourse to teach you a lively dance routine from the show. You are then welcome to perform with the Cheerleaders in the Parade Ring after the last race, if you wish.

Britain's only jockeys' competition, where teams of riders from all over the world compete over six races for the coveted Shergar Cup trophy. The teams are Great Britain, Ireland, Europe and Rest of the World.

All football and cheerleader workshops last approx. 30 mins. To pre-book your spot simply email
coltsandfillies@ascot.co.uk. Please note spaces will be issued on a first come first served basis.

Racing and Other Entertainment on Shergar Cup Day

Britain's only jockeys' competition, where teams of riders from all over the world compete over six races for the coveted Shergar Cup trophy. The teams are Great Britain, Ireland, Europe and Rest of the World.

Meet the jockey’s in the Parade Ring before racing at the Autograph signing session or keep the kids entertained on the fairground rides. There is also the chance to enhance your look with hair braiders and temporary tattoo artists all for free.

‘80s Concert After Racing
Back by popular demand we have a 2 hour live 80s concert featuring the ‘Here & Now’ Tour in the Old Paddock after racing. You’ll get the chance to listen to some classic hits from:
Boy George
Johnny Hates Jazz
Cutting Crew
The Christians
Captain Sensible
Belinda Carlisle
Midge Ure

Tickets start from £25 (10% discount if you book in advance) and are available from
https://www.ascotkiosk.co.uk

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Royal Ascot Racing Club Horses in Training Update: 22nd July 2010

Metaphoric
This grand old servant is in really good form and Michael is now beginning to step his exercise up in the hope that he will move into fast work in August. The plan is for him to run at Ascot in The Fenwolfe Stake (Listed) on 26th September, but there is every chance that he will be ready sooner than that judging by the way that he is currently progressing.
Prompter
We have gelded this horse earlier in the week as he definitely appeared to be taking the micky in that last race at Leicester. It is hard to know what has got into this horse as he works well at home and shown no inkling of being dishonest. He will be ready to run towards the end of August and I think that we will put Jamie Spencer on board next time versus Hayley and look to ride him completely differently.
Mirabella
This filly has continued to have trouble with her feet but hopefully is now back on track. Physically she looks great and I saw her canter earlier in the week so, all being well, we will see her at long last back on the race track in August.
Expose
This colt had a minor adjustment to his palate and will return to William next week having had an easy fortnight. He is an imposing colt who goes very well and this minor operation will not set him back by more than two or three weeks at the most. All being well, he will be ready to make his debut in September and at that time of year ground conditions should be in his favour.
Advisor
This horse has now come back into Paul Nicholls’s yard having had a soft palate operation. The vets believe that this palate has been the reason for the sharp drop off in form and are they are hopeful that they have now sorted this problem. There were no complications with the operation and he will be back into full training exercise from the middle of August. Paul hopes that he will develop into a novice chasing prospect this season which will be very exciting.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Betfair launch 'Sapphire So Good’ cocktail on King George Day: 24th July

To mark the sponsorship of the £1,000,000 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Betfair, the world’s leading betting exchange, will be launching their 'Sapphire So Good’ cocktail on King George Day; Saturday 24th July.

The contents of the cocktail are as follows:
- 25ml Bombay Sapphire
- 2 lemon squeezes
- 10ml elderflower cordial
- Top with Cloudy apple juice and dash of soda
- Built in high ball glass over lots of ice


Dress Code for King George Day is smart and sophisticated. Cocktail dresses and black tie are not compulsory, many ladies wear hats to this event and gentlemen usually wear a shirt and tie. The fashion stakes at this event are as high as at Royal Ascot but in a more relaxed and intimate atmosphere.


Tickets start from £25. To book, call 0870 727 1234 or visit www.ascot.co.uk> Premier Admission is sold out, but Grandstand Admission tickets are still available.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Ratings Bands Reduced for 12-Furlong Shergar Cup Races (Saturday 7th August)

Free Family Entertainment throughout the day including an ‘80s Concert after Racing

The successful Irish Team after last year’s Shergar Cup

Ascot has reduced the ratings bands for the two races run over a mile and a half at this year’s Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup, the world’s premier international jockeys’ team competition, on Saturday 7th August.

The £30,000 Michael Page International Shergar Cup Challenge for four-year-olds and up and the £30,000 Titanic Quarter Shergar Cup Classic for three-year-olds, which failed to attract a full field of ten runners and two reserves last year, are now open to horses rated 76 to 95 (also open to horses rated 75 and below). Last year they were for horses rated 81-100.

The £30,000 Barclays Shergar Cup Dash for three-year-olds and up over five furlongs remains 86-105 (also open to horses rated 85 and below), while the other three races – the Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Sprint for three year-olds over six furlongs, the St Hallett Shergar Cup Stayers for four-year-olds and up over two miles and the Les Ambassadeurs Club Shergar Cup Mile for four-year-olds and up – all remain 81-100 (also open to horses rated 80 and below).

Nick Smith, Ascot’s Head of Communications and International Racing, said: “We hope that by dropping the ratings bands, more trainers will be encouraged to enter horses in these two races. There aren’t too many £30,000 handicaps for horses rated 95 and below, while the same prize money for the other four races also remains very attractive in the current financial climate even though they are retaining their slightly higher ratings bands.

"When you consider that it costs nothing to enter or to run in these races, there is prize money right down to last place and the owners and trainers enjoy free hospitality all day, there are plenty of other reasons to have runners.

“We also look after the stable staff really well on this day. There is free food and drink in the hostel and they benefit from a series of cash payments worth £4,800. There is a £200 best turned out award in every race, the lad or girl in charge of every winner receives £200, while those in charge of the second, third, fourth and fifth in every race – i.e. the other points scoring horses in the jockeys’ competition – get £100 each.”

Further information:

Nick Smith, Head of Communications and International Racing, Ascot , 07771 791 449

Alistair Haggis, Dubai Duty Free Shergar Cup Event Manager, 07761 896500

Monday, 19 July 2010

250 Cuddly Ascot Horses to be Given Away for FREE

How cute is he!

To claim your FREE cuddly Ascot horse, e-mail twitter@ascot.co.uk with your name and address plus your Twitter Name and retweet the Twitter message. Please note that horses are only available to followers of @AscotInsider.

Terms and Conditions

1. Only one Ascot cuddly horse per Twitter follower.
2. Twitter followers are asked to retweet the @AscotInsider message. 3. Offer only open to followers of @AscotInsider on Twitter http://twitter.com/AscotInsider 4. Offer ends 6pm, Thursday 22nd July 2010 or once 250 cuddly horses have been claimed; whichever is the earlier. 5. Horses will be dispatched within 10 working days. 6. Horses are not available for purchase.
Promoter: Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire. SL5 7JX.

Madcap Family Fun with Alice’s Adventures at Ascot on Sunday 25th July

Sunday 25th July, is a colourful day that offers something for everyone, with a combination of spectacular racing action and free entertainment for the children. Off the track turn an ordinary Summer’s afternoon into a magical adventure as we relive Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Start the day with a ride on the fairground rides following the white rabbit down the rabbit hole helter-skelter, between races take tea with the Mad Hatter and solver the Cheshire Cat's riddles. Have your face painted and meet the Queen of Hearts. This is all rounded off by the Sound of the Musicals sing-a-long around the Bandstand after racing with everything from Greece to Mama Mia.

Face Painters: Have your faces painted in the characters of Alice in Wonderland on the Plaza Lawns today.

Fairground Rides: Why not take a ride down the Rabbit hole helter skelter, jump around in the White Rabbit’s cottage or play on the array of family friendly rides at the racecourse today.


Alice Chasing the Rabbit: Help Alice find the White Rabbit in this giant game of hide and seek. All children are welcome to help find the White Rabbit.

Play Croquet with the Queen of Hearts: The Queen of Hearts and her loyal playing card subjects formally invite you to join them for a game of hedgehog croquet. This is a re-creation of scene the from the book and audience participation is required. The White Rabbit is the umpire for The Queen’s battle against you and Alice so don’t forget to give the Queen her well-deserved ‘BOOOO’s (but be careful as she may scream Off With Your Head!). RULES OF THE GAME - The Queen always wins!

Cheshire Cat & Treasure Trail: The Cheshire Cat will be answering all your questions from the Cedar Tree, look up or you might miss him! Please note: not all directions are completely accurate If you miss the Cheshire Cat, he will be leaving a treasure trail for the children around the racecourse during the afternoon. Your prize can be collected from the blue Racecard kiosk on the Plaza Lawn.

Mad Hatters Tea Party: Watch as the Mad Hatters Tea Party is re-created before you. Watch out, all is not what it seems!

The Caterpillar: The Caterpillar on his mushroom will be located on the Plaza Lawns. This fantastic and ridiculous sight is worth a visit, but please note he is rather fond of his own voice. We do not recommend taking his advice too literally.

Sounds of the Musicals: Join us around the Bandstand after racing for a sing-a-long of all your favourite hits from the West End shows including Grease, Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera, We Will Rock You, Les Miserables, Dirty Dancing, The Sound of Music and more.

The Betfair Weekend: Betfair are celebrating their 10th Birthday this weekend and have a great deal for all their customers. Make sure you visit the brand new Betfair Lounge in the Grandstand to see what’s on offer.

Timings
11am - Gates open.
11.30am - Colts & Fillies Tour (Sovereign’s Gate).
12pm - Meet the Cheshire Cat (Cedar Tree).
12pm - Hide & Seek with Alice and the White Rabbit (Parade Ring).
12pm - Tweedledum & Tweedledee and the March Hare Meet & Greet (Plaza Lawns).
1pm - Colts & Fillies Mad Hatters Tea Party (pre-booked event).
2.15pm - First race.
2.30pm - Croquet Match with the Queen of Hearts.
5.10pm – Last (6th) race.
5.15pm - Sounds of the Musicals around the Bandstand.

Tickets available from £16. To book, call 0870 727 1234 or visit
www.ascot.co.uk. Children aged 17 and under admitted Free of Charge.

Wantage based Pitstop Brewery Revving up for the CAMRA Ascot Beer Festival in September

Rip Van Winkle wins the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes in 2009.
The CAMRA Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival attracts an ever increasing crowd. In 2009, 21,000 pints were sold over the two days.

Pitstop Brewery, based behind Bellingers Garage in Grove near Wantage, has announced that it is to brew a Festival Special for the 4th CAMRA Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival on Friday 24th and Saturday 25th September 2010.

Horsepower is a 7% American-style IPA, heavily hopped with Centennial, Chinook and Cascade hops. Pitstop Brewery boss Peter Fowler said, ‘I have used Belgian yeast to give extra flavour. The result is an ever-so-slightly-hazy straw-coloured beer - probably caused from the excess of hop oils - that bursts with flavour and has a wonderfully long-lasting hoppy aftertaste’.

Peter went on to explain; ‘I'm putting Horsepower all as one word to formalise it into the motor racing world’. The real ale is hoping to emulate the feat of Sump, a superb example of a black Russian style stout that won the Beer of the Festival at Ascot in 2009.

The September meeting at Ascot, aka The Ascot Festival, is a highlight of the Flat season and one of the feature race days of the Ascot calendar. The Queen Elizabeth II Stakes (sponsored by Sony) is Europe's top mile race and crowns the top miler in Europe. Also on the card are the Group One Meon Valley Stud Fillies' Mile and the Group Two Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes, for the top two year old milers. It was on this day in 1996 that Frankie Dettori went through the card winning all seven races and creating history!

The annual Ascot Racecourse Beer Festival started in 2007 and is organised by the Berkshire South East branch of the Campaign for Real Ale.

The Campaign for Real Ale campaigns for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. They are an independent, voluntary organisation with over 100,000 members and have been described as the most successful consumer group in Europe. CAMRA promotes good-quality real ale and pubs, as well as acting as the consumer's champion in relation to the UK and European beer and drinks industry: www.camra.org.uk.

Past winners of the Beer of the Festival Award as voted for by racegoers are as follows:
2007: Summer Lightning brewed by Hop Back Brewery, Downton, Wiltshire.
2008: Barbus Barbus brewed by Butts Brewery, Great Shefford, Berkshire.
2009: Sump brewed by Pitstop Brewery, Wantage, Oxfordshire.

Tickets start from just £11. To book call 0870 727 1234 or visit ascot.co.uk. Gates and bars open at 11am with the first race off at 2pm. A voucher system will be in operation for all Beer Festival ales, perries and ciders. A half pint is priced at £1.40 and a pint £2.80. A limited edition commemorative oversized pint glass is available for £4.

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