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Latest News

21 May 2002

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It's a fairly quiet time for racing at the moment in the run-up to the Derby, although there was a Group 1 race at Newbury over the weekend.  The Juddmonte Lockinge Stakes was won by French raider Keltos, a heavily supported 9/1 chance ridden by Olivier Peslier.  He beat off the strong challenge of 5/6 favourite Noverre for the all powerful Godolphin team, to win by three-and-a-half lengths.  Olden Times was third for John Dunlop and No Excuse Needed fourth home for Sir Michael Stoute. And on the subject of the Derby, trainer Mark Johnston has said that they will leave until the last minute the decision on whether to supplement easy Lingfield winner Bandari for the race, as it carries a cost of £90,000.  He has spoken with the colts owner Abdullah Al-Rostamani and they have decided to wait until Saturday week, when they will know more about the opposition.
Top Irish jockey Mick Kinane will be making a late decision of his own for the Derby, leaving it until the last minute before commiting himself to either High Chaparral or Hawk Wing.  The two favourites, both trained by Aidan O'Brien would each present Kinane with a good chance of following up last year's win on Galileo, although many a breeding anorak would say that 2000 Guineas runner-up Hawk Wing will not stay a mile-and-a-half.  However, while Woodman's progeny have not got a scintillating strike-rate over this distance, he still gets a handful every year who can win over 1m4f, so if any son of Woodman can score over the trip then this  beast can.  He is a massive individual, and would seem to want further anyway, so to me it's not in doubt and I will stick with class, although if Bandari runs then it's going to make things very interesting.  
Bandari was not Mark Johnston's only Derby candidate of course, however Dante seventh Sir George Turner will now miss the classic, as it will cost a further £11,000 to keep him in the race, and he is far from guaranteed to make the frame.  He will head to Royal Ascot now.  There is still one more very intereting contender left to see, in the last of the recognised trials on Tuesday.  Dubai Destination, conquerer of subsequent 2000 Guineas winner Rock Of Gibraltar last year, runs in the Listed Predominate Stakes at Goodwood.  Of course there are big questions over whether he will stay, so his chances at Epsom are best judged after his Goodwood run.  He has Highdown and Playapart to beat.  
Here is a list of the best available prices at the time of writing for the Vodafone Derby:
9/4 High Chaparral, Hawk Wing, 9/2 Bandari, 14 Naheef, 20 Moon Ballad, 25 Al Moulatham, 25 Sorcerous, Dubai Destination, 33 Balakheri, Tholjanah, 40 bar
A day earlier in the Vodafone Oaks I very much like the chances at the moment of Esloob, trained by Marcus Tregoning.  
Here is how they bet:-
3 Islington, 7 Quarter Moon, Kazzia, 10 Esloob, 14 Spinnette, Protectress, 16 Shadow Dancing, 18 Snowfire, 20 bar
As for this weekends classics, itís the turn of the Irish to hold their 1000 and 2000 Guineas, and after careful consideration I have come to the same conclusion I came to before our classics.  King Of Happiness did not run his race at Newmarket last time behind Rock Of Gibraltar, and had sweated up badly in the paddock beforehand.  For everything that didnít go his way that day, he was still only beaten 6 lengths and that was running on the wrong side of the track, he may surprise a few if turning up at the Curragh on Saturday.  Also, my original 1000 Guineas fancy Queens Logic may run in the Irish version on Sunday, having been denied her chance at HQ due to being found lame the morning before the race.  She can certainly make amends this Sunday and confirm her early promise.
A horse mentioned twice in earlier articles is John Dunlop's sprinter Invincible Spirit, as I am very keen on him and I believe he can win a Group 1 this year.  He managed to win the Duke Of York Stakes last week, even burdoned with my money!  
He went off a heavily backed 3/1 favourite and tracked the leaders on the near side before producing a good turn of foot under Mick Kinane to take the race from Mugharreb.  He is certainly one to watch at Royal Ascot in the Golden Jubilee Stakes.  If you have any questions or would like to raise a subject with me, please contact me at:-
Article by Gary Christie.


To go back to the Top of the page.
Formby Arts Festival Concert Ticket Prices.
Tickets are selling fast so book now or be disappointed! 
Dark red is are nearly sold out!  Black sold out for that part of viewing area.
Swing Shift Big Band
Saturday 6th July
Humphrey Lyttelton
Sunday 7th July
Monday 8th July
Folk in the Pinewoods
Tuesday 9th July
Wind Ensemble
Wednesday 10th July
Sefton Youth Brass Band
Thursday 11th July
Pirates of Penzance
Friday 12th July
Saturday 13th July
Formby Hall Garden Party
Saturday 13th July
Adult ticket £10.00 - Family ticket TBA
Formby Arts Festival 2002 ROLL OF HONOUR.


This year's festival in Formby is well underway now.  Sponsors of the festival so far are:-


Southport Reporter, Formby Times, Alliance & Leicester,  Shorrocks Hill Country Club, In House, Mc Dougall's Chemist, Formby Health Food Store, Boots, Bryrne's & Son, Re-aqua (at Just Beauty), Delahunty, Jonathan Ward, Maxwell Entwistle & Byrne, H.D. Vince Ltd.  Ekaton Ltd.  Brough Butchers, Alan Rumph & Co.  Waterfields, Lloyds TSB, Blackhouses, Trimmers, B.B. Lewis Ltd. AC Greeting Cards, Colette Gunter Ltd. Animals in Need, Mr Minit, Global Video, Derbyshires, Classic Lifts, Fogarty's Carpets, Send-a-Card, Formby Timber, Pride's Hairdressers, Act One, Tesco (Formby) & Formby-Online.