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Plans unveiled for 75 mile endurance race starting and finishing at Newbury in 2014

Haafaguinea ridden by Ryan Tate (right) leads home Chapter Seven rand Voodoo Prince to win in the Dubai Duty Free Handicap Credit: David Davies/PA Wire
Jockey Frankie Dettori before the Dubai International Airport World Trophy during the Racing for Racegoers: Dubai Duty Free Weekend Credit: David Davies/PA Wire

Managing Director Racecourse and Events, Stephen Higgins said, “We are very proud of our relationship with Arabian racing and are honoured to be playing a key role in next year’s World Arabian Horseracing Conference.

“The value of the Arabian races we will stage is significant by comparison with other major Arabian races in the UK and to be associated with a world first in the running of the proposed H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies CEIO 120km two star Endurance Ride. is a unique honour.”

Speaking in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, John Robertson a member of the Board of Directors of Endurance GB said, “We hope to be able to stage a race under FEI rules for international teams of five lady riders aged 14 and up with seven horses in which the top three will score.

“The race would be over 120k in four loops of varying distances, the longest being about 38k and the shortest would be about 20k and that will give is three vet gates and a finish. “This race represents a first for FEI, a first for Endurance GB and a first for the sport world-wide.”

World Arabian horse racing conference to reach its climax at Newbury

Plans for Newbury's involvement in the World Arabian Racing Conference were announced at the racecourse

The event which was launched in Abu Dhabi in 2010 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and has since visited Holland (The Hague), Germany (Berlin) and France (Toulouse).

The World Arabian Horse Racing Conference next year will run over five days at the end of May. It will comprise three days of seminars in London followed by racing at Newbury on Saturday, 31 May and a proposed endurance ride from the racecourse on Sunday, 1 June.

His Highness Sheikh Mansoor, with the jockeys at Saturday's Arabian Race at the Dubai Duty Free International Weekend.

On the final day of the event in 2014 plans are being made for the first ever running of the H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies CEIO Two star 120k endurance race starting and finishing at The Racecourse and taking in the surrounding countryside.

The Racecourse Newbury is home to Arabian racing in the UK and in addition to providing the venue for the flagship Dubai International Arabian Race Day, also stages more single races on thoroughbred cards than any other course in Britain.


Three jailed after £5m horse racing fraud

John 'Jock' McCracken, from Brighton and Matthew Thole, a company director from Cardiff Credit: Sussex Police
John Brice from Hove. Credit: Sussex Police

Three men including two from Sussex have been been sentenced today after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud through a horse race betting brochure investment fraud. They and three others previously convicted are thought to have obtained up to £5m from unsuspecting investors over six years.

John 'Jock' McCracken, 47, unemployed, of Whitehawk Road, Brighton; Matthew Thole, 40, a company director, of Cefn Mably Park, Michaelston-y-Fedw, Cardiff; and John Brice, 40, self-employed, of Sandringham Drive, Hove, were convicted after a two-week trial at Lewes Crown Court.

Today, McCracken and Thole were each sentenced by Judge Hayward to four years imprisonment, and Brice was sentenced to five years.

They were found guilty of, between 30 April 2003 and 13 February 2008, conspiring with each other and with Paul Spicer, Gregory Spicer and Lee O'Donnell and with others, to defraud prospective and actual participants in various purported betting services and purported investment services.

The two Spicers and O'Donnell, all from Brighton and Hove, were convicted of the same conspiracy to defraud at Lewes Crown Court and sentenced to a total of 15 and a half years imprisonment on 29 June 2010.

Racecourse delays opening after poor weather

Brighton Racecourse has been forced to delay the start to its flat racing season - due to the severe weather.

Course managers said poor grass growth following the prolonged wet and cold weather has meant its first three meetings of the year on April 25, May 2 and May 7 have all had to be relocated.

We have been closely monitoring the track throughout the closed period and really it is case of severe weather having had quite an effect on a very exposed surface.

This has meant the grass just hasn’t grown or recovered from last season and we would prefer not to race on it at the moment.

– Ed Arkell, course clerk

Extra ground work, including spraying for various pest infestations recently prevalent in Sussex, will now take place before racing begins on May 21.

The cancelled meetings will instead take place at Lingfield, Chepstow and Yarmouth respectively.


Newbury racecourse: the going is good

Officials draw back the protective covers on the racecourse Credit: ITV News Meridian

Racing will go ahead at Newbury today, despite the bad weather.

The track passed an early morning inspection after officials covered the entire length of the track with frost sheets a few days ago to protect it from temperatures which fell to minus 3 overnight.

80 extra ground staff were bought in to help.

The first race will go ahead as planned at 12:50

Racing at Fontwell is on after inspection

The Boxing Day meeting at Fontwell is on after an inspection this morning. Going will be heavy. The forecast is dry this morning, with rain in the afternoon. Travel advice below.

A27 Eastbound closed between A285 Portfield Roundabout (Sainsbury's/John Lewis turning) to the Tangmere Roundabout. Alternative route is to take the Westhampnett turning from Portfield Roundabout, then follow directions for Petworth. At T junction, follow signs for Worthing A27.

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