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Royal Ascot at York News 2005

Royal Ascot 2005

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Cape of Good Hope at last
Cape Of Good Hope, trained in Hong Kong by David Oughton and running in England for the fifth time in the last two years and the second time this week, became the first horse trained in that Far Eastern territory to win at Royal Ascot when he just got the better of a long battle with Galeota to take the Golden Jubilee Stakes. [more]

Maids Causeway wins Coronation Stakes
Maids Causeway, runner-up in the 1,000 Guineas and fifth in the Irish equivalent, gained a well deserved first success of the season in a tremendous finish with Karen’s Caper, who had been fourth at Newmarket, in the Coronation Stakes to give Barry and Michael Hills their second successes of the meeting. [more]

Westerner Ends Drought For France
The long wait proved well worthwhile, and owner Alec Wildenstein, celebrating the first French triumph in the Gold Cup since Sagaro completed his hat-trick in 1977, could barely fight back the tears as his super stayer Westerner, the 7-4 favourite, beat 33-1 shot Distinction by a cosy neck, with the rest five lengths and more adrift. [more]

Thrilling Shamardal
Shamardal slammed his field in the Group One St James’s Palace Stakes and is now all set for a showdown with the Vodafone Derby winner Motivator in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes over 10 furlongs at Sandown on July 2. [more]

Valixir is Magnifique
A new star was born in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes when the Andre Fabre-trained Valixir scored by a facile length and a half from the hot favourite Rakti, who had become agitated on the way to the post. [more]

royal ascotOrder of Running 2005
The order of running for Royal Ascot at York was confirmed on 26th January 2005. The Group One races have been confirmed on the same days as in 2004.

The quality of the horseracing action on offer during Royal Ascot week remains unsurpassed, and the 2005 meeting at York Racecourse looks to uphold that tradition once again.

The Royal Meeting now includes six Group One and seven Group Two contests, following the elevation of the Coventry Stakes and Queen Mary Stakes to Group Two status and the introduction of a brand new race, The Windsor Forest Stakes, in 2004.

A superb programme on the opening day features two Group One contests, the Queen Anne Stakes, won in 2004 by Godolphin’s Refuse to Bend, and the St James’s Palace Stakes, where Azamour stamped his credentials as a potential champion. From Brigadier Gerard to Rock of Gibraltar, some of the greatest three-year-old colts have won the St. James’s Palace Stakes and the race traditionally features winners of the early season Classics.

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes, over one and a quarter miles, forms the centrepiece on Wednesday and is often the scene for a scintillating clash between the best older horses. This is a race that has produced some great winners in recent times, including Dubai Millennium, World Champions Fantastic Light and Grandera, Nayef and Rakti in 2004.

First run in 1807, Thursday’s highlight, The Gold Cup is the oldest and most prestigious race of the Royal Meeting and over the last two centuries has provided the ultimate test for Europe’s top stayers. Papineau won the 2004 renewal in convincing style to become Godolphin’s fourth winner of the Blue Ribband since 1996.

Friday includes The Coronation Stakes for three-year-old fillies – often a target for winners of the English, Irish and French 1,000 Guineas. The record-breaking dual Guineas heroine Attraction was the star of the show in 2004.

Royal Ascot Saturday provides a great climax to the week, with the sprinters taking centre stage. Fayr Jag won the final Group One race of the meeting in 2004, the Golden Jubilee Stakes, beating a star-studded international field that included the French-trained Crystal Castle and Cape of Good Hope from South Africa.

Add some of the most competitive handicaps of the season, including the Royal Hunt Cup on Wednesday and the Wokingham Stakes on Saturday, and you have five days of exhilarating action that is sure to make Royal Ascot at York 2005 another magnificent and memorable occasion.

York Gold Cup day tickets sell out
york racecourseGold Cup day tickets for the grandstand and Yorkshire course enclosures for the 'Royal Ascot' meeting at York 2005 have sold out, less than two days after going on sale.

With all Gold Cup day hospitality packages sold as well, the only availability remaining for the general public on Thursday, June 16, will now be in the rails enclosure.

The capacity of the main stands, including the Royal enclosure, is 50,000, and the capacity for the rails enclosure is expected to be an additional 10,000.

Mindful of the traffic circulation limitations of York, there will be no car parking available with the purchase of tickets for the rails enclosure when they go on sale early next year.

Sales for this area will be restricted to residents in the immediate vicinity of York.

Royal Ascot at York takes place from June 14 to 18 and tickets and some hospitality packages are still available for all days except Thursday.

But grandstand tickets for Friday, June 17, are expected to sell out on Wednesday.

York's Royal preparations going well
Preparations are well underway for next year's Royal Ascot at York with the first stage of the course extension completed.

In order to run races like the Gold Cup over two and a half miles and the Queen Alexandra Stakes, which is over a further two furlongs, the Knavesmire track had to be lengthened.

A fully drained and cambered three furlongs had to be constructed to complete a full circuit of the course.

All the earthworks were finished last month and clerk of the course William Derby said today: "Luckily, all the excavating was done before the rains arrived and we now plan to turf the new part of the track in June.

"It will make the whole circuit 15 furlongs, so the Gold Cup start will be at the five-furlong start and the Queen Alexandra will start from the seven-furlong."

The new surface will be thoroughly tested before next June as Derby explained.

He said: "We plan to have a long-distance race before next year's Royal Ascot fixture, hopefully at next year's May meeting. That would give the turf time to settle, but we would do some trials and gallop some horses on it before then."

A limit of 50,000 paying customers has been put on each of the five days of Royal Ascot at York, but officials at the track still intend to have a free area on some of the 110 acres of the Knavesmire, which is common land.

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