Turf Talk: Juddmonte buoyed by £1m prize fund

York Racecourse chairman, Lord Teddy Grimthorpe.

York Racecourse chairman, Lord Teddy Grimthorpe.

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The Juddmonte International at York will carry an increased total prize fund of £1,000,000 this August.

Prize-money for a Group one contest, that has been won by the likes of Sea The Stars (2009) and Frankel (2012) recently, has risen by £100,000 and it will become the richest race ever run on the Knavesmire on August 23.

The Darley Yorkshire Oaks and the Coolmore Nunthorpe, also run at York’s Ebor Festival, will both see increases to reach their richest ever renewals at £350,000.

The Betfred Ebor itself has also been boosted again to £285,000.

York Racecourse chairman Lord Grimthorpe said: “Attracting the best horses to run in competitive races on the Knavesmire is what we are all about; so I am pleased that the unstinting support from long-standing sponsors has allowed us to increase prize money for our feature races again this year. The Juddmonte International will reach a notable landmark demonstrating the generous support of Prince Khalid (Abdullah) for a race that I know he cherishes.”

Jonjo O’Neill is keen for More Of That to be given the green light to contest next month’s Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup.

After failing to feature in his first three starts this season the 2014 World Hurdle winner was in the process of running a big race in the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday when unseating Mark Walsh at the final fence.

Although plans remain fluid for the nine-year-old the Jackdaws Castle handler believes that the latest display from the JP McManus-owned gelding merits him being given a tilt at the Grade One on March 17.

He said: “He showed a bit of his old enthusiasm which was nice. I would be delighted to have a go at it (Gold Cup) but I will have to talk to Frank (Berry) and everyone else first as nothing has been discussed yet.”

SOBOT’S SELECTIONS

KEMPTON: 5.20 Moayadd, 5.50 Forever Yours, 6.20 Beau Mistral, 6.50 Cherbourg, 7.20 Shine Through, 7.50 On Fire, 8.20 Zabdi, 8.50 Henry Grace.

NEWCASTLE: 2.20 Crackdeloust, 2.50 Chain Of Beacons, 3.20 Listen To The Man, 3.50 The Pierre Lark, 4.20 Pistol Park, 4.50 Anywaythewindblows.

TOWCESTER: 2.10 Wabanaki, 2.40 Two Swallows, 3.10 Amberjam, 3.40 Solighoster, 4.10 Lunar Flow, 4.40 Storm Nelson.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 2.00 Cape Spirit, 2.30 Topsoil, 3.00 David’s Beauty, 3.30 MYTHICAL MADNESS (NAP), 4.00 Malaysian Boleh, 4.30 Byron Flyer (next best), 5.00 Ms Gillard.

Jockey Paul Hanagan, right, and trainer Richard Fahey

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