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29th March 1998

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All Weather performers show their fangs

By Ismail Khan

By the time you start reading this piece the 1998 flat racing season would have blasted off the launching pads of Doncaster yesterday and the first major handicap of the season, the Lincolnshire Handicap may have been run and decided upon. Whatever the fate of first favourite FARMOST and the equally well fancied Roving Minstrel in the race, it is high time we went about our business of preparing for the flat proper on the move now. And towards it I like to add more of the All Weather contestants who are very likely to have an edge over other horses in the game.

Rider C. Rutter son of a lesser known flat rider N. Rutter who did not catch on with the game well in the 1960's seems to be cottoning on well on the flat with the help of the Standard Equitrack.

Recently at Southwell on the Standard track he booted home a remunerative double taking winning rides on Shades Of Love and Sharp Steel.

V. Soane trained Shades Of Love having run well of late driven out beautifully in the final furlong answered Rutter's call to beat off late efforts by Hever Golf Passion and Kustom Kit Kate to take the opening event. Shades Of Love if she maintains this form could do well over the flat proper this term. The fly in the ointment where Rutter was concerned came in the 5th race at Southwell where the unfancied Sharp Steel romped home at 12/1 from Stately Favour and Top Floor another unfancied runner at 16/1. G. L. Moore's charge Sharp Steel had done nothing of note to warrant a win and it came as a big surprise when the lengthy gelding outstrode the rest. I remember Sharp Steel the roguish runner win a race or two out of turn last flat term and it would pay to keep a close tab on him.

M. Bell's Magic Rainbow lived up to her kaleidoscopic spread of her rainbow coloured name when she thrashed a fair lot in the third race at Southwell making it almost point to point as you may call it in a point to point race. Ridden by M. Fenton, Magic Rainbow beat Branston Berry with much in hand: Follow her in the flat races this term specially at Midlands Worcester for example when M. Bell hopes to run some of his charges.

Lord Huntingdon looks to have a good line=up for the current flat season and one for the notebook is Silken Dalliance. This one going odds-on beat Gold Park recent run with authority and according to her trainer has taken well to the game. That day she was ridden by Willie Ryan who incidentally is now also a part time work rider for Lord Huntingdon.

Darryll Holland and his Guvnor M. F. Godley seems to be hitting it off well these days. Saturday last at the Floodlit meet at Wolverhampton on the Standard track this duo brought off a good double with Shanhai Lil (3/1) and Blushing Grenadier at 9/2. Both these horses are due to take their chances also at Midland track of Warwick in the current flat term and it is with confidence oozing that I tip these sure things for you. Shanhai Lil ridden out in the last furlong beat Evezio Rufo really handsomely but Holland had to ride his hardest on Blushing Grenadier to get the better of Bold Aristocrat who put up a bold show. Follow both this term.

M Ryan trained Gold Clipper long in the tooth for most of the All Weather season 1997 showed his paces to good effect when winning a race at Southwell recently at 20/1. Ridden by P. McCabe Gold Clipper put in a sustained run in the final furlong to get the better of well fancied Al's Fella and 10/1 Lancashire Legend. According to trainer Ryan this gelding who is most untrustworthy seems to have shed most of his bad manners and even at home gallops has been moving very well. So look out for Gold Clipper for a good win at a mouth watering price at a southern centre more likely at Sandown or Newbury.

Graham McCourt who has obtained his training licence has in Rear Window (not the film but the horse) a promising sort who has done good homework at home tracks. Ridden by R. Studdholme Rear Window slammed a good lot recently at Southwell and according to his trainer is on the correct path. Another one for your short list.

So that's it till next week when I hope to give you more facts and figures about the current 1998 Flat Season.

Susanthika for World's Fastest Woman race in China

Beijing (AFP) - Susanthika Jayasinghe has signed to take part in the "World's Fastest Woman" race to be run in China in May. The World 100 metre champion Marion Jones and double Olympic Champion, Gail Devers will also run.

Others who have already signed on to compete are Zhanna Pintussevich of Ukraine and Sevatheda Fynes of the Bahamas.

But Merlene Ottey of Jamaica, number three last year behind Jones and Devers, has rejected an invitation, the Chinese Athletics Management Centre (CAMC) backers said.

The race is to he held in a 30,000 capacity stadium in Chengdu, capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan.

"Both Jones and Devers are likely to show up but Merlene Ottey of Jamaica has turned down our invitation." CAMC vice director Shano Xiutano was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua news agency .

"It is not a matter of appearance fees, it is because the top three are unwilling to run head- to- head in a commercial race."

In addition to five foreign sprinters three Chinese will run including Li Xuemei, who clocked the second fastest 100m of 1997 with a surprise 10.79 in last year's Chinese National Games.

"I am confident to face the world's best. I fear nobody," Li told Xinhua. The event is similar to the 150m showdown last June between 100m Olympic champion Donovan Bailey of Canada and American Michael Johnson, the gold medallist in the 200 and 400 metres .

But Shang said the appearance fees and prize money are "far less". He said Jones and Devers were scheduled to sign contracts.

Triplets shine at table tennis

Triplets shine at table tennisTriplets C.Maneshan B.Herath, C.Madushan B.Herath and C. Manushan B.Herath - all of Gannoruwa Ranabima Royal College, who are equally good at studies caused quite a sensation when they emerged champions at the C Section of the Central Province Table Tennis Championships.

In another competition held earlier they smashed their way to bag the C Division title at the Table Tennis championships conducted by the Kandy YMBA, to mark their Golden Jubilee.

The father of the triplets Mr. M.B.Herath is an engineer attached to the Mahaweli Scheme. Their mother Mrs. N.D.K.Weerasuriya is a teacher attached to Ampitiya College. - Text and picture by R.S.Keeriyawatte, Our Peradeniya Correspondent

Moratuwa MV vs Sri Sumangala

By Marcus Joseph

The 6th annual limited over cricket encounter between Sri Sumangala College Panadura and Moratu Maha Vidyalaya, for the Hewage Trophy, will he played today at Moratuwa.

Of the previous five matches, Moratu Maha Vidyalaya won three and Sri Sumangala two.

This encounter is a much looked forward social event in Moratuwa and the fact that the two teams have been doing well in the inter-school cricket scene this year has added an extra impetus to the match.

Amila Perera leads a well balanced Sri Summangala team while Moratu Maha Vidyalaya will be led by Asitha Perera.

The two teams are as follows:

Sri Sumangala - Amila Perera (Capt.), Nalinda Jayanath, Sujith Sriyantha, Manjula Liyanage, Heshan Jayawardena, Visvagith Silva, Jayanath Sandakan, Suresh Silva, Dilruwan Perera, Dilal Madurusinghe, Aruna Jayathilaka, Asanka Buddhiratne.

Moratu Maha Vidyalaya - Asitha Perera (Capt.), Osada Warnapura, Prasanna Fernando, Manoj Deshapriya, Lakruwan Fernando, Amith Silva, Shammi Dissanayake, Asanka de Mel, Waruna Peiris, Romesh Fernando, Amila Peiris, Sampath Perera, Thilak Ruwan.

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