Tomorrow’s stars snapped up at DBS Sales

The keenly-watched Premier Yearling Sales at DBS attracted spirited bidding from owners and trainers keen to snap up tomorrow’s racing stars.

The DBS Premier Yearling Sales are renowned for producing potential champions; Group One winner Reckless Abandon was bought there on behalf of Own1-featured co-owner Julie Deadman last year for just £24,000.

This year’s August sale, at DBS’s Doncaster sales complex, brought an average price of £26,892 and a median £20,000 for the 395 colts and fillies sold.

DBS Managing Director Henry Beeby said: “We have enjoyed some excellent prices and a consistent trade, with eight lots realising £100,000 or more.

“The DBS Premier Yearling Sales are very important to us but also to the British and Irish bloodstock industry as they set a tone that is often followed throughout the autumn. On that basis the industry should be quietly confident of a steady and solid round of sales in 2012 as we have been delighted to return some really good results once again.”

Topping this week’s sale was a bay colt from the first crop of the multiple Group 1 winning Mastercraftsman (pictured), who was bought by Eddie Fitzpatrick of Ireland’s Coolmore stud for £185,000.

Suffolk trainer John Ferguson saw star potential in two horses – a colt which is half-brother to the successful Gale Force Ten which went for £180,000, an Invincible Colt filly for £115,000

Henry Beeby added: “There is nothing complicated about the DBS Premier Sales and maybe that is its biggest draw – a catalogue of good, sharp, commercial yearlings that appeal to any buyer looking for a cracking two year old like Reckless Abandon, Olympic Glory etc. who may just train on like Excelebration or Canford Cliffs. Simple really…!”

Danedream bids to get flier before Arc

German wonder horse Danedream will feature in the highlight of the Baden-Baden meeting being shown on SIS’ betting shop service over the next few days.

Danedream, winner of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe last year, will use Sunday’s  Longines Grosser Preis von Baden as her final big race preparation before defending her Arc title in October at Longchamps – a race also being covered by SIS.

Danedream, the best filly in the world over one-and-a-half miles, won the same race last year before going on to the Arc, and followed up by winning the prestigious King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Ascot in July – the first German-trained horse to win the race.

The Baden Grand Prix has proved to be one of the best Arc trials in Europe, providing winners in 2002 (Marienbard) and 2011 (Danedream) plus a number of placings in recent years.

It is the culmination of the Grosse Woche or Great Festival Week at the racetrack Iffezheim /Baden-Baden and is the biggest race meeting in the German calendar offering prize money of more than 1.5 million Euros.

Coverage on SIS continues this Saturday and Sunday and then on September 5 – 6. For full details check out our online Scheduler.

Star Stable launched internationally

Star Stable, the online games world aimed at children with a passion for horses, has launched internationally.

Star Stable, co-owned by Medge Consulting, has undergone rapid growth since its rollout and now has users in more than 20 countries. In Germany, the game is marketed on TV in cooperation with ProSieben.

Described as a “MMORPG” – a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game” – Star Stable can accommodate thousands of players who can play, chat and help each other through numerous challenges and adventures. Players create their own characters and horse and meet other players through the interesting mysteries hiding in Jorvik.

Starstable.com is owned and operated by World of Horsecraft AB (WOH) which is owned by founders Ola Ahlvarsson and Johan Edfeldt, Kima Ventures, Medge Consulting and a number of key partners and private investors.

Free Results service launched for customers

SIS is ready to roll out a new Results service. Following the success of the interactive Scheduler, SIS’ website will shortly carry results from UK horse racing so that customers can access instant information for free.

Depending on demand, horse racing from Ireland and the rest of the world, virtual content and greyhounds could be added in at a later stage.

The Results service will include traditional win and places terms, non-runners, forecast and tricast and Rule 4 deductions.

Helen Scott, Customer Relations Manager, SIS, said: “We want to give our customers the ability to check the SIS schedule and results from one place without having to call the helpdesk or our text room, which can be time-consuming.

“This gives customers an instant reference tool which they can access any time. Our Scheduler, which provides a rolling 28-day online guide, has proved very popular, particularly this summer with so many fixture changes. Adding a Results area is a logical next step and something that customers have asked about.

“These initiatives also offer potential subscribers, interested in taking an SIS service, the opportunity to see what we have – the amount of content, number of betting opportunities etc.”

The services are part of SIS’ ongoing strategy to interact with customers and give them more access and added value information into SIS activities. It follows the re-launch of the website last year, with its regular news and blog, and the roll-out of the weekly e-newsletter, SIS extr@, at the start of this year.

Supponor appoints Head of Broadcast Technology

Supponor’s senior management team has been further boosted by the arrival of Shaun Glanville as Head of Broadcast Technology. He is charged with developing relationships with broadcasters and broadcast production companies as interest in DBRLive soars.

Shaun will be identifying changing trends in broadcast production and technology, as well as developing direct relationships with broadcast hardware manufacturers exploring the potential for closer integration of Supponor’s technology.

Shaun has extensive experience of televising high profile world events for, among others, Al Jazeera Sport and BskyB and Sky Sports. He was project director for Al Jazeera’s ground breaking Olympic coverage and has managed broadcasts from previous Olympics, Wembley finals and concerts, to the launch of Sky News in HD and Champions League finals and Premier League games.

He said: “Sport is my real passion, along with broadcasting combining cutting edge multi platform technology and ground breaking commercial opportunities, so this role at Supponor is perfect for me.”

He added: “Early on in my career someone advised me to approach all sports broadcasts form the point of view of the armchair pundit at home and what they want to see.
Supponor’s tailored advertising really does take that to the next level.

“The technology is truly ground-breaking, right across all sporting events. It will change the face of sports marketing for ever.”

Supponor’s Chris Buckley said: “I’m delighted that Shaun is joining us. He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in an area that is key to Supponor’s development. ”

Whittaker moves in as technology chief

SIS has made another addition to its executive team with the appointment of Mike Whittaker as Chief Technology Officer.

Whittaker, who has held senior roles at Ericsson and the BBC, will work with Gary Smith, recently appointed as Chief Operating Officer, in setting and delivering SIS’ future technology strategy.

David Holdgate, CEO, SIS, said: “Every area of the SIS business is facing technological changes and Mike and Gary will work on addressing those changes. We’re delighted to welcome such an experienced executive as Mike to SIS.”

Whittaker joins from Ericsson Broadcast Services (formerly Technicolor Broadcast Services) where he was Vice President of Global Operations, responsible for the transmission and media operations and solutions and SI for the broadcast outsource services which manage and operate over 170 TV channels for some of the world’s major broadcasters.

Prior to joining Ericsson in 2010, Whittaker was VP, Broadcast Operations and Technology for the Dubai-based MENA pay-TV operator OSN.  At OSN he was responsible for all technology strategy and delivery of operations.  He led the introduction of the region’s first EPG, DVR and VOD services, widescreen transmission and the launch of the first permanent HD linear and VOD channels as well as OSN’s HD DVR and 3D services.

Before joining OSN, Whittaker spent 18 years at the BBC in various operations, technology and business roles including Head of Operations for BBC World Service, Head of Strategy for BBC Technology Ltd and Head of Technology Support for BBC News.  He also worked on projects such as the introduction of audio and video desktop editing, the sales of BBC Transmission and BBC Technology and the technical specifications for the BBC’s W1 project, as well as working on the early development of what was to become Freeview.

Love-Snooker website adds Live Scores Application

SportStat has signed a deal to supply live World Snooker data to a new one-stop website for worldwide snooker fans.

Love Snooker (www.love-snooker.com) aims to provide the ultimate home of snooker on the web, featuring the latest news and player profiles as well as live scores.

In a unique offering from SportStat, World Snooker’s official partner, the website will also carry frame-by-frame score breakdowns, which will delight die-hard followers of the game.

Love Snooker’s editor James Gordon said: “For snooker coverage, SportStat are in a league of their own. We wanted to carry reliable live scores as well as a wide range of data, so they were the only people to ask.”

The new website, produced in association with Apollo Bet, has a Live Score Centre, carrying all the scores as they happen, from ranking and non–ranking snooker tournaments worldwide.

SportStat’s state-of-the art score logging system is operated by World Snooker’s referees, who record each shot simultaneously. The information is instantly relayed to servers across the globe – shaving seconds off the television delivery feed.

James Gordon added: “There are already some fantastic snooker resources on the web, but SportStat’s live scores will help take our website to another level.”

Andrew Palmer, SportStat’s Business Development Manager, said: “We’ve given Love Snooker a unique feature of frame-by-frame score breakdowns, which will be available as soon as each game has finished, no matter where it was played in the world.

“We’re very excited that for the first time ever, fans will be able to see how the players fared in each frame. I think it will go down very well with snooker fans.”

Independent takes business into stadiums

An independent retail outfit from the South Coast is branching out into football stadiums. The Betting Room, which has two shops in Portsmouth, has announced a tie-up with Championship side Charlton Athletic.

It is The Betting Room’s fourth venture with football clubs, following similar operations at Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth.

In-stadium betting has largely been the preserve of the bigger bookmakers, but The Betting Room’s service provides a fully outsourced operation for clubs, with coupons on that day’s match plus bets on the full football programme as well as horse racing.

The Betting Room is owned by Peter Higgins, former business development director for Betdaq and Sportingbet, who made his first foray into stadium betting with local club Portsmouth three years ago.

Now each operation can involve anything between 12 to 30 staff working in up to seven outlets as well as patrolling hospitality areas and offering betting services to corporate guests.

“Although there’s been a huge surge in betting on mobile and online, having a bet at the football ground is still a big part of fans’ match-day routine,” said Higgins. “It’s something we recognised three years ago when we opened at Portsmouth and it grew from there.

“In a way, the outlets are like shops of old. It’s all manual trading and it’s vital to get the right kind of staff who are knowledgeable and friendly. The most popular bets are first goalscorer, correct score and scorecast, but you need experience and good people to get it right as there’s little technology and no EPOS system.

“But fans like the experience of having a bet before the match and we pay out on the day.”

Like all independents, Higgins is familiar with the challenges facing High Street shop owners and added: “Shops are vital to us, but this is one way of developing alternative income streams and we’re looking at other clubs and aiming to expand further.”

Lily Owns2!

Singer Lily Allen is the latest celebrity musician to take an interest in racing a step further by buying into a couple of racehorses.

She has bought shares in Polish Rider, trained by Richard Hannon, and Ombrellino, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, as part of the ownership syndicate De La Warr Racing.

The Smile and The Fear star, now pregnant with her second child, went with husband Sam Cooper and eight-month-old daughter Ethel to meet Polish Rider at Hannon’s East Everleigh Stables in Wiltshire.

They saw Polish Rider, a two year-old light bay-coloured thoroughbred, out on the gallops and put through his paces, said Hannon’s son, Richard Hannon Jnr.
“She saw him go at speed and seemed very impressed,” he said. “He’s very good-looking and a big, strong sort.”

He added: “She came with her baby and had a nice time looking round the yard. She obviously knows her horses. It was great to have Lily here and her presence cheered the lads up, too.”

Lily, 27, has multi-platinum-selling albums under her belt and is now back in the studio working on a new album due to be released in the spring. She also co-owns vintage fashion shop, Lucy in Disguise.

But she has claimed in the past that she likes nothing better than relaxing on a Saturday with the Racing Post and found time in her busy schedule last year to attend the Cheltenham Festival.

Lily joins other musicians who have invested in racehorses, including Ronan Keating, composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, Abba’s Benny Andersson and Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood.