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Newbury to honour Denman

This season's renewal of the AON Chase at Newbury is to be named after the recently retired Denman.

The 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner won at Newbury on five occasions, including a victory in the AON Chase of the same year and two Hennessy Gold Cup successes.

The Betfair Denman Chase will be run in Berkshire on February 11.

"With the likes of Kauto Star, Master Minded and Big Buck's in the stable, I am lucky to not be able to say that Denman is a once-in-a-lifetime horse for me and the team here," said Nicholls.

"But of course Denman is a legend and myself and his owner Paul Barber were very proud to be told by Betfair today that Denman is to have a race named after him at Newbury. And Newbury is a very fitting course, too. Not only is it one of my favourite tracks, but Denman didn't seem to mind it too much either."

Meanwhile, another big ban was handed down in racing yesterday when trainer and ex-jockey Elliot Cooper was disqualified for 12 months after a British Horseracing Authority (BHA) investigation into corruption.

Cooper, who became Britain's youngest trainer when taking a licence in 2009, was found in breach of the old Rule 243 -- communicating inside information for reward -- and old Rule 220(i) -- aiding and abetting the commission of a corrupt and fraudulent practice.

Cooper was found to have liaised with his cousin Richard Bowe, providing information about his horse Masafi. Bowe was found in breach of the old Rule 201(v) -- committing a corrupt or fraudulent practice -- in relation to racing in Britain by laying Masafi to lose and not be placed on June 2 and June 12, 2009 with the benefit of inside information relating to the horse's prospects.

As well as failing to co-operate with the BHA, he also breached old Rule 220(ix) in that he caused Cooper to communicate inside information for reward. Bowe was warned off indefinitely, with no application to have the disqualification lifted for 10 years.

The BHA had studied Bowe's extensive betting against horses trained by Jonjo O'Neill, for whom Cooper used to work, during an earlier period, but the panel was not convinced he was in possession of inside information.

At Ludlow today, it could prove worth taking a chance on Lord Singer in the two-mile handicap chase.

Gary Moore's six-year-old does not have a great strike-rate over fences, but his penultimate start was a fair effort in finishing third to Renard and Lidar. Both those two have since won, and Renard also ran well when second at Ascot at the weekend.

Moore's charge might have caught a bit of a tartar in the ex-French Triangular last time at Warwick and would not be winning out of turn.

At Ffos Las, David Pipe's Kazlian should go one better than on his jumping debut in the juvenile hurdle, while Real Treasure looks the one to beat in the novice chase.

Irish Independent