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Racing: Sire de Grugy delivers Champion Chase fairytale

Sire de Grugy recorded a fairytale win on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday as he landed the feature race Queen Mother Champion Chase, giving jockey Jamie Moore his first ever win at the meeting. The winner -- trained by Moore's father Gary -- rewarded the hairdressing sons of chief owner Steve Preston, who had clubbed together to raise money to buy a horse for him on his 50th birthday five years ago. In winning, the eight-year-old took his winnings for the season alone to £300,000 ($500,000, 360,000 euros).

Racing: Jezki wins Champion Hurdle

Irish runner Jezki gave jockey Barry Geraghty his second win and trainer Jessica Harrington her first in the Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday. The six-year-old -- who Geraghty has never lost on in five rides -- won in a thrilling finish from My Tent Or Yours ridden by Tony McCoy, who had opted for the ride on the runner-up rather than the winner. For Harrington it was her first win in the race having previously finished second and third.

Racing: Geraghty benefits as McCoy opts for wrong one in Champion Hurdle

Irish runner Jezki gave jockey Barry Geraghty his second win and trainer Jessica Harrington her first in the Champion Hurdle on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday. The six-year-old -- who Geraghty has never lost on in five rides -- won in a thrilling finish from My Tent Or Yours ridden by Tony McCoy, who had opted for the ride on the runner-up rather than the winner. "He is a great little horse and his price (9/1) didn't reflect his chances in the race," said 34-year-old Geraghty, whose previous success came on Punjabi in 2009.

Racing: Australian racing great Higgins dies, aged 75

Roy Higgins, one of Australia's greatest jockeys, has died after a short illness, his family said Sunday. The winner of two Melbourne Cups for so-called "Cups King" trainer Bart Cummings, and a long list of Australia's premier races, Higgins was 75. "The Professor", as Higgins was known in racing circles, was surrounded by family and close friends when he passed away on Saturday in a Melbourne hospital. "Roy Henry Higgins passed away at the age of 75 surrounded by family and close friends," a family statement read.

Racing: No limit to Qatari turf ambitions

The traditional powerhouses of horse racing such as Ireland, England and the United States should beware because the new boys on the block, the Qataris, have limitless ambitions Sheikh Joaan Al-Thani told AFP in an exclusive interview. The Sheikh, the fifth son of the former Emir of Qatar, added that their ambitions lay not only in winning on the track but also in breeding their own champions like Ireland's Coolmore Stud and the heavyweight American operations in Kentucky as well as Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum's Darley Stud.

Heinz to make statement on Thursday regarding Leamington, Ont., plant

LEAMINGTON, Ont. - Food giant Heinz is expected to make a statement Thursday on negotiations which could save a southwestern Ontario processing plant from complete closure. The international company — a major employer in Leamington, Ont. — announced plans last November to shutter its facility by late June, putting close to 800 full-time employees out of work. The mayor of Leamington said Wednesday that the company now plans to shed some light on efforts being made to save the plant.

Racing: Irish jockey Murtagh retires to focus on training

Leading Irish flat race jockey Johnny Murtagh has announced he is to retire from riding in order to concentrate on his career as a trainer. The 43-year-old enjoyed several Classic successes, winning three English Derbys, four Irish Derbys ans five Ascot Gold Cups since recording his first victory in the saddle aboard Chicago Style at the Irish course of Limerick in 1987. "The training side of things is getting bigger all the time and I wasn't happy giving the riding 50 percent and the training 50 percent," the 43-year-old Murtagh told the BBC on Tuesday.

Racing: Irish jockey Murtagh retires to focus on training

Leading Irish flat race jockey Johnny Murtagh has announced he is to retire from riding in order to concentrate on his career as a trainer. The 43-year-old enjoyed several Classic successes, winning three English Derbys, four Irish Derbys ans five Ascot Gold Cups since recording his first victory in the saddle aboard Chicago Style at the Irish course of Limerick in 1987. "The training side of things is getting bigger all the time and I wasn't happy giving the riding 50 percent and the training 50 percent," the 43-year-old Murtagh told the BBC on Tuesday.

Godolphin's racing manager quits for new role

LONDON (Reuters) - Simon Crisford has resigned as racing manager of the Godolphin stable and will take a new role as Sheikh Mohammed's global racing advisor, he was quoted as saying on Monday. The 51-year-old's departure comes after a report published this month that was critical of Godolphin and other parts of Sheikh Mohammed's equine operations.

Martin Luther King Jr. estate sues daughter over Nobel medal, Bible

By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - The estate of Martin Luther King Jr. has sued the late civil rights leader's daughter over possession of his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize medal and a Bible used by President Barack Obama during his second inauguration. In a suit filed in Georgia on Friday, the estate, chaired by King's elder son, Martin Luther King III, said Bernice King "has secreted and sequestered the property." The estate is seeking an emergency court order forcing her to return the items.
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