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Trainers vent ire in boycott

MOULIN DE LA CROIX was the benefactor of a walkover at Worcester last night as trainers registered their dissatisfaction with prize money by boycotting the partex-direct.co.uk Novices' Hurdle.

Twelve horses were declared for the concluding contest of the evening, but as the race fell below the level set out in the Horsemen's Group tariff by £900, 11 horses were withdrawn.

The movement was organised by trainer Charlie Mann and had the backing of the likes of Nicky Henderson, David Pipe and Donald McCain.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Moulin De La Croix took to the racecourse alone and only had to canter the final furlong to collect the full prize fund of £3,000.

Jockey Sam Twiston-Davies gave a victory salute passing the post and even performed two flying dismounts in the winner's enclosure.

The delegation of trainers decided to let one horse run rather than withdrawing all 12 so the prize-money could be collected and distributed between the trainers, who will face fines.

Gary Moore was not fined for withdrawing Cabimas, who ran the previous day at Uttoxeter.

But Mann, Henderson, Pipe, McCain, Philip Hobbs, Venetia Williams, Alan King, Jonjo O'Neill, Seamus Mullins and Evan Williams all received fines of £140.

Mann had said earlier in the day: "The tariffs have been set and it's unacceptable that we're racing for the prize-money that we are."

"Racecourses' turnover was up last year and this year and bookmakers are making profits. They have to understand that without us, owners and trainers, they can't perform. Until we get this prize money up, this is going to happen."

Peter Schiergen will assess the entries on Monday before deciding whether to let his star filly Danedream line up in the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday week.

Last year's shock Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe heroine got off the mark for the season at Baden-Baden on her penultimate start, but then suffered an odds-on reverse in last month's Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.

Schiergen is weighing up whether to let his charge travel to England for the first time, or aim her for a race in her homeland.

He said: "At the moment, I think it is 50-50 whether we go for the King George or go for a race in Berlin.

"We will see how many horses are entered at Ascot, then we will decide what to do. She has been working well since her last race. There was no pace in the race at Saint-Cloud and there should be more pace for her next race."

Frankel is among just 17 horses left at the latest confirmation stage for the Qipco Sussex Stakes at Goodwood on August 1.

Henry Cecil's unbeaten superstar produced one of his very best efforts when sweeping clear of Canford Cliffs in last year's renewal and is likely to be sent off at very long odds-on for what is scheduled to be his next start.

Excelebration, who has now been beaten five times by Frankel, is one of his best possible opponents, while trainer Aidan O'Brien has also kept Maybe, Ishvana, Requisition, Reply, Power and Daddy Long Legs in the field.