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Around The World: Ipel and Toskana in rare Russian raid.

NORWAY plays host to a rare overseas raid by Russian horses at Ovrevoll on Sunday when Ipel runs in the Tattersalls Norsk Kriterium, over six and a half furlongs, and the filly Toskana contests the nine-furlong Meridian Stutteri Hoppelop.

Russian-trained raiders used to be commonplace throughout the racing world. In the 1960s, one of the flagbearers was Anilin, who completed a hat-trick in the Preis von Europa, ran second and third in the Washington International, and was fifth in Sea-Bird's Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

But there was a gradual decline and few Russian horses compete abroad these days. Their current merits will be measured in Sunday's races by the performances of Ipel and Toskana, who are both owned by Beslan Stud and trained by Suslan Dzilikov.

Ipel, who has won three out of six races in Moscow this year, faces eight rivals including the Steve Kettlewell-trained Rumore Castagna, ninth of 22 to Goggles in the St Leger Yearling Stakes at Doncaster earlier this month.

Rumore Castagna will be ridden by Kim Andersen, who extended his lead in the Scandinavian championship with a treble at Ovrevoll on Tuesday.

Graham McCourt runs Manhattan Castle in the Norsk Grand National, in which he claimed fourth with Hawaiian Youth three years ago. The 11-year-old will be ridden by Eugene Husband.

Norway:

1 racecourse

308 races in 1999

79 foals born in 1999

409 horses in training in April 2000
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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Carter, Robert
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 21, 2000
Words:236
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