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Britain all set to benefit from Israeli decision to develop racing industry.

Byline: Graham Green.

Britain promises to be the chief beneficiary of the Israeli Government's decision earlier this week to throw its weight behind a professional racing industry, writes Graham Green.

The move, designed to help the country's flagging tourism trade while also creating new jobs, is expected to spark a wave of new buyers beating a path to Newmarket's Horses in Training Sale and other British bloodstock auctions.

It is expected that when the new venture is operational, 90 per cent of the horses racing in Israel will have come from Britain.

Racing in Israel is currently a minority sport with no prize-money and monthly meetings

being held in the local community, but the Agriculture Minister's proposal to build two racecourses, one in the north of the country and the other in the south, is projected to generate more than pounds 100 million over the next five years from increased tourism and

Government-run betting.

One man determined to be in the forefront of Israel's racing revolution is former trainer Sam Alboher, who is already working to strengthen his links with fellow bloodstock agents in Britain in preparation for what he

expects will become regular sales visits.

"When you start out on something like this, it makes sense to buy cheap horses and Britain offers the best value for money, so that is where I believe most of them will be bought," said Alboher. "I would have thought that, when racing gets going professionally, 90 per cent of the horses will have raced in Britain.

"I have bought more than 25 horses in Britain over the last five years, and most are still racing here, so it is certainly where I will be looking and I am sure other people will be doing the same."

Alboher expects the calibre of horses to

improve as the sport becomes established, and his excitement at the prospect of Israel joining the ranks of the world's racing nations is shared by Agriculture Ministry spokesman, Benny Romm, who said: "It is a wonderful idea. It will bring money to tourist areas in Israel."
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jul 31, 2004
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