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Graphic Equaliser is 11-4 favourite with the sponsors for Saturday's Tote Gold Trophy Handicap Hurdle at Newbury.

The weights were raised by 21lbs at yesterday's five-day acceptance stage.

Arthur Moore's six-year-old had been 8lbs out of the handicap with a 4lb penalty for his easy win in last month's Ladbroke Hurdle at Leopardstown.

But he will now carry 10st 13lb after the widely expected defections of Relkeel, Shadow Leader, Marello, plus Cadougold and Grimes.

Martin Pipe, successful last season with subsequent Champion Hurdle winner Make A Stand, now has top weight Potentate as his only possible runner.

The Irish are mounting a strong challenge to win the pounds 100,000-added race for the first time since Irish Fashion in 1976 with five of the 18 possible runners.

Commanche Court is a best- priced 6-1 shot, having won easily at Leopardstown in December. The sponsors are offering a special bet of 5-4 for any Irish- trained horse to win. Betting:

Tote 11-4 Graphic Equaliser, 6 Commanche Court, Kerawi, 7 Mr Percy, 9 Bellator, 14 bar .

William Hill: 10-3 Graphic Equaliser, 11-2 Kerawi, 8 Bellator, Commanche Court, Mr Percy, 12 Sharpical, Shooting Light, 14 Advocat, Tibetan, 16-1 bar

Coral: 3-1 Graphic Equaliser, 7 Kerawi, Commanche Court, 8 Mr Percy, 9 Bellator, 12 Sharpical, 14-1 bar.

Ladbrokes: 5-2 Graphic Equaliser, 6 Kerawi, 7 Commance Court, 9 Mr Percy, 10 Bellator, 12 Tibetan, Shooting Light, Sharpical, 14-1 bar

AYR is the place to be if you're feeling romantic on Saturday. The racecourse executive are laying on several attractions.

The first 200 ladies admitted will receive free flowers and complimentary chocolates will make Valentine's Day all the sweeter.

Watch out for an exclusive Daily Record voucher on Saturday which will enable punters to enter the Club Stand for pounds 9 - a saving of pounds 5 on the normal price.

TOBY BALDING yesterday lost his appeal against a pounds 1,000 "non- trier" fine for the running of Jimmy's Cross, who finished second at Wincanton in January.

The trainer appealed against his penalty, imposed for schooling in public, along with jockey Richard Guest who was suspended for 12 days by the Wincanton stewards.

A Jockey Club disciplinary committee hearing confirmed the racecourse stewards' findings and punishments, along with a 30 day ban on Jimmy's Cross.

Balding and Guest decided to appeal against their respective punishment independently.

Balding argued that Jimmy's Cross, who had not run for 480 days before finishing 22 lengths second to the odds-on shot Bengers Moor, had run to the best of his ability.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Owen, Garry
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 10, 1998
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