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In brief.

LUDLOW has acted to ensure fresh racing ground for its meeting on Friday.

Clerk of the course Bob Davies said: "We have taken down all of the false wings and moved all the rails on the bends to provide six yards of fresh ground. The ground is currently good, good to firm in places."

IVOR LANG, former clerk of the course at Newton Abbot and a much-respected figure on the West Country circuit, has died, aged 75.

Lang, who farmed for many years at Teignmouth in Devon, owned horses between 1960 and 1980.

Having officiated as point-to-point clerk at Old Buckfastleigh, Lang, who was a keen shooting and hunting enthusiast, worked at Newton Abbot from 1983 until his retirement.

There will be a private cremation at Bishopsteignton in Devon on Wednesday.

FAMOUS - and to some infamous - Kentucky veterinarian Alex Harthill, 77, is calling it quits after failing to fully recover from a broken back suffered a year ago when a horse fell on him.

Over the years Harthill took care of horses ranging from Citation to Sunday Silence and built a reputation as perhaps the finest racecourse vet in America.

An outspoken and controversial figure, Harthill intends to remain involved in racing despite his retirement.

"I'll still be out at my barn [at Churchill Downs] every day," he said.

"I've got four mares about to foal here at the farm pretty soon, and I've got four lovely two-year-olds in Texas right now with Ted Keefer getting ready for Keeneland."

PUZZLEMENT, ridden by Jorge Chavez for trainer Allen Jerkens, came from last of seven to win the Grade 3 Hal's Hope Handicap at Gulfstream Park on Saturday.

On the same card, the Bill Mott-trained Delmonico Cat registered her first graded success by taking the Grade 3 Honey Fox Handicap under Jerry Bailey.

At Santa Anita, Star Cross took the Grade 2 San Pasqual Handicap. Victor Espinoza rode the 9-1 shot, getting him home a half-length ahead of the former Jamie Osborne-trained Nose The Trade.

THE 66-1 victory of Dickens at Sandown on Saturday helped give one punter a bumper payday of over pounds 150,000.

The backer, who placed the bet with Carrigill Bookmakers in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, combined Dickens with three horses in four pounds 3 trebles and one pounds 3 accumulator.

The victories of St Pirran (7-2), Kadara (12-1) and Over The Storm (8- 1) in addition to Dickens resulted in a payout of pounds 150,822.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Jan 5, 2004
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