Pembrey hopes raised

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The Independent Online
Supporters of a plan to establish the first new track in Britain for 70 years drew encouragement from a meeting yesterday with members of the British Horseracing Board. An application for 20 fixtures in the year 2000 from the yet-to-be-built Pembrey racecourse in South Wales was considered by the sport's governing body.

A final decision has been delayed following yesterday's presentation by racehorse owner and sponsor Mel Davies and former racecourse manager Jack Bennett.

Davies said afterwards: "We feel we have made a very strong case for a new racecourse in Wales and despite being promised a decision today the BHB now wants a little time to consider our application. The chairman, Lord Wakeham, has asked, and we have agreed, that we will make joint statements in the very near future."

Bennett, previously in charge at Cheltenham and Worcester, believed the presentation went some way towards winning over sceptics concerned at the creation of Britain's 60th race-track and the expansion of the fixture list. He added: "We felt it went well but I'm not counting any chickens.''

n Sagitta Asset Management, chaired by leading racehorse owner Wafic Said, are the new sponsors of the Guineas meeting at Newmarket. The firm will back the meeting, featuring the season's first two Classics, for the next three years. Said won the 1,000 Guineas with Bosra Sham last year.

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