Racing: Alpine Express

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The Independent Online
DOCKLANDS EXPRESS has run in Cheltenham Gold Cups and a Grand National, but tomorrow he may collect the most valuable prize of his career when he contests the Gran Premio Merano Forst, worth pounds 118,441 to the winner.

Staged over three miles and a furlong at Merano, in the Italian Alps, the race is run over natural privet fences.

Norman Williamson will be aboard the Kim Bailey-trained 12-year-old, who is aiming to become the oldest winner in the 60-year history of the race.

At Cologne, River North attempts his second successive Group One victory in the pounds 111,731 EMS-Kurierpost-Europa Preis. Kevin Darley rides the Lady Herries- trained gelding who has not run since landing the Group One Aral Pokal over the same trip at Gelsenkirchen seven weeks ago.

In Queensland, Australia, racing has been cancelled because of an illness which has resulted in the deaths of 11 horses, 10 in one stable. A viral infection is blamed.

The 10 deaths occurred over a three-day period in the stables of the Brisbane trainer Vic Rail, who is himself in a critical condition in hospital suffering from a mystery illness.

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