Sunday, October 21, 2007



Michael Prosser, Director of Racing and Clerk of the Course, was in triumphant mood at the end of Champions’ Day.

He said: "It has been a totally pulsating day’s racing.
"The Darley Dewhurst Stakes lived up to expectations, the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes was won by a good, improving horse, while the £2.5 Million totescoop6 Cesarewitch as usual captured the public’s imagination.

"Today our big races were won by representatives from Ireland and France and the level of international competition generated with the best horses coming to Newmarket has made the meeting particularly special.

"That in a nutshell is exactly what the Home of Racing is striving for - a level of international competition that is second to none."

Champions’ Day marks the last big raceday for Newmarket managing director Lisa Hancock, who is stepping down after seven seasons at the helm.

"I’ll be here to the last for our final meeting of the year on November 2 & 3 when everyone else is at Wetherby," joked Hancock.
"Seriously though, I’ve really, really been looking forward to this day and it has built up and built up and the Darley Dewhurst field is absolutely phenomenal. I thought when the National Stakes was run at the Curragh that they’d stolen our thunder from us but they haven’t - they’ve actually set the scene for us.
"It’s incredible, the weather is magical and I’m just really buzzing. I was buzzing yesterday and that was a standard day. I’m really excited but I think that probably tells the story that underneath I’m thinking to myself, ‘this is my last big one’."
She added: "It’s the racedays that have made my job. That’s what it’s all about. Newmarket has 38 racedays but the big ones like this are just what makes the job so very special."
The facilities at both the NatWest Rowley Mile and the July Course have been significantly improved under Hancock’s tenure, with the redevelopment of the much-loved July Course unveiled earlier this season.
Hancock said: "The completion of the July Course re-build is something I’m very proud of and honoured to have been involved with because it’s something that is going to be there for a long, long time. It has met with unanimous approval and that is something of a miracle. It has worked extremely well."
She continued: "I’m generally proud of that we’ve done here, too, because the Rowley Mile is not easy. It’s very exposed and open and could easily be a cold, sterile environment but little things, like turning the winner’s enclosure round so it feeds the balconies, means the grandstand does work now."

After the concluding two-day meeting on the first weekend of November, Hancock will pass the baton to Stephen Wallis, who has been managing director of Epsom Downs, who has been a regular raceday visitor to Newmarket of late.

She said: "It’s been a fantastic seven years and I really have enjoyed my time. It is great to be handing over to Stephen; he’s very experienced and will hit the ground running. He’s passionate about racing which, at Newmarket, you need to be.
"Newmarket is incredibly sound and has a fantastic team - it’s certainly not just me - and I think a new style and a new emphasis will be good. It’s exciting times all round really."


Three-year-old Miss Lucifer, who had been backed into 20/1 from 40/1 with Challenge Stakes sponsor VC Bet, showed she’s a filly on the upgrade with a convincing length-and-a-quarter win in the opening race on Champions’ Day.

Trainer Barry Hills, who has won this race twice previously with fellow 20/1 shots Last Resort in 2000 and Munir a year later, said : She’s a good, tough filly with a real turn of foot. She’s off to Godolphin after this."

John Ferguson, representing owner Gainsborough Stud, added: "I would think that’s likely and she’ll either go to race in Dubai or race for Godolphin in America.

"The thing about it is that Barry has managed to keep her improving throughout the year and it’s great testament to him the way she has improved.

"For a filly to be at the top of her game in the third week of October is remarkable. She’s a homebred and being by Noverre obviously we’re thrilled. It’s a great start to what will hopefully be a good day."

Winning jockey and son of the trainer, Michael Hills, said: "Dad said to me ‘when you get a filly thriving at this time of the year it’s amazing how far they can go’.
"She’s in the form of her life. She’s tough and I always thought I was clear of any trouble."

Placed Quotes

Michael Hills, jockey of the winner Miss Lucifer, said: "Good to soft, perfect."
Jamie Spencer, rider of Cesare, said: "Soft."
Johnny Murtagh, rider of Arabian Gleam, reported: "Good to soft."
Ryan Moore, rider of Asset, said: "Good to soft."
Jimmy Fortune, jockey of Balthazaar’s Gift, thought the ground: "Good to soft."
Frankie Dettori, rider of Candidato Roy, said of the going: "Good to soft."
Declan McDonogh, rider of Duff, said: "Good to soft."
Nelson de Souza,,jockey of Eisteddfod, said: "Soft side of good."
Eddie Ahern, on board Mac Love, thought the ground was: "Soft."
Christophe Lemaire, on Pride of Nation, said: "Good to soft."
Kevin Manning, rider of Caldra, said: "Slow ground, very loose."
Darryll Holland, jockey of Captain Marvelous, said: "Slow side of good, but lovely ground as we are racing on the fresh strip."
Royston Ffrench, rider of Lovelace, described the going as: "Slow."

Win Quotes

Jim Bolger, who was winning the Darley Dewhurst Stakes for the second year running following Teofilo’s success last year, was far from despondent about the workmanlike manner of winner New Approach, who held off Fast Company by half a length.
The Irish trainer said: "New Approach is very talented, tough and hardy. We overdid the settling today and that nearly cost us the race, but we know how to solve that problem for the Guineas. I was never really worried.
"We overdid it because we have had Derbys in mind in the last two weeks. We have been making the running with him and we wanted to get him to settle. It was only 10 days ago that we decided to go for the Dewhurst. Since then he’s done no fast work except a half speed which was a scintillating bit of work.
"That was the reason for his tardiness and this was only a half speed for him and he was asleep most of the way - we have the complete formula now. We thought that settling him would be a problem but it turned out to be a walk in the park.
"We ponied him to the start today because he went a bit free to the start before we introduced a pony. It worked a dream last time when we ponied him before the National Stakes in Ireland.
"The ground was a bit holding but this fellah is a machine. He shouldn’t have any difficulty staying a mile and a half."
Totesport, Cashmans and Paddy Power all cut the winner to 2-1 for next year’s Stan James 2000 Guineas, from 5/2, 4/1 and 7/2 respectively, while the sponsor of the first British classic was less impressed, leaving the Galileo colt unchanged at 100/30.

Kevin Manning, on the unbeaten winner New Approach, said: "He did it very well. He stayed well and has plenty of class.
"I don’t like going from year to year. Teofilo and New Approach are two very good horses and have done everything they have been asked."

Kevin Manning was found guilty of improper riding by the stewards in that he used his whip with excessive frequency on New Approach, who won the Darley Dewhurst Stakes. The Irishman was suspended for five days from Wednesday, October 31 to Sunday, November 4.

Ted Durcan, who partnered the second Fast Company, declared: "He has run very well. There are no excuses. He will be a lovely horse next year. He was the second most inexperienced horse in the race.
"I though we going to go pass the winner 100 yards out but the other horse picked up again."

Jimmy Fortune, on the third Raven’s Pass, commented: "He absolutely hated the ground.
"He was the winner two out - you can never really tell how they will go on soft ground until you start getting serious.
"Raven’s Pass just could not pick up on this ground - he is fast ground horse."

Frankie Dettori, partner of the fourth Rio De La Plata, said: "It may have been a race too many.
"He came there to win but just emptied out. The ground is not ideal but his win in France two weeks ago may have just taken the edge off him."

Placed Quotes
14/1 shot Fast Company, who was bought by Sheikh Mohammed for one of his sons earlier this season, battled winner New Approach all the way to the line to be beaten only half a length in a thrilling finish.
The colt’s trainer Brian Meehan said: "Maybe a little bit of lack of experience told going into the dip. They want him for next year anyway and the horse is obviously progressive, as I’ve said all along, and I think he’s perfectly set up for the new programme.
"He looks to me like a serious 2000 Guineas contender. If he’s not in the first two betting-wise after that then I’ll be very surprised. It’s been an absolute pleasure to have him."

Fears over rain-softened ground proved justified for second-favourite Raven’s Pass, according to trainer John Gosden. The colt finished a further two and a half lengths back in third.
Gosden said: "Jimmy (Fortune) said he was the last one off the bridle but he just can’t go in that ground.
"He said he hated it but the horse has run a blinder. He’s got a ton of speed and he sees the seven (furlongs) out - we know that from Sandown. I just wish we hadn’t had that rain in mid-week.
"But you can see from the pace you’ve got a Middle Park winner making the running and that’s a different gear altogether and the favourite was under pressure but his class saw him through.
"We’re thrilled with him and we’ll come back for the 2000 Guineas. I just hope it isn’t soft ground in the Guineas. The boys say the ground on this side is softer today than where we were yesterday on the old Cambridgeshire meeting ground because that had been opened up. This is very lush and it’s slow ground."

Third Race 3.15 The Emirates Airline Champion Stakes
Win Quotes

Just like Pascal Bary a fortnight ago, French trainer Jean-Claude Rouget’s first win in England was at the highest level, thanks to Literato’s thrilling short-head victory over Eagle Mountain in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes.

Rouget, who had previously worked in England for Ian Balding and Paul Cole, said: " He has the biggest heart, he’s a courageous horse. You will see physically he’s a little thing but he’s a big mover.
"I thought today would be very tough for him as he’s never met the older horses and he’s never run on a straight course. We were confident more for a place than a win."
Asked whether the three-year-old colt would remain in training next season, he said: "We’ll discuss that.
"I’d like him to but when you have a campaign like this sometimes it’s hard to do another one. We’ll see, we can’t say today."
Literato’s owner, Herve Morin, who is the French Minister of Defence, said: "He’s a very courageous horse and he likes a battle.
"We would have liked to run him in the Arc de Triomphe but Jean-Cluade said ‘no, we will win the Champion Stakes’."
The French have an excellent record in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, with this being their 21st win since 1945.
Christophe Lemaire, the jockey, was winning his second successive Emirates Airline Champion Stakes, having succeeded on Pride last year.
He said: "It was a great race. Literato travelled very well. My horse is a fighter and Johnny’s (Murtagh) horse was very tough.
"I thought I was going to win but my horse had to give his best to prevail. He is a really great horse."

Placed Quotes

Connections of Eagle Mountain were delighted with their charge as he found only Literato a short-head too powerful in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes on what could be his last run for owners Derrick Smith, Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor.

The runner-up’s trainer Aidan O’Brien said: "Eagle Mountain ran a stormer and has improved for the break [since winning the Group 2 Royal Whip Stakes at the Curragh 69 days’ ago]. That was his first run back and I would imagine that there will be more improvement.
"He stays in training, but I think that he might be leaving us - you’ll have to confirm that - and that Mike De Kock has bought him."

The Irish champion trainer has a busy week ahead with the Breeders’ Cup approaching.
"George Washington is fine so far and all my team are fine so far," he added. "Achill Island runs in the Juvenile Turf and my horses arrive in the States on Tuesday, while I arrive on Wednesday."

Richard Gibson, trainer of third-placed Doctor Dino, a further three lengths away, said: "The horse ran a great race and congratulations to the two horses in front of him.
"There are no excuses and I’m not prepared to make any. It was another solid performance and he’ll be off to Hong Kong with a bit of luck. We’ll see about which race."

Should Eagle Mountain have prevailed, he would have been the sixth Irish-trained horse to taste success in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes since 1945, and the first since 1973.

Fourth Race 3.55 THE £2.5 MILLION totescoop6 Cesarewitch STAKES
Win Quotes

Leg Spinner landed the the £2.5 Million totescoop6 Cesarewitch for Irish trainer Tony Martin and in the process won the totescoop6 for a player in Stretford, Manchester.
The punter staked £3,600 and won £1,519,301 with an opportunity to pick up a £955,968 bonus next Saturday.

The winning trainer said: "I couldn’t have been happier during the race and he had a wonderful jockey [Johnny Murtagh] who knows the horse. I got excited three furlongs out but luckily Johnny didn’t and he kept hold of him.
"It’s not too bad for a horse to win at Royal Ascot as well [Ascot Stakes 2005]. He came back with a problem after that and for a small, little horse, he’s had lots of problems. But we’ve got him right and on the day, he wasn’t too bad!
"This has always been the plan since he came back from injury and in the last 10 days, I knew that he was definitely on track and he’s really been telling us. Everything was on his side today including the ground drying up.
"As for the future, he won’t go on soft ground and we will have to be very careful
what we do. He’s won his few hurdles and I’m definitely not against going jumping with him. He’s a bit small for fences although he does jump very well, but we’ll leave him to hurdles for the time being."

Jumps trainers have an absolutely superb record in the £2.5 Million totescoop6 Cesarewitch. In the last decade, Martin Pipe won it in 2000 and 2002 with Heros Fatal and Miss Fara respectively, Nicky Henderson, trainer of today’s runner-up Caracciola, landed it courtesy of Landing Light (2003), while Philip Hobbs, who was successful with Detroit City last year, saddled Fair Along into third today.

Fourth Race 3.55 The 2.5 Million totescoop6 Cesarewitch
Place Quotes

Nicky Henderson, who sent out crack hurdler Landing Light to win the Cesarewitch in 2003, came close again with Caracciola, who chased home Leg Spinner.
Henderson said : "I said to Piers (Pottinger) the owner, ‘I don’t know what we can do with this horse’. He’s ten, he’s not mad about fences, he’s too high in the handicap over hurdles so what do you do? But he won a valuable race at Bath and he’s won a prize here.
"I just thought the rain went against us whereas I thought that would help (the stable’s other runner) Afrad, who has run a great race as well but it was too big a field for him."
He added: "He (Caracciola) and the winner must have run to within a pound of each other if you take the Shergar Cup race. We went and got a 4lb penalty which was probably a bit daft but he won a £20,000 race so how could you not go there?"

Fair Along’s owner Alan Peterson was thrilled with another game effort from his diminutive dual-purpose star, who has this year been second in the Arkle Chase and the Chester Cup and has plenty of big jumps race targets in his sights this national hunt season.
Peterson said: "He’s ever so brave and he deserves to win a race. He got a bit hampered on the rail and then got stuck on the rail so Jamie (Spencer) had to bring him wide and that lost us a few lengths but he’s run really well, as always."

Outlining his proposed jumps season, he said: "He’s heading for the Haldon Cup at Exeter next and if he runs well in that he’ll go for the Tingle Creek Chase. The perfect world would be Exeter, Tingle Creek and then Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham."

Fifth Race The Rockfel Stakes
Win Quotes
Kitty Matcham improved on her recent six-furlong Naas win with a hard-fought victory.
By Stan James 2000 Guineas winner Rock Of Gibraltar out of Oaks winner Imagine, her recent improvement has trainer Aidan O’Brien looking ahead to her own Classic season.
He said: " She’s a little bit like her dad, and her mum was like it too, they just come late.
She has some pedigree and she’s really starting to get it together now. She’s going to be some filly next year - she could be anything. Her parents both improved from two to three."
Asked if she was the star juvenile filly at Ballydoyle, O’Brien said: "She’s lovely but we’ve plenty of horses to run still.
"But a filly with the pedigree that she has and the way she’s improving - she’s coming hand over fist and she’s really something to look forward to."

Winning jockey Johnny Murtagh was celebrating a 164/1 double after also landing the £2.5 Million totescoop6 Cesarewitch on Leg Spinner.

Placed Quotes

Mick Channon won the Rockfel Stakes with Cairns four years’ ago and the West Ilsley trainer just missed out on a follow-up courtesy of Missit, who went down by a neck to Irish raider Kitty Matcham.
Missit’s owner Tim Corby said: "That was a good run and I’m pleased with that from another TC purchase. She’s out of a Shirley Heights mare [High Spot] and we thought that she might be better over seven furlongs than six. They took her off her feet in the dip in the Cheveley Park Stakes here last time. We thought that it was worth giving her another spin.
"She’s got no pedigree but I just picked her out and did a Checkit.
"She may well be even better over a mile and we’ll have a genuine look at the Guineas. This was seven furlongs and the other horse came and mugged her and then she stayed on again."

Charlie Hills, son and assistant to Barry Hills, trainer of third-placed Royal Confidence, who was a further three-quarters of a length away, said: "She ran a cracker and ideally she would prefer faster ground as she has a daisy-cutting action. We’ll blame the ground."

Sixth Race 5.05 The Jockey Club Cup
Win Quotes

Sport can be a great leveller and just when success over the French in the ongoing Rugby World Cup had the nation crowing over our European friends, they retaliate with two big race successes on Champions’ Day courtesy of Literato in the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes and Royal And Regal in the Jockey Club Cup.

Royal And Regal was one and a quarter lengths too powerful for Balkan Knight, the winner pulling out extra when it looked like the runner-up could be a big danger in the closing stages.
Winning jockey Stephane Pasquier said: "It looks like the horse is improving and I was never worried about the horse out in front - I just let him go by myself.
"I am so happy with him and he kept digging deep. He is a real trier.
"It is lovely to be here. Obviously we had Manduro, who won the Earl Of Sefton Stakes, and it is nice to be back with a winner."

Sixth race placed quotes
Jockey Club Cup

David Elsworth’s name is intrinsically linked with success in the Jockey Club Cup thanks to the exploits of treble winner Persian Punch. Seven-year-old Balkan Knight battled hard to give his trainer a fourth win in the race, just failing to peg back French raider Royal And Regal.
Elsworth said: "He’s run consistently well all season but he’s a tricky old boy. He needs to come very late.
"Jimmy timed it perfectly but maybe his limitations have just been exposed. I think he’s a 1m 6f horse but he gets the two miles if you hang onto him. He’s just got that one run.
"He’s had a long, strenuous season and we’re looking forward to giving him a holiday. He’ll make a good 10-year-old!"

Ed Vaughan, trainer of third-placed Veenwouden, was delighted to gain some more black type for the filly’s owner/breeder Wood Hall Stud.
He said: "We’ve got more black type on her which was always the idea. She’s a three-year-old and it’s a good performance in this ground. We’ll put her away and might think about some Cup races for her next season."

Seventh race The Igloos Bentinck Stakes (Group 3)
Win Quotes
Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin stable has been in great form of late and Greek Renaissance built on his recent Yarmouth win to land his first Group victory in the Igloos Bentinck Stakes.
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: "We’re really pleased with him. It was a nice race for him to win and we’ll put him away for the winter. He likes to get his toe in so he won’t race in Dubai this winter but he’ll be a nice horse for next year."

Winning jockey Ted Durcan, who rode a four-timer at Newmarket yesterday and came within half a length of winning the Darley Dewhurst Stakes on Fast Company, said: " Everything panned out well. He had a nice prep run a month ago at Yarmouth which he won easily so that probably helped him mentally.
"They went hard today but he likes the ground and he’s a hold-up horse anyway so everything worked out well."
He added: "It’s been an excellent weekend. Yesterday afternoon was one of those days that comes once in a blue moon and it’s great to finish the meeting with a winner."

The current going at Newmarket is Good to Soft, Soft in places following a dry night. This compares to the going yesterday which was Soft, Good to Soft in places.
Michael Prosser, Director of Racing and Clerk of the Course, said: "We had a light frost on the ground this morning with temperatures dipping to 1 degree Celsius. The mist cleared readily by 9am.
"The forecast is for dry, sunny spells and temperatures of between 13 and 14 degrees Celsius."
Approximately 18 metres of fresh ground on the stands’ side, not raced on since May, has been kept for Champions’ Day.
"The ground on the stands’ side is in fantastic shape and will provide excellent ground for our best day’s racing of the year," added Prosser.
"Though I say it myself, I doubt you will find a better strip of racing ground anywhere in the country at this time of year."

Today’s racing at Newmarket already features two Group One races, the Darley Dewhurst Stakes and the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes (3.15pm), as well as the £2.5 Million totescoop6 Cesarewitch (3.55pm), but the card has added significance in that three of the seven races are in the totescoop6 bet.

The VC Bet Challenge Stakes (2.05pm) is the first leg of the totescoop6, in which a single winner can expect to bank £1.5 million and a place in the record books, with the Emirates Airline Champion Stakes being the fourth leg and the £2.5 Million totescoop6 Cesarewitch the sixth and final leg.

Tote spokesman Damian Walker said: "This is a special day in our sponsorship year anyway because of the £2.5 Million totescoop6 Cesarewitch, one of the highlights of our sponsorship portfolio, a fantastic betting race, and the final leg in the totescoop6. The excitement surrounding this week’s totescoop6 is the icing on the cake.
"We are expecting the win and place pools in the totescoop6 to top £2.5 million.
"We have seen already this year Agnes Haddock win £688,620, Archie Evans land £695,911, and Adam Phillips scoop £610,620 and they all put on single £2 lines.
"The Scoop6 has really produced this year and could be on the verge of creating a Scoop6 millionaire for just £2."

The Tote has seen two movers this morning in the Cesarewitch. David Pipe, who is attempting to emulate father Martin who won the race twice courtesy of Heros Fatal (2000) and Miss Fara two years’ later, runs Raslan and the four-year-old is now 20/1 (from 25). The other shaker is the Tom Tate-trained Dr Sharp, now 11/1 (from 14), who has the assistance of leading apprentice William Buick, having such a marvellous campaign, in the saddle.
"Our ante-post biggest loser in the Cesarewitch is easily Samurai Way, although the draw [2] and ground has not been as kind as connections would have liked," added Walker.
"He was a 12/1 shot when we opened betting on the race on September 5 and is now 13/2 favourite, having been as short as 9/2 favourite."

Samurai Way, trained locally by Luca Cumani, the handicap wizard who has yet to land a Cesarewitch, has already won twice this season, including on his last start when going away at the finish to score in a handicap at Ascot last month.

Early trading has been relatively slow ahead of Newmarket’s Champions’ Day with little movement in the two Group One races on the card.

Coral’s David Stephens said: "Uncertainty over the ground for the major contenders is probably putting punters off in the Darley Dewhurst. It’s pretty quiet at the moment and I think everyone has got one eye on the rugby and the Scoop6."

Neal Wilkins of V C Bet, sponsors of the first race on the card, the Group Two Challenge Stakes, said: "New Approach has been popular with us at 6/4, including a single bet of £30,000 to £20,000. I think everyone’s waiting to see what the decision over Rio De La Plata will be after the first race."

Irish bookmaker Cashmans also has New Approach at 6/4 from 13/8, while Coral goes 13/8 from 7/4. Blue Square has seen money for Godolphin’s Rio De La Plata, whom they quote at 4/1, in from 5/1.

In the opening race, sponsor V C Bet has shortened Cesare to 4/1 from 5/1, as has Blue Square, while totesport has the James Fanshawe-trained six-year-old at 9/2 in from 11/2. Ladbrokes has Cesare at 9/2 from 5/1 and report him to be the best-backed horse of the day so far.
Coral reports interest in surprise Prix de la Foret winner Toylsome, who is ,making his first appearance in Britain and is now 6/1 from 7/1. Among the less-fancied runners, Cashmans’ representative Joe Burke reports a move for Caldra, who is now 28/1 in from 40/1, while V C Bet has cut Miss Lucifer to 25/1 from 40/1. The three-year-old filly has also been popular with Skybet, now at 20/1 from 33/1.

The Emirates Airline Champion Stakes is the second Group One event of the day and Notnowcato is now 3/1 (from 10/3) with Cashmans. Literato is in to 9/2 from 11/2 with both VC Bet and Skybet, which has shortened Mount Nelson to 12/1 from 16/1. Mullins Bay has been cut by VC Bet to 50/1 from 100/1.

In the £2.5 Million totescoop6 Cesarewitch at 3.55, consistent dual-purpose performer Fair Along is now 11/2 from 7/1 with Coral to give Philip Hobbs and Jamie Spencer back-to-back wins in the race after Detroit City’s victory last year. Coral also has Dr Sharp at 12/1 from 14/1 and Enjoy The Moment into 14/1 from 16/1. Blue Square and Skybet have both trimmed Dr Sharp to 11/1 (from 14/1) and Paddy Power’s two main market movers in the race are Enjoy The Moment, who is 12/1 from 16/1, and Afrad, now at 25/1 from 33/1. Skybet has shortened 100/1 shot Indonesia to 66/1.

Interest in the Rockfel Stakes centres around Makaaseb, into 11/8 from 6/4 with Blue Square. Paddy Power has outsider Casablanca at 33/1 from 66/1.
Recent Listed winner Distinction has attracted interest in the Jockey Club Cup at 5.05pm, now trading at 5/2 (from 11/4) with Cashmans.

Zidane is the main mover in the last, the Igloos Bentinck Stakes, backed to 9/2 from 5/1 with Ladbrokes, 4/1 from 9/2 with Paddy Power and 4/1 from 5/1 with Skybet. The five-year-old is out to 9/2 from 4/1 with Blue Square.




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