The Racing Hub Round-up
Your weekly round-up of top racing stories in a nutshell, plus upcoming fixtures
Racing and Racecourses
The BHA has hit back at trainers who have expressed anger at the new plan for apprentice jockey pay, with chair Annamarie Phelps saying on Racing TV’s Luck on Sunday “There were a significant number of trainers who were not paying their apprentice jockeys expenses.” She explained the background to the new plan was that “the PJA [Professional Jockeys Association] came to us, explaining they had an awful lot of people raising this issue. The agreement wasn’t being followed.”
Ian Balding, Richard Fahey and Richard Hannon have spearheaded the criticism of the plan which is due to come into force at the end of next March. Under current arrangements, Flat handlers retain up to 50% of an apprentice’s riding fee and prize-money yield in return for paying towards their expenses. The new plan will see apprentices receive 80% but they will be responsible for their own expenses.
Phelps added “The media have focused a lot on the people that have a problem with it and less so on the number of trainers who have actually been supportive of this move.”
The Racing to School charity welcomed its 15,000th participant this year when Year 7 pupils from local Esher High School visited Sandown Park Racecourse for a maths activity day. This new milestone marks a rise from the 10,000 young people coming through the Racing to School Programme just a few years ago.
“What is perhaps most pleasing about the charity’s growth, for which we should like to thank our funders and staff, is that this has been achieved without any drop in quality as evidenced in our feedback,” said the charity’s chief executive John Blake.
The Racehorse Owners Association held its 38th annual awards night at which the following won the highest votes from the Association’s members
- Horse of the year – Enable (pictured)
- Owner of the year – Andrew Gemmell
- Flat special achievement – Dakota Gold
- National Hunt special achievement – Frodon
- National Hunt mare – Lady Buttons
- Outstanding chaser – Altior
- Outstanding novice chaser – Defi Du Seuil
- Outstanding hurdler – Paisley Park
- Outstanding novice hurdler – Pentland Hills
- Outstanding filly/mare – Enable
- Outstanding stayer – Stradivarius
- Outstanding middle distance – Enable
- Outstanding miler – Too Darn Hot
- Outstanding sprinter – Battaash
- Outstanding juvenile – Pinatubo
- Outstanding all-weather horse – Kachy
- Large racecourse winners – Chester and York
- Most improved large racecourse – Newmarket Rowley Mile
- Small racecourse winner – Musselburgh
- Most improved small recourse – Thirsk
Sue Ringrose, a longstanding Coach Educator for the BHA Jockey and Rider Coaching Programmes, has won “Coach Educator of the Year” at the prestigious UK Coaching Awards. Sue beat off competition from over 300 nominations across all sporting disciplines at a ceremony in London. UK Coaching oversees coaching activity across all sports.
Trainers and Jockeys
William Buick received a 16-day ban from Japanese stewards at Hanshin racecourse which brought his contract to ride in Japan to an early finish – Buick went for a run up the rail but the stewards considered he “tightened up” the Christophe Soumillion ridden Ramson Valley who had to be snatched up, whilst Ryan Moore on Climb Major also experienced interference
An admin error at Nigel Twiston-Davis‘ yard meant that Riders Onthe Storm was unable to run in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup at Cheltenham – the six-year-old was inadvertently withdrawn from the Grade 3 race and couldn’t be reinstated as the rules of racing state that once a horse becomes a non-runner it cannot be put back in the race
There was some compensation for the trainer when Cogry battled to win the £60k 3m2f handicap at Cheltenham, the fourth time the horse has won at the course
Trainer John Gosden received the committee’s award at the 2019 Sports Journalists Association Awards – the award was presented by Brough Scott
Daryl Jacob will not ride until the new year after breaking a hand in a fall at Musselburgh
After landing a four-timer at Carlisle on Sunday, the best odds for Brian Hughes to be champion jump jockey were 15/8 from Betway, with Ladbrokes the shortest at 11/10. His four wins (Big Bad Bear (1/4), Kitty Hall (11/8), Mackenberg (9/4) and Taxmeifyoucan (9/4)) put him level with Richard Johnson on 95 winners. Johnson remains favourite with a best price of 5/6 from Ladbrokes
Former Irish dual champion jockey Donnacha O’Brien is aiming to have his first runners as a trainer at Dundalk next month – having quit riding, the son of Aiden O’Brien and brother to Joseph, he has around 25 horses in training at David Wachman’s old County Tipperary yard
The unbeaten Honeysuckle, the striking winner of the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse earlier this month, will not race over the Christmas period or in January says trainer Henry de Bromhead, who has identified three races for her ahead of the Cheltenham Festival: the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown or the Red Mills Hurdle at Gowran Park over two miles, or she could go in Punchestown’s Quevega Mares Hurdle.
It is “extremely unlikely” that Altior will run in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day after a disappointing piece of work, according to trainer Nicky Henderson, who has yet to decide where the dual winner of the Queen Mother Champion Chase would race next as part of a plan for him to race over a longer distance.
Lady Buttons is being targeted for back-to-back wins in the Yorkshire Silver Vase Mares’ Chase at Doncaster later this month. She is reported to be in good order by her trainer Phil Kirby after finishing fourth of five in Newcastle’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle. Kirby said “It was probably the wrong race for her, but we tried to give it a go”. On the upcoming Doncaster race Kirby said she “will go there in good form, so we’re looking forward to it.”
The Neil King trained multi-discipline stayer Lil Rockerfeller, who has three wins on the Flat, three chase wins and five over hurdles, has tweaked a tendon and will not run again this season. The eight-year-old won at Glorious Goodwood, beating Altaayil by fifteen-lengths in the Matchbook Goodwood Handicap, and was being aimed at the Pertemps Network Final at the Cheltenham Festival
Dual Grade 1 winner Tea For Two has been retired after finishing eighth in the Glenfarcles Cross Country Handicap at Cheltenham – in 2015 he was ridden to victory by Lizzie Kelly in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase making Kelly the first female rider to win a top-grade race, and she won on him again in the 2017 Betway Bowl at Aintree – the Jane Williams trained 10-year-old won nine races from 37 starts
Stoke based online operator bet365 has reported turnover of nearly £3 billion on sports and gaming according to the company’s latest accounts. In the 53 weeks to the end of March, the company achieved a 10% increase in turnover to £2.98bn. Operating profits grew 12% t to £767m. The company grew its customer base by 23% and there was also a 23% increase in betting on sports. Mobile sports betting increased 18%. In-play betting accounted for 79% of sports revenue in the period.
There was an early Christmas present for punters at Plumpton when all seven favourites obliged, with winning prices of 5/6, 11/10, 6/5, 5/4, 6/4, 9/4 and 5/2
Racing TV have announced that the three Irish fixtures on 26 December will have their own separate digital platform as well as being included on the pay-per-view broadcaster’s main channel – Racing TV came in for heavy criticism for split-screen pictures and lack of commentary during Punchestown’s John Durkan Memorial Chase
Fixtures subject to change. ITV/ITV4
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