The Racing Hub Round-up: the week’s top stories
The Racing Hub Round-up – your weekly briefing on racing’s top stories
Racing and Racecourses
Chester is set to delay the return of racing further, with fixtures likely to be transferred to other tracks.
The racecourse’s city-centre location, with the city wall overlooking the track, means it cannot put in place protocols to permit racing to take place safely during the Covid19 pandemic.
Chester has been allocated five fixtures from next month, the first on 9 August, but some of those are likely to be transferred to other courses.
The he track’s chief executive Richard Thomas said:
“We’ve been in dialogue with local authorities and the best we can possibly hope for is to get back racing by the end of August. Hopefully, we get our normal fixtures back for September and we’re able to welcome back crowds.”
Racing on the beach at Layton this year has been cancelled. The annual meeting was due to be held on 1 September, but officials decided that imposing social distancing would not be possible and abandoned the fixture.
Last year’s meeting attracted over 6,000 people and a considerable percentage came from overseas. Visitors this year would have faced a 14-day quarantine period on arrival in Ireland.
Ascot is cutting prize-money for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Qipco Stakes on 25 July when the Group 1 middle-distance showpiece will be worth £400,000 instead of the planned £1.25m.
Goodwood is hoping to host around 5,000 people to trial racegoer attendance on one of the five days of its Glorious meeting which begins on 28 July
Cieran Fallon, fresh from his July Cup win at Newmarket on Oxted, is to take the ride on Great Example in York’s John Smith’s Cup on Saturday.
Godolphin trainer Bin Suroor said: “Cieren rides him, hopefully. It was nice to see him win at Newmarket, he’s doing very well – to win a Group One as an apprentice, it’s amazing really.”
Barry Geraghty is looking at the possibility of a career in punditry and bloodstock after announcing his retirement from race riding on Saturday.
♦ More at: Barry Geraghty – a big thank you http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-4pw
Lizzie Kelly, the first female jockey to win a top-class jumps race in Britain, has retired form the race riding to start a family.
The 27-year-old : “I am announcing my retirement today with the news that my husband and I are expecting our first child. I will miss riding in races, the weighing room and everyone in it.
“I want to thank the girls in the weighing room who made it feel like home and the lads on the other side who were so good to me. I really have had a career that I could never have imagined and I’ve been blessed to be associated with the horses that I have ridden.”
David Crosse was taken to hospital following a fall in a two-mile handicap chase at Southwell.
“He had a fall in the first race and was taken to Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham for further observation,” said clerk of the course Paul Barker.
“He was conscious and I spoke to him in the ambulance before he left for the hospital.”
A funding page been set up for injured British jump jockey Jacob Pritchard Webb who suffered broken T4 and T6 vertebrae after a fall in France on 23 June which left him with a compressed spinal cord, resulting in paralysis from the waist down.
Attached to Emmanuel Clayeux’s jumps yard in central France, Pritchard Webb, 23, also broke his ribs and sternum and dislocated his C6 and damaged a lung.
Doctors have told him that regaining any mobility will depend on what long-term nerve damage is revealed when the initial trauma subsides.
Friend Alice Cosgrove has organised the funding page and hopes £20,000 can be raised, saying:
“Any donations, no matter how small, will be gratefully received. Should Jake make a recovery in the long term, any equipment that may no longer be needed will be donated to the Injured Jockeys’ Fund.”
Donations can be made here https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-jacob-pritchardwebb-recovery-fund
Jamie Spencer has returned to riding out after fracturing a hip when he had a heavy fall in April on the Newmarket gallops. He was aboard a two-year-old filly who was spooked and he landed on a concrete path.
Spencer says he doesn’t want to rush his recovery and only return to race riding when fully fit.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK “He’s such a cool little dude” – trainer Roger Teal on Cieren Fallon after winning the July Cup on Oxted
Aiden O’Brien and Donnacha O’Brien have each been fined €2,500 and banned from attending Irish racecourses for two weeks after failing to enter the Curragh through the health screening area on Irish 2,000 Guineas day.
Whilst the pair had completed the required paperwork, they entered the course by a side gate, on they usually used, and missed the health-screening protocols at the designated entrance.
Aiden O’Brien said: “We were allowed in and there were no questions asked. I went in and out a number of times during the day and nobody said anything to me. There was nothing untoward about it, it was just a misunderstanding, and we are fully supportive of all the measures in place to keep racing going.”
Art Power could come face-to-face with Battaash in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York next month. The Tim Easterby trained won three-year-old has won four of his five races, including the Palace of Holyroodhouse Handicap at Royal Ascot
Alastair Donald, racing manager to King Power Racing, said “We’re most likely aiming for the Nunthorpe,” adding “we’re going to try to keep him fresh for the likes of the Nunthorpe, Flying Five, Haydock Sprint Cup and Abbaye. There’s a very good programme for him in September and October, when we know he’ll get his ground.”
Eclipse winner Ghaiyyath is being aimed at the Juddmonte International at York next month before a possible second attempt at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the autumn, a race in which the five-year-old tried to make all the running.
Having won a Group Three in Dubai in March, Ghaiyyath was superb in the Coronation Cup before holding off Enable in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown.
Speaking on Sky Sports Racing, trainer Charlie Appleby said: “I’m delighted with him, he came out of his race well and the plan is to head to the Juddmonte International.
“Hopefully we can regroup after that. It’s always been the long-term plan to have another run in the Arc and on what he’s done this year he deserves to be there – but let’s get the Juddmonte International out of the way first.”
Plans for Pinatubo are being made after his return to the winner’s enclosure following the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville last Sunday.
Charlie Appleby said: “He flew back yesterday (Monday) and had a routine canter this morning showing no ill effects.
“He’s back in his usual routine, turned out in the paddock and he had a buck and a kick.
“The Breeders’ Cup Mile is something we’ll work back from. He’s got options for his next run – the Sussex is there, but that might come a bit quick after three quickish runs. There’s the Moulin or the Foret before going on to the Breeders’ Cup.”
Quorto, unbeaten in his three races as a two-year-old in 2018, including the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh in 2018, suffered a fatal injury during routine work at Moulton Paddocks in Newmarket.
He missed the 2019 campaign after suffering an injury in March but it was hoped he could return to the track this year.
Trainer Charlie Appleby said: “Quorto was a very talented colt who was absolutely brilliant when winning the National Stakes and gave us a great day over in Ireland. It’s a great shame that we did not get to see him on the racecourse again and he will be sorely missed by all the team at Moulton Paddocks.”
Darley July Cup winner Oxted could be heading to the Nunthorpe Stakes at York
Speaking on Sky Sports Racing, Oxted’s trainer Roger Teal said: “Maybe he’ll go to France (Maurice de Gheest) or Haydock (Sprint Cup) or even the Nunthorpe but we haven’t got any firm plans yet. We’ll see how he is and he’ll tell us when he’s ready to go again.”
Judicial will run next in Newbury’s Hackwood Stakes on Saturday after being given a clean bill of health following a dirty scope which ruled Julie Camacho’s sprinter out of the July Cup at Newmarket last weekend.
Media and Marketing
RTE is ending its weekend coverage of evening racing when two or three races were shown in each one-hour programme. The Irish broadcaster scheduled the programmes whilst other sports were suspended.
The Racing Hub has launched a new notebook feature where its team of writers note horses and rides which catch the eye.