The Racing Hub Round-up: the week’s top stories
The Racing Hub Round-up: your briefing on the week’s top stories
Racing and Racecourses
Delia Bushell has left her position as the Jockey Club group chief executive following a report by an independent barrister which upheld allegations of gross misconduct including bullying and making racist comments.
The Times has since reported that it understands Bushell cited a conservative activist who described George Floyd, whose death let to the Black Lives Matter campaign, as a criminal. This was during an exchange on how the Jockey Club should respond to the campaign. Other responses were also shared.
The Times has also said she shared a meme with a “tasteless” sexual reference to the Scottish singer Susan Boyle of Britain’s Got Talent fame.
Both instances were reported as one-offs.
♦Full details in The Racing Hub’s News Update http://wp.me/P8e3Dl-3WN
The first scheduled horseracing pilot event with crowds will take place on Wednesday 9 September at Doncaster Racecourse as part of the St Leger Festival. Sixteen days racing will form part of the pilot:
- Doncaster Racecourse, St Leger Festival, 9-12 September
- Warwick Racecourse, 21 September
- Newmarket Racecourse, Cambridgeshire Meeting, 24-26 September
♦Full details in The Racing Hub’s News Update http://wp.me/P8e3Dl-3WN
A report on racecourse finances has been published by the Racecourse Association detailing its members’ income, profitability and prize money contributions with the aim of achieving transparency in racecourse economics and prize money contributions in particular.
The document’s publication came days after the BHA announced its nine-point plan for the next phase of racing’s recovery after the impact of Covid19.
One of the key objectives of the plan is to seek to maximise prize money for 2021 balanced against the financial constraints of stakeholders and the sport’s projected revenues, through new commercial agreements between racecourses and the Horsemen Group which includes owners and trainers.
♦Full details can be found in a special Racing Hub feature on the report http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-4KX
Six equine fatalities in the past month at Southwell are to be investigated by the BHA and the racecourse. The BHA director of health and welfare David Sykes said: “We are currently working with the racecourse to look further into the circumstances surrounding the fatalities that have occurred at Southwell since jump racing resumed.
“It involves considering a number of the specific circumstances and trying to understand if there are any common factors. We will continue to work with the racecourse and discuss any findings that the process brings to light.”
The 150th anniversary running of the Irish Grand National has been abandoned by Horse Racing Ireland.
There has been hopes that the BoyleSports sponsored race, Ireland’s richest jumps contest, could have been rescheduled, but due to ongoing uncertainty over crowds being admitted to Fairyhouse Racecourse because of Covid19 restrictions, the decision was taken to abandon the race.
Hollie Doyle became the first British female jockey to ride five winners on the same card with an 899-1 quintuple at Windsor.
The 23-year-old (pictured), who had her first Royal Ascot winner in June with Golden Horde in the Commonwealth Cup and her first Group success on board Dame Malliot in the Princess Of Wales Stakes at Newmarket, said: “It feels great, someone just told me,” adding “The last few years have been awesome, but you’ve got to keep on improving and pushing more and more.”
Doyle’s Windsor winners were Indian Creak (3/1), Sur Mer (11/4), Le Don De Vie (3/1), Extra Elusive (3/1) and Mistress Nellie (11/4).
The next day Doyle rode a treble at Yarmouth and is due to partner the Archie Watson trained Glen Shiel in her first Group 1 race, Saturday’s Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock.
Doyle told Sky Sports Racing: “I’m really looking forward to riding Glen, he’s been a flag-bearer for the yard really.
“He keeps on surprising us. He’s improving with age and he’s got quicker the older he’s got, which is strange. He’s going the right way.
“He’s an old legend. The ground is the key to him really, and he’ll get his ground at Haydock and a stiff enough six.” (see Horses below)
Jim Crowley rode his 2,000th winner in Britain when odds-on favourite Modmin won at Goodwood.
It was Crowley’s 1,747th winner on the Flat adding to 253 jump racing victories, making him only the sixth rider to pass the 2,000 mark.
His tally of wins includes 12 Group 1 races with Battaash providing four King Georges.
Crowley said: “It’s been a fantastic season so far – I hope it continues – and it’s nice to do it here at my local track. I’ve got a lot of fond memories here and to do it in these colours, especially for Marcus [Tregoning] as well, it was nice.”
Cieren Fallon has been appointed second jockey to Qatar Racing where Oisin Murphy is the first-choice rider.
With Murphy set to miss the Doncaster St Leger meeting and Irish Champions Weekend, due to a seven-day ban, 22-year-old Fallon, last year’s champion apprentice, will get the opportunity to ride Sheikh Fahad’s top horses.
Jockey Ben Curtis has apologised for breaching the Covid19 protocols at Newmarket which saw him being asked to leave the course and being provisionally stood down for 14 days.
Curtis said: “First of all I apologise for what was a momentary lapse of concentration. There was no malice or disregard to the rules in this case. It was a moment of blissful ignorance to the madness the world currently finds itself in.
“I entered a very open space that was occupied by two owners only, and two owners I had met with previous to racing that day. I adhered to social distancing rules for the entire period that I was in that area. I was then asked to leave by a racecourse employee and informed that I was not allowed to be there. I apologised profusely for my mistake and proceeded to leave the area.
“A short while later I was asked to leave the racecourse, which I complied with immediately. “I’m a responsible person and I take this virus very seriously, which is why I’ve taken the Covid test this morning, the result of which I’ll be happy to share.”
The subsequent test proved negative.
Ryan Moore is now in quarantine in Ireland for 14 days to comply with Covid19 rules ahead of his riding engagements in Irish Champions Weekend when he is due to partner Aiden O’Brien’s runners.
Hello Youmzain, already the winner of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, is aiming to win Saturday’s Haydock Group 1 Betfair Sprint Cup for the second year running. Trainer Kevin Ryan also has Queen Jo Jo in the race.
The 2018 winner and runner-up last year, The Tin Man, is back to represent James Fanshawe who has also entered Archer’s Dream.
Aiden O’Brien is intending to send over Lope Y Fernandez from Ireland who could also be joined by Forever In Dreams for Aidan Fogarty. Dream Of Dreams for Sir Michael Stoute aims to follow up his seven-length win of Newbury’s Hungerford Stakes.
Adam Kirby is set to ride Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde for Clive Cox, and Summerghand could make a quick return to the racecourse after finishing second to Brad The Brief Saturday in last Saturday’s Newmarket’s Listed Close Brothers Hopeful Stakes for David O’Meara
Art Power trained by Tim Easterby is looking to get back to winning ways after finishing eighth in the Nunthorpe at York. Before that he won three on the spin, most recently the Group 3 Lacken Stakes at Naas. Charlie Hills in represented by Khaadem who has finished fourth in his two outings so far this year and Tabdeed, who won Newbury’s Group 3 Hackwood Stakes last time out, is entered by Owen Burrows.
Goshen, who made a dramatic exit at the last fence when seemingly home-and-hosed in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, is due to reappear on the Flat as preparation for next year’s Champion Hurdle.
The Gary Moore trained four-year-old could contest two Flat races before reverting to hurdles. Already a three-time winner on the Flat, Goshen is earmarked for a one-mile-six-furlong handicp at Haydock later this month.
Moore said: “Hopefully you’ll see him out at the end of the month”
“There are races at Haydock and Newmarket for him – there’s a race at Haydock on 26 September that we’re looking at.
“I’m very happy with him. There aren’t many conditions races over hurdles that he’ll be able to run in – you’ve got the Christmas Hurdle and the Fighting Fifth, but there aren’t a lot of races.
“I’d like to think he’s well enough handicapped on the Flat. He hasn’t run much and has very low mileage, so there’s no reason not to give him a couple of runs on the Flat and see how we get on.”
Addeybb is not far off a racecourse return ahead of another attempt to win the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot on British Champions Day, after finishing second to Magical last year.
The six-year-old has raced just once this season when runner-up to Lord North in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. That was after he won two Group 1 races in Australia, the Ranvet Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Trainer William Haggas said: “He needs a run before Champions Day, so we’ve just got to find a slot. He’s fine, he’s had a break after Ascot and he’s in good shape actually – really good.”
Betting and Bookmakers
Flutter Entertainment, whose brands include Betfair, Paddy Power and SkyBet, announced its results for the first half of the year which saw a drop in profit of 70% to £24m.
The company, which finalised its merger with Stars Group during the period and saw the addition of SkyBet, said its financial performance had exceeded expectations with reported revenues up 49% to £1.52b.
An increase in online gaming outweighed the loss of income from the cancelation of live sports events and shop closures, and the company believes retail customers will not return after seeing a “very significant acceleration” of the switch to online betting.