The Racing Hub Round-up: the week’s top stories
The Racing Hub Round-up: your catch-up on the week’s top stories
Racing and Racecourses
The Jockey Club intends to reduce its workforce by around 70 positions equating to about 10% in order to achieve further cost cutting in response to the organisation’s £75m hit on revenue by the effects of Covid-19.
It is understood that none of its racecourses are under threat.
Staff have been told that plans are still to being finalised, but it is expected that the current north-west and southwest regions will be combined, bringing Aintree and Cheltenham together under the overall control of current south-west leader Ian Renton.
Racecourse in the east and London regions will merge under the leadership of Newmarket boss Amy Starkey.
Marketing, sales and communications will be undertaken centrally, with the regional functions ceasing, and there will be a strengthened approach to data insight, digital marketing, commercial partnerships and new business development.
The Racing League, a team, points-based, horse racing competition, is set to launch in July 2021 for six weeks. Twelve teams will go head-to-head every Thursday evening in six races each worth £50k in prize money and a total of 100 points.
Points will be awarded in each race from 25 points to the winner down to 1 point for 10th place. The team with the most points after 36 races wins the Racing League.
The dates and venues are:
- 29 July Newcastle
- 5 August Doncaster
- 12August Lingfield
- 19 August Windsor
- 26 August Lingfield
- 2 September Newcastle
The competition is being promoted by Championship Horse Racing who aim to put the fans first, both in the raceday event and through the TV and online viewing experience.
They hope to demystify racing with a familiar and more accessible format and bring the sport up-to-date by creating new, tech-enabled ways to involve the audience and build team allegiances, turning viewers into fans.
Champion jockey Oisin Murphy has tested positive for cocaine. The test was undertaken in France on 19 July and Murphy has now released a statement saying that he has never taken the Class A drug in his life.
♦ More in The Racing Hub’s News Update http://wp.me/P8e3Dl-3WN
Nathan Evans has tested a positive for a prohibited substance, believed to be cocaine, and faces a probable ban.
Flat jockey Evans, 23, failed a drugs test after riding at York in August and has been stood down since the result became known.
Professional Jockeys Association chief executive Paul Struthers said: “Nathan has been informed by the BHA that he tested positive for a prohibited substance and was suspended with immediate effect as a result.
“Nathan is disappointed with himself for his mistake and is deeply sorry for his lapse of judgement. He has informed and apologised personally to those who have supported his career thus far.
“He has not asked for the B sample to be tested and is engaging with the PJA and BHA on the process that now follows.”
Champers Elysees, winner of last month’s Matron Stakes will have 11 rivals in her bid for back-to-back Group One wins in the Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday.
She will again come up against the Aidan O’Brien trained Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Peaceful who was one-and-a-quarter lengths second at Leopardstown, with Ryan Moore in the saddle.
The Matron Stakes win at Leopardstown was the culmination of a rapid rise in racing’s ranks which began by winning a handicap at the Curragh before going on to win at Listed and Group 3 levels.
The three-year old, trained by Johnny Murtagh (pictured), was purchased by Teruya Yoshida and will run on his colours at Headquarters. Colin Keane retains the ride.
Betting and Bookmakers
William Hill have accepted a £2.9bn takeover by Caesars Entertainment which will lead to the sell-off of British business part of the business
The deal, which is subject to shareholder approval, was described by William Hill chairman Roger Devlin as “an attractive price for shareholders”.
He went on to say: “It recognises the significant progress the William Hill group has made over the last 18 months, as well as the risk and significant investment required to maximise the US opportunity given intense competition in the US and the potential for regulatory disruption in the UK and Europe.
“Under the revitalised senior leadership team, William Hill has been delivering on its strategy and potential. William Hill is one of the world’s leading betting and gambling companies, with a long and proud heritage.
“It is one of the most recognized brands globally. Over recent years, it has transformed from a business once heavily reliant on UK retail into a company that is truly diversified by geography and channel, providing a stable standalone platform for future growth.”
♦ Of Course comment: So what happens now for William Hill http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-51b
SATURDAY 3 OCTOBER (1.25 – 4.00) ITV AND STV
- 1.55 tote.co.uk Rous Stakes
- 2.30 tote.co.uk Cumberland Lodge Stakes (Group 3)
- 3.05 tote.co.uk Challenge Cup Handicap
- 4.40 John Guest Racing Bengough Stakes (Group 3)
- 1.40 Tattersalls October Stakes
- 2.10 EBF Premier Handicap
- 2.45 Kingdom of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes (Group 1)
- 3.25 Redcar Two-Year-Old Trophy
SUNDAY 4 OCTOBER (12.55 – 330) ITV
- 1.15 Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere
- 1.50 Qatar Prix Marcel Boussac
- 2.25 Qatar Arabian World Cup
- 3.05 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
♦ Your direct link to Doug Campbell’s 50 Jump Horses to Follow 2020-21 http://wp.me/P8e3Dl-4qC