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
Cheltenham Racecourse confirmed that the new Grade 2 Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Steeple Chase to be run at The Festival 2021 will replace the Listed Novices’ Handicap Chase, which was traditionally run on the opening day.
♦ More at The Racing Hub News Update http://wp.me/P8e3Dl-3WN
Racing will adopt a united front in urging the government to reform the levy, having developed a single set of proposals for its remodelling. At a BHA’s Members Committee last week, the leaders of racecourses, horsemen and the BHA also agreed to set up a new Steering Group to assess all the options for Levy reform in light to the impact of COVID and the expected economic downturn.
The Steering Group, to be chaired on behalf of the BHA by its Independent Director, Joe Saumarez-Smith (pictured), will carry out a rapid assessment of Levy options as the government considers how best to help sports threatened by a further six months without spectators.
♦ More at The Racing Hub News Update http://wp.me/P8e3Dl-3WN
Following the abandonment Ascot’s fixture on Saturday 3 October four of the lost races have been rescheduled as follows:
- Cumberland Lodge Stakes (Group 3) 1m4f, York 9 October (ITV3)
- Bengough Stakes (Group 3) 6f, York 10 October
- October Stakes Listed (Fillies) 7f, Goodwood 11 October
- Rous Stakes (Listed) 5f, Nottingham 14 October
Aiden O’Brien is now testing all his horses on a daily basis following the discovery that horse feed used at Ballydoyle had been contaminated. Samples are being sent to the French laboratory in the hope that his string can resume running on Wednesday.
His runners were withdrawn from their intended races at Longchamp, including four in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Describing the cost of not running the horses as “incredible”, O’Brien (pictured) said: “I feel sorry for the lads. They put so much in and the cost is incredible. Everyone’s working so hard to try to breed the horses, to sell the horses, to train them, to race them.
“They put in so much to get the horses to this stage, they try to make it happen, and I feel so sorry for them. I hope we’re all able to work it out.”
Feed supplier Gain Equine Nutrition used social media to express sympathy for those affected and said: “The team at Gain Equine Nutrition are hugely disappointed to learn that some of our customers have withdrawn their horses from important equine events this weekend, including the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
“We are continuing to work closely with all appropriate agencies, including the Irish Department of Agriculture, to fully investigate the source, nature and extent of this contamination.
“We are also in close contact with horse racing regulatory bodies. We will provide a more detailed update once further information is available.”
Arc winning Sottsass has been retired to stud after his victory Longchamp and will stand at Coolmore.
Peter Brant of White Birch Farm, who own Sottsass with Coolmore, said “The horse is going to go to stud at Coolmore and I am a big believer that a horse should go to stud when they are ready, when they look fine like a shiny penny, and not beat up.
“The horse has done everything in the world I could have asked him for. He’s won the Jockey Club, the Ganay and the Arc de Triomphe. It’s just an amazing feat. He’s a beautiful horse and he is so well bred.”
Fancy Blue, dual Group 1 winner for Donnacha O’Brien in his first year as a trainer, has been retired due to injury.
O’Brien said “After sustaining a tendon injury in routine work yesterday morning, the decision has been made to retire Fancy Blue,”
“We’ll always be grateful for her and what she’s done for us. We look forward to seeing her offspring on the track.”
Owned by Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith and Sue Magnier, Fancy Blue, the daughter of Deep Impact, won the French Oaks at Chantilly in July and went on to win the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in the same month.
Logician is an intended runner in the rescheduled Betsafe Cumberland Lodge Stakes at York on Friday.
The 2019 St Leger winner has been absent much of this season following a life-threatening illness last winter, but beat a sole rival at Doncaster by seven-lengths on her return last month.
Dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll could start his season in the Ladbrokes Champion Chase at Down Royal later this month.
Robbed of an attempt to win a third National this year, Tiger Roll last ran in the Cheltenham Festival cross-country where he was second.
Speaking on Betfair’s Racing Only Bettor Podcast, trainer Gordon Elliott said: “It was a very rushed preparation to get him to Cheltenham last year and he got a little setback, as everyone knows. We got him to Cheltenham. He was very tired after Cheltenham. He was very tired. He had a hard race.
“The ground was probably softer than what he wanted that day. He was stiff and sore after the race. If you watch the re-run again, he loses his hind-end a little bit turning in, and he was sore.
On the cancellation of the National, Elliott said: “I think it might have been a blessing in disguise. He’s a fresh horse this year. He’s absolutely bouncing at the moment.”
“I’m not sure where I’m going to start him off yet, but do you know, he’s definitely going to have an entry in Down Royal in the big chase because if the ground turned up quick, you’d be nervous about running Presenting Percy or Delta Work. I’d hate to not have him entered.”
Media and Marketing
ITV’s coverage of the Arc was seen by 1,179,000 viewers, up from 940,000 in 2019.
Presenter Ed Chamberlain said on the Sporting Life website: “When we took over the contract in 2017 Arc Sunday was always seen as a big challenge and the Holy Grail was to get one million people watching it.
“To have increased the audience by nearly 400,000 over our tenure will hopefully ensure the Arc remains on terrestrial screens for many more years to come.”
FRIDAY 9 OCTOBER (1.30 – 4.30) ITV3
- 1.50 NEWMARKET ACADEMY GODOLPHIN BEACON PROJECT CORNWALLIS STAKES (Group 3)
- 2.25 GODOLPHIN LIFETIME CARE OH SO SHARP STAKES (Group 3)
- 3.00 GODOLPHIN STUD & STABLE STAFF AWARDS CHALLENGE STAKES (Group 2)
- 3.35 bet365 FILLIES’ MILE (Group 1) 1m
- 4.10 bet365 OLD ROWLEY CUP HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 2) (HERITAGE HANDICAP)
- 1.35 BETFAIR CUMBERLAND LODGE STAKES (GROUP 3)
- 2.05 BETSAFE HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 2) 7f 192y
- 2.40 betsafe.com HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 2) (Heritage Handicap) 1m 5f 188y
- 3.15 UNIBET PERSIAN WAR NOVICES’ HURDLE RACE (GRADE 2)
SATURDAY 10 OCTOBER (1.25 – 4.00) ITV
- 1.45 GODOLPHIN FLYING START ZETLAND STAKES (GROUP 3)
- 2.20 EMIRATES AUTUMN STAKES (GROUP 3)
- 2.55 DARLEY DEWHURST STAKES (GROUP 1)
- 3.35 TOGETHER FOR RACING INTERNATIONAL CESAREWITCH HANDICAP STAKES
- 1.35 BEDSAFE CUMBERLAND LODGE STAKES (GROUP 3)
- 1.00 coral.co.uk ROCKINGHAM STAKES (Listed Race)
- 2.35 CORAL BEATEN BY A LENGTH FREE BET HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 2)
- 3.10 CORAL SPRINT TROPHY HANDICAP STAKES (CLASS 2) (Heritage Handicap)