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 Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group, which leads horse racing’s preparations for the UK’s departure from the EU, has advised members of the industry not to move horses to and from the EU unless absolutely necessary for at least the first two weeks of 2021.
With less than seven weeks to go before the transition period expires, there will be significant changes to how horses move between the UK and the EU from 1 January, regardless of whether a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is signed.
Whilst British racing is in regular contact with the relevant government departments to gather information and best prepare the industry for Brexit, some details remain to be fully clarified and the new travel arrangements will also be entirely dependent upon any agreement which may be made by the UK government with the EU.
The steering group remains hopeful that any such FTA that is signed will allow the outstanding points of detail to be resolved quickly, but as things stand confirmation on a number of matters is still pending:
- The UK’s status as a third country listing for animal health purposes following the end of the transition period
- Authorisations to allow British transporters to operate within the EU and EU operators to operate in the UK
- Recognition of the General Stud Book, (along with all other Stud Books and Breeding Books of all species), which identifies thoroughbreds and allows their movement as Registered horses
Even in the event of agreements on these key areas for British racing being confirmed in the coming weeks, the Thoroughbred Industries Brexit Steering Group is of the view that there will be additional friction in moving thoroughbreds through key ports from 1 January, with the potential for initial disruption.
It is therefore advising that industry participants put off moving horses unless it is absolutely necessary within that initial two-week period, and to contact a transporter or shipping/customs agent for further guidance as a matter of priority.
Furthermore, following the confirmation of any FTA the Thoroughbred industry will need to understand the details of any equine health rules under which movements can take place as well as any replacement for the current Tripartite Agreement – originally made with France and Ireland – which currently governs Thoroughbred movements between Britain, France and Ireland.
The Injured Jockeys Fund is expecting to lose 25% of its Christmas sales revenue due to racing taking place behind closed doors. The Fund’s chief executive Lisa Hancock said: “It’s a blow. It’s the first time for 30 years that Lady Oaksey hasn’t been selling along with the team and it’s a worry for us. We have the online capability but it’s not the same as having a face-to-face presence.
“So many supporters who are loyal to us expect to see us at Fakenham, Plumpton and Sedgefield and we’re not there. It’s a disappointment.”
Jockeys riding in France are having to undergo regular tests for Covid-19 after three jockeys, Cristian Demuro, Ioritz Mendizabal and Christophe Soumillon tested positive. The measure is being introduced to main French racing’ reputation of operating in a safe environment.
Luke Morris rode 100 British winners for the tenth consecutive year when the Ruth Carr-trained Athmad won at Wolverhampton on Saturday.
The 32-year-old said: “I’m lucky to have a very hard-working agent and lots of people supporting me.
“Each year I set myself the target of riding 100 winners, but obviously Covid has made it extremely tricky this year and I’m delighted to be able to do it for the tenth consecutive year.”
Harriet Graham, trainer and clerk of the course at Musselburgh, suffered a cracked pelvis after being run over by her own lorry.
Graham, whose Aye Right is due to run in the Ladbrokes Trophy Chase on 28 November 28 said: “It was a very stupid accident. I got run over by my own lorry. We were driving along our top road, there was a Land Rover in the hedge and I thought there was a man having a heart attack.
“I jumped out, ran back to the Land Rover and he wasn’t having a heart attack. I’d thought he didn’t look good but all he was doing was leaning over trying to find something on the floor.
“Meanwhile the lorry was reversing back to help, I stopped right in its blind spot and it knocked me over underneath it. It was so unfortunate.”
Horses and racing
Tarnawa, who gave trainer Dermot Weld his first ever win at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in the Turf, is to stay in training next season, with the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe a long-range target.
Cyrname’s next intended race is the the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day in the first stage of a route to the Cheltenham Gold Cup in March.
Trainer Paul Nicholls said of the notable winner of the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby: “Cyrname was good the other day, and he has come out the race well. What we wanted to do was run him with that big gap between the two races. “We go into the race full of optimism that we have got him really right this time.”
Shishkin is set to make his debut over fences at Kempton on Monday. The six-year-old, winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, is 3/1 favourite with Paddy Power for next year’s Arkle Trophy.
Trainer Nicky Henderson said: “I’m thinking of running Shishkin at Kempton on Monday – it is the race we used for Altior.
“He has a piece of work to do tomorrow morning, and then a school. The race is just falling at the right time, and Kempton is a good course to start them off at. He is a great, big horse and a great jumper, touch wood.”
Chavi Artist, a winner at Punchestown on Sunday, and the novice Court Maid look to give Tom Mullins and owner Rory Larkin a strong hand in the €125,000 baroneracing.com Porterstown Handicap Chase on the second day of the winter festival at Fairyhouse on November.
Cheltenham Festival winner Milan Native, JP McNamara Munster National winner Aforementioned, Troytown Handicap Chase runner-up Roaring Bull, 2018 Irish Grand National winner General Principle and Monbeg Notorious, a former Thyestes Chase winner, head an entry of 11 for trainer Gordon Elliott.
Successful in the race with Killer Miller a year ago, trainer Noel Meade has entered four horses headed by the novices Brace Yourself and School Boy Hours, with Voix Des Tiep the highest-rated of Willie Mullins’ quartet.
The Paul Nolan-trained Mon Lino and Tom Gibney’s Ah Littleluck, second and third in the race last year are entered again while other notable contenders include Dermot McLoughlin’s Captain Cj, winner of the Grade 2 Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan in February and the recent Troytown Chase third, Scoir Mear, another possible runner for Tom Mullins.
The Willie Mullins-trained Buildmeupbuttercup has held her form well since finishing runner-up to her stable companion Janidil in the Bar One Racing Extra Places Handicap Hurdle last year and she heads the 25 entries for this year’s €75,000 renewal after her listed hurdle success at Punchestown on Sunday.
The champion trainer has made six entries in all and the likes of Ciel De Neige, fourth in this race a year ago, and Getaway Gorgeous might well join the hat-trick-seeking mare in the two-mile event. Unfortunate not to win the race in 2018, Campeador is one of five entries for Gordon Elliott.
Again, Noel Meade is strongly represented with a team of four that includes Cask Mate and Red Gerry while the Liz Doyle-trained Cayd Boy, Charles Byrnes’ Advanced Virgo, Des McDonogh’s Galway Hurdle runner-up Hearts Are Trumps and Tony Martin’s Tudor City, winner of the Galway Hurdle in 2019, could also play their part.
Silver Streak is being lined up for the Grade 1 Betfair Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle at the end of the month, a racing in which he finished third last year.
The seven-year-old heads to Newcastle, where he is 7/1 with Paddy Power, after winning at Kempton last month when he put six-and-a-half lengths between himself and Verdana Blue.
Trainer Evan Williams said: “He’s grand, he worked this morning and I’m really pleased with him.
“I’d love to take him to Newcastle. His race at Kempton last time was a lovely starting point, it was just what the doctor ordered after getting beaten in a few of those Grade Ones last year.
Altior heads 14 entries for the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown on Saturday 5 December.
Trained by Nicky Henderson, he is 6/4 favourite. Greaneteen winner of the Haldon Gold Cup at Exeter, is one of two entries for Paul Nicholls, the other being Politologue.
Rouge Vif, who missed Sunday’s Shloer Chase at Cheltenham because of the going, has been entered by Harry Whittington, and last year’s winner, Defi Du Seuil, is back for Philip Hobbs.
De Rasher Counter will not race this season due to a tendon injury.
Trainer Emma Lavelle said of the eight-year-old who was due to defend his Ladbroke Trophy title: “He just had a bit of heat in his near-fore this morning,” said Lavelle. “He is 100 per cent sound, but I just wasn’t happy with it. Our vet came in and scanned it and there’s a mark on the tendon, so that’s the end of our defence – for this year anyway.”
Betting and Bookmakers
GVC Holdings, the parent company of Corals and Ladbrokes, is to be renamed Entain plc to reflect the group’s ambition to be the world-leader in sports betting and gaming entertainment.
Shay Segev, GVC’s CEO, said:” To reflect the fundamental changes that have taken place both within our business and in the wider industry, we are today announcing a fresh corporate identity.
Subject to shareholder approval, GVC Holdings will become Entain plc (“Entain”) “This new identity will represent a new chapter for the Group under a re-energised management team, and reflects our ambition to be the world leader in sports betting and gaming entertainment.”
Media and Marketing
ITV Racing is to show an extra four midweek and one Sunday fixture before the end of the year:
- Friday, December 4: Sandown and Exeter (ITV4)
- Sunday, December 6: Huntingdon, Punchestown, Kelso and Cork (ITV4)
- Friday, December 18: Ascot (ITV4)
- Monday, December 28: Leopardstown, Exeter and Leicester (ITV4)
- Tuesday, December 29: Newbury and Leopardstown (ITV4)
The Horserace Writers and Photographers Association has announced the nominations for this year’s Derby Awards which will be presented on 10 December and broadcast by Sky Sports Racing: Writer of the Year
- David Carr (Racing Post)
- Jonathan Harding (Racing Post)
- David Jennings (Racing Post)
- Peter Thomas (Racing Post)
Reporter of the Year
- Bill Barber (Racing Post)
- Chris Cook (The Guardian)
- Lewis Porteous (Racing Post)
- Lee Mottershead (Racing Post)
Broadcaster of The Year
- Ed Chamberlin (ITV Racing)
- Matt Chapman (ITV Racing and Sky Sports Racing)
- Alex Hammond (Sky Sports Racing) (pictured)
- Niall Hannity (Racing TV)
- Jamie Lynch (Sky Sports Racing
- Sheik Hamdan Al Maktoum
- JP McManus
- Maire and Joe Donnelly
- Khaled Abdullah
- Qatar Racing
- La Pyle Partnership
- John Gosden
- Andrew Balding
- William Haggas
- Charlie Appelby
- Aiden O’Brien
- Marcus Tregoning
- Hollie Doyle
- Tom Marquand (pictured)
- Oisin Murphy
- William Buick
- Jim Crowley
- Ben Curtis
- Nicky Henderson
- Paul Nicholls
- Fergal O’Brien
- Dan Skelton
- Willie Mullins
- Gordon Elliott
- Rachel Blackmore
- Paddy Brennen
- Brian Hughes
- Barry Geraghty
- Jonjo O’Neill Jnr
- Paul Townend
SATURDAY 21 NOVEMBER (1.25 – 4.15) ITV and STV ASCOT
- 2.05 Chanelle Pharma Steeple Chase (Class 1) (Grade 2)
- 2.40 Coral Hurdle Race (Class 1) (Grade 2) (Registered As The Ascot Hurdle Race)
- 3.15 Coral Hurst Park Handicap Steeple Chase (Class 2)
- 3.50 Coral Standard Open National Hunt Flat Race (Class 4)
- 1.50 Betfair Exchange Graduation Steeple Chase
- 2.25 Betfair Free Bet Drop Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle Race
- 3.00 Betfair Steeple Chase
- 3.35 Better Value On The Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Steeple Chase