The Racing Hub Round-up: the week’s top stories
The Racing Hub Round-up – your weekly briefing on racing’s top stories
Changes to the Apprentice and Conditional jockey training arrangements, which had been put on hold, will now come into effect from 15 July 2020.
The new measures had originally been scheduled for introduction on 28 March but, owing to the Covid-19 situation and the suspension of racing at that time, the decision was made to temporarily postpone the start date.
The initial decision for new agreements to be brought in required approval by the BHA Board, following a considerable period of consultation and discussion between the Professional Jockeys Association (PJA) and National Trainers Federation (NTF) where agreement did not prove possible.
The BHA says it is committed to continue to work with all parties on further developments in this area, for example to recognise the contribution made by trainers who continue to support the development of top-level professional jockeys.
With that in mind, and with a view to ensuring that implementation and effectiveness of the changes are regularly reviewed, and that new ideas are considered, the BHA has invited the PJA and NTF to re-establish the Working Group set up to discuss this subject. Membership of this group, and the potential for expanding it, will be reconsidered.
Tim Naylor, Director of Integrity and Regulation at the BHA, said:
“We fully accept that both from the point of view of apprentices and trainers there is more discussion to be had on this topic, and as such have re-instated the cross-industry working group to ensure there is a suitable forum to work together on any further concerns that arise.”
Maximum field sizes can now return to those which racecourses can accommodate rather than the limit which has been imposed since racing’s return.
Prize money at York’s four-day Ebor Festival in August is being cut by over 50% as a result of lost racecourse revenue due to the Covid19 outbreak.
The Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes and the Ebor Handicap, both of which were worth £1m in 2019, will fall to £275,000 and £250,000 respectively. Total prize money for the meeting will be £2.27m, down 57% on 2019.
The Animal Health Trusts’ planned closure has resulted in the BHA meeting with racing industry bodies discuss a plan to respond to the closure, with agreement that the BHA would lead the racing industry’s efforts to maintain the surveillance and testing capability.
AHT trustees confirmed that the charity has been unable to secure the significant funds it needs to have a long-term viable future and will begin a winding-up process.
The Trust carries out equine disease surveillance and specialist veterinary research for the thoroughbred horse racing industry. The surveillance programme also covers the whole horse population of the United Kingdom, including equestrian sports and leisure horses.
It fulfils a key role in maintaining high standards of equine welfare in British horseracing, playing a vital role in monitoring the outbreak of equine flu that caused a shutdown of the racing industry for six days last year.
A £50,000 reward has been put up for information after ten trophies were stolen from Newmarket’s National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art (pictured) in an overnight raid in May.
The stolen trophies include:
- the original Ascot Gold Vase for the Queen’s Vase dating back 1838
- two Lincoln races trophies from 1833 and 1836
- three Doncaster Cups from 1906, 1907 and 1922
The raid took place when the museum was shut and with nobody in attendance due to the Covid19 outbreak. Sledgehammers were used to smash glass cases containing the trophies.
Insurers Fine Art Specie Adjusters said a reward of up to £50,000 is available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the thieves, subject to certain criteria.
Trainer David O’Meara has sent out a landmark 1,000 winners on the Flat in Britain with Sudona winning a 1m2f handicap at Pontefract, ridden by Danny Tudhope.
In June 2010 the former jump jockey trained his first winner with Simple Jim at Redcar
O’Meara said: “It’s great we did it with a horse ridden by Danny, who came to me in 2011,” adding “He’s ridden nearly all the big ones.
“And I know it’s a cliché, but through it all there’s been a team behind me – I can’t ride out 130 horses by myself and there is a huge team behind me, they make it all happen.”
O’Meara took his haul to 1,001 when Summerghand took the 6f handicap.
♦ Whistlejacket on why former jump jockeys make the grade as Flat trainers http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-4jr
Seamie Heffernan received a 22-day ban dished from the stewards at Chantilly for his use of the whip on Order Of Australia in the Prix du Jockey Club.
Heffernan struck Order Of Australia 11 times, six more than is permitted in France.
Threat, who was fifth to Palace Pier in the one-mile St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, his seasonal debut, is to miss the Prix Jean Prat and run his next race in the July Cup at Newmarket
Trainer Richard Hannon said on his website www.richardhannonracing.co.uk: “We were originally looking at the Prix Jean Prat in France. But the ground there is very soft at the moment, and I don’t really want to run him on that surface in what looks a hot little race.
“That’s not to say the July Cup is any easier, but I just think the drop back to six furlongs might be just what he needs, and he hasn’t got much to find with Golden Horde – and he’ll be favourite – so it makes sense to have a crack at this prize.”
The Jessica Harrington trained has Albigna, who won the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp, has entries in Saturday’s Leopardstown’s Green Room Meld Stakes at the Leopardstown and the Juddmonte Irish Oaks a week later at the Curragh.
Ground considerations will be a major factor and Harrington said:
Stablemate Millisle, who was runner-up in the Group 3 Coolmore Sioux Nation Lacken Stakes at Naas, will not run in the July Cup and, instead, will aim for a race in Ireland.
“We’ll run over six or seven furlongs now,” said Harrington. “She doesn’t want good to firm ground. As long as the ground is nice, she’s ok – it was just a bit quick at the Curragh on Guineas day, that was all.”
Godolphin owned Earthlight, winner of all five races as a two-year-old including two Group 1s, returns to the racecourse in Sunday’s Listed Prix Kistena at Deauville on Sunday.
The winner of the Prix Morny and Middle Park Stakes picked up a small injury on the gallops in April, but was passed fit after a racecourse spin at Saint Cloud.
The choice of his return race means he won’t come up against Pinatubo, also owned by Godolphin, who goes in the Group 1 Prix Jean Prat on the same card.
Eclipse winner Ghaiyyath will not run in Group 1 King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot later this month, and will instead take part in next month’s Group 1 Juddmonte International at York.
Skipping Ascot means there will no rematch with Eclipse runner-up Enable who is scheduled for the Berkshire track’s middle-distance showpiece.
Al Boum Photo and Cyrname have been confirmed as the joint-highest-rated Jumps horses of the 2019/20 season as the Anglo-Irish Jump Classifications for the season are published.
Willie Mullins’ dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo’s thrilling battle up the Cheltenham hill with Santini was awarded a rating of 173, the same mark allocated to Cyrname’s memorable 2¼ length defeat of the great Altior in the Christy 1965 Chase at Ascot all the way back in November. It was the first time Altior had tasted defeat in 20 races over obstacles.
Chacun Pour Soi’s 3¾ length demolition of Min in Leopardstown’s Ladbrokes Dublin Chase saw him as the leading Chaser over the minimum 2m trip, and joint with Santini on 172 as the next highest rated Jumps horses.
Champ’s never-to-be-forgotten RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase success from a seemingly impossible position earned him the accolade of top Novice with a rating of 161, just ahead of the Irish contingent of Samcro, Minella Indo and Fakir D’oudairies on 160.
Over the smaller obstacles, Sharjah – again trained by Wille Mullins – ends the season as the highest rated hurdler. His mark of 164 was achieved through a 3¾ length victory over Petit Mouchoir in Leopardstown’s Matheson Hurdle. Epatante, If The Cap Fits and Paisley Park share the runner-up honours in the hurdling division with a rating of 162.
Media and Marketing
ITV Racing’s coverage of the Derby drew an audience of nearly 2.3 million – the highest for eight years, when the BBC covered Camelot’s 2012 win.The number watching was a 31% increase on last year.
The Oaks was seen by 1.5 million, up 600,000 on last year. The day’s average viewing figure was 1.2 million, an increase of 51% on 2019.