Tag Archives: flat

Curragh Classics attract impressive entries

The second entry stage for four of the five Irish Classic races closed showing a healthy increase compared in 2011.

Amongst the eight additional entries for The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby which will be run on Saturday evening 30th June are the John Oxx trained Call To Battle, together with the Godolphin owned pair of impressive maiden winner Swedish Sailor and Group 1 winner Mandaean (formerly trained in France by Andre Fabre, while Sir Henry Cecil has made a further five entries including the highly thought of Wrotham Health.

Camelot, Born To Sea, Akeed Mofeed, Daddy Long Legs and Parish Hall are just some of the impressive list of Irish trained entries from the initial entry stage for the €1.2 million contest.

The John Oxx trained Akeed Wafi, an impressive winner at Gowran Park last September, is one of nine additional entries for the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas taking place on Saturday 26th May. The Godolphin owned Group 1 winner Mandaean, French trained Group 3 winner Abtaal trained by Jean Claude Rouget, together with Continuum trained by Sir Henry Cecil and the Richard Hannon trained Bronterre are other notable entries.

The former Jessica Harrington trained Dragon Pulse now with French-based trainer Mikel Delzangles, Camelot, Power, Top Offer and Nephite were all entered at the first entry stage.

The Etihad Airways Irish 1000 Guineas taking place the following day on 27thMay has attracted a further seven entries. These include Naas Maiden winner Bulbul, together with the Godophin owned pair of Shadwell Fillies Mile winner Lyric of Light and Discourse. Group one winners La Colina, Lightning Pearl and Maybe were amongst the initial entries for the Group 1 Classic.

The Patrick Prendergast Coral Wave is amongst fourteen second entries for the Darley Irish Oaks taking place on Sunday 22nd July. This represents a significant increase from the 2011 figure. Other notable entries include the John Oxx-trained Shebella, the Godolphin owned Lyric of Light and five fillies trained by Sir Henry Cecil.

Plateur and So You Think, third and fourth in the Dubai World Cup, look set to renew rivalry in the Tattersalls Gold Cup according to their respective trainers. The Group 1 contest takes place as one of the highlights of the Abu Dhabi Irish Guineas Festival, while another highlight of the festival, His Highness The President of the UAE Cup, the only race run in Ireland for pure bred Arabian horses, has been promoted to Listed race status and is likely to attract some top class runners from all over Europe. The Emirates Equestrian Federation is hopeful that the race will be further upgraded in 2013. It is hoped that an Irish trained horse will compete in the race in the near future.


Oxx to train Sea The Stars progeny

In the news recently:

Perhaps the first progeny of Sea The Stars to be named is being lined up to be campaigned by the great colt’s trainer John Oxx.

SeaThe Star’s first crop are still only yearlings but a filly by the 2000 Guineas, Derby, and Arc winner has been named She’s Mine.

An €800,000 foal, the filly belongs to the Araci family, who have also moved last year’s Craven winner and Guineas third Native Khan to Currabeg.

She’s Mine was bought at Goffs last year as a long-term breeding prospect for the Aracis.

Bred by Jim Bolger’s Redmondstown Stud, she is out of the Danehill mare Scribonia who has already produced 1000 Guineas runner-up Cuis Ghaire and 1000 Guineas third Gile Na Greine, also second in the Coronation Stakes.

She was purchased on behalf of the Aracis by Rob Speers, who said last November: “She’s a foundation mare. She’s a fantastic filly from an excellent family and over the last twelve months the good fillies and mares at the breeding stock sales having been coming in at a premium price range. €800,000 is a lot of money but we believe that she represents a sound investment”.

Hanagan’s the Sheikh’s new man

Paul Hanagan has spoken of his excitement after being named Richard Hills’ successor as retained rider for Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

However the two-times champion jockey, who takes up his new role when Hills retires on Dubai World Cup night on March 31, insists he will continue his association with Richard Fahey.

Hanagan told sportinglife.com “It’s obviously very exciting but I have to stress I wouldn’t have achieved anything like the success I have without the help of Richard (Fahey) and his team over the last 17 years.

“It was very emotional when I told him of the approach last night but I will ride for the yard whenever my new commitments allow.

“However having watched the great Hamdan horses over the years, since being at school, this was too good an opportunity to turn down.”

Angus Gold, racing manager to Sheikh Hamdan, said in a statement: “Following the recent announcement of Richard Hills’ retirement after the Dubai World Cup, I am pleased to announce that Paul Hanagan has agreed to ride as first jockey to Sheikh Hamdan for the 2012 season.

“Having been such an integral part of the very successful Richard Fahey team for so long I know that Paul will be a tremendous asset to our team.”

Hills, whose career spanned 33 years, rode five British Classic winners for Sheikh Hamdan, taking the 1000 Guineas on Harayir (1995), Lahan (2000) and Ghanaati (2009).

He officially announced his forthcoming retirement on Sunday.

Gold said that Hanagan will still be given the opportunity to ride Fahey’s horses, when possible.

He added: “I would like to express our thanks to Richard Fahey, and feel sure that both he and Paul will be keen to maintain their relationship when Paul’s commitments to Sheikh Hamdan allow, and we very much look forward to working with Paul in the coming years.

“At the same time I would like to pay tribute to Richard Hills and thank him for the enormous contribution he has made to the success of the Shadwell horses over the last 20 years or so, and hope we can continue to count on his experience in the future.”

(from Sportinglife.com)

Ascot rename race in Queen’s honour

Ascot Racecourse has renamed the Golden Jubilee Stakes to the Diamond Jubilee Stakes to mark this milestone in The Queen’s reign.

2012 also marks the 150th anniversary of the inception of The Prince of Wales’s Stakes and this year’s renewal will be run as “The 150th Anniversary of The Prince of Wales’s Stakes”.

“We are delighted to be commemorating The Diamond Jubilee by renaming the Golden Jubilee Stakes,” said Charles Barnett, chief executive at Ascot.

“All being well, we will be running the race with the world’s top rated sprinter, Black Caviar, representing Australia in what is historically Europe’s most international race, which would be a wonderful way to begin a new era for The Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

“We celebrated the 200th running of The Gold Cup a few years ago and this year we will be marking the 150th anniversary of Royal Ascot’s most important middle distance race, The Prince of Wales’s Stakes, which has been won by the likes of Rewilding, Vision D’Etat and Manduro in recent years.”

The 150th Anniversary of The Prince of Wales’s Stakes takes place over a mile and a quarter on Wednesday, June 20.

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes takes place over six furlongs on Saturday, June 23.

Fashion tips for Royal Ascot

Some wonderful and witty fashion tips for anyone heading to the Royal meetings at Ascot this summer….if you’re a lady that is:


Quinn ladies steal show at Naas

Celebrity Judges Gillian & Aisling Quinn coupled with the much sought after first prize of a €1,000 worth of Prizes from the Osprey Hotel + Spa made the perfect partners for Ladies Day at Naas Races. All eyes were firmly fixed on style and the fashionista’s of the day; the stylish winner was Emer Nash from Castlemartin, Co.Limerick.

Emer Nash, looked stunning in an racing and weather appropriate outfit and was polished off by a red and black hat from Aristohats in Newbridge. The outfit comprised of an elegant black jumpsuit from Vanity Fair Newbridge, shoes from Marks & Spencer’s, handbag from Aldo and high street accessories including gloves and umbrella from Penny’s and belt from Dunnes Stores. Emer won a €1,000 worth of prizes from the Osprey Hotel + Spa. The prize includes a two night stay for two people in the Osprey Hotel + Spa’s luxurious penthouse, with an elegant living room downstairs and your own private balcony, champagne and chocolates on arrival, a delicious dinner at the mash restaurant and an hour long Swedish massage. A delighted Emer Nash said:- “I am thrilled to win at Naas, I come here several times throughout the year with my friends and was delighted to hear of their plans for a Ladies Day, it gave us all a chance to get dressed up on a beautiful Autumn Day but I never dreamed I’d actually win!”

Osprey Hotel + Spa Ladies Day produced an abundance of high quality fashion taking part in the Best Dressed Lady competition. Celebrity Judges Aisling & Gillian Quinn had the difficult task of choosing the winner from such a high quality turnout. The ten lucky runners-up were congratulated with a luxury beauty goodie bag from the Osprey Hotel + Spa to celebrate their place as one of the glamorous finalists and all the ladies who dressed up enjoyed a Sparkling Prosecco reception. The ten finalists included Margaret Mc Connolly from Mullingar, Denise Mc Lean from Newbridge, Marie Smyth from Naas, Liz Waters from Newtown, Charlene Kilroy from Naas, Shauna Channon from Newbridge, Rose Buggy from Bagnalstown, Sarah Cass from Gowran, and Liz Maher from Bagnalstown.

Celebrity judge, Gillian Quinn said: “Aisling and I both enjoy a day’s racing and we love fashion and were delighted to be asked to judge the Best Dressed Lady at Naas, our local track. I was thrilled to see such a wonderful array of stylish outfits and beautiful women. Today’s winner, Emer Nash really stood out to me and I’d like to thank John Caffey from the Osprey Hotel + Spa and Naas Races for having me here today”.

Tom Ryan, Manager of Naas racecourse said: “We are delighted with the strong crowd on this one of the highlights of our Racing Calendar, the Derrinstown Stud Birdcatcher day. It has been a very encouraging race meeting with an increased attendance from 2010 of 3,126 this year, and a strong betting turnover of €316,000 in the ring and €98,600 with the Tote. The atmosphere her at Ladies day has been incredible with such high-fashion and great Flat and National Hunt racing, at this our annual Ladies Day Event.”

The feature race of the day, The Derrinstown Stud Birdcatcher Nursery worth €65,000, was won by Beau Amadeus, who is owned by Total Recall Racing Club and trained by Ado Mc Guinness and ridden by Wayne Lordan.

€25,000 raised for Injured Jockeys Fund

Jog for Jockeys are delighted to announce that their inaugural 5k Jog for Jockeys which took place on the 21st of August earlier this year raised €25,000 for the Injured Jockeys Fund, the cheque was handed over by some of Ireland’s top Flat Jockeys at Naas races today (inc Kevin Manning, Pat Smullen, Wayne Lordan, Joseph O’Brien, etc).

Amongst the well known faces that ran the 5k earlier this year were:- Jockeys Barry Geraghty, Gary Carroll, Shane Foley, Andrew Duff, Andrew McNamara, Ben Curtis, Wayne Lordan and Nina Carberry. Trainers Gordon Elliot, Willie McCreery and Conor O’Dwyer. RTE’s Hector O’hEochagain and Shane O’Donoghue, Rugby’s Mick O’Driscoll. RACE students, Derrinstown, etc.

Organiser, Audrey O’Dwyer said:- “We’re were delighted to have raised €25,000 for a very worthy cause, the Injured Jockeys Fund, we had over 700 people take part at the 5 racecourses. We will be running the event again next year on Sunday 29th July and imagine that it will grow even more; so far the confirmed tracks are The Curragh, Leopardstown, and Limerick, the final courses will be confirmed soon. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the runners, the volunteers who assisted on the day and in the build up, the five racecourses that we ran on and all our Sponsors.”

Dr Adrian McGoldrick, Turf Club Senior Medical Officer said:- “Thank you to all who supported the ‘Jog for Jockeys’, by doing so you supported the bravest men and women in Irish sport. Every time they mount a horse to provide you and I with the enjoyment – the buzz and thrill – we all get from racing, they are putting their bodies on the line. What other sportsperson has a minimum of two ambulances and a doctor travelling behind them as they participate? Our riders travel at 35-40 miles per hour on a half ton of horsepower with the risk of falling at anytime from a height of three metres. I was delighted to take part at the Naas Jog for Jockeys along with Kildangan’s Joe Osborne, Trainers Dick Brabazon and Willie McCreery and lots of Jockeys and racing fans. There was a real feel good factor at the event and hopefully it will be a successful fundraiser for years to come.”

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Rehab hooked in at Leopardstown

BHP Insurances Ltd and Leopardstown Racecourse today announced Rehab Group as the charity partner of the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle Day at Leopardstown on Sunday 29th January 2012.

Next year is the second of BHP’s five year sponsorship of the Irish Champion Hurdle and will feature as part of a weekend that includes the MCR Hurdle on the Saturday making it a bumper New Year weekend for Leopardstown (28th & 29th January 2012).

The Rehab Group is a leading non-governmental organisation which works towards a world where every person has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Rehab work in local communities to provide high-quality services and opportunities to people with disabilities and others who are marginalised.

BHP Insurance and Rehab will host a raceday lunch in the Leopardstown Pavilion with all proceeds from the event going to Rehab services. Racegoers can look forward to enjoying the racing action from the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle day in the comfort of the Leopardstown Pavilion where MC Brendan McArdle will host a thrilling days racing including interviews with racing and social personalities, most stylish lady and gents’ competition, Morning Line panel and much more.

Announcing the partnership with Rehab at Leopardstown this morning, were Mark Phelan, Managing Director of BHP, Ciaran Conroy, Commercial Manager at Leopardstown Racecourse, Irish Champion Jockey and current BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle title holder (& Champion NH Jockey) Paul Townend and John McGuire from the Rehab Group.

Mark Phelan, Managing Director BHP said: – “BHP are delighted to continue our sponsorship of the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle in 2012. The luncheon event to be held on the day promises to be a fantastic event and one which will hopefully raise well deserved funding for our chosen charity partner this year, the Rehab Group. I would encourage anyone with an interest in racing to support this excellent cause while enjoying a day at the races.”

Ciaran Conroy, Commercial Manager Leopardstown Racecourse stated: – “We are delighted to welcome Rehab Group as the new Charity partner of the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle. The link between BHP Insurance and a charity partner has already proved to be most successful in terms of fund raising and awareness. This model is one we plan to nurture and develop at Leopardstown into the future. I would like to express my thanks to Mark Phelan Managing Director of BHP Insurance for his sponsorship of this great race and genuine support of this wonderful fundraising initiative.’’

Champion Jockey Paul Townend said “I am delighted to be able to support the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle day and their valuable partnership with the Rehab Group. I have been extremely fortunate in my career to date and was honoured to have partnered Hurricane Fly to victory in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle back in January.”

Ballydoyle employees caught laying horses

The official press release:

The Referrals Committee, Judge Tony Hunt (in the Chair), J.R. Craigie and Valerie Cooper met at the Turf Club, The Curragh, Co. Kildare on 27th September 2011 to consider the referrals of Gosuke Motoki and Kaname Tsuge, stable employees of A.P. O’Brien, trainer, by Denis Egan, Chief Executive of the Turf Club, in respect of possible breaches of Rule 273(xiv), 4(b) which prohibits the holder of a racing establishment employee card to lay any horse under the care and control of the trainer for whom he is employed to lose a race with any person or betting organisation.

Evidence was heard from Chris Gordon, Turf Club Head of Security. The Committee also considered a number of admissions made by Gosuke Motoki and Kaname Tsuge during an interview with Chris Gordon and Hugh Hynes, Turf Club Integrity Analyst, on 10th May 2011 and a copy of the various transactions on both accounts. In addition, the Committee considered a written submission from A.P. O’Brien, trainer and employer of both individuals.

In his evidence Chris Gordon said that both he and Hugh Hynes met with Gosuke Motoki and Kaname Tsuge on 10th May 2011. This meeting was also attended by Frank Ward (solicitor representing both employees) and Jonathan Baum, Interpreter. He said that both were Japanese Nationals who had worked with A.P. O’Brien as exercise riders, in Gosuke Motoki’s case since 2003 and in Kaname Tsuge’s case since 2000 with the exception of a 10 month period in 2004.

He said that in Mr. Motoki’s case he fully accepted that he had layed the 34 horses trained by his employer between the period 11th May 2007 and 12th May 2010 as set out in his betting records which had been supplied by Betfair to the Turf Club. Mr. Motoki accepted that this was in contravention of the Rules of Racing but said he had no knowledge of these rules until he was informed of the prohibition on laying horses by Mr. O’Brien in an insert in his December 2010 pay slip. He said that he had a poor grasp of the English language and that both he and his colleague Kaname Tsuge tended not to mix with other members of staff at Ballydoyle because of this.

Mr. Gordon went through the various lay bets (see attached schedule) and summarized Mr. Motoki’s transactions as follows:

Number of horses layed to lose 34

Amount won €1,369.00

Amount lost €1,415.65

Loss on transactions €46.55

Mr. Gordon said that Kaname Tsuge had accepted that he layed 61 horses trained by A.P. O’Brien to lose between 25th March 2007 and 29th October 2010. Mr. Tsuge accepted that this was in contravention of the Rules of Racing and also said that he had no knowledge of these rules until he was informed of the prohibition on laying horses in an insert in his December 2010 pay slip. Like Mr. Motoki, he had a poor grasp of the English language. Mr. Gordon also said that Mr. Tsuge made no effort to cover up what he was doing and even used Ballydoyle, Rosegreen as the registered address on his Betfair account.

Chris Gordon also went through Kaname Tsuge’s lay bets and summarized his transactions as follows:

Number of horses layed to lose 61

Amount won €5,101.19

Amount lost €4,500.84

Profit on transactions €600.35

He accepted that in both cases there was a clear lack of knowledge of the Rule. He said that there was a lack of guidance from the employer and that the language barrier also contributed to the problem. Mr. Gordon said that in his view both Mr. Motoki and Mr. Tsuge were gambling in the majority of cases by laying the Ballydoyle horses rather than using inside information.

Mr. Gordon then outlined how the Turf Club became aware of the transactions. He said that he was contacted by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) after they investigated similar lay transactions on British racing following information supplied by Betfair. He said that Betfair knew that both employees were connected with Ballydoyle but despite this they hadn’t informed the Turf Club. As a result the Turf Club requested information from Betfair and the information relating to both accounts was then furnished.

In conclusion he said that both Gosuke Motoki and Kaname Tsuge co-operated fully with the investigation.

In his written submission, A.P. O’Brien confirmed that both Gosuke Motoki and Kaname Tsuge were employed by him as exercise riders. He said that he trusted them utterly and held them in the highest regard. He also said that he found them to be absolutely honest and conscientious in all their dealings with him and their fellow employees. He also outlined details of changes that have now been made to ensure that all employees are aware that they cannot lay horses or pass information of any kind to third parties. He said that he accepted the conclusion reached by the Turf Club Head of Security that both individuals were gambling rather than deriving an unfair advantage from the availability of inside information.

In his plea, Frank Ward reiterated many of the points already raised and highlighted his client’s lack of knowledge of the Rules, the language barrier and the fact that both were gambling rather than using inside information.

Having considered the evidence, the Committee noted that this was only the second case of its type to be dealt with by the Turf Club. They said that their main concern was to ensure that the integrity of racing was maintained to the highest standards and that they regarded the practice of stable employees laying horses to lose as a most serious offence. They said that in an ordinary situation, offences such as this would warrant a disqualification but in this case a disqualification would not be imposed in view of a number of mitigating factors. Firstly, they accepted that both Mr. Motoki and Mr. Tsuge had no knowledge that what they were doing was wrong. However, this didn’t make what they did right. Secondly, both made no attempt to conceal their addresses and in Mr. Tsuge’s case he actually used Ballydoyle, Rosegreen as his registered address with Betfair. They also noted that the bets were modest in general and that there were many other horses layed by them from other stables so in effect there was a pattern of activity which indicated that both accounts were “gambling”. The Committee noted that the laying of Aidan O’Brien’s horses appeared to be based on perceptions rather than solid information. The Committee also noted the language difficulties. Having taken all these factors into account the Committee imposed a fine of €2,000 on both Gosuke Motoki and Kaname Tsuge and ordered that both pay costs of €350.

The Committee was critical of Betfair and in the manner that the information was brought to the attention of the Turf Club. They felt that it should have been furnished much earlier under the Memorandum of Understanding and that the trigger for receiving the information shouldn’t have been a request from the Turf Club following the BHA investigation. They said it was imperative that there is closer co-operation between Betfair and the Turf Club in future and that where Betfair has any suspicion that it be brought to the Turf Club’s attention at the earliest opportunity.

The case was presented by Conal Boyce, Wilkinson & Price Solicitors, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Gosuke Motoki and Kaname Tsuge were represented by Frank Ward, Frank Ward & Company Solicitors, Upper Ormond Quay, Dublin 7.

Clock is ticking towards Tipp’s Super Sunday

Super Sunday, 2nd October 2011 is shaping up to be an exciting day’s racing at Tipperary Racecourse. With an eight-race mixed card, there are both top class Flat & National Hunt races on offer. The pick of the action on the Flat is the €65,000 Group 3 Coolmore Stud Home Of Champions Concorde Stakes, an extended 7f contest for three-year-olds and upwards, which was won last year by Emulous, who recently landed the Group 1 Coolmore Fusiachi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Leopardstown. Dermot Weld, trainer of Emulous, will be hoping for a repeat win as he has two strong representatives engaged in a field of nineteen entries with Galway Topaz Mile winner, Stunning View, and recent Fairy Bridge Stakes runner up, Anam Alta, sure to make a bold bid. Other notable entries include the likes of Minstrel Stakes winner, Across The Rhine, and last week’s Curragh runner up Bay Knight with Look At Me, Six Of Hearts and Seeharn others to consider.

The National Hunt action on the card sees no less than three Graded races take place. The most valuable of them is the €52,500 Grade 2 Friends Of Tipperary Hurdle a race that was dominated by the legendary Istabraq in the late 1990’s, with Aidan O’Brien’s charge winning three consecutive renewals of the race. In more recent years, it has been won by the likes of Solerina, Harchibald and Go Native. This year’s race has attracted a quality field of eleven entries with Grimes Hurdle winner Captain Cee Bee being opposed once again by Edward O’Grady’s The Real Article who finished a very close second in that race while Galway Hurdle runner up Fosters Cross represents trainer Tom Mullins and the smart Luska Lad could also take his chance.

The Novices’ take centre stage from there, with the Grade 3 Like A Butterfly Novice Chase and the Grade 3 Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle always proving to be informative and exciting contests. Twelve entries were received for the Like A Butterfly Novice Chase with the ‘Mouse’ Morris trained First Lieutenant, narrow winner of the Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last March, catching the eye while the likes of recent chase winners Ainama, Sorceror and Slievedaragh should feature prominently. A dozen entries also appear in the Dolores Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle with recent Fairyhouse winner, Steps To Freedom, from the Jessica Harrington yard, expected to be fully tested by Galway winner Tavern Times with the smart bumper mare Dazzling Susie and John Kiely’s Carlingford Lough all likely to make their presence felt.

As it is also Prix de l’Arc day in Longchamp, Racing Journalists Damien McElroy and David Byrnes will preview both cards in the Enclosure in Tipperary Racecourse at 12:45pm. This will include interviews with trainers and jockeys to help you pick your winners for the day and of course the main action from Longchamp will be shown live on the big screen.

Following their historic win in Croke Park against Dublin, the Tipperary Minor Football team will be at the races on Sunday to show off the Tom Markham Cup to all their fans.

To encourage people to come early Tipperary Racecourse is offering FREE ADMISSION to the first 100 people through the turnstiles. The regular admission price is €15 for adults and €10 for OAP’s/Students with the option of a €5 TOTE betting voucher or €5 food voucher. All accompanied children under 18 are FREE.

Gates open at 12noon and the first race on the day will be at 2pm.