- £1 million triple crown for hurdlers
- Racing reviews drug sampling
- London racecourse plans dropped
- Ferris to appeal against ban
- Conditional jockey out for several months
- Iffraaj retired to stud
A new £1 million triple crown-style bonus has been announced for any horse who can win the Fighting Fifth, Christmas and Champion Hurdles.
Under the new scheme it’s not just the owner who will benefit: all connections of the horse will stand to gain, including the horse’s lad and the yard’s other stable staff.
If any horse can follow in the footsteps of Kribensis — the only horse to win all three races to date — £700,000 will be paid to the winning owner, £150,000 to the trainer, £100,000 to the groom and £50,000 to the victorious yard’s stable staff.
The Horseracing Regulatory Authority (HRA) is to review the way it deals with drug samples following two incidents in the past 18 months when “positive post-race test were later found to be negative.
The most high profile of these came this summer when the John Gosden-trained Nannina returned a positive sample after winning the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot. But her confirmatory test, the B Sample, showed no trace of the banned substance and the filly was allowed to keep the race.
Forensic scientist Dr Janet Thompson will head an independent review into the HRA’s counter analysis procedures. The results are expected in December.
Plans for London City Racecourse have been shelved following objections from local residents. Redbridge Borough Council last week agreed to buy back the lease for the Fairlop Waters site after a seven-year saga that included two failed planning applications. The £100 million development originally included plans for a 10,000-capacity grandstand and floodlit evening racing.
Fran Ferris, 25, has become the first jockey to have his licence withdrawn for not being a “fit and proper person”. He has said he will appeal against the decision, which prevents him from riding until next spring at the earliest.
Ferris is one of a number of individuals facing charges in the race-fixing inquiry which is due to be heard in January, although the HRA insists the withdrawal of Ferris’s licence is unconnected to this. Ferris has a history of alcohol-related incidents and received a suspended jail sentence for wounding in July. He also has an extensive record with the stewards and has fallen foul of the mobile phone regulations in the changing room.
Ferris can reapply for his licence from 17 March next year.
Conditional jockey Mark Nicholls is expected to be out of action for several months after suffering serious concussion when his mount dived through the wing of a fence at Fakenham last Friday.
Iffraaj, a two-time winner of Group Two races the Park Stakes and Lennox Stakes, has been retired to stud. The five-year-old will stand at Kildangon Stud in Ireland.