Frankie Dettori is threatening to leave the Jockeys Association if it fails to support calls to raise racing weight limits.
The Irish authorities altered weights rules last year, after a study by Limerick University last year revealed that jockeys were suffering constant dehydration and inadequate body fat and bone density. Detorri is demanding that English authorities follow suite and ease the tough laws that are compromising jockeys’ health.
Last night John Blake, chief executive of the Jockeys’ Association, was hoping to clear the air. He said that he intends to telephone Detorri to discuss his worries.
New Arab racing outlet for lower-rated horses
The Arab Racing Organisation (ARO) now includes thoroughbreds within its race programme for 2006, which runs from May to October.
Open only to Thoroughbreds and Anglo-Arabs – horses with a minimum of 12.5 per cent Arab blood – the 20 races will be exclusively for amateur riders. The contests are set to be conditions-based in the first year with Anglo-Arabs receiving weight from Thoroughbreds on a regularly monitored basis. Only Thoroughbreds three-years old and upwards who have not run within the last three months will be eligible to take part in the new races and in the same period they must not have been in the care of a licensed trainer.
Asked to assess the likely strength of competition between the two breeds, Racing Post Arab expert Sam Walker said: “The extra 13 per cent of thoroughbred blood within the thoroughbreds should not make them much better than the Anglo-Arabs.”
Further information can be found at www.aroracing.co.uk or call 01635 524445.
Inca Trail is McCain’s last dancer
Inca Trail, who finish eighth in this year’s Grand National, is set to draw Ginger McCain’s career as a trainer to a close. The gelding is set to run in the Betfred Gold Cup on 29 April.
All three of McCain’s Grand National runners are still entered in the £160,000 chase on the final day of the jumps season, but Ebony Light might try for the Scottish Grand National and Amberleigh House has been retired.
Happy Birthday Dessie
Desert Orchid celebrated his 27th Birthday this week. The veteran champion, who won the Cheltenham Gold Cup as well as four King George VI Chases, received a wealth of cards from his fans.
Earlier this year, Desert Orchid moved to Newmarket with trainer David Elsworth. Until a few months ago he was still ridden to lead out the yearlings but he is now enjoying full retirement.
Open day at new Thoroughbred Rehab Centre
The Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre (TRC) is preparing for the first open day of its new home. Last summer the centre moved to Halton, Lancaster and now staff are looking forward to showing visitors the new premises.
Carrie Humble, the TRC’s founder said: “The first open day at our new home will be a fantastic occasion. I can’t wait to show so many of our supporters what a superb facility we have created for these wonderful animals.”
The TRC provides a specialist environment of care, experienced rehabilitation and re-homing. The Open Day will be on Sunday 18 June and gates open at 12 noon. For more information (tel: 01524 812649).