Connection and fans of Henrietta Knight’s fabulous campaigner, Edredon Blue, have been celebrating the horse’s outstanding career following news of his retirement earlier this week.

Winner of more than £700,000, the Jim Lewis-owned 13-year-old will enjoy his retirement with former Grand National-winning jockey Graham Thorner and his wife, Caroline in Letcombe Regis.

Edredon Bleu is perhaps best remembered for his triumph in the 2000 Queen Mother Champion Chase and his gutsy success over an extra mile in the 2003 King George VI Chase. He won no less than 21 races over jumps during his nine-year career.

First female champion jockey

Six winners last weekend enabled Lisa Cropp to capture the New Zealand jockey’s title and a place in the world horse racing record books as the first woman rider to take a national professional championship.

British female jockey Alex Greave is delighted at Cropp’s achievement, seeing it as positive for girl riders although she maintains it is still going to be a while before a female breaks through at the top level in Britain.

Goodwood embraces anticlockwise parade

A pilot scheme to parade horses anticlockwise in the paddock at Goodwood is set to become a permanent feature at the course after trainers expressed their support. Left-hand circling supposedly improves safety for grooms, jockeys and trainers and prevents them from being pinned against the rail by a fractious horse.

The change came about as a result of the serious head injury suffered by Chris Kinane, assistant trainer to Ian Williams, at Wolverhampton in April when he was kicked by a horse in the paddock.

Although the left-handed parade means the horses are closer to the public, they are at no greater risk as there is a box hedge and a wide rail between them and the paddock.

Europe verses Asia at York

A clash is in prospect between Japanese superstar Zenno Rob Roy and top Italian horse, Electrocutionist, in the Juddmonte International at York this weekend. The highlight of Zenno Rob Roy’s season was an impressive three-lengths victory in the Japan Cup. He took up lodgings at Geog Wragg’s Newmarket stables just over a fortnight ago.

A bad week for

Two years after shattering his left leg in a freak accident at Huntingdon, jump jockey Liam Cummins, 27, has reluctantly accepted medical advice and retired. The Hungerford-based jockey broke his tibia in seven places with the knee suffering a further three fractures. Cummins, who rode in the region of 120 winners, is now searching for employment that will keep him in racing.

A good week for

Robert Winston has been promoted to odds-on favouritism for the first time in the Flat jockeys’ title race after the red-hot rider partnered yet another winner at Haydock yesterday. This latest win is his 16th success in the past fortnight and has put him two short of gaining his century. With seven more wins than his nearest rival, Winston is well on his way to winning the title.

And finally…

Pat Day, the world’s leading earnings winner has announced his retirement. Winner of a staggering $297,941,912 and four wins in the Breeder’s Cup Classic around a career tally of 8,804, Day, 51, has decided to hang up his saddle following a short sabbatical.

Voted into the Racing Hall of Fame in 1991, he has received an Eclipse Award as outstanding rider on four occasions, the last time that same year and twice led the US earnings in a single season.

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