Future of Maktoum horses undecided

The funeral of Sheikh Maktoum Al Maktoum took place in Dubai yesterday (Thursday) but the future of his 90 two-year-olds and 98 older horses at Sheikh Maktoum’s Gainsborough Stud in Berkshire is yet to be decided.

Michael Goodbody, who manages Sheikh Maktoum’s Gainsborough Stud is carrying on as normal until instruction from Dubai is received. Goodbody hopes to be notified within the next two weeks as to what will happen with the Sheikh’s interests.

As well as the race horses, there are also 20 stallions standing under the Gainsborough Stud banner in Europe, South Africa and North America.

Rathgar Beau joins the sick list

Rathgar Beau has become the latest high profile jumper to be ruled out for the rest of the season. Trainer Eamon Sheehy has confirmed that the ten-year-old will be out of action until the end of the year because of a tendon injury.

The news of Rathgar Beau’s injury comes within days of the season-threatening setback suffered by Harchibald, favourite for the Champion Hurdle, and the tendon problems that ruled Kicking King out of the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Inglis Drever out of the World Hurdle.

Australian Horse of the Year dies of heart failure

Jeune, a former Australian Horse of the Year who ranked among Australia’s top stallions, died of heart failure on Tuesday at Collingrove Stud in Victoria, Australia.

The 16-year-old son of Kalaglow entered stud in 1996 and sired 14 stakes winners from his first seven crops, including multiple Group 1 winner Mummify, victor in this year’s International. Other notable runners include Australian millionaire and 2005 Melbourne Cup runner-up On A Jeune and Group 1 winner True Steel.

Jeune, who was often overlooked by breeders, sired 212 winners from 326 starters, earning an astonishing $11,694,969. He currently ranks 12th among Australian sires and stood at Collingrove for $8,900.

He began his career in his native England where he won five of 17 starts, including a pair of group races.

Carberry hopes for swift return

Jockey Paul Carberry hopes to be back in the saddle in two or three weeks after fracturing a bone in his neck at Leopardstown last week.

Carberry parted company with Church Island in the Ascon/Rohcon Novice Chase on December 28. Despite riding at Leopardstown the following day, a later visit to a specialist confirmed he needs to take a fortnight off.

Thankfully Carberry is not in too much pain but the injury has denied him the chance of partnering crack novice Iktitaf in the Anglo Irish Bank Corporate Treasury Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown on Saturday.

Noel Meade’s charge, who won the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse last month, will now be ridden by Tony McCoy.

Cheltenham looks into ‘low-sun’

Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse has been reviewing the running order of the next scheduled fixture after admitting that the track will take urgent steps to address the problems caused by low sun.

Claisse claims that the course management is in dialogue with the scientific community to try and come up with a solution to the low-sun problem that has caused a number of obstacles to be left out at recent meetings.

The dazzling effect of the sunlight caused six fences to be omitted from the two-mile-five-furlong Unicoin Homes Chase won by Fondmort, in the interests of safety.

Not all trainers were in favour of taking out fences but Claisse said that, even without having to jump the last four fences on New Year’s Day, jockeys found negotiating their way to the finish line a precarious task.

BHB rejects claims

BHB Racing has rejected claims that an excess of racing was responsible for a recent spate of injuries to high profile jumpers.

Although Harchibald, Inglis Drever and Kicking King are all to miss the Cheltenham Festival, trainer Henrietta Knight blames an increase in tendon problems on the tracks rather than the horses.

According to Knight the tracks cannot take the amount of racing they are forced to withstand. She also voiced concerns over modern watering practices.

BHB racing director Ruth Quinn refuted claims that the tracks are being used excessively, claiming that there was 19 fewer jumping fixtures last year than in 1993 and there are no additional opportunities for horses.