Kauto Star’s owner Clive Smith has presented The Brooke with a £125,000 cheque on behalf of Betfair. The pledge is in recognition of the millions of horses around the world that are not as fortunate as his own.

“”Racehorses in training in this country are lucky enough to have the best care possible, which throws the conditions experienced by the Brooke’s beneficiaries into sharp relief,”” said Mr Smith.  ““It is therefore important that charities such as these remain in the public eye and I am pleased to be associated with such a fantastic cause.””

The presentation took place at Paul Nicholls’’ yard in Somerset. A donation of £125,000 was made by Betfair following a year of fundraising activity in the racing world as part of its ‘Charity of the Year’ initiative.

“Horses, donkeys and mules are working under horrendous conditions in many of the poorest communities around the world. Horseracing has really got behind the cause, and shown their support for the Brooke this past year,” said Sir Peter O’’Sullevan CBE, Brooke patron.

Kauto Star will now begin his campaign to win the Betfair Million.

Guest faces ban

Former Grand National winner Richard Guest, 41, could face a racing ban after claims of animal cruelty.

Guest, who is now a successful trainer, was handed a two-year conditional discharge by Durham magistrates in November after admitting to causing unnecessary suffering to What’s A Filly. The horse has to be put down following a severe infection in her near-hind leg. Guest must now attend an HRA hearing on 8 February where a ban of between six and 10 months could be imposed if he is found guilty.

In 2001 Guest won the Grand National on Red Marauder.

Judge changes his mind

There was drama at the North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick on Thursday when judge Alastair Stewart changed his mind several minutes after he had announced the winner.

Mr Stewart had pronounced Classic Capers as the winner but after examining a photo he revised his decision and heralded Bang And Blame as North Yorkshire Grand National winner.

One Knight retired

Promising chaser One Knight has been retired in good health. The 11-year-old, whose victories include the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Chase at the 2003 Cheltenham Festival, the Persian War Hurdle and a Rehearsal Chase.

One Knight will spend his retirement on the North Somerset coast with Kate Gliddon, former head groom to One Knight’s trainer Phillip Hobbs.

Great Leighs saga continues

Five fixtures, previously assigned to new track Great Leighs have been handed back to the BHB. The cancelling of the March 25 and April 20 meetings signal that the Essex course could miss its 10 May opening slot – after that the earliest opened is 31 May.

Drugs tests become reality

Blood samples were taken from every runner at Warwick on Thursday as the Horse Racing Authority put into force its battle against drugs. The samples were taken an hour before the intended start time, angering a number of trainers.

The practice has been reintroduced recently after a seven year absence.