A good week for

Fans of three-times champion jockey Richard Dunwoody, who revealed earlier this week that he is considering an unexpected return to race riding. However, he has quashed rumours that he might be back in the saddle for this year’s Grand National. Dunwoody was forced to quit in December 1999 due to an injury, after partnering 1,699 winners during a 17-year career. He is due to see his specialist early next week, so watch this space . . .

But a bad week for

Jockey Nash Rawiller, who has been fined $5,000 (£2,650) for wearing spurs in the Dubai Duty Free race at the Dubai World Cup meeting last Saturday. Rawiller weighed in without the spurs, but then attached them before riding Elvstroem to win the nine-furlong Group 1 race. The Emirates Racing Association confirmed that while spurs were a legitimate piece of equipment in many southern hemisphere countries, they were not allowed under its rules.

Over the water

Jockeys riding in a race at Sandown, Melbourne, Australia were caught by surprise on Wednesday when they encountered a flock of seagulls on the home straight. Five of the 11 jockeys were unseated when the flock of birds flew straight into the runners. Two of the jockeys were taken to hospital after the incident. The Melbourne Racing Club is to introduce new arrangements to prevent any similar incidents occurring in the future.

Quote-unquote

“She’s a broodmare now” — Ginger McCain’s view of Carrie Ford, who is due to ride Forest Gunner in the Grand National. Another reason, if one were even needed, for Carrie to give her very best in the saddle at Aintree next weekend.

Going, going, gone

The 1958 Cheltenham Gold Cup presented to winning connections of Kerstin has been sold on Internet auction site eBay for £8,110. Jonny Frais, who placed the cup on the site, bought it in an auction at a northern village near where the late George H Moore, who owned the mare, lived. A total of 76 bids were received before the sale. The new owner, who wished to remain anonymous, is thought to live in Ireland and owned Kerstin before selling her to Moore as a four-year-old.

Changing faces

William Haggas has taken up the presidency of the National Trainers Federation. The Newmarket-based flat trainer succeeds Mark Johnson and will serve a one-year term.

Joyce Wallsgrove, 52, is Newmarket’s new stables manager, taking over from the retiring John Holloway. Having worked for Bob and Andy Turnell, Michael Dickinson and Barry Hills, Joyce brings plenty of expertise to a classic job.

So farewell then

Britain’s most successful female jockey, Alex Greaves, has announced her retirement following a long-term battle with her weight. Greaves, 36, rode some 300 winners during her 15-year professional career. She initially made her name riding on the all-weather and made history as the first female apprentice to ride out her claim. Other female firsts for Greaves include winning a Group 1 race and competing in the Derby and 1,000 Guineas.