BHB loses case against William Hill
A pivotal Court of Appeal ruling in favour of William Hill at the expense of the BHB has destroyed the board’s plan to fund racing through the sale of data rights. The decision has led to an immediate £17 million loss of the BHB’s annual income.
Yet as despair permeated BHB headquarters in London, William Hill director Ian Spearing threw racing a lifeline when he insisted that Britain’s powerful bookmakers are willing to pay the millions to keep racing viable- so long as the price is right.
Leading bookmaking figure Warwick Bartlett has also urged racing not to over-react.
Bartlett has suggested that now the war between William Hill and the BHB is over, it is time to negotiate a safe path for racing’s future funding.
Fallon back on Arakan
Kieren Fallon will be reunited with Arakan for the first time this season when the five-year-old vies for Group 3 glory in the Emirates Airline Minstrel Stakes at The Curragh on Sunday.
Fallon regularly partnered the Nureyev entire when he was stable jockey to trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
This season, however, he has been based with Aidan O’Brien at Ballydoyle and Arakan has had a different rider in each of his four races.
Alan Cooper, racing manager to owners the Niarchos family, believes Arakan will welcome a return to seven furlongs following his run in the Darley July Cup last week, when he was eighth to Pastoral Pursuits.
Arakan is one of two British raiders as he will be joined by the William Haggas-trained Brunel, who dead-heated in a French Group 3 last time.
Kevin Prendergast’s Mustameet, winner of the Gladness Stakes, leads the home defence along with John Oxx’s recent Listed winner Caradak.
Jim Bolger’s Tropical Lady and the Dermot Weld-trained King Jock complete the six-strong field.
A bad week for…
Kevin Darley was hit with a ten-day ban on Monday, forcing him to miss out on the King George meeting and Glorious Goodwood.
Stewards considered he had breached rule 156 (i) for failing to ride out approaching the finish on a horse who would have been placed first, second, third, fourth or any other placing for which there is prize-money.
Darley claimed he was concerned about the horse’s welfare, keeping him up against the rail because he was a “spent force”.
Although Darley realises he is guilty of not admitting this when he weighed in after the race, he feels the 10-day ban is too harsh.
The stipendiary steward however was convinced that if Darley had continued to ride, he would have finished third.
A good week for…
Four students graduating from this year’s Irish National Stud Thoroughbred Breeding Course won special awards. First prize and a gold medal went to Shirley Mooney from Dublin and Matthew Griffen from Kentucky received a silver medal for second place.
Naghmeh Qureshi-Asim, from Iran, won the John Durkan Award and Pat Kerwin was awarded with the Ireland fund of New Zealand bursary and will now spend six months working at the Cambridge stud in New Zealand, home of former champion sire Zabeel.
London 2012 will boost British racing
The BHB have predicted that London’s 2012 Olympics will indirectly enhance Britain’s racing.
BHB chief Greg Nicholls said that the Olympics going to London has shown that Britain is highly regarded in its ability to stage manage events, something it has always been recognised for in horseracing.
Watch this space
Ante-post favourite Dash To The Top will face 12 rivals when she bids for Classic glory in the Darley Irish Oaks at The Curragh on Sunday.
The filly, trained by Luca Cumani, is the 3-1 market leader with both William Hill and Ladbrokes after winning on her seasonal bow at Newcastle last month.
After being slow to come to hand in the spring, she missed the Epsom Oaks but was an easy winner of the Listed Hoppings Stakes at Gosforth Park, ridden by Joe Fanning.
Dash to the Top, daughter of Montjeu, will be partnered by Johnny Murtagh this weekend.