Racing week: Henrietta Knight wins appeal

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  • Henrietta Knight and Timmy Murphy have won their appeal against the Jockey Club, after it handed out penalties related to the running and riding of novice hurdler Harringay at Towcester earlier this month.

    Knight’s £1,000 fine and Murphy’s 14-day suspension were rescinded after a lengthy inquiry in London. The disciplinary panel found that, in light of veterinary evidence heard during the inquiry, it was not unreasonable for Murphy to have ridden Harringay tenderly for the closing stages of the race.

    Harringay had a history of wind problems and Murphy reported that she was “gurgling” on the approach to the third last hurdle in the race.

    Representatives of Knight and Murphy attacked the Jockey Club’s disciplinary system, labelling the ‘non-triers’ rule as “badly drafted” and claiming that the Club’s ‘guilty until proven innocent’ policy puts trainers and jockeys in an impossible position.

    Records shattered at December Sale

    A son of Sadler’s Wells topped the Tattersalls December Yearling Sale with a record price. The colt, out of the Group 3 winning Pursuit of Love mare Love Everlasting, topped proceedings when he sold for 260,000 guineas to London-based bloodstock agent Charlie Gordon-Watson.

    In total, 167 lots sold for 4,314,600 guineas, a rise of 53% on last year’s sale. Eight yearlings sold for 100,000 guineas or more compared with two at last year’s sale.

    Call for minimum weights rise

    Sports scientist Dr Giles Warrington of the University of Limerick has voiced concerns about standard racing weights for jockeys.

    A recent study found that flat jockeys revealed abnormal dehydration and low body fat, while more than half had less than normal bone density which could lead to osteoporosis or brittle bone disease.

    The final study will be delivered to the Turf Club next year but Warrington recommends minimum weights should go up by 7lb for the Flat and 5lb over jumps.

    Exeter focuses on young blood

    Exeter Racecourse is to introduce half price admission to students at local universities and colleges in an attempt to target a younger racing crowd. Directors had been considering whether to sell the popular independent track to a group such as Northern Racing, but have decided to keep their autonomy

    Injured Brennan to miss big-race

    Paddy Brennan will miss the ride on Red Devil Robert in the Hennessy Cognac Gold Cup tomorrow after falling in the first race at Uttoxeter on Thursday.

    Brennan parted company with 50-1 shot Presenter at the sixth flight in the first division of the Weatherby’s Insurance Novices’ Hurdle. He was taken to Ridgeway Hospital near Swindon where Doctors found he had fractured a small bone in his tibia. Although he underwent surgery to pin the bone, he has not been plastered so should be weight bearing almost immediately and back on the racecourse within six weeks.

    Meanwhile the Hennessy ride on Red Devil Robert is open and trainer Paul Nicholls is believed to be approaching Barry Geraughty about the ride.

    Lifetime award to Balding brothers

    Former trainers Ian and Toby Balding collected the award for a lifetime’s contribution to racing at the annual Sir Peter O’Sullevan Charitable Trust Award Lunch.

    Ian Balding will forever be associated with the great Mill Reef, while Toby is one of the few trainers to have won jump racing’s biggest three contests – the Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National.

    The brothers join the illustrious list of previous award winners which includes the Marquess of Hartington, Major Dick Hern, HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Lester Piggott, Dr Vincent O’Brien, HM The Queen, Pat Eddery and Dick Francis.

    Kingscliff set for £1m bonus

    Kingscliff won the first part of the £1million Betfair bonus, when he toppled 2005 Gold Cup winner Kicking King in last Saturday’s Betfair Chase at Haydock. Kicking King went on to finish third behind runner-up Beef or Salmon. The win makes Kingscliff the only chaser currently eligible for the £1 million bonus, which is on offer for any horse that wins the Betfair Chase, the King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

    One to watch

    A sister to Soviet Song has gone into training at James Fanshawe’s Pegasus Stables in Newmarket. The unnamed yearling is owned and bred by the Elite Racing Club syndicate, for whom Soviet Song has won five times at the highest level and netted almost £1 million in prize-money.

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