Jockeys await their fate
The Horseracing Regulatory Authority’s enquiry into alleged corrupt practices is set to reconvene at 2pm today, Friday 16 February. Many expect that the most well known of the defendants, Robert Winston, will be warned off after being found guilty of race-fixing. The fate of the others set to come before the enquiry – Fran Ferris, Robbie Fitzpatrick, Luke Fletcher, Ian Nicholl and four other unlicensed individuals – also hangs in the balance this afternoon.
Newmarket honours Lester Piggott
Newmarket racecourse is to stage a day of racing in honour of Lester Piggott later this year. The final details are still to be finalised but it is expected to take place on Saturday, 19 May, some 50 years after his first 2,000 Guineas win on Crepello. Piggott, 71, rode 30 British Classic winners during his amazing career.
Lisa Hancock, manager director of Newmarket, said: “Lester is a legend and one of Newmarket’s most famous residents. We felt a day named after him, 50 years on from his Guineas win, would be the perfect way to honour him.”
Trainer fined over cruelty case
Trainer Richard Guest has been fined £2,750 by the Horseracing Regulatory Authority on Thursday after admitting animal cruelty in a court case last November. Guest and his two head grooms Richard Dalton and Louise Tidman were prosecuted by the RSPCA and received two-year conditional discharges. The case surrounded the death of What’s A Filly, who had to be put down after suffering a severe infection of her near-hind leg.
Aintree’s MD to take over at Ascot
The current managing director of Aintree Racecourse, Charles Barnett, is to become the new chief executive of Ascot racecourse. Barnett, 58, has been managing director at Aintree since 1993. He will join Ascot in May, by which time the current work being undertaken to fix the problems associated with the £20m redevelopment of the course is expected to be completed. Barnett said: “Ascot is the best known racecourse in the world and I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with the board and the team there.”
Trainer crushed by falling hay
Trainer Norman Babbage is currently recovering in hospital after being crushed when two large bales of hay fell on top of him leaving him with a broken knee and internal injuries. The 44-year-old was filling haynets when some bales at the top of the stack worked their way loose and fell on top of him.