Racing week: Martin Pipe fined

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  • A bad week for . . .

    Martin Pipe, who was fined £7,500 after refusing to allow his beaten favourite, Tanterari, to enter the sampling unit at Haydock. The champion trainer, fined £3,000 last month for a non-trier, maintained that the unit could be a cause of the spread of infection. Pipe avoided a temporary ban on entries by apologising to the Jockey Club for his behaviour.

    But a good week for . . .

    The Jockey Club, which secured legal access to mobile phone records of those under suspicion of race fixing. Arguments about individuals’ rights to privacy were heard in the High Court, but a judge ruled that the integrity of racing was more important.

    Congratulations to . . .

    Top jump jockey turned trainer, Adrian Maguire, who has been celebrating after enjoying his first success as a trainer. Celestial Wave made a winning debut in the mares’ bumper at Limerick on Thursday to chalk up Maguire’s first winner outside the point-to-point circuit.

    Over the water

    Jockeys at Newmarket took matters into their own hands last week. That’s Newmarket, South Africa. Night racing at the Johannesburg track was abandoned after riders downed tools because heavy rain had turned safety into an issue. An investigation of the jockeys’ conduct by the National Horseracing Authority was launched, but the weatherman may prove the decisive witness because riders can point to more than 50mm of rain in the past 10 days.


    “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch” — the race name for a handicap hurdle awaiting race commentator Malcolm Tomlinson at Bangor next week. Phonetically, it is Llan vire pooll guin gill go ger u queern drob ooll llandus ilio gogo goch.

    So farewell then

    Willie Dowling, the Scottish-based jumps jockey who, after nine years with Len Lungo, has left for the US. The 27-year-old has joined the 30-horse stable of Jack Fisher, who was champion jumps trainer there last year, saddling 28 winners. Dowling plans to give the job as Fisher’s number two rider a three-month trial.

    Sadly missed

    David Greig, a former chairman of Ayr’s Western Meeting Club and the owner of Cockle Strand, winner of the 1982 Scottish National, has died, aged 86. As well as this contribution to Scottish racing, Greig also rode in point-to-points until he was 59.

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