Racing week: Thumbs-up for safer goggles

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  • Kieren Fallon and Pat Smullen donned the first shatterproof goggles to be used in Irish racing at Naas on Wednesday night. Afterwards Fallon said that he liked the goggles, which are designed to fit under riding helmets and are anti-misting, anti-shatter and anti-scratching.

    The introduction of the goggles to Ireland followed a four-year development initiative involving the Turf Club and manufacturer UVEX, who also manufacture goggles for motor cycling and skiing. UVEX claim that the goggles have been impact-tested to illustrate no damage at just under 100mph.

    The goggles will be made widely available to jockeys at a cost of around €35. It will be up to the Turf Club to decide whether they become mandatory.

    A good week for . . .

    Weatherbys, who have announced another set of record annual results. Originally dedicated to the racing administration fund and producing the Stud Book, Weatherby’s has diversified with great success. Chairman Johnny Weatherby explained that the Stud Book has been running as a not-for profit business for the third year. Weatherby’s owes its increasing profitability to the bank and its asset finance division.

    But a bad week for . . .

    Esteemed female rider, Lisa Jones has been suffering from a lull in fortunes, having not had a win for the last three weeks. A six-hour drive to Carlisle for one ride on Wednesday proved fruitless when Jones finished last. Jones, from South Africa, has decided to try her luck in the States this winter if her form continues to dwindle. James Toller, for whom Jones has ridden 16 winners, is disappointed that she is considering leaving and has stated that he will give her as many opportunities as he can beforehand.

    Watch this space

    Having been accused of corruption and deliberate misuse of inside information by the Jockey Club, jockey Gary Carter is requesting a four-month delay before he is required to answer the charges in court, claiming the cost of legal fees has left him no option but to represent himself. Carter, who says he needs time to organise his case, is aware that his decision means he will be up against a top barrister. He claims he cannot afford to gamble more money on the case when his career has already been ruined.

    Over the water

    Yann Porzier, one of France’s most well known jump racing trainers, has been arrested along with 10 of his staff on suspicion of using performance-enhancing drugs on his horses. Porzier has been banned from running horses under his name, training or being present on training grounds pending the publication of a police investigation.

    New Derby for jump jockeys

    The first ever Sodexho Prestige Jump Jockey’s Derby is to take part over the unique mile-and-a-half course at Epsom on 7 July. Epsom holds the Derby at the beginning of June, the Amateur Derby on August Bank Holiday and the Apprentice Derby in October. The new Jump Jockey Derby will complete this prestigious quartet.

    For your diary

    A charity race day at Newmarket on Saturday has an England football shirt signed by Wayne Rooney, among other items, to be sliently auctioned. Alternatively there is a round of golf with Frankie Dettori and Ray Cochrane. Meanwhile, at Newby next Thursday, the Thoroughbred Breeders Association stages its own charity race night for the benefit of the association and the Starlight Children’s Foundation

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