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Racing week: Top fillies out of action


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  • Eswarah retires: Set back for Ouija Board

    Winner of the 2005 Oaks, Eswarah, has been retired to stud following a knee injury. The filly’s trainer Michael Jarvis believes that repeated running on hard ground may have resulted in the injury and has joined calls for improvements in the management of the going at tracks around the country.

    Fans of the outstanding Ouija Board have had their hopes of seeing the filly back in action on the track this weekend dashed following the news that she has suffered a minor set back in her race preparations. Ouija Board is now expected to return to action, after suffering an injury at Royal Ascot at York, at the Group 1 Prix Vermeille at Longchamp on Sunday 11 September.

    Race Tech staff snub job offers

    Hopes that the ongoing stall handlers’ dispute could be resolved by Race Tech staff being found work on the all-weather this winter are very thin, according to a Race Tech spokesman.

    Arena Leisure’s racing director Ian Renton has stressed that a letter offering RaceTech handlers winter jobs was not simply a goodwill gesture and that he had always intended to take on RaceTech staff.

    Jockeys boycotted last Monday’s Wolverhampton fixture, at which Arena’s in-house team of handlers had operated for the first time because of safety concerns. The Jockey Club has confirmed that the new handlers have received accreditation and meet the same standards as RaceTech members.

    Rather than waiting to be offered new jobs, RaceTech handlers have resigned themselves to imminent redundancy and some are reported to be looking forward to a career change.

    One to watch…

    The Martin Pipe–trained Say What You See is set to make a belated US debut tonight after the tail winds of Hurricane Katrina forced the post-ponement of the jumps race at Saratoga on Wednesday. The five-year-old will have his final run for Pipe in the rescheduled Grade 1 New York Turf Writers’ Steeplechase this evening.

    A good week for…

    Natalia Gemelova rode her first winner in six months on the first day she was able to draw an allowance again. From Thursday, jockeys who failed to ride out their claims are entitled to a weight reduction proportionate to the number of winners they have ridden up to a career total of 95.

    Gemelova became the first rider to take full advantage of this right when taking the opening nursery on 33-1 chance Dasheena at Carlisle yesterday. But by the end of the day Gemelova’s boyfriend David Allan had done one better than his girlfriend having ridden two winners.

    A bad week for…

    Sam Hitchcott was taken to Frenchay Hospital following a horrific fall at Chepstow on Monday. His mount Tetcott shattered both forelegs in the mile handicap, bringing down Jimmy Fortune aboard the chasing Cool Temper.

    Medical staff were on track for 35min stabilising the unconscious Hitchcott before taking him to hospital. On Monday evening he had precautionary x-rays on his chest and collarbone. Jimmy Fortune and Cool Temper were able to walk away from the fall, albeit badly shaken, but sadly Tetcott had to be destroyed.

    Twenty-two year old Hitchcott has ridden 18 winners this year and partnered a winner at the Dubai International Racing Carnival.

    Fun at the seaside

    Nina Carberry had a fantastic day at Laytown beach meeting, partnering four-year old Rockazar to victory in the seven-furlon Hibernia Steel Amateur Riders’ Handicap yesterday.

    Carberry’s first winner at the beach meeting was won by such a small margin that it has meant that Andrew Coonan, who came out of semi retirement to partner runner-up Moon At Midnight, will have keep going if he is to ride his 55th winner and finally lose his 3lb claim.

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