George Strawbridge buys Guineas hope Who's Steph
The Ger Lyons-trained Who's Steph, winner of the Group 3 Ballylinch Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown last month, has been bought by George Strawbridge and will carry his famous white and green colours in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Irish 1,000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown on Sunday.
A grey daughter of Zoffany, Who's Steph was previously owned by Sean Jones.
NARS to offer mentoring course after securing bookmaker funding
The National Association of Racing Staff (Nars) has agreed a £100,000 funding partnership with the country's largest independent bookmaker JenningsBet which will be used to finance a course in mentoring.
Up to 28 students each year will have the chance to study for the ILM Level 2 Introduction to Mentoring and ILM Level 2 Award in Leadership and Team Skills on a 12-week course delivered by West Suffolk College. The first enrolments will take place in September 2018.
George McGrath, CEO of Nars said: "I know this course will be very popular and is much needed. The reality is that there are already a number of staff who act as mentors, and our view is that they should be recognised with a government qualification.
"The support we are set to receive from Jenningsbet is outstanding and is an excellent example of bookmakers’ commitment to the future strength and prosperity of the sport at all levels, especially at a time when many aspect of the future funding of the sport remain uncertain."
Greg Knight, CEO of JenningsBet, said: "Racing has identified a problem in retaining young people coming into racing and we think a mentoring system in which experienced racing staff are taught how to bring through the next generation will be an important tool.
"At the end of the day racing staff keep the whole show on the road – our shops wouldn’t be able to function without horseracing and make the media rights payments and levy contributions we make without the staff in the yards. We have a moral responsibility to recognise that."
Colm O’Rourke to present stable staff trophies
Former Meath All-Ireland footballer and RTÉ GAA analyst Colm O’Rourke will present the trophies at the 2018 Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards, which take place in Knightsbrook Hotel, Trim, County Meath on Monday, May 21.
O'Rourke will join MC Richard Forristal, editor of the Racing Post in Ireland, in front of an audience made up of the finalists in each of the ten categories, their families, work colleagues and representatives of all sectors of the Irish racing and breeding industry.
At The Races extends Breeders' Cup deal
At The Races will broadcast the 2018 Breeders’ Cup exclusively live in the UK and Ireland.
In addition, Sky Sports Racing will broadcast the 2019 and 2020 events exclusively live following the launch of the new dedicated racing channel, as the successor to ATR, in January 2019.
The event will be staged this year at Churchill Downs on November 2 and 3.
ATR chief executive Matthew Imi said: “We’re delighted to have extended our long-term relationship with the Breeders’ Cup for another three years.
"The event speaks for itself in terms of its profile and position within racing on the global stage. We’re also excited about how we can help tell the story on Sky Sports Racing and leverage the considerable might of Sky Sports, Sky Sports News and Sky Sports’ digital platforms in terms of further support.”
Craig Fravel, president and chief executive of Breeders’ Cup Limited, added: “ATR has provided excellent coverage of the Breeders’ Cup for many years and we are very pleased to extend our partnership.
"The UK and Ireland are important markets for us, particularly with our recent addition of four Royal Ascot races to the 'win and you’re in' challenge series, so we are excited about the opportunities ahead with Sky Sports and Sky Sports Racing.”
Free racing at Ripon
Ripon is preparing to host its free Friday evening fixture for the third consecutive year, with the event to be sponsored by blacktype.bet.
Introduced in 2016 as part of an initiative to encourage first-time racegoers, Ripon is offering free entry into its Paddock and Course enclosures this Friday.
Managing director James Hutchinson said: “Feedback from visitors in the first two years of the initiative has proved highly positive, in particular from those experiencing racing for the first time and that encouraged us to bring back Free Friday for a third year.
“We are really pleased to be working with blacktype.bet as sponsors of the event and we are very much looking forward to delivering another fantastic fun evening of racing and music.”
Free entry to Paddock and Course Enclosures, or discounted entry to the Club Enclosure, can be reserved online by clicking here.