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Former owner Fisher dies after reaching century mark

Jack Fisher, pictured celebrating with grandson Joel after turning 100
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Jack Fisher, whose red and white racing silks were carried by stars of the turf such as Royal Heroine, Katies and Mysilv, has died just weeks after celebrating his 100th birthday.

Mick Ryan trained subsequent Breeders' Cup Mile heroine Royal Heroine to win the 1982 Princess Margaret Stakes, following which Fisher sold her to Robert Sangster.

Katies won the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Coronation Stakes for Terry Ramsden after he bought her from Fisher, who named Mysilv – later a jumps star for syndicate and club owners – after his wife Sylvia.

Speaking to the Racing Post following a party to celebrate reaching the century milestone in July, Fisher – a lifelong Arsenal fan – said: "I still follow racing, although not as an owner. It's always on the television, though. Racing is in my blood."

Betfair extend big-chase deals

Betfair have extended their sponsorship of Haydock's Betfair Chase and Sandown's Tingle Creek, the Jockey Club announced on Wednesday.

The firm, which has sponsored the Haydock feature since 2005 and the Tingle Creek since 2015, will now sponsor both Grade 1 contests through the 2019 renewals.

Paul Fisher, chief executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: "As a major supporter of British racing, we’re delighted Betfair is continuing to partner with us on two of the biggest days of jump racing in the calendar.

Betfair’s Barry Orr added: "We are once again delighted to back two of the most exciting and iconic races in the National Hunt calendar."

Sizing John is the early favourite for the Betfair Chase with the sponsors at 2-1, while Altior heads the Tingle Creek betting at 4-6.

Also on Wednesday, Cheltenham announced BetBright had renewed their sponsorship portfolio for a further three years.

The firm will continue its sponsorship of the BetBright Cup, the competition between Britain and Ireland at the Cheltenham Festival, as well as the Cotswold Chase on Festival Trials Day, won in dramatic and ultimately tragic circumstances by Many Clouds last year.

John Ross funeral date

The funeral mass for John Ross, a former director of Punchestown, who died in tragic circumstances in St James's Hospital in Dublin on Tuesday after suffering severe burns in a fire at his home in Grangecon, County Wicklow will take place on Friday.

Ross, who was a solicitor based in Dublin, was 68 and is survived by his wife, Mary, three sons, two daughters and an extended family. 

Paying tribute yesterday Dick O'Sullivan, general manager of Punchestown, said: "I knew John well. He was a lovely man and always had Punchestown close to his heart. He was a great supporter during the difficult times we had here some years ago."

Ross will be reposing at St Paul's Oratory in Baltinglass, this evening from 4pm to 8pm with prayers at 8pm. His removal from the family home will take place tomorrow morning to arrive at St Oliver Plunkett's Church Grangecon for Requiem Mass at 12.0 followed by burial in Ballynure Cemetery.

Family flowers only please. Donations, if desired to St James's Hospital Burns Unit. There will be a donation box in the church.

Young stars needed for Champions Day

The search is on for three under-18s to take a starring role on Qipco British Champions Day.

Qipco British Champions Series, together with The Pony Club, is offering three lucky racegoers the chance to make the parade-ring presentation to the winners of the Balmoral Handicap, the closing race at Ascot on October 21. 

David Redvers, racing manager to Qipco director Sheikh Fahad, said: "A key objective for Qipco is to engage the younger generation in horseracing and to make the sport fun, accessible and memorable for them. The partnership with The Pony Club allows us to do just that."

The three competition winners will present a trophy to the owner, trainer and jockey of the winning horse of the Balmoral Handicap and also receive a pair of Winning Post Enclosure tickets for two accompanying adults, as well as admission to The Racing Lounge. 

The competition is open now via the British Champions Series website. Entrants must be 18 or younger and do not need to be a member of The Pony Club. The competition closes at midnight on October 1. Winners will be selected at random and contacted during the week starting October 2.

On the day there are also a host of activities on offer for under-18s, who can attend for free if accompanied by an adult. There is also an after-party being headlined by award-winning British singer-songwriter George Ezra.

Barraquero blow

Barraquero has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a shin injury.

Trainer Brian Meehan reported that the colt sustained the injury when winning the Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

A statement on www.brianmeehan.com read: "Barraquero is out for the rest of the season.

"He suffered a small fissure in his shin which he sustained in the Richmond which has proved difficult to heal while trying to prepare him for the Middle Park.

"He will now enjoy the winter off and be prepared for the Guineas next year."

Barraquero is a general 33-1 shot for the Qipco-backed Classic at Newmarket.

I still follow racing, although not as an owner. It's always on the television, though. Racing is in my blood
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