Perth boosts prize-money fund to £1.25 million
Perth is to boost its prize-money next year to nearly £1.25 million, a 35 per cent increase on 2017.
The upturn includes a new appearance money scheme across the course's 15 fixtures, at which average prize-money per race will be increased to £11,500 from £8,500, with the hope being that stimulates a rise in field sizes.
Chief executive Hazel Peplinski said: “The step change in prize-money levels for horsemen, which, significantly, is right across the board from our Class 1 races right down to the Class 5 races, has to directly impact the field sizes to be sustained long-term."
In addition to the prize-money increases, Perth’s 2018 fixture list features the addition of a second Saturday fixture in June, which it is hoped will prove as popular as the track’s other Saturday meeting in August, which is regularly a sell-out.
Peplinski added: "We hope to turn the heads of a few trainers who would normally flick past the Perth cards in the racing calendar – ignore us at your peril would be my message."
Concussed Downey to be reassessed before return
Robbie Downey, the 22-year-old apprentice who was concussed in a fall at Dundalk on Thursday night, will be reassessed next week.
Dr Adrian McGoldrick, the Turf Club's chief medical officer, said: "Robbie was briefly unconscious before being taken to hospital to be fully checked out.
"Apart from concussion he is fine. He's home in good form and will have a concussion test on December 28 before getting the all-clear to resume riding."
JJ Slevin loses whip ban appeal
Jockey JJ Slevin has lost his appeal against a five-day whip ban imposed at Punchestown on December 10.
Slevin was found guilty of using his whip with excessive force and frequency on Flynsini, who was beaten a head when second in a 3m2f handicap chase. He will serve his ban on December 26, 27, 28, 29 and 31.
Trainer Patrick Coffey has lost his appeal against the two penalties imposed on him at Navan on December 9. Coffey was fined €2,000 following an inquiry into the running and riding of The Monks Kitchen, who finished ninth in a maiden hurdle. The horse was banned from racing for 42 days.
John J Fitzpatrick, who rode The Monks Kitchen, did not appeal the five-ban imposed on him.
Groom-turned-trainer Brendan Murray dies at 85
Former stable groom-turned-trainer Brendan Murray has died aged 85.
Murray, known in racing as Brian, held a licence between 1989 and 2002, sending out Time To Fly to win six handicaps.
His funeral takes place at 1pm on Friday, January 5, at St Leonard Catholic Church in Malton.
Crouch banned after whip infringement
Hector Crouch has been suspended for 15 days, with five of them deferred for two months, following a disciplinary panel hearing called after he infringed the sport's whip rules for the fifth time in the space of six months. Crouch is banned from December 29 to January 8.
The panel also fined trainer Ivan Furtado £750 after Intensical tested positive for a prohibited substance at Doncaster on June 18.
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