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Sponsored walk for children's charities replaces cancelled Ascot fundraiser day

Property Race Day at Ascot has been cancelled for the last two years
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Sponsored walk for children's charities replaces cancelled Ascot fundraiser day

A sponsored walk raising money for five children's charities will take place on September 10 after a fundraising raceday at Ascot in July was cancelled for a second successive year by Covid-19.

The Hoof It For PRD sponsored walk over eight and a quarter miles has been organised by the creators of the Property Race Day, which would typically raise £250,000 for selected charities LandAid, WellChild, Trusts for African Schools, Dusty Yak and Chernobyl Children in Need.

Corporate teams and individuals can enter, with prizes including raceday packages at Ascot and a case of champagne available for those raising the most funds. 

Property Race Day chairman David Erwin said: "We really hope everyone will get involved in an event which is accessible to all."

For more information and to sign up to the sponsored walk, visit www.hoofitforprd.co.uk.


Sunday Series fixture rescheduled

Haydock's cancelled Sky Bet Sunday Series fixture has been rescheduled to take place at the same course on September 12 with all seven races to feature on ITV Racing.

The meeting, which will be broadcast on ITV4 starting at 4pm, will be the final fixture of the new evening series, which offers £600,000 in total prize-money, following Sandown on August 22.

Last Sunday's meeting at Haydock was called off due to waterlogging at the track. The first Sunday Series fixture had taken place at Musselburgh on July 25.


Fontwell forced to cancel next week's fixture following drainage works

Officials at Fontwell have been forced to cancel the track's first meeting since the return of full crowds next Thursday due to drainage works.

The track has cancelled several meetings due to waterlogging in recent seasons so a decision was made to carry out drainage works but the course has not recovered in time for its popular ladies' night.

"We've recently been completing vital drainage works to our track but unfortunately the recovery of these areas has taken longer than we anticipated," said Fontwell's clerk of the course Philip Hide. 

"It's disappointing but we have to make sure the track is in a good condition. There's no room for ground that isn't up to standard. We'd just be letting ourselves down, alongside the other obvious risks."

The track has carried out secondary works, which relate to the sand slits that helps water percolate down into the main drainage system.

An additional all-weather meeting will take place at Wolverhampton on Thursday after a suitable jump fixture replacement was unable to be found, with the six-race card able to divide to eight races if required.


Browne forced to postpone world tour with Logo Hunter

The world tour has not been cancelled. It has just been postponed. Veteran trainer Michael Browne had been looking forward to a trip around the world with Logo Hunter, who Seamie Heffernan labelled as being the best sprinter in Ireland this season, but the Breeders' Cup and Meydan have been put on hold due to a setback.

Logo Hunter was a disappointing fifth in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh on Oaks weekend, and was found to have pulled muscles in his back after the race. The injury is worse than what was first feared, and the bargain buy will be given plenty of time to recuperate. 

Logo Hunter: on the easy list

Browne said: "We were hoping to go to the Breeders' Cup and Meydan – he'd have loved it out there – but unfortunately he needs a bit of time off.

"He tore muscles in his back in the Sapphire Stakes and it's looking like he will need about three months off. In the grand scheme of things, it's not the worst injury in the world. He's still a very young horse, only a three-year-old, so we'll give him time now and hopefully he will come back better than ever next season."


Two new categories added to Go North series

Two new categories have been added to the Racing Post Go North series for the 2021-2022 jumps season. Middle-Distance Hurdle and Bumper divisions will take place at Kelso's fixture on March 26 on the Go North Weekend, which will also include fixtures at Musselburgh and Carlisle over three days between March 25-27.

Each category will be renamed in honour of a northern racing star, with the BHA asking fans to head to its Twitter account or use the hashtag #GoNorthSeries to suggest names.

BHA racing manager Stu Middleton said: "Racing has a rich and colourful heritage in the north and through the Go North Weekend and series of races we aim to shine a spotlight on the equine and human stars of the past and present who have done so much to shape the story of racing in Britain.

"We're delighted to add a Middle-Distance Hurdle Series and Bumper Series to this season's programme and look forward to each series culminating in some exciting and competitive action at three of the north’s best venues next year."


'He'll be very sadly missed' - popular Squire Silk dies at the age of 32

Tote Gold Trophy hero and Grade 1-winning chaser Squire Silk has died at the age of 32, his owner Sir Robert Ogden has announced.

The popular son of Natroun was trained by Andy Turnell throughout most of his career and his finest hour came when successful in the competitive handicap hurdle at Newbury in 1996, which is now known as the Betfair Hurdle.

He also struck at the top level over fences a year later when a 15-length winner of the Maghull Novices' Chase at Aintree's Grand National meeting under Jamie Osborne, as well as finishing second in the 1997 Arkle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Having retired from racing in 1999, he spent his retirement at Sickling Hall Stud with fellow Ogden-owned superstars Voy Por Ustedes, Ad Hoc and Iris Royal.

The owner spoke of his sadness of losing Squire Silk, who was humanely euthanised at the stud on Wednesday following recent health difficulties.

"Unfortunately in recent months he has had many health problems so we had no option but to put him to sleep," Ogden said.

"He had a marvellous racing career from 1993 until 1999 and was an extremely popular and even tempered horse. He will be very sadly missed."


BHA keen to gather further public feedback before whip consultation ends

The BHA has urged members of the public to continue contributing to its ongoing consultation into use of the whip with four weeks left until the initial phase of its investigation closes.

The ten-week consultation process, in the form of an online questionnaire, opened on July 1 and will close on September 6 with the BHA aiming to gather a wide variety of views on the topic from as diverse a set of backgrounds as possible. The Whip Consultation Steering Group will then present its findings to the BHA board for consideration.

The whip consultation was among the recommendations in British racing's strategic welfare report produced in February 2020 by the Horse Welfare Board.

Brant Dunshea, the BHA's chief regulatory officer, said: "The initial phase of public consultation is a vital part of this piece of work, as it is important we hear the views of as many people as possible on the use of the whip in British racing.

"With less than four weeks remaining for the public to have their say, I would like to take the opportunity to remind people to do just that by heading to the BHA website and clicking the link to the questionnaire that is prominent on our home page. This is an open and transparent process in which the views of all parties are welcomed and will be considered."

Any person wishing to contribute to the process can do so here.


Film on mental health awareness and online abuse in racing to air on Sky

The Fall, a short film that explores the mental health of jockeys, will be aired on Sky Sports Racing on October 10 to coincide with World Mental Health Day.

Racing.com in Australia will also broadcast the film, which focusses on a jockey dealing with the aftermath of a high-profile final fence fall and aims to raise awareness of mental health within racing as well as the impact of online abuse.

The 22-minute movie is co-directed by acclaimed actor Robert Bathurst and Nathan Horrocks, who said: "We're delighted that Sky Sports and Racing.com have partnered with us to broadcast The Fall in October.

"The Fall started as my passion project but since it has been finished online social media abuse has continued to be a massive issue and I want everybody to see this film. I hope it will help people understand a little more about the pressure of professional sport and the severity of online abuse."

Rob Dakin, Head of Racing at Sky Sports, added: "Sky Sports Racing is proud to be the broadcast partner for this hard-hitting film that highlights the hidden consequences of online abuse on sportspeople. Sky Sports is running a campaign against online hate and The Fall brings to life the damage such unacceptable behaviour can cause.

"Through Sky Sports Racing and the wider Sky platform, including digital and On Demand, we look forward to bringing this important film to a wide British and Irish audience."

The Sir Peter O'Sullevan Charitable Trust is the film's title sponsor with other financial backing coming from the Professional Jockeys' Association and the mental health charity, Even Keel Foundation.


Racing League card switched to Lingfield all-weather on Thursday

The next Racing League fixture at Lingfield on Thursday has been switched to the all-weather from the turf track due to waterlogging.

It is the third turf fixture in a row in the Last week to be moved to the Polytrack, with the original 5f handicap replaced by a 6f handicap due to the course's safety factor over the minimum trip being unable to accommodate runners from all 12 teams.

Declarations for the six-race evening card, shown on Sky Sports Racing, close as normal at 10am on Tuesday.


Kennedy set to return before Listowel festival

Jack Kennedy is expected to be back from injury in time for next month's Listowel harvest festival after damaging cartilage linked to his ribs at Roscommon on Tuesday evening.

Last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning rider came down at the first flight in the first three-year-old maiden hurdle of the season on hurdling debutante Alice Kitty. The incident ruled seven of the 16 runners out of the race.

Kennedy was stood down immediately alongside Denis O'Regan, whose mount Helvic Princess slipped up after losing her footing when impeded by a loose horse later in the race, and Mike O'Connor, who was involved in the opening-hurdle drama on Admiral Brown.

O'Regan was due to return for two rides on Friday at Wexford but didn't manage to take his mounts, with details of jockey changes published on the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board's Twitter feed 45 minutes before the opening race, while O'Connor was back in action when placed on both his mounts at Sligo on Thursday.

"I've done some damage to the cartilage that the ribs join on to," Kennedy said. "I'll be back in two or three weeks, I think. I'm expecting to be back in time for Listowel anyway."


Coroner delivers ruling on cause of amateur jockey Michael Pitt's death

An inquest opening has heard that former apprentice jockey Michael Pitt was found hanged in a garage in Hungerford, Berkshire. He was 19.

Police were called to the scene at 7am on Monday July 5 after a garage employee found a body in the car wash and at the time described Pitt's death as "unexplained but not suspicious". 

Pitt rode predominantly for Roger Teal and Denis Coakley on the Flat during his time as an a apprentice before joining Warren Greatrex as a stable lad, where he had recently taken out an amateur licence to ride over jumps. 

A preliminary hearing at Reading Town Hall was told that the pathologist who carried out a post-mortem examination ruled that the cause was death by hanging. A full inquest will be conducted in September.


Channel Island racing behind closed doors for Champion Hurdle feature

The Millbrook Channel Islands Champion Hurdle will take place behind closed doors with only Jersey Race Club members able to attend Sunday's meeting. 

No online ticket sales will be made available for racegoers after additional Covid measures were advised by the Bailiff of Jersey for the CoinShares Racecourse. 

The measures were required to be in place for the fourth Jersey meeting of the year, but were unable to be implemented in time resulting in racegoers no longer being permitted on to the course. 

However, owners, trainers and stable staff will still be able to attend the Les Landes fixture this weekend alongside members of the Jersey Race Club. 

Club President Bunny Roberts said: "It's important that we go ahead. Leading trainers, jockeys and owners are travelling to Jersey for the racing, which will be the centrepiece of their holiday, and it would be damaging to Jersey to disappoint them. Under the circumstances we have no alternative to holding a closed meeting." 

Four runners are declared for the Millbrook Channel Islands Champion Hurdle on Sunday, with current Les Landes leading jockey Brian Hughes booked to ride the Charlie Longsdon-trained Jamacho.


 

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