Holland teams up with Biancone as trainer returns to Kentucky
Globetrotting jockey Darryll Holland has linked up with US-based Patrick Biancone, who this week received a licence to train in Kentucky for the first time since being banned in 2007 for having cobra venom in his barn.
Holland, 45, has spent much of the past five years riding abroad, including in South Korea and Mauritius, apart from an eight-month spell last year when he returned to Britain to ride as first jockey to Charlie Hills.
However, Holland returned to South Korea in September after the link-up with Hills fizzled out. He has since moved to the States and is now part of Biancone's set-up.
Biancone said on Wednesday: “Darryll showed up two weeks ago and said he wanted to establish himself over here. He’ll have to adapt to American racing, which he will as he’s an excellent jockey, and all my clients are very happy to use him.
“He’s coming at the right time for me because he’s a great jockey and is going to ride most of my horses. We’ll try our best and hope for the best.”
Frenchman Biancone, 65, has been rebuilding his career following his one-year suspension in 2007 after three vials of cobra venom, a powerful painkiller, were discovered in his barn at Keeneland in a box belonging to his vet Rodney Stewart. Stewart was banned for five years.
Despite controversy during his career, which also included being suspended from training in Hong Kong after positive dope tests, Biancone has enjoyed huge success with the likes of Arc winners All Along and Sagace, the brilliant Triptych, and 2004 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lion Heart.
It is the prospect of having a runner in the 2018 Kentucky Derby that prompted Biancone to reapply to train in Kentucky – he has been operating in several other states since his ban ended – and the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission voted 16-1 in the trainer’s favour.
Biancone said: “It's great to be able to train in Kentucky again. The commission followed due process and everything was good. I’m very happy.
“I’ve not applied for the past few years as I’ve had no horse good enough to go there – Kentucky is one of the most difficult places to win races.
"Now I've a very good group of horses, especially Diamond Oops, who may have a chance in the Derby.”
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com