Berry joy as he receives Points of Light award for tireless volunteer work
Jack Berry has become a recipient of a prestigious Points of Light award from prime minister Theresa May.
Points of Lights awards recognise outstanding individual volunteers and people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. An award is made every day to someone somewhere in the country.
The former trainer and prodigious charity worker, who was the driving force behind the jockeys' rehabilitation centre in Malton, Jack Berry House, said: “I am absolutely delighted to received this award. And on behalf of the Injured Jockeys Fund I would like to thank all the team at Jack Berry House in Malton and the IJF’s southern facility, Oaksey House in Lambourn, for their wonderful work.”
The prime minister said in her letter: “Through the vital rehabilitation you do at Jack Berry House, you are transforming the lives of jockeys.
"You should be very proud of your remarkable fundraising for the centre as well as the inspiring impact you are having on the horseracing community.”
Bet365 extend Charlie Hall sponsorship
Wetherby has announced that bet365 has renewed its sponsorship of the Charlie Hall Chase for a further three years from 2018.
The online bookmaking giant first supported the race – due to be contested by Cue Card a week on Saturday – in 2003.
Wetherby chief executive Jonjo Sanderson said: "We have enjoyed a fantastic relationship with bet365 over the last 15 years.
"The generous support of bet365 has enabled the Charlie Hall Chase to maintain its position in the racing calendar as the first major target of the season for the best three-mile chasers and we are all set for another terrific race."
Cheltenham unveils new presentation podium
A new presentation podium will be in use for the first time when Cheltenham gets its season under way on Friday.
The steel and glass structure is significantly bigger and able to accommodate larger groups of connections for trophy presentations.
It is sited within the winner's enclosure, which has been enlarged to relieve overcrowding during the Cheltenham Festival.
Clerk of the course Simon Claisse said: "We've made the winner's area bigger because in our continuing review – particularly through the festival – of the parade ring we found it was focusing more on the winners' side rather than the main part of the paddock side.
"We put in new access control measures two years ago, which have worked really well in managing numbers, but we still have quite a lot of pressure of numbers, which is why we made the area and podium bigger so it can accommodate syndicate winners.
"It's also enabled us to position ITV in the winner's enclosure behind the podium. Last year they were in the main part of the parade ring."
The only adjustment on the track involves a start position, Claisse adding: "The two-and-a-half-mile hurdle start has been moved 20 yards forward to make it a better start."
Japan upgrades two races to Grade 1
The Japan Racing Association has upgraded two races to Grade 1 status, their first such upgrades for 11 years.
The move, that for many will be viewed as a pleasing contrast to the European Pattern Committee's approach and a growing belief Europe possess a bloated number of top-level races, even allowing for Italy's downgrades amid its well-known troubles, means the Osaka Hai and Hopeful Stakes will be held as Grade 1 contests.
The Osaka Hai, staged at Hanshin and won by 2016 Horse of the Year Kitasan Black this year, will be a new spring target for top-level runners over a mile and a quarter.
The number of Grade 1 juvenile contests in Japan has now risen to three with Nakayama's Hopeful Stakes also upgraded. The race, also over a mile and a quarter, will be held on December 28.