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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Macarthur still loving life as Royal Ascot winner takes to pointing

Brightening your day with turf tales from beyond the tracks

Macarthur, partnered by Christophe Soumillon, in his former guise
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Racegoers at Banwen point-to-point club at Llwyn Ddu in West Glamorgan witnessed a Hardwicke Stakes hero return to action at the sprightly age of 13 on Monday as Macarthur finished runner-up to Qalinas in a confined race on his seasonal reappearance for trainer David Rees.

During a three-year spell at Ballydoyle in the care of Aidan O’Brien, Macarthur defeated Multidimensional by a neck in the 2008 Hardwicke, finished sixth in the St Leger the previous year, third in the Group 1 Coronation Cup and won the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes.

Time with Mike de Kock, Jane Chapple-Hyam and James McAuley followed, but since May 2013 the son of Montjeu has been plying his trade for Rees over hurdles and fences in Britain, and mostly recently in the point-to-point field.

Rees said: “I bought him through a dealer to go jumping. He’d finished second in a maiden hurdle in Ireland so he had a bit of form over jumps already and his Flat form is there for all to see. We thought we’d be able to improve him over hurdles but Macarthur is a monkey – he will only do what he wants to do!

“We’ve found the key to him now – he likes the slower pace in point-to-point races and he’s enjoying it even more with Charlotte Evans on his back. He doesn’t like being dictated to, so with Charlotte he can run away and do what he pleases.”

You would imagine Macarthur has somewhat mellowed now in his teens, but that is far from the case.

Rees added: “You never quite know what he’s going to do next. He’s the naughtiest horse in the yard at the age of 13. He’s just a cheeky, cheeky fella and if he sees an opportunity to do something his way, he’ll do it.

“Retirement would be the wrong thing for him – he just loves his way of life and what he does.”

Give and Gain day returns for a third year

Racing will again be taking part in Give and Gain Day, an industry-wide Racing Together initiative that encompasses a range of community engagement work across the sport on Friday.

This year 13 racecourses will be taking part, as will the BHA. Its High Holborn HQ will host employability sessions with staff from the ROA, Jockey Club and BHA. Racing to School will run two education days – at Chester and Market Rasen.

Racing to School chief executive John Blake said: “We’ve already had a great response from racing organisations keen to get involved and we would like all corners of the sport to consider giving back in some way – it’s worthwhile, rewarding and fun.”

Heritage Centre earns nomination for prestigious museum award

The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The institution is one of five in line for the Art Fund Musuem of the Year 2017 accolade, with £100,000 going to the winner and £10,000 to each of the nominees.

The Heritage Centre, which opened officially at Palace House in Newmarket last year, faces competition from the Lapworth Museum of Geology in Birmingham, Sir John Soane’s Museum, London, the Tate Modern, also in London, and the Hepworth in Wakefield.

Art on display at the National Heritage Centre

Charged with the difficult task of choosing the winner are Dr Stephen Deuchar CBE, chairman of the panel, professor Richard Deacon CBE, Dr Hartwig Fischer, Munira Mirza and Jo Whiley.

After news of the nomination was revealed, heritage centre director Chris Garibaldi said: “We are thrilled and indeed honoured to have been selected as a finalist for Art Fund Museum of the Year 2017. It is wonderful to be one of just five museums and galleries across the UK to have been shortlisted and we are very proud to have been included in the selection. It is recognition of so much hard work on the part of our fantastic staff, volunteers, trustees and the many supporters in the racing industry who have put their faith in the project over many years.

“This project has never been just about restoring important heritage buildings and providing much improved galleries for our collections, it is about putting the community at the heart of everything we do and celebrating what makes our industry unique.”

News flash

Jockey Club Catering, a joint venture between the Jockey Club and Compass Group UK & Ireland, has completed its second clean drinking water project, this time in Pagidala, Andhra Pradesh, India. The project will help bring clean water to more than 1,000 people, and follows last year’s inaugural programme in Uganda.

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Retirement would be the wrong thing for him – he just loves his way of life and what he does

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