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Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Betfair Chase and Tingle Creek sponsorships extended by three years

Un De Sceaux and Sire De Grugy battle it out for last year's Tingle Creek
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Betfair have extended its sponsorship of both Haydock's Betfair Chase and Sandown's Tingle Creek, the Jockey Club announced on Wednesday.

The firm, which has sponsored the Haydock feature since 2005 and the Tingle Creek since 2015, will now sponsor both Grade 1 contests through the 2019 renewals.

Paul Fisher, chief executive of Jockey Club Racecourses, said: "As a major supporter of British Racing, we’re delighted Betfair is continuing to partner with us on two of the biggest days of jump racing in the calendar.

Betfair’s Barry Orr added: "We are once again delighted to back two of the most exciting and iconic races in the National Hunt calendar."

Sizing John is the early favourite for the Betfair Chase with the sponsors at 2-1, while Altior heads the Tingle Creek betting at 4-6.

Competition to find youngsters to present top prizes

The search is on for three under-18s to win the chance to take a starring role on Qipco British Champions Day.

Qipco British Champions Series, together with The Pony Club, is offering three lucky racegoers the chance to make the parade-ring presentation to the winners of the Balmoral Handicap, the closing race on Britain’s richest raceday on October 21 at Ascot. 

David Redvers, racing manager to Qipco director Sheikh Fahad, said: “A key objective for Qipco when sponsoring events is to engage the younger generation in horseracing and to make the sport fun, accessible and memorable for them.

"The partnership with The Pony Club allows us to do just that, and we're thrilled to be able to involve under-18s in Qipco British Champions Day in a novel way through this wonderful opportunity to play a key role on Britain’s richest raceday.”

The three competition winners will not only have the honour of presenting a trophy to the owner, trainer and jockey of the winning horse of the Balmoral Handicap, but will each receive a pair of Winning Post Enclosure tickets for two accompanying adults, as well as admission to The Racing Lounge, a private facility. 

The competition is open now via the British Champions Series website. Entrants must be 18 or younger and do not need to be a member of The Pony Club. The competition closes at midnight on October 1. Winners will be selected at random and contacted during the week starting October 2.

On the day there are also a host of activities on offer for under-18s, who can attend for free if accompanied by an adult. In partnership with The Pony Club, a special ‘Fan Zone’ will include a series of free activities including a bitesize lesson with a jockey coach, a tour of the course before racing and a meet-and-greet with an ex-racehorse.

There is also an after-party being headlined by award-winning British singer-songwriter George Ezra.

Barraquero blow

Barraquero has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to a shin injury.

Trainer Brian Meehan reported that the colt sustained the injury when winning the Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.

A statement on read: "Barraquero is out for the rest of the season.

"He suffered a small fissure in his shin which he sustained in the Richmond which has proved difficult to heal while trying to prepare him for the Middle Park.

"He will now enjoy the winter off and be prepared for the Guineas next year."

Barraquero is a general 33-1 shot for the Qipco-backed Classic at Newmarket.

Ownership made easier

The BHA has launched a package of reforms to modernise and simplify the administration of racehorse ownership.

The reforms have been developed following consultation with owners and are part of the BHA’s commitment to improve the experience of being an owner and attract new owners to the sport.

The measures are designed to ensure ownership administration is more convenient, efficient and easy to understand, with the transfer of the registration and management process online expected to save owners thousands of hours a year of filling in forms.

Richard Wayman, chief operating officer of the BHA, said: “Making the prospect of racehorse ownership an attractive one is central to the industry's strategy to grow the sport.

“The package of reforms has been shaped by extensive consultation with current owners and ensures the administration of racehorse ownership prioritises the customer experience.

“New and existing owners will feel the benefit of a modernized, simplified process of administration which is cheaper, easier to understand and more convenient to use than before.”

Charlie Liverton, chief executive of the Racehorse Owners’ Association, said: "Owners have long-complained that their first steps on the road to ownership were characterised by red tape and confusing ownership structures followed by numerous fees.

“The owners’ survey undertaken in 2016 highlighted this and these changes are therefore very welcome. Simplifying, reducing and aligning the costs involved is a very positive step.

“The ROA and owners, sole as well as syndicate, were involved in improving the ownership administration system and the benefits should be felt by all.

“Racehorse ownership should be engaging and, most of all, fun, and hopefully the changes announced today will enhance the experience.”

A dedicated ownership support team at Weatherbys is on hand to answer any questions and guide owners through the new portal. The team is available on 01933 304808 or via

So Hi Society breaks her maiden under Richard Kingscote at Chepstow

Watson just misses out on Listed place in France

So Hi Society and Gerald Mosse battled well in the closing stages of the Listed Prix Saraca at Maisons-Laffitte on Monday but could manage only fourth behind the Christophe Ferland-trained Sonjeu over six and a half furlongs.

Archie Watson's charge looked likely to get a dream run through on the rail at one stage but was unable to take the gap before the door closed in very testing conditions. 

Sonjeu provided her owner-breeders Alain and Gerard Wertheimer with a notable first black type success for their freshman sire Intello. 

The 'gelding' who grew a pair!

Grow a pair – a modern-day way of telling someone to 'man up' – is exactly what Gabrial The Devil did at Wolverhampton on Saturday night.

In perhaps the greatest display of 'manning up' in history, the first-time juvenile 'gelding' trained by David O'Meara turned up with 200 per cent more testicles than expected.

There have certainly been examples of a 'colt' turning up without his crown jewels – but for obvious reasons it is far harder for a gelding to magically conjure up some dangly bits.

However, Gabrial The Devil has not developed a lizard-like ability to regrow removed body parts, but rather it seems the original gelding notification was a clerical error filed by O'Meara's office.

The notification came through on August 28 at 10.02am, via the racing admin site, some 20 days after his previous run and was not spotted until O'Meara himself amended the horse's status at 4.54pm on the afternoon of the race – having seen the horse listed in the racecard as a gelding.

But all's well that end's well, and Gabrial The Devil – owned by Marwan Koukash – ran his best race to date, finishing second at 25-1. And so presumably warding off any thoughts of tackling his tackle, for now at least. 

A key objective for Qipco when sponsoring events is to engage the younger generation in horseracing and to make the sport fun
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