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Riders donate their fees at Royal Ascot to support 'amazing NHS staff'

Riders at Royal Ascot, including Martin Dwyer, will donate their fees to NHS charities
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Jockeys riding at Royal Ascot on Saturday will honour the efforts of health workers during the Covid-19 pandemic by donating their fees to NHS charities.

The initiative also recognises the care the health service provides for injured jockeys and was the brainchild of King Edward VII Stakes-winning rider Martin Dwyer.

Dwyer, a director of the Professional Jockeys Association, said: "We wanted to do something to recognise all of our amazing NHS staff who've worked tirelessly throughout this crisis, especially as jockeys rely on the NHS whenever we have a fall and the overwhelming majority of racecourse medical staff also work in the NHS.

"We owe them a huge debt of gratitude and this is our way of saying thank you."

PJA chief executive Paul Struthers added: "It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that jockeys would come up with an initiative like this themselves and it’s a wonderful gesture."

With over 100 horses due to run on Saturday, it is hoped that over £10,000 will be raised for NHS Charities Together.

Over 1.5 million tune in to watch Stradivarius Gold Cup triumph

Over 1.5m people watched Stradivarius romp to a third victory in the Gold Cup on ITV Racing on the third day of Royal Ascot.

A peak audience of 1.76m tuned in towards the end of the broadcast when Hayley Turner landed the Sandringham Stakes for a second year in a row on Onassis, while an average of 1.18m watched the programme on ITV’s main channel.

Both figures surpassed the record-breaking numbers from last year when Frankie Dettori recorded a memorable four-timer on the same day.

The numbers represent further good news for ITV Racing this week following on from record-breaking averages and audience shares for the first two days of the royal meeting.

Over 1.1 million viewers have watched each of the first two days of the behind-closed-doors fixture, with an average on day one of 909,000 and on day two of 942,000, representing 12.5 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively of the television audience, the largest figures since 2012.

ITV, along with Sky Sports Racing, are the only two television broadcasters able to show the action from Ascot this week.

Group 1-winning stayer retired

Technician tore a tendon when finishing seventh behind Stradivarius in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and has been retired.

Trainer Martyn Meade said: "It's career threatening so we've decided he will be retired.

"His run was so inexplicable – he had absolutely perfect conditions, and I was expecting a big run. It's so disappointing. It shows what a good horse he was to run on with that injury – it's bad.

"There's no future trying to repair it, so we'll have to make alternative plans for him now. Hopefully he can go to stud but I’m afraid that will be his last race.

“We knew something was wrong, because that wasn’t like him at all. Usually he battles on – and with conditions right, something had to be affecting him."

Technician won five of his ten races last year, culminating in a Group 1 victory in the Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp. 

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It doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that jockeys would come up with an initiative like this themselves and it’s a wonderful gesture
E.W. Terms