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Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Bowen looking forward to new chapter beginning at Henderson's

In-demand conditional rider James Bowen will have his first day at Nicky Henderson's yard on Monday after being the subject of plenty of interest over the summer.

"Since I've been 16 it's been the hot topic and I've had to give it plenty of thought," said Bowen at Market Rasen on Saturday after driving home Get Home Now for father Peter.

"It's a really good opportunity for me, as it's probably the best place to be at the moment.

"Mr Henderson is a trainer who has always been very loyal to his jockeys. My jockey coach Mick Fitzgerald was obviously stable jockey there for many years and had a lot of success."

Bowen has been attracting admiring glances from all over and on Saturday even got the leg up on Red Tornado, favourite for one of the feature races at Market Rasen, on his first-ever ride for Dan Skelton.

Bowen, who still claims 7lb, added of his ambitions in general: "This is the time in your career where you want to be making the right contacts and riding nice horses, so that they're there for you once your claim's gone.

"This winter I just want to be riding horses, riding winners and getting my name out there."

Havlin booked up straight away

Robert Havlin has been booked for rides at Lingfield and Chelmsford on Thursday, the day after his drugs ban expires.

A urine sample taken on October 30 last year at Saint-Cloud returned positive for several banned substances, including cocaine, but Havlin has always insisted the results were due to contamination.

A variety of appeals failed, much to the disappointment of Havlin, who estimates the ban has cost him well into six figures, plus a handful of Group-race wins, and his boss John Gosden, who has stood by the rider and likened his experience to a Kafkaesque nightmare.

That ends next week, and Gosden has wasted no time in booking Havlin to ride Damocles at Lingfield and Tivoli at Chelmsford.

Turnover and attendances up at Newbury

Newbury racecourse has reported a ten per cent increase in turnover for the first six months of the year, with attendances up 24 per cent thanks to better weather.

While turnover increased to £7.04 million, according to the course's interim results released on Friday, Newbury made a loss on ordinary activities after tax of £0.38m, having made an exceptional profit of £17.2m the previous year thanks to the sale of the final tranche of land for development at the site to David Wilson Homes.

Of the increase in turnover, £350,000 related to the three racedays abandoned in 2016, while there was around a four per cent rise in like-for-like media revenues, a 31 per cent increase in income from the nursery on site, and a £200,000 increase in revenues from the Lodge hotel.

The lack of abandonments meant attendances for the period rose to 63,589 from 55,647.

Racecourse chairman Dominic Burke said: "In the first six months of 2017 we have continued to make good progress against our strategy of redevelopment and growth."

The course said 560 homes were now occupied in the residential development.

Burke added: "We are pleased with the continued steady progress on the DWH residential development and we have made good progress on our own redevelopment, with the new saddling boxes, pre-parade ring and eastern entrance building all now completed and in use.

"We remain confident in the delivery of a positive financial out-turn for the remainder of 2017."

Shadwell teams up with Racing to School

Shadwell Stud and Racing to School have formed a new partnership, which will give around 500 young people nationwide the opportunity to enjoy a unique outdoor learning day.

Shadwell, the breeding arm of Hamdan Al Maktoum’s racing empire, will support 12 education days for school children, who go to racecourses, stables and studs as part of their learning in subjects such as maths and science.

Tom Pennington, Shadwell’s marketing and nominations manager, said “We’re delighted to have cemented our relationship with Racing to School. The concept of educating children, from varying backgrounds, through our wonderful and diverse industry is something we’re only too happy to support.”

John Blake, Racing to School’s chief executive, added: “The charity and Shadwell have a shared vision for the sport’s potential to inspire and include young people, regardless of background and location.”

The first recipients of the programme are Year 5 pupils from Admirals Academy, Thetford, who will attend Newmarket on Friday for a maths event.

Amateur rider Disney joins diversity panel

Amateur rider Guy Disney, the first amputee to ride a winner, is among five successful applicants who will complete the make-up of the new group which will drive diversity and inclusivity in British racing.

The former serviceman, now a project manager for the Royal Foundation, will join a 16-strong panel on the BHA's Diversity in Racing Steering Group to which Tanya Stevenson, former Channel 4 Racing betting reporter, has also been added.

Among the topics the group, which will meet for the first time in October, will discuss will be what an industry-wide policy for diversity and inclusivity looks like for racing as well as review policies to address greater diversity in racing’s stakeholder organisations, and amongst owners, participants and racing fans.

BHA chief executive Nick Rust heads the panel which also features Racing Post journalist Lee Mottershead.

Tipping site signs Arena deal

Tipping site Myracing.com has signed a deal with Arena Racing Company to sponsor at ten racing meetings during 2018.

The agreement will cover seven jumps fixtures and three on the Flat at Arc tracks with the first two at Hereford in January and March.

Dean Goddard, head of PR and sponsorship, said: "Although myracing.com have dipped their toes into sponsorship in recent years, this is a big step up for us and one we are all very excited about.

"We want to do everything we can to help promote this wonderful sport and hopefully this is just the start of bigger things to come."

It's a really good opportunity for me, as it's probably the best place to be at the moment
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