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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

BHA appoint Brant Dunshea as new chief regulatory officer

Brant Dunshea: succeeds Jamie Stier
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The BHA has chosen Brant Dunshea to be its new chief regulatory officer. He succeeds Jamie Stier, who has returned to Australia to take up a post with Racing Victoria.

Dunshea has been with the BHA since March 2015 and is currently director of integrity and regulatory operations. He will take up his duties immediately.

The chief regulatory officer role is responsible for managing the BHA's raceday operations, including stewarding, integrity and equine welfare staff. It also has responsibility for managing the teams that license trainers, jockeys and racecourses, leading anti-doping and anti-corruption investigations and running the sport's equine welfare programme.

Godolphin fantasy league

The latest round of the popular Godolphin Fantasy Stable League is now open with the competition due to start as the first Classics of the European season take place, the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Free to enter, the competition offers racing fans the chance to select their own stable of Godolphin horses and compete against fellow enthusiasts for the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to one of the highlights of the British summer racing season, the Darley July Cup.

This round of the league focuses on Godolphin horses in training in Europe and America and will take in some of the most prestigious race meetings in the northern hemisphere, including the Kentucky
Derby, the English and Irish Derbys and Royal Ascot.

Entrants will receive complimentary membership of Club Godolphin, which offers members the chance to win some outstanding prizes, including stable tours, a day at the races and exclusive Godolphin merchandise, which has recently gone on sale at Palace House in Newmarket.

To enter the Fantasy Stable League and sign up to Club Godolphin, go to

Punchestown preview

TG4 will screen a 30-minute preview of the Punchestown festival at 7.30pm on Monday.

The programme, produced by Touchline Media and hosted by Denis Kirwan, will cover the battle between Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins for the trainers' championship and will look back on a memorable season for jockey Davy Russell.

The preview will also be available on the TG4 player and on catch-up services.

Whisky Baron headed back to Newmarket

Former England T20 cricketer Craig Kieswetter and his younger brother Ross have abandoned plans to send their South African star Whisky Baron to Hong Kong for the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Sha Tin at the end of the month. Instead the gelding will return to Newmarket to race in Britain, possibly for William Haggas.

South African trainer Brett Crawford, who still has charge of the horse, said: "Whisky Baron wasn't doing well in Dubai so I didn't see much point in sending him to Hong Kong. He is now in quarantine – he has to do three weeks there – and then he goes back to Newmarket, where he may join William Haggas.

"I'm obviously disappointed but it's not easy for him travelling all the time and we want to do what is best for the horse."

William Haggas: could train international star Whisky Baron

Crawford trained the Australian-bred to win his last five starts in the 2016-17 season, including Cape Town's most famous race, the Sun Met.

However, the horse's subsequent international campaign has proved most disappointing. He was forced to miss the rest of the year after suffering the equine equivalent of a twisted ankle after starting off in the Shadwell Joel Stakes. Although a creditable fourth in the Zabeel Mile on his first Dubai start, he then flopped in the Jebel Hatta, eliminating hopes of a race on World Cup night.

McCoy's dream team denied

A last-gasp equaliser for the Cheltenham Town Legends XI denied the Sir Anthony McCoy-led team of former weighing-room colleagues and celebrities victory in a charity football match in aid of the Injured Jockeys Fund at the LCI Rail Stadium in Cheltenham on Wednesday evening.

Jamie Bargary, finding the net for a second year running after two goals last year, and former Walsall striker Darren Byfield were among the scorers in the 2-2 draw.

Jamie Bargary (left) scored for the second year running

There was reason to celebrate for the trainers too, as their team – captained by Paul Nicholls – defeated the jockeys in a penalty shootout.

The McCoy match, sponsored by Stonegate Homes, raised £25,000 last year and organiser Chris Coley expects this year's fundraising total will surpass the 2017 tally.

Ascot fined £5,000 over sampling unit hygiene

Ascot racecourse was fined £5,000 after one of its four sampling boxes failed to meet the required standards of hygiene at its February 17 meeting, in that there was a clump of horse droppings underneath the shavings and cobwebs were also present.

Implications on integrity issues mean that sampling boxes are required to meet a higher standard of scrupulous cleanliness than the main racecourse stables, and a BHA employee confirmed that Ascot's are "normally immaculate". In this instance it was human error rather than systemic failure.

Nick Smith, representing the racecourse, said: "We admitted culpability and lessons have been learned. We've demonstrated that it's not a systemic issue, and we are very proud of the staff that look after this area. We will address the issues that have been brought up."

The entry point for penalties concerning racecourse operations is £3,500, with a range between £1,000 and £15,000.

John Butler: was fined £1,000

At a separate enquiry trainer John Butler was fined £1,000 in his absence, and Jufn was disqualified from the handicap he won at Chepstow last June.

Butler was found in breach of Rule (G)2.1, by virtue of the fact that o-desmethyltramadol, a prohibited substance, was found in a urine sample taken from Jufn following his win.

The race has been awarded to Squiggley, trained by Henry Candy. 

Special arrangements for ROA members at Ayr

Racehorse Owners Association members on the Racecourse Badge Scheme for Owners & Scottish Racing Admission Scheme are advised of special arrangements for admission at Ayr this Friday and Saturday.

Ayr: stage the Scottish Grand National on Saturday

Members without a runner on either day should collect their complimentary admission badge on production of their pass card or Horseracing Privilege Card from the Princess Royal Entrance on Whitletts Road.

The nearest parking is car park 1, which is situated between the racecourse and Tesco. If car park 1 is full there is additional parking in the centre of the course, where members can also collect their badges. ROA car park labels are not valid for owners' and trainers' parking at this meeting.

Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on


There was reason to celebrate for the trainers too, as their team captained by Paul Nicholls defeated the jockeys in a penalty shootout
E.W. Terms
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