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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

TBA in call to owners and trainers to support small breeders' races

Goodwood: stages £25,000 juvenile event on September 27
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The Thoroughbred Breeders Association is calling on owners and trainers to support two races aimed at helping the sport's small breeders, with the entries for the first of the contests closing on Thursday.

The £25,000 7f juvenile events are staged at Goodwood on September 27 and Leicester on October 10. They are restricted to horses by British-based sires who stood at an advertised fee of £10,000 or less at the time of covering in 2014.

TBA board member Philip Newton said: "Small owners and breeders are an essential part of the structure that makes British racing so attractive and the TBA small breeders races are designed to encourage the 'value' proposition within racehorse production and ownership.

"Such an initiative provides a worthwhile prize fund for this category of owner and breeder, and the TBA is delighted to support what is admittedly a limited programme for a second year and hope that as a result other similar opportunities can be encouraged."

Murphy joins training ranks in UAE

Irish-born trainer Danny Murphy will be among those training at Al Ain Racecourse for the coming UAE season, it has been announced.

Murphy, who has trained over 1,000 winners in his career in such far-flung jurisidictions as Macau, Singapore and Malaysia, is reported to have 13 horses in his yard and will train for Farook Racing.

The 55-year-old said: "Everyone has been very welcoming, the facilities are great and I'm looking forward to getting started.

"I've been here since July so my horses will be fit for the start of the season. At the moment I have all Thoroughbreds, several of whom are unraced. I have five two-year-olds, including a very nice two-year-old Scat Daddy filly who I am looking forward to running."

Murphy has had some success in the UAE before, landing the Derrinstown Stud Handicap at Nad Al Sheba in 2005 with Terfel. Al Ain Racecourse opened in 2014 and will stage ten meetings in the 2017-18 UAE season.

Suffering Hanagan misses Beverley rides

Paul Hanagan will miss his rides at Beverley on Wednesday as he recovers from a wasp sting that caused a severe allergic reaction.

The two-time champion jockey suffered severe swelling in his left arm and blotching all over his body after being stung when riding at Carlisle on Monday. He said his hand was swollen “like a mini-football”.

Hanagan was sick and grew frightened when his lips began to swell, fearing it would extend to his throat. He was taken to hospital and treated with antibiotics.  

The 37-year-old had three intended rides at Beverley on Wednesday. Agent Richard Hale said: “All things being square he’ll be back riding on Thursday at Ayr.”

Hanagan is booked to to ride Toscanini, a top-priced 14-1 chance, in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup on Saturday.

Australian mega merger hits hurdle

The Aus$11 billion (approx £6.55bn) merger between Australian gambling giants Tabcorp and Tatts Group has met with a significant setback after the Australian federal court asked the competition authorities to reconsider their decision to approve the deal.

The Australian Competition Tribunal (ACT) gave the deal the go-ahead in June but regulator the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission successfully appealed against the decision.

The merged companies will control about 90 per cent of Australia's totalisator betting.

However the merger has been opposed by Racing Victoria, who believe it to be bad for the racing industry, as well as corporate bookmakers including Ladbrokes and Sportsbet, which is owned by Paddy Power Betfair.

The Australian newspaper said a new hearing was being fast-tracked and the outcome could become known in a week's time.

Scientific Games snap up OpenBet owner

Gambling technology company Scientific Games is to buy NYX Gaming, the owner of sportsbook platform provider OpenBet, to create "a global gaming and lottery powerhouse".

Scientific Games, whose business includes supplying gaming machines and self-service betting terminals to betting shop operators in the UK, is to pay C$775 million (approx £466m) for the Canadian-listed firm.

Scientific Games' chief executive Kevin Sheehan said: "This important transaction creates a global gaming and lottery powerhouse.

"Scientific Games will be a stronger industry leader offering one of the broadest end-to-end portfolios of engaging content, innovative technologies and digital products and services across gaming and lottery."

In April 2016 NYX Gaming announced it had bought OpenBet for £270 million with William Hill and Sky Bet teaming up to invest £100m in NYX as part of the deal.  

Hills, whose investment in NYX was based on improving their online offering, said their contract continued under the new owner.

Lavelle's Casino runs in Belmont hurdle

The Emma Lavelle-trained Casino Markets will make the second start of his American stint at Belmont on Thursday having finished well beaten at Saratoga eight days ago.

Leighton Aspell will again be in the saddle as Casino Markets tackles the Lonesome Glory Handicap Hurdle (7.01pm, ATR) , in which rivals include former Willie Mullins star Simenon and Hinterland, successful in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase for Paul Nicholls.

Saxon Warrior on target for Beresford

Saxon Warrior, a three-and-a-quarter-length winner on his debut at the Curragh last month, is likely to spearhead Aidan O'Brien's team for the Group 2 Juddmonte Beresford Stakes at Naas on Sunday.

O'Brien has sent out 16 winners of the mile event and has seven of the ten entries for Sunday's race when he will be attempting to land the prize for the seventh year in a row.

Successful with Capri, winner of the William Hill St Leger on Saturday, a year ago, O'Brien said on Tuesday: "We'll probably run a few in the race including Saxon Warrior who came out of his maiden win well."

Saxon Warrior is a son of Deep Impact and Group 1 winner Maybe.

Such an initiative provides a worthwhile prize fund for this category of owner and breeder
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