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Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Former jockey Murphy on shortlist for sports book of the year

Murphy's book Centaur is on the shortlist for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award
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Declan Murphy and Ami Rao's book, Centaur, has been shortlisted for the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

Now in its 29th year, the award has been narrowed down to seven books, including Rao and Murphy's account of the jump jockey's near-fatal fall.

Having been seriously injured in a fall at Haydock in May 1994, Murphy managed a miraculous return to the saddle, and was back in the winner's enclosure just 18 months later.

Centaur faces stiff competition for the award, with Jonathan Eig's book on the life of Muhammad Ali and David Bolchover recollecting the story of superstar football manager, Béla Guttmann, also on the shortlist.

The winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2017 will be announced at an afternoon reception at BAFTA, in central London, on Tuesday November 28.


188bet latest to withdraw price guarantee

A day after Coral and Ladbrokes withdrew the pledge to revert to overnight prices for big races for a period on the morning of the contest, online bookmaker 188bet has followed suit and scrapped the pricerwise guarantee.


Cork preview evening as jumping returns

Cork was illuminated by the presence of Douvan in last season's Hilly Way Chase and the Mallow venue will begin preparations for the National Hunt season with a free preview evening on Thursday.

Leading jockeys Davy Russell, Jamie Codd and Paul Townend, along with trainer Joseph O’Brien, will take part in a panel hosted by racing journalists Tommy Lyons and Dave Keena.

The evening takes place at the Clayton Hotel, Silver Springs, with jumping action at Cork getting under way on Sunday November 5 with the Paddy Power Cork Grand National.

Complimentary refreshments will be served, with prizes on the night including a VIP trip to the Kerry Group Hilly Way Chase Day and the 2018 Dublin Racing Festival. 

To book your free ticket email rsvp@corkracecourse.ie or contact Niamh Doyle, Cork Racecourse Mallow, tel: 022 50207. The event is restricted to over 18s.


Doyle to appeal against seven-day ban

James Doyle has lodged an appeal against a seven-day suspension handed out to him at Ascot on Saturday that would see him ruled out of action from the Saturday of the Breeders' Cup meeting.

The jockey fell foul of the stewards following an incident at Swinley Bottom during the Long Distance Cup, in which he was riding Big Orange.

Stewards determined that Doyle had made a move towards the rail when not sufficiently clear of Fran Berry and Stars Over The Sea, something that almost caused Stars Over The Sea to come down.

As of Monday, Doyle does not have any engagements at Del Mar. "It's annoying, even though I don't have anything lined up for Del Mar or Australia, because you don't want to be having a suspension of that length on your record, even at this time of the year," he said.


SIS shareholders to receive £15 million

Gambling service provider SIS is to pay out a £15 million dividend to shareholders but has warned that profits for the year are likely to be lower than budgeted.

Catalyst Media Group, which holds a 20.54 per cent stake in SIS, said on Monday that SIS had informed them that with cash reserves currently standing at approximately £75m a dividend payment could be made "whilst retaining a level of funding in the business to cover its ongoing commitments and sufficient funds to enable management to develop the long-term strategy for the business".

However the SIS statement warned that independent bookmakers were reluctant to sign up to long-term contracts while there was increased competition for media rights.

This, SIS said, was "likely to impact future revenues". They added: "At the same time, the group is experiencing increased litigation costs relating to a number of issues, although legal advice indicates a successful outcome is expected for SIS. As a result, profits are likely to be lower than budgeted for this year."

Catalyst Media Group's share of the dividend will net them just short of £3.1m. Ladbrokes Coral hold a 23.41 per cent share of SIS, William Hill 19.51 and Fred Done, through the Tote and a personal shareholding, 13.51 per cent.

Racing manager banned over ownership scandal

Ben Connolly, former racing manager to Australian trainer Ciaron Maher, has been disqualified from any type of involvement in horseracing until January 2020 for his role in the Azkadellia ownership scandal.

Former Caulfield Cup winner Maher had his licence suspended for six months in September and was fined $75,000 after he admitted he ought to have known that five horses he prepared were owned by convicted conman Peter Foster.

The Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board in Australia heard on Monday that Foster was the "mastermind" behind an arrangement with Connolly to deceive stewards over the true ownership of Group 1 mare Azkadellia and four other horses.

The five horses involved are Azkadellia, Little Bubulu, Loveable Rogue, Hart and Mr Simples. They remain unable to race again until any potential successful application is made to the Supreme Court to lift the ban.

In announcing the penalty, the board also disqualified the five horses from the estimated $241,000 they had earned in prize-money in races in Victoria and it is expected that other interstate racing jurisdictions – namely NSW and Queensland where Azkadellia also raced with great success – will follow the RAD Board ruling and apply their own disqualifications to the horses.

Film to highlight dangers of concussion

The Jockeys Education and Training Scheme, in association with the Professional Jockeys Association, will be releasing a film to highlight the dangers of concussion.

The film is the latest instalment of the Jockey Matters series and features Derby-winning Flat rider Martin Dwyer and Grand National hero Liam Treadwell, who have both experienced issues related to concussion. It looks into the symptoms of concussion, the risks of riding when affected and highlights the treatment available to jockeys to ensure they return as quickly and safely as possible.

Dr Jerry Hill, chief medical adviser at the BHA said: “As an industry we have a collective responsibility for recognising and managing concussion in our sport.

"In addition to medical staff, jockeys, valets, stable staff, trainers and coaches all have a duty to ensure appropriate assessments and management of potential concussion.

"This will reduce the risk of jockeys riding with impaired performance and risking further injury to themselves and their colleagues and hopefully protect against long-term complications.”

In July the BHA announced a hard-hitting poster campaign and a new baseline testing regime as part of an ongoing effort to ensure the sport rigorously updates its standards over head injuries.

Ladbrokes resolve lotto error after incorrect results posted

Followers of betting relating to lottery markets experienced confusion and frustration last week as screens providing results for the Daily Millions and Euro Millions draws showed an earlier draw, meaning customers who went to collect winnings were turned away and told their tickets were unsuccessful.

Ladbrokes public relations and communications manager, Hayley O'Connor said: "We can confirm that an error with the Daily Millions and Euro Millions occurred last Tuesday evening, where 9pm Daily Millions on Tuesday 17th settled on the 2pm draw results."

"From approximately 9.20pm on Tuesday evening this wrong information was being shown.
At 8 am on Wednesday morning, a message went out to all shop staff for this to be rectified immediately" she added. "Our shop colleagues were informed to ensure settlements were correct in accordance with the right numbers."

"We are very sorry to our customers that were affected, and once the issue was identified, we acted as rapidly as possible to rectify the error in order to minimise any inconvenience caused by the issue."

Cyclone to try schooling hurdle before retirement call

Shark Hanlon's popular veteran Hidden Cyclone will make his next visit to the racecourse away from the public as the 2014 Ryanair Chase runner-up bids to bounce back before any decision is made on his future following a below-par Punchestown performance last week.

The one-time 160-rated Stowaway gelding trailed the field in a two-mile rated hurdle at the Kildare venue last Wednesday, with connections reporting that the trip proved too demanding for the four-time Grade 2 winner, who will be 13 this coming January.

Hanlon said: "He's okay but I'd say two miles was too sharp for him. He's getting old and we'll go to a schooling hurdle in ten days or two week's time."

"We'll see where we go after that" he added. "If we feel he's not right he'll be retired."

The award has been narrowed down to seven books, including Rao and Murphy's account of the jump jockey's near-fatal fall
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