Racing Welfare to launch new support service aimed at returning staff to work
A new occupational health service for the racing and breeding industries will be launched on Monday aiming to prevent and treat work-related illness and injury.
The scheme, backing by Racing Welfare and funded by the Racing Foundation, has been tested in Newmarket, Lambourn and Malton and will enable individuals to be referred, or self-refer, for an assessment with an occupational health professional to help expedite their return to work if they have been off for a week or more due to sickness or infirmity.
Simone Sear, Racing Welfare’s director of welfare, said: “This exciting new initiative will provide much needed, bespoke support to the workforce of British horseracing by promoting good practice and workplace well-being for employers and employees. Ultimately it will help with staff recruitment and retention by making the horseracing industry an ever more attractive career option.”
Appointments for Racing’s Occupational Health Service can be made by calling Racing’s Support Line on 0800 6300 443. More information can be found via www.support.racingwelfare.co.uk.
Jog for jockeys
Fancy beating Ruby Walsh in a driving finish? Well you can try if you sign up for the Jog For Jockeys 5km race at the Curragh on Saturday.
Walsh is among a host of well-known riders who have signed up to take part in the hugely-popular and always eventful Jog For Jockeys 5km race, which starts at 5.15pm at Flat headquarters, and money raised will be donated to Irish Injured Jockeys.
Other familiar names taking part include Shane Foley, Ronan Whelan, Patrick Mullins, Billy Lee, Barry Geraghty, Gary Carroll, Conor Hoban, Niall McCullagh, Ross Coakley, Derek McCormack, Mark Enright, David Mullins, Danny Mullins, Jamie Codd and Emmett McNamara
The competition for the winning racing yard or stud farm team is also expected to be hotly contested, with teams entered from Ken Condon Racing, Rangers Lodge, Dermot Weld, Michael O'Callaghan, Tully East, Denis Hogan, Johnny Murtagh, the Irish Field, RACE, Gordon Elliott, the Irish National Stud and FenuHealth.
IHRB to host seminars on prohibited substances
The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board will hold three seminars to advise trainers, stable staff and veterinarians on reducing their risk of positive tests, which have increased significantly in recent months, and to provide an update on the types of substances involved.
The first of the seminars, which are titled 'Prohibited Substances – Managing the Risk', will be held on Thursday at City North Hotel, Gormanston, County Meath from 7-9pm.
There will also be a seminar at the offices of the IHRB at the Curragh on Wednesday, September 16 from 2.30-4.30pm and on Wednesday, October 3, at the Horse and Jockey Hotel, Horse and Jockey, County Tipperary from 7-9pm.
IHRB chief veterinary officer and head of anti-doping Dr. Lynn Hillyer and IHRB veterinary officers Nicola O’Connor and Alan Dunlop will lead four short presentations, followed by a question and answer session.
Places are limited and anyone wishing to attend the seminars should confirm attendance, and the venue at which they will be attending, by email to email@example.com or by phoning Michelle Daly on 045 445600.
Breeches aid NSPCC
Champion Flat jockey Silvestre de Sousa has donated a pair of his riding breeches to the NSPCC to be auctioned at Sandown on Saturday.
The breeches, which include autographs from the likes of Gerald Mosse and Jamie Spencer, were worn by De Sousa at Royal Ascot and will go under the hammer as part of the charity’s involvement in Sandown’s family funday.
Other lots donated to raise funds for the NSPCC include a visit to Harry Fry’s stables, a meet and greet with champion jump jockey Richard Johnson at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival and a luxury holiday for eight on the Costa Del Sol.
Bethan Sweeting, fundraiser from the NSPCC, said: “All of the money raised on Saturday will be used to help us in our fight for every childhood.
“We would like to thank everyone who donated lots to the auction, and to say a special thank you to Silvestre de Sousa for his one-of-a-kind gift!”
The auction is now live and will close at 5pm on Saturday. Bids can be placed at nspccsandownauction.com.
O'Neill whip ban
Dane O'Neill has received a 28-day ban under the totting-up procedure, having been suspended five times in the previous six months under the relevant whip rules.
His ban covers the period September 8 to 26, though nine days have been deferred, until November 26.
Musselburgh to honour service personnel
Musselburgh is holding a Supporting Your Services raceday on Sunday, September 30. The racecourse is offering discounted rates for all serving military personnel.
The day will include a massed pipe band, interactive displays from the armed forces and free children's entertainment for a variety of ages.
Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative Lothian MSP and convener of the cross party group on Scottish horseracing, said: “The Supporting Your Services raceday is an excellent idea to give recognition to the service men and women who keep our country safe.
“I encourage all armed forces, as well as members of the public, to come along and enjoy a day’s horseracing at Musselburgh.”
Grazebrook steps down from Jump Pattern Committee
The Honorable Lucinda Cavendish has been named as the new chairwoman of the Jump Pattern Committee, succeeding Adrian Grazebrook.
Cavendish, who is widely known as 'Hopper' in racing circles, has served as an honorary steward since 1997 and was on the BHA disciplinary committee from 2008 to 2017.
Reflecting on his 23 years on the committee – of which the last 14 were as chair – Grazebrook said: "It has been a privilege and a pleasure to play a part in the development of jump racing, and particularly the Pattern, over a number of years.
"I must praise the enthusiasm and diligence of all the committee members, past and present, who have given freely of their time and expertise, seeking only to promote the sport’s health and improvement. I know that Hopper Cavendish will bring fresh ideas, and the committee will continue taking the sport forward."
Crack French hurdler De Bon Coeur suffers injury
France's champion hurdler, De Bon Coeur, will be out of action until next spring due to a pastern injury.
The five-year-old daughter of Vision D'Etat was a brilliant winner of the Grade 1 Grande Course de Haies in May for trainer Francois Nicolle, cantering home 16 lengths clear of the runner-up Bapaume.
The winner of 11 of her 13 career starts, De Bon Coeur has suffered a hairline crack to a a pastern and joins stablemate Alex De Larredya in missing the Grand Prix d'Automne at Auteuil in November.
Varian ponders next step with Willie John
No firm plans have been made yet for Willie John, who missed an intended engagement at Epsom on Monday – for which he was odds-on favourite – due to the rain-softened ground.
The one-time 2,000 Guineas contender, who was in the betting for the Derby when suffering a setback in the spring, is unbeaten in two starts at Yarmouth and Doncaster.
Trainer Roger Varian said on Tuesday: "There are no immediate plans. He's rated 99 so we’ll have to think carefully about where we run next. I didn’t want him to run on that ground at Epsom. He has a big future."
Owner Cliff Beech dies at age of 93
Cliff Beech, a long-time owner with Robin Dickin, and sponsor of his yard for 12 years, died on Saturday at the age of 93.
Dickin said: “Cliff was passionate about his horses, had an excellent racing knowledge and followed the yard diligently. He never missed a runner and was always on hand to offer an opinion or advice.
"He's been my absolute rock and my security for 25 years. Our sincerest condolences to sons Colin and Mick and to the rest of Cliff’s very close-knit family.”
Prairie Minstrel, Simple Glory and Wildmoor Boy were among Beech's best horses.