Thursday, June 5, 2014

Recent news







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As part of the much vaunted redesign of Leopardstown racecourse, their marketing team have launched a new brand identity which aims to capitalise on the recent success of attracting younger race goers. Incorporating the tagline ‘Dublin's heart is racing’, the design features a regal, purple background and heavily advertises the hospitality side of the operation.  On the back of the launch, Pat Keogh CEO of Leopardstown said: “The new brand identity portrays a modern, vibrant and contemporary design".  Opened in 1888 Leopardstown's design was based on Sandown Park but it now very much carries its own individuality.
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The search for the new CEO of Paddy Power is still in an early phase and although the company has until April 2015 to find a successor, their shot selection will be extremely astute. Although the new CEO is bound to meet challenges, particularly in a maturing online market, the CEO role is an extremely lucrative one. Patrick Kennedy is among the highest earners of any Irish company for some time now. Over the past decade, Kennedy has received shares worth €24.6m. He also has options of €4.7m and has received salaries totalling €15m. Far from Paddy Power to admit it is a cash cow but these figures tell a different story. Current front runners for the new CEO include Cormac Barry who joined Paddy Power in 2000 and currently runs Sportsbet, Paddy Powers Australian arm. Sportsbet is Australia's biggest corporate bookmaker and was acquired by Powers in 2009. Interesting times ahead.
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Three recent racecourse meetings in the UK raised eyebrows for all the wrong reasons. The official crowd figures for three turf meetings were paltry at best. 755 were in attendance at Brighton,  803 at Carlisle 803 and at Nottingham 830 souls braved the elements. There may not be much financial future for tracks based on those numbers and it serves as a warning for all Irish racecourses to stay on their guard.
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Denis Egan, head of the Turf Club has issued a shot across the bow when declaring that there are two separate cases pending about the banned practise of jockeys involvement in laying horses on betting exchanges. This comes in the wake of a four year ban and €10,000 fine handed down to 25-year old Eddie O’ Connell who pulled up the James Lambe-trained Yachvili at Downpatrick in 2011. Betfair subsequently notified the Turf Club about irregular betting patterns including a £10,000 bet which had been laid on Yachvili to not finish in the first three. O’ Connell is currently weighing up his options and his solicitor Andrew Coonan has stated that an appeal against the suspension is under consideration  HRI funding to the Turf Club has had its integrity budget reduced by almost a quarter since 2008 and now stands at €5.9m.
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Hard to imagine that 30 years have passed since the Ballydoyle second string Sadler's Wells beat Procida & Secreto to win the Irish 2000 Guineas. Before his death in 2011, Sadler’s Well was a fourteen-time champion Irish sire and had produced over 100 Group 1 winners worldwide and 23 classics in Great Britain, Ireland and France. His progeny have earned over €120,000,000. His bloodlines are still very dominant through Galileo and New Approach. Not bad going.


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