Thursday, June 5, 2014

Recent news



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Meath jockey Colin Keane weighed in at 1.7 lbs overweight after a Navan maiden aboard Princess Tamay last weekend and received a one day ban in unusual circumstances. Evidence was heard from the rider who stated that he had a drink of water which caused the fluctuation. Keane also facilitated the trainer of his mount, T.G. McCourt, by changing the girths after weighing out as they were too loose in the filly. The trainer admitted to the stewards that the original girth was too loose without informing the Clerk of the Scales. T.G. McCourt was found to be in breach of the rules and was subsequently cautioned.
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Back when Arkle was running, the Irish Turf Club implemented two handicap systems for the Irish Grand National. One was used when Arkle was in the race and the other when he was not. It is now fifty years since Himself won the 1964 Irish Grand National when he carried two and a half stone more than his rivals. Arkle won the race that day by a length at Fairyhouse for trainer Tom Dreaper and now, half a century late the Dreaper yard saddle two horses with a strong chance in this year’s renewal of the Irish Grand National. Both Goonyella and Los Amigos have been supported in the betting and punters can avail of 7/1 with Boylesports for Jim Dreaper to train the winner of the race. It would be more than fitting if this was to happen given the family connections.
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Having only started training with six horses in 2005, David Marnane is holding an open day at his stables in Bansha Co. Tipperary on Sunday April 27th. The day will include meeting David and his team, viewing the horses on the gallops and seeing the training facilities on show. Complimentary refreshments will be served and the morning will provide a great opportunity to meet David and learn more about how his operation works. If you wish to attend on the morning, email Aidan McGarry at amcgarry@itm.ie or telephone 045 443000, confirming your name, email address and mobile number.
After an accomplished career as an amateur jockey, Marnane moved to Dubai in 1997 where he joined Champion Trainer in Dubai, Kieran McLaughlin, and in later years, Doug Watson. Over the past few seasons he has trained many progressive domestic winners and enjoyed success at Meydan
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No less than twelve riders received suspensions of between two and four days at Tramore on April 13th following an incident in the Martinstown Opportunity Handicap Steeplechase. The incident came to light following a report by Turf Club Starter P.L. Malone to the Stewards that all twelve jockeys had disobeyed his instructions by coming forward without being instructed to in this race. M.P. Butler, J.S. McGarvey, K.C. Sexton, C.M. Walsh, B. Hayes, F.J. Hayes, S.E. Butler, I.J. McCarthy,S.J. Crimin, D.E. Splaine, A. Ring and B.R. Dalton were deemed to be at fault and will serve their suspensions presently.
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Viewership of Channel 4’s racing coverage continues to tumble as figures released recently make poor showing. The Morning Line is down 18.5 per cent on 2013 while Aintree figures are down 19 percent. Since the departure of John McCririck, Alistair Down and John Francome, the refreshed format and presenting team of Clare Balding and Nick Luck have not struck a chord with the racing public as a whole. The lack of dynamism and the increase in novelty segments has clearly not worked. A recent episode of the Morning Line had a link with a milk man travelling around on his daily milk run dressing up as a jockey and then going into Aintree. Ted Walsh was also less than impressed when Channel 4 had a “psychic pig” pick out the winner of the Champion Hurdle. Unfortunately the selection was Our Conor. Walsh summed the whole episode up as " pretty pathetic really". A description which could easily be extended to the current viewing figures of Channel 4 racing.
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In Chengdu, China, there was a race meeting held last week. Of course since betting on horse racing was outlawed by Chairman Mao in 1949, there was no gambling at the event. Still this may be taken as a positive step forward and in May, Hong Kong hosts the Asian Racing Federation Conference and which will include sessions on racing in China, its current state and its prospects. In gambling-mad Hong Kong, will the allure of the bookmakers be allowed a foothold. It remains to be seen.
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A newcomer to the betting exchanges asked a well-seasoned member the following question:
 I would like to lay the favourite in every horse race. What's the easiest method of doing this?”
The reply came:
 “Just send a cheque to Betfair each month. Perhaps a standing order would be best.”
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