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Sheikh outspoken on track

Claims that Royal Ascot was not a level playing field were sounded out by Sheikh Fahad.

Visiting American trainer, Wesley Ward, was given permission to gallop King’s Stand Stakes favourite Lady Aurelia down the straight, prior to the Group 1 on Tuesday.

Maybe the curator of Royal Ascot was caught between a rock and a hard place, when visiting horses from the U S were given permission to gallop on the track, and the locals were not.

The Sheikh’s trainer, Michael Bell, claims it was unfair, when on face value it was, while it can be claimed it sets a precedence that can often be dangerous, we all like to see that no favours are given to horses, provided they have not raced on the track surface.

Racing administrators have to see there are no favours given to any runner, if a horse is engaged in the King Stand Royal Ascot, it must be seen that no favours are given, and common sense must prevail.

Royal Ascot is the show case of horse racing in the U K, and Europe for that matter, races are time honoured events, names of races are rarely changed, it’s about tradition and let’s hope it always is. We must preserve the heritage of our racing and the thoroughbred.


Visa Concerns for Queensland Racing

Scrapping of the 457 Visa program will have grave repercussions for the Queensland Thoroughbred Breeding Industry.

The TBQA is currently working with the federal body, the TBA, to highlight an impending crisis for racing and breeding, if the recently announced changes to the Visa program are implemented.

The category of Horse Trainer has been abolished.

This previously allowed for highly trained and experienced staff to be recruited from overseas as managers.

This affects not just horse trainers, as we know them, but virtually all horse people in the industry, strappers, foreman, stud staff, track riders etc.

Horse breeders remain on the list, however, under the changes, staff will only be eligible for a two year visa, and will be unable to apply for permanent residency.

This is going to discourage the best and brightest people from around the world, from taking up senior management positions in Australia.

A large number of Thoroughbred Breeders in Queensland have fears that if this matter is not resolved, it could spell the end of their business.

Federal Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has said the government is committed to supporting the thoroughbred breeding industry.

Mr Joyce, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, was speaking at an announcement to confirm the approval of government for an industry led research and development levy.

“The breeding and racing industry is something that is very important to regional Australia and to me personally, “he said.

“The breeders made it very clear to me that this levy was something they needed, and I went into bat for it in Cabinet, there was some opposition but I’m glad I was able to deliver on it,” he added.

Under the levy, which was included in the budget, and will be in place in the new financial year, breeders will pay $10 per mare and $10 per stallion return.      

This will be put into a fund for R&D, with the government then matching every industry dollar.

It is expected this could lead to some $1 million being spent on research that benefits the thoroughbred breeding industry.


Fundraiser for injured riders

More than $165,000 was raised for injured track riders, Ben Saunders and Wade Clasohm, at Saturday night’s Racing Reaches Out, at Clifford Park, Toowoomba.

The evening was an emotional evening, but an enormous success, according to Toowoomba Turf Club Chairman, Kent Woodford.

TTC is delighted to be able to assist the families of Ben and Wade with this enormous cash injection, “said Kent Woodford.

“It will really relieve some of the financial pressures on the families, it has been an emotional journey for everyone at the TTA to put the fund raiser together,” he added.

Sporting memorabilia, stud and various racing club hospitality packages went under the hammer, and were extremely popular at the event, which attracted more than 350 people to Clifford Park.


Lloyd Williams hall of fame

There is never likely to be any questioning of Lloyd Williams’s inclusion into the Hall of Fame, he is surely a worthy inductee, however, it is a bit of joke that so many years have passed before Archer was finally recognised.

Archer won the first two Melbourne Cups in 1861 and 1862, yet it has taken 155 years for him to be recognised, surely someone has been having a bye bye.

It is absolutely ridiculous the time that it has taken to recognise some of these recipients, there are 11 new inductees, three are living, one we are not sure of, and the remainder have all passed away.

Someone has woken up about Tommy Corrigan, he has only been dead for more than a hundred years, he is surely worth a berth.

Brian Courtney was a prominent trainer, he had much of his success at Mentone with Dhaulagiri, Small Time, My Peak and New Statesman, and a host of other good horses, he moved to Caulfield when Mentone Racecourse was closed.

Des Judd trained at Caulfield on Bond Street an all sand street, he won the Oakleigh Plate and the Newmarket Handicap with Cromwell, after the death of Theo Lewis, he went to Flemington taking over Lewis’s stables in Leonard Cresent.

Alan Bell was a very stern steward, he didn’t believe in smiling much, if a jockey was called in before Bell the advice from the other jockeys was , “walk slowly and think quickly. “  

The Hall of Fame is a great concept, it certainly has a place in racing for those that have made a significant contribution to the racing industry, it is a great honour, to be proud of and enjoy , while the dead may rest peacefully.    


Frankel foal creates interest

Goffs set up their London Sale, four years ago, in the hope of achieving a unique date on the eve of Royal Ascot.

On that occasion it created a new concept, with the first Frankel foal ever sold at public auction, with his dam, for 1.15 million pounds.

Whilst that price was no means overshadowed by previous results, it still illustrates an exciting market is there for the champion racehorse.

Goffs announced earlier this week, with delight, by naming the first lot in the sale on June 19 with another foal by Frankel.

The filly is out of Millevini, a nine year old half sister to the St Leger winner Kingston Hill, the dam being by Hawk Wing will again be offered in a job lot, with the bonus of a foal by Kingman in utero.

The filly is consigned by Heatherwold Stud Burghclere in Berkshire, which has established a reputation for boarders being in the proximity of Lambourn, with a number of stables training on the Berkshire and Wiltshire Downs.

Goffs chief executive, Henry Beeby, was rubbing his hands, “she is a cracking filly with a strong walk, everything is in place, “he said.

“Frankel fever is a global phenomenon at the moment, we are delighted to being back to London this year following the massive interest at our first London Sale,” he added.

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Tony Williams with Frankel  


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