thoroughbred racing

France's Restart Rewarded With a Class Assembly

Along with New York and London, Paris has earned another, more unwelcome renown of late but on the day that most of the rest of France emerge from their doors closed shut by COVID-19, the Bois de Boulogne bears witness to the first major sporting action since mid-March. Such is the tightrope nature of the industry's predicament at present, it was enough to convince President Macron at the 11th hour to allow racing to take place within the "red zone" which is still under strict lockdown. ParisLongchamp has seen its...

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Handle Falls 24.42% in April

With the majority of U.S. tracks unable to race in April,  total pari-mutuel handle during the month fell by 24.42%. Bettors wagered $639 million during the month after wagering $845 million during April 2019. The numbers were provided by Equibase. It has been a roller coaster year for betting on U.S. racing. After posting an 11.8% increase over the months of January and February, handle fell by 22.8% in March when most tracks were forced to close. For most of April, there were only five Thoroughbred tracks racing, but several...

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South African Racecourse Owner Faces Bankruptcy

Phumelela Gaming and Leisure Ltd, which owns the majority of the racecourses in South Africa, is facing bankruptcy, Sporting Post reported on Monday. The company released its unaudited condensed consolidated interim financial results for the six months that ended on Jan. 31, 2020, and reported a loss of R115.1 million. Phumelela may now choose to file for voluntary liquidation. Racing was supposed to resume last Friday, May 1, but South Africa has continued its lockdown protocols due to the coronavirus. The G1 Horse Chestnut S., G1 South African Derby and...

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Thornton Almost Back to Normal After COVID-19 Scare

Andrew Thornton reports himself to be nearing full health after recovering from coronavirus. The Cheltenham Gold Cup-winning rider caught the virus in March, describing how he was "knocked sideways" by the illness. He said, "The last week I have been just about back to 100%. "Where it came from I don't know, but luckily Yvonne [wife] and Harry [son] have both managed to avoid catching it. I just tried to separate myself--I used a different bedroom and bathroom, I just stayed away from them. "I struggled to get up before...

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Sydney Musings: The Championships Week 2

With their own domestic racing programmes decimated by COVID-19, many Europeans naturally looked to Randwick's card in Sydney to get their weekend fix of high-class racing. There was further reason to focus on 'The Championships' with Newmarket-based William Haggas having a fancied runner in two of the Group 1 races, the G1 Schweppes Sydney Cup and the G1 Longines Queen Elizabeth S. Happily, his representative Addeybb (Ire) (Pivotal {GB} won the latter race, the meeting's showpiece feature. This triumph (which, of course, is likely to be the final British-trained overseas...

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Japan to Declare State of Emergency, Racing to Continue for Now

Coronavirus cases in Japan spiked on Sunday, leading to a state of emergency in some regions set to be declared by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday. One-hundred forty-three new coronavirus cases in Tokyo were confirmed on Apr. 5, bringing the total in Japan to 4,563. The state of emergency, made possible by a recently amended law, empowers local authorities to instruct the public to stay at home and request the closure of schools and other facilities. Racing in Japan, which has continued...

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Irish Racing Committed to Fight COVID-19 Amid Suspension of Racing

Horse Racing Ireland Chairman Nicky Hartery admits the sport possibly faces its "greatest challenge" after the decision was taken to suspend racing until the middle of April. Ireland had been racing behind closed doors since Mar. 13 as countries around the world battle to stop the spread of coronavirus. However, on Tuesday the Irish Government announced it was cancelling all sports events, even those without spectators, until at least Apr. 19--leaving the HRI board to assess the implications at a meeting on Wednesday. Hartery said, "What is most important is...

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Horse Racing in Ireland Suspended Until Apr. 19

All sporting events in Ireland have been suspended following an announcement from the Irish Government. Racing has been continuing to stage meetings behind closed doors since Mar. 13, as countries around the world try to limit the spread of the coronavirus. However, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced on Tuesday that all sporting events, even those without spectators, would be cancelled. Racing in Britain was suspended from last Wednesday, with no action anticipated before May 1 at the earliest. Racing had been due to take place at Dundalk on Wednesday. The Board...

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Kempton's Future Secured

Racing at Kempton could be assured for the foreseeable future after the Jockey Club announced it has submitted plans for a smaller-scale residential development on part of the racecourse estate. In Jan. 2017, the Jockey Club unveiled a shock proposal to close the Sunbury venue, with the land submitted for consideration following the local authority's 'Call for Sites' to address unmet local housing needs. The decision caused huge dismay in the racing world, with trainer Nicky Henderson fearing it would be "a nail in the National Hunt coffin" if the...

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Video Launched to Promote Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is the focus of a new cinematic, Netflix-style brand campaign (click here to view) to promote the iconic racemeeting, held at Ascot Racecourse from June 16-20, 2020. Created by independent creative agency isobel, the campaign invites us all to 'Be Part of the Drama.' Ascot and isobel partnered with production company Chief and director Yoni Weisberg to develop the concept-two racegoers meet at one of the highlight events on the annual social calendar. Jockey Hayley Turner, who became the second female ever to ride a Royal Ascot winner,...

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Hooked on Horse Racing: Keri Brion

Tired of all the bad news? So were we. So, in our new series, we focus on the positive, asking people from non-horse racing families two questions: how they get hooked, and how they'll hook someone else on horse racing this year. KERI BRION, ASSISTANT TO JONATHAN SHEPPARD What was the experience that made you fall in love with horse racing? I grew up down the road from a horse racing training and breeding farm and I used to walk down the road and feed the mares and foals carrots....

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Global Views: Spelling Culture Should Be Considered Worldwide

In the coming months, Godolphin Flying Start trainees will provide insight into practices experienced and observations taken on their worldwide travels. First up is current second-year trainee and Australia native Anna Power, who discusses her country's practice of spelling. The Godolphin Flying Start programme is an unrivaled opportunity to learn about Thoroughbred racing and breeding across the world. The cultural differences of the industry in each country have been eye-opening and surprising. For example, prior to my time in America I had never foaled a mare indoors. "It's really all...

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