The new TRC weekly industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
Nader’s Hong Kong return ‘a long-term commitment’
Asia: Bill Nader will return to the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) as replacement for Tony Kelly, who resigned from his role as executive director for racing business and operations for “personal reasons” on Monday.
Kelly, 51, had essentially replaced Nader under a new-look racing structure in 2015 but served little more than two years before his shock resignation, which comes into effect immediately. Nader has agreed to a three-year contract and will report to Andrew Harding when he begins on March 12.
“This not a short-term fix, this is a long-term commitment,” said Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, chief executive of the HKJC. “If you look at our plans for the future with Conghua [150-hectare training centre in mainland China], this is one of the most interesting projects you can be involved with in racing, and I think that opportunity is what enticed Bill to come back.”
All systems go for ‘exciting’ Ulysses
Europe: Cheveley Park Stud has confirmed that its mare Executrix and the Niarchos Family-bred Dawning are both in foal to the Newmarket operation’s newest stallion, Ulysses.
Chris Richardson, managing director at Cheveley Park Stud, said the son of Galileo – who is standing this year’s breeding season at a fee of £30,000 – has a “very exciting book of mares” and that he was “very much look forward to the future [with the horse]”.
Hills share price climbs after CrownBet sale goes up for sale
Oceania: UK bookmaker William Hill has agreed to sell its Australian arm to Melbourne-based sportsbook CrownBet for a reported for A$300 million.
The sale comes after William Hill had been forced to review its Antipodean strategy following a ban on credit betting and increased taxation in the country. The organisation’s share price subsequently rose by 7.8p to 323.8p.
“We are pleased to announce the sale of William Hill Australia to CrownBet,” said Philip Bowcock, William Hill’s chief executive. “The disposal will allow William Hill to focus on continuing to grow our UK online and U.S. businesses, particularly as we prepare for the decision on the PASPA appeal [which could lift restrictions on sports betting in the U.S.], due in 2018.
Nine of Scat Daddy’s final crop set to breeze at Craven sale
Europe: Tatterstalls has released an expanded 172-lot catalogue for this year’s Craven Breeze-Up Sale on Tuesday, April 17. The breeze will take place on the previous day at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile.
The catalogue features nine 2-year olds from the final crop of the American-bred Scat Daddy, sire of 2017 G1 Royal Ascot winners Caravaggio and Lady Aurelia, and includes the half-brother to Japanese G1 winner A Shin Forward.
Scat Daddy’s compatriot, War Front, who is responsible for the two most expensive lots ever sold at the Craven sale, provides a further two sought-after juveniles.
Ascot's optimism over Winx
Oceania: Nick Smith, director of racing and communications at Ascot, is “cautiously optimistic” that Australian mare Winx will race at this year’s royal meeting.
Smith was in Australia on a world recruiting tour with York’s William Derby and Adam Waterworth from Goodwood ahead of the mare’s victory in the Chipping Norton Stakes at Randwick, which extended her winning streak to 23. It was her 16th G1.
Smith confirmed that Winx’s owners “have settled on the Queen Anne if they are going to come” after contesting the ten-furlong A$4million Queen Elizabeth in Sydney, the richest ten-furlong race in the ‘Southern Hemisphere on the second Saturday of The Championships on April 14. He added that a European prep race was not in trainer Chris Waller’s plans but suspects that Royal Ascot “appeals to demonstrate her on the world stage”.
Four tracks added to new female jockey silk series
Europe: The Silk Series – a British championship open exclusively to female jockeys – has added Goodwood, Hamilton Park, Musselburgh and York to its racecourse roster.
Last year’s inaugural series was raced across nine tracks and had a prize pot of £100,000. However, the 2018 iteration will see the jockeys compete for an improved £150,000 in 13 races between June and September.
Nick Rust, chief executive of the BHA, said: “Racing is proud that it is one of the few sports where men and women compete on equal terms, but we must do more to ensure that female jockeys receive the same opportunities as the men.
“Our vision is for a sport based entirely on the values of fairness, respect and equality.”