The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
It’s Enable once again
Europe: Enable has been named as the 2019 Cartier Horse of the Year at the 29th Cartier Racing Awards. She becomes just the third horse to be a two-time Cartier Horse of the Year after Frankel (2011-12) and Ouija Board (2004 and 2006).
Bred by owner Prince Khalid Abdullah's Juddmonte Farms, the 5-year-old mare added a further three G1 successes to her remarkable resume in 2019. She is also the Cartier Older Horse for 2019.
Horses trained by John Gosden in Newmarket have now taken the Cartier Horse of the Year Award in five of the last six years. And the Newmarket-trainer also gained honours with horses in the 3-Year-Old Colt category with Too Darn Hot, 3-Year-Old Filly Star Catcher and the Stayer Stradivarius.
Happy Valley meet called off amid rising tension
Asia: The Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) cancelled Wednesay’s meeting at Happy Valley due to safety reasons. It is the second time it has cancelled a race meeting at Happy Valley hours before the first race due to safety concerns.
The autonomous territory in south-eastern China has been the scene of unrest for the past five months due to anti-government rebellion and the tension between police, and protests have escalated over the past week.
A statement from the HKJC at the time said, “The club has been monitoring the situation in Hong Kong closely. It has conducted a thorough risk assessment of the race meeting tonight and concluded that the latest social unrest and public transportation situation throughout the territory do not support our employees and racegoers arriving and, particularly, departing from the racecourse smoothly and safely.”
Sha Tin is set to host the Hong Kong International Races on December 8, one of the world’s richest race-days.
Saudi Cup on Tacitus agenda
Middle east: Garret O'Rourke, general manager of Juddmonte Farms, has confirmed that dual Graded stakes winner Tacitus will get a freshening before returning to the track as a 4-year-old with the $20 million Saudi Cup on February 29 the first major target.
The Bill Mott-trained colt has not raced since finishing third in the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park on September 28. He has not won since the G2 Wood Memorial on April 6, although the son of Tapit had finished in the top-three in five consecutive graded stakes races.
Team Valor switching to Europe
North America: The founder and CEO of Team Valor International, Barry Irwin, has revealed that he intends to phase out its stable in the United States and will instead focus on racing in Europe.
The 30-odd horses currently racing in the U.S. will be kept in training, but virtually all the group's future acquisitions will be horses with racing experience that will be acquired on the continent and campaigned there.
“I just think for me and my people and with my talents, we can do better and have more fun in Europe,” Irwin said. “With what's going on in America right now, I am not enjoying racing here as much. So, I’d rather go to Europe, where I can enjoy it.”
Tragedy at Belmont
North America: Juan Becerra, an exercise rider for trainer Steve Asmussen, died on Monday after failing to regain consciousness following a riding accident at Belmont Park last Friday.
Asmussen’s Belmont-based assistant, Toby Sheets, told Daily Racing For that Becerra had “blood on his brain” and was immediately taken to Winthrop Hospital. Sheets paid tribute to Becerra – “he was my right arm” – calling him a “super good guy” who did “everything without being asked”.
Returning to Gulfstream
North America: Dave Bailey has been named racing secretary at Gulfstream Park, a role that he previously served at the Florida track in 2000-2007.
He was assistant racing secretary at Gulfstream under Bob Umphrey in 1996 and at Hialeah under Tommy Trotter in 1997. Following that he was named racing secretary at Arlington Park in 1997 and also served in the same role at Penn National from 2011-2016.
“We're ecstatic to have Dave join Gulfstream Park,” said Mike Lakow, vice president of racing. “Dave has an impressive resume, has excelled in this position at the top tracks and has a great relationship and rapport with horseman throughout the country as well as our team at Gulfstream and The Stronach Group.”
Elsewhere in racing …
Asia: It has been confirmed that the recently retired Thunder Snow will stand at Darley in Japan next year. More here
Europe: Capri, the dual classic-winning son of Galileo, has been retired from racing and will take up stallion duty under the Coolmore National Hunt banner at Grange Stud in County Cork for the 2020 breeding season. More here
Europe: The National Stud has added Galileo's son classic-winning son Flag Of Honour, to its Newmarket operation as a dual-purpose sire for the 2020 breeding season. More here