The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of international racing news from the past week.
Britain ‘ready to resume’
Europe: “As soon as we are clear in our daily discussions with government that we are able to return, we will be ready to do so” – that is the message outgoing British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust has conveyed to the industry.
Rust, who surprised many when he announced he would leave the BHA after six years in the role, also outlined the BHA’s best-case scenario resumption plan, earmarking a potential July Derby preceded by the 1000 and 2000 Guineas at Newmarket run in early June.
He did caution it is “unlikely that the entire black-type programme will be staged this year”, with the Newmarket’s Craven and York’s Dante meetings already falling victim to the repercussions of the coronavirus outbreak.
Fixtures last took place in Britain on March 17, behind closed doors at Wetherby and Taunton, before meetings were initially put on hold until May 1 at the earliest. That suspension has now been extended, to an as-yet unspecified date, and crowds will not be expected on racecourses until at least June.
“When we have the right conditions, we will be able to resume racing in as good a form as we can, which will be behind closed doors, will mean social distancing and is likely to mean there will be some restrictions on tracks and runners and where we race,” added Rust.
“We have planned for a number of scenarios and we are ready to go.”
Online bidding crucial for Fasig-Tipton
North America: Fasig-Tipton will offer online bidding at all future live auctions, beginning with the U.S. giant’s next scheduled auction, the Midlantic 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale, to be held June 29-30 in Timonium, Maryland.
“At no other time has this service been more crucial or needed,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning Jr, who envisions this “service being an integral component of all future auctions” for the foreseeable future.
Browning added that nowadays “companies need to be flexible and willing to adapt” and confirmed that Fasig-Tipton will also launch a timed, online-only auction platform when appropriate. This will complement the company’s live auction line-up, offering buyers and sellers additional transaction opportunities that fall outside of the traditional live auction calendar.
Treve’s date with Kingman
Europe: Al Shaqab Racing have confirmed that dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe heroine Treve will visit Juddmonte’s Kingman after the birth of her Sea The Stars filly, who was born on March 29 weighing 56kg and is “doing well”, according to Al Shaqab.
Kingman is one of Europe’s most exciting young sires after supplying 17 stakes winners from his first two crops. In that short time, he has risen to #56 in the TRC Global Sire Rankings and his covering fee has increased to £150,000 this year.
The Criquette Head-trained Treve was bred by the Head family’s Haras du Quesnay and went on to win six career G1s. The now 10-year-old is by Motivator out of the winning Anabaa mare Trevise.
Darley Australia cuts sire fees in ‘supportive’ move
Oceania: Darley has unveiled its Australian 2020 stallion roster with reduced fees, which it says is priced to recognise the current challenges the “industry, and the wider world, is currently facing”.
Vin Cox, managing director of Godolphin Australia, describes it as a “supportive approach” of a roster that has “value, variety and quality”, adding that “the success of the breeders and buyers who support our stallions is our end goal”.
World #21 Exceed And Excel once again tops the 19-strong, two-state roster at an increased fee of AU$132,000, while leading Australian second-season sire by stakes winners, Brazen Beau, remains at $49,500.
The 2020 roster also includes newcomers Blue Point and Too Darn Hot, both UK-based, as well as Australian champion 2-year-old Microphone. More here.
Jockey banned after head-butt
Oceania: Australian jockey Luke Tarrant has been disqualified for six months after admitting to head-butting fellow rider Larry Cassidy at the weighing scales at Doomben. Tarrant had only recently returned to the saddle after facing criminal drugs charges.
The Queensland rider pleaded guilty to misconduct, which started out as a verbal altercation.
Stewards not only took into account the severity of the physical incident and adverse effect on the racing industry, but added that this was a serious breach of the Covid-19 social protocols currently implemented in Australia.
Move to protect British Thoroughbred DNA processing
Europe: The processing of all British Thoroughbred DNA samples has been moved from the beleaguered Animal Health Trust in Newmarket to Weatherbys Scientific’s laboratory in Ireland for the remainder of the 2020 breeding season.
This decision has been made after discussions with the AHT, the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and Weatherbys, because the AHT, which is under the threat of closure, was unable to give assurances around the processing of samples at this critical time for breeders, when certainty around service supply is vital.
April and May are months that see the greatest volume of sample receipt and to delay a decision regarding processing could have a detrimental impact on registration, passport production, horse identification and even trade.
This arrangement will be reviewed at the end of the year.
For further information, contact Nick Craven, Communications Director: +44(0)7850 025835 /firstname.lastname@example.org
Kiwis plan new calendar for start of next season
Oceania: New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) has released a proposed calendar for August through to early November to give owners, trainers and racing participants some certainty for the next six months.
“We acknowledge that the situation in the national fight against Covid-19 is changing rapidly, and accordingly final decisions about the programme of racing for August-November will be made by early July,” NZTR said in a statement.
“We are targeting a return to racing from July 1 as long as we can do this safely and in accordance with the strict government and public health obligations.
The proposed calendar remains subject to final approval by the Racing Industry Transition Agency’s dates committee and can be found here.
Elsewhere in racing …
Europe: The UK government’s culture secretary has defending the decision for the Cheltenham Festival to go ahead last month. More here
Europe: Goffs UK and Arqana will join forces for breeze-up sale for juveniles, which will be held in June at Naas in Ireland. More here
Europe: Jockey Jamie Spencer (world-ranked 67) is recovering after undergoing surgery following a fall on the gallops in Newmarket last Friday. More here
Africa: South Africa's National Yearling Sale has been moved to July. More here
Europe: 13-time German champion jockey Hein Bollow has died at the age of 99. More here
North America: The Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation has announced that Vinnie and Teresa Viola’s St Elias Stables will sponsor a research project to help develop alternate methods for detection of bisphosphonates in Thoroughbreds. More here
Oceania: Moonee Valley chief Michael Browell has conceded that the 100th running of the Cox Plate will race will go ahead without crowds, but could be run under lights. More here
North America: Maryland horsewoman Sally Richardson has died aged 85. More here