The weekly TRC industry digest - a round-up of the international racing news from the past week.
It’s the Triple Crown, but not as you know it
North America: Stronach Group Chairman and President Belinda Stronach and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan have announced that the 2020 Preakness Stakes has been postponed to October 3, making it the final leg of a 2020 Triple Crown that will be contested over a three-and-a-half-month period.
Traditionally, the Pimlico Classic comes two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, but that gap grows to four weeks this year, with the rescheduled Kentucky Derby running on September 5. The Preakness’ later date puts it just one month out from the 2020 Breeders’ Cup, which is scheduled for November 6-7 at Keeneland.
Meanwhile, the New York Racing Association has announced that the traditional third leg, the Belmont Stakes, will take place on June 20 as the opening leg of the Triple Crown for the first time in history.
The 152nd renewal at Belmont Park will be run over nine furlongs instead of the usual mile and a half. It be run without spectators in attendance.
“The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times,” said NYRA president Dave O'Rourke. “While this will certainly be a unique running of this historic race, we are grateful to be able to hold the Belmont Stakes in 2020.
“Thanks to our partners at NBC Sports, fans across the country can look forward to a day of exceptional Thoroughbred racing at a time when entertainment and sports are so important to providing a sense of normalcy.”
And now for some really good news!
North America: The great mare Zenyatta has delivered a chestnut filly by Lane’s End’s world #2 dirt sire Candy Ride. The filly arrived the Kentucky farm at 5.40 am on Sunday. “We think she’s just beautiful, and Zenyatta is a very proud mom,” was the post on the mare’s Facebook page.
Since her retirement in 2010, the 16-year-old daughter of Street Cry has resided at Lane’s End. She has produced three previous registered foals.
Dettori keeping busy
Europe: World #1 jockey Frankie Dettori is launching the Frankie Dettori Raffle, which will raise money for Britain’s National Health Service.
The winner of the lottery will be able to design the Italian’s silks, as well as receive four badges for family and friends for the chosen race day, plus a luxury weekend stay in Newmarket.
“It’s a unique initiative and gives someone the chance to own a racehorse for £2 - which to some is the chance of a lifetime,” said Dettori, who added that he had already raised £10,000.
For more information or to enter, click here.
Away from fundraising, Dettori shared his excitement at the return of Enable, whose “main target to work back from” will be bidding for a potential third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
“I’ve been to the [John Gosden’s] stable four times a week so I see her regularly,” said the 49-year old. “She has the competitiveness to beat the best. We’ll use the Arc as the main target to work back from, as we came mighty close to winning last year. Nobody is more excited than me.”
French Classics set for Deauville after government about-turn
Europe: After barely a fortnight of racing behind closed doors in France, government approval for racing has been withdrawn from areas still affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The revised ruling means that there will be no more racing in Paris and the north-east, which includes the likes of ParisLongchamp, Auteuil and Chantilly.
The decision was called “inexplicable and irrational” by Edouard de Rothschild, president of France Galop, who added that he was “proud of the exemplary behaviour behind closed doors since 11 May and the colossal work provided by our teams”.
It is believed that France’s opening two classics – the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches and the Poule d’Essai des Poulains - could switch from Longchamp to Deauville, in Normandy in the north-west.
Irish buoyed by resumption date
Europe: Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) has said that the decision by the Irish government to allow for racing to resume in Ireland on June 8 is “hugely positive” and that it can now “put a plan in place” for its 2020 season.
Currently overseas horses are permitted to run only in G1s and G2s, but this will be reviewed by HRI as the season progresses. And, due to Irish government regulations, all visitors to Ireland have to self-isolate there for two weeks. This will affect grooms travelling to look after horses.
“We expect there to be significant demand for horses to run once we resume,” said Brian Kavanagh, the HRI chief executive. “We will aim to provide some opportunities across the spectrum of age, gender and ability. We will have missed 11 weeks’ racing, which will take some time to catch up [on]. We intend to do this over the course of the rest of the year, rather than immediately.”
Marketing pledge for British breeze-up consignors
Europe: Great British Racing International has committed to ensuring that British-based consignors for all breeze-up sales this year receive as much digital marketing support as their Irish counterparts.
GBRI will work with Tattersalls, Tattersalls Ireland and Goffs UK (along with their 2020 sale partner, Arqana) to arrange a financial contribution towards the suite of professional videos that are currently being made of all British breeze-up entries.
In most cases, the contribution of £30 per horse will be arranged directly with the British-based videographers who have been commissioned for the project. In cases where consignors have already produced a professional video, a reimbursement of £30 will be arranged via the sales house, subject to the footage meeting the required standard.
Amanda Prior, GBRI’s General, commented: “It has been fantastic to see Europe’s bloodstock auction houses and the industry’s representative bodies taking a collaborative approach during this very challenging period to ensure the breeze-up sales take place in as effective a format as possible.
“It is vital that, collectively, we do all we can to get these horses sold so that all vendors across all of the breeze-up sector can return to our yearling sales later in the year and play a key role once again.”
Elsewhere in racing …
North America: Owner Baoma has announced that G1-winning filly Bast is in foal to 2018 Triple Crown champion Justify, who stands at Ashford Stud.
Europe: The British Horseracing Authority has widened the pool for Royal Ascot 2-year-old runners to placate disgruntled trainers. More here
Oceania: The finalists for 2020 Australian Stud and Stable Staff Awards have been released. More here
North America: Long-serving Keeneland auctioneer Cris Caldwell has died from pancreatic cancer at the age of 63. More here
Oceania: Inglis Sales is believed to be ready to hold live sales in New South Wales, and it hopes that its Melbourne auctions will go as scheduled too. More here
Asia: Shigeki Yusa, stallion affairs manager for Japan Bloodhorse Breeders Association, announced on Twitter that prominent international sire Forty Niner had died from old age at the age of 35.
North America: Nydrie Stud, breeder of Jet Pilot, winner of the 1947 Kentucky Derby, has been put up for sale for an opening price of $4.95 million. More here