Tommos World of Racing 18th Jan
Paul Bittar is going to face an interesting first few monthsin his new job as Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority.
The Australian who knows British racing well having workedpreviously at the British Horseracing Board took up his new appointment lastweek and will have plenty on his desk to sort out!
Theres the new Whip Rules that seem to be causing all sortsof problems for racing since they were introduced with jockeys gettingsuspended all over the place!
Whatever is right or wrong the issue needs to be sorted andI know many in racing are looking for strong leadership from the new boss.
Theres the on going issue of prize money and although manyhave tried over the years the total prize money in GB seems to be on a downwardspiral and its going to take something very special to rectify that!
And then if that wasnt enough to be going on with therestalk of a strike amongst raceday officials!
Apparently the union representing the starters, judges and clerks of the scales is consideringtaking action as they press for an increase in pay for their members!
So there is no doubt Mr Bittar will not be allowed to puthis feet up on the desk-hes going to have to hit the ground running!
Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of Irish Racing told me hewas upbeat about the future of Irish Racing and there were plenty of positivesfrom the 2011 Irish Racing Statistics which were published last week.
Nobody was getting away from the fact that things are noteasy in Ireland with the economic climate and not surprisingly the number ofracehorse owners has fallen but amazingly the top end of the market continuesto defy the odds and the Irish horse sales saw a considerable rise in theoverall price of horses sold.
Also despite the fact money is tight more and more peoplewent through the turnstiles to enjoy a day out at the racecourses and totebetting turnover increased as well.
The Irish Thoroughbred Industry is famous throughout theworld and although it is not going to be easy in the years ahead it is stillone of the major industries in Ireland and long may it continue!
Michael Kinane and Pat Eddery- two of the worlds greatchampion jockeys- are coming out of retirement to ride again!
But before you start worrying that they are going to take itup full time again-theyre not! They have both agreed to return for one ride inthe John Smiths Legends race at Aintree on Grand National Day in April in aidof the Bob Champion Cancer Trust.
Im really looking forward to riding at Aintree for thefirst time said Kinane before adding thoughtfully- as long as they dont puta fence in front of me!
Kinane will renew rivalry with Eddery, 11 times champion and3 times Derby winning jockey, alongside some of the great names of NationalHunt Racing including Adrian Maguire, Tony Dobbin and Richard Pitman who in1973 came so close to winning the Grand National before being caught on theline on Crisp by the horse who went onto be a Grand National legend Red Rum.
And by the way Mr Kinane need not worry-its a flat race!
Following the news that So You Think is entered for theDubai World Cup on March 31st the bookies were quick to install himas ante post favourite at around 7-2.
Aiden Obrien who sent out Cape Blanco to finish 4thin the race last year would dearly love to win the worlds richest race and inSo You Think he has a top international horse who should be well suited by theconditions of the race.
Master of Hounds, who used to be trained by Obrien but isnow with Mike de Kock, has got a 16 to 1 quote after his promising return toaction at Meydan last week but the deKock horse that many people are talking about is Bold Silvano.
He hasnt been seen since running away from a top classfield at Meydan last year but the word from the stable is that he has got overhis injuries, hes back working well and is round about 8-1 for the Dubai WorldCup.
Its not easy to bring a horse back from injury to win anyrace never mind the worlds richest race but if anyone can Mike de Kock can!
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