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Monday, December 11, 2000


Hitman became the latest market mover in the Tote's Champion Hurdle market this afternoon, with the horse backed in from 33/1 to 14/1.

Sustained betting on the horse throughout the day, forced the Tote to cut Hitman first to 20/1 and then to 14/1, pricing it on par with Bonusprint Bula Hurdle one-two Geos and Barton.

Istabraq remains odds-on wit the Tote at 10/11 for the 2 mile ˝ furlong race at Cheltenham on March 13.

Tote bet:

Smurfit Champion Hurdle, 2 miles ˝ furlong, March 13th:

10/11 Istabraq
8/1 Ashley Park
14/1 Barton, Geos, Hitman (from 33/1)
16/1 Hors La Loi III
25/1 Grand Seigneur, Sausalito Bay, Snow Drop, Stage Affair
33/1 BAR


The Jockey Club announced today that the Privy Council has approved changes to the Royal Charter enabling the Jockey Club to revise its corporate structure to reflect the Club's modern day roles and responsibilities. From January 1st 2001 all the Club's activities are to be represented on the main board while the Regulatory responsibility will be carried out separately by designated Regulatory Stewards. The proposals were approved by the Members of the Club in June and then submitted to the Privy Council.

Christopher Spence, Senior Steward of the Jockey Club, said today: "Put simply, these changes modernise the Jockey Club's structure. When the Royal Charter was established over thirty years ago, the Jockey Club was the single authority for British racing. However, since then a great deal has changed. The creation of BHB as the governing authority has resulted in fundamental changes to the administration of racing and the importance of RHT and Jockey Club Estates has grown considerably. Currently, the Jockey Club has four key roles, namely regulating racing, supporting the work of BHB, owning and running racecourses and operating training facilities. The revised structure recognises these roles and reflects our position in British racing today."

From January the Stewards of the Jockey Club (the main board) will be comprised of the Senior Steward and Deputy Senior Steward, the Regulatory Stewards, the Chairmen of Racecourse Holdings Trust and Jockey Club Estates and the Jockey Club nominated Directors on BHB.

In addition, the Jockey Club's role as regulator of racing becomes the responsibility of the Regulatory Stewards. Operating independently of the Stewards of the Jockey Club, the Regulatory Stewards will oversee regulatory matters and appoint the members of the Disciplinary and Licencing Committees.

Christopher Spence concluded: "The revisions have many positive effects. The changes establish clear distinctions between the Club's roles of Regulation and ownership. Furthermore, the individuals holding the Club's key appointments will all be represented amongst the Stewards of the Jockey Club, providing on the main board a forum for more effective discussion of overall strategy, while the vital Regulatory role will be ring-fenced from the Club's other activities."

The Stewards of the Jockey Club from January 1st 2001 will be as follows:

Christopher Spence - Senior Steward*
David Oldrey - Deputy Senior Steward
Christopher Hodgson - Regulatory Steward
Lord McGowan (Duncan) - Regulatory Steward
Mark Davies - Regulatory Steward
Major Michael Wyatt - Regulatory Steward
Gurney Sheppard - Regulatory Steward
Julian Richmond Watson - Jockey Club nominated Director on BHB
The Hon Sir David Sieff - Jockey Club nominated Director on BHB
Christopher Sporborg - Chairman of Racecourse Holdings Trust
George Paul - Chairman of Jockey Club Estates

* As Senior Steward, Christopher Spence is also a Regulatory Steward. In addition, he is currently one of the three Jockey Club nominated Directors on BHB.


Prospects for this week's meetings do not look good.

Exeter (Thursday): Currently waterlogged, inspection 11.30am tomorrow.

Towcester (Thursday): Heavy, waterlogged in back straight. Inspection at noon on Wednesday.

Ascot are monitoring the situation ahead of Saturday's card.


The Racecourse Association has instituted an inquiry into the biiding process that led to the selection of the Go Racing syndicate as the party for exclusive negotiations concerning media rights.

Towcester racecourse has initiated the inquiry after alleged discussions between racecourse representatives and Carlton, the alternative bidder.

The inquiry will start tomorrow and should hopefully report to the RCA Board early next week. It will be chaired by Mark Gay of Denton Wilde Sapte, while the findings and recommendations of the inquiry will be the responsibility of an independent QC.

Angus Chricton-Miller, Chairman of the RCA stated: "The media rights deal is of great importance to racing and it is planned to be for 10 years. It is, therefore, vital that the bidding process is seen to be without taint.

"Whilst no evidence has been produced to back up the allegations so far made, they are of sufficient concern to persuade us that an inquiry should be carried out. We have a duty to seek the necessary reassurance, or otherwise, that the behaviour of the parties involved in the bidding process has been above board.

"We are discussing with Go Racing the timing implications of this Inquiry on the negotiations being conducted with it. It seems extremely unlikely that a deal can be concluded by Christmas."


It has been announced that Ray Cochrane, who recently retired, will book rides for Johnny Murtagh in Britain next year.

Cochrane, who will also act as Frankie Dettori's agent next year stated: "I'll be doing Johnny's rides over here - he asked me yesterday. It'll be a good job.

"But Johnny is a seasoned professional and he's under no illusion that he'll ride 10 Group One winners next year - not with Kieren (Fallon) about."

The Irishman went on to reveal that he has been approached to book rides by several of his former colleagues: "Seven other jockeys have approached me to book rides for them. I'm quite surprised how it has snowballed."

"I'll be doing some more later on but I'm not going to rush things. I don't want to find I've taken too much on and I can't do the job right.

"At present I'm booking rides for Frankie and Johnny and I'm delighted to be doing that."

For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive

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