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Horsing: Around 11/10 - 17/10

With the new Pro Group Racing site, we bring you new weekly articles, keeping you up-to-date on the latest news in the world of horse racing. Read on to see what the media had to say about it all

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Bad Beat: If 2020 Was A Horse Its Sandy Boy

UK galloper Sandy Boy is getting a very strong reputation of is being the 2020 of horse after not once but twice snatching victory from the jaws of defeat.

In a 5000m race over hurdles the 6 year old gelding was clear going over the final hurdle at Huntingdon on Tuesday before old habits came to the fore.

Jockey Ben Jones piloting Sandy Boy into the clear showed the persuader which the horse was clearly not a fan off thrashing his tail widely before shifting towards the standside rail and losing momentum.

The subsequent change in direction in the straight ultimately cost Jones and Sandy Boy the win, despite kicking on in the final 50m he went down by 3 lengths to Innisfree Lad.

Despite having previous for the incident the stewards weren’t happy with Jones, citing excessive whip use as the reason for the shift.

The stewards' report read: "Ben Jones, the rider of SANDY BOY (IRE), placed second, was suspended for 13 days for using his whip above the permitted level and without time to respond from approaching second last."


As mentioned this isn’t the first time the Phillip Hobbs trained runner has acted up. In November last year at Exeter, Sandy Boy presented to win a 4600m hurdle affair as the 6/4fav ($2.50) only to again have the left-hand indicator on.


Injury Update: Aiden O’Brien trained Galloper Out Of Spring Carnival

One if the international raiders for the champion trainer Aiden O’Brien has been ruled out of contention for the spring after breaking a leg at the Werribee International Horse Centre on Wednesday morning.

The 2000 Guineas runner-up Wichita sustained a fracture to his off hind leg during trackwork. It is unsure when specifically the injury occurred however Wichita completed his work but the injury was found when the horse returned to his box.

O’Brien had sent Wichita to Melbourne as part of his six-horse team. The horses’s main objective was the (G1) Cantala Stakes over 1600m at Flemington on Derby day however this will now have to be missed.

It is a shame for some punters who had gambled on O’Brien being drawn in by the new wealth in Sydney racing and placing the horse in TAB’s Golden Eagle. The $7.5m prize money on offer was enough to see punters shifting his price $15 into $8 for the race.

Sadly though for the Horse and connections Witchita will now be confined to his box while treated by local vets.

Breaking Barriers: UK Female Jockey Hollie Doyle Breaks Own Win Record

Top UK jockey Hollie Doyle has broken her own British record for number of winners ridden in a year by a women.

Doyle aboard 2-1 favourite State Occasion secured her 117th Victory of the season winning in a photo finish at Kempton on Wednesday.

"When I broke the record last year, in the back of my mind I was always thinking about breaking it again," she told Great British Racing.

"I didn't want it to be a one-off, so I'm delighted to have achieved that goal."

It’s quite an achievement for Doyle who has reached the record breaking total in a shorter space of time than the previous year with 776 rides required instead of 819 last year.

Overall Doyle is 4th in the British Jockeys Championship one place behind boyfriend Tom Marquand who earlier in the year had won a group 1 in Sydney.

Its been a landmark year for the jockey who has continual broken barriers for women in the sport riding a 5 timer at 899/1 and then winning her first ride at Royal Ascot aboard Scarlet Dragon.

Home and Away: Former Adelaide Apprentice Rides First Treble In Hong Kong

The former South Australian apprentice jockey Jerry Chau has ridden his first treble of his Hong Kong career after riding Terry Cruz trained buddies to victory in the Class 2 High West Handicap.

“It feels like a dream – it’s amazing, everything went to plan, it’s just unbelievable,” the 20-year-old said.

Chau, a product of Hong Kong Jockey Club Apprentice Jockeys’ School returned to Hong Kong after last season in Australia and is now working closely with 2nd year trainer Douglas Whyte.

“He’s got a lot of people behind him and I think that he’s showing everybody, including himself, that with the help and the support, he can be a very competitive rider in Hong Kong,” Whyte said.

“He’s got lovely balance. He’s got a lovely seat on a horse, he still needs to fine tune his start to the straight, his positioning and relaxing a horse and staying out of trouble, but he’s got a lovely style about him and the most important thing is that his horses run for him - if a horse runs for you that’s where it all starts.

“I have been helping him, but it’s not just me it’s the whole force behind him: Felix Coetzee does an amazing job with the apprentices, and so does Amy Chan - he has a good group behind him.”

Chau has returned seven wins from the first 12 race meetings this term, including his maiden treble, but sits out the next two meetings due to suspension.

Keep Going: Jockey In QLD Gets Hit In The Head By A Bird & Still Wins

Some interesting scenes in Race 8 at Doomben on Saturday as jockey Georgina Cartwright had to go above and beyond in order to get a victory.

On turning the home bend she was quite literally smacked in the head by a magpie flying in from the stand side of the course.

Riding Tony Gollan trained Royale Hale, Cartwright was clearly stunned for a second after taking the impact to the head but was able to gain composure and once again focus on the race in hand.

The gelding was clearly unaware of what was happening to his pilot as the $4 favourite knuckled down and went on to strike winning the 1350m race by 0.3l.

The connections and Cartwright would no doubt have been happy to convert the final race into a result however the bird looked to be in trouble after the incident and was no doubt checked by on course vets.

For that incident alone it would be a day the jockey won’t forget, however winning the lucky last also completed a treble for the day.


Four Right: Golfers Interrupt Great Northern At Ellerslie

There were some interesting scenes in the $125,000 Great Northern Steeplechase at Ellerslie on Saturday after an errant Golfer ended up interrupting one of the biggest races on the NZ calendar.

Ellerslie racecourse which surrounds a popular pitch and putt course saw a player hit an off target shot onto the middle of the course proper to the fury of the race caller branding them “Absolute D**kheads”.

"There are some absolute idiots playing golf on the course proper - can you believe that?!"

"Down towards ... you absolute dickheads! At the first of the stand double ..." said a clearly shocked racecaller George Simon.

The golfer reacted to the oncoming traffic when they were about 50m away with all the jockeys able to avoid him without injury.

"We were all yelling at him, he obviously was more interested in his ball than the race," said jockey Shaun Fannin, who was leading the race on Magic Wonder, who went on to win New Zealand's most iconic steeplechase.

Spring Watch: Melbourne Cup Favourite The Hardest To Handicap

Greg Carpenter has had the unenviable task of deciding what weight Melbourne Cup favourite Tiger Moth will carry in the $7m race and described it as the the most difficult horse he’s had to handicap since he took charge of the weights a decade and a half ago.

Tiger Moth currently stands as the $7 favourite for the race with Suprise Baby and Russian Camelot the only other two runners below double figures in betting.

Originally weighted at 50kgs for the race, the 4 start veteran was handed a 2.5kg penalty for a group three win in Ireland shown below.

“Quite frankly, to be honest and transparent, when you are trying to handicap a horse in a Melbourne Cup that has run just three times you are scratching your head as to what weight you are going to give that horse, because you just don’t know enough about him,” Carpenter, Racing Victoria’s Chief Handicapper, said on Radio TAB’s Past the Post.

“The more times you see a horse run to a certain level the more confidence you have in assigning a weight to that horse.

“In the 16 years I’ve been doing the Melbourne Cup weights, he would have to be probably the most difficult horse to assess because there was so little evidence.

“We gave him 50 kilos and he wouldn’t have got a run in the race. He had to replicate what he did in the Irish Derby. He did that and won a race at Leopardstown very easily. Buckhurst (7th in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup) was in that race and sat back and finished off at the end, but certainly Tiger Moth was dominant.

“So he got a 2.5kg penalty and now has 52.5kg and has been installed (in the field).”

Tiger Moth follows the style of recent winners Rekindling and Cross Counter as lightly raced 3yos with low weights looking to take home the prize.

Doyles Delight: Holly Doyle Continues Record Breaking Week

Holly Doyle continues to break ground in Horse Racing, leading the charge for women in the sport by adding further records to her already bursting portfolio of rides.

Doyle, who had only 3 days early, broke her own record for most wins in a season by a female jockey, set another record by becoming the first female to win a group one at Ascot on Saturday.

Having a full card of rides she landed her first Group one success as Glen Shiel took the British Champions Sprint Stakes in a thrilling photo-finish.

On the day it gave her a 203/1 double after riding Trueshan to a spectacular victory destroying the field in the Long Distance Cup earlier in the day.

"I didn't think I'd won, so to have had the result we have was incredible," she said.

"We had a good old battle with Oxted from the three-pole and I thought that I would be doing well to hold on like I did, but he is such a game horse.

"But it's not about me, it's about Archie Watson; he has campaigned this horse unbelievably. No one else would have won a Group One with this horse.

"My aim at the start of the year was to ride a Group winner and I always said a Group One one day, but I didn't think it would come this year."

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