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Billy Barratt, Barratt Southern Counties mascot, positively flew down the final furlong at Kempton Park to win the BetVictor Mascot Grand National at the Surrey racecourse on Monday, May 6th.
Mascot fans turned out on Bank Holiday Monday to watch the hilarious spectacle of a multitude of mascots taking to the track in aid of charity. Last year’s winner Mr Bumble from Barnett FC was unable to overcome the power of Billy Barratt and finished in second place, closely followed by Hotshot who was representing Jelson Homes DMU Leicester Riders Basketball Club.
Mascots came from far and wide to take part including Paramedic Bob from Thames Valley & Chiltern Air Ambulance, Trotter from Delaford Colts FC, Digger from London Irish and Zampa the Lion from Milwall FC.
BBC Television’s The One Show featured the race on their Bank Holiday Monday evening show after entering their mascot Onesie to take part. Celebrity guest runner Iwan Thomas ran as Onsie on The One Show’s behalf but even a former European Champion was no match for Billy Barratt!
Kempton Park worked in partnership with Princess Alice Hospice to raise funds for the nominated charity of this year’s mascot race. Every mascot in the race donated their entry fee to the cause and a bucket collection was also held on the day at the racecourse resulting in £1100 being raised for the charity.
Racegoers, who came to the Sunbury on Thames racecourse, enjoyed the afternoon Flat racing and plenty of free family entertainment including a mini mobile petting farm, face painting, balloon modellers and free children’s rides.
Phil White, Kempton Park’s General Manager, commented: “The BetVictor Mascot Grand National was a fabulous spectacle and we were delighted that so many mascots entered and to see so many supporters cheering their favourite mascot home”.
“The Mascot Grand National is great fun and Kempton Park was pleased to be able to showcase it in the London area for the second year running and to raise valuable funds for such a great local charity” Phil continued.
Stephanie King from BetVictor presented the trophy to Billy Barratt following the race.
Pictures of many of the mascots and the race itself can be viewed on Kempton Park Racecourse’s Facebook page!
A small staking Horse Racing punter struck gold on Sunday when winning an amazing £209,731.59 from the UK’s leading bookmaker William Hill with a series of 1p bets.
The man – in his forties – wishes to remain anonymous, but regularly places small-staking accumulators in the hope of ‘’knocking the bookmakers for six’’!
Selecting 11 horses across three of Sunday’s meetings, the Home Counties punter placed a number of 1p accumulator bets using combinations of four, five, six, and 8 of the 11 horses he carefully selected.
Whilst only eight of his 11 selections obliged, it was enough to set-up a jackpot win of over £200,000.
When discussing his win, he commented: ‘’This sort of win is completely alien to me! I’ve had a couple of four-figure wins in the past, but I never expected this. I’m going to chill out over the next few days thinking about how to spend the money, but it’ll go a long way in the current climate. I’ll probably pay off the mortgage, and i’m a bit of a car fan, so I might see about a vintage sports car!’’
Kate Miller, spokeswoman for William Hill, said: ‘’this is one of the luckiest bets we’ve ever seen and the one all punters dream of. Accumulators are incredibly popular bets to place and a couple of times a year we’ll be hit by a large winner, but to see one with penny stakes is almost unique.’’
1p win 4-folds, stake £3.30, return £3,606.49
1p win 5-folds, stake £4.62, return £21,127.08
1p win 6-folds, stake £4.62, returns £73,703.69
1p e/w 8-folds, stake £3.30, returns £111,294.33
Total Stakes: £15.84
Total Winnings: £209,731.59
Stencive 2:05pm Newmarket 5/2 LOST
Gabriel’s Lad 3:10pm Newmarket 5/1 LOST
Sky Lantern 3:50pm Newmarket 10/1 WON
Sun Central 2:20pm Salisbury 9/2 WON
Swing Easy 3:35pm Salisbury 7/2 WON
Fleeting Smile 4:45pm Salisbury 15/8 WON
Nasharra 1:40pm Hamilton 6/1 WON
Flipping 2:15pm Hamilton 8/1 LOST
O Ma Lad 4:00pm Hamilton 11/2 WON
Coral Sands 5:10pm Hamilton 25/1 WON
Two Turtle Doves 5:45pm Hamilton 11/1 WON
Follow Wiliam Hill on Twitter @WillHillRacing!
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The Disciplinary Panel of the BHA held an Inquiry on 25 April 2013 into the blood samples taken on 9 April 2013 from various horses at the training yard of Mahmood Al Zarooni, to establish whether or not he was in breach of the Rules of Racing in the UK.
At the outset of the hearing, Al Zarooni admitted all the alleged breaches of the Rules and apologised for his actions. On 9 April 2013, the BHA conducted a ‘testing in training’ visit to Godolphin’s Moulton Paddocks Stables in Newmarket where Al Zarooni was responsible for just over 200 horses. There had been issues identified in relation to medication records during a previous visit in 2010 and two of Al Zarooni’s horses had post-race positive tests in 2012; on both occasions for painkillers. Samples were taken from 45 horses. Al Zarooni was still in Dubai following the Dubai World Cup Carnival but his staff assisted the BHA. Mr Charlie Appleby, the yard manger, accompanied the BHA staff and Mr Simon Crisford, Racing Manager to Godolphin, arrived during the sampling to check what was happening. The Medication Books were assessed and in the view of Dr Hillyer they appeared ‘in good order’ with the overall use of medication seeming to have decreased compared with a review three years previously.
On 16 April 2013 HFL Sport Science, the laboratory responsible for conducting the sample testing, rang Dr Hillyer to report four unusual screening findings for stanozolol. Verbal authorisation was given to proceed to confirmatory analysis. Later that day, seven further samples were reported as screening positive for ethylestranol. Confirmatory analysis was authorised for these further samples. All eleven samples were confirmed as positive findings. In the light of the positive findings, a meeting was arranged the following morning with Mr Crisford. Present at the meeting from the BHA were Dr Hillyer and Mr Stuart Williams, a BHA Investigating Officer. Mr Crisford was informed of the positive findings and was requested to make enquiries to ascertain if a source of the drugs could be identified.
At 3pm the same afternoon a further meeting was held with Al Zarooni present. Mr Paul Bittar, the BHA Chief Executive also attended as an observer.
At the meeting Al Zarooni admitted being responsible for the administration of Stanasol (which contains stanozolol) on 14 March 2013 to the four horses that returned positive samples for stanozolol. He also admitted being responsible for the administration of Nitrotain to seven horses (which contains ethylestranol), between 14 March and 7 April 2013 to those horses which returned positive samples for ethylestranol . At the interview Al Zarooni produced the box of Nitrotain which was the source of the ethylestranol and handed over the unused Nitrotain that had not yet been dispensed together with a list of the horses that had received the medication. He confirmed he no longer held any more stock of Stanasol.
Al Zarooni informed the BHA that he had also administered Stanasol to one additional horse, and Nitrotain to three further horses which had not been tested at the initial visit on 9 April 2013.
Al Zarooni explained at interview that his knowledge of the drug came from working in Dubai where use of anabolic steroids in training is permitted. He told the Investigating Officer that he thought the drug could be used if the horse was not racing. Al Zarooni confirmed that he had not recorded the administration of any of the anabolic steroids in the stable’s Medication Books. He could offer no explanation for this omission.
At the hearing Al Zarooni admitted, when questioned by the Panel, that he personally brought the anabolic steroids into the UK in his luggage when returning from Dubai. In relation to the administration of Stanasol, he informed the Panel that on 14 March 2013 he made up five unmarked syringes each containing 4ml of the drug from his bottle of the drug. He then drove to Moulton Paddocks Stables and passed the syringes out of his car window to an unqualified veterinary assistant, Sharif Mahboob, and asked him to give the drugs to five horses which he listed on a piece of paper. All five horses were under veterinary care at the time in respect of musculoskeletal problems and in one case, colic. Al Zarooni said he thought the drug would help improve the horses’ condition.
In relation to the Ethylestranol, Al Zarooni told the Panel that he asked his stable staff to include this medication, which was in paste form, to be included in the feed of a number of horses to stimulate their appetite.
Al Zarooni explained to the Panel that in Dubai anabolic steroid drugs are given to horses in training. Having received the drug, the horses are only allowed to race following elapse of the 28 day withdrawal period for the drug.
The Panel carefully considered the question of penalty.
In this case, Al Zarooni has admitted that he personally brought anabolic steroids into the UK from Dubai and asked his unqualified staff to administer the drugs.
The Panel considered there was no excuse for Al Zarooni to be in any doubt as to the illegality of administering anabolic steroids. The BHA has publicised this issue and following the case of Howard Johnson in 2011 the matter was given further prominence.
Al Zarooni’s assertion at the hearing that he did not know that such administration was not permitted in the UK was simply not truthful. He asserted that he was only trying to do the best for his horses who were unwell. He did not have a credible explanation as to why he had not discussed the matter with the stable’s veterinary surgeons or entered a record of the administration of the drugs in the stable’s Medication Books. The Panel concluded that Al Zarooni sought to confer an unfair advantage on his horses by the underhand administration of illegal medication. His attempt at cheating was uncovered by the regulatory inspection and he had no justifiable excuse for his behaviour.
The Panel takes a very dim view of the sheer volume of horses who were subjected to these unlawful medication regimes. This was a widespread systematic misuse of illegal substances which are absolutely prohibited under the Rules. Nearly a quarter of the 45 horses tested at the stables had positive samples. These were horses in training, some of which were entered into races in April and May.
The Panel is firmly of the view that this was not an accidental or inadvertent misunderstanding of the Rules – this was a deliberate flouting of the governance framework of British racing by one of the most high profile flat trainers working in the racing industry.
The Panel has noted, to Al Zarooni’s credit, his apology and remorse expressed to it. It has also noted his co-operation with the investigation and the Inquiry and furthermore his identification of four additional horses to whom illegal administrations were made who were not the subject of the initial inspection sampling. But this does little to ameliorate the aggravating features of this case.
The conduct of high profile trainers is keenly watched by all Stakeholders in the sport. Al Zarooni administered anabolic steroids to a significant number of horses in training. This is a very serious departure from the proper governance standards expected in horseracing. The Panel consider that Al Zarooni’s actions have damaged the reputation of British racing. The gravity of Al Zarooni’s breach means that the appropriate penalty must be at the upper end of the range. The Panel has determined that Al Zarooni should therefore be disqualified for a period of 8 years. The Panel have considered whether penalties should also follow for the breaches for Rules (C)13 and (A)30 but have considered that these matters are subsumed within the primary issues of this case. The order for disqualification against Al Zarooni will take effect immediately alongside proper allowance being given for Godolphin to reorganise the supervision and allocation of Al Zarooni’s horses to new trainers. Al Zarooni’s disqualification will be effective from Thursday 25 April 2013 to Saturday 24 April 2021.
Further to the investigation, the BHA plan to carry out the following actions:
Test all of the remaining horses which were previously under the care of Mahmood Al Zarooni. The analytical work will be carried out by HFL Sport Science. This process is under way and the results will be published in due course.
Provide advice to Godolphin of necessary changes to its procedures and controls where appropriate. This process is under way. It should also be noted that Godolphin will be conducting their own internal review.
Consider the wider issues raised by this matter and we will seek to ascertain and collate all other relevant information including where necessary interviewing other employees or contractors of Godolphin. As we do in all cases, as part of an ongoing process we will identify further areas for consideration which could be incorporated from this into our future sampling strategy. This process is under way.
Put the subject of the differing approach amongst Racing jurisdictions to the use of anabolic steroids in training on the agenda for discussion with our international colleagues. This process is under way and contact has already been made to the IFHA to raise this as an agenda item.
The 15 horses involved in the case have been suspended for 6 months. Details of this notification can be found here: http://www.britishhorseracing.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/BHA-statement-regarding-suspension-of-15-Godolphin-horses-in-the-care-of-Mahmood-Al-Zarooni-3ba.aspx
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Supporting Top Jumps Mares in National Hunt Racing
The 3rd OLBG Mare of the Month Award goes to Oliver Sherwood!
Although the weather may have got the better of Doncaster’s Saturday race meeting, it’s looking positive that the Cheltenham Festival Trials Day will go ahead as scheduled. This is great news for Oliver Sherwood; while he has no runners at the meeting, he will be presented with the 3rd OLBG Mare of the Month Award and a £1000 cheque for his stable staff.
The new award was set up for the 2012/13 season and seeks to award the trainer and stable staff of the mare who is deemed to have delivered the most outstanding performance in the selection period. The mare to catch the panel’s eye this month was Mischievous Milly, who won a Listed hurdle at Taunton on 30 December, a maiden hurdle on 10 December and placed on her only two other starts.
‘It’s hugely important what OLBG are doing for mares in racing and I am very appreciative’, Oliver told OLBG. ‘All the staff were very excited when they found out they’d won and I am really pleased they are being rewarded.’
Mischievous Milly was ready to run in the OLBG Doncaster Mares Hurdle tomorrow before the meeting was yesterday abandoned due to snow and frost.
The next selection period is 20 Jan to the 16 Feb. Mares’ performances will be discussed in the OLBG forum where you can sign up free to share your opinion. The winner will be announced 22 February and the presentation will be aired 23 February on C4 Racing.
I am not proud of what I did. It was a moment of madness – well almost two hours to be honest. I have let myself, my wife and my children down…oh and my friends and family. I just hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me, writes Darren Fleming.
You know I love racing and you may not be surprised to hear that I really don’t like Big Brother, so what is a man to do when I find that racings leading personality of the last 20 years has sunk to the same depraved depths that John McCririck sank just a few years ago.
So here goes.
Confession time. I watched almost the entire first episode of Celebrity Big Brother because Frankie Dettori had agreed to go into the house (I’m hanging my head in shame…).
For so many years Frankie Dettori, the Arsenal loving Italian has been a charming talismanic figurehead for the sport but after being tested positive for a banned substance on Sept 16th 2012, Dettori finds himself unable to ride competitively anywhere in the world until May 19 2013. Riding all 7 winners in one day as Ascot helped to raise his profile quite early in his career, and for a couple of years or so the role of a team captain on Question of Sport also helped to make him a familiar face across the UK, but those days seem but a distant memory now. I suspect if you ask anyone outside racing who is under the age of 30 to name Frankie from a picture, few would recognise him so an appearance in Big Brother will certainly boost his popularity amongst the public again.
Let us not forget that first and foremost, Frankie is a professional jockey and for me the sight of Dettori against the name of my horse in a Group contest was always a big positive.
I am sure everyone can point to big race rides where he got tactics wrong but then everyone gets it wrong sometimes, but be it stealing a race from the front or delivering a horse to win in the shadow of the post, Dettori has produced the goods on numerous big occasions. He has riden Arc winners, Ascot Gold Cup winners, numerous Group winners all over the globe and of course partnered Authorized to win the Derby too.
There are times I have watched Frankie riding horses on the racecourse and got the feeling that if he isn’t in with a chance to win, then not quite such an enthusiastic drive is received as it would from certain other riders. Frankie loves the limelight and is always in it win it, but on such occasions you wonder whether is heart and passion for the job is still there.
But on balance, Frankie is certainly one of the most consistent jockeys I have seen over the last two decades and his earnings and win ratio would tend to suggest he is doing something right too. Up until 2012 he had totted up £1million in UK win prize money in 18 of the previous 19 years (the only time he did not break the £1million barrier was in the year of his plane crash). His strike rate was normally around the 20% mark and often significantly better than this but since Mikael Barzalona and Silvestre De Souza joined the Godolphin operation, his 2012 stats are not as impressive with only a mere 51 winners from 398 rides, a strike rate of just under 13%. Interestingly, apart from the plane crash year this is Dettori’s lowest total since 1989.
So what now for Frankie Dettori?
A split with Godolphin and a long break from the track may well make life difficult for Dettori on his eventual return from the track. I am sure there will be plenty of trainers waiting to use the former champion when his ban finally ends, but, Frankie seemed to thrive in the big races and it remains to be seen just how many top trainers will put him on their most fancied runners in the very big races next summer. Having been at a few meetings over the last few years where Frankie was booked to ride one or two horses on a card but failed to reach the course, I have to wonder if his appetite to travel the length and breadth of the country in search of a winner or two is the same as some of the other top professionals.
From a personal point of view, I really hope the break from racing does Frankie good and that he comes back refreshed and ready for the new challenges ahead; he will have plenty of doubters that need to be proved wrong.
We cannot be sure what lies ahead for Frankie from February onwards, but unless he upsets a bunch of nobodies and the general public and is evicted early, for the majority of January he will be in a fake house somewhere in Hertfordshire with Claire from Steps, Toady from Neighbours and Neil Ruddock. If you could have predicted that when he guided Snow Fairy to victory in the Irish Champion Stakes back in September 2012, you are a better tipster than me and you would have been very rich had you have invested on that outcome with Betfair!
Follow Darren on Twitter @papafleming
FRANKIE 6-1 SECOND FAVOURITE FOR CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER
PLENTY in horse racing circles believe Frankie Dettori has taken a big gamble by going into the Celebrity Big Brother House – but so far, so good, according to Betfair punters.
He has actually drifted in the Betfair market as money has poured in X-factor also-ran, 13-8 favourite, Rylan Clark – the first bet struck on Frankie was at 4-1 – but, at 6-1, he is still the joint second-favourite alongside Neighbours actor Ryan Moloney.
Betfair spokesman Tony Calvin commented: “I think Frankie has given a new meaning to the term “public gamble” by going into the house.
“He is one of the front-runners in the early betting after an effervescent and high-profile start. But I think many people in the sport will question whether he can keep up the bubbly front in there for any length of time.
“Frankie is currently up with the pace and could shorten early in the run.
“But he may be a non-stayer in the interest stakes, as boredom sets in.”
To win Celebrity Big Brother – Betfair bet: 13-8 Rylan Clark, 6-1 Frankie Dettori, Ryan Moloney, 11-1 Neil Ruddock, Gillian Taylforth, 12-1 Claire Richards, 20-1 Tricia Penrose, 41-1 Sam Robertson, 49-1 Paula Hamilton, Lacey Banghard, 109-1 Heidi And Spencer.