Cheltenham dodges bad weather and racing is set for Friday

 Cheltenham avoided the worst of recent bad weather and the track is set to go ahead tomorrow, Friday, with its first meeting since March.

The ground was eased to good, good to soft in places, after clerk of the course Simon Claisse walked the track on Wednesday afternoon.

Today is forecast to be dry before showers on Friday when Cheltenham hosts a seven-race card, the first four of which will be shown on  ITV4.

Dan Skelton is expected to run his Grade 1 winner Allmankind there this Saturday. The four-year-old was an impressive juvenile last season and a leading contender for the Triumph Hurdle following a good win in the Finale Juvenile Hurdle over the festive period. However, he could only finish third behind Burning Victory there.

Trainer Dan Skelton

 The Sea Moon offspring is earmarked to begin his new campaign in the Masterson Holdings Hurdle at Prestbury Park, and his trainer has been pleased with how his stable star has been training ahead of this weekend.

He said: “I am very happy with him and I presume he’s improved for a summer, but of course the run on Saturday will tell us if he has.”

Plumpton Racecourse message re membership restrictions


A Plumpton spokesperson said today:

“I realise we all follow the same news and so I am preaching to the choir here, but the latest set of Government Restrictions were clearly a blow to the racecourse and of course to your prospects of joining us for some racing in the near future.

“Just in case you hadn’t heard, the latest Government Restrictions put a stop to crowds returning to racecourses from today, October 1, and instead said that we may not see a crowd for up to six months.


We have greatly appreciated your support in this lockdown and hope to do so again going forward. The plan, if you are agreeable, is to keep the 2020/21 membership rolling for when we are allowed people on the racecourse. We will of course be allowed people back in at some point soon and we would like to re-issue the membership at that point with all the same benefits as previously, and you’d have of course already paid for i

It wasn’t confirmation that you would be prohibited from attending for this length of time, but it gave the Government some room on not setting an official date for getting crowds back, in the meantime giving further headaches and uncertainty to venues such as ourselves.

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It is hard to define exact parameters as we don’t know how many fixtures it would entail from this season and next season, but rest assured we’d make absolutely sure you had your full memberships worth based on previous seasons.

If this is not to your satisfaction, then please do call the office and speak to us about this as it is a strange time all round.

Hopefully we get back to some normality soon in all our lives, and we would sincerely hope one of the first things you can do is visit Plumpton.

,

Dan, Holly & Team

Racing to start at Plumpton behind closed doors

PLUMPTON will start its new racing season on Sunday September 20 this year. What is normally run as its family day is to take place behind closed doors. This is in line with the Government Guidelines & BHA protocols that Plumpton must follow.

All tickets will be refunded automatically, or Plumpton will get in touch with people if there is a need too.
 
The current advice is that sports venues will be able to welcome customers back from October 1, but with the cancellation of some of Doncaster Racecourse’s pilot event and the severe restrictions of Warwick Racecourse’s pilot event for next week (474 spectators), Plumpton does not have certainty of when customers will be allowed back on site.

Racing action returns to Plumpton bheind closed doors. Photo: Jeannie Knight

A spokesperson said: We of course envisage that when you are allowed to join us again, there will a limitation on numbers allowed to the site and we are likely to have to request additional information from you for track and trace purposes (or at least of your guests) but once we know the guidelines, we will of course be in touch again to confirm theses details.
 
In the meantime, we have left bookings open for tickets and restaurants and are still taking hospitality enquiries (suites of 6 only at the moment) for the remaining 2020 fixtures on the basis that if customers remain unable to come to racedays due to the Government Guidelines, we will either refund the ticket or move it to another fixture of your choice. We very much hope it is sooner rather than later and we welcome any calls on this matter if you wanted to have a chat with us about it.
 
Whilst we have a very good idea of our fixture list for 2021 (E.g. The Sussex National is Sunday January 3), the problems facing the industry mean that it has not yet been officially confirmed and so we cannot officially announce the 2021 fixtures as yet. If anyone wants to know the provisional dates, we are very happy to share them with you and take provisional bookings. We will also announce the dates as soon as we can.
 
We are sorry that we can’t provide you a more upbeat message or one not stacked with ambiguity, but we do have our hands tied at the moment. We hope you are all keeping safe and sane both personally and professionally and remain very hopeful we will see you soon.

Tragic death of Liam Treadwell

A SUSSEX jockey who beat the odds to win a memorable Grand National has died at the age of 34. Liam Treadwell, who was born and bred in Arundel, West Sussex was found dead at his Shropshire home  this week.

Currently His death is unexplained and tributes have poured in from all sections of the racing community. The jockey learned how to ride at Castle Stables in his home town and went to Angmering School.

His parents, Lorraine and Mark, had both worked at Castle Stables for trainer the late John Dunlop, and Liam was brought up with racing.

In 2009 his name was in the headlines when the jockey won the 2009 Grand National on 100-1 shot Mon Mome, trained by Venetia Williams, for whom he often rode.

The racing community was left reeling on Tuesday after hearing of his death — at the age of just 34.

After being called to his home in Shropshire, West Mercia police said there was ‘no third party involvement’ in Treadwell’s death.

His tragic death comes less than four months after he was a pall-bearer at the funeral of his friend and former jockey James Banks, who had taken his own life. 

Venetia Williams described Liam, who had ridden many winners for her, as ‘ a lovely person and usually a happy person’ and said: “It’s a massive shock. I think we all thought he was in a good place now, having been through some tough times in previous years.”

“We thought his renewed career had put in him in a situation where he was happy. It is desperately sad news.We shared a day that was certainly the best day of my life, and I suspect of his.”

Together they had also won the Grand Sefton Handicap Chase at Aintree with Bennys Mist in 2015 and the Byrne Group Plate with Carrickboy at the Cheltenham Festival in 2013.

The tragic news has shocked the racing community and people everywhere who knew Liam and his family.

Racing behind closed doors at Goodwood

Tomorrow, Sunday June 14, there will be racing from Goodwood behind closed doors,shown on ITV4, 13:30 – 16:30pm.

In a statement, Goodwood said: “We are thrilled to invite you to join us online for racing behind closed doors, this coming Sunday and Monday. “

“The racecourse team has put together some exciting activities to keep you entertained , including a live zoom preview for both days and a tipping competition. We hope you enjoy getting involved.”

“We will miss our racegoers but we kindly request that you please do not attempt to watch the racing from any of the public sites surrounding the racecourse, including The Trundle.”

Goodwood added: “We hope you understand that, in line with Government advice, we want to actively discourage any public gatherings.”

Watch racing live from Goodwood on television

Goodwood racecourse has cancelled its three Friday night music events planned for June this year

Goodwood Racecourse has announced that, following guidance from the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), it is not able to run Its Three Friday Nights events as planned in 2020.

Sigma performing at a previous Goodwood Friday event Photo: Matt Ankers

In a statement, Goodwood said: “We are however pleased to announce that Sub Focus will now play on Friday 28 August, during our Bank Holiday Weekend fixture and Carl Cox is confirmed to play at next year’s Three Friday Nights, on  June 4 2021. ”

French racing restart behind closed doors

RACING in France is set to resume on Monday behind closed doors as a restart to action in Britain edges nearer.

The sport has been suspended in both jurisdictions since March 17 but police have given permission for racing to take place at Paris Longchamp track.

Edouard de Rothschild, president of governing body France Galop, has said the authorisation was “very good news”.

British racing is planning for a resumption this month, including 16 Group races on successive weekends.

British Horse Racing Authority has said that action can start within a week of any go-ahead from the government.

Horse racing action could resume in Britain
Photo: Jeannie Knight

Racing has continued without spectators, and with social-distancing protocols, at some tracks in the United States, Australia and Hong Kong.

Last year’s French Derby winner Sottsass is set to run in Paris for the first time since finishing third behind Waldgeist and Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October.

The unbeaten Victor Ludorum, favourite for the French 2,000 Guineas, could be among other runners at the meeting.

“We have had some strong support from the ministers in charge of racing – the ministers for finance and agriculture so it was more a question of local areas allowing us to proceed,” said France Galop chief executive Olivier Delloye.

“We have explained in close detail how we will race behind closed doors and we have had positive feedback from them.”

Nick Gifford Racing continues fine tradition of training from Downs Stables at Findon

NICK GIFFORD is a successful trainer, based at historic Downs Stables, Findon, where his father, champion jockey, Josh Gifford, trained before him.

There are top class facilities for his string, and he has a great team working with him, including his wife, Ruth.


Pictured above: National Hunt trainer Nick Gifford receiving an award after one of his racehorses, Brandon Thomas won a key race at Plumpton.

Nick’s wife , Ruth, is an integral part of the team at the historic Downs Stables, where they both ride out and also host events there.

For full details about this training operation see: https://www.nickgiffordracing.co.uk/

Nick Gifford Racing

Address: The Downs Stables, Stable Lane, Findon, West Sussex, BN14 0RR

No racing at Plumpton until September 20

Racing action will not return to Plumpton until September. Photo: Jeannie Knight

   
FOLLOWING on from the continued lockdown due to the COVID-19 epidemic, and the uncertainty this brings for the resumption of racing, the BHA (which regulates racing) has decided that no jump racing will take place until July 1, at the earliest.

This unfortunately brings an early close to the 2019/20 season at racecourses, including the popular jump meetings at Plumpton.
 
A spokesman for Plumpton said: “Whilst this has cut our season short by five meetings, we appreciate there are bigger matters to contend with other than racing.

“So, whilst of course disappointed, we pass on our heartfelt thanks to all the NHS Staff, emergency workers, delivery drivers, supermarket and shop workers and the continued list of essential staff that are propping us all up at the moment.
 

“The Easter Weekend contains our two biggest days of racing and crowds, but this year we will all have had to celebrate slightly differently and very much at home.

Whatever you do, Plumpton hopes you have a good weekend and please do it safely – we very much look forward to welcoming you back for the 2020/21 season at Plumpton which begins on Sunday September 20.
 
In the meantime, stay safe and well . Thank you for the support in 2019/20!
 
Best Wishes,
 
The Plumpton Team
 
 

Virtual Grand National winner

Potters Corner won the televised Virtual Grand National yesterday after the cancellation of the big race itself because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Sent off at 18-1, Potters Corner, winner of the Welsh National and the Midlands National, beat runner-up Walk In The Mill (16-1) in the computer-simulated race, with Any Second Now (10-1) third.

This idea of simulating the big race filled a huge gap after the 173rd running of the big race was cancelled, along with the remainder of racing.

The outcome of the simulated race was a big disappointment for fans of Tiger Roll, the horse trained by Gordon Elliot, which had been due to seek an unprecedented third win in the race on Saturday before it was cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Tiger Roll in action Photo: John Simpsom

This was the first time that a simulated race had been screened on television and it was shown at 5.15pm, the time the normal race should have started.

This emergency measure certainly filled the enormous gap left by the cancellation of the big race itself- and was an entertaining success with many viewers.