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      Today we have seen the only remaining truly independent racing industry publication "hang the bridle on the wall."  The Informant has ceased to publish.
      In my opinion the blame lies firmly at the feet of the NZRB.  Over the next few days BOAY will be asking some very pertinent questions to those in charge.
      For example:
      How much is the NZRB funded Best Bets costing the industry?  Does it make a profit?  What is its circulation?  800?  Or more?  Does the Best Bets pay for its form feeds?  Was The Informant given the same deal?
      How much does the industry fund the NZ Racing Desk for its banal follow the corporate line journalism?
      Why were the "manager's at the door" when Dennis Ryan was talking to Peter Early?
      Where are the NZ TAB turnover figures?
      The Informant may be gone for the moment but the industry must continue to ask the hard questions.
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      • After ruling out the Yasuda Kinen in Japan and The Everest in Australia, veteran trainer wants his young sprinter to win everything in Hong KongView the full article
      • Lucky Sweynesse is chasing an eighth win for the season.Zac Purton concedes Lucky Sweynesse faces a significant challenge at Sha Tin on Sunday when the champion sprinter tackles the Group 3 Sha Tin Vase Handicap (1200m) attempting to match Beauty Generation’s record of eight victories in a season. Manfred Man’s star will contest his 10th race in a campaign which started with victory on the opening day of the season on 11 September and subsequently blossomed with three Group 1 triumphs – the Centenary Sprint Cup (1200m), the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and the Chairman’s Sprint Prize (1200m). If successful on Sunday, Lucky Sweynesse will match Beauty Generation’s tally of eight wins in the 2018/19 season. Purton has been aboard in five of Lucky Sweynesse’s victories this term and rates his last-start Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint Prize performance as the finest of the gelding’s stunning season – while also regarding this Sunday’s challenge as his most daunting. “I think last start was probably his best performance. He was very dominant in that race, he got himself into the right spot and took care of the field pretty comfortably,” Purton said before assessing the $3.9 million Group 3 Sha Tin Vase Handicap, a race he previously won aboard Gallant Lion (2009), Aerovelocity (2014), Winner’s Way (2018), Little Giant (2019) and Thanks Forever (2020). “Lucky Sweynesse has got to carry a big weight (135lb) and give a lot of weight away to some quite promising horses, so it’s a big ask for him here at the end of a long season but we hope he can do it one more time. “He’s had a terrific season. He hasn’t done anything wrong. The only time he’s been beaten is when he’s been unlucky. He’s turned up every time and we hope he can do it again. “It’s not going to be easy, there’s no doubt about that. It’s an interesting race but he’s drawn well (barrier three), there’s a bit of speed so he should get the right run and he’s a big horse – he can carry the weight – it’s just a matter of whether he can give the weight away to the younger horses coming through.” Lucky Sweynesse has to concede weight to all seven of his rivals – Sight Success (125lb), Courier Wonder (121lb), Cordyceps Six (115lb), Master Eight (115lb), Rewarding Together (115lb), Victor The Winner (115lb) and Ima Single Man (115lb). Purton, who has twice won on Victor The Winner, believes Danny Shum’s emerging speedster will present a formidable obstacle under Karis Teetan. “Victor The Winner has run good time in some of his races, he’s drawn the perfect gate (barrier one), Karis is very good on some of these horses who like to lead and use their speed. He’s got good hands, good balance and Victor The Winner gets in with no weight on his back. He’s run very fast time, so he’s going be very hard to catch.” Hugh Bowman hopes Beauty Joy can land a second Group 3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m) despite having to shoulder 135lb – 14lb more than he carried in last season’s victory – after his excellent second to Golden Sixty in the Group 1 FWD Champions Mile (1600m) at Sha Tin on April 30. “Beauty Joy has been racing against the supreme horses here in Hong Kong and he finds a race now where it’s probably a fair drop in class for him but he’s carrying top weight and giving a fair bit of weight to some pretty decent opposition,” Bowman said. “Whether he can overcome the handicap is yet to be seen, but he’s certainly in good form. “If we can get a nice, consistent flowing tempo, I’m sure you’ll see the best of him. It’s not like he over-races, but he’s got a particularly light mouth and as soon as you put the bit in it, he doesn’t react well so it’s a matter of trying to flow with him and get into a nice rhythm with him and, if we can succeed in doing that, he will be strong late. “I would prefer it at set weights but we’ll see what we can do.” More Hong Kong horse racing news View the full article
      • Cody Mo addresses the media with Mr Andrew Harding, Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director, Racing.Cody Mo hopes to convert the benefits of a long and comprehensive grounding into immediate success when Hong Kong’s newest trainer formally starts the latest chapter in his career in the 2023/24 season. Mo, 45, has been granted a trainer’s licence to operate in his own right after starting his career with the Hong Kong Jockey Club as a work rider in 1994. After serving as an assistant trainer with David Hall, David Ferraris, Benno Yung and Tony Cruz since 2008, Mo believes he has the background to succeed – and is grateful for Cruz’s tutelage, in particular. “I’m very thankful for Tony. Throughout the nine years I worked for him, I had a lot of opportunities to learn about the training of horses, how to ‘prep’ them for the races, how to ‘prep’ those with potential to become Group horses – I really learnt a lot from him,” Mo said. “I will continue to focus on my work and use the experience I have gained over the years. I’m very thankful to the Club and the Board of Stewards for this opportunity and I will try my best. In my time as an assistant trainer, I followed four different trainers and I learnt so much from them. “I believe I am prepared to continue my career in another level.” Mo’s journey has involved working closely with champions including Silent Witness and Bullish Luck, while also travelling overseas to gain experience through track work and stable visits with Aidan O’Brien, Dermot Weld and Johnny Murtagh as well as attending yearling sales in Australia and New Zealand. He has also successfully completed certificates III and IV in Racing, conducted by the Racing Development Board. Mr Andrew Harding, Hong Kong Jockey Club Executive Director, Racing said Mo had enjoyed a “long and very successful in Hong Kong racing” and had worked “with undoubtedly one of the best trainers in Tony Cruz as his right-hand man.” “In developing his expertise, Cody has had the benefit of undertaking the Club’s structured training programmes, which have included time spent overseas observing the training methods of some of the best trainers in the world and he has also had first-hand experience of travelling some Hong Kong horses overseas , Silent Witness and Bullish Luck,” Mr Harding said. “Cody was identified several years ago as having great potential to become one day a trainer in Hong Kong. He has worked very hard, learnt from the best and the Licensing Committee has made the decision the time is right for him to be given this opportunity. “Talent development is essential to the long- term success of Hong Kong racing. The horse population will begin to increase again next season and the timing is right to give Cody an opportunity that he has worked so hard to earn. I’m confident that Cody is well positioned to put his team together and prepare for a great start to his career next season.” More Hong Kong horse racing news View the full article
      • Australian jockey loves the challenge of riding Tony Cruz’s six-year-old galloper, who is troublesome and talented in equal measureView the full article
      • Major Dude was squeezed out of a cozy spot on the rail on the far turn, dropped off the pace, then circled around the leaders for a hard-earned victory in the June 2 Penn Mile Stakes (G2T) for 3-year-olds at Penn National Race Course.View the full article
      • WHERE? Some people on here seem to have seen some sort of presentation. Could I ask again where?
      • By Michael Guerin Waikato trainer Peter Brown could barely have had a better month and not just because he is now the country’s leading strike rate trainer. If you don’t know Brown he has been knocking around the northern harness racing scene for years, never over playing his hand, a happy, respected guy. “The horses are just a hobby for Ros (wife) and I and we have waited a long time to have a couple of good ones,” explains Brown. What Brown should have said was the harness horses are just a hobby for he and Ros because they actually own the farm on which their daughter Nicole and fiance Nick Fairweather run Carlaw Park, an impressive thoroughbred farm where they agist, prepare and buy and sell horses. “Nicole and Nick run the business and I help about around the farm,” says Pete. “So Ros and I have harness horses for fun on the side. It works out well because Ros has her one and I have mine.” Pete’s horse is Irish Whispers, who made it back to back wins at Cambridge on Friday night. A son of Art Major he cost $18,000 from the Christchurch sale and the couple bought him because he was a brother to Chosen Major, who also won two for them early in his career before his legs betrayed him. “This horse has that same ability and while he didn’t win by much tonight David (Butcher) says he is still green and only does what he has to,” says Pete. “So we are sure he will get better.” While Irish Whisper has won twice in 15 days, in between the couple’s only other horse Skylou won at Alexandra Park on Rowe Cup night so they have now had three wins in 15 days. More remarkably those three starts are the only ones the stable have produced this season so they are unbeaten in three starts, an impossible to beat strike rate even if you need a lot more starters before they start giving out awards. “Skylou is Ros’s horse. She loved him at the Karaka sale and he is a Sweet Lou half to Sky Major and we thought he would be well out of our price range. “But we got him for $25,000 and now Ros drives him in work and I drive this fella.” So after five years of barely training and no winners, the Browns have three in 15 days, which is an awfully big deal when you have lined up less than 300 horses in 34 years of training and before this season was on 18 career wins. “We have waited a long time to get two good horses, to have the sort of time we are now.” Three starters, three winners in 15 days. Life just couldn’t get better, right? Well that is not the whole story, not even the important part. Because while winning races is fun three weeks ago Pete and Ros had something far more special happen when Nicole and Nick had their first child. “They had a little boy named Charlie and as you can imagine Ros and I are stoked for them and everybody just loves him,” says Brown. “He will be three weeks old on Sunday and we are so proud of what Nicole and Nick are doing with the business and now being parents.” So yes, Pete, Ros, Nicole, Nick and now Charlie have had a huge three weeks. Not to mention Irish Whispers and Skylou. View the full article
      • Dr. Michael “Mick” Peterson, Jr. is the executive director of the independent Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory. He is a mechanical engineer who is widely considered the preeminent track surface specialist in North America. His team has conducted the ongoing testing at Churchill Downs, and it will be tasked this week with being sure Ellis Park is ready to handle a race meet in expedited fashion while also helping out with the continued surface analysis at Churchill. TDN spoke with Peterson early Friday evening in the wake of the 12 horse deaths at Churchill that caused that track's corporate ownership to move a portion of its remaining spring meet to Ellis, which has not hosted racing since last summer. An edited version of that conversation follows. TDN: Please describe your team's role, what's been done so far at Churchill, and what are the next steps at both Churchill and Ellis. MP: I'm a professor at the University of Kentucky, and the university has set up with the racing industry to allow me to spend half of my time running the non-profit Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory in Lexington. We now have six full-time people, and we work for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority doing testing. We also work for racetracks doing testing, and we do materials testing. Our standards, quite a few of them, have been adopted as international standards. Others, we're working on getting them accepted as international standards. Our next priority is to do anything we can to help Churchill, and to evaluate the Ellis surface for HISA, because we're moving there and we need to make sure, to the extent that we can, that [Ellis is ready and safe to race]. We've got this really systematic “pre-flight” process we go through before each race meet. We did our testing 2 1/2 months ago to get ready for the Churchill race meet, and then we repeated it after [GI Kentucky] Derby week. It involves ground-penetrating radar, biomechanical surface testing, and we measure grades. At the start of the race meet, everything looked good. It looked good after the Derby, too. We just didn't see anything out of whack. I'm not going to pretend we know everything. That's not a part of what we're doing. We can work on consistency. But we've still got a lot to learn about safety. And that's really the wonderful thing about HISA. We're going to be doing this now at a [nationwide] scale, and it won't depend on who the general manager [at any given track] is. It will be every [track] just does the same thing. So I've been thinking we're on the cusp of something good. And then the [12 fatalities at Churchill] happen, and it just makes you think, “What don't we know? What are we missing?” TDN: What's next? MP: At Churchill, we'll go back and I suspect we'll do some more testing. [West Coast track surfaces consultant] Dennis Moore has finished up [a round of testing this week], and I just talked to him right before you called, and we're just making sure we understand everything that we're looking at. He hasn't found anything of any note there. But we're going to keep looking. What we're scheduling now [at Churchill] is the same testing we do for every other racetrack. We'll be doing 72 tracks this year according to the schedule. And we'll be doing the same thing at Ellis. Ellis was on the schedule for next week anyway. We're just going to [expedite] it, and if we find anything, we'll fix it. It's a seasonal track, so it's got its own set of challenges. My understanding is that before the announcement, [Churchill representatives] were over there [to try to figure out if Ellis] was ready. I think [moving the meet to Ellis] is a good thing. We've got to figure out what was going on [at Churchill] and look at everything. And I don't mean just the track: Horse population, the history of the horses, et cetera. TDN: Ellis hasn't hosted racing since last summer. Most dormant dirt tracks get rolled and compacted when not in use, then gradually get opened up with harrows prior to the meet starting. Where are they in that process? MP: I don't know. We need to follow up. We just got the announcement [Friday]. But keep in mind that Del Mar, which incidentally, is a dirt track that has been the safest major track in North America for the last couple of years, they've got the [San Diego County Fair] on that [compacted] surface until like a week and a half before [racing begins]. What we generally say is the trick is to do three days of simulated racing, [which can be condensed into] a 24-hour period. We're talking watering, harrowing [and that repeated cycle]. That's how we make sure that the track is fully set up. Dennis Moore is the one who has probably perfected that. TDN: Back in 2014-15, when Aqueduct had a spate of 12 catastrophic fatalities, TDN interviewed several veterinarians who suggested that absent of any identifiable problems, the deaths could be explained statistically as a “bad run of numbers.” That can make mathematic sense, but the theory tends not to go over well when people are demanding quick answers and causes. Could that be the case at Churchill? MP: Remember, I'm not a veterinarian. I'm not even close. I'm a PhD engineer. But I'm pretty good with numbers. [And] if you look at this, this absolutely [could be what the New York vets] were talking about. TDN: You've been working on track safety for the better part of three decades. Given the more intense focus on horse deaths, do you find increased pressure to come up with “magic bullet” types of answers to difficult, multi-factorial problems? MP: The comparison that I like to make is that what I do is like the National Transportation Safety Board when they have a train derailment. I'm one of the pieces that goes into the puzzle for them to understand it so they can respond and do the analysis. But it isn't going to be just one piece. It's going to [involve] necropsy results. The drug testing. The past performances of the horses. The training history. All those pieces fit together, and then that's what a good post-mortem exam is going to look like. It doesn't happen quickly, and it's probably way slower than it should [be], which is something that I think HISA has got to focus some effort on. But my role is to give them the track part of it. I think we've gotten to where we do a better job at that than we did. I'm not 100% satisfied. But we're working on it. TDN: What, specifically, are you working on that could be a future game-changer? MP: We have a prototype of a sensor that goes on the harrow, and it will give us moisture content and cushion depth in real time between every race. That really will be a “black box” that goes with the overall process. [Think of] our pre-meet testing as the pre-flight checklist. As we go forward, our goal is to make [the sensor] the black box [like the one that records in-flight data]. That's where we're headed. For better or worse, these are the sorts of events that [spur] progress. The post Q&A on Churchill/Ellis with Track Surfaces Expert Mick Peterson appeared first on TDN | Thoroughbred Daily News | Horse Racing News, Results and Video | Thoroughbred Breeding and Auctions. View the full article
      • In this edition of Green Light On, James Van de Maat and Corey Smith preview Saturday night’s Premier Racing at The Meadows. James also caught up with Luke Thompson. greyhoundracingvic · Green Light On – Episode 141 – MGRA 3/6 and Team Thompson update! Don’t forget, you can listen to Green Light On every Thursday and Saturday on your favourite podcast app. View the full article

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