Shishkin stunned onlookers at Ascot when refusing to start in the Nirvana Spa 1965 Chase, which went the way of Pic D’Orhy.

Nicky Henderson’s top-class chaser was returning to action in the Grade Two contest, which only attracted four runners.

Nico de Boinville was partnering the gelding, who was the short-priced favourite, but at the tapes he did not budge and the race went ahead without him.

Chianti Classico was the toast of Ascot having successfully continued his chasing education in the Royal Ascot Racing Club Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase.

A winner of all but one of his outings as a novice hurdler, Kim Bailey’s six-year-old made a successful transition to the larger obstacles at Chepstow last month.

However, he faced a tough task when sent off the 4-5 favourite for this three-runner assignment, having to concede over a stone in weight on the quickest ground he has encountered so far.

Although not at his slickest over his obstacles at points in the three-mile event, his class came to the fore when it mattered as he pulled three-quarters of a length clear of Scrum Diddly after the last.

“That ground was probably quick enough for him and he was not enjoying the ground at all,” said Bailey.

“He has only run on softer ground so fingers crossed he is OK tomorrow.

“It’s a tough performance as he has given lumps of weight away on a day it hasn’t gone right for him. He can see he was landing and not very happy with it.

“His class got him through, definitely, he’s a decent animal. It was a big experience, last time we wanted to drop him right out and get his jumping right and today he couldn’t do it and couldn’t afford to get any further behind.

“He’s won well and at the end of the day he has won, that’s all that matters.”

Chianti Classico is part-owned by Sir Francis Brooke, His Majesty’s Representative and chairman of Ascot and a return to the track for the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase in the early part of next year could be the ideal opportunity for the gelding to test himself at Graded level.

“We’ll see how he is over the next week and he takes a lot out of himself in his races,” continued Bailey.

“He’s not a horse he can run in a hurry and it will be two months before he runs again whatever happens.

“That would be the ideal race for him and timewise that (the Reynoldstown) fits in very well.”

Another exciting prospect enhancing his reputation was Paul Nicholls’ Farnoge (4-1) who beat some smart opponents to win the Bet With Ascot Donation Box Scheme Novices’ Hurdle.

Second to Gordon Elliott’s Better Days Ahead in a point-to-point before switching to Ditcheat, he is now unbeaten in three starts under rules with his rider Harry Cobden expecting bigger and better things later in the year.

“I can see him being a Graded horse,” said Cobden after the two-and-a-quarter-length success.

“We will have to get home and speak to the boss and see what he thinks, but he’s very smart.

“He went to Newton Abbot when he was probably 75-80 per cent fit and had a nice canter round there and he’s done the same again here against some useful horses behind him, it’s exciting.

“He would be right up there in the top five (novices at Ditcheat). 100 per cent. He will definitely be in Graded races and he’s had a 5lb penalty today as well.”

Kamsinas built on the promise of his previous outing when landing the Betfair Racing Podcasts Newton Novices’ Hurdle at Haydock.

Trained by Fergal O’Brien, the six-year-old had gone close in Grade Two company at Cheltenham behind Neil King’s Lookaway and when the winner ran a big race in the Greatwood Hurdle afterwards, O’Brien knew he had a nice youngster on his hands.

He was taking on a couple of well-regarded types in Henry Daly’s Bowenspark and the Lucinda Russell-trained Primoz, but they could not live with Kamsinas (16-5) in the straight.

Oliver Greenall and Josh Guerriero’s Making Headway tried to make a race of it, but still went down by a length and a quarter behind Paddy Brennan on the winner.

O’Brien said: “We were very hopeful – I’m never confident – as he’d been working well and was very unlucky at Cheltenham when he got stopped in his run.

“That form was franked by the winner and what I loved about him there was he threw himself over the last showing a great will to win.

“I’m delighted with him, he’s a super little horse. We’ll all sit and have a chat about what next but we thought something like this was in him. We need these days.

“It’s a long road to Cheltenham in March and hopefully there’ll be a lot of races before then. I think he’ll get further and he’s already shown he handles Cheltenham.”

Dan Skelton hopes the handicapper does not get too carried away after Real Stone coasted to victory in the Handicap Chase.

When his two main market rivals, Cheddleton and Pay The Piper, dropped away, the 15-8 favourite coasted to a 20-length win under Harry Skelton.

Skelton said: “The first thing I have to say is that I hope the other two are OK because they clearly haven’t given their true running, they are good horses on their day.

“When you’ve been having a bit of a run like we have, when there’s nothing wrong with them but winners are not exactly flowing, it’s nice to enjoy one like that.

“We’ll go quietly with him, he’s not had loads of racing and he probably has to go left-handed which rules out those Ascot races, but we hope to end up in something like the Red Rum (at Aintree).”

Betfair have launched a charity fund which will see them donate £5,000 for every winner Rachael Blackmore rides between Betfair Chase day and the Randox Grand National.

The bookmaker has initiated the launch of the ‘Rachael Blackmore’s Serial Winners Fund’ by donating £100,000, and it is estimated that around £250,000 will be raised for the Injured Jockeys Fund and the Irish Injured Jockeys.

Blackmore, a Grand National and Gold Cup-winning jockey, has averaged around 30 winners in the period between the Betfair Chase meeting at Haydock and the Grand National, which this year takes place on April 13.

Blackmore, a Betfair ambassador, said: “This is a very generous initiative from Betfair and one that I am excited to be a part of over the coming season.

“The work of IIJ and IJF is vital in providing support services for jockeys past and present. It’s great to have Betfair supporting not only me, but two organisations that are so important to us as jockeys.”

Lisa Hancock, CEO of the Injured Jockeys Fund, said: “We are very grateful to Betfair who have been great supporters of the Injured Jockeys Fund for many years. Rachael of course is an inspiration to all aspiring jockeys, and we will be hoping she kicks home plenty of winners over the coming months.”

Michael Higgins of the Irish Injured Jockeys said: “We are very grateful to Betfair for this generous initiative and are delighted to be joint beneficiaries with our friends in the IJF.

“Rachael is a committed supporter of IIJ and a fantastic role model for our sport and hope her current run of success continues. We have major plans in 2024 and a project which will involve significant investment on our part which will transform facilities and services available to our riders. This, along with our existing support programs, will benefit hugely from the fund.”

Hydel High will meet Mona High in the final of the ISS/Digicel Manning Cup following a 5-4 penalty shootout win over Kingston College (KC), after both teams played out a 1-1 stalemate in regulation time at Sabina Park on Friday.

Hydel found themselves 2-0 up at halftime, thanks to goals from Keyanni Jackson (3rd) and Omario Henry (23rd), but Kingston College fought back in the second half and managed to force the game into penalties, thanks to strikes from Damaine Smith (51st) and Alex Hislop (70th).

However, Hydel maintained their composure best during the shootout and converted all five 12-yard kicks, while Kingston College’s Kimani Reece had his effort saved by custodian Tajarie Lee, who was a member of the North Street-based team last season.

This will be Hydel’s second ever time contesting the urban area showpiece, following their feat in 2012, while Mona is making their first ever final. It is also the first time since 2016, a school apart from Kingston College, Jamaica College and St George’s College, will be crowned.

The final is set for Saturday December 8 at the National Stadium.

Winning coach Devon Anderson was over the moon about the accomplishment, having previously tried and failed with Holy Trinity.

“Words cannot express my feeling, as one spectator said, ‘coach you have been knocking at the door over the years.’ It is now cracked, and we intend to open it, so this is a joyous day for the Hydel family.

“Not a lot of people gave us a chance, but I believed in the boys, and they believed in what we are trying to do, and it paid off. We know Mona is a very good team, but hydel will come and do what Hydel does, grind very hard,” Anderson said in a post-game interview.

It was a frantic start by Hydel, who made their intentions clear with a few quick warning shots, before they eventually found the target in the third minute.  Jackson was allowed too much space to dribble, and he duly obliged by driving home a right-footer from about 20 yards out.

With that being Jackson’s eighth goal of the season, Henry went on the hunt for his and should have had it in the sixth minute when he executed a delightful first touch to a long pass from the back, but the finish lacked the same quality, as it sailed over the crossbar.

But Henry made amends in the 23rd, when he rounded a defender and rifled a right-footer from an angle Malique Williams, in goal for Kingston College.

Sitting pretty on a two-goal lead, Hydel got somewhat complacent on the resumption, and paid for the drop in tempo when a poor clearance found Smith, who drove home a left-footed effort.

And Kingston College pulled level 19 minutes later through Hislop, who picked up a pass and slotted home and it took the dreaded penalty shootout to decide a winner.

Kingston College’s Head coach Vassell Reynolds was pleased with his team’s effort despite the outcome.

“We started a little too slow, which is something we spoke about before and it happened again here and we never recovered quite well, but I am proud of the boys and the way they fought to come back from two goals down and lose on penalty. We still have the semi-finals of Champions Cup, so let us hope we do better there,” Reynolds said.

Mona High School will contest their first ever ISSA/Digicel Manning Cup final after they downed their more fancied rivals St George’s College 2-1 in a keenly contested semi-final encounter at Sabina Park on Friday.

The dynamic duo of Romarion Thomas (39th) and Denzel McKenzie (56th), got the job done for the Craig Butler-coached team, which had over the past two seasons placed the competition on notice in terms of their improved quality and, by extension, ambitions to stop all that came before them.

In fact, it was an 42nd-minute own-goal by Mona High’s goalkeeper Ackeem Bernard that placed St George’s College on the scoresheet, and that Butler said spoke to their defensive fortitude, particularly in the second half.

Mona will meet the winner of the second semi-final between Kingston College and Hydel High.

“It should be a staple for any intelligent team, you have to have that component in your artillery, and we used it well. The boys played out their hearts and we are totally elated, the boys put in a lot of hard work and to get there (in the final), I am really happy for them,” an emotional Butler said in a post-game interview.

Following a stellar performance against Clarendon College in the Champions Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday, expectations would have been high that a repeat of that effort, would be good enough to put St George’s College into a long overdue final.

However, Mona with the fresher legs, used it to good effect, as they started brightest and caused a few early problems for St George’s defence, but failed to capitalise on the half chances.

It was not until the backend of the half that the deadlock was eventually broken when a long diagonal ball found Thomas, who made no mistakes from close range for his ninth goal of the season.

St George’s College pulled level three minutes later when Zabir Taylor was allowed time and space at the top of the 18-yard box to pick a spot and curl a right-footed effort that came off the crossbar and then off Bernard on its way in, to keep the game evenly poised 1-1 at the break.

Much like they did at the start, Mona were again more spirited at the top of the resumption, and regained the lead 11 minutes in, when McKenzie drove home a thumping right-footed freekick from inside the arc, and D’Jone Davis in goal for St George’s College, had no chance.

With that, his 11th goal of the season, McKenzie and company seemed content with the lead and dropped deep into their quarters where they were defiant in keeping their North Street-based opponents at bay and seal the historic feat.

For Neville “Bertis” Bell, his team was somewhat a shadow of itself when compared to their Champions Cup showing. Still, he took heart from their accomplishments this season when compared to last season, which ironically also ended with quarterfinal defeat to Mona High.

“It is always tough to lose any game, whether it is a semi-final or not, but we just didn’t do enough. But I am very proud of these kids, we did one better than last year, last year we ended fifth…never made the semi-final or the Champions Cup, so hopefully next year we will do even better. But congrats to Mona, they worked hard, and I wish them and the other finalist good luck,” Bell said.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has scored big with a new technical partnership with leading European sportswear company, Macron, as the official team kit supplier for the West Indies Men’s and Women’s teams.

The fresh collaboration promises to bring a new look to the upcoming Series against England, unveiling redesigned jerseys that encapsulate the iconic West Indies maroon loved by fans worldwide.

Macron, an Italian-based sports apparel manufacturer with over five decades of experience, will supply team playing and training kits for all home and away Test, ODI, and T20I matches. This encompasses the entire spectrum of West Indies cricket, including ‘A’ Teams, Academies, and age group teams.

What sets these jerseys apart is not just their aesthetic appeal but their commitment to sustainability. The high-performance material used in the jerseys is made from 100 per cent PET recycled polyester thread, derived from thirteen recycled bottles, contributing to a reduction in plastic waste and energy consumption.

The unveiling of the new team kit designs is eagerly anticipated, adding an element of excitement to the three-match CG United ODI Series, set to commence at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on December 3. The subsequent T20I Series, starting on December 12 at the Kensington Oval in Barbados, will further showcase the new Macron-inspired attire.

For fans looking to emulate their cricketing heroes, Macron’s online store will offer the new range of playing and training apparel, caps, polo shirts, and other accessories. Caribbean fans will have the chance to purchase these items at the venues hosting the West Indies vs. England Series through a click-and-collect service via CWI’s online channels or at West Indies merchandise stands.

Dominic Warne, CWI Commercial Director, expressed excitement about the partnership, stating, "The new kit will be loved by fans, players, and will also help the environment." He highlighted the positive environmental impact of using recycled plastic bottles in production, emphasizing the alignment with CWI’s goals of increasing sustainability and reducing plastic waste.

Macron CEO, Gianluca Pavanello, underscored the significance of partnering with West Indies Cricket, stating, "This further confirms the quality and reliability of the teamwear we supply."

As West Indies fans eagerly await the new era in cricket fashion, the stage is set for a memorable series against England, with the hope of seeing lots of maroon in the stands and the streets.

 Full Match Schedule:

 December 3: 1st CG United ODI at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua – 9:30 am

December 6: 2nd CG United ODI at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua – 1:30 pm

December 9: 3rd CG United at Kensington Oval, Barbados – 1:30 pm

December 12: 1st T20I at Kensington Oval, Barbados – 6 pm

December 14: 2nd T20I at Grenada National Stadium, Grenada – 1:30 pm

December 16: 3rd T20I at Grenada National Stadium, Grenada – 1:30 pm

December 19: 4th T20I at Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad – 4 pm

December 21: 5th T20I at Brian Lara Cricket Academy.

Celebrating the outstanding achievements and enduring legacy of one of Jamaica's greatest athletes, Dr. The Honorable Mrs. Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce OJ, a three-time Olympic gold medallist and a five-time 100m world champion, is set to receive The University of the West Indies (UWI) Alumni Exemplar Sports Award for 2023 on Friday night.

 This prestigious accolade is a testament to Fraser-Pryce's unparalleled athletic prowess, unwavering discipline, dedication, tenacity, and sportsmanship.

The award will be presented at the UWI Gala, marking the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the institution. The recognition underscores Fraser-Pryce's remarkable journey, from her days as an Honorary Graduate of the University of the West Indies, where she showcased brilliance both on and off the track.

In 2016, Fraser-Pryce received the Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, a testament to her exceptional contributions to the world of athletics and beyond. The University of Technology also conferred upon her an Honorary Doctor of Laws, further solidifying her impact on the academic and athletic spheres. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Technology with a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Adolescent Development with honours.


Fraser-Pryce's illustrious career has been adorned with numerous awards and accolades, reflecting her excellence on the global stage. She clinched the Jamaica Athletics Administrative Association's Golden Cleats Award for Female Athlete of the Year four times (2009, 2012, 2013, and 2015).

Additionally, she secured the RJR National Sportswoman of the Year award in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2019 and 2022.

 Her international recognition includes nominations for the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2019 and 2022. She finally won the prestigious award in 2023.

One of the defining moments of Fraser-Pryce's career came in 2013 when she achieved an unprecedented feat in track and field. She became the first woman in history to win the Triple World Sprint Championship, securing gold in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m at the Championship in Moscow. This remarkable achievement earned her the title of IAAF Athlete of the Year.

Beyond her athletic prowess, Fraser-Pryce has been recognized for her contributions to society. In 2008, she was conferred with the Order of Distinction, Officer Class, by the Government of Jamaica. The same year, she received the Prime Minister’s Youth Award for excellence in Sports. In 2010, she was named the 1st UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Jamaica and the Grace Goodwill Ambassador for Peace. In September 2014, the Prime Minister of Jamaica bestowed upon her the title of Ambassador at Large for Jamaica.

As Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce accepts the UWI Alumni Exemplar Sports Award, the celebration not only honors her extraordinary athletic journey but also recognizes her indelible mark on the global stage as a symbol of Jamaican pride and excellence.

Trainer Alford Brown believes the presence of Japanese-born jockey Daisuke Fukumoto in Jamaica for the Mouttet Mile could be a learning moment for young riders, in particular, provided they grasp the opportunity to engage the reinsman when he visits Caymanas Park.

Fukumoto, who migrated to Canada from Japan in 2015 and rides at the Woodbine racetrack in the North American country, is said to be a big fan of Jamaica’s racing, and by virtue of his close relationship with veteran Shane Ellis, decided to grace local horsemen with his presence at the lucrative Mouttet Mile Invitational scheduled for December 2.

For Brown, who has booked Fukumoto’s services for two rides on that day, the hope is that the jockey’s visit will go beyond entertainment purposes, given the experience and knowledge he could impart to local riders based on his journey so far.

 “He was always eager to come here. So, the opportunity arose, and he jumped on it, purchased his own plane ticket and the promoters got involved by ensuring that he will be comfortable when he gets here,” Brown shared.

“It’s a very good thing for the punter's sake, for racing itself and the entertainment that it provides. More importantly, with the international jockeys being here, they could also teach some of our local riders a thing or two because you know, you learn every day and it doesn’t matter how good you think you are, there is always room for improvements, so it is just a matter of whether or not they are willing to learn,” he told SportsMax.TV.

For two years, Fukumoto studied English throughout the week and spent weekends hanging around at the track trying to catch a break. That break eventually came when trainer Reade Baker gave him a job as a groom.

From there, Fukumoto debuted as an apprentice rider in 2017 and rode his first winner on October 13 that year, his 20th birthday.

Though still fairly young, his career profile on Equibase shows Fukumoto boast a wealth of experience in the saddle with 2,586 starts, including 273 wins, 267 seconds, and 290 third-place finishes. He has career earnings of $10,949,852.

Last year, Fukumoto tallied 55 wins, with his best year in the saddle being 2020 when he rode 69 winners. His tally so far this year stands at 21 winners.

Fukumoto’s visit falls in line with Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL) Executive Chairman Solomon Sharpe and team’s ambitions to expand Jamaica’s racing presence on the international market by having high profile overseas personalities grace the track.

Renowned Gulfstream Park race announcer Peter Aiello recently made an appearance on the Jamaica Cup race card.

Brown agreed that having international jockeys and commentators at the track serves as an endorsement of sorts and only augurs well for Jamaica’s racing product, especially with the Mouttet Mile set to be streamed live in the United States on Fox 5.

“I think with such a high calibre jockey coming down to ride on that day, and the fact that we are going to be televised internationally, is a good look for us and our racing. It will also draw the attention of other riders to maybe one day take up the offer to come to Jamaica and experience our racing, so it can only go forward from here,” Brown noted.


In a strategic move to fortify its organizational structure and propel the Racers Grand Prix to new heights, Chairman Glen Mills proudly announces the appointment of Mr. Devon Blake as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of this esteemed Track and Field event, effective November 1, 2023.

Chairman Mills expresses unwavering confidence in Mr. Blake's ability to significantly contribute to the growth and triumph of the Racers Grand Prix. In a statement to the organizing committee, Mills asserts, "I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Devon Blake as the Chief Executive Officer of the Racers Grand Prix. This move aims to streamline responsibilities and tasks, allowing Mr. Blake to operate under my supervision, reporting directly to me throughout his tenure."

Devon Blake, a highly regarded figure in sports administration and management, brings a wealth of experience to his new role. As a Motivational Speaker, Customer Service Trainer, and Selling Skills Trainer, Blake has already made substantial contributions to the Racers Track Club, serving as the Technical Director since 2020 and Social Media Manager since 2022. His previous role on the Racers Grand Prix management team saw him overseeing social media operations, ticket management, ushers, gate management, and magazine production.


Mr. Blake boasts an impressive academic background, holding a Diploma in History/English from the Mico University College and a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration and Management from the University of the West Indies, Mona. Currently pursuing a Master of Science in Sport Administration/Management at UWI, Blake was also a Volunteer Lecturer in the Mico Pre-University Men’s Program.

As CEO of the Racers Grand Prix, Mr. Blake's responsibilities include enhancing revenue from sponsorship and gate receipts, providing recommendations for cost reduction in event staging, supervising ticket production and sales promotion, integrating technology for improved fan engagement, and undertaking specific assignments within the Technical Committee.

Expressing his enthusiasm for the new role, Mr. Devon Blake states, "I am honored to take on the role of CEO for the Racers Grand Prix. This event holds a special place in the world of track and field, and I am committed to working closely with Chairman Mills and the entire organizing committee to elevate the meet to even greater heights."

Chairman Mills echoes this excitement, stating, "Mr. Blake's wealth of experience and proven track record make him the ideal candidate to lead the Racers Grand Prix into a new era. I have full confidence in his ability to enhance the event's success and contribute to the development of athletics in Jamaica and beyond."

The Racers Grand Prix, conceived by Chairman Glen Mills, stands as a premier Track and Field Meet showcasing top talents from the Racers Track and Field Club, Jamaica, and around the world. The event plays a pivotal role in the development of Jamaica's athletics and the Racers Track and Field Club.

The most recent staging on June 3, 2023, witnessed exceptional performances from athletes like Noah Lyles, Shericka Jackson, and Wayde Van Niekerk. The next edition is scheduled for June 1, 2024. The Racers Grand Prix holds the esteemed status of being a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver level event, attracting top-tier athletes globally.




Doddiethegreat has the Scottish Champion Hurdle on his radar after making a successful return from 746 days off the track at Ascot.

Named after the late Scottish Rugby Union star Doddie Weir, who died of motor neurone disease almost a year to the day, the Nicky Henderson-trained seven-year-old has been out of action since winning on hurdles debut at Kempton over two years ago.

Sent off at 5-4 in the hands of Nico de Boinville for the Give The Gift Of Ascot Membership “Introductory” Hurdle, he displayed all the class that had seen him impress in his previous three outings to take advantage of the odds-on favourite Inthewaterside’s below-par display and score by a keeping-on two lengths.

Owned by Kenny Alexander of Honeysuckle fame, prize-money earned by Doddiethegreat is donated to the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, which raises funds to aid research into MND, and having enhanced his unbeaten record he will now be fittingly aimed at Ayr next April for the big handicap hurdle on Scottish Grand National Day.

“He severed a tendon, it was the most horrible injury,” said Henderson.

“They had to rate him on one run. His target is the Scottish Champion Hurdle. The foundation are so enthusiastic, it’s all about going back to Scotland.”

Your Darling often saves his best for the Berkshire track and Ben Pauling’s eight-year-old made it back-to-back victories in the S.A.F.E. Handicap Chase after putting up a fine display to surge nine-lengths clear in the home straight.

The 11-4 favourite, who is owned by Lord Vesty, has not been the most consistent operator down the years and his handler now intends to keep his powder dry over the winter months ahead of a crack at the Grand National fences in the spring.

“He’s one of the most talented horses I’ve trained and when he’s in form he’s electric,” said Pauling.

“It’s just a bit frustrating that he doesn’t always turn up, so my instinct is to put him away and go straight for the Topham Chase.”

There was a double on the day for Harry Fry who saw his Beat The Bat (6-4 joint favourite) conjure up extra to deny the highly-touted Welcom To Cartries in the opening Ascot Partners “National Hunt” Maiden Hurdle, before Gin Coco (11-8 favourite) gained compensation for missing Cheltenham’s Greatwood Hurdle by taking the Garden For All Seasons Handicap Hurdle.

There was also plenty to cheer for jockey Charlie Deutsch who won the Racing To School Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase aboard Henry Daly’s outsider of four Supreme Gift (17-2) and then doubled up aboard Venetia Williams’ Hold That Thought (7-2) in the All Seasons Scaffolding Handicap Chase.

The concluding Not Forgotten Novices’ Handicap Hurdle went the way of Harry Derham’s Scamallach Liath, who pulled out extra in the closing stages under Paul O’Brien to oblige favourite backers at odds of 13-8.

Graham Lee has been moved to James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

The Grand National and Group One-winning jockey suffered a serious injury at Newcastle a fortnight ago and had been receiving treatment at Royal Victoria Infirmary Hospital in the same city.

It was reported last week that he was making “positive progress” and he would be moved closer to home when a suitable bed became available.

However, it is expected to be a long rehabilitation process.

An update issued by the Injured Jockeys Fund read: “Graham Lee has now moved to the Spinal Unit at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesborough where he will remain for the foreseeable future.

“He is no longer in ITU but remains on a ventilator, albeit this can be reduced from time to time.

“His cervical injury, which was to C3/C4, means that his movement is affected.

“His family are pleased that he is now nearer home and remain grateful for the constant support.”

Paul Nicholls’ Bravemansgame headlines a small but classy field for the Betfair Chase at Haydock on Saturday.

The eight-year-old was second in the Gold Cup last season and made his comeback this term in the Charlie Hall at Wetherby.

He was beaten by Mouse Morris’ Gentlemansgame in West Yorkshire but Nicholls considers him to have come on considerably for that run, as he begins to tread a path back to the Gold Cup via this contest and the King George.

“He took a large step forward for that run, he hadn’t been for a racecourse gallop or anything and I hadn’t drilled him or anything for that particular race because we knew there’d be bigger targets down the road,” Nicholls said.

“He has come on for that run enormously, he looks great and he’s feeling really good.

“He’s high class and should be the favourite really, it’s just that we were a bit negative and we weren’t sure we were going to go there.

“Bryan (Drew), who owns him, was quite keen for him to run – that’s one reason – and he has come out of that race very, very well.

“He will take a step forward for that race the other day. He’s that much older now, we’ve still got a month to Kempton and it’s a valuable race.”

The bay has been ridden in all 18 starts under rules so far by Harry Cobden, but the Ditcheat stable jockey is required to head to Ascot instead and Daryl Jacob steps in the for the ride at Haydock.

“Harry is going to Ascot to ride Pic D’Orhy, who had such a good season last year, from which I hope he’s improved further,” Nicholls said.

“The bottom line is that Harry can’t be in two places at the same time.

“When there is more than one big meeting on a Saturday, you have to plan, but you also need someone to be first reserve and Daryl has been riding out for us.”

Dan Skelton will be represented by Protektorat, the reigning Betfair Chase champion after landing the race by 11 lengths last season.

He was subsequently fourth in the Cotswold Chase and fifth in the Gold Cup and now returns for his seasonal debut with freshness on his side.

“It gives you great confidence when a horse has been there and done it because you can do what you did the year before,” the trainer said.

“We know the result we got and if he runs like he did last year, which was visually very impressive, whoever beats him will have a hard race to do so.

“OK, his form after wasn’t as sparkling but we can put that to one side at the moment because we are dealing with first time and we know what he did first time last year.

“Freshness is key with any horse. I know people want to see these horses run more but the truth of the matter is these horses have hard races in big races. It’s not the getting ready for the next race, it’s getting over the one they’ve just had.

“Of course, I’d love to run him more, like I would a lot of others, but you can’t waste runs when you think they might not be at their best. You also have to consider the idiosyncrasies of British courses.

“You want to run them on ones they will be at their best, unless you get a horse like Kauto Star who can do it on all of them and then it’s magical. We’d all love to run them more but it is hard to get them razor right.”

Lucinda Russell runs last season’s Grand National hero Corach Rambler, who makes his Grade One debut at Haydock.

After winning the Aintree marathon by two and a quarter lengths in the spring, the nine-year-old returned to action in Kelso’s Edinburgh Gin Chase in late October but was well beaten when fifth of six runners.

Russell reports her stable star to be in good form at home following the run, however, and hopes his performance in the Betfair Chase will prove instructive as to where he will head next.

The William Hill ambassador said: “Corach Rambler is in absolutely fantastic form at home and has been causing absolute mayhem around the place! He’s galloping around the farm in a very happy manner and upsetting the whole string, which is really encouraging ahead of Haydock on Saturday.

“I must admit that I do wake up in the middle of the night panicking about him because he really does mean that much to me. He’s very special and it’s a pleasure to be involved with him and be a part of his journey.

“The ground at Kelso was pretty bad and he obviously didn’t have a great run there, so the fact it will be better on Saturday is a real bonus.

“We’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a big challenge against some proper Gold Cup contenders, but I think he’s earned his chance to prove that he’s up to this sort of standard and we’re really looking forward to it.

“It will tell us where we stand with him and whether the Gold Cup is a realistic aim.”

Completing the field of four is Venetia Williams’ Royale Pagaille, second in the contest behind A Plus Tard in 2021.

The nine-year-old has a notably good Haydock record, as three further runs at the track have all ended in victory, though he was a faller in the Irish Grand National when last seen in April and looks to return to form at his favoured track.

Joe Chambers, racing manager to owners Rich and Susannah Ricci, said: “Royale Pagaille loves it at Haydock and with the ground in his favour and a small field, we thought it would be best to kick off his season there on Saturday, rather than going to Newbury the following week.

“He is three out of four at Haydock, with his only defeat coming when second in the Betfair Chase two years ago to A Plus Tard.

“I’d say this season it would be lovely to win a third Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock (in January) with him. What happens either side of that is still to be decided.”

In a thrilling conclusion to their four-day unofficial Test match, Kevin Sinclair played the role of hero as he scored an unbeaten half-century, guiding West Indies A to a nail-biting one-wicket victory over South Africa A in Benoni on Friday.

Facing a challenging situation with the tourists at 104-5, Sinclair showcased immense patience and skill, accumulating 80 crucial runs to secure the win for West Indies A, reaching 224-9 in 80.4 overs.

 The day began with West Indies resuming their innings at eight without loss, with Tagenarine Chanderpaul on one and Zachary McCaskie on five. Unfortunately, McCaskie failed to add to his overnight score, becoming the first victim of Mihlali Mpongwana, who claimed three wickets in the inning. Chanderpaul and Kirk McKenzie formed a useful partnership for the second wicket, but it was disrupted when Dane Piedt dismissed McKenzie for 36, leaving the score at 75-2. The West Indies A faced a quick succession of wickets, with Mpongwana dismissing Chanderpaul for 35 and removing Kavem Hodge for 12, bringing the team to 104-4.

Duanne Olivier and Hardus Viljoen continued the pressure, removing Tevin Imlach and Joshua da Silva, leaving the West Indies A at a precarious 114-6 and in danger of defeat. However, Sinclair, the Player of the Match, stood firm. The bowling all-rounder, known for his ability to lead late-order revivals, played a match-winning knock, scoring the majority of the remaining runs. Facing 150 balls, Sinclair hit eight fours and two sixes during his resilient innings.

 Jayden Seales contributed 12 runs, and Jair McAllister, coming in with the tourists still 53 runs away from their target, finished not out on seven.

 Mpongwana led the South African bowling attack with figures of 3-25, while Viljoen and Piedt took two wickets each in the losing cause. Sinclair's heroics ensured a memorable victory for West Indies A in a thrilling encounter against South Africa A.


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