Paddington the star attraction among Sussex confirmations

By Sports Desk July 27, 2023

Paddington is a hot favourite to add a fourth Group One to his CV in Wednesday’s Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-old has won each of his five starts this term, including the Irish 2,000 Guineas, St James’s Palace Stakes and the 10-furlong Eclipse against older horses at Sandown at the start of July.

Paddington is set to drop back to a mile on the Sussex Downs and he is O’Brien’s only possible runner among 10 contenders, with Nostrum, from Sir Michael Stoute’s yard, and the Roger Varian-trained Charyn the only other three-year-olds in contention.

Inspiral, representing John and Thady Gosden, leads the older charge after finishing second in the Queen Anne and would be renewing rivalries with Modern Games (fourth), Berkshire Shadow (fifth) and Chindit (sixth) from that Ascot heat.

However, Richard Hannon will be keeping a keen eye on conditions for the last-named runner.

He said: “I’ve got Chindit in the Sussex. He is in the form of his life, but if it’s soft ground, I don’t know what we are going to do.

“It was subject to conditions that he goes to the Sussex. I might put him in the Prix Jacques le Marois (at Deauville), or the other one at Goodwood, the Group Two (Celebration Mile).

“We have a few options. He is a tough horse and I’m very happy with the way he is training.”

Facteur Cheval is an interesting French raider, while July Cup third Kinross could step back up in trip and Aldaary rounds out the possibles.

Hannon has given Dapperling, who made much of the running before being collared by Relief Rally in the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury on Saturday, a couple of entries on Wednesday’s card.

The Fitri Hay-owned juvenile has potential targets at Goodwood which include the British EBF 40th Anniversary Alice Keppel Fillies’ Conditions Stakes or the Group Three Molecomb Stakes.

“It was a cracking run (at Newbury). I was delighted. I thought she’d nicked it for a bit,” said Hannon.

“We knew she’d improved a good bit physically and I was just pleased to see her running so well. They’ve put her up 8lb (to a mark of 84).

“She has taken it lovely. She had a canter on Tuesday morning and is as good as gold.”

The Molecomb has attracted 18 entries, with Baheer also featuring for Hannon while other leading contenders include Windsor Castle winner Big Evs, six-length Sandown Listed winner Kylian and O’Brien’s Alabama.

The Group Three Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes has 20 contenders headlined by Olivia Maralda, Potapova and White Moonlight.

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    In a press conference on Monday addressing the abandoned races, SVREL Executive Chairman Solomon Sharpe expressed frustration with the rule, highlighting its potential impact on the racing industry.

    "This rule, unique to Jamaica, imposes a strict five-minute limit after the published post time for races at Caymanas Park," Sharpe stated. "It fails to account for various factors that can delay race starts and penalizes all stakeholders when races are abandoned, affecting punters, jockeys, grooms, trainers, owners, promoters, and the government."

    Last year, Caymanas Park contributed over $260 million in combined taxes to the government's coffers. Sharpe urged the JRC to engage SVREL in discussions on Rule 44, emphasizing the need for constructive dialogue to address the rule's impact.

    "We were not consulted during the initial discussions on this rule, and now, with two races abandoned in a single race day, our concerns have materialized," Sharpe explained. "SVREL is open to collaborating with the JRC to review and refine this amended rule."

    Representatives from the Grooms Association, Jockeys Association, and the United Racehorse Trainers Association echoed SVREL's concerns and supported the call for a review of Rule 44.

    Sharpe concluded by appealing to regulators, stakeholders, and the public to support the growth of the horseracing industry in Jamaica. "Horseracing has immense potential in Jamaica and can become a significant foreign exchange earner. Realizing this potential requires collaboration among all stakeholders."

    SVREL has been operating Caymanas Park since March 2017 after the government divested the property. With investments exceeding J$4 billion in product enhancements and innovations like the Mouttet Mile, which boasts the largest purse in the English-speaking Caribbean, SVREL remains committed to advancing the horseracing experience in Jamaica.

  • Supreme Ventures Racing regrets abandonment of two races at Caymanas Park on Saturday Supreme Ventures Racing regrets abandonment of two races at Caymanas Park on Saturday

    Supreme Ventures Racing & Entertainment Limited (SVREL) has expressed regret and disappointment following the abandonment of two races during the Saturday, April 27 race day at Caymanas Park in St Catherine, Jamaica.

    The decision to abandon these races, SVREL said, was made in compliance with regulations set forth by the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC), leading to the refund of all related pools according to SVREL's Pari-mutuel rules.

    According to the statement released by SVREL late Saturday, the abandonment of races number one and six, respectively, was declared by the stewards of the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) due to delays that exceeded the permitted time frame as stipulated by Rule 44(iii).

    Specifically, in race number one, scheduled to commence at 12:00 pm, a saddling issue with horse number five and a mandatory veterinary check for horse number eight, which reared and fell after exiting the saddling barn, resulted in delays beyond the allowable limit.

    Similarly, race number six, slated for 3:10 pm, was delayed due to a horse running loose, ultimately leading to its abandonment by the stewards of the JRC.

    SVREL explained that the recent amendments to Rule 44(iii), which came into effect from April 1, 2024, mandate strict adherence to race start times with a maximum allowance of five minutes after the published post time. SVREL noted that Jamaica is unique in enforcing such a rule without prior consultation with the sole promoter of horseracing in Jamaica.

    The enforcement of this rule has led to financial losses for industry stakeholders, including owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, punters, and the promoter and as such the disruption caused by the abandonment of these races understandably resulted in unrest among stakeholder groups.

    Despite the challenges faced, the race meet resumed with race number seven at approximately 4:00 pm, SVREL noted.

    SVREL has now issued a sincere apology to valued customers and stakeholders for the inconvenience caused by the abandonment of races one and six by the JRC. SVREL also emphasized its readiness for open dialogue with the JRC and all impacted stakeholders to ensure the continued success and integrity of the horseracing industry.

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    The gelding has been a star for trainer Christian Williams, winning big handicap events like the Eider Chase and the Scottish Grand National and going close in the Charlie Hall and the Coral Trophy.

    He has particularly good record in the bet365 Gold Cup on the final day of the season, missing out only due to interference when second in 2021 and coming home third in 2022.

    Last year he was completed the set of podium finishes when winning by two and a half lengths under usual jockey Jack Tudor.

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    “We were thrilled, the horse tried his best and we were very, very proud of horse and jockey.

    “He’s come out of it very well, if the race was run today even then he’d be running, he’s in good form.

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    “We’re taking our chance anyway, he seems well and we’ll hope for the best.”

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