Former Derby favourite Arrest on Leger trial at Newbury

By Sports Desk August 18, 2023

Arrest could set up another Classic tilt when he returns from a short break in the BetVictor Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

John and Thady Gosden’s charge was sent off the 4-1 favourite to give Frankie Dettori a fairytale swansong in the Derby in June on the back of an impressive display in the Chester Vase the previous month.

However, things did not go to plan for the colt at Epsom, with the son of Frankel struggling to handle the famous undulations and he also underwhelmed when seeking compensation in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot.

He now steps up in trip with connections keen to gauge whether he could become a Betfred St Leger contender later in the season, and while his training team will be keeping one eye on conditions to make sure the ground is suitable, heavy rain before racing on Friday will have been welcome.

“It will all depend on what the ground is like. I’m sure John and Thady will have a walk of the track,” explained Barry Mahon, European racing manager for owners Juddmonte.

He went on: “He’s a horse that stays well and we’re going to try to see if he’s a St Leger horse or a mile-and-a-half horse.

“His pedigree wouldn’t scream a mile and six furlongs to you, but just with his running style and John also feels he has a fair chance of getting the trip, so we will give him a chance and see.”

William Haggas’ Klondike was the winner of a soft ground maiden on debut at the course in April before going on to perform with credit in decent company in two starts since.

He came within three lengths of toppling the Gosdens’ Royal Ascot scorer Gregory in the Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood, before being slightly outpaced in a slowly-run edition of the Bahrain Trophy most recently.

“He’s a progressive horse and he was held up in a slowly-run race last time which didn’t suit him,” said the Somerville Lodge handler.

“He will be better on this track and will hopefully run a nice race.

“He won’t mind any rain. He doesn’t have to have soft ground, but he won’t mind it if it comes.

“I think he will be better as he gets older and I don’t want to over do him this year, I think a couple of more races will be fine for him.”

Kemari got the better of a prolonged tussle with Outbox to claim the Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket and looks the pick of the older horses on show.

That was the first time the five-year-old had found the scoresheet since landing the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot in 2021 and Charlie Appleby is hoping he can build on that welcome return to his best.

“Kemari goes to Newbury fit and well, having had a little break since the Fred Archer,” the Moulton Paddocks handler told

“I think conditions will suit, as he has a bit of form on softer ground, and a repeat of his Newmarket performance should make him a serious contender.”

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    Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), operators of Caymanas Park, have called for a review of Rule 44 (iii) enforced by the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) following the cancellation of two races during the April 27 race meet at Caymanas Park.

    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.

    As the sole promoter of horseracing in Jamaica, SVREL said it remains committed to addressing challenges collaboratively and upholding the highest standards of professionalism and service within the industry.


  • Light seeking to shine again at Sandown Light seeking to shine again at Sandown

    Kitty’s Light is taking aim at his usual season finisher in the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown.

    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.

    The two are well acquainted and teamed up for Kitty’s Light’s Grand National bid at Aintree earlier in the month, where he ran a valiant race to finish fifth behind four Grade-One winning Irish chasers.

    Williams was incredibly proud of his stable star and is now hoping the gelding can shine again in the Sandown contest he has found to be lucrative in the past.

    “It was wonderful, we trained him to win the race and we thought he could, but you couldn’t be disappointed with what he did,” Williams said of the National performance.

    “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.

    “He loves it at Sandown with the big fences, his jumping has come on now but even as a five-year-old he nearly won the race.

    “He was third the year after that, it really seems to suit him.

    “I think he likes going right-handed, he hangs a little bit right at home and he seems to really enjoy it there.

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

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