Pauling content to have bypassed Betfair bid with Tellherthename

By Sports Desk February 14, 2024

Tellherthename is all systems go for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle having missed out on a shot at Newbury’s Betfair Hurdle on account of the testing ground.

Trainer Ben Pauling has never hidden his admiration for highly of his talented novice, who has won two of his four starts to date in taking fashion at Huntingdon.

The Cheltenham Festival opener has always been on the radar for the Megson family-owned five-year-old, but Pauling was keen to stop off at Newbury en route and try to exploit a rating of 135.

However, with persistent rain in the days leading into the prestigious handicap turning conditions in Berkshire heavy, connections made the decision to skip the contest in favour of heading to Prestbury Park without the risk of a gruelling race prior to his main objective.

“It’s ironic because the Betfair Hurdle is such a valuable race and takes a lot of thinking about, but the Supreme is one of the sort of blue riband events of our sport,” said Pauling.

“To have a horse we think is good enough to feature in it doesn’t happen very often and the owners were keen to save him for that day rather than end up at Cheltenham having had a harder race than necessary in the Betfair.

“We had always said to ourselves we would love to go via a Betfair Hurdle if everything fell right. So he was trained for the race and couldn’t have been in better form, but unfortunately the rain that Newbury got meant the ground was always going to be too testing.

“Actually, the fact the rain stopped and it started to dry out a little bit meant it was going to be quite tacky and hard work, so that even further secured our thoughts not to go there which was a shame because we thought we had him going there in great form and off a very nice mark and a good position to do himself justice.

“He’s at home in his stable looking magnificent and we will now prepare him for the Supreme.”

The Naunton Downs handler has tasted success three times at the Cheltenham Festival and heads to the showpiece meeting in four weeks time with the best squad of novice talent he has ever assembled.

His Festival hopes were enhanced by Handstands’ impressive victory in Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle last week and he will now head attempt to repeat Willoughby Court’s 2017 victory in the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle, while Fiercely Proud and Challow Hurdle third The Jukebox Man are other smart prospects Pauling could unleash in the Cotswolds.

“We do seem to have a lot of novices that are going the right way at the moment and they are a very talented and progressive bunch. It’s nice to have such nice younger horses.” continued Pauling.

On Handstands, he added: “He’s come out of Huntingdon well and I was really, really pleased with his performance in the Sidney Banks.

“He’s a horse that previous to that race had only beaten what he had beaten, but Ben Jones who had ridden him twice before felt we were only scratching the surface and had not got to the bottom of him.

“You are not quite sure until you run them in that better grade what you have, but we were thrilled by the way he went about it and he put the race to bed quite nicely – when he got to the front he didn’t do an awful lot and probably won a bit cosily, so it was a good performance.”

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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

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    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.

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    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.


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    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.

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

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