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Doping and Medical Control within British Horseracing – AWOL 2003-2009?

In June 2009 headline in the Daily Telegraph read as follows:

Nicky Henderson has been fined a record £40,000 and banned from making entries for three months after being found guilty of administering an anti-bleeding drug to the Queen’s horse Moonlit Path at Huntingdon in February.

BHA’s Full Decisions and Reasons can be found here, but initially I want to focus on one section in particular:

Evidence at this Enquiry

12. The main factual evidence came just from Henderson. He had given notice that he intended to call Mr Main, and he also produced a statement signed on 3 June 2009 from him. This statement was also sent direct by Mr Main to the BHA on 3 June, under cover of a letter in which he expressed disagreement with the note compiled by the BHA investigators of his interview on 9 April. (Mr Main had refused to allow this to be recorded at the time). But on 18 June 2009, the BHA was informed by Henderson’s representatives that Mr Main would not be called to give evidence, because he was refusing to come.

13. As will be apparent from the analysis of this case below, it is obvious that Mr Main had some important, perhaps vital evidence to give. The Panel therefore raised with the parties the possibility of adjourning the enquiry to see if Mr Main might respond to invitations to attend from the BHA or even from the Panel direct. Mr Norris QC for Henderson forcefully opposed this course, and Mr McPherson QC for the BHA doubted whether Mr Main might respond to their invitation, because of the earlier dispute with him about the accuracy of the 9 April interview note.

14. The Panel saw an additional possible benefit from an adjournment. This would have allowed evidence to be taken from Tom Symonds, who was also, in the Panel’s view, someone with an important story to tell. But Mr Norris QC’s reaction to that was again to resist any adjournment, because he did not propose to call any evidence from Symonds. The Panel’s eventual decision was not to adjourn, because it was uncertain whether Mr Main would agree to give evidence, even with the “encouragement” he might be given by drawing his attention to Rule 6 of the Rules of Racing. It remained the Panel’s view that Mr Main and Mr Symonds had potentially crucial evidence to give.

So what was this evidence? Well we had to wait for the findings of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon to be published on the 22nd February 2011. Full report can be found here

An extract below from the findings of Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons:

“The Committee has considered very carefully the explanation put forward by Mr Main for the use of the term “pre-race check” on Moonlit Path’s clinical records, and indeed, on the invoice. It has concluded that the use of the term was, in effect, a protocol developed over several years between the practice and Mr Henderson to conceal the administration of tranexamic acid by injection to a horse on a race day.”

So who was James Main? Well he worked within the practice of O’Gorman Slater Main & Partners which has upwards of 25 yards in and around Lambourn on its books. He was member of the following BHA Committees: Counter-Analysis Advisory Committee and Veterinary Committee as well as being a NTF Veterinary Advisor.  Taking this into consideration, this further extract from RCVS findings makes for interesting reading:

“At the outset of the hearing, Mr Main admitted the first head of charge (a) (i) namely that on 19th February 2009, he injected Moonlit Path, which he knew to be racing later that day, with tranexamic acid when he knew that to do so would result in a breach of Instruction C9 and Rule 221B (i) of the BHA rules of racing. He accepted that at the relevant time he was aware of the provisions of Instruction C9 which prohibited any substance being given to a horse at any time on the day of a race whether by an injection, orally or any other method with the exception of normal feed and water by mouth.”

The RCVS concluded the following:

“It has concluded that Mr Main did not know at the time he administered the injection that, if tested, Moonlit Path would prove positive for tranexamic acid. It accepts Mr Main’s oral evidence that he, and other veterinary surgeons at the practice, had administered tranexamic acid to horses on race days at Mr Henderson’s yard over a significant period of time without positive testing.”

So here we have a member of BHA Counter-Analysis Advisory Committee and Veterinary Committee administering illegal race day substances having the confidence in the Medical Control procedure that it would come back as a negative test.  The RCVS even questions the validity of the BHA testing procedures;

“While it is evident from the BHA’s Guidelines that the sensitivity of the tests is in a process of continual development, the Committee is unable to speculate as to why tranexamic acid had not tested positive on horses to which Mr Main had administered it on previous occasions. However, it is satisfied that Mr Main believed at the time he administered the injection that Moonlit Path would not test positive for tranexamic acid.”

Further question marks over the effectiveness of doping control were raised in the recent allegation of milkshaking made against James Boyle. A baseline CO2 test would have enabled accurate conclusions to be drawn but that was deemed “unnecessary” by Paul Scotney, the former Director of Integrity Services, Compliance and Licensing, and Professor Tom Morris, then Director of Equine Science and Welfare.

Both Paul Scotney and Professor Tim Morris have left the British Horse Racing Authority in recent months, during a much needed reconfiguration of the BHA services and structure. Paul Bittar said “We are proud that British Racing is justifiably held in high regard on the subject, but we know there is no room for complacency.”

However, the findings of the RCVS regarding the administration/testing of tranexamic acid and the lack of a fundamental baseline test in a doping case cast serious doubt as to the rigour of BHA’s Doping and Medical Control between 2003 and 2009, and in turn the performances of the thoroughbred throughout that period.

 
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Posted by on February 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Open letter to BHA Director of Integrity, Legal and Risk

Dear Mr Adam Brickell,

I have a few questions with regards to the findings published on 22nd February 2011, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons v James Main and its impact on the Disciplinary Hearing heard in June 2009:

1)       During the hearing the Panel raised the possibility of adjourning the enquiry to see if Mr Main might respond to invitations to attend from the BHA or even from the Panel direct.

Why would the BHA look to suppress such evidence?

2)       Until his resignation following the incident, Mr James Main was the veterinary adviser to the National Trainers Federation (“NTF”) which represents trainers’ interests. As the NTF’s representative he was a member of the British Horseracing Authority’s (“BHA”) Veterinary Committee. He also sat on the BHA’s Counter-Analysis Advisory Committee.

Mr Main therefore knew Instruction C9 regarding the prohibition on any substance other than normal feed and water being given to a horse on the day of a race was introduced in 2003. Obviously it would have been embarrassing for the BHA that a member of the above committees was in front of a disciplinary panel showing his understanding that tranexamic acid was undetectable on testing following a race and that the procedure was widely used by other veterinary surgeons and trainers on race day. Is this why Mr James Main was not called to give evidence?

3)       Professor Morris believed that the laboratory used by the BHA had been able to identify tranexamic acid as part of its testing process for a number of years prior to 2009. However, the only other occasion the BHA had been notified of a positive result showing the presence of tranexamic acid in a sample had been in March 2009.

Again would the evidence of James Main and Tom Symonds have highlighted the inefficiencies of BHA’s Doping Control?

4)       Professor Morris said in his written statement that he believed that testing for tranexamic acid had been in place for some time. He also said that he was aware of only one other instance of a horse testing positive in March 2009, which was shortly after Moonlit Path’s positive test.

Obviously the tests upto to February 2009 were either too infrequent, or not upto standard.  Was there any noticeable change in testing procedures between 2003 and February 2009?

5)       While it is evident from the BHA’s Guidelines that the sensitivity of the tests is in a process of continual development, the Committee is unable to speculate as to why tranexamic acid had not tested positive on horses to which Mr Main had administered it on previous occasions. However, it is satisfied that Mr Main believed at the time he administered the injection that Moonlit Path would not test positive for tranexamic acid.

Ouch – That has got to hurt?

A member of the BHA Counter-Analysis Advisory Committee working on the understanding the horse would not test positive.

6)       The BHA Guidance states “Not all prohibited substances are detectable in racing laboratories but they are still prohibited. Where such substances are of concern to racing authorities they will encourage their racing laboratories to develop new methods to detect them. Do not forget that some samples that have been declared negative are frozen and will be reanalysed if/when new methods are developed”

Has the BHA carried out tests on samples between the period of 2003 and February 2009 to see if they tested positive for tranexamic acid?

7)       The Committee has considered very carefully the explanation put forward by Mr Main for the use of the term “pre-race check” on Moonlit Path’s clinical records, and indeed, on the invoice. It has concluded that the use of the term was, in effect, a protocol developed over several years between the practice and Mr Henderson to conceal the administration of tranexamic acid by injection to a horse on a race day. The Committee is satisfied that Mr Main used the term in the practice clinical record and on the invoice, to conceal that an injection of tranexamic acid had been administered to a horse on a race day. It is sure that the underlying purpose shared by both Mr Main and Mr Henderson was to conceal a breach of Instruction C9 when the BHA inspected the yard’s records. Both Mr Symonds and Mr Pauling showed obvious discomfiture during their evidence when admitting that they knew that no substance should be given to a horse on a race day other than normal food and water and that was why injections of tranexamic acid were not entered into the yard’s own medication record.

How many medical records, at Nicky Henderson’s or other trainers whose vets were O’Gorman Slater Main & Partners, were reviewed following the publication of these findings?

8)       The Committee carefully observed Mr Main when he was asked questions about the use of the term “pre-race check” and observed his obvious unease. Any disagreement Mr Main may have had with the BHA’s rules of racing did not justify him perpetuating a practice that he knew was designed to conceal from the BHA that tranexamic acid had been administered to a horse on a race day.

Ouch – That has got to hurt?

9)       In the witness statement which he provided to the BHA on 3rd June 2009 he said at paragraph 16: “At the time I injected Moonlit Path I was aware that there had been a relatively recent change to the rules of racing in that it had become prohibited to administer any substance on the day of racing. I presumed Mr Henderson was also aware of the rule. I did not ask when she was to run.” Putting to one side that the change in the rule occurred in 2003, the Committee concluded that at the time he prepared his witness statement he was avoiding any admission that he knew Moonlit Path was to race on the same day as he administered the injection when he said “I did not ask when she was to run.”

Can you please advise the time frame Mr James Main was on the BHA’s Counter-Analysis Advisory Committee. Can you please also advise the process re the rule change in 2003 and what committees were involved.

10)   The Committee also concluded that it is inconceivable that an experienced equine veterinary surgeon in Mr Main’s position as the NTF veterinary representative on the BHA Veterinary Committee and a member of the Counter Analysis Committee would not have known of the existence of Instruction C9, or indeed, the other rules of racing referred to in this case. The content of the foreword written by Mr Main on Detection Times Information in the NTF Medication Record is indicative of his state of knowledge when he said “There is an increasing amount of information being published regarding detection times for residues following administration of different medications, this is useful information and the work of the BHA in this area should be applauded. However, trainers should be aware of variations due to individual horse absorption and metabolism differences in drug preparations and routes of administration … Trainers should consult their veterinary surgeon regarding acceptable withdrawal times for a particular medication.”

Guess he’s stopped applauding.

Kind regards

Daniel Kelly

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Clinical Record Entry – “Pre Race Check”

“Check” – Dictionary – Examine (something) in order to determine its accuracy, quality, or condition, or to detect the presence of something.

“Pre-race check” – Nicky Henderson, Tom Symonds, Ben Pauling and James Main – a protocol developed over several years between the practice and Mr Henderson to conceal the administration of tranexamic acid by injection to a horse on a race day.

So for any of you who have not been following my tweets in recent days; In June 2009 headline in Telegraph was as follows:

Nicky Henderson has been fined a record £40,000 and banned from making entries for three months after being found guilty of administering an anti-bleeding drug to the Queen’s horse Moonlit Path at Huntingdon in February.

BHA’s Full Decisions and Reasons can be found here; http://www.britishhorseracing.com/resources/about/whatwedo/disciplinary/disciplinaryDetail.asp?item=089819 but initially I want to focus on one section in particular:

Evidence at this Enquiry

12. The main factual evidence came just from Henderson. He had given notice that he intended to call Mr Main, and he also produced a statement signed on 3 June 2009 from him. This statement was also sent direct by Mr Main to the BHA on 3 June, under cover of a letter in which he expressed disagreement with the note compiled by the BHA investigators of his interview on 9 April. (Mr Main had refused to allow this to be recorded at the time). But on 18 June 2009, the BHA was informed by Henderson’s representatives that Mr Main would not be called to give evidence, because he was refusing to come.

13. As will be apparent from the analysis of this case below, it is obvious that Mr Main had some important, perhaps vital evidence to give. The Panel therefore raised with the parties the possibility of adjourning the enquiry to see if Mr Main might respond to invitations to attend from the BHA or even from the Panel direct. Mr Norris QC for Henderson forcefully opposed this course, and Mr McPherson QC for the BHA doubted whether Mr Main might respond to their invitation, because of the earlier dispute with him about the accuracy of the 9 April interview note.

14. The Panel saw an additional possible benefit from an adjournment. This would have allowed evidence to be taken from Tom Symonds, who was also, in the Panel’s view, someone with an important story to tell. But Mr Norris QC’s reaction to that was again to resist any adjournment, because he did not propose to call any evidence from Symonds. The Panel’s eventual decision was not to adjourn, because it was uncertain whether Mr Main would agree to give evidence, even with the “encouragement” he might be given by drawing his attention to Rule 6 of the Rules of Racing. It remained the Panel’s view that Mr Main and Mr Symonds had potentially crucial evidence to give.

So what was this evidence? Well we had to wait for the findings of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeon to be published on the 22nd February 2011, http://www.rcvs.org.uk/document-library/main-feb-2011-findings.

Here are the best bits:

12) Henderson said in evidence that he “did not think that we had administered anything terribly illegal and the horse had not exactly won the race”.

21) Main said that it was widely used by other veterinary surgeons and trainers on race days to treat horses with a history of EIPH.

24) The Committee was unimpressed by Mr Henderson’s evidence and were surprised by his apparent lack of knowledge of the rules of racing. It considered that Mr Symonds and Mr Pauling did their best to assist the Committee in difficult circumstances.

25) Committee accepts Mr Main’s oral evidence that he, and other veterinary surgeons at the practice, had administered tranexamic acid to horses on race days at Mr Henderson’s yard over a significant period of time without positive testing.

25) While it is evident from the BHA’s Guidelines that the sensitivity of the tests is in a process of continual development, the Committee is unable to speculate as to why tranexamic acid had not tested positive on horses to which Mr Main had administered it on previous occasions.

32) Committee has concluded that the use of the term was, in effect, a protocol developed over several years between the practice and Mr Henderson to conceal the administration of tranexamic acid by injection to a horse on a race day.

32) It is sure that the underlying purpose shared by both Mr Main and Mr Henderson was to conceal a breach of Instruction C9 when the BHA inspected the yard’s records. Both Mr Symonds and Mr Pauling showed obvious discomfiture during their evidence when admitting that they knew that no substance should be given to a horse on a race day other than normal food and water and that was why injections of tranexamic acid were not entered into the yard’s own medication record.

So what happened next?

Well Tom Symonds left and started training himself – Be interested to hear the motives behind that move.

and…er…well that’s it.

So with the findings highlighting a protocol to conceal the administration of banned substances by calling the procedure a “pre race check”, Did the BHA review the clinical records of all Mr Henderson’s horses?

Did the BHA review their penalty following the evidence of Mr Main, Mr Symonds and Mr Pauling? A reminder of what was said by BHA QC at the Disciplinary Hearing; Mr McPherson QC for the BHA doubted whether Mr Main might respond to their invitation, because of the earlier dispute with him about the accuracy of the 9 April interview note.

Has Mr Main been approached by the BHA with regards to his statement of the protocol being used by other trainers on race day?

There are many more questions that need answering after you have read both documents. Be interested to know what questions you would like to ask the BHA or Mr Henderson. Please use the comments section below.

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Devil is in the detail

2nd January 2013 was the day that racing changed forever…well rescheduled races anyway. Races that are resceduled are done so at a cost to the Levy Board, their revenues are generated from betting, so it should not have come as a suprise that the following was inserted in the BHA Press Release:

Original entries will not stand and trainers wishing to make an entry must do so by noon on Thursday, January 3rd. Should the race receive fewer than four overnight declarations it may potentially be cancelled.

A non championship race has been rescheduled at a cost and the BHA/Levy Board want their moneys worth, and given the implementation of the new Novice Chase rules which is designed to increase the number of runners in a race, then the “four overnight declarations” request is more than adequate.

But why the four? Well the End Of Season Ratings of the declared runners is used to assess the quality of the race for the Pattern Book, in this case a Grade 2 Novices’ Chase average needs to be above 130 to keep it’s Grade 2 status, if only 3 runners declared then an OR of 100 is given for the NR, 2 runners then there’s 2 x OR 100. The ratings of the 3 declared were 153, 152 and 135, so even if including the 100 average would have been 135, a stone below last years renewal (149.50), but well within the buffer zone. This could have been their get out clause should they wished to allow the race to go ahead, yet the BHA seemingly want more for their £.

So why only 3 declared, well that is a very good point. It’s plain to see that BHA wanted four runners at the very least at overnight declaration stage, the “Self Certificate” system relating to Non Runners would have allowed either Paul Nicholls or Nicky Henderson engage a stablemate, declare him as a Non Runner in morning “Self Cert”, and just means you are not allowed to declare him for 7 days…no big deal. A case of don’t blame the system, play the system, Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson have dropped a clanger here.

What next? Well BHA mean business and want a decent return on their’s and Levy Board’s time and effort in rescheduling races, NTF, and the above named trainers will call it a ludicrous decision, and claim foul, but the devil is in the detail. It was there in black and white for the first time ever in Press Release, and when trainers are boycotting races for poor prize money, is there any wonder the BHA are pulling races for poor turnout. It was only a matter of time before the actions of trainers on Wednesday 11th July 2012 came and bite them on the arse.

#InBittarWeTrust

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Day 335 at the BHA House…

…under Paul Bittar’s stewardship, and things just got a little tasty.

I love a timeline me:

08 Nov 2012 14:00 Paul Scotney to leave BHA

Paul Scotney will step aside from his full-time role with effect from 14th December 2012, but as part of a transition plan will remain a part of the BHA’s ability to protect the sport from corruption, providing advice on investigations and strategy.

BHA Chief Executive, Paul Bittar, said the decision for Paul Scotney to transition from his current full-time role was agreed mutually and arose during their discussions in reviewing the BHA Integrity operations, future needs and structure.

“It is good news that in ensuring our commitment to integrity standards we will be able to call upon Paul’s experience and expertise when needed. At the same time we can support Paul in branching out to work in other sports and sectors, which is something we recognise he is keen to do after nearly 10 years working exclusively in horseracing.

“Paul has put in place strong systems and built an excellent team. This is reflected in the fact we’ve got an internal candidate in Adam to promote and Paul leaves his full-time role with British Racing far better equipped to deal with threats to the sport’s integrity than it was on his arrival in 2003. A measure of the progress made under Paul was illustrated when an independent Review carried out by Dame Elizabeth Neville in 2008 concluded that the BHA Integrity department is ‘a model for the effective investigation of corruption in sport’.

“One of my primary objectives has been to conduct a review of all aspects of the business to identify the most effective and efficient structure for the BHA given our broad role in the industry. However, this should be seen as a constant evolution of the business and the changes announced today are part of that – something Paul has contributed constructively to.”

19 Nov 2012 09:00  Tim Morris to leave BHA

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) announced today that Professor Tim Morris, Director of Equine Science and Welfare, is to leave the organisation. His departure forms part of the ongoing restructure of BHA services, led by Chief Executive Paul Bittar.

Earlier this month it was announced that Paul Scotney, Director of Integrity Services, Compliance, and Licensing, would be leaving his full-time role with BHA in December. Tim Morris will finish in his current full-time role with the BHA at the end of January 2013, assisting in the transition and the transfer of his responsibilities.

Paul Bittar, BHA Chief Executive, said:

“Reconfiguring the BHA services and structure is an evolutionary process and further work will be done with Tim in the coming weeks to imbed the new structure for Veterinary Operations combined with our important role in medication control.

“Everyone who knows Tim would acknowledge that he has worked exceptionally hard on behalf of the sport as an advocate of our commitment to horse welfare, and while his departure means a re-focus, it certainly won’t impact on our commitment to equine welfare. The ongoing review of the organisation is a difficult process as it impacts people’s roles but we’ve got budget constraints like all other businesses within British Racing, so we’re focused on identifying the most effective and efficient structure for the BHA.

“During the next few months Tim will be working with the team to put in place the new structure that ensures the BHA remains committed to maintaining and promoting the highest standards of equine welfare and health. We are proud that British Racing is justifiably held in high regard on the subject, but we know there is no room for complacency.”

Like to draw attention to two things relating to the above. One is Paul Scotney’s leaving date of Friday 14th December 2012, and also the final line in Paul Bittar’s comments relating to Tim Morris, “but we know there is no room for complacency”.

So what is so special about today, well today the BHA published the Disciplinary Panel Result, Reasons and Penalties regarding Jim Boyle, New Den and “milkshaking”.  The full report can be found here.

However I want to draw your attention to two points in particular. Following blood tests, and a further sample at Jim Boyle’s yard on the 8th New Den was moved to British Racing School in Newmarket for further monitoring.

9. However, no testing, whether to establish a baseline TCO2 reading or otherwise was done during the week or so that NEW DEN was in the BHA’s custody. Dr Hillyer explained that this was the result of a decision taken in a discussion with her superior, Professor Tim Morris, and with Paul Scotney. It was thought unnecessary.

The negligence of Professor Tim Morris and Paul Scotney resulted in the following:

Rule (A)27
Allegation proved, but in the following sense only. The Panel found that Boyle did NOT “milkshake” the horse as the BHA alleged by putting a substantial quantity of alkalising agent into the gelding, whether by nasogastric tube or otherwise. It was, however, concluded that Boyle was aware of the administration of “tie-up” powders to the horse on 5 and 6 April and that when he took a final decision to race the horse during the morning of 6 April, he was doing so in the knowledge that the powders administered could affect the gelding’s racing performance. The Panel concluded that the administration of those tie-up powders might explain the sample results obtained, in the absence of further testing to establish a baseline TCO2 reading for the gelding. This ought to have been undertaken, at least in the light of the I-STAT reading of 41 obtained on 8 April.
Penalty: Restriction of entries for 2 months and £2,000 fine

Entry Point is 1 year with a range of 1 month to 5 years.

Professor Tim Morris and Paul Scotney deemed further testing to establish a baseline TCO2 reading for the gelding as unnecessary. Their titles again; Director of Equine Science and Welfare and Director of Integrity Services, Compliance, and Licensing.

Please leave the BHA House.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Alan Morcombe leaves Horsemen’s Group

Today’s news that Alan Morcombe’s consultancy role at Horsemen’s Group comes to an end should be well received by all with the interest of the sport at heart, Press Association copy below:

Alan Morcombe’s consultancy agreement which has seen him perform the role as chief executive for the Horsemen’s Group will come to an end on December 31.

Morcombe’s reign has overseen such initiatives as the Horsemen’s Group tariff which was seen as integral to ensuring increased levels of prize-money.

“I have enjoyed my consultancy with the Horsemen’s Group and wish them the very best for the future,” said Morcombe.

“When I first got involved with racing I was unaware of the splendour of the sport and the dedication shown by many of the professional horsemen involved in it.

“The last two years have been an educating experience and I leave the Horsemen’s Group in a stronger position than when I started thanks, in part, to the enormous commitment and support I have received from the executive of the member organisations.”

The group is looking to appoint a new chairman for 2013.

But at what cost?

Here’s an extract from a piece in Racing Post on the 25th August 2012:

He claimed that, while the cost of running his organisation since April 2010 had been approximately pounds 1.1m.

Horsemen Limited Accounts Year Ending June 2011 details Ambrose Consultancy Ltd (Alan Morcombe is the sole Director) were paid £270, 608 in consultancy fees, so that’s just the 25% then Alan. It’s even worse if we consider that there is every possibility that Alan was basing these costs against the draft June 2012 accounts, which are still to be published, yet if we have a ball park fee of £250k for 11/12 fees, then that 25% becomes 47%.

So what does “consultancy agreement will come to an end on 31st December 2012” actually mean? Well first we need to see the original agreement, I hope that in the coming days the trade paper, and other journalists will look into getting copies of this. If the agreement was rolling, then that’s fine, but what if it was a 4yr deal, or 5yr deal…then Ambrose Consultancy Ltd is likely to be compensated further.

If it is the latter, then Alan Morcombe via Ambrose Consultancy Ltd has taken the best part of £1m out of British Racing, has left Horsemen’s Group with a £500k loan where repayment to the BHA is still to be agreed by the two parties – (was the cash used to settle any Ambrose Consultancy Ltd fees?) and no Chairman due to differences between him and the Chairman Designate Philip Freedman. Questions need to be asked about all parties involved with the Horsemen’s Group currently and previously, and Alan Morcombe’s initial appointment. I hope for the life of me the decision wasn’t left with Paul Dixon, and him alone. Anyway back to Alan…

“I have enjoyed my consultancy with the Horsemen’s Group…” said Morcombe.

I bet you ******* have “mate”, now jog on.

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tale of two A.R.C.s

All change at the top of Jockey Club Racecourses with Ian Renton, managing director of Arena Leisure PLC, being appointed new boss of Cheltenham, Exeter, Warwick and Wincanton, but does this signal the begins of change at Arena Leisure & Northern Racing.

Looks like the new group name for Arena and Northern Racing will be Arena Racing Company with a website already active http://www.arenaracingcompany.co.uk/ and two companies recently formed Arena Racing Club Ltd and Arena Racing Corporation Ltd which in turn means JCR claim to being biggest group based on numbers of courses and fixtures will have to be removed from future press releases.

The second A.R.C. relates to Asian Racing Conference, and it’s impact on British Racing.  Conference was between 16th July 2012 and 20th July 2012, and whereas Paul Dixon and lack of Racing For Change presentation stole the headlines, Jamie Stier’s presentation was on stewards and interference rules:

Jamie Stier
Director of Raceday Operation and Regulations BHA
Updated reports from the International Stewards Conference
Change of interference rules—recent examples including moves in JRA
Difference in interference rules—point of views of trainer and punter
Whip Use Change in Australian and UK
Reciprocal of penalties and its interpretation

Since this presentation two races have seen placings reversed, Shahdaroba/Herbalist (Leicester 01/08/12 7:45) and Sigurwana/Junior Diary (Wolverhampton 07/08/12 16:20) where previously I doubt they would have been. Both were Maiden races and both jockeys did everything they could to correct mounts from the saddle. Some Maiden races do carry the RP Bonus which is worth £10k to winning connections, no doubt leaving them feeling the pinch. In turn I feel the timing of these reversing of places and Jamie Stier’s presentation on interference more than just a co-incidence and very much a case of ensuring that UK Stewards practice what the Director preaches.

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2012 in Uncategorized