Wednesday 26 July 2017

BHA not amused by Moore's musings

JOCKEY Ryan Moore's planned first column for Betfair yesterday was pulled at the 11th hour after the British Horseracing Authority expressed concerns that it might constitute paying a jockey for information.

This seems a bizarre move as the column, in which Moore was to share his views on his rides for the day and on more general racing issues, would be no different to the many newspaper columns already being written by jockeys, including Barry Geraghty in the Mirror and a forthcoming contribution from Richard Hughes in the Racing Post.

Add to that the fact that Betfair already carry a column by trainer Paul Nicholls and the BHA's concerns appear misplaced. For their part, Betfair hope the situation can be resolved in the coming days and the new association will be cleared in time for the English 2,000 Guineas

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Common sense made a rare appearance in racing last week when Jason Maguire, banned for 10 days for taking the wrong course at Wetherby, won his appeal.

Maguire made the decision to steer his mount off the course to avoid forcing other runners towards stricken jockey Harry Haynes, who was being treated on the ground by ambulance men after falling on the first circuit of the 3m 1f chase.

We understand that the ordinary racing public don't know nearly as much about the sport as stewards, but surely someone asked Maguire why he did what he did before imposing the ban? Even more astonishing is the fact that the BHA barrister argued that there was ample room for Maguire to pass the correct side of the rails without risk to Haynes. Maguire was adamant that there wasn't. "Not being funny, but as senior jockey in that race I did it for the best interests and safety of young Harry Haynes."

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Hurling anoraks may be exercised by Dublin's long-awaited return to a National League final. If they manage to beat Kilkenny in Croke Park next Sunday, then they will create a new record for ending the longest league title drought. Their last victory was in 1939, 72 years ago.

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The GAA's Annual Congress can always be relied on to provide a giggle. Last year it was the proposal to drill small holes in trophies to stop them being filled with alcohol; this year it was the attempt by a room full of delegates to use the new electronic voting device.

When president Christy Cooney called for a trial run before voting began the room resembled a scene from Father Ted as many delegates, confusing the devices with remote controls, attempted to vote by holding it aloft and pointing it at the big screens displaying the results.

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American golf fans appear to be disenchanted with their one-time hero, Tiger Woods, judging from the letters page of USA Today. In the wake of the Masters, a correspondent, James F Steckel from Sylvania, Ohio, described the former world number one as "arrogant and elitist".

He went on: "The most recent and prominent display of this was at the Masters when he was being interviewed just after finishing his final round. During this brief interview, he was very curt, condescending, rude and generally disrespectful to his interviewer. As if that weren't bad enough, he blatantly ignored his adoring fans."

The reader, from the home state of Woods's long-time role-model, Jack Nicklaus, concluded: "As far as I'm concerned, he's an embarrassment to the USA and I hope he never wins another Major."

Certainly not the four he needs to equal the Bear's record, presumably.

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With the county cricket season about to get under way, former great Alec Stewart was asked by Twelfthman, the official fan community of English cricket, to give his thoughts on who would make an impact in the 40-over competition.

His selection for bowler was George Dockrell of Ireland and Somerset: "We've not seen him in county cricket yet and he's recovering from an injury -- he's a young lad but with huge talent."

Dermot Crowe, Marie Crowe, Fergus McDonnell and Dermot Gilleece

ssport@independent.ie

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