Monday 24 April 2017

Stack passes baton to Fozzy

Since 1999 Stack has been assisted by son James, better known as Fozzy. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Since 1999 Stack has been assisted by son James, better known as Fozzy. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Johnny Ward

Tommy Stack is to retire at the end of this year, with his son Fozzy taking over the licence at Thomastown Castle.

Stack, who won the 1977 Grand National on Red Rum and was champion National Hunt jockey in the UK in the 1974/'75 and 1976/'77 seasons, began training in the 1980s and recorded his first big-race triumph when Corwyn Bay won the inaugural Cartier Million at the Phoenix Park in 1988.

A first win at the top level came four years later when Kostroma landed the Beverly D Stakes in Chicago and in 1994 Las Meninas won the English 1,000 Guineas. Three years later, Tarascon became the trainer's first Irish Group One winner in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. She won the following year's Irish 1,000 Guineas under Jamie Spencer.

Since 1999 Stack has been assisted by son James, better known as Fozzy, and further big-race success followed with Alexander Tango at Grade One level in America in 2007, while during the same season Myboycharlie won the Prix Morny.

Stack, from Moyvane in Co Kerry, said the decision came "after some deliberation and said that Fozzy" has been an absolutely essential and integral part of everything here for the best part of 20 years.

"We had some memorable days all the way from Corwyn Bay to Myboycharlie and I thank each and every one of our owners for their commitment and support."

Willie Mullins, meanwhile, says he has nothing to add about the British Horseracing Authority's investigation into abnormal betting patterns prior to Faugheen being announced a non-runner in last season's Champion Hurdle. The story made the front of yesterday's 'Sunday Times', which left Mullins - who is not suspected of any wrongdoing - bemused. "I don't know any more about this so I can't add anything," said the champion trainer.

The eight-year-old was ruled out of the race 27 days before the Champion Hurdle, with a sore suspensory ligament. Lay bets were placed on Faugheen before news of his injury was made public, the amounts wagered sufficiently significant to affect his price with bookmakers and on the exchanges.

The Turf Club is assisting the BHA in its inquiries, though it is not known if any action may be taken. The punters involved in laying the horse have not been paid any winnings.

The Mullins-trained Alelchi Inois finished third in the Grand Prix Merano, Italy's most valuable chase, yesterday. Travelling well under Ruby Walsh, a bad mistake cost him two out. "It was an encouraging run trying 3m1f for the first time," Mullins said.

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