There is really serious concern in the point-to-point community about the dire consequences that may arise if racing is not allowed to resume behind closed doors when the Government announces changes to the Level 5 Covid restrictions this week.
The feature unraced stake of the year, the Future Champion and Michael Fortune Memorial stake, would normally see a very large crowd in attendance at Enniscorthy greyhound track in anticipation of unearthing another star, but alas this is not possible in the current climate.
Wexford jockey Rob James will not be able to ride or run horses as a trainer in point-to-points for four months and he will have to pay costs of €1,000 - this was the verdict of an Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) hearing last Wednesday (10th) into his appearance in a five-year-old video on the internet showing him mounting a horse that had died, embroiling him in a media firestorm, including an avalanche of internet abuse.
It was a busy week which kicked off at Leopardstown on Monday (8th) where Camolin seven-pound claimer, James O'Sullivan, and Tinahely trainer Philip Rothwell combined to pull off a coup in a three-mile handicap hurdle with Siberian Star (20/1 in the morning and backed in from 13/2 to 4/1f on the track).
Two well-known Wexford town brothers owned a 50/1 shock winner in a handicap hurdle at Fairyhouse on Saturday, with Tangental (which opened at 80/1) scoring his first success after five poor enough previous runs for former media executive and now Rosslare resident, Ray Doyle, who also bred the horse, and well-known accountant, Bernard.
Racing as an industry and a sport is of fundamental importance to Ireland, a small country that punches away above its weight in terms of worldwide significance and influence, but this past week has seen Irish racing engulfed in an unexpected controversy that has inflicted serious reputational damage.
The ongoing suspension of point-to-point racing dominated last Wednesday's sitting of Dáil Eireann as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConologue, was strongly pressed to have the season resumed by eight cross-party TDs, including Wexford Independent, Verona Murphy.
Showing 1 - 30 of 25438 results