Sunday 26 January 2020

Magnier and Penrose bid to become Turf Club stewards

JP Magnier
JP Magnier

Johnny Ward

Former rider JP Magnier and Labour TD Willie Penrose are both training to become stewards with the Turf Club, the Irish Independent has learned.

Magnier is best recalled in racing for his relationship with brilliant hurdler Rhinestone Cowboy. He survived a serious injury scare when On The Verge slipped up in a Down Royal bumper in 2012 and quit riding afterwards.

Magnier is an eye-catching potential recruit to the Turf Club, since his father, John, is boss of the enormously influential Coolmore Stud.

The integrity body's CEO, Denis Egan, confirmed that Magnier "would step out for anything involving a Coolmore horse or where he may have a conflict" should he progress to become a steward.

Penrose is also notable, since the Westmeath deputy has been critical of the government's role in the controversial third term of Brian Kavanagh as Horse Racing Ireland CEO and could now be joining the Turf Club, with which HRI has a tense relationship.

Meanwhile, Ryan Moore is relishing the prospect of riding Aidan O'Brien's Churchill in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday. The Aidan O'Brien-trained colt was one of 14 left in the Group One - a race that is regularly seen as helping to define the champion two-year-old.

Churchill is already the ante-post favourite for next year's English 2,000 Guineas and Investec Derby due to his wins at Royal Ascot and in the National Stakes, and is the 4/6 market leader to give his trainer more big-race glory at the weekend. O'Brien could also run the classy Capri, Intelligence Cross, Lancaster Bomber, Pennsylvania or Finn McCool.

Moore, fresh from riding Found to victory for O'Brien in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, said: "He's a very exciting colt, I'm hoping he's going to be there and I'm very much looking forward to riding him."

Charlie Appleby might go to the well once more with Blue Point, narrowly denied a Group One win over six furlongs in the Middle Park, while the home defence is led by Andrew Balding's unbeaten South Seas and John Gosden's Frankel colt Seven Heavens.

Elsewhere, Colin Tizzard says he'll wait for winter ground to come before unleashing Thistlecrack over fences after shelving his initial plan to run him at Chepstow this Saturday.

"He's absolutely fine, but we looked at the going there and he's not quite ready," said Tizzard. "The going is firm in patches. He wants winter ground."

Irish Independent

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