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Questions and a dark spectre hang over our racing industry – there will be no gain without pain

Ronan Mullen


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The IHRB needs to establish independent governance and has not yet done so.

The IHRB needs to establish independent governance and has not yet done so.

Senator Rónán Mullen

Senator Rónán Mullen

Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Aidan O'Brien. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

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The IHRB needs to establish independent governance and has not yet done so.

It was thanks to the late Bing Crosby that my mother had a great weekend a fortnight ago, when ITV Racing went to California and brought live late-night TV coverage of the Breeders Cup to its Irish and British audiences. Crosby led the way when the Thoroughbred Club built Del Mar Racetrack in 1936. He welcomed the first punters at the gates in 1937 and recorded ‘Where The Turf Meets the Surf’ to promote the venue.

My mother’s passion for horse racing has been a lifelong affair, but with my father’s death earlier this year and the constraints on older people of living with Covid, racing on the television has been a special consolation. I sometimes arrive in from Dublin, expecting a welcome, only to be shushed because there’s racing on the kitchen television. I have seen her shuttling, rolling pin in one hand, remote control in the other, from that TV to an older television in another room, where a different channel is showing other races at the same time.


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