What’s been happening in the racing world | Topics: Zac Purton, Seven Days in Racing, Kitten’s Joy, Frankie Lor, Frankie Dettori, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Golden Sixty, João Moreira, Mishriff, Hong Kong Jockey Club, New York Gaming Commission, Stradivarius, Ascot | Thoroughbred Racing Commentary
David Egan, Frankie Dettori, Zac Purton and Golden Sixty feature in our weekly digest of recent international racing news
David Egan loses ride on Mishriff; Dettori replaced on Stradivarius
GB: David Egan, who scored the biggest victory of his career on Mishriff in the $20m Saudi Cup in 2021, will be replaced by James Doyle in the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday [July 23].
Egan endured a troubled passage on Mishriff when beaten a neck in the Coral-Eclipse Stakes but, according to owner Prince Faisal, the change was made because the jockey has not signed his 2022 contract to ride for him.
Mishriff will face five rivals in the King George, who include Irish Derby winner Westover, Arc winner Torquator Tasso and Epsom Oaks second Emily Upjohn, who will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
However, Dettori has lost the ride on champion stayer Stradivarius, who will bid for a fifth win in the G1 Goodwood Cup (July 26) under Andrea Atzeni.
Golden Sixty named HK Horse of the Year for second time
Hong Kong: Despite a season in which he suffered the first defeats of his career, Golden Sixty secured the bulk of the votes to clinch HOY honours for the second season running. After completing back-to-back wins in the Hong Kong Mile in December, the Francis Lui-trained six-year-old – current world #4 in the TRC Global Rankings – gained his 21st success in the FWD Champions Mile, breaking the prize-money record held by Beauty Generation to become Hong Kong’s highest earner.
Zac Purton crowned HK champion after final day shootout
Hong Kong: Zac Purton and Joao Moreira’s quest for the jockeys’ championship went right to the wire before Purton sealed his fifth title with a Sha Tin four-timer on the last day of the 2021-22 campaign.
The rivals had been level on 132 wins each before the meeting but the Australian was able to put the contest out of Moreira’s reach without the Brazilian being able to register a single winner in reply.
Purton, who trailed Moreira by 18 after missing eight meetings through injury in December, said: “It’s been a really difficult season and a difficult last three years for all of us here in Hong Kong through all of the COVID lockdowns, having to home-school the kids. We’ve both had our health issues, it’s been really tough. We both deserved to win it. It’s really tough, only one person can (win).”
Frankie Lor won the trainers’ championship with 90 wins, beating 11-time champion John Size by six.
Kitten’s Joy dies aged 21
USA: Leading turf sire Kitten’s Joy, who won nine of his 14 starts to win the Eclipse Award as champion turf performer in 2004, has died of an apparent heart attack at Hill ‘n’ Dale Stud aged 21.
Bred and owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trained by Dale Romans, his racing highlights were victories in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic and Secretariat Stakes, while also finishing second in the Breeders’ Cup Turf and Arlington Million. Among his best progeny were Roaring Lion, Kameko, Hawkbill, Stephanie’s Kitten, Sadler’s Joy, Big Blue Kitten, Bobby’s Kitten and Oscar Performance.
Female jockeys to get lifetime allowance
South Africa: South Africa has followed France by announcing the introduction of a 1.5kg (3.3lb) allowance for female jockeys once out of apprenticeship in a bid to raise participation numbers.
Vee Moodley, chief executive of the National Horseracing Authority said the change, which will start from August 1, was necessary to increase opportunities for female riders in a country where champion apprentice-elect Rachel Venniker is the only active female jockey.
New York reciprocates Vazquez ‘cruelty’ ban until 2025
USA: New York-based trainer Juan C Vazquez has sent out his last runner in the state until 2025 after the New York Gaming Commission reciprocated a ban imposed by the Pennsylvania authority over the treatment of one of his horses.
Vazquez was suspended until January 2025 after an incident this year in which a mare he had shipped to run at Parx from his Belmont barn was in such poor condition she had to be euthanized. The trainer’s conduct was described as “grossly negligent, cruel, and abusive”. Vazquez has lodged an appeal.
The NYGC announced it would honor the ban the day after Vazquez, who has trained 774 winners, saddled three runners at Saratoga.
Elsewhere in racing …
Japan: Yuga Kawada booked to ride Deep Bond in Arc More here
France: Forest fires force evacuation of training centre More here
UAE: Bhupat Seemar appointed trainer at Zabeel Stables More here
Australia: Waller hits 150 city winners for eighth time More here
GB: Five fixtures called off due to extreme heat More here
South Africa: Trainer Paul Peter sets new winners record More here
Ireland: Death of champion jockey George McGrath More here
USA: David Jacobsen making training comeback in New York More here
Australia: Elissa Meredith takes first steps since fall More here