Talking Horses: Kemboy cleared to run after Irish ban lifted

Greg Wood
<span>Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) said on Wednesday morning that it has lifted a ban on entries for Willie Mullins’s Kemboy, the Cheltenham Gold Cup second-favourite, and six more horses previously registered to syndicates under the Supreme Racing Club banner after accepting new registrations for fresh syndicates “comprising members who have come forward as shareholders in those horses”.

As a result, Kemboy can now be entered for the Grade One Savills Chase at Leopardstown on 28 December, a race which he won last season, before the deadline at noon on Wednesday. The other horses which can also now be entered to run are: Aramon, Cadmium, Defy De Mee, Harrie, Hybery and Robin De Carlow. However, the new syndicates will not be able to withdraw any prize money won by their horses “until at least the end of the 2019-20 National Hunt season”, to “allow members to take further steps, including finalising the shareholding in each horse”.

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The seven horses had been in limbo since 21 October, when HRI announced a ban on entries for 29 horses owned by Supreme Racing Club, which was founded in 2011 by Jim Balfry and Steve Massey and was reported to have a total of around 500 members. All 29 are stabled in the Mullins yard. HRI decided to act following multiple reports of financial irregularities and impropriety surrounding the Club’s horses, including allegations that shares in many horses, including Kemboy, had been significantly oversold.

Kemboy went straight to Cheltenham for the Gold Cup after winning last year’s Savills Chase and was among the market leaders for the race, but unseated his jockey at the first fence. He then took Grade One events on his next two starts, the Betway Bowl at Aintree and the Punchestown Gold Cup. Having started the season as favourite for the Gold Cup, Kemboy was recently displaced at the head of the market by Colin Tizzard’s Lostintranslation, the Betfair Chase winner, but he remains second favourite at around 13-2.

National Stud still booking Advertise after Phoenix allegations

The National Stud said on Tuesday it will continue to take bookings for Advertise, the most expensive stallion on its 2020 roster, before his first covering season as a sire, despite the uncertainty surrounding the future and funding of the Phoenix Thoroughbreds operation, which owned and raced Advertise during a hugely successful campaign this summer.

Advertise was a Group One winner at both two and three, when his top-level successes included the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. It was quite a coup for the National Stud when it was announced that the son of Showcasing would join its stallion roster from 2020 at a fee of £25,000. Advertise’s covering fee is at least three times bigger than that for all three of the National Stud’s other Flat stallions for 2020, including Aclaim (£9,500), who also raced for Phoenix Thoroughbreds.

A spokesperson for the National Stud, which is owned by the Jockey Club, said: “Our roster of stallions, including Advertise, are being prepared for the new breeding season as normal and are proving popular with breeders.”

<span class="element-image__caption">Frankie Dettori wins the 2019 Commonwealth Cup on Advertise.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters</span>
Frankie Dettori wins the 2019 Commonwealth Cup on Advertise. Photograph: Matthew Childs/Action Images via Reuters

It is not known how many mares have already been booked to visit Advertise when the breeding season begins on 14 February, but he is not yet full and bookings will continue to be taken.

Phoenix Thoroughbreds, which was founded by Amer Abdulaziz, a Dubai resident, in 2017, has emerged from nowhere over the past three years to become one of the most prolific purchasers of racing and breeding stock in the business.

Its string has grown to around 300 horses in the United States, Europe and Australia, and Advertise – who was one of Phoenix’s early purchases when it bought a half-share from Martyn Meade, the colt’s trainer, in 2017 – is possibly the most valuable asset of them all.

Advertise was initially bought as a yearling by Dermot Farrington, Meade’s son-in-law, for £60,000. Now, with his entire stallion career in front of him, even a relatively modest book of 100 mares in his first three seasons would realise £7.5m in fees.

Wednesday’s best bets

A couple of runners with solid course form catch the eye on the Fibresand at Southwell, including Silverturnstogold (12.50) in the second race on the card. Tony Carroll’s four-year-old already had a fair record on Polytrack but took his form to a new level on his Fibresand debut last time out when he kept on well to win by a head. That was an apprentice event and he is unpenalised as a result.

Kyllachy Warrior (2.00) is still a maiden after 10 starts but went close to opening his account on his first start on Fibresand two runs ago. A return to the surface could make the difference today, while Cougar Kid (12.30) and Delface (1.35) have decent claims over the jumps at Hereford and Dustin Des Mottes (2.20) looks sure to go well at Wetherby.

Bright Spells 12.50 Silverturnstogold (nap) 1.25 Cedar Cage 2.00 Kyllachy Warrior (nb) 2.30 Fancy Footings 3.05 Tynecastle Park 3.40 Letmestopyouthere

Cougar Kid 1.00 Olly The Brave 1.35 Delface 2.10 Mr Muldoon 2.40 Sweet Adare 3.15 Jurys Out 3.50 Captain Biggles

Boreas Duke 1.15 Eceparti 1.50 Multellie 2.20 Dustin Des Mottes 2.55 Thomas Macdonagh 3.30 Headscarf Lil
Fujaira King 4.40 Can't Stop Now 5.10 Earth And Sky 5.40 Boccaccio 6.10 Lethal Talent 6.40 Busby 7.10 Torochica 7.40 Sweet Celebration

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