Thursday, June 5, 2014

Recent News

It has not been an easy time for Enniscorthy jockey Daryl Jacob of late. The 30 year old is currently recovering from a broken knee, leg and elbow after his mount Port Melon crashed into a rail on the way down to the start for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Jacob has now received further bad news as he has lost the position of stable jockey to Paul Nicholls despite riding 57 winners for the trainer last season.
The newly crowned UK Champion Trainer announced on his Betfair column that Sam Twiston-Davies will assume the leading role at Ditcheat for the upcoming season. Jacob was offered the Number 2 position at Nicholl’s yard but turned it down, instead preferring to work as a freelance agent. Nick Scholfield will be second-in-command instead.
Speaking to the Press Association, Jacob said: “Paul offered me the job as number two, but at this point in my career I feel I want to go freelance, I will be available for more rides and hopefully some good rides. I’m very positive about what I am doing.”
Paul Nicholls was quick to add that there had been “no falling out” with Jacob, and that he would continue to ride for the stable. “Daryl will continue to ride out and school a couple of times a week here next season, and will ride for us when the opportunities arise, which I am sure they will.” Nicholls also confirmed that Sam Twiston-Davies will continue to ride The New One and Noel Fehily will continue to ride Silviniaco Conti.
Paddy Power reacted to the news positively and are are expecting Sam Twiston-Davies to ride plenty of winners for Nicholls, he is currently second in the market for leading jockey for their handicap market with + 45 winners.
Horse Racing Ireland held a ‘Go Racing Kids’ Club’ Day at The Curragh Racecourse at which 250 fifth and sixth class local primary school pupils attended. The initiative aims to foster ties between the local community and the racecourse and to instil an interest in horse racing which will hopefully blossom down the line.
There were demonstrations from R.A.C.E. (Racing Academy & Centre of Education) and local farrier, Donal Bennett as well as a talk from Bryan Cooper and Mark Bolger. The pupils also met Racecourse Manager, Paul Hensey who explained to them how the team at The Curragh Racecourse prepares for a race day.
Evan Arkwright, Commercial Manager at The Curragh Racecourse, commented: “The Go Racing Kids Club Day is a great opportunity for the Curragh to promote horse racing to the younger generation in particular to the many kids who have never been to the races”.

Once again The Punchestown Festival delivered. It is now without question Ireland’s largest annual corporate hospitality event and the five day racing spectacle contributed over €70 million to the local economy. The numbers look impressive too, 100,000 people attended and 726 national, international and local companies were involved in the Festival.
There was a significant rise in interest from the UK market with the Punchestown ticket office reporting a 20% rise in UK-based Ticket and Hospitality bookings. 20,000 were drawn from across the water, a very substantial figure. This was very much in line with overall pre-sales of tickets up a third on last year.
With the prize money increased by 14% to €2.5million, The Punchestown Festival is living up to its billing as “The Irish Cheltenham”. For those in the hinterlands of Newbridge and Naas, expectations appear to be surpassed on a yearly basis.
Ladbrokes revenues for its 300 Irish betting offices fell by 13% in the first quarter of 2014, a result which was attributed to football results. Monetary values of bets also declined by 3%  and management conceded that this had been a “difficult year” for the Irish arm of the betting giant. This is now a continued trend for the company and pressure must be mounting on Chief Executive Richard Glynn.
Ladbrokes have been extremely slow to gain a market share of the online space, an area in which Paddy Power have invested heavily and reaped suitable rewards. Although Ladbrokes have teamed up with software developer Playtech to help serve the growing number of gamblers who bet on sports events through their computer, tablet or smartphone, they still have a mountain to climb.
Despite the results, Ladbrokes said it was committed to a dividend pay-out this year of at least 8.9p per share, in line with 2013. profit downgrades over the past two years have piled pressure on Bookmaker William Hill has also announced that it would close 109 loss-making shops this year

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