News flashes: Lester Piggott and Frankel in new Hall of Fame, Bob Baffert wins Charlatan appeal and more …

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Horse Racing Sheikh Fahad Lester Piggott
Frankel with Sheikh Fahad Al Thani (left) and Lester Piggott: first inductees into Qipco British Champions Series Hall of Fame

GB Frankel and Lester Piggott inducted to Hall of Fame

British racing’s first Hall of Fame has been launched with the induction of the legendary 11-time champion jockey Lester Piggott and the peerless Frankel as its first members.

Piggott, 85, widely considered to be the greatest Flat jockey of all-time, and Frankel, the highest-rated horse in history, were outstanding candidates to be honoured.

“It is an honour to become the first jockey – and the first person – to be inducted into the QIPCO British Champions Series Hall of Fame and I am truly delighted to receive this special medal,” said Piggott.

“It’s only right that Frankel is the first horse to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” he added. “He did everything so easily and was the best by far during his time. He is the one horse that I wish I could have ridden.”

• Read more at the Qipco British Champions Series website

USA Gamine and Charlatan reinstated in Arkansas

Bob Baffert has succeeded in overturning the disqualification of two of his stable stars Charlatan and Gamine and had a 15-day ban waived after an appeal hearing in Arkansas.

On the same day at Oaklawn Park in May last year, Charlatan won the G1 Arkansas Derby and Gamine an allowance race but subsequently tested positive for an above-threshold amount of lidocaine, also used to treat human back pain.

Baffert’s lawyer argued that trainer’s senior assistant Jimmy Barnes had accidentally contaminated the horses via a pain-relief patch he was wearing containing lidocaine. The Arkansas Racing Commission reinstated both horses and fined Baffert a total of $10,000 for the positives.

• Read more at the Paulick Report

Horse Racing Charlatan
Charlatan: reinstated as winner of the Arkansas Derby Div I at Oaklawn in May 2020. Photo: Coady

GB Star Gosden apprentice facing cocaine ban

Benoit de la Sayette, the first apprentice employed by John Gosden in 29 years, has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing after testing positive for cocaine.

The finding emerged after the BHA commissioned a hair sample from the 18-year-old after a social media clip emerged allegedly showing the jockey at a party where drugs were being used. De la Sayette won the Lincoln on Haqeeqy in March.

• Read more at the Racing Post website

Saudi Arabia Gulf states discuss closer ties

Racing leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are to meet to discuss a coordinated approach to race scheduling and improve equine quarantine and ease of travel across the regions.

Saudi Jockey Club chairman Prince Bandar Bin Khalid Al Faisal said: “We are in the preliminary stages of these talks which will initially take place between Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates but we are laying the foundations for a Gulf-wide cooperation that will benefit all of us and, we hope, the racing world at large offering summer and winter racing in the Middle East.”

• Read more at Arab News

Japan France Go De Ina heads to Preakness

Groundbreaking trainer Hideyuki Mori will revive his bid to win a US Triple Crown race by running France Go De Ina, last seen finishing sixth in the UAE Derby, in the Preakness Stakes on May 15. The son of Will Take Charge will be the first Japanese runner in the race since Lani finished fifth in 2016. Mori saddled Ski Captain to finish 14th in the 1995 Kentucky Derby.

GB Juddmonte International back to £1m

The Juddmonte International, ranked the best race in the world last year by the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, is to be worth £1 million again in 2021. The G1 was run for only of 25% of its value in 2020 due to pandemic prize-money cuts.

• Read more at the York Racecourse website

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