News flashes: Medina Spirit back, Damian Lane to ride Verry Elleegant, death of $8.2m filly and more …

A weekly round-up of international horse racing snippets

Horse Racing Median Spirit
Medina Spirit with John Velazquez and Bob Baffert after Shared Belief Stakes win at Del Mar. Photo: Benoit

USA Medina Spirit back in winners’ circle

Medina Spirit, whose Kentucky Derby victory is in jeopardy after he tested positive for a banned substance, returned to the winners’ circle on his first start for three and a half months when he defeated Rock Your World to win the Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar [August 29], venue for this year’s Breeders’ Cup. 

Trainer Bob Baffert said: “It’s a relief. A Shared Belief relief. I wanted to run him here and see if he likes Del Mar. I’ve never had a Derby winner come back and win here so that’s a first. He looks good and John (Velazquez) said he feels better than ever.”

• Read more at the Daily Racing Form

Australia Damian Lane takes over on Verry Elleegant after Zahra’s COVID breach

Damian Lane will ride top racemare Verry Elleegant at the Melbourne Spring Carnival after Mark Zahra became the fifth jockey to receive a three-month ban for breaching COVID-19 protocols. Damien Oliver will replace Ben Melham on Arc fourth Gold Trip in the Cox Plate.

Zahra, Melham, Jamie Kah, Ethan Brown and Celine Gaudray now face a new inquiry for allegedly providing false or misleading evidence over who was at the notorious Airbnb party. Zahra, Melham and Brown have all lodged appeals against the severity of their sentences.

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USA $8.2m record buy America’s Joy dies in training

A three-year-old filly who cost $8.2 million at auction has died in training as she was being prepared to make her debut by Todd Pletcher. America’s Joy, who was by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and a half-sister to Beholder, Into Mischief and Mendelssohn, fractured her left foreleg and injured her neck during a workout at Saratoga.

When she went through the ring at Keeneland in 2019, she fetched a record price for a filly at the September sale as she was knocked down to Mandy Pope’s Whisper Hill Farm.

• Read more at the Daily Racing Form

Singapore Jockey Joseph See banned for two years over non-trier

Joseph See has been disqualified for two years and fined S$50,000 (£27,000) after being found guilty of not giving a horse the full opportunity of winning or obtaining the best possible placing. The stewards ruled that See, who has ridden five winners in 2021, had not ridden his mount with sufficient vigour and determination and on several occasions feigned his use of the whip without making contact with the horse. He has lodged an appeal.

• Read more at Singapore Turf Club

Hong Kong Aidan O’Brien’s Roman Empire among latest imports

Roman Empire, who has not run since finishing runner-up in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot, has become the latest Aidan O’Brien colt to be sold to Hong Kong. The son of Galileo, who also finished fourth in the Dante Stakes, has joined the stable of Ricky Yiu.

Ireland German Derby winner In Swoop to stand at Coolmore

Last year’s German Derby winner and Arc runner-up In Swoop has been acquired by Coolmore Stud to stand as a National Hunt stallion.

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Australia Tommy Berry banned for month over fatal fall

Sydney champion Tommy Berry has been banned for a month for careless riding over the incident at Randwick [August 21] which led to Brenton Avdulla’s mount Xtremetime clipping heels in a G2 race. Xtremetime had to be euthanised while Avdulla will be out of action for several weeks.

• Read more at the Sydney Morning Herald

GB: Apprentice banned for two years over second cocaine positive

Apprentice jockey Kevin Lundie has been banned for two years after testing positive for cocaine for the second time. He previously served a six-month suspension in 2019.

• Read more at the Racing Post

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