Racing: Intrepidity ducks the Irish option: The Oaks winner will miss the weekend's Classic and avoid the leading colts until the autumn

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The Independent Online
SHE MAY be called Intrepidity, but her campaign is being plotted with caution. Sheikh Mohammed yesterday decided not to pay pounds 75,000 to supplement his unbeaten Oaks winner to Sunday's Irish Derby, and she is unlikely to take on the colts before the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in October.

'Sheikh Mohammed has not ruled out a crack at the Irish Oaks (on 10 July), but a decision on this will be made at a later date,' Anthony Stroud, the owner's racing manager, said yesterday. 'Her ultimate objective will be the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.'

Intrepidity's absence will be a disappointment to the Curragh management, but the anticipated meeting of the two Derby winners, Commander In Chief (English) and Hernando (French), will still pull in the punters. One relieved party after yesterday's decision is Michael Roberts, the Sheikh's retained jockey, who would have been forced to miss the ride on Intrepidity due to a four-day suspension which starts on Sunday.

Intrepidity joins Blue Judge, runner-up to Commander In Chief at Epsom, on the absentee list. Jim Bolger's colt has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a fractured cannon-bone.

Roberts's valuable retainer ensures that he need not worry too keenly about where his next meal is coming from, but riders further down the table will feel some benefit from a two per cent rise in riding fees from the end of next month.

The increase is the result of negotiations between the Jockeys' Association and the Racehorse Owners' Association, and will see new figures of pounds 75.20 (from pounds 73.40) for National Hunt rides and pounds 55.10 (from pounds 54) on the Flat.

'This year's negotiations were a good deal more difficult than those held in the past five years as owners seemed reluctant to reward and recognise the jockeys for the highly skilled and specialised service they provide so well,' Michael Caulfield, secretary of the Jockeys' Association, said. It was also announced that the Association's next joint- president, in succession to the now-retired Peter Scudamore, will be the new National Hunt champion jockey, Richard Dunwoody.

The jockeys in form at Pontefract yesterday will soon be leaving the northern gaffe tracks for a considerably more glamourous venue. Willie Ryan and Dean McKeown, who will ride in Hong Kong from mid-August, both had winners, and one of Ryan's former mentors is clearly disappointed by his decision to move to the colony.

Reg Hollinshead, who guided Ryan through his apprenticeship, watched the jockey steer his Ann Hill to a smooth success in the seller before saying: 'He didn't ask my advice because he knows what I would have said. I'd have told him not to go. He's normally very patient and I think if he had stayed here he would have gone right to the top.'

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