Racing: Sheikh stands by his threat

Sheikh Mohammed reiterated his threat to withdraw his family's horses in training in Britain unless prize money levels improve in a meeting with the Bristish Horseracing Board chief executive, Tristram Ricketts, in Dubai this week.

In a statement issued on Christmas Eve, Ricketts said: "Sheikh Mohammed re-emphasised to me a number of key messages. First, that he is speaking on behalf of his family who all share the views expressed in the Gimcrack speech. Secondly, everybody should understand that he and his family really do mean what was said.

"Thirdly, that they are deeply concerned about the low levels of prize money in this country and want to see steady progress towards significant improvements in these levels for the benefit of all owners and of racing in general."

While unable to offer a quick-fix solution, Ricketts told the Sheikh of "the steps which the BHB is taking to approach Government again" to highlight the problems and possible ways to address them.

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