Racing: Jockey Club tells trainers to declare cheekpieces

Mick Connaughton
Wednesday 18 December 2013 04:57
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Trainers will have to declare sheepskin cheekpieces, in addition to blinkers, visors and tongue-straps, on their runners from 12 November the Jockey Club confirmed yesterday. Storming Home was fitted with cheekpieces, strips of sheepskin sewn on to each side of a horse's bridle which appear to have a similar effect to blinkers, for the first time when winning the Champion Stakes last Saturday, but the Jockey Club have been planning their declaration for some months.

John Maxse, the Club's public-relations director, said: "Possibly punters may say we should have done it much sooner, but a considerable amount of software is involved and it has taken time to complete the work."

Maxse dismissed suggestions that self-confessed doper Dermot Browne would be allowed back on British racecourse when his 10-year ban ends on Sunday. Browne was originally disqualified in 1992 after being found guilty of several offences, including selling information to a bookmaker.

The club's Disciplinary Committee considered his case yesterday, but Browne, believed to be working on a building site in Oxford, did not attend and his legal team successful applied for an adjournment.

Maxse explained: "We were aware that Browne's ban was due to end and for the need for us to take action, but there was never any possibility of him being allowed on a racecourse. He is no longer employed in racing so we have the same jurisdiction over him as we have over any other member of the public who wants to go racing in that we have to have grounds to prevent him."

A new date has been provisionally arranged for Thursday, 21 November. In the meantime, Browne is excluded from premises owned and licensed by the Jockey Club.

The Jockey Club are seeking a fresh ban following Browne's claims that he doped over 20 horses between August and September 1990. The basis of the inquiry into Browne will be his confessions that he has carried out a string of dopings using the tranquilliser ACP.

The jumping season moves up a gear tomorrow with Kempton's skybet.com Gold Cup Handicap Chase (formerly the Charisma) in which Brendan Powell expects to give Eau de Cologne his first outing since the 10-year-old joined him from Lydia Richards.

Powell said yesterday: "I rode Eau de Cologne to finish third in a charity flat race over 11 furlongs at Plumpton on Monday. He schooled very well this morning and he's also in at Wincanton on Sunday. He's back on the handicap mark he's won off and Jimmy McCarthy, who rode him for Lydia, will keep the ride."

Powell, who trains near Twyford in Hampshire, has a full yard of 40 horses this season and expects to win a few long distance chases with Mister Bigtime who has joined him from Richard Rowe. Powell added: "Mister Bigtime may run at Cheltenham next week and he's just the type for a race like the Midlands Grand National."

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