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New protocols allow British-based jockeys to apply for quarantine exemption

British-based jockeys riding at ParisLongchamp this weekend can apply to be exempt from quarantine on their return after the British Horseracing Authority confirmed an addition to its Elite Traveller Exemption protocols for elite sportspeople and essential support staff.

The new protocol – which is effective immediately and also includes trainers and stable staff – covers those who are frequent travellers for competition in a country not covered by the travel corridor exemption.

As things stood, those riding in France this weekend at the Arc meeting would have needed to self-isolate for seven days under the elite sportsperson’s exemption, rather than the standard 14 days.

Earlier in the season, Frankie Dettori – who will ride Enable in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe – was forced to choose between riding Palace Pier and Mishriff at Deauville, then completing a spell in isolation, or being available for York’s Ebor meeting – and he chose France.

Frankie Dettori will be free to ride at Newmarket's Future Champions meeting after riding Enable
Frankie Dettori will be free to ride at Newmarket’s Future Champions meeting after riding Enable (Alan Crowhurst/PA)
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With the likes of Dettori, Ryan Moore, Andrea Atzeni, Jim Crowley and Oisin Murphy keen to be able to ride at Newmarket’s Future Champions Day the following weekend, the ease in the restrictions will be most welcome, with Crowley now having the opportunity to partner Battaash in the Prix de l’Abbaye and be in action at Newmarket.

Under the new protocol, jockeys, trainers and stable staff who make frequent trips abroad for competition at Covid-19 secure venues in non-exempt countries may choose to register for a ‘Frequent Private Traveller’ option.

The BHA said that while actively under the program, which requires regular weekly testing and daily post-travel monitoring with the BHA chief medical adviser Dr Jerry Hill, individuals who travel to compete at international venues on day trips and via private transport will be exempt from self-isolation on their return.

For the first seven days after return to the UK, individuals are only exempt from self-isolation for the purposes of training or competing. Otherwise, they must self-isolate as usual.

Jim Crowley is now in line to ride Battaash this weekend
Jim Crowley is now in line to ride Battaash this weekend (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Individuals must register with Dr Hill at least four days before their first trip abroad, with journeys to and from the international venue to be undertaken in private cars or planes and return journeys to be completed on the same day with no overnight stays.

Private cars must have a maximum of two occupants and private flights must only be shared if two-metre social distancing can be maintained.

Monitoring of individuals who travel under the scheme will last for a minimum of 21 days and will include a weekly Covid-19 test organised through the BHA medical department and funded by the applicant, with the first test result returned prior to the initial trip abroad.

A minimum of three tests will be required under the scheme – which was developed by Dr Hill in consultation with the Professional Jockeys Association and senior riders – with two taking place after any trip.

Alkumait claims clear-cut Mill Reef verdict

Alkumait ran out an impressive winner of the Dubai Duty Free Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.

A quality field of eight colts went to post for the Group Two contest, with runaway Newcastle scorer Fivethousandtoone the narrow favourite at 5-2, ahead of Prix Morny third Rhythm Master at 3-1.

Beaten a length on his debut over the course and distance in July, the Marcus Tregoning-trained Alkumait looked an exciting horse in the making when winning on his second start at Goodwood, but nevertheless faced a significant step up in class on his return to Berkshire.

Drawn widest of all in stall one, the 8-1 shot was taken back by Jim Crowley after the starting stalls opened and settled at the rear of the field for much of the race.

However, he made quick headway to challenge for the lead entering the final furlong – and finished off strongly to hold Fivethousandtoone at bay by three-quarters of a length, with Rhythm Master almost three lengths further away in third.

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Tregoning said of the winner: “It has been one of those nice upward curves with him. I worked him on some faster ground this week and I could see he was very good on it.

“He is not jarred and doesn’t feel the ground and he will progress and go on.”

Marcus Tregoning with the now-retired Mohaather
Marcus Tregoning with the now-retired Mohaather (Edward Whitaker/PA)

The victory was a significant boost for the Derby-winning trainer following the enforced retirement of his stable star Mohaather last month due to injury.

He added: “I knew we had this one coming through (after Mohaather), we just had to keep him right.

“He’s stabled right next door to my house. If he moves, like Mohaather did through the night, it wakes me up, but it is worth it.”

Tregoning is keen to test Alkumait’s stamina to see if he could be a contender for next year’s 2000 Guineas over a mile.

He said: “There is a lot of speed on the dam’s side, but if we are allowed, and everybody agrees, we will try to mould him to at least get seven furlongs and then after that we will see.

“If you could get him to drop in and settle, like he did today, there is every chance he will get a little bit further. I think that is the way to go. It opens up the game plan a bit. We could always come back to six furlongs.

“He was a little bit hairy going down to the start and a couple of times during the race the wind was blowing a bit and this little horse could hear the covers rattling. It’s just a thing he has to get used to

“He couldn’t have been more smooth through the race. He came from last to move up swiftly and he was going away at the end. I think he is pretty useful.

“When I saw him get loose one day was when I first thought he was good. He did injure one of my staff quite badly. He is just well made and has the same power down the saddle that Mohaather did – he is very similar.

“Sheikh Hamdan may want to put him away after today, but I’d be keen to run him in Group One company before the end of the season if there is a suitable race.”

Elarqam bounces back to form with Legacy win

Elarqam got his career back on track with a front-running victory in the Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup at Newbury.

A son of Frankel out of the yard’s brilliant racemare Attraction, Mark Johnston’s has largely upheld family honour well, with Group Three and Group Two triumphs featuring among his five previous career wins.

However, since a promising start to the season when touched off by Lord North at Haydock, the five-year-old has disappointed in both the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot and when bidding for back-to-back successes in the York Stakes.

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Jim Crowley’s mount was a 2-1 shot for his latest assignment and led his three rivals from the off.

Admirable veteran Desert Encounter – winner of this Group Three contest in 2017 and 12 months ago – emerged as the biggest threat in the final furlong, but Elarqam dug deep to see him off by a length and a half.

Market leader Extra Elusive (6-4) was third, with Gifts Of Gold last of the quartet.

Elarqam (centre) proved too good at Newbury
Elarqam (centre) proved too good at Newbury (Alan Crowhurst/PA)

Johnston said: “It is great to see him back winning. It’s a shame it hasn’t been on a big day this year.

“If you look at his form last year, you would have said he should be winning a Group One this year and unfortunately it hasn’t fallen his way. We were running out of opportunities and that is why we came here, as there wasn’t really anywhere else to go. Everything has gone his way today, so it was good to see.

“It has been a frustrating season. When you look at his run in the Juddmonte last year, you would have said he showed there he was well and truly a Group One horse.

“With a pedigree like his, you would expect to see him get a Group One for a good stud job. I’m sure he will get a good stud job, but we want to see him get a good one, that is why it has been frustrating.

“I don’t think it matters where you run him. He is a bit lazy. If you think back to his best run this year at Haydock, given another 100 yards he would have got back up. He just gets a bit idle in front and needs something to aim at. If they sprint at him too quickly, it doesn’t give him time to respond.

“I don’t know what we do now to be honest. I just wanted to get another win back under his belt, but we are running out of opportunities.”

Stat of the Day, 8th August 2020

Friday's pick was...

1.45 Sandown : Garsman @ 11/2 BOG 2nd at 4/1 (Tracked leader, pushed along over 1f out, ridden to lead inside final furlong, headed post) 

Saturday's pick runs in the...

3.35 Ascot :

Before I post the daily selection, just a quick reminder of how I operate the service. Normally, I'll identify and share the selection between 8.00am and 8.30am and I then add a more detailed write-up later within an hour or so of going "live".

Those happy to take the early price on trust can do so, whilst some might prefer to wait for my reasoning. As I fit the early service in around my family life, I can't give an exact timing on the posts, so I suggest you follow us on Twitter and/or Facebook for instant notifications of a published pick.

Who?

Jeremiah @ 13/2 BOG

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...in a 12-runner, Class 2, Flat Handicap for 4yo+ over 1m4f on Good to Firm ground worth £12,938 to the winner... 

Why?...

As is often the case, the Geegeez racecard contains an absolute stack of supporting evidence...

...which briefly tells us that we've an LTO winner (same class, course, distance, jockey 13 days ago), who is regarded by our ratings to have a good chance and whose jockey has a good record at this track (C1) (and he beat us yesterday by a head). Our trainer is in good recent form (14, 30) and has also been amongst the winners at this venue (C1, C5) and has a good record with both LTO winners and Flat Stayers.

Is there enough there to hang a bet on? At 13/2, probably yes, as the above would suggest a better than 1 in 7 chance, but I do like to offer you something else that isn't already staring you in the face, so let's consider why trainer Charlie Fellowes appears in another of my unimaginatively named microsystems : Late Summer FHC, shall we?

Esssentially it's a group of trainers that I look out for in Flat Handicaps during July to August, from which Charlie Fellowes' runners sent off at 8/1 or shorter are...

He does have some good numbers in the 12/1 to 16/1 range too, but we'll focus on those in the general SotD price bracket today, as a 27% strike rate and a return of over 62p in the pound at Betfair SP is perfect for our needs and of those 100 runners, the following are relevant today...

  • 26/85 (30.6%) for 69.9pts (+82.2%) with horses aged 3-5 yrs old
  • 23/67 (34.3%) for 72pts (+107.4%) over 1m to 1m6f
  • 17/53 (32.1%) for 63pts (+118.8%) at 11-25 dslr
  • 18/52 (34.6%) for 48.5pts (+93.3%) from runners in the frame LTO
  • 12/41 (29.3%) for 16.6pts (+40.4%) in August
  • 11/28 (39.3%) for 28.4pts (+101.4%) with LTO winners
  • 5/14 (35.7%) for 28pts (+200%) at Class 2
  • 7/13 (53.9%) for 42.2pts (+324.4%) in races worth £12-20k
  • 6/13 (46.2%) for 22.2pts (+170.6%) in 4yo+ handicaps
  • 2/7 (28.6%) for 7.3pts (+104.3%) here at Ascot
  • and 2/2 (100%) for 13.5pts (+675%) with Jim Crowley in the saddle

100 bets isn't a massive sample size, but more than adequate and I'm mindful of over diluting the dataset, but from the above, we could make a mental note that 3-5 yr olds placed LTO 11-25 days earlier now racing over 1m-1m6f are 9 from 21 (42.9% SR) for 37.2pts (+177.2% ROI) including 5/11 (45.5% SR) with LTO winners and 3 from 6 (50%) in August...

...pointing to... a 1pt win bet on Jeremiah @ 13/2 BOG as was quite widely available (inc at least three BOGs) at 8.05 am Saturday, but as always please check your own BOG status (*some firms are not BOG until later in the morning)To see a small sample of odds offered on this race...

...click here for the betting on the 3.35 Ascot

Don't forget, we offer a full interactive racecard service every day!

REMINDER: THERE IS NO STAT OF THE DAY ON SUNDAYS

Here is today's racecard

P.S. all P/L returns quoted in the stats above are to Betfair SP, as I NEVER bet to ISP and neither should you. I always use BOG bookies for SotD, wherever possible, but I use BFSP for the stats as it is the nearest approximation I can give, so I actually expect to beat the returns I use to support my picks. If that's unclear, please ask!