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Lingfield card added following Windsor abandonment

A replacement all-weather fixture at Lingfield has been scheduled for Monday following the abandonment of racing at Windsor.

After heavy rain following on from a meeting taking place on very soft ground, the course is currently unraceable and officials have decided the best course of action is to give the track time to recover.

The races at Lingfield will mirror those that were due to take place at Windsor as closely as possible.

Windsor’s clerk of the course Sophie Candy said: “Following racing on Monday evening on soft, heavy in places we have had another 21mm rain overnight at Windsor and the track is now unraceable.

“Having raced recently on a combination of soft to heavy ground, current conditions, and the forecast for the week ahead, the decision has been made to move next week’s fixture to allow the track further recovery time.

“We would like to thank the BHA (British Horseracing Authority) and the NTF (National Trainers Federation) for their support in facilitating this move which has been done in the interests of all participants.”

Conditions key to Century Dream’s Sussex Stakes challenge

Ground conditions will dictate whether Century Dream will return to Group One level for a tilt at the Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood.

Having been narrowly denied a third win in the Diomed Stakes at Epsom on Derby day, Simon and Ed Crisford’s stable stalwart notched his first victory of the campaign and the 10th of his career in the Listed Midsummer Stakes at Windsor on Saturday.

The seven-year-old ran out an impressive winner of the Celebration Mile at Goodwood last summer and could return to the Sussex Downs for a potential clash with the likes of Palace Pier and Poetic Flare on July 28 – but only if conditions are in his favour.

“We were delighted with him at Windsor. He did it nicely and liked the ground,” said Ed Crisford.

“We have no immediate targets with him – we’ll obviously just follow the rain.

“He’s a seven-year-old now, so he’s an old boy, but he always shows a lot of enthusiasm and we’ve just got to pick and choose our targets depending on where the ground is right for him.

“He’s in the Sussex Stakes and if it did go soft or worse, I’m sure he’d be running in it.”

Century Dream is a general 33-1 shot for the Sussex Stakes, with John and Thady Gosden’s multiple Group One winner Palace Pier the marginal favourite at 11-8 over Jim Bolger’s 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes hero Poetic Flare at 9-4.

Connections thrilled with progress of Epsom winner Rhoscolyn

Connections of Rhoscolyn are weighing up options at Newmarket and Windsor this weekend for the progressive three-year-old.

Bought out of Charlie Hills’ stable and sent to David O’Meara, the Territories gelding won at Beverley three starts ago off a mark of 74 and his most recent victory at Epsom saw him raised to 104.

He holds an entry in the Criterion Stakes at Newmarket and the Midsummer Stakes at Windsor on Saturday, with the latter a slight favourite at present.

“I haven’t had a good look at both races yet. The Windsor race is over a mile and we’d have preferred to keep him over seven, but equally the Windsor race looks a bit less competitive,” said Chris Dixon, part of The Horse Watchers syndicate who own Rhoscolyn.

“The ground at Windsor will be pretty bad, which won’t be a bother for us, and it might mean that race cuts up a bit so it could mean we end up there. Also, David has another horse in the Newmarket race.

“It’s caught us out how quickly he’s improved. We were confident he’d be rated 90 or higher when we bought him, but it’s taken us aback a bit, especially when he was beaten off 74 at Lingfield second time out this season. Three runs later he’s rated 104.

“He’s doesn’t need cut, he won on quick ground at Haydock last year for Charlie Hills. We actually weren’t going to run him at Beverley when the ground turned soft there. It’s a good job we did.

“He’s been finishing off well over seven, his dam won over a mile and I’ve no concerns that he’ll stay, a mile will be the top end of what he wants, though. He might just be a seven-furlong specialist, we just haven’t been put off trying a mile yet.

“He could be a horse we’ll travel with or the most sensible financial option is to move them on – but in the short term we’re keen to see how he gets on in Listed and Group races first. We could be looking to take him to France at some stage.

“He’s an exciting horse.”

Rain forces Windsor cancellation

Monday’s meeting at Windsor has been called off following an 8am inspection.

Clerk of the course Sophie Candy reports over 60 millimetres of rain to have fallen at the track in recent days and with further rain forecast, the track will not be fit for action.

She said: “I’ve had 63mm of rain since Wednesday, with 54.5mm of that coming in one hit on Friday.

“The track managed to stay raceable over the weekend, but it’s raining this morning and is due to continue over the rest of the day and the track simply cannot take it.

“We’ve got three days of racing over the weekend, so hopefully we will be ready for that.”

Alistair Rawlinson suffers broken ankle in Windsor fall

Alistair Rawlinson faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after breaking his ankle in a fall at Windsor on Monday evening.

Rawlinson also sustained four fractured ribs and a swollen hip in the incident about two furlongs out in the Fitzdares Sprint Series Handicap.

His mount Diligent Lady suffered a fatal fall, bringing down Centurion Song, ridden by George Buckell.

Both jockeys were treated on course before being taken to hospital for further assessment.

Rawlinson came out worse of the two. He rides for Rutland trainer Mick Appleby, who gave an update on his condition.

“I’ve spoken to him. He’s broken his ankle and he’s got four broken ribs. His hip is swollen and sore but he was quite lucky. It looked a bad fall,” said Appleby.

“I think he has to have an operation on his ankle to have some metalwork in it.

“He’ll be off for quite some time, I would think.”

Buckell appears to have escaped serious injury and is looking to be back in the saddle later this week.

“George is absolutely fine. He has a small bit of pain in his neck but X-rays were clear,” said his agent, Simon Dodds.

“He’s going to Oaksey House for some physio. He’s hoping to be back in action this week if he passes his medical.

“He wishes Ali all the best and hope he is OK.”

Rawlinson and Buckell taken to hospital following Windsor falls

Jockeys Alistair Rawlinson and George Buckell were both taken to hospital after two horses fell in the Fitzdares Sprint Series Handicap at Windsor.

Racing was delayed by 45 minutes after Rawlinson – riding Michael Attwater’s Diligent Lady – and George Buckell, who was partnering Centurion Song for Brian Meehan, were both initially treated on the course.

The incident happened as the field approached the two-furlong pole when Diligent Lady fell and brought down Centurion Song.

Clerk of the course Sophie Candy reported both jockeys were “conscious and talking” after their falls.

She said: “They are both being taken to hospital for further assessment.

“They were both conscious and talking.”

Rawlinson was treated for longest at the track, before being moved.

Candy added: “He will be taken to hospital to look at his injuries – but he was conscious, talking.

“He is being taken by ambulance.”

The five-furlong feature race on the evening card was won by John Spearing’s 2-1 favourite A Sure Welcome, ridden by Ryan Tate.

Windsor and Newton Abbot fall to the weather

This evening’s meeting at Windsor has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

A precautionary inspection was called for 7am on Monday following heavy rain in recent days.

The final race of last Monday’s card was also abandoned following sustained rainfall throughout the evening and a fall in an earlier race.

Windsor racecourse’s Twitter feed posted: “RACING TODAY ABANDONED. Unfortunately we’ve had a further 9mm of rain overnight and further rain is forecast today.”

It was a similar story at Newton Abbot in Devon, too, ahead of Wednesday’s fixture.

The course had to abandon on May 12, too, and while an 8am inspection was called, the decision was taken before then.

A further 14 millimetres of rain fell in the previous 12 hours with more forecast for Monday and Tuesday leaving clerk of the course Jason Loosemore with no option but to call it off.

The meeting in Ireland at Ballinrobe did survive an inspection, however.

Wednesday’s fixture at Gowran, though, needs to pass an 8am inspection on raceday morning.

Parts of the course are currently unfit for racing and a further three millimetres of rain is forecast.

Tracks poised for return of racegoers

Monday marks the end of racing behind closed doors as courses are permitted to welcome a limited number of spectators.

The latest milestone in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown allows racecourses to host 4,000 fans or fill the course to 50% capacity – whichever is the lesser number.

There is also a slight easing in restrictions on course, with owners able to access the parade ring to meet trainers and jockeys and masks only compulsory in the paddock and indoor areas.

Carlisle, Redcar, Leicester and Windsor all host fixtures on Monday and will therefore be the first tracks to benefit from the change in policy, with Ffos Las still restricted to racing behind closed doors due to the differing stance between the English and Welsh governments.

The impact of Covid-19 left Carlisle unable to host a single Flat fixture last year, but the Cumbrian track was able to run a behind-closed-doors jumps programme from October onwards.

Officials at Carlisle are excited to reinstate the Flat action in front of paying spectators.

“We’re delighted to be able to welcome back Flat racing to Carlisle after such a long absence and it’s particularly fitting that it coincides with the first day of spectators being allowed to return to racecourses,” said Molly Dingwall, general manager at Carlisle.

“The pandemic has had a huge impact on sport as a whole and we’ve felt that just as keenly at Carlisle racecourse. It was disappointing not to be able to host our Flat programme last year and that meant some historic races did not take place, but we couldn’t be more excited about Monday.

“Owners, trainers and spectators have been so supportive of the course over the years, not to mention incredibly patient.

“The team here have been absolutely brilliant and have worked incredibly hard to keep the course in great condition. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back for what should be a fantastic summer of Flat racing.”

Redcar will have spectators on course on Monday
Redcar will have spectators on course on Monday (Tony Knapton/PA)

Redcar stages an eight-race card, with the first race fittingly named the Great To Welcome You Back Median Auction Maiden Stakes.

Redcar’s general manager Amy Fair said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming spectators back after so long, we’ve really missed the atmosphere they bring, but the emphasis has to remain very much on public safety.”

Leicester will also be in action, with a seven-race evening card kicking off at 5.05pm after over a year of racing in front of empty grandstands.

Empty stands at Leicester in March
Empty stands at Leicester in March (Tim Goode/PA)

David Maykels, general manager of the racecourse, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming annual members and the public back after 15 long months.

“Tomorrow evening sees further relaxation also for owners, who can now enter the parade ring and winners enclosure for their race.

“We have hired a large marquee until September to facilitate hospitality clients and owners due to losing our boxes and club room for jockeys and stewards.

“Tomorrow we will be providing the paddock pavilion for owners and trainers, plus in annual members we will be providing some welcome-back bubbly to thank them for their support.

“Let us hope this is the start of a special summer and beyond.”

Saffie Osborne has broken arm and ribs after Windsor fall

Saffie Osborne suffered a broken arm and ribs in her horror fall at Windsor.

However, her father and trainer Jamie Osborne, a former National Hunt jockey, admits he was relieved the damage was not much worse – given the nature of Monday’s incident.

Osborne was partnering the Alexandra Dunn-trained Zeyzoun in division one of the Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap when her mount clipped heels with Maykir, sending the 7lb claiming apprentice out of the saddle.

“She’s in Wexham Park hospital. She’s awaiting surgery and is having her left arm plated,” said Osborne senior.

“She’s got broken ribs, a little bit of potential trauma to the lung from the ribs – so they’ll monitor that, and hopefully it won’t need draining – but everything that is broken will mend, which is the important thing.

“Having watched and participated in many falls over the last 35 years, you kind of have a sense of when it’s not good – and watching that fall, it had the potential to be a not very good outcome.

“To be honest we’re all relieved that, while there are broken bones, they will mend – it could have been a lot worse.

“This year was all about her gaining as much experience as possible – so she’s experienced a little bit of everything now!

“She was going to go away this winter. We’ll put that on hold, and she’s got plenty of time to get better for the start of next season. It will take more than this to put her off.”

Osborne, an accomplished event rider, has ridden nine winners in her first season racing.

Marco Ghiani, the rider of Maykir, was handed a 10-day ban because of the incident.

The jockey later sent a tweet thanking the doctors and paramedics who have so far treated her at Windsor and Wexham Park hospital.

“Although I haven’t seen the fall and don’t remember it, I feel very lucky to have escaped with only a broken arm, broken ribs and a punctured lung,” she said.

“I would like to thank the incredible doctors and paramedics at Windsor racecourse as well as the surgeons, doctors and nurses at Wexham Park Hospital for all their care and attention that have already put me on the road to recovery.

“The surgery on my arm has gone well and I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle.”

Saffie Osborne ‘going to be fine’ after Windsor fall

Jamie Osborne described his “immeasurable sense of relief” on Monday evening after confirming his daughter Saffie had escaped serious injury in a heavy fall at Windsor.

Osborne was partnering the Alexandra Dunn-trained Zeyzoun in division one of the Follow At The Races On Twitter Handicap when her mount clipped heels, sending the 7lb claiming apprentice out of the saddle.

Windsor’s clerk of the course, Sophie Candy, reported Osborne was conscious before being taken to Wexham Park Hospital for further assessment.

Then two hours later, her father – former jump jockey turned trainer – provided a positive update on his Twitter feed.

He wrote: “With an immeasurable sense of relief, I can report that @OsborneSaffie is going to be fine.

“Katie (trainer’s wife) and I thank you all for your concern and kind words.”

The stewards held an inquiry into the incident and suspended 5lb claimer Marco Ghiani for 10 days for careless riding.

The official report read: “Ghiani was suspended for 10 days for careless riding as he had manoeuvred right-handed towards the rail when insufficiently clear, causing Zeyzoun to clip heels and unseat Osborne.”

Osborne had been successful on the 11-year-old Pettochside for trainer John Bridger in the Sky Sports Racing HD Virgin 535 Classifield Claiming Stakes earlier on the card.