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Le Huitième Pôle: News about racetracks

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The horse turns around, goes off course and gallops in the trees during the race

On May 29, at Vichy racecourse in France, racing enthusiasts were shocked when a horse galloped off the course while in the lead and hit a group of trees in the fifth race . Harlem D’Athon, 5, decided he was no longer drivable at the first turn of the 1 mile, 5 furlongs event. The horse was coming off a two-fight winning streak and was a little slow in the 7-horse field, but he kicked into high gear after the awkward start and took the lead early. As they rounded the bend, Harlem D’Athon suddenly moved several ways to the left, and jockey Christopher Grosbois tugged on the reins in an attempt to correct the wayward horse. There were no plastic guardrails on the other side of the course and the horse veered off sharply at high speed and crashed into some trees lining the track. The leader and his pilot went from hero to zero in a few strides and no one was more surprised than the track announcer.

“Harlem D’Athon (ahead) by a few lengths. Just a few issues with the management there, oh, and more than a few issues! Harlem D’Athon ran into the trees, my goodness! bit dangerous, but Harlem D’Athon just ran away with the jockey!” After the race, the defiant horse was seen heading back to the racecourse, seemingly no worse for the wear and tear from his frivolous ride. He was of course disqualified by the Stewards and I guess anyone who bet on the 4/1 shot that had the head and looked pretty good up front was very disappointed to say the least we can say. The race was won by 7/2 shooting, Hollee prevailing in the contest by 4 lengths.

Canadian trainer suspended for 20 years and fined $100,000 after illegal drugs found in two horses

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) suspended trainer Robert Gerl for 20 years for using the illegal drug ostarine (a non-therapeutic substance) after two of his horses (Arafat and Komunist) were tested positive for the drug after last October races at Woodbine Racecourse. The suspension took effect on May 30. The two horses (which ran in separate races and finished second and fifth respectively) were declared unplaced and the purse money they received must be returned. According to Equibase, Gerl saddled 65 winners in his career out of 1,132 starters and earned $3,094,531.

Ostarine is not FDA approved but is often found in bodybuilding supplements. The drug is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency, as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“The health and welfare of racehorses and the integrity of racing are at the heart of the AGCO’s concerns,” said general manager Tom Mungham. “We will continue to take all appropriate measures to protect horses and maintain racing fairness. The administration of banned substances, especially non-therapeutic drugs, has no place in sport and positive test results may result in serious consequences for licensees.”

The AGCO also imposed a whopping $100,000 monetary penalty on Gerl.

Racing fan receives lifetime ban for lewd act

On May 28, at Beverly Racecourse in England, Amy Christophers, 35, was conducting a live interview with spectators for Racing TV. She was doing a show for a social media channel called Raceday, where racing enthusiasts are interviewed live at the track. Suddenly, a man in a gray suit approached behind the host and pretended to ride a horse before grabbing the woman’s behind. “Put that online,” he said after the ass shot. Christophers was understandably upset and appalled by the man’s behavior.

In a series of tweets after the incident, Christophers called out the jerk and anyone who thought everything was fine.

“I was shocked,” she wrote. “I was working and it’s not okay. If you think sexual touching without consent is okay, then maybe you’re the problem too!” Sally Iggulden, general manager of Beverley, said the track had a zero tolerance policy towards sexual harassment and they were trying to track down the man to issue the ban. “We are appalled by the actions of one individual at Saturday’s meeting,” Sally said. “We contacted Amy immediately after the incident to offer her our sincere apologies and support. Beverley Racecourse has always applied a zero tolerance approach to any form of inappropriate disrespect and we are now investigating television footage of the incident. Anyone found guilty of committing offenses of this nature can expect a lifetime ban from Beverley Racecourse.”

Christophers, a sportscaster who first shot to fame when he appeared on the reality show Married at First Sight, started Raceday’s first show last July. The show aims to showcase the on-track experience of the everyday horse player.

The show can be accessed via Instagram and Tik Tok.

Super athlete Lester Piggot has died

Few could argue that Lester Piggot was one of the best jockeys in thoroughbred horse racing history. The legendary runner died on May 29 at the age of 86 in Switzerland. He was well known around the world after a highly successful riding career that spanned nearly 50 years and was still considered Britain’s most famous jockey long after he hung up the saddle.

Piggot rode a phenomenal 4,493 winners in Britain and over 850 elsewhere and he enjoyed success in France, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States. He won the Epsom Derby a record nine times, including a score over Nijinsky, winner of the European Triple Crown in 1970, who was one hell of a horse and became a terrific sire. Piggot rode a good majority of his winners for trainer Vincent O’Brien and the two were close friends. His son Charles followed in his father’s training footsteps and remembers the jockey and the stories told. “I believe he first rode for my dad in the late 1950s,” O’Brien said. “It was a bit before my time, but Lester was a constant around the place when I was growing up. He was an exceptionally good rider, which I think is maybe sometimes a bit overlooked. In terms of instructions, there was never really a terrible lot said. Partly that was because there was no point in giving them, because he would ignore them anyway. Second, he was quite capable of judge a race himself.

That would ring absolutely true with the jock, because one of my favorite horse racing quotes was written by Lester Piggot.

“A good jockey doesn’t need orders and a bad jockey couldn’t execute them anyway; it is therefore preferable not to give it to them. »

Former riding colleague Willie Carson was familiar with the legend and paid tribute to his friend. “Lester was an iconic figure in the racing industry and changed the way things were done from his early days until his retirement,” Carson said. “Most jockeys were better off for his effort because we all had to improve our game because of him. He was magic on top of a horse. He had this confidence and didn’t care what people were going to think. He just rode and did what he thought was the right thing on a horse and it normally was. He had an empathy for the animal and knew what a horse was thinking.

Last Sunday there was a minute’s silence at Longchamp racecourse in France as jockeys gathered in the paddock between races as an image of Piggot played on the big screens. Riders sported black armbands as a memento of the Great Rider and had the option of wearing them for the rest of the map. A minute of silence also took place before the race at

Fontwell and Uttoxeter racecourses in Britain on Sunday and also ahead of the Punchestown races in Ireland.

Lester Piggot was a legend and a half and a very cool guy. He had to be one of the greatest drivers I have ever seen on a circuit and his quotes and off-track humor will be missed as well.