Arena Racing Company’s director of external affairs Susannah Gill is set to leave the group next month Sam Cone will take over Gill’s day-to-day responsibilities.
Gill will remain a committee member of Women in Racing and a member of the Diversity in Racing steering group, as well as a trustee of the Northern Racing College and Racing Foundation.
She said: “I have had a wonderful four years at Arc. I’m proud to have worked with such a great team of people and I wish everyone at Arc all the best for the future. I look forward to taking on a new challenge in the coming months.”
Officials at Nottingham will inspect the track at 4pm on Monday to assess conditions for Tuesday’s fixture. The going on Sunday was described as soft, but the forecast on Monday is for heavy rain.
Hadden Frost third in Maryland Hunt Cup
Hadden Frost finished third in the Maryland Hunt Cup at Worthington Valley, near Baltimore, on Saturday.
Only three of the nine runners completed, with Senior Senator and jockey Eric Poretz leading throughout to record a five-length victory in the 122nd running of the race.
Joshua G finished second, with Drift Society and Frost third, some 140 and a quarter lengths behind.
On what was a big day for the Frost family, Hadden’s sister Bryony also finished third in the Bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown on Present Man.
Royal Ascot entry Beckford on the mark
Beckford rallied from far back in the stretch to run down pace-setter Salmanazar by three-quarters of a length to win the $100,000 William Walker Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
A Group 2 winner in Ireland last year when trained by Gordon Elliott, Beckford was making his debut for trainer Brendan Walsh and having first start since finishing fifth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf behind Mendelssohn.
Rider Julien Leparoux said: “He’s a very fast horse. I knew he needed a target in front of him so we sat off the pace in a good spot around the turn and he flew home. I think he is going to have a very bright future. Brendan and his team did a very nice job with him.”
Beckford has an entry in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, for which he is between a 12-1 and 20-1 shot.
Big money for cheaper purchases
The 2018 Foran Equine Irish EBF Auction Series will offer aspiring owners and trainers a unique shot at €617,000 in prize-money and the prospect of a €120,000 final at Naas in October.
Now in its fourth year, the series is aimed at two-year-olds bought at auction for €72,000 or less and to a European Breeders Fund-registered sire, with the first of 22 qualifiers taking place at the Curragh on May 11.
Created in partnership with Horse Racing Ireland, the series provides a minimum prize-fund of €20,000 in qualifying races and, with the added benefit of being Plus 10-registered, opens more avenues for potential owners.
Trainer Patrick Prendergast said: “I’m a major fan of the Foran EBF Series, it encourages the smaller owner to buy horses. It’s a good sales pitch for me when I go to sales. I can say to them that you have a good chance on your investment.
“This whole thing is achievable, you buy a horse, syndicate it for a reasonable budget, then there’s a programme of races and a final to aim at. I have a good string of two-year-olds this year, they are nearly all eligible and we’ll be aiming at the series with plenty of them.”
Before the series started in 2014 there were only eight auction races of this kind in Ireland, but there are now 23 thanks to the growth of the series, which has seen the total number of runners double since 2015 to 287 last year.
Last year 50 per cent of winners were bought at auction for €19,000 or less with the overall winner Yulong Gold Fairy bought for €8,000. It is hoped the series will continue to stimulate the lower end of the auction market.
Each winning breeder and trainer will receive a €150 voucher for Foran Equine products with the winning trainer also receiving a pack containing many of their ‘performance range’ products.