Tag Archives: practise

Jim Boyle banned for two months for using Alkalising Agent on horse

Boyle punished for using banned powder on horse despite being cleared of 'milkshaking'

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UPDATED:

19:47 GMT, 18 December 2012


Punished: Jim Boyle has been given a short-term ban

Punished: Jim Boyle has been given a short-term ban

Epsom trainer Jim Boyle has been fined 3,500 and will be prevented from making entries for two months following a British Horseracing Authority inquiry into alleged 'milkshaking'.

Although Boyle was cleared of using an alkalinising agent on New Den at Lingfield in April 2011, he was found guilty of knowingly using a ‘Tie-up Powder’ on the horse which is banned on race day.

The use of an Alkalising Agent, usually Sodium Bicarbonate, on racehorses is a practise that has particularly gained notoriety in America. It acts by reducing the build-up of Lactic Acid in muscles as fatigue sets in.

Boyle would have faced a fare more serious penalty had he been found guilty of ‘milkshaking’.

New Den never ran at Lingfield on the day in question after a random pre-race test showed abnormally high levels of TC02 in his system, often an indicator of ‘milkshaking’.

The BHA disciplinary panel concluded Boyle had been aware New Den had been given a 'tie-up powder' on the day of the Lingfield race, and that he was doing so 'in the knowledge that the powders administered could affect the gelding's racing performance'.

Boyle, a former vet who produced a series of good character references at the hearing, has been Epsom’s most successful trainer numerically in recent years. In 2009, he trained 59 winners but this year’s total has dropped to 24.

Unless he appeals, the two-month restriction on making entries is likely to start in just over a week. However, Boyle can still continue to train the horses in his care.

Mercedes fined for Michael Schumacher incident in Korea Grand Prix qualifying

Mercedes hit with 8k fine after unsafe Schumacher release in Korea qualifying

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UPDATED:

11:02 GMT, 13 October 2012

Mercedes have been fined 10,000 euros (8,000) for their unsafe release of Michael Schumacher during qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix.

The German, who will retire at the end of the season, came out of his garage during the final minutes of Q3 just as Lewis Hamilton was heading down the pitlane.

Punished: Michael Schumacher ventured out of the pitlane at an inopportune moment

Punished: Michael Schumacher ventured out of the pitlane at an inopportune moment

The McLaren driver was forced to take rapid evasive action as Schumacher pulled into his path, narrowly avoiding a collision.

And having examined video evidence of the incident and heard from team representatives, Mercedes were found guilty of breaching article 23.12 of the FIA sporting regulations and fined.

Double trouble: Schumacher was also reprimanded for an incident in practise

Double trouble: Schumacher was also reprimanded for an incident in practise

Schumacher himself was reprimanded on Friday for impeding the HRTs of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan during second practice.

The stewards also confirmed Karthikeyan will be able to start Sunday's race, despite failing to set a time during qualifying after a brake failure during Q1.

Kirtsy Milczarek successfully appealing two-year ban

Milczarek free to return to racing after successfully appealing two-year ban

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UPDATED:

19:34 GMT, 10 April 2012

Leading female jockey Kirsty Milczarek is free to return to the sport after successfully appealing against a two-year ban originally imposed for passing information for reward and committing a corrupt or fraudulent practise in December.

Milczarek, who had enjoyed a successful 2011 season with 35 winners, had seen her world fall apart after being found guilty of involvement with a betting ring masterminded by owners Maurice Sines and James Crickmore.

The original verdicts came after one of the most extensive investigations by the BHA that centred on 10 races between January 17, 2009 and August 15, 2009 and involved five jockeys and seven other men.

Also banned for 12 year for their part in the conspiracy were fellow jockeys Paul Doe and Greg Fairley, who were found guilty of stopping horses running on their merit, while Jimmy Quinn is closing in on a comeback after being handed a six-month suspension for a lesser offence.

Successful: Milczarek

Successful: Milczarek

But, after hearing fresh evidence from Milczarek’s then boyfriend Kieren Fallon, the Appeal Board quashed the original ban on her.

The 14-year bans for Sines and Crickmore have been reduced to 13 years while one of their associates, Nick Gold, had his ban from racing reduced from seven to five years.

The Milczarek case had revolved around her ride on Obe Gold in August 2009 at Lingfield and her actions in removing the horse’s blindfold when it was in the starting stalls.

Investigations also focused on telephone records of contact between Milczarek and Sines and Crickmore.

At the original hearing, Milczarek’s claimed that she was being called as a conduit for Sines and Crickmore to reach Fallon, who was suspended from racing at the time and regularly drove her to the races.

While this explanation was dismissed by the original Panel, the Appeal Board, after hearing telephone evidence from Fallon via a phone link to Dubai, concluded there was insufficient evidence to support the Panel’s conclusion that Milczarek was party to the conspiracy.

Her solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, said: ‘She's very gratified. I think they may fast-track her licence application as obviously she has been banned for a period of time that she shouldn't have been. She was doing very well when all this happened.

‘The first decision, I always felt, was utterly bizarre. I could not understand how you could find someone guilty for effectively taking a blindfold off early.’

Responding to the Appeal panel decision, Paul Scotney, BHA Director of Integrity Services, Compliance and Licensing, said: ‘As was said at the time of the initial hearing, the scale and complexity of this case remains unprecedented in the history of BHA.

‘Consequently from the perspective of the BHA's Integrity and Compliance team, it is rewarding that the Appeal Board has endorsed the findings of the Disciplinary Panel regarding the activities of the individuals at the heart of the conspiracy.

‘Indeed, to quote the Appeal Board, they said “taken as a whole the BHA's case against Maurice Sines and James Crickmore was a strong one”, adding that “…this conspiracy and particularly the conduct of Sines and Crickmore struck at the heart of the integrity of racing.

‘We accept the decision of the Appeal Board to allow the appeal of Kirsty Milczarek. It is the role of the Appeal Board to consider such appeals and additional evidence when presented.

‘However, we stand by the original decision to include the race as one of the 10 under scrutiny on account of the extraordinary betting patterns and the pattern of communication around the race.’

MASTERS 2012: Rory McIlroy will live in a bubble at Augusta

McIlroy will 'live inside a bubble' at Augusta to prevent another Masters meltdown

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UPDATED:

20:57 GMT, 30 March 2012

Rory McIlroy has revealed he will cut himself off from the outside world in his bid for Augusta redemption after taking the advice of another man who knows what it's like to suffer a Masters meltdown.

McIlroy famously looked set for glory last year when he took a four-shot lead into the final round only to shoot a nightmare 80 to help hand the green jacket to South Africa's Charl Schwartzel.

There followed a lot of soul-searching for the then 21-year-old Northern Irishman en route to his much-heralded maiden major at the US Open at Congressional two months later.

He's got game: World No 2 Rory McIlroy at work for EA Sports

He's got game: World No 2 Rory McIlroy at work for EA Sports

And he revealed a key part of his recovery was the advice offered by Norman, who suffered his own implosion at Augusta in 1996 when his final-day 78 gifted Nick Faldo his third Masters title.

'I've only met Greg a handful of times but he's always one of the first to text me or call me after a win,' said McIlroy. 'He's very generous with his time and always goes out of his way to say congratulations. He's just a genuinely nice guy.

'He reached out to me after Augusta last year which was a really nice thing to do. He gave me some advice which I thought were really valuable. I took it into practice and it has definitely worked for me.

'He told me about creating this little bubble around myself in the week of the tournament. You don't read magazines, or newspapers and you don't watch TV.

'You just try and separate yourself from everything and focus on the task in hand, which is the golf.

Embarrassed: McIlroy on the 11th green

Embarrassed: McIlroy on the 11th green

'It's something I've tried to put into practise since last year. I haven't been going on twitter or reading the papers or watching TV in the run-up to events and that has worked, so I'll be trying to adopt the same approach.'

McIlroy sounded in buoyant mood as he approached his return to the scene of the biggest of golfing nightmares. Winning that maiden major makes all the difference, of course, but he still sounded like a young man well up for both the mental and sporting challenge lying ahead next week.

'For 63 holes last year, I led the tournament. It was just those nine holes that everyone concentrated on,' he explained.

'I learned a lot about myself. I learned how to control my emotions a little better. I learned what works for me best whenever I get into situations like that. I was able to put that right a couple of months later when I won the US Open. It is not like I have not learned from it. It would just be great to put myself in that position again and challenge myself and see if I am up to the test.'

So was there a specific point last year he knew his attempt at a first major was about to unravel And how will he feel when he walks on to the 10th tee, where it all went horribly wrong

'The whole of the Sunday felt a little different,' revealed the world No 2. 'I was almost trying to be this person that I wasn't. Sort of ultra-focused, tunnel vision, whatever you want to call it.

Off the map: Rory McIlroy hit his tee shot on the 10th miles off target

Off the map: Rory McIlroy hit his tee shot on the 10th miles off target

'I hit a great shot off the first and had a little wedge into the first green and I remember on the top of my backswing and on the way down, I said to myself “don't go left”. That was the first really tentative swing I had made the whole week. That was when I felt it was completely different from the first three days.

'At Amen Corner there are bound to be some emotions to deal with. When I step onto the 10th tee the memories will come flooding back – you wouldn't be human if that didn't happen. You can't just block them out. So it's not a bad thing to go there early and get that stuff out of the way, so you can concentrate on the tournament.

'I think the main thing about Augusta is going up there and re-familiarising yourself with the course, and making sure you have sussed it out the best you can, seeing if there have been any little changes. I feel like I've been playing pretty well and I've been hitting the ball great in practice, so I think I just need to keep doing that.'

If that's not enough to be thinking about, there is also the return of a certain prowling Tiger. But McIlroy sounded like the four-time winner's upturn in form is merely one of many challenges.

Just champion: McIlroy with US Open trophy

Just champion: McIlroy with US Open trophy

He said: 'I think having Tiger playing well is definitely a great thing for golf. He produces excitement and interest that no-one else can.

'But for me personally, it doesn't do anything. I just have to concentrate on myself.'

McIlroy was talking as part of his promotion for the new Tiger Woods PGA Tour video game, which is out now. For the second time in three years he appears on the box of the EA Sports title, and it's a relationship he says he wants to continue.

'It's a great feeling to walk past a shop and see yourself on the front cover of a game that you've played since you were a kid,' he said. 'It's a nice accomplishment and hopefully I can stay on the cover of the game for a lot longer!

'When you play the game, I think you have to play as yourself so the more realistic you can make it the better! I really enjoyed the motion capture session and the likeness is really good on the game. The swing is very similar to mine.

'I think the game gives the general public a great opportunity to see all of Augusta. When you watch it on TV, you only see a few of the holes but this give you an opportunity to see the whole course and, when it's as realistic as it is, it gives a real sense of what Augusta's like with the huge elevation changes.'

Rory McIlroy stars in EA SPORTS Tiger Woods PGA Tour 13 which is out NOW on Kinect, Xbox 360 and PS3. Order your copy at www.amazon.co.uk or visit www.ea.com/uk/tiger-woods for more information.

Peter Crouch wants England recall after wondergoal

Crouch aiming for England recall after sinking City with stunning strike

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UPDATED:

16:15 GMT, 25 March 2012

Stoke star Peter Crouch has not given up hope of winning an England recall for Euro 2012.

The former Liverpool and Tottenham striker reminded the country of his talents with a sensational goal in Stoke's 1-1 draw with title-chasing Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

The 31-year-old has not played for England since scoring against France in November 2010 after falling out of favour with former manager Fabio Capello.

Ecstatic: Peter Crouch celebrates after lashing in his long-range volley against Man City

Ecstatic: Peter Crouch celebrates after lashing in his long-range volley against Man City

But Capello's departure ahead of this summer's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine has changed the picture and Crouch remains eager to force his way into contention.

Crouch told BBC Sport: 'I knew right from the start when I signed for Stoke that, if I was playing well and scoring goals, I would have a chance of being involved in the England set-up.

'There is huge competition in the summer. I have been fortunate enough to play in two World Cups and 42 times for my country.

'I know if I am working hard and playing well I will get a chance and hopefully I will grab it with both hands.'

Crouch stunned City with an extraordinary volley just before the hour at the Britannia Stadium.

It may have come via route one as Crouch headed on a long clearance from Asmir Begovic, but there was nothing crude about his finish.

Hopeful: The Stoke striker is hoping for an England recall

Hopeful: The Stoke striker is hoping for an England recall

Decider: Could Crouch's strike be a major factor in the title race

Decider: Could Crouch's strike be a major factor in the title race

Crouch took a return header from Jermaine Pennant by flicking up the ball and he then twisted to fire over Joe Hart from 25 yards.

He said: 'I do it every day in training, practise volleying. It is something I have always enjoyed doing since I was a kid.

'When the ball dropped I tried to pop it up and tried the volley technique.

'I do do it a lot in practice – it is not something that just happens – but they don't always fly in like that.

'I think that was probably the best one to be honest.'

Crouch's strike had little in common with much of the robust football before it and left the visitors anxiously chasing a result to keep up the pressure on Manchester United at the top.

They eventually claimed a point after Yaya Toure struck a fine goal of his own 14 minutes from time, albeit with the aid of a slight deflection off Ryan Shawcross.

Crouch said: 'Any team will tell you that at the Britannia this season we are a match for anyone.

'We have taken points off the best here. It proves something when in the dressing room you are disappointed not to take all three points. I really thought we could have done.'

Cheltenham Festival: Kauto Star must face schooling test

One last test before Kauto Star gets Gold Cup go-ahead

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 10 March 2012

Jump racing's shining light Kauto
Star must pass one final test on Monday before he is given the all-clear
to tackle the Cheltenham Gold Cup for a sixth time on Friday.

Trainer Paul Nicholls reports that
the 12-year-old has made a remarkable recovery since a heavy fall with
Ruby Walsh in a schooling session on February 24.

Star role: Kauto Star with trainer Paul Nicholls and travelling head girl, Donna Blake

Star role: Kauto Star with trainer Paul Nicholls and travelling head girl, Donna Blake

'I couldn't be happier with him after his spin round Wincanton after racing on Friday,' said Nicholls.

'The improvement from one week to the next has been unbelievable.

'Hopefully, it is looking good for Cheltenham, but obviously I have to pop him over some jumps at home again tomorrow (Monday) after his previous mishap. Normally, he wings round our outdoor school, which has an all-weather surface. That is where he fell.

'Ruby is coming over from Ireland to school Kauto and this time, for a change, we'll give him some jumping practise in our regular grass field where we have various fences. I'm sure everything will be fine.'