Tag Archives: racetrack

Cheltenham"s New Year"s Day fixture abandoned

Balding's parade is rained on as Cheltenham's New Year's Day fixture is abandoned

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UPDATED:

13:29 GMT, 31 December 2012

Host: Balding is part of Channel 4 racing's new-look team

Host: Balding is part of Channel 4 racing's new-look team

Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day fixture at Prestbury Park has been abandoned due to a waterlogged track.

Clare Balding had been due to make her Channel 4 Racing debut from Cheltenham but the abandonment means the former BBC presenter will be broadcasting from a stable in Berkshire.

The only live action will be from Musselburgh and Channel 4 will send Balding and Mick Fitzgerald to visit trainer Nicky Henderson at Seven Barrows, Lambourn, home of Gold Cup contenders Bobs Worth and Long Run.

Channel 4 Racing executive producer Carl Hicks said: 'We have arranged for Clare and Mick to visit Seven Barrows.

'Nicky Henderson has so many high-profile horses to run before the Festival, there is plenty to see and talk about.'

Not at the races: Cheltenham's New Year's Day meeting was called off on Monday morning

Not at the races: Cheltenham's New Year's Day meeting was called off on Monday morning

Wet: Further rain is forecast at the racetrack

Wet: Further rain is forecast at the racetrack

Course officials originally scheduled an inspection for 3pm on Monday but the meeting was abandoned long before that.

Cheltenham clerk of the course Simon Claisse told At The Races: 'Sadly we've had to take the decision earlier than we thought to abandon the meeting.

'We've had more rainfall and there's quite a lot more rain forecast between now and 2pm. The course is waterlogged in too many places.'

Drink drive killer goalkeeper Luke McCormick plays first game for Truro City

Drink-drive killer keeper McCormick plays first game in four years after joining Truro

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UPDATED:

10:31 GMT, 11 November 2012

Goalkeeper Luke McCormick played his first match on Saturday since being released from prison for killing two children in a car crash over four years ago.

The 29-year-old featured for non-league Truro City as they lost 3-2 in their FA Trophy clash at Blue Square Bet South league rivals Farnborough FC in Hampshire on Saturday.

He was jailed in October 2008 after he admitted causing the deaths of Arron Peak, 10, and Ben Peak, 8, on the M6 in Staffordshire having been drunk behind the wheel.

Back in business: Luke McCormick played his first game in over four years after being released from prison in June

Back in business: Luke McCormick played his first game in over four years after being released from prison in June

McCormick was twice the drink-driving limit when the crash happened as he was returning from former team-mate David Norris’s wedding in Bolton.

Arron and Ben were travelling to Silverstone racetrack for a day out with their father and three friends when their Toyota Previa people-carrier was hit by McCormick’s Range Rover at 5.44am on June 7.

Truro were desperately in need of a goalkeeper after regular stopper Tim Sandercombe was injured last week.

McCormick was playing for Plymouth Argyle at the time of the car crash and his contract was terminated by mutual consent after he had been charged and bailed.

McCormick

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Not a happy return: McCormick's side, rock bottom of their league, lost 3-2 to Farnborough in the FA Trophy

His last match was for the club in May 2008 against Wolves.

Paulo Di Canio brought him in to train with Swindon during the summer but released him in August.

'We were happy to help a person who had paid his price,' said the Italian manager.

'But I don't think it was right to sign him as we are not a recovery clinic.'

McCormick was been released from jail just one day before the fourth anniversary of the boys’ deaths.

Amanda and Phil Peak, parents of the two children who lost their lives, revealed their hurt at the timing of McCormick’s release.

Angry: Phillip Peak and Amanda Peak were upset with the timing of McCormick's release

Angry: Phillip Peak and Amanda Peak were upset with the timing of McCormick's release

Mrs Peak said: ‘On a day when we should have been remembering our precious little boys, all we’ll be doing is thinking, “that b******’s got his freedom back”.'

‘To hear he was being let out on that date, it was honestly almost as bad as the day I found out I had lost them both — it’s a catastrophic insult.

‘What would a few extra days mean He has already only served half his sentence.’

Mrs Peak also said she wanted to confront McCormick. She said: ‘I want to look him in the eye to see if he’s remorseful, because that’s the only way I’ll be able to tell.’

Mr Peak, from Partington in Manchester, was at the wheel of the Toyota and suffered serious injuries that left him in a wheelchair.

Not taken on: McCormick was on trial at Swindon but Paulo Di Canio let him go

Not taken on: McCormick was on trial at Swindon but Paulo Di Canio let him go

Bernie Ecclestone sticks up for Silverstone over rain chaos

Ecclestone sticks up for Silverstone, saying racetrack have done 'a good job' amid weather chaos

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UPDATED:

14:14 GMT, 7 July 2012

Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has defended Silverstone over the problems that have beset British Grand Prix weekend at the Northamptonshire track.

Continuous rain on Friday turned car parks into quagmires and left many spectators stranded in lengthy traffic jams outside the track.

That led Silverstone chiefs to advise up to 30,000 fans with public car park passes for Saturday's action to stay away from the circuit, which has been hit by further rain following a dry start to the day.

Torrential: The rain has dampened spirits at Silverstone

Torrential: The rain has dampened spirits at Silverstone

Ecclestone, who was himself advised not to travel to the track on Friday, has been one of Silverstone's harshest critics, but he admitted there was little that could be done in the circumstances.

Big supporter: Ecclestone

Big supporter: Ecclestone

He told Sky Sports F1: 'I'm not a big supporter of Silverstone, but in all fairness they've done a good job and the rain is not their fault.

'England has been flooded; people's houses have been flooded and they've been left stranded in the streets. So it is no different here than anywhere else.'

He added: 'If the weather was suitable for the car parks then things would be perfect. But because of the rain things are not dangerous but if you got in there you might not get out.

'It is difficult for them to do what they could have done, which was to cover all the car parks.'

Black Caviar in fine form for Royal Ascot Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Black Caviar on course to claim glory at Royal Ascot, insists race manager O'Conner

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UPDATED:

14:34 GMT, 14 June 2012

Unbeaten Australian sprinter Black Caviar has racked up far more impressive times during training than she has ever had to done compiling her formidable unbeaten 21 race sequence.

The ominous warning was sounded by Jeff O’Connor, racing manager to trainer Peter Moody, as the Australian wondermare closes in on her challenge for Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes a week on Saturday.

Black Caviar, who did light exercise at her Newmarket base on Thursday, is 1-3 favourite for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Her rivals could include Roger Charlton’s Bated Breath, Freddie Head’s Moonlight Cloud and last year’s Diamond Jubilee winner, the James Fanshawe-trained Society Rock.

Diamond form: Black Caviar's hopes of Royal Ascot success have been talked up

Diamond form: Black Caviar's hopes of Royal Ascot success have been talked up

But O'Connor is adamant the mare, judged second only to Frankel in world ratings, is head and shoulders above her rivals in terms of ability.

He said: 'It's hard to say she can improve on her racetrack performances – she can only go so fast – but her track work performances are like nothing you have ever seen.

‘She runs times that have you scratching your head. A couple of times early on we thought our watches were playing up so we used different ones.’

O’Connor does not feel there is a rival lurking who can push the six-year-old to new heights but said putting her unbeaten record on the line half way around the world from her home is a risk.

He added: ‘We’d have to find a horse to put it to her. Are we going to see one at Ascot – possibly not and I don’t think we will able to find one in the time frame that we still have to race her in.

Aussie rules: Black Caviar

Aussie rules: Black Caviar

‘There is nothing she can achieve (at Royal Ascot) on top of her record – she can only come out of this negatively. It is a gamble with an unbeaten horse. If she is beaten, I don’t think (jockey) Luke Nolen will come back to the unsaddling enclosure, I think he will keep going and find a little barn near Windsor to hide.’

Previously, Moody has brought two other sprinters to the royal meeting.

Magnus was third to another Aussie, Miss Andretti, in the 2007 King’s Stand Stakes while Hinchinbrook had to be scratched when injured before the meeting a year ago.

O’Connor said: ‘Last year, we could not have been more confident with Hitchinbrook and unfortunately he was injured. We know Black Caviar is a better sprinter than him.’

O’Connor said fears that Black Caviar could be unsuited by unseasonally soft ground at the royal meeting after heavy rainfall this month were unfounded, pointing to the mare’s good work outs on heavy going in ‘Barrier Trial’ races used in the training regime Down Under.

Australian sprinters have quickly earned the respect of the British racing fans since Choisir blazed a trail winning the 2003 King’s Stand Stakes in 2003.

Miss Andretti, Scenic Blast and Takeover Target have followed him in the five-furlong dash to give the Aussie’s four wins from 14 runners in the race.

A modicum of hope is offered to the home-trained runners in less successful Down Under raids on the six-furlong Diamond Jubilee Stakes which they have won only once, also with Choisir in 2003, from 10 runners.