Five Irish on Flying Start

THERE are five Irish people among the 12 selected to pariticipate in the 2024-’26 Godolphin Flying Start programme. Established and funded by Sheikh Mohammed, the two-year thoroughbred industry management and leadership course has been running for over 20 years and has a strong track record in producing future racing and breeding senior managers or business founders.

The latest intake of trainees represent five countries - Ireland, France, Czech Republic, Britain and the US. They will commence the programme in Kildangan Stud on Monday, August 12th.

The scholarship includes course fees, accommodation, transport, flights, visas and a monthly allowance. Trainees learn and experience hands-on horsemanship, business management, leadership, international bloodstock, breeding and racing in the global thoroughbred industry, with phases in Ireland, Britain, the US, Australia, and Dubai.

The course is accredited by University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Business School.

2024-’26 trainees: Matthew Browne (Ireland), Megan Bulbulia (Ireland), Caroline Bunch (USA), Matthew Daubeney (UK), Ivanna Dempsey (Ireland), Rachael Doody (Ireland), Grace Hamilton (USA), Adam Holland (UK), Luke Kevin (Ireland), Gabrielle Nebout (France), Tereza Pavlu (Czech Republic) and Antoine Rozan (France)

Death of ‘handicap king’

FORMER trainer Reg Akehurst has died, aged 94. From Folkestone, he trained at various locations throughout his 35-year career but is chiefly associated with Epsom. He trained under both codes and had winners at the top level both on the flat and over jumps, but is mainly remembered for his skill in placing horses to win valuable handicaps such as the Ebor and Wokingham.

Extra NH meeting

A TOTAL of 231 entries have been made for next Tuesday afternoon’s additional National Hunt meeting at Punchestown. The all-hurdle race card starts at 2.28pm. The ground was described as ‘good to firm (watering)’ at entries stage.

PTP Awards tickets

THIS year’s point-to-point awards will be presented at the Newpark Hotel in Kilkenny on Saturday, June 8th. Tickets, priced at €65 plus handling fee, can be purchased directly from the website. Guests who wish to stay overnight in the hotel are advised to book their accommodation without delay by calling 056-7760500. A special room rate of €185 (includes breakfast) is available by quoting booking reference 902820.

King Of Steel setback

KING Of Steel will miss his key summer targets after suffering a setback during training. Amo Racing’s Champion Stakes hero had been building towards his impending return in Sandown’s Brigadier Gerard Stakes next week, a run that it was hoped would tee-up a return to Royal Ascot for the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. ”

Arabian Crown injury

GODOLPHIN’S impressive Sandown Classic Trial winner Arabian Crown will miss the Derby. A dual Group 3 winner, the Dubawi colt was as low as 4/1 for the Epsom classic. On Friday morning Godolphin posted on social media: “Unfortunately Arabian Crown will miss the Derby due to a setback. He will now be aimed at a late summer campaign.”

IEVA Conference date

THE Irish Equine Veterinary Association will hold its 2024 Conference from Thursday to Saturday, November 7th-9th, at the Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny. Further information is available from Kerry Ryan on or by calling 087-1335319.

Townend loses appeal

PAUL Townend will miss most of next week’s racing as he lost his appeal against a four-day suspension he received at Punchestown for a careless riding incident on State Man in the closing stages of the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.

Hogan awarded race

THE Appeals Panel has amended the result of a handicap hurdle run at Down Royal on Monday, May 6th. First past the post was the Gavin Cromwell-trained Tell Us This, almost two lengths clear of Benjis Benefit. The runner-up, trained by Denis Hogan and ridden by Aidan Kelly, was short of room in the closing stages and has been awarded the race.

Stable Staff meeting

THE Irish Stable Staff Association will stage an extraordinary general meeting in the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge, next Friday at 7pm.