Congratulations to the organizers of European Jockeys’ Cup day. Despite the worst efforts of the virus, the meeting took place, and towards the end of the afternoon, rather surprisingly, the sun came out from behind thick clouds. French jockey Vincent Cheminaud smiled and said nice words as he accepted the trophy.
The 6th annual European Jockeys’ Cup meeting is due to be held on Sunday, October 4th at Prague Velká Chuchle racecourse. Nine jockeys from 8 countries have been nominated for the competition.
The raceday scheduled at Bratislava racecourse for September 19th has been cancelled because of an abrupt change in the rules for Czechs travelling to Slovakia. The new rules state that Czechs crossing the border into Slovakia must now present a negative covid-19 test certificate not more than 72 hours old. As many Czech-trained horses were entered for the races, and in particular because 60% of the already-declared riders were Czech-based, the organizers decided that the best option was to cancel the event.
Trainer Gordon Elliot has informed James Fry of IRB that Out Sam, the only Irish-trained horse entered for this year's Velka Pardubicka, is a non-runner. Due to the coronavirus situation, the complications connected with attempting to send a horse over this year are simply too great. Gordon Elliot says that he hopes to be able to send horses over to Pardubice in future years.
Just one week after announcing his impending retirement, Jan Rája rode two winners to complete his 500 winners on the flat, in addition to 14 winners over fences earlier in his career. 500 winners on the flat, almost all of them in the Czech Republic or in Slovakia, is a tremendous lifetime achievement by Jan. Well done!