Horse racing: Dalgleish hits a 55-year high

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KEITH Dalgleish has reached the highest tally by a Scottish Flat trainer for 55 years after recording a 33-1 treble at Wolverhampton.

Chookie Hamilton, Lucy Bee and Corton Lad saw his total for 2012 soar to 51 – two more than Ian Semple’s 2006 score but eight shy of the tartan record set by Dunbar’s George Boyd in 1957 when there was no all-weather racing and a less congested 
fixture list.

The former jockey, currently on a family holiday on the Isle Of Skye, only started training from his Carluke base last year when he saddled a very respectable 39 winners.

Dalgleish said: “It’s great news but I’m not one for setting targets. I would have settled for ten winners in my first year and this time I’d have been happy with what we had last season!

“I didn’t think we would have had as many this year as we started off with the same horses as last season but we stepped up the pace when new ones arrived. I thought 50 was possible when we had a treble a few weeks ago but I’ll probably take the foot off the gas a little now and just run what needs to be run rather than keep going flat out.

“That total of George Boyd’s is unbelievable considering there were no motorways or all-weather and a lot less racing in general. It will take some beating, but you never know.”

It wasn’t such a good day for Dalgleish’s fellow Scot, Ian Mongan, who was suspended for seven days (17-22 December and 26 December) for using his whip above the permitted level at Kempton.

At Plumpton, Noel Fehily struck on his only two rides for a double in contrasting fashion. While Pendra’s victory at odds-on was expected, fencing debutant Opening Batsman was the 20-1 rank outsider of six for the Jill’s Big Birthday Beginners’ Chase.

Fehily kept his powder dry aboard the latter until pouncing approaching the final fence and going on to defeat Hawkes Point by three-quarters of a length and continue a fine start to Harry Fry’s training career.

Meanwhile, Frankie Dettori faces a six-month ban from riding when the stewards of France Galop meet in Paris today.

The Italian tested positive for a prohibited substance at Longchamp on 16 September, and last month the medical commission of the French racing authority passed its findings to the stewards for their consideration.

Dettori was temporarily suspended from riding in France with immediate effect on medical grounds, and his solicitor, Christopher Stewart-Moore, issued a statement saying the 41-year-old accepted their conclusions “without reservation”.

The jockey had four rides at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe trials meeting on 16 September, after which the sample was returned. Dettori made the headlines in October when his 18-year association with powerful owners Godolphin came to an end, with the three-times champion jockey planning to ride as a freelance in 2013.

Any ban could be recognised by racing jurisdictions worldwide.