Biancone clinches job in America
PATRICK Biancone has officially started his new job in America.
The flamboyant Frenchman, whose training career here effectively ended when he was suspended for 10 months after the first day of the present season, will run owner Frank Stronach's racing operation.
Biancone had originally hoped to train in New York, but he has decided to take the job as Stronach's racing manager instead.
The top American owner has horses with numerous trainers in and outside the States.
At a press conference just after the suspension was handed down for positive swabs to Whytellyou and Rickfield, Biancone stressed that he wished to continue training.
But now it would seem he has shelved those plans for the near future.
Biancone trained horses in Hong Kong for a decade and is married to the former Miss Hong Kong Elaine Sung. He signed a one-year contract with Stronach last month and is currently at the owner's farm in Florida.
He is overseeing the development of 10 unraced juveniles and will spend additional time evaluating Stronach's entire juvenile crop.
Apparently, there are no immediate plans for Biancone, twice a winner of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp, to train Stronach's horses.
'I'll do what my boss asks me to,' he said. 'It's been my dream all this time to be in the States.
'When you change jobs like this, you never get bored. I like this job. It's very interesting to be involved with the leading owner in the US, maybe the world.' Biancone has never been one to talk down anything in which he's involved but the last comment might raise a few eyebrows in the Middle East and England.
And it will surely be no surprise if, come the end of June, he doesn't move into a job he does well - training.
Quietly-spoken young Irish rider Pat Smullen is likely to apply for a one-month extension to his licence which expires at the end of this month.
Smullen, first jockey to Dermot Weld on The Curragh, was brought in at virtually 24 hours notice when Alan Munro was suspended for two months at the end of November.
Smullen has now ridden two winners from 38 rides and is being used by an increasing number of trainers.
He said: 'I would only be going back to Ireland in February because there is no racing for us until that time.
'I am thinking about putting in for an extension. It takes a bit of getting used to but people are friendly and I am learning more about it all every day.' Given the gaps freshly appearing in the jockeys' ranks, Smullen may well have a chance should he decide on an application.
The script went awry at Rosehill yesterday when the eagerly awaited return of the brilliant Darren Beadman did not produce a hoped-for winner.
Beadman, the best jockey out of Australia in a couple of decades, finished second twice from his first book of five rides.
The one-time Hong Kong-based rider paid an emotional farewell to racing two years ago when he decided to concentrate on bible studies and religious works.
But his return to the saddle did not come as a complete surprise when he announced it in the second half of last year.
Rosehill was swamped with television crews. There were live broadcasts around Australia and the thousands on course were willing Beadman to ride a winner.
He finished third in the opening event, fittingly the Beadman's Back Handicap, finished unplaced on his second ride, second in his third race, unplaced and, finally, second on a joint favourite in his last race.
There were only 23,257 on course at Sha Tin yesterday for the 10-event card but it is scarcely surprising.
It was as mundane a card as we have seen in quite some time and it was, of course, the fourth in seven days.
Turnover held up, however, with $1.19 billion going through the totalisator. Clearly, computer teams notwithstanding, it is simply easier to bet from home.
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