No female allowance in Ireland

The Turf Club does not intend to replicate French racing by introducing a weight allowance for female jockeys in Ireland.

Katie Walsh celebrates after guiding Thunder And Roses to victory in the Irish Grand National.

France Galop has unveiled plans to introduce a 2kg (4.5lb) allowance for female jockeys in most races run across the Channel, both on the Flat and over jumps.

Although Listed and Group races will be exempt, France Galop said the move will cover around 90 per cent of the French programme as the ruling body attempts to increase opportunities for female riders.

But Turf Club chief executive Denis Egan told the Irish Times: "There are no plans to replicate it.

"There is a European doctors' meeting at the end of February, where I'd imagine it will be up for discussion.

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"There will also be an international conference in relation to jockeys' health, safety and welfare, which I chair, at the end of October, where it will be discussed, too.

"But it's not on our agenda at the moment."

The Irish Jockeys Association described the move in France as potentially "discriminatory" again male jockeys.

IJA spokesman Andrew Coonan said: "I can't see that being brought in here.

"It's anti-competitive and any male jockey would be entitled to feel it is discriminatory against him.

"Legislatively, I would imagine there would be significant difficulty with it."

However, impressive Irish conditional jockey Rachel Blackmore told the Irish Times: "If anyone's going to give me an allowance, I'm not going to say no."

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