IHRB set to spend €350k on outsourced betting monitoring service

Irish racing’s regulatory body tender for four-year commercial package

 

Irish racing’s regulatory body expects to appoint an outside organisation to help monitor betting trends and investigate rule breaches within the next three months.

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) has put out to tender a four-year commercial package estimated to cost €350,000 which it hopes will boost its investigations into any breaches of the betting rules.

IHRB chief executive Denis Egan has said the procurement will be completed within the next three months.

The move follows in the footsteps of other sports organisations around the world which have employed sports betting monitoring companies to help in relation to match-fixing and suspicious betting patterns.

“We are outsourcing an element of our function,” Egan explained. “It’s the same as using a third-party service provider to provide the laboratory, or to provide camera pictures. This will be a monitoring service.”

Companies that collect and analyse sports data, such as the Swiss-based Sportrader have become more high-profile in recent years and are used by organisations such as Fifa and the NFL.

The IHRB already has memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with principal betting operators to allow it receive information . However, changes in betting markets has resulted in a review which identified where the body’s current capabilities could be improved.

MOUs’ will continue to be used by the IHRB and Egan added: “The tender is seeking a service to centralise the current monitoring and analysis of betting markets and trends in respect of Irish racing and using available external expertise to do so in an efficient manner.”

Punchestown week begins on Monday with a flat fixture at nearby Naas which sees the cross-channel raider Intense Romance line up for the Listed Woodlands Stakes.

Durham-based trainer Michael Dods enjoyed Group One sprinting success with last year’s Abbaye heroine Mabs Cross and Intense Romance looks another high-class mare.

She won her final three starts of 2018 including a pair of Listed contests at Ayr and Ascot which gives her an official rating of 104.

That makes her a major player against a nine-strong home team led by last year’s winner Primo Uomo.

Co Meath-based trainer Sheila Lavery is targeting classic glory with her €12,000 yearling purchase Lady Kaya in next Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket. She will look for a pre-classic boost from Breaking Story at Naas.

Last August’s Curragh maiden winner has his own classic entry in next month’s Irish 2,000 Guineas so the prospect of him lining up in a mile handicap off a mark of 93 looks interesting.

Jack Yeats was beaten a nose by Buckhurst on his first start of the year at Leopardstown and should prove tough to beat in the concluding maiden.

Miracles In May was also runner-up on his first outing of 2019 at Tipperary last Thursday. Mark Cahill’s runner raced notably well through that nine-furlong contest so a drop back to a mile, and a stall two draw, can help make him a leading contender in the first leg of the divided handicap.

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