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JRA Turns Down Sheikh Mohammed Licence
Meanwhile despite the fact "Sheikh Mohammed owns a rapidly growing breeding operation in Japan, he can't get an owner's licence from the Japan Racing Association even though he has tried for years," reported bloodhorse.com. "The latest turndown, which came recently, has been a hot topic this week during the JRHA sale at Northern Horse Park". Dr Riki Takahashi (who oversees Sheikh Mohammed's Darley Japan venture) commented: "The boss said: Just keep going to show them. We have done many things here to support the industry. There is no reason to stop." Takahashi also confirmed reports the JRA had said "financial" reasons were why it denied Sheikh Mohammed's request for a licence & Takahashi declared the explanation "ridiculous." Irishman Harry Sweeney (who owns Paca Paca Farm & is a JRA licence-holder) commented: "I'm surprised with the result & I'm disappointed. We need another big player in this industry. It would be better for everybody. There is not a lot of competition here. There is only one show (the Yoshida family's multi-farm operation). Darley are big contributors to the industry in every country they operate, & personally I think they will do the same for Japan. Ultimately, if they have a licence in the future, Northern Farm, Shadai Farm, Oiwake Farm, Paca Paca Farm & numerous other farms will be better off."