MARCKIE’S WATER & ASHLEYLUVSSUGAR TANGLE AGAIN IN SATURDAY’S GRADE II, $200,000 CHARLES WHITTINGHAM STAKES AT 1 ¼ MILES ON TURF CALIFORNIA-BRED TANDEM LOOM LARGE IN RACE THAT HONORS ‘BALD EAGLE’ ARCADIA, Calif. (May 23, 2019)–Separated by one length when last they met, talented California-breds Marckie’s Water and Ashleyluvssugar will square off again in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Charles Whittingham Stakes at a mile and one quarter over the Santa Anita turf.Trained by Richard Baltas, Marckie’s Water rallied to win a mile and one eighth turf allowance by a half-length here on April 28 and at age five, will be seeking his first graded stakes win.Although winless in his last 11 starts dating back to a victory in the 2017 Whittingham, 8-year-old Ashleyluvssugar, a multiple stakes winning earner of more than $1.4 million, pressed the pace and stayed gamely to be third, beaten one length by Marckie’s Water on April 28 and will hope to win his third Whittingham Stakes on Saturday with veteran Brice Blanc back aboard.Named for the legendary late Hall of Fame trainer, Saturday’s Charles Whittingham honors a true American racing icon. Known affectionately as the “Bald Eagle,” Charlie Whittingham, who died at the age of 86 on April 20, 1999, won the race’s precursor, the Hollywood Invitational Handicap, a record seven times, beginning in 1970 with Fidle Isle and ending in 1987, with Rivlia.MARCKIE’S WATEROwner: Little Red Feather Racing & Norman TavaresTrainer: Richard BaltasA winner of five out of his 17 career starts, this 5-year-old full horse by Tribal Rule will be making his fourth graded stakes appearance on Saturday. A close fourth in the Grade II, mile and one half Hollywood Turf Cup four starts back at Del Mar on Nov. 23, 2018, he was ridden for the first time by Tiago Pereira in his April 28 allowance win and appears at the peak of his powers, as his 93 Beyer Speed figure nearly matched his career best of 94, which he achieved in the Hollywood Turf Cup. A winner of one of his two starts at a mile and one quarter on turf, Marckie’s Water looks like the horse to beat.ASHLEYLUVSSUGAROwner: Sharon Alesia, Bran Jam Stable & Ciaglia Racing, LLC Trainer: Peter EurtonManaged to perfection over seven racing seasons by Eurton, this 8-year-old Game Plan gelding seeks his third win in the Whittingham, his first coming at the tender age of four in 2015. Attentive to the pace under Blanc in his most recent start, look for “Ashley” to be on or near the lead Saturday as he bids for his third win from four tries at a mile and one quarter on turf. A five-time graded stakes winner, Ashleyluvssugar is 33-10-6-5 overall, with earnings of $1,446,583.THE GRADE II CHARLES WHITTINGHAM WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDERRace 7 of 10 Approximate post time 4 p.m. PT Prime Attraction–Kent Desormeaux–121Morse Code–Edwin Maldonado–121 Marckie’s Water–Tiago Pereira–121Ya Gotta Wanna–Aaron Gryder–121United–Flavien Prat–121Tizzarunner–Drayden Van Dyke–121Ashleyluvssugar–Brice Blanc–121First post time for a 10-race card that will also include the Grade II Triple Bend Stakes and the Grade III Daytona Stakes, is at 1 p.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
The Court of Appeal has ruled that male employees taking shared parental leave cannot be compared to female staff on maternity leave, because new mothers are required to use their time off, in part, to recover from pregnancy and childbirth.The Court of Appeal issued its judgement on Friday 24 May 2019, dismissing appeals in two sex discrimination cases: Ali v Capita Customer Management and The Chief Constable of Leicestershire Police v Anthony Hextall. Both cases questioned whether it is unlawful sex discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 for men to be paid less on shared parental leave than woman on maternity leave.In the case of Ali, he sought to take shared parental leave at the same rate of pay as a female employee would have had if taking the organisation’s enhanced maternity leave.Ali’s employment was transferred from Telefonica to Capita in 2013, therefore his parental leave entitlement was determined by Telefonica’s policies; this dictated that new mothers would receive full pay for the first 14 weeks of their maternity leave and then the lower statutory rate for the remainder. Shared parental leave and pay, on the other hand, mirrored statutory arrangements. Ali argued that this was unlawful direct discrimination on the basis of sex.Hextall’s case regards unlawful indirect discrimination. Hextall is employed as a police constable at Leicestershire Police Force; its maternity policy entitles new mothers to receive 18 weeks of maternity leave at full pay, while the shared parental leave provision is the same as statutory arrangements.Hextall alleged that the policy of only remunerating shared parental leave at the statutory level caused a particular disadvantage to men and was therefore unlawful indirect sex discrimination. The Chief Constable’s cross appeal asserted, however, that Hextall’s claim is one for equal terms.The Court of Appeal dismissed both appeals. It identified that for Ali’s claim to succeed, he must have been treated less favourably than a female employee and the comparison is valid only if there is no material difference between him and the female employee. Ali cannot be compared to a woman on maternity leave, as under the Equality Act, maternity leave is provided to new mothers to assist in their physical and psychological recovery from pregnancy and childbirth. The court labelled a female employee on shared parental leave as the correct comparator, where there is no difference in pay.That women are afforded special treatment and legal protections to recover after the birth is also why Hextall’s appeal was dismissed.Beverley Sunderland, managing director at Crossland Employment Solicitors, said: “[While] the Court of Appeal decision may at first appear to be very unfair, the practical outcome of it is a positive one. If the court had held that statutory paternity pay should be enhanced for men then the likely outcome would have been [organisations] withdrawing enhanced maternity pay, so that they did not have to match it.“The Court of Appeal has emphasised that maternity leave is not there for the care of the child, but the health and protection of the mother, to deal with the trauma of having a child. It is for this reason that maternity leave can start before the baby is born and why women are able to take maternity leave even in the sad circumstances of them losing the child. Therefore, maternity leave and shared parental leave cannot be compared.“They have accepted the decision of the [Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT)] that it cannot possibly be direct sex discrimination because men and women taking shared parental leave are treated equally.”Khurram Shamsee, partner and head of employment team, London at DAC Beachcroft, added: “The business impact of this case is limited, as most employers have taken a ‘wait and see’ approach pending this decision. I am surprised that the courts allowed these cases to get this far as, in my view, the merits of the claims were questionable.“Consider for a moment if the judgment had gone in their favour, and men were entitled to the same terms on shared parental pay as women are on maternity pay. It could have brought about the unintended consequence of employers making the business decision to shift away from offering enhanced maternity pay packages and scaling back towards the statutory minimum. Clearly such a consequence would be contrary to the intention of introducing shared parental leave, namely to allow for both parents to juggle their childcare and work commitments in a more flexible way.”