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I've considered many and varied ways of making money gambling on horse racing. Some have felt like pinning the tail on the donkey. I'm sure the commentator got confused at one point and called my selection Eyeore (it's an obvious mistake).
How do you find that elusive way to win at the races? I mean, we all want to be wiser gamblers and put a few quid in our velcro man purse. Betting should be a considered pursuit of wit and wisdom. Well, at least, the wisdom part.
Have you ever noticed that most bookmakers price horses by the general average of the horse trainer? It's no surprise to see a Sir Micheal Stoute horse fancied in the betting compared with let's say Neville Bycroft when he trained back in the day. The former would be priced 6/4f while the latter 50/1.
I'm sure that was Eyeore!
Both trainers had their days. Even the smallest stables find a good horse if they train long enough and rightfully so. I always cheer on the underdog. ''Get in, Fido!''
I have researched two-year-old horse racing for many years. It is my niche. I don't mind staying, I know more about this ''field'' of horse racing than anyone I have ever met. And I have researched each and every two-year-old horse trainer for both strength and weakness.
By understanding horse trainers you are one step closer to landing a big bet.
Because most punters don't have the slightest understanding of how trainers work. What makes them tick? If they have a decent horse, where will they race it? What kind of betting guide suggests whether it will win or lose?
If you are reading these words and don't have any idea about any given trainer, then you are missing a vital piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
Here are 3 pieces of information which will help you find a winner or miss a loser.
1) Michael Dods
He is one of those trainers who can win with a debutant two-year-old at big odds. In fact, he does it every season. His horses seem to go best on testing ground conditions and strangely have more hope of winning at a speculative price than a favourite. His two-year-old debutants have very good place claims at huge odds. Don't believe me, follow them for a season at courses such as Ayr, Ripon or Beverley and you will put some money in your pocket.
2) Archie Watson
Certain horse trainers prime their two-year-olds to blast from the stalls like an Exocet missile. That's how I see Archie Watson. Now, you want to keep an eye on the betting market with his debutantes because it is usually telling. If priced 11/4 and less sp on their racecourse bow, I'd expect a big run.
3) Karl Burke
One of my favourite horse trainers from Spigott Lodge. He is a very talented trainer who can win with two-year-olds on their first or second start. I particularly look for them running at Carlisle because of his love of this course. He targets this place like Eric Bristow use to hit the bullseye. A master at work.
When betting, remember the horse is only as good as its trainer.
There will be no talk about the love of horses here, but the appreciation of their very important saddles. If you just got a horse for the sake of riding it or you’re thinking of changing your saddle, then this article might help you make an informed decision.
Firstly, you need to understand that there are various types of horse saddles out there. Each of them has been designed for specific purposes. Some are good for pleasure riding, while others offer advantages for sports, longer journeys, and so on. What will be left is for you to know the one that suits your needs.
About Horse Saddles
A horse saddle is a seat-like structure that is fastened to a horse’s back by a girth in order to support the rider or load being conveyed. It’s known as the most common type of animal saddles. Other less common ones are for camels, oxen, donkeys, and so on. This specialized seat is used for protection, support, padding, comfort, and balance.
Blankets attached by a kind of girth or surcingle were considered to be the earliest forms of saddles. The designs became more and more advanced after that. The parts of this product may include the objects listed below:
Seat Pommel (Pomnel)/Swells
Leathers and Flaps or Fenders
Girth or Cinch
Panels, Lining, or Padding
In modern times, there are two common types of equestrian seats used for riding in the Western world. They are the “stock” and English saddle. For the stock types, the most popular are the American western saddles. The Australian stock types are second on the list.
This type is used all over the world, not only in England. They are the official products used in the Olympics. The major feature that most people use to identify this product is its flatter appearance. To people who don’t know much about saddles, all products of similar design look the same.
English types include various styles that are used for polo, eventing/horse trials, horse racing, show jumping, dressage, hunt seat, saddle seat, and so on. The “tree” is one of the parts that buyers use to check for the quality of a product. Nowadays, manufacturers are utilizing other materials other than wood for the tree.
The western types under this category are made for use in various western riding activities. They are the ones that you see at rodeos, tourist trail rides, or in movies about cowboys. These types of seats have no padding of their own, therefore, they are used with pads or saddle blankets in order to fit the horse.
Horse-riding is considered a fun activity and can be a good stress reliever. Saddles used for pleasure rides are made with soft, padded seats for the sake of comfort.
Products for show jumping are lightweight in order for the horses to jump more easily. The seats are also soft and padded. It would help the horse if the seats have padded panels for the sake of comfort.
A horse barrel racing saddle may have reinforcement for the stirrups to make the seats extra safe while riding. It should be lightweight so that the horse can have more freedom during competitions or while running.
For long journeys, it is advisable to go for products that have padded seats for the sake of comfort.
Buying a horse for the sake of riding it means that you need to find the right saddle that will suit you and the horse. You need to consider the product’s manufacturer, quality of materials, and purpose too.
Here in 2019, the Sport of Kings is more popular and lucrative than it has been so far this decade. A number of famous meetings have increased their prize money this year, the internet is opening up the sport to more and more people across the world, and the industry itself is embracing technology to ensure that horses and riders can perform in peak condition for as long as possible.
Horse racing is one of the oldest spectator sports still carried out to this day and, as such, we’re really spoilt for choice when it comes to iconic racecourses to visit. But out of all the many courses that can be found in almost every global nation, which ones are still reigning supreme as the greatest in the world?
l’Hippodrome de Longchamp - France
Situated on the photogenic banks of the Seine River, the Longchamp racecourse in Paris is actually a 140-acre complex, which houses a number of tracks measuring between 1000 and 4000 meters in length. It was first opened in 1857 and although it’s currently undergoing renovations to update the original grandstands, it still remains the pinnacle of European racecourses. It is, of course, known for being the home of the most prestigious and richest race in this corner of the world - the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Santa Anita Park - California
The state of California has long been a place that has inspired people from all walks of life to live their dreams, so it's fitting that the U.S's best racecourse is located here. Although Santa Anita racecourse has hit the headlines recently for equine mortalities, it undoubtedly remains one of the most revered and renowned courses in the world. It’s also one of the most picturesque, thanks to the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains and its original Art Deco grandstand, which can accommodate 26000 spectators.
Aintree - United Kingdom The UK is home to some of the most prestigious racecourses in the history of the sport - Ascot, Cheltenham and Goodwood would all be worthy of inclusion on this list. However, there’s one track that really has come to define modern British horse racing - Aintree, home of the legendary Grand National. Situated near Liverpool, the Aintree racetrack is one of the oldest on this list having been built in 1829. Every year in April it welcomes the most fearless runners and riders from across Europe, as they test themselves against such iconic fences as Beecher’s Brook, The Chair and the Canal Turn.
Meydan’s sprawling grandstand
Meydan - Dubai
Meydan may be the new kid on the block, having replaced Dubai’s former racecourse Nad Al Sheba in 2010, but boy has it made an impact. With its mile-long grandstand, a five-star hotel and rooftop infinity pool, Meydan is heralding in a new and luxurious era for horse racing. For the past 9 years, it has hosted the Grade 1 Dubai World Cup - another of the world’s richest races - and this year the total prize money has been increased to an eye-watering $35 million, with the winner of the Cup itself set to pocket $7.2 million.
Flemington Racecourse - Australia
Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne has been in use since the city itself was just five years old and is the oldest racecourse in Australia, having been completed in 1840. The course itself has been revamped and renovated in recent years and is once again at its full grandeur from the days of the “race that stops a nation”, the world-famous Melbourne Cup.
Laytown Races - Ireland
This unique racecourse may not be a year-round venue like the others on this list, however, there's no doubt that Laytown Races has provided the sport with some truly memorable races in the 150 years that its been in use. Each year, this stretch of sand near Dublin is transformed into Europe’s only officially-recognised beach race. It attracts thousands of spectators and visitors every year who are keen to see top racehorses battling it out along the Irish coast, but within a matter of hours, the track disappears as the tide comes in and the sand dune grandstand is washed away.
Photo: Aintree: Paul Meydan source: Yousif Al Mula
Racheal Blackmore, aged just twenty-nine has achieved a lot as a female jockey and having ridden some ninety winners, she certainly makes it look easy, but it is anything but. BlackBook.com.au is looking into her as a person.
Born in Co Tipperary in a town called Killenaule, she has taken the horse racing world by storm, not only winning ninety plus races but also picking up a win earlier this year at the historic Cheltenham Festival, back in March. She might have ended the race tired and splattered with mud, much like her horse for that race ‘A Plus Tard’ but she knows it was something that every jockey dreams about.
She turned professional back in 2015. The first time that a woman has done so since Maria Cullen did back in the eighties. Since then she has been breaking the mould with historic wins at every turn. She even managed a win at the Conditional Riders Championship in 2017, making her the first women ever to do so. She has also followed that up by setting a single-season record for most wins in one season, which placed her as a champion jockey in the National Hunt season, where she finished second only to Paul Townend.
When she is not racing, she has become a bit of a fashion model as a sports brand ambassador for Kildare Village and has recently done a photoshoot for them at the famous Curragh Racecourse in Co Kildare. The iconic racecourse is boasting of having just finished a €17M refurbishment to bring its facilities right up to date, with some of the best features in the world — something to mirror the world-class racing that takes place at the track.
Even while modelling, she is very calm and collected and in control of what she wants to do. An example of this came up when the photographer on the shoot noticed that she was nursing an injury and asked her about it, only for her to respond by saying “[its] just a broken nose, collarbone and wrist – not much” Only someone with great awareness and composure could answer with such an air of nonchalance. She is aware of what can happen while riding though and went on to say “I don’t think about injury. If you start thinking about what could go wrong, it is not the job for you,”
She knows that the sport can be dangerous for jockeys and horses alike. At the Cheltenham Gold Cup this year, she knows that seven horses lost their lives, and she is also aware of fellow jockeys that have suffered extensive injuries, she mentions the former Gold Cup Winner Robbie McNamara. He now uses a wheelchair to get around after having had an accident on the track. She also talks about fellow jockey Joseph O’Brien, of whom, she says “He is now training and says he gets more enjoyment from training than riding, and that tells you something about working day to day. The jockey just rocks up for the glory of the day a lot of the time.”
Archie Watson shook off his rookie status faster than a horse up the gallops. In truth, he wasn't wet behind the ears. Fair enough, you need a winner to train a winner. But he's made a real impact since taking charge of Saxon Gate, Upper Lambourn.
I saw a quote on Twitter which went like this: ''Archie Watson is making a name for just training two-year-old winners.''
I don't like being critical of other's comments, but I thought it was a ridiculous statement. I've never trained a horse, but I know from being involved within horse racing for many years that it is incredibly difficult to train one winner. Take a look at your average horse trainer and you will find the statistics tell the story. Even accomplished trainers have seasons where the sweet taste of success turns distinctly sour.
Anyway, each to their own.
Archie Watson has shown his worth as a trainer of two-year-old colts, geldings and fillies. This year's Flat turf season 2019 has seen a string of talents flying the flag for owners big and small.
Here's a quick rundown of his best two-year-olds this season. You will notice they are all winners.
Lady Kermit Execlusive Electric Ladyland Littledidyouknow War Storm Exclusively Guildsman (entered for Coventry Stakes)
All won on debut bar War Storm, who put that blip to rights with a tidy victory on his second start at York.
With Royal Ascot 2019 starting on Tuesday 18th June, it will be intriguing to see which juveniles go where (i.e which race)
A list of the two-year-old races at Royal Ascot 2019
Summer is here, and in years gone by, that meant something of a lull in the racing and betting season. Sure, there are still some high-profile flat races on the horizon like the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot, but the next National Hunt season seems an eternity away.
However, in the digital age, the world of sport has become a smaller place. For those who like betting on the football, for example, the end of the European season more or less coincides with the start of Major League Soccer in the USA, and online bookmakers provide odds and different betting options on games regardless of the league or the country where the sporting action is taking place. The bookies have become more international in nature, assessing the odds and form of different teams in different leagues across the globe to meet the requirements of worldwide sports betting customer base.
The same applies to the world or racing. Global networking deals along with online streaming mean that distance is no object, and similarly, bookmakers provide a range of odds and even some betting tips for meetings across the world. Here are some racing events that are big news in their home countries and are well worth a look, and indeed a bet, over the remainder of 2019.
Baden Baden Spring Festival
The spa town of Baden Baden is one of the most popular tourist locations in Germany. Its casinos have always made it popular with gamblers – this is the place where Dostoyevsky literally lost his shirt. It is also the venue for the country’s biggest horse racing events, and its racecourse is known as the “Royal Ascot of Germany.” The Spring Festival will take place over six days, starting on 29 May. There is more than a touch of the Cheltenham feel to the event, with each day having very different themes.
The Belmont Stakes
Think of American horse racing and you will probably think first of the “blink and you miss it” Kentucky Derby. For those more accustomed to horse racing in the UK and Ireland, the Belmont Stakes seems slightly less frantic, as it is run over a distance of 12 furlongs. Last year marked the event’s 150th anniversary, and Justify made it a year to remember, by adding victory here to wins in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, thereby winning the American Triple Crown.
The Melbourne Cup
The Australians love their horse racing, and there are several major meetings throughout the year. The biggest event of them all, however, is the Melbourne Cup, held every year at Flemington racecourse. With a history going back more than 150 years, it is an event that is steeped in tradition, and the list of winners includes legends such as Phar Lap, Think Big and Makybe Diva. This year’s race will take place on 05 November.
The Hong Kong Cup
This might not have the long history of some events – the first Hong Kong Cup took place in 1988 – but it is nevertheless one of the most prestigious Group 1 races on the international calendar. It is open to entrants from around the world, and its HK$25 million purse (about £2.5 million) is the highest of any 2,000-metre race in the world. This year, it will take place on Sunday 08 December.
I know what you are thinking - there are literally thousands across the globe. Where would you go racing?
I guess most people - if given a choice - would plump for the high fashion of Royal Ascot with its pomp and ceremony, top hats and tails [mourning suits] and ladies dressed up to the nines. What more could any lady ask than high heels, champagne, and winner or two?
If you are searching for something spectacular then look no further than St Moritz in Switzerland. Forget the green grass of home, this is called White Turf. Racing takes place in an alpine setting where horses, many sent from the United Kingdom, race on the frozen lake St. Moritz which is covered with snow. Make no mistake it's cold but a unique, exclusive and top-class race meeting. It's a tradition which dates back to 1906. If you fancy a winter flutter then I suggest St Moritz every February.
Perhaps you want somewhere a bit closer to home. You love the beach. OK!!!! So you want to go to a horse racing meeting on the beach? Surprisingly, I've got just the place. Did you know that Laytown racecourse is unique as it is the only Irish and English race event to be run on a beach under the rules of the Turf Club? This famous meeting takes place in County Meath, Ireland. It was first raced in 1868.
Thinking about racecourses, I can't help but wonder if there is an exotic location with a racecourse - but somewhere you wouldn't really imagine racing taking place. I've found just the location.
We've ventured to Royal Ascot, St Moritz & Laytown. But let's go further afield, far away from Europe. A holiday destination. It lies between the Caribean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Any guesses? Leeward Island. Getting warmer. Think Christopher Columbus. It's Antigua and Barbuda. Take a look here to enjoy the best that Antigua has to offer holidaymakers.
Antigua horse racing. It's a beautiful holiday destination famous for its luxury resorts. If you love horse racing then you are unlikely to see anything like Cassada Gardens Horse Racetrack. It is situated next to Mount Pleasant and located in Saint George, Antigua and Barbuda. Take a look at this video from the Antigua Turf Club. It's far from the splendour of the luxury resorts but it's racing.
While they are keen to reassure us that they do not consider gene doping to be a current issue, it seems that the British Horseracing Authority has significant concerns to the tune of £1m which it has added to an international pot to ensure that the practice does not find its way into the sport as bonusbets.com reports.
Gene doping is basically the term used to cover the science of gene manipulation for the sole purpose of enhancing performance. Obviously breeders have been using the practices of natural selection for years and explicitly breeding their best examples of racing horses to create new thoroughbred lines that are even better, but until now actually manipulating genes in a lab is something we have not seen.
Less than a decade ago the idea was touted as future development, and now the know-how exists to make it a reality. Keen to keep the industry free from what would essentially be cheating there is an international team working on staying ahead of the potential threat. As they are keen to reinforce there is no danger right now, but if it were to find its way into the sport the consequences could be disastrous, and this is not something the industry wants and has global commitment to prevent.
The money will be used for various things including research as the Chief Regulatory Officers, Brant Dunshea explains. “Late last year we were in discussion with our laboratories, who said that we need to be part of international collaboration on gene doping to ensure that we are not globally duplicating work. Across six or seven countries, we are all working together to do various pieces of the jigsaw puzzle on gene doping. There’s no specific evidence that we’re aware of in relation to there being genetic manipulation that’s happening, but we haven’t done the research yet to be able to develop the techniques to be able to monitor it, so that’s what this research is all about.”
This initiative will offer reassurance to trainers and breeders, the majority of whom would not want to see the sport polluted in this way. David Sykes, the British Horseracing Authority’s director of equine health and welfare explained how technology could undermine the competition and create issues. “This is new technology that is unravelling all the time. None of us here think that there has probably been a previous incidence of it, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be looking forward into the next five or 10 years and at least being able to identify if it is going to occur. For example, you could send in the material which would alter the EPO [erythropoietin] receptor site, to allow an animal to produce increased levels of EPO naturally [and increase the blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity]. That could be expanded to anything else. For example, you could target muscle mass and increasing it, or at some point talk about circulatory systems, increasing blood supply or even cardiac muscle size by genetically altering the DNA sequence.”
Horse racing has received some pretty bad press lately, and there is a growing concern among animal rights activists that the sport is cruel. The Santa Anita racecourse in California has been caught up in a long and stressful battle as over 20 horses have died at the track this year. FreeTips.com looks at the situation and what steps the American side of the industry is taking to improve standards.
Here in the UK, along with the rest of Europe, Australia and Hong Kong, there are some very specific rules governing the use of medication on race days. This has decreased the number of fatalities at the track right across the board, and therefore the evidence suggests it is a valuable move. At the moment the same rulings do not apply to American horse racing, and pressure is mounting to get things changed quickly.
Three tracks play host to the Triple Crown races, and they have created a coalition over the last few weeks with the sole intention of ensuring that there is a ban on the medication being given on race day for the 2-year-old races. Sadly this ban will not come into effect until next, and will then be followed in 2021 by an extension of the ban to cover stakes races, which are the highest level of racing in the sport.
It has not been proven that medication was a contributory factor at the ill-fated Santa Anita track, but despite closing for a month and having specialist teams in to assess the track no cause could be found to explain why 23 horses have been put to sleep following life-ending injuries on the track. So, the sport needs to be seen to be doing something proactive, or the public support is likely to drop even further which could prove devastating.
The Kentucky Derby is looming so finding favour with potential racegoers is of utmost importance. However, as yet the ban is far from being a foregone conclusion as regulators from New York, Kentucky, Maryland and some of the other states with racetracks in the coalition will need to approve the plans. It is thought to be an unpopular move among trainers and owners, so there is bound to be a high level of opposition, and it is too early to say if it will get through. In 2011 a similar ruling was made by the Breeders’ Cup and American Graded Stakes Committee, and although this did pass and become a new rule, such was the pressure from trainers and owners that it was pulled just two years later to end the constant pressure and arguing it created. Given that the majority of the horse racing community has already banned race-day medication and demonstrated a lower death rate among horses it would seem only right and proper that America follows suit but only time will tell if they do indeed make the ruling and more importantly stick to it.
The 4th of May will be quite an exciting day for horse enthusiasts. While in the USA the Kentucky Derby takes the spotlight, on the same day, in the UK, the traditional 2,000 Guineas race will take place in Newmarket. After the Craven stake last weekend, that crowned Skardu as the winner, will we see back to back wins for the thoroughbred?
Both Masar and Roaring Lion emerged from the 2018 Craven Stakes to win Group 1 races later in the season, but neither colt was able to win the 2,000 Guineas just a few weeks later when Saxon Warrior claimed that prize for Aidan O’Brien.
Haafhd was the last horse to complete the Craven-Guineas double back in 2004 while four horses accomplished that same achievement between 1985 and 1990 including the great Dancing Brave. Following the 2019 Craven Renewal, can any of those participants be considered capable of winning the second classic of the flat season?
The Winner – Skardu
After winning a Newmarket maiden by two lengths back in late September, Skardu was making just his second racecourse appearance when featuring in the Craven. Trained by William Haggas, the colt settled at the back in a slowly-run first half of the race before quickening well to lead in the final furlong and maybe idling towards the finishing line.
Skardu will probably progress from this race and has already become a Newmarket specialist. Although there may be a more generous pace in the 2,000 Guineas, the Craven winner has proven acceleration and he could be a major force in the classic.
The Beaten Horses
Royal Marine began the Craven as clear favourite having won a Group 1 contest at the ‘Arc’ meeting at Longchamp. However, the Godolphin colt disappointed at Meydan during January, and couldn’t settle at Newmarket before staying on to finish fourth. It may just be that he needs to relax more in races before justifying his decent reputation, and his form could improve as the season progresses.
The Roger Charlton trained Momkin finished second and was not considered a serious threat based on a second finish in a three-horse race at Ffos Las in his final appearance last season. He may have improved considerably for that effort but seemed well-held by Skardu at the finish of the Craven.
Both Set Piece and Zakouski who finished third and fifth respectively had raced only on all-weather surfaces prior to this contest and in the case of the latter, there were favourable reports based on his home gallops and winter progression. Do not be surprised then to see them clinch a Guineas victory.
What of the other 2,000 Guineas contenders
There is much speculation regarding the welfare of ante-post favourite Too Darn Hot after missing his intended prep race in the Greenham at Newbury due to a slight injury setback. Trainer John Gosden has indicated that a decision is likely after the Easter weekend, but he appeared in a confident mood when making that statement. His unbeaten colt will be difficult to beat if declared fit and reproducing last season’s form and he is the one leading the horse betting odds.
Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien is likely to saddle both Ten Sovereigns and Magna Grecia without a prep race, with the former colt winning all three starts last season including the Middle Park Stakes. Racing over 6f on each occasion, there may be some stamina doubts regarding Ten Sovereigns as his sire No Nay Never was an American sprinter who won the Norfolk stakes in 2013. His dam was a moderate French middle-distance filly.
Meanwhile, there is Galileo blood inside Magna Grecia, and he won last season’s Futurity Stakes at Doncaster after losing for the only time when beaten by Persian King at Newmarket. That race may have been a decent contest as the French-trained horse was a fairly easy five lengths winner in his recent seasonal appearance at Longchamp. If Andre Fabre targets the English classic, Persian King could be a threat.
The Other Trial Winners Another contender could be Leopardstown 2,000 Guineas trial winner Never No More, also sired by No Nay Never. Racing over 5f or just over in his three races as a juvenile, the Aidan O’Brien colt has won both starts this season over seven furlongs with Guineas trial runner-up Madhmoon beaten for the first time in three contests. However, the French equivalent is the more likely option for Never No More.
As for Greenham winner Mohaather, he has won his last three races in manner which suggests that he could be involved at the finish of the Guineas, and he appeals as an each-way contender.