Author: Gary Middleton

Three Superstars Who Will Take Royal Ascot by Storm in 2018   “Ascot Racecourse” by Nigel Cox (CC BY-SA 2.0) The highlight of the flat racing season for many is the Royal Ascot meeting in June, and this year we are sure to see yet another meeting full of high-quality action. As is always the case, we will see the best of the best taking each other on over five days of exhilarating sporting action, and it is certainly a week for racing fans to savor. If you are already looking at the racing that will take place, here are three superstars you need to look out for at Royal Ascot. Cracksman A horse who could go all the way to the top this year is Cracksman. He won on his reappearance in France with ease and will now head to Royal Ascot to take part in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes. His long-term aim this season is to head to Longchamp for the Arc – although, before that, he will have the chance to win multiple Group One races. He is a horse not just for Royal Ascot but also for the season, so it is always worth checking out the latest horse racing news to see where he will be heading next. He will have the assistance of experienced jockey Frankie Dettori when he takes to the...

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Celebrating the Brilliance of the Cheltenham Festival

When thinking of big events in horse racing, people automatically think about the Kentucky Derby Festival or the Melbourne Carnival. The Cheltenham Festival (13th-16th March) probably does not get the same exposure around the world that it does in the UK and Ireland – but its uniqueness is really worth checking out. The Festival, which is held at Prestbury Park, Gloucestershire, UK, features 28 races of different national hunt (jumps) disciplines – a type of racing n usually confined to the British Isles. These include hurdles and (steeple)chases. The difference between the two is that a hurdle race involves jumping over a hurdle (usually a bush) and the chase usually involves a longer race with higher obstacles (usually fences) to navigate. Champion Chase and Gold Cup among Festival highlights The Cheltenham Festival includes some of the most prestigious events in national hunt racing, including the Champion Hurdle, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Stayers’ Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup. In total, there are 14 Grade 1 races, meaning only the best horses will compete. Cheltenham’s history stretches all the way back to the mid-nineteenth century, but it is now arguably bigger than ever. Around 67,000 fans will attend the races each day of the Festival, with millions more catching the action on television. The action is fast and furious, with the raucous racegoers providing one of the best atmospheres in...

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A Grand, National Event

  Photo by Stacey MacNaught, CC BY2.0 With an estimated TV audience of between 500 and 600 million people around the globe, The Grand National is one of the top horse races in the world. In the U.K., more people have a bet than with any other race, making it a national institution. But just what is it about this iconic steeplechase that makes it stand out from the rest of the racing calendar? It is not the oldest race in Britain — all the so-called Classics, including the St Ledger, The Derby, The Oaks and the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas, are all older. Nor is it the richest, with the Derby’s £1.5 million ($2.1 million) dwarfing the National’s £1-million ($1.4 million) prize pot.  Painting by William Tasker in public domain For many people, it is the sheer scale and spectacle of The Grand National that attracts their interest. At 4 miles 514 yards, it is a real test of stamina, and just getting around is an achievement. Add in a cavalry charge of 40 horses tackling 30 towering fences, including the 5’2” Chair, the 5’5” Valentines and the 5’8” Beecher’s Brook, and it’s easy to see why the highest number of finishers on record is as low as 23. Of all the British horseraces, the history of The Grand National has the most excitement and romance attached to...

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Five Horses To Follow Ahead Of The 2018 Cheltenham Festival

The UK’s Cheltenham Festival is the biggest national hunt meeting anywhere in the world, drawing huge media attention as the leading jumps horses battle it out in their respective divisions. From now until April, all roads will lead to the Gloucestershire-based track as the leading runners look to improve their fitness, pick up some tidy prize money and gain experience ahead of the Festival. With the jumps season now up and running, there will be plenty of ante-post betting and interest in all of the leading races over the next few months as the entries are already open for the big meetings. It’s a crowded field with a handful of competitive options, so here are five horses which could grab the headlines at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival meeting in March. Fayonagh – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Last season’s Champion Bumper winner Fayonagh has already made a winning start to his hurdles career as he broke his maiden at Fairyhouse earlier this month. The six year old was impressive at the Festival in the only flat race of the week where he finished strongly in the 22 runner field. Gordon Elliott’s runner proved his victory at Cheltenham was no fluke when he landed the Grade One national hunt flat contest at the Punchestown Festival just a few weeks later. A peek at Racing UK’s form guidereveals huge potential. Elliott will be hoping Fayonagh can follow...

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Gun Runner Odds-On To Continue Dominance In Pegasus World Cup

Gun Runner is expected to reappear again early in the New Year when he should line up in the richest race in the world, the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in Florida. The purse for the second running of the 1800m contest will be $16 million in 2018 where a small field of the world’s leading thoroughbreds will be racing to follow in the footsteps of Arrogate who was victorious in the inaugural race earlier this year. Steven Asmussen’s runner won his fourth consecutive race in the Breeders’ Cup Classic just a few weeks ago when he prevailed by just over two lengths in a dominant display at the World Championship meeting. TRCommentary via Twitter It has been an incredible 12 months for Gun Runner as he has won five of his six outings. His only defeat on the calendar year came in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan where he had to settle for second place behind Arrogate. If everything goes well at Gulfstream Park in a couple of months, he is likely to return to the UAE for another shot at the feature race of the Dubai World Cup Carnival. The bookmakers make Gun Runner the odds-on favourite at -125 to start 2018 in the best possible way by winning the Grade One race in January. If you are having a bet on the race or on any or...

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