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The Biggest Races That You Can Bet On – The Top Tracks in the World

Find out about the biggest horse races that you can bet on and the top tracks in the world. Bet on the Dubai World Cup, Kentucky Derby, Grand National, and more.

The Biggest Horse Races in the World to Bet On

Horse racing fans love to place bets and watch the horses battle it out to see who will be first to pass the post. There are races held every single day of the year so there are always bets to be placed to. In this post, we are going to talk about horse racing betting as well as providing some information on the biggest horse racing in the world.

Betting on Horse Racing Events

One of the biggest advantages that horse racing has over other sports betting events is the odds. They are set based on the way the public wagers and this can often lead to finding great odds on horses that are underestimated. When you find these, you find the key to winning big on horse racing. In other sports betting categories such as football, tennis, and rugby, the lines are made by the bookmakers who tend to make them as close as they can. If you’re an avid sports betting fan, then maybe you want to try something new? Horse racing is a great option and there are so many opportunities and betting markets to avail of.

The Biggest Horse Races in the World to Bet On

The biggest horse races in the world are major events that extend over a full weekend and for many punters, these are crucial dates in their gambling calendars. Dubai hosts one of the biggest horse racing events every year despite the fact that gambling of any other sport is banned in Islam.

If horse racing fascinates you, check out this beginner’s guide to horse race betting and then look for the below richest horse racing events in the world to place your bet.

The Preakness Stakes

This race began back in 1873 and is a 1.2 mile race with a prize of $1.5 million up for grabs. It takes place on the 3rd Saturday of May in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. It is the second leg of the US Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing. The winning horse gets a thick blanket of yellow flowers hung around its neck and the race is commonly called The Run for The Black Eyed Susan. The race usually ends within two minutes and it takes place on a 1.2 mile dirt track. To qualify for this race, each horse must be at least three years old and a thoroughbred. This is the second most attended horse racing event in the USA.

Belmont Stakes

This race started back in 1867 and is the 3rd and final leg of the US Triple Crown. It is one of the oldest horse racing events in the USA. The track is 1.5 miles and the race is usually finished in under 2 minutes. It takes place on the 2nd Saturday of June every year with a prize of $1.5 million. The track is located in Belmont Park, New York. The race is a Grade 1 thoroughbred horse race and all horses must be 3 years old or more. This is termed as The Test of the Champions and often referred to as The Run for the Carnations because the winner is draped in a blanket of white carnations. It is the 3rd most well-attended race in North America.

The Grand National

This racing event started back in 1839 and the race is 4 miles long and generally takes 10 minutes to finish. The prize is $1.6 million, and it takes place on the first or second Saturday in April every year. The race track is located in Aintree, Liverpool and is perhaps the most challenging horse race. The race is set up as a steeplechase which means that the horses have to jump 30 different fences over 4 miles which involves 2 laps. It is the most valuable jump race in Europe and is well attended by members of the Royal Family and other international celebrities. The event is spread out over 3 days.

The Kentucky Derby

Started in 1875 this is one of the most popular sporting events in the world. It is held on the first Saturday of May with a prize of $2 million. It takes place in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. The Derby is the most prestigious leg of the US Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. The racetrack is 1.25 miles and the race is finished in under 2 minutes. The winning horse is draped in a garland made up of hundreds of roses.

Paris Prix De L’Arc de Triomphe

This race began in 1920 and takes place on the first Sunday of October in Seine, Paris. It is one of the most prestigious events in the world of horse racing and is held at the Longchamp Racecourse. This is a flat race for thoroughbred horses on a track that measures 1.5 miles. The winning prize is $5.4 million making this the richest turf race in the world. The event is held over an entire weekend and features 7 Grade 1 races and 4 Grade 2 races. It also features the Arabian World Cup a one-off race open only to Arabian horses.

The Breeders’ Cup

Started in 1984, this race has a $28 million total prize fun with $1.6 million per race. It is held in various cities in the USA in late October/early November. It is a series of Grade 1 American Thoroughbred horse races spread over 2 days. A total of 13 races are held and each of the races awards winners with 4 different trophies.

Dubai World Cup

This Dubai World Cup race started in 1996 and is held in late March in Dubai. The prize is $10 million which makes it one of the most anticipated races. It’s difficult to know what to expect from the Dubai World Cup and whether the race or the revelry off the track will be the mainstay of the event.

Horse Racing in the United States

Horse racing in the United States dates back to 1665, which saw the establishment of the Newmarket course in Salisbury, New York, a section of what is now known as the Hempstead Plains of Long Island, New York. The American Stud Book was started in 1868, prompting the beginning of organized horse racing in the United States.

Bookmaking, the process of taking bets, calculating odds, and paying out winnings, was banned in the early 20th century, but pari-mutuel betting, introduced in 1908, restarted the racing industry. Free live horse race video streaming of all horse and greyhound races across the world is available using the BetAmerica promo code. BetAmerica will give you content that is gathered from the thoroughbred, quarter horse, harness horse, and greyhound tracks from across the county – all major race courses, so you don’t miss a race.

The traditional high point of thoroughbred US horse racing is the Kentucky Derby, held on the first Saturday of May at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Together, the Derby, the Preakness Stakes, held two weeks later at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Belmont Stakes, held three weeks after the Preakness at Belmont Park on Long Island, form the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing for three-year-olds. They are all held early in the year, throughout May and the beginning of June.

The Breeders’ Cup event is held in late October or early November at different race tracks every year. It receives less attention than the Triple Crown series from the general public but is of great importance in determining the American Horse of the Year and annual Eclipse Award divisional winners. It is normally held at a different track every year, though some racetracks have held back-to-back renewals. It currently consists of thirteen races held over two days with total prize-money of $28 million.

In 1665, the first racetrack was constructed on Long Island. It is the oldest Thoroughbred race in North America. The American Stud Book was started in 1868, prompting the beginning of organized horse racing in the United States. There were 314 tracks operating in the United States by 1890, and in 1894, the American Jockey Club was formed.

In the United States, Thoroughbred flat races are run on either dirt, synthetic, or turf surfaces. Other tracks offer Quarter Horse racing and Standardbred (Harness) horse racing, or combinations of these three types of racing surfaces.

Quarter horse racing began in 1674 in Henrico County, Virginia. Each race consisted of only two horses and they raced down the village streets and lanes. The Quarter Horse received its name due to the length of the race as the races were indeed a quarter of a mile, or 400 meters. The breed of horse was developed so they could get off to a quick start and win the race.

There are also a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers and a Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters, as well as an Arabian Triple Crown consisting of Drinkers of the Wind Derby in California, the Texas Six Shooter Stakes, the Bob Magness Derby in Delaware. Also, the main Standardbred event is the Breeders’ Crown.

American Thoroughbred races are run at a wide variety of distances, most commonly from 5 to 12 furlongs (0.63 to 1.50 mi). The shorter distances are more common but the mid-to-long distance races tend to be higher in prestige. Breeders of Thoroughbred race horses attempt to breed horses that excel at a particular distance.

The American Quarter Horse was not recognized as an official breed until the formation of the American Quarter Horse Association in 1940. In order to be successful in racing, Quarter Horses need to be able to propel themselves forward at extremely fast sprinter speed. The Quarter Horse has larger hind limb muscle and have more Type II-b fibers, which allow the Quarter Horse to accelerate rapidly. With the exception of the longer, 870-yard (800 m) distance contests, Quarter Horse races are run flat out, with the horses running at top speed for the duration.

Harness racing is a form of horse racing in which the horses race at a specific gait (a trot or a pace) and are pulling a two-wheeled cart called a sulky, occupied by a driver. In North America, harness races are restricted to Standardbred horses.

Standardbreds are so named because in the early years of the Standardbred stud book, only horses who could trot or pace a mile in a standard time (or whose progeny could do so) of no more than 2 minutes, 30 seconds were admitted to the book. The horses have proportionally shorter legs than Thoroughbreds, and longer bodies. Standardbreds generally have a more placid disposition, due to the admixture of non-Thoroughbred blood in the breed.

Races can be conducted in two differing gaits – trotting and pacing. The difference is that a trotter moves its legs forward in diagonal pairs (right front and left hind, then left front and right hind striking the ground simultaneously), whereas a pacer moves its legs laterally (right front and right hind together, then left front and left hind).

Almost all North American races are at a distance of one mile. North American harness horses earn a “mark” (a record), which is their fastest winning time at that distance. Harness races involve a good deal of strategy.

Important annual races include the Hambletonian for 3-year-old trotters, the Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old pacers, and the Breeders Crown series of twelve races covering each of the traditional categories of age, gait, and sex. The Hambletonian is part of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters and the Little Brown Jug is part of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers.

 

 

Holzer and Valentine Conclude AGDF Week 5 with Win in FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*

Ashley Holzer and Valentine. ©SusanStickle.com.

Wellington, FL – February 10, 2019 – Week 5 of the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival (AGDF) concluded on Sunday, February 10, with a win for Ashley Holzer (USA) and Valentine in the FEI Intermediate I Freestyle CDI3*, presented by Fair Sky Farm.

Holzer had the last ride of the day and just barely slid into first place with a score of 76.917%, ahead of Tina Irwin (CAN) and Laurencio who earned a score of 76.750%.

“I think my mare had a very tricky warm-up. She was so tense in the warm-up because she’s never done a freestyle before with the music,” commented Holzer about her first freestyle ever with her nine-year-old Oldenburg mare by Sir Donnerhall. “We actually had to run and grab a bonnet because she was unfortunately upset by the noise.

“What is amazing to me is that I trot off, and right away she is looking, she’s attentive, but she’s so trying her very hardest,” continued Holzer. “When I’m in that trot tour I feel like I’m floating. She floats through the trot tour without hardly any aid whatsoever. So I think for me, sort of feeling a horse dance underneath you like that so easily, that’s a thrill no matter what class you’re in.”

Holzer made a last-minute change to her music and choreography choice, and luckily her student Brittany Fraser had kept Holzer’s Olympic partner Pop Art’s freestyle from 2004.

Holzer said, “I had a bit of a different pattern with different music, which we realized was too bold. So luckily Brittany is quite a hoarder, and she actually found my Pop Art small tour freestyle from 2004 and brought it. It’s got a nice flowing trot tour, and I rode Poppy’s 2004 freestyle!”

Earlier in the day in the FEI Young Rider Freestyle CDIY NAYC/USEF Qualifier, Benjamin Ebeling (USA) and Illuster Van De Kampert, a 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding by Spielberg owned by Nuvolari Holdings LLC, won with a score of 72.825%.

Second place went to Caroline Nicholson (USA) and Diozar, her 11-year-old KWPN gelding by Jazz. The pair earned a score of 70.925%.

Vanessa Creech-Terauds and Fleur de Lis L, a 10-year-old Hanoverian, by First Dance and Louise Leatherdale, earned a score of 70.400% to come in third place.

For more information and to see a full list of results, please visit www.globaldressagefestival.com.

Cheltenham Festival: New Rules Will Restrict Horses to Just a Single Appearance in 2019

Photo source: Racing Post via Twitter.

The BHA have made a number of small tweaks ahead of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival with horses now being limited to just one appearance at Prestbury Park. It is a decision which has not been unanimously welcomed by trainers, but it does appear to be a sensible move from the authorities. It is rare to see a competitor doubling up during the four-day festival; however, this new governance is designed to provide greater clarity for horse-racing punters.

Announced at the beginning of February, the new ruling is one of a number of alterations which have been introduced ahead of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. A small reshuffle in the race order will see the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap bring the curtain down on another four days of high-octane action in Gloucestershire, with the Grand Annual now taking place on the Thursday. The National Hunt Chase and the Close Brothers Novice’s Handicap Chase will also swap places on Tuesday’s card. The second-last fence on the old course will also be moved in order to give competitors a greater run-up to the obstacle.

However, it is the declaration change which has caused the biggest stir amongst the training fraternity and this new rule appears to have thoroughly divided opinion. Many handlers believed that Cheltenham did not need to act and that they should be solely responsible for their horses’ welfare. Trainers will now be prohibited from entering their horse into multiple events, with many of the top yards having the tendency to declare their stable stars for two or three different races. This had allowed them to make a decision on the day itself; however, it also resulted in several non-runners throughout the festival.

Many National Hunt stars are hardy competitors and the possibility of a quick turnaround is perfectly plausible, but the new ruling will no longer allow this to happen. In 2004, Our Armageddon pulled up in the Arkle, but made his re-appearance just days later in the Cathcart Chase and easily saw off the threat of Iris Rose to land the spoils for trainer Richard Guest.

Source: Racing Post via Twitter

Several horses were declared for multiple races in 2018, with Richard Hobson’s Shantou Flyer running in the Ultima Handicap on the opening day before subsequently entering the reckoning for Friday’s Gold Cup. The nine-year old was eventually aimed at the Randox Health Grand National instead, but connections believed that he would have more than held his own in the hugely competitive final-day contest. Hobson’s charge is in the betting for this year’s Foxhunters Chase and is currently priced at 14/1. This race will be held on the new course and is one of many contests which will be comprehensively analysed by betting.betfair’s Cheltenham tips ahead of this year’s extravaganza, which gets underway on March 12th.

With savvy punters finalising their ante-post bets months in advance, this new rule should help avoid confusion and the markets are likely to look far less congested as a result. Trainers may be disgruntled by these latest alterations, but it does appear to be a step in the right direction will undoubtedly make things much simpler for punters.

The 2019 Cheltenham Festival is set to be another fantastic spectacle and the four-day exhibition will once again showcase the classiest hurdlers and the most powerful chasers. The new rule change may have divided trainers, but it definitely won’t detract from yet another sensational showdown in Gloucestershire.

Next Staying Star? 3 Candidates for National Hunt Chase at Cheltenham Festival

Nicky Henderson has the National Hunt Chase ante post favourite in his stable this season” (CC BY 2.0) by danheap77.

While the RSA Chase has considerable claims for being the classiest race for up-and-coming stayers over fences, its supremacy at the Cheltenham Festival has come under threat in recent years.

This is because horses that have won or placed in the National Hunt Chase – also for novices – during the last three years went on to land some of the most valuable stayers’ races in 2018.

What’s the difference between the two Festival events? The RSA is over three miles and holds Grade 1 status, but the National Hunt Chase is a four-mile Grade 2 contest for amateur riders only.

Despite that, the likes of Native River (Cheltenham Gold Cup), Sizing Tennessee (Ladbokes Trophy), and Tiger Roll (Grand National) have all run well in the inferior race, but then gone on to even greater things.

Who could be the next staying star of jumps racing? Here are three candidates for the 2019 National Hunt Chase.

OK Corral

One of the few races reigning British champion trainer Nicky Henderson hasn’t won is this one. In OK Corral, he has a hugely talented Mahler gelding who is lightly-raced for a nine-year-old and unbeaten in two starts over fences.

As OK Corral represents leading Irish owner J. P. McManus, who since 1995 has had more winners of the National Hunt Chase than anybody, he’s a serious prospect. Crack amateur jockey Derek O’Connor partnered the horse to his second chase victory over the stiff fences of Warwick at Listed level – strongly suggesting this race is the plan.

Bookmakers were quick to make OK Corral ante post favourite off the back of that victory, and he is now 100/30 with Betfair in the latest Cheltenham betting. If getting the trip, and he has a stamina laden pedigree being out of a Flemensfirth mare, then the Henderson hoodoo in the National Hunt Chase could well end.

Ballyward

Willie Mullins holds the rare feat of riding and training two winners of this race. The Closutton master handler saddled Rathvinden to the spoils 12 months ago and impressive Naas Grade 3 winner Ballyward is the sole representative from his yard in the early closing entries.

Mullins’ son Patrick is one of the top amateur riders in Ireland and Emerald Isle raiders have won four of the last eight renewals of the National Hunt Chase. Ballyward was sired by Flemensfirth and placed fourth in both staying novice hurdles at the Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals last season.

Connections didn’t mess about over the smaller obstacles, giving the seven-year-old just four starts, but he’s taken his form to a new level now sent chasing. While Ballyward may seem young to be taking on a four-mile marathon, he fits the age profile of most winners since 2005; so, at a general 6/1 with bookies, he is respected for an Irish stable that targets the Cheltenham Festival.

Impulsive Star

As the National Hunt Chase is over an extreme distance, there are very few obvious trials for it. One horse who has acquitted himself admirably in a real stamina test is last year’s fourth Impulsive Star, who retained novice status for this season.

Although the Neil Mulholland trained nine-year-old was beaten 24 lengths by Rathvinden and also finished behind gutsy mare Ms Parfois and Sizing Tennessee 12 months ago, and has something to find on Plumpton form with OK Corral, he took a big step forward last time out. Impulsive Star is now rated a 7lb better horse because he’s won a race over fences in the Grade 3 Classic Chase over 3m 5f at Warwick.

Given his victory in a competitive staying handicap like that under the owner’s son and former Cheltenham Gold Cup winning rider Sam Waley-Cohen, an each-way punt looks great value at 14/1 with William Hill and others.

Will Paisley Park Prove to Be the Real Deal?

The 2019 Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner and the trainers and jockeys are busy preparing their horses for what could be the biggest race of their season. For Paisley Park and everyone involved with him, there is a real feeling that he could be the next big horse.

With four wins from four races this season, he is already proving that he has what it takes to go all the way in the sport. Although Paisley Park isn’t running in the main event at the festival, the Gold Cup, he is the current favourite to win the Stayers’ Hurdle on St Patrick’s Thursday, according to Paddy Power.

His trainer Emma Lavelle is confident of victory in the race at Cheltenham and is fearful of just one horse. She said, “How could he not be made favourite?

“I don’t think there is anyone this side of the water who wasn’t in the Cleeve on Saturday, and with last year’s winner Penhill not having run this season he would have to come over in tip-top shape. Then Paisley Park would have a fight on his hands.”

It’s hard to blame her for being so confident given Paisley Park’s incredible start to the season. His first race this season, the Racing UK Handicap Hurdle at Aintree, saw him set off as the joint favourite with Lygon Rock and Byron Flyer. In the final 100 yards of the race he pulled away from Lygon Rock and won the race by 2 ½ lengths.

Race two of the season for the Irish thoroughbred was the Betfair Exchange Stayers’ Handicap Hurdle at Haydock. In the Grade 3 race he was the third favourite behind the favourite First Assignment and second favourite Captain Cattistock. He finished the race strong, defeating 20/1 longshot Shades of Midnight by just ½ a length.

In the Grade 1 JLT Hurdle at Ascot, he had pre-race odds of 8/1, making him the fifth favourite to win the race. Despite starting slowly, Paisley Park steadily gained ground on the leaders and after the last, he drove ahead and maintained pace to finish two lengths clear of second place West Approach.

For the first time this season Paisley Park ran as the favourite. The Grade 2 galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle saw the 100/30 favourite obliterate the rest of the field, taking the lead before the last. Finished impressively and finished ahead of West Approach for the second time in a row, but this time finished an incredible 12 lengths clear.

He is currently the 9/4 favourite to win the Stayers’ Hurdle at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, ahead of Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy. Last year’s winner Penhill is the fourth favourite at 5/1, but having not run so far this season, it is likely to take a monumental effort to defeat the in-form Paisley Park. Jockey Aidan Coleman has ridden him to four victories in four races and if he were to go on to win the Stayers’ Hurdle, then perhaps people will start to see the potential in this horse.

Cheltenham Festival: Most Memorable Gold Cup Wins

The highlight of Cheltenham Festival and by far the world’s most prestigious jump race, the Gold Cup has provided some of the most iconic and memorable moments that racing has ever seen.

The gruelling 3 miles and 2 ½ furlong track is not for the faint-hearted, and only those who have the stamina and willpower will be in with a chance of success.

Here, we take a look back at the most famous Gold Cup wins ahead of the 2019 event – where you’ll find all the latest ante-post prices right here: https://www.betfair.com/exchange/plus/horse-racing.

Desert Orchid 1989

Desert Orchid was undoubtedly one of the finest jumpers racing has witnessed, and his success throughout the 1980s was incomparable. ‘Dessie’ won the King George VI Chase at Kempton four times, but the Gold Cup was considered beyond him due to the harder course and longer distance.

In 1989, ‘Dessie’ proved all his doubters wrong when he clinched the Gold Cup in his first ever run, pipping Yahoo by one and a half lengths. Although he was losing ground on Yahoo with the post in sight, ‘Dessie’ called up all of his strength and determination to start gaining on his rival and clinch the coveted prize at the post.

Best Mate 2002-2004

Best Mate wrote himself into Gold Cup folklore when he completed a hat-trick of successive victories, the last being in 2004. It was the first time a trio of consecutive victories was achieved since the legendary Arkle in the 1960s, which further highlights just how good Best Mate was in his prime.

Perhaps it was Best Mate’s second win at Prestbury Park which was the finest win, romping home by ten lengths from Truckers Tavern and Harbour Pilot who filled the places. Although his victories in 2002 and 2004 were much closer, Best Mate’s record in the Gold Cup is imperious.

Long Run 2011

The youthful legs of Long Run proved to be the deciding factor in the 2011 Gold Cup, after he burst past Kauto Star and Denman to take top spot. The race itself was billed to be a classic, with a really strong field present.

Midnight Chase was leading for the majority, but after fading away, it gave Kauto Star, Denman, Imperial Commander, and Long Run the incentive to clinch glory, whereby the last showed his worth to charge through and take first place.

Denman 2008

The 2008 Gold Cup was arguably one of the most entertaining races in the modern era, which saw two of the finest jumpers in the business go head to head. Kauto Star and Denman had built up quite the rivalry prior to the Gold Cup in 2008, with the latter coming out on top.

Kauto Star was having something of an off day, which enabled Denman to win by seven lengths and clinch his one and only Gold Cup. It was unfortunate that Denman couldn’t increase his tally of wins at Prestbury Park but “The Tank” enjoyed a stellar career before retiring in 2011.

Lord Windermere 2014

The longest-priced winner since Cool Dawn in 1998, Lord Windermere wasn’t enjoying his finest form as Cheltenham Festival approached. Defeats in the Hennessy Gold Cup, Lexus Chase, and Irish Gold Cup saw the five-year-old’s price drop to 20/1.

However, on the day of the race, Lord Windermere tore up the form book and beat 16/1 shot On His Own by a short-head. meaning a steward’s enquiry ensued but the Willie Mullins-trained thoroughbred was victorious after a thrilling encounter.

Who Are the Irish Bankers at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival?

Cheltenham Racecourse” (CC BY 2.0) by UAV Filming

Irish raiders were especially dominant at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, with warm favourites Footpad, Samcro, and Tiger Roll among those scoring big victories.

There are certain races at the four-day meeting in mid-March that runners hailing from the Emerald Isle do particularly well in, but where do the banker bets lie this year? Here, we take a look at the main horses from Ireland with the best chances.

Apple’s Jade

Powerful owners Gigginstown House Stud have the world at their feet with tough mare Apple’s Jade, who has taken her form against the geldings to dizzying new heights on her side of the Irish Sea this season. The Gordon Elliott trained seven-year-old has won her three starts this season by increasingly wide margins and holds Cheltenham Festival entries in the Champion Hurdle over 2m, against her own sex in the Mares’ race and the 3m Stayers’ Hurdle.

If the ante-post markets are any indicator, then Cheltenham betting odds 2019 of 11/8 with William Hill suggests a third run in the Mares’ Hurdle is the route Apple’s Jade will take. The Champion Hurdle looks a muddle, however, and she’s running in the Irish equivalent at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown.

Betfair are as big as 16/1 Apple’s Jade is redirected to the 2m championship race at Cheltenham before contesting the Irish Champion Hurdle. As for the Stayers’, she is two from two over three miles and a best-price 10/1 with the same bookmaker about that event.

Davy Russell in the Presenting Percy colours” (CC BY 2.0) by Florian Christoph

Presenting Percy

It’s bold to suggest any horse winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup is a banker, but Presenting Percy has sat and watched all his rivals throw up more questions than answers en route to the blue riband event of steeplechasing. Pat Kelly’s stable star has done nothing wrong in contrast, and finally made his anticipated return to action when successfully defending the Galmoy Hurdle over 3m at Gowran Park.

That may seem like an unusual preparation for the elite staying chase at the Cheltenham Festival, but Presenting Percy took that en route to landing the RSA at the meeting 12 months ago. The bookies have shortened him up for Gold Cup glory as a result, with betway going a standout 100/30.

Last year’s one-two Native River and Might Bite have doubts hanging over them. Will the former get the soft ground he needs to be shown to best effect? The latter, meanwhile, has flopped in two starts this season and failed to defend his King George VI Chase crown at Kempton over Christmas.

While young improvers like Clan Des Obeaux and Kemboy have staked their claims, they simply don’t have the Festival pedigree of Presenting Percy. He won the ultra-competitive Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle two years ago before tasting RSA Chase success as a novice last season.

Tiger Roll

Grand National hero Tiger Roll is also Gigginstown owned and trained by Elliott, and already boasts three victories at the Cheltenham Festival. This nine-year-old landed the Triumph Hurdle as a juvenile, then proved his stamina with a win in the 4m National Hunt Novices’ Chase two years ago before delivering again in the 3m 6f Cross Country Chase.

Tiger Roll relishes running in the spring and clearly loves Cheltenham. Winning another Grand National is a big ask for him, because only Red Rum in modern times has done it, but the Cross Country is a conditions race and he goes there fresh as a general 5/2 chance with bookmakers to defend his crown.

Could There Be a 2019 Grand National with No Irish Runners?

Our lives have been consumed with Brexit for more than two years and with things getting down to the wire, there are no signs of it stopping any time soon.

The number of industries likely to be affected by the current situation is far too many to count. But one that will definitely be affected is British Horseracing. With Prime Minister Teresa May’s Brexit deal getting the big thumbs down last week, those at the BHA are bracing themselves for its impact on the rest of the racing season, particularly the Grand National at Aintree on April 6th 2019.

A race known for its notoriously difficult fences, a huge portion of the entries come from Ireland. The likes of Irish Champion Trainer Willie Mullins and last year’s winning trainer, Gordon Elliott, enter a significant amount of potential runners.

As those entries get whittled down through the declaration stages, more than a third end up taking part in the race. In 2018, last minute withdrawals from Regal Encore and Walk In The Mill saw the number of starters reduced from 40 to 38 and 15 of them were brought from Ireland.

So why would Brexit impact the Grand National? The answer is simple. The UK, Ireland, and France are signatories on the Tripartite Agreement. This is an amendment to an existing European directive that allows the free movement of horses within those three countries. If Britain leaves the EU with no deal, then the Tripartite Agreement ceases to exist. And if it doesn’t exist then there is no free movement of horses from Ireland to the UK.

Bookmakers have cut the odds of no Irish runners in the Grand National to 16/1, which may seem quite drastic. However, that’s due to an unusual increase on Brexit bets. It’s also highly unlikely.

The British Horseracing Authority are keeping a close eye on the political developments and are determined to ensure that the Grand National still takes place with the best horses taking part.

“We are watching the political discussions around Brexit very closely and talk frequently to government,” a BHA spokesperson said.

Furthermore, a statement on the BHA’s website states clarifies the situation even more.

It reads: “In a No deal scenario the same rules and laws will apply the day before and after exit, with further changes agreed over time by the UK Parliament.

“Therefore, in broad terms, the starting point for the UK Thoroughbred breeding and racing industry is that rules and regulations relating to imports and activities from the EU to the UK will remain the same, in the short term.”

The BHA have put in place plenty of measures to ensure that racing continues as usual and thankfully, for fans of the Grand National, it means the odds of no Irish runners lining up is slim to none.

USET Foundation Awards Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to Ryan Keefe

Ryan Keefe and Flintstar. Photo: Shannon Brinkman Photography.

Gladstone, N.J. – Jan. 14, 2019 – The United States Equestrian Team (USET) Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded the 2019 Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant to up-and-coming eventing rider Ryan Keefe of Sandy Spring, Maryland.

“It’s a really big honor to be chosen for the [Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant] because I know that a lot of other great riders before me have received it,” said Keefe. “It definitely feels good to have the support of the USET Foundation and other people behind the grant who believe in me.”

The Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant is awarded through the USET Foundation Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund. Keefe, this year’s winner, has demonstrated her talent at many of the nation’s top CCI1* and CCI2* events. At just 18 years old and a freshman at the University of Kentucky, Keefe has piloted her top mount, Flintstar, to a number of impressive finishes, including winning the Virginia Horse Trials CCI1* in 2017 and finishing 11th overall at their first CCI2* at Fair Hill International in 2018.

Keefe credits much of her success to her veteran partner Flintstar, who she acquired in 2016. The 2000 Thoroughbred gelding was previously ridden by New Zealand’s Jonelle Price up through the 4* level and even contributed towards New Zealand’s team bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

In July 2018, the pair competed for the first time on the Area II CICOY2* squad at the Adequan®/FEI North American Youth Championships (NAYC), which took place in Kalispell, Montana, in conjunction with The Event at Rebecca Farm, where they won team gold and placed fourth individually.

Most recently, Keefe was selected to the Emerging Athlete Eventing 25 program by the US Equestrian (USEF) Eventing Sport Committee in December 2018. The program will host its winter training session with USEF eventing emerging athlete coach Leslie Law in Ocala, Florida from Jan. 14-17.

The Amanda Pirie Warrington Fund was established by Pirie’s family in her memory with the purpose of helping to provide financial assistance to an eventing rider who has been identified as an athlete with great talent and ability to represent the United States in the future.

As the recipient of the grant, Keefe, who trains with her mom, Rumsey, and Sharon White of Last Frontier Eventing, will receive up to $5,000 to help offset expenses associated with her training over the next year.

“The grant will help me a lot with our winter training in Ocala,” said Keefe. “Since [Flintstar] is getting older, I would like to get some Advanced Level experience out of him this year. He has been such a good teacher so far for me. A big thanks again to the people behind the grant for all of their support!”

Thanks to the Amanda Pirie Warrington Grant, Keefe can focus on continuing her training and preparing for competitions as she aims towards one day representing the United States on the international stage.

For more information on the USET Foundation, visit www.uset.org.