Visiting Charlie Longsdon’s Hull Farm for #NationalRacehorseWeek

Good Evening!

First things first, it has been a long while since I posted, so I do apologise for that. If you follow me on Twitter you will have seen I had a lot of things going on in my personal life with my family, so I took some time away to focus on that. However I am now back. I have today’s post, then from October 2nd I will be back every Saturday at 11am up until the New Year and hopefully beyond. So with that all being said, on to today’s post.

Today marks the final day of the #NationalRacehorseWeek so I am bringing you a brand new post all about my visit to Charlie Longsdon’s Hull Farm last weekend. I had a thoroughly enjoyable day so I am bringing you a little insight into what I seen that day as well as a breakdown of some of the horses Charlie paraded and their future plans. Everything I put into this post was authorised by Charlie to be posted for my audience – With that being said… Enjoy!


When we first arrived, we got the chance to walk around and meet some of the stable stars with Charlie and his team around to ask questions and to speak to everyone about the horses in question. I met some lovely horses including an old favourite of mine Glen Forsa. There were quite a few people at the visit including a lot of families and children, who were all meeting the horses and enjoying their afternoon.

Charlie then paraded 32 of his horses out the front for everyone to see. Here we got to see the horses on parade as well as having Charlie explain what each horse had already done and what the plans were for them. The one thing I have always found so incredible is when a trainer can name every horse, their history, their plans, their bloodline and everything in between. I can barely remember what I did last week, let alone 32 horses and everything you need to know about them, but Charlie knew everything and it was really interesting to hear him talk about future plans for his horses. He did explain 2 horses would run on Tuesday at Fontwell and he thought they both had a decent shot of winning, Glimpse Of Gala and Midnight Jewel and in the end, as predicted by Charlie, they both ended up winning. Now onto the horses he paraded…

Almazhar Garde
Kapgarde x Loin De Moi
Owner: Kate & Andrew Brooks

Potentially he will go through the novice hurdle route and then potentially return to chasing.


Beyond The Clouds
Peintre Celebre x Evening
Owner: Robert Aplin

Potentially a run at Kelso in December and maybe go to America.


Byzantium Lad
Yeats x Socialite Girl
Owner: Stormy Milan Syndicate

Once the rain turns up he will go chasing.


Carlow Farmer
Stowaway x Supreme Fivestar
Owner: Cracker Syndicate

Going chasing over 3 miles.


Castle Robin
Robin Des Champs x Coco Opera
Owner: Bradley Partnership

Novice chasing when the ground softens up.


Due Reward
Westerner x Long Acre
Owner: Charlie Longsdon

Was brought on Wednesday 8th September from Gigginstown at Doncaster. Charlie said rated around 133 in Ireland. Still very new to the yard so plans will be set out once an owner is found, right now Charlie still owns him.


Eclair On Line
Dream Well x Odeline
Owner: Eclair On Line Syndicate

Got injured last October so hasn’t ran in over a year. Will go chasing when the ground goes soft.


Freethinker
Libertarian x Supreme Magical
Owner: The Free Thinkers

Ready to run in around 3 weeks.


George Bancroft
Australia x Extensive
Owner: JP McManus

Brought by Charlie recently, JP McManus brought from Charlie around the time of visit. Plan is to go juvenile hurdling.


Unnamed 3 Year Old
Getaway x Missusan

Brought from Ireland in the summer. Will run in a bumper in the spring.


Glen Forsa
Mahler x Outback Ivy
Owner: TP Radford

Chasing over 3 miles – Possibly a Grand National horse.


Glencassley
Yeats x Reseda
Owner: Grant Leon

Interesting fact – He was the last winner before the country went into lockdown in March 2020 when winning at Wetherby. Novice hurdling this season.


Glimpse Of Gala
Passing Glance x Apple Days
Owner: The Tweed Clad Fossils

Won on Tuesday (after the visit) in a Novice Hurdle.


Haas Boy
Diamond Boy x Naker Mome
Owner: Malcolm Olden

Unraced – Potentially a bumper in October.


If I Say
Free Eagle x Wandering Star
Owner: Charlie Longsdon

She was brought around 6 weeks ago at Doncaster from David Redvers, he recommended her to Charlie. Has won a point to point bumper, Charlie thinks she will go for a mares only bumper in October and then onto a listed race.


Just Your Type
Morozov x Enistar
Owner: Tyrone Hanlon

He will be aimed towards some big staying chases over the next season. Charlie said after his back operation he was the first horse he rode again as he trusts him the most in his yard.


Thinque Tank
So You Think x Azharia
Owner: The Charlie Longsdon Racing Club

Ran at Newton Abbott on Friday (after visit) and finished 9th. Plan is to run every 3 weeks or so.


Lyrical Genius
Milan x Rheinland
Owner: Thackray, Ogilvy, Longsdon

Novice hurdling once it rains, if not enough rain he will run in a bumper. 3 mile chaser in the making.


Maninsane
Salutino x Don’t Fall
Owner: Barrels Of Courage

He fell back in February where he broke a couple of ribs and punctured his lung. He was placed in intensive care and it was touch and go for a little while. Thankfully he is okay now. He has done some pre-training with Claire Hart and will now go on to a Maiden Hurdle around October.


Midnight Jewel
Midnight Legend x Follow The Dream
Owner: Ms GE Morgan

Won on Tuesday at Fontwell (after visit) – Will eventually be a chaser.


Moon King
Sea The Moon x Maraba
Owner: Merriebelle Irish Farm Limited

Given a rating of 115, Charlie thinks he is well handicapped and will be ready to run by mid October and he will be visiting the winning enclosure this season.


Oscar Montel
Oscar x Montel Girl
Owner: Robert Aplin & Stratford Racecourse

Was brought over from Ireland in May, has ran 5 times and not finished outside of the top 3. He will go to Market Rasen for a Chase or to Warwick for a Hurdles race.


Present Storm
Presenting x Sunami Storm
Owner: Robert Aplin

Charlie said the jockey Brian Hughes admitted he got it wrong in the last race as he lost a stirrup. She will have 1 or 2 more runs before having a winter break. (She is declared on Tuesday 21st for the 3:20 at Warwick with Brian Hughes riding.)


Rivarros
Agent Secret x Rive Sarthe
Owner: 100 Not Out

Arrived from Ireland late last year. Needs 1 more run for a handicap mark. Chasing on slow ground will be his future.


Saint Dalina
Saint Des Saints x Dalina
Owner: Alan Halsall

Started the season rated 108, finished it rated 130. Will go chasing over 3 miles as well as some black type races.


Stroll On By
Walk In The Park x Liss Croga
Owner: Old Gold Racing

Unraced horse. He was brought over from Ireland in the Spring and will be aimed for a bumper in the Autumn.


Supremely Lucky
Milan x Lucky Supreme
Owner: Malcolm Olden

Needs to build up his confidence, Charlie would like to take him chasing as his current hurdle mark may make it tough to win some big hurdle races.


Tea For Free
Court Cave x Golan Gale
Owner: Mrs Susan Monkland

Arrived from Ireland in the Spring after winning an Irish Point to Point. He will go hurdling on good ground before eventually going chasing over 2.6-3 miles.


Teenage Dirtbag
Fame And Glory x Tavadden
Owner: The Saddleworth Players

Charlie said he thinks the penny had only just dropped with this horse and he now understands what he is doing. He thinks he travelled too well last time as he did not know what to do when he hit the front. He wll be back on a racecourse very soon.


The Mighty Arc
Arcadio x Funcheon Lady
Owner: Leon & Thorton Families

He will go chasing when the ground is a little softer, around late October. He has shown plenty of speed so Charlie thinks he may suit 2 miles 4 furlongs.


The Wise Traveller
Getaway x Butterfly Betty
Owner: The Endeavour Racing Syndicate

Won English Point to Point end of last year, has had a wind op since his last run and will need another tidy up of his wind before his first run. He will run in a maiden hurdle, then possibly go down the handicap route, however long term goals are to send him over fences.


Unnamed 4 Year Old
Westerner x Beneficial Breeze

Taken a long time to get ready, plans to go for a bumper before going hurdling later this Autumn. Western Zethra may be his name.


We then headed over to the schooling ground where Kielan Woods and Paul O’Brien schooled 3 horses each. When you get to be so close to the fences they jump, it’s an incredible experience and it’s brilliant to hear Charlie talking to the jockey’s about various things as they go too.


Little Bruce
Yeats x Lady Rolfe
Owner: The GPS Partnership

In his career he has won the North Yorkshire National as well as coming second at 66/1 in the Listed Summer Cup at Uttoxeter. Charlie says he will continue to run in staying chases and go to the Cross Country races at Cheltenham in the Autumn.


Illegal Model
Stowaway x She’s So Beautiful
Owner: Alan Halsall

The plan is for him to go chasing on soft ground and he will be aimed at some staying chases later in the season. Charlie thinks he is a Midlands National or Welsh National horse.


Vivas
Davidoff x Lavircas
Owner: Nigel M. Davies

He finished 5th in the Cross Country at Cheltenham in November 2020, however he’s not seen out the trip since. He has had a recent wind operation. Charlie said he would run at Warwick on the 21st of September or Market Rasen on the 25th of September. (He is declared for Tuesday 21st at Warwick in the 3:55 with Jonathan Burke riding.)


Nightfly
Midnight Legend x Whichway Girl
Owner: Mrs DPH Flory

She won last time out at Stratford in March. She will run a couple more times over fences, but long-term she will become a broodmare for her owners.


Train Hill
Subtle Power x Aljapip
Owner: Old Gold Syndicate

He was recently brought by the Old Gold Syndicate from Swanee River Partnership and will be advertised to buy shares soon. He has finished 2nd in his last two runs and Charlie thinks it won’t be long until he goes one better.


Guetapan Collonges
Saddler Maker x Saturne Collonges
Owner: JP McManus

He is rated 108 after winning twice earlier this year. Charlie has said he will now go chasing and he believes he is a staying chaser in the making and he will possibly develop into a regional National type horse.


Overall, I had a brilliant afternoon and so did everybody there. I hope you all got the opportunity to visit a yard this past week for #NationalRacehorseWeek and if you haven’t then hopefully the chance will arise for you. I highly recommend anyone to visit a stable and see the behind the scenes and how loved these animals are. I am so grateful I get given the chance to spend so much time around these loving and talented horses.

Quick side note before I finish: I will be back with the Racing TV’s Raceday team on September 29th from Nottingham taking you behind the scenes. It’s been a little while since I last worked with them so I’m very excited to get back to it. If you don’t already follow the page then head over and do so. @raceday.rtv on Instagram and @raceday_rtv on Twitter.

I hope you all enjoyed this post and I will see you Saturday the 2nd of October at 11am for a brand new one!

Peel Hall, TopSpeed + An Interview with Tom Green & Will Kinsey – Part Two

Good Evening!

Welcome to Part 2 of my interview with Tom Green and Will Kinsey – let’s just jump straight into it.


I think it is only right we mention the BBC Panorama episode, firstly did you watch it and secondly what can racing do as a sport to change the perception of racing that people now have due to that episode?

Will: I didn’t watch it live but I did watch it a few days later when it had all calmed down and there was some shocking images. But at the same time I felt like from a racing point of view a lot had to be taken with a pinch of salt because a lot of them didn’t look like race horses. The main problem was the slaughter house, if that’s how people think slaughter houses treat the horses then one thing is for sure, people in this industry will not be sending horses to places like that. You’re going to get some cases where with all due respect some horses are not safe to rehome or they have been injured and unfortunately need to be sent to be humanely put to sleep but those cases are very few and far between.

I think in this country racing does an awful lot for after care and does more and more for traceability and the transfer of responsibility and E-passports. They’re doing everything possible to make sure horses have the best life before, during and after racing. I felt like not a true picture was portrayed in that Panorama for sure, it was very one sided, they picked out a couple of examples and some pretty old footage on there as well, but that is not the norm. There is always going to be the odd case, there is always going to be human’s doing bad things in any walk of life but it is our responsibility to make sure we minimise this and give the horses the best care because ultimately we are breeding these horses for people to own them and train them for their pleasure so it’s only right and respectful we make sure they have good aftercare.

From my experience I don’t know anybody in this industry who thinks otherwise or treats horses badly because if they do they’re not in this industry, they’re soon out. I think in this country we do everything well and we’re striving to do it even better with that side of things.

Tom: Yeah, I think the industry as a whole needs to look at is and see that certain things need to be done straight away. They’re not fixes but they’ll make it harder. Bute is a common treatment, it’s like paracetamol for humans and if you went around and how many humans had taken paracetamol, the large majority would say they had. I think one of the things these people were trying to do was get contaminated meat into the food chain so what I would do is make every thoroughbred passport as not fit for consumption because most have been treated with bute anyway. It’s not going to fix the issues but it will make it a lot harder.

There are certainly question marks about how certain horses microchips have got from one horse to another that need to be looked into by the IHRB. However I do think it was very one sided, if you look at the transfer of responsibility that the BHA have brought in they are doing quite a lot and as I said we have rehomed one that now does dressage. I know a lot of people who have rehome horses that still keep in touch and still know what they’ve gone on to do. Every owner I know has made sure that their horse goes on to have a happy life after and that’s very important.

Certainly there’s question marks about the ‘reputable dealer’ because if I went to my trainer who said it’s not going to make a race horse but it’s a really nice horse and I know this man who looks after the horses and can find it a nice home then I’d be thinking yeah this is great because the horse will go on to have a really nice life. You trust the trainer to go that way, but he wasn’t named in the programme. There are definitely questions to be answered but I also agree that it was a quite one sided programme.

Will: The main character was a guy from Animal Aid that won’t stop until horse racing is stopped.

Tom: Well Animal Aid don’t want people to have animals as pets full stop.

Will: Exactly. There are far greater problems in this world. These horses get the best care, you’ve been here today and see how they’re treated. They are wild animals and we do breed them to do a job, but they will do terrible things. But with the lame horse on that programme, if he was transported like that then that is shocking but he could have done that, for all we know, whilst being transported. I do feel it was very one sided but we need to keep striving to do more and make these cases less. There was no side to that programme showing all the horses doing ROR (Retraining of Racehorses) and have a great after life. It was sensationalism in the large part and the majority of horses get really well looked after but unfortunately there are some sick people in this world who do sick things.

Tom: And anything we can do to minimise that is needed. Horse racing has always struggled with its image and I think syndicates are a great way to change that image and the sport should embrace that because people can be shown the realities so having TopSpeed we can bring people to see how the horses are treated. Like, how many people know that at Jonjo O’Neill’s there is a spa and a solarium and a swimming pool and a dedicated spa manager to make sure the animals are looked after. Racing needs to educate people because it’s got so much it can offer that other sports can’t.

Will: It’s come a long way, it’s made a lot of good changes like the whip and the fences at Aintree and stuff like that, horse welfare has come a long way. But there also has to come a point where there is so much we can do before it becomes something different.

And mentioning the whip there, where do you stand with the jockey bans, do they work or should the horse be disqualified if the jockey uses it too many times?

Will: I don’t think the horse should be thrown out of the race, it’s not the horses fault or the owners fault who pays the bills.

Tom: But I don’t think the jockey ban works, it’s not a big enough deterrent at the minute for those top races and that’s where they need to look at making changes. For example, The Hundred, they were fining teams for not bowling their overs quick enough and it didn’t work so now they’ve changed it, that’s what racing has been doing, they’re fining the jockey’s with bans and it hasn’t changed. Racing needs to have a look at how it can punish jockey’s who haven’t done it properly. But throwing the horse out as an owner, I can see both sides to the argument.

Perfect example is Native River in the Gold Cup, everyone knows I love Native River, but Richard Johnson used his whip too many times and ended up with a ban, in that race if he hadn’t Might Bite could have got up and beat him, so what can racing do?

Will: It’s a tough one, in terms of yes that was a gruelling race and to an outsider seeing a horse being hit it looks like it’s being beaten, but sometimes you need to keep the horse awake and keeping it decisive for the safety of the horse and the safety of the jockey. But ultimately Native River keeps coming back and winning races. If he didn’t like it he would just stop. In some respects the whip isn’t as bad as some people think it is. Richard was an old school jockey, who’s now obviously retired, so he’s seen all the rules come and go. I actually got banned in a close finish, but I only hit it twice after the last but it was the day after the new rules came in and I remember thinking I didn’t have a clue why the stewards wanted to see me. I think I hit it 10 times instead f 8 or something like that, but there was never more than 2 hits after 1 fence and I wasn’t a big man for using the whip at all but there is a time and a place when you need to use it when a horse is stopping underneath you. On a big occasion like the Gold Cup there is always the argument they’re only doing it because it’s the Gold Cup but sometimes you can lose count.

That was another question I had, in your head are you counting how many times you have used the whip or in that moment when you’re full of adrenaline do you lose count or forget to count?

Will: From the second last to the last to the line you have a fair old idea, but what if you gave them one earlier in the race? You may have forgotten about that one. So yes and no, you have a fair idea, but the argument to that is if in doubt don’t use it again. David Egan, he got fined on Mishriff this year and it was 10% of his winnings which was £100,000 because he won a million, which is an awful lot of money. If you said to a jockey would you win the Gold Cup or Grand National for no money, then I bet they would all say yes of course I would.

Tom: I think the issue is, take Might Bite and Native River, if he hadn’t gone over would Might Bite have won? I would probably say no, I think Native River still would have won because he’s a tough horse. But the bit I get annoyed with is interference, that needs to be looked at because the French have went too far one way but we’re too far the other. You can almost take a horse out of the race because as long as you’re a head clear you’re still fine. That can have a serious impact on the flat.

Will: Maybe a rule where for each hit over the ruled amount they lose a length or something like that, just putting ideas out there. It’s a pretty black and white rule then. So if they finish half a length ahead and hit 1 over then they lose a length and get demoted to second. But you are penalising the owner but that’s the jockey’s responsibility.

Tom: And as an owner, you get a say in what jockey rides your horses so if you have a jockey who has been found as a culprit multiple times who’s lost plenty of lengths you won’t put them on your horse so jockey’s will need to adapt. Having that rule, yes some jockey’s will make a mistake but over time jockeys will modify their behaviour and that’s what you need to do.

Will: It is difficult because riding a horse in a 7 furlong sprint is different to riding a horse in a 3 mile chase around Chepstow on heavy ground, if you’re coming to the last do you want to take that decision away from the jockey that you can’t use the whip if the horse needs it to get him to concentrate. In Richard’s defence, we’re a similar age, that’s how we were educated so you need to educate the jockeys coming through. I find it a grey area that there is the same rule for the flat as well as the jumps, it’s a real difficult one, without killing the sport as well. I was never one to use the whip so when I got my one and only ban it came as a shock but you know occasionally, the horse I rode was in head gear and lively. I’m not for a ban, I think the rules are pretty good at the moment but I don’t like seeing a jockey go over and I don’t like them doing it just because it’s a big event.

Looking from the other side, Richard Johnson as the example, if he hadn’t went over and he had been beaten by Might Bite, he would then potentially get penalised by the stewards for essentially throwing the race.

Tom: Then he’s able to say I gave him the best ride possible, I got to the limit. They keep reducing the number of times the whip can be used, has that resulted in jockeys getting better at riding and controlling a horse and motivating a horse? That’s an interesting side point.

Will: I have a bigger problem when a horse is being hit with no time to respond opposed to how many times it was hit over 3 miles.

Tom: Yeah, if it’s hit every so many miles but then it’s hit 3 times in a row with no time to react in between then that’s a bigger injustice. I think horse racing makes a lot of these issues for themselves by not being transparent and educating those outside of the sport.

Will: Ultimately Richard is not hitting Native River to hurt him, when they crossed the line he was hugging him and kissing him. That horse is then getting cuddled by owners, trainers, everybody. Nobody loves Native River as much as Richard Johnson.

Tom: Zoe would give him a run for his money!

Will: They’re both in it together, I felt like they were very much a match made in heaven. We need to do what we can without ruining the sport. Going off topic slightly, VAR has ruined football, you can keep trying to iron out these things, but I think the rules are pretty good.

You’re both very knowledgeable within breeding and pedigrees, so with the passing of Galileo earlier this year how much of an impact will that have on the breeding side of things within horse racing?

Tom: I’d argue not that big now actually because there are so many of his off-spring that are top class that Coolmore were using him less and less because they were needing crosses for his daughters. I think the legacy he leaves will be massive and it already is. You just need to look at Frankel who is another superstar who may go on to eclipse him.

Will: I think that that’s huge that he doesn’t belong to Coolmore.

That was another question, with Frankel not being at Coolmore, what horse from Coolmore do you now see being their flagship stallion?

Tom: They’ve just brought Wootton Bassett who I think they’ll use to cross with Galileo’s daughters. I think it’s a really interesting time for Coolmore actually, I think they thought they’d solved all their problems with Deep Impact and part of the issue, because Galileo has been so dominant most of their top mares are by him so they can’t use a son of him so they’re going to have those out crosses. It’s interesting he had Gleneagles who lots of people knocked and there was a bit of a resurgence. Australia has done really really well. I just can’t get over the fact that when I visited Coolmore, Gleneagles is the spitting image of his dad, he is literally his twin. I could see him taking on from Coolmore, but I actually think that because they have so many of his daughters, they will focus on the out crossings and it’ll be a case of Camelot and Wootton Bassett.

Will: Obviously the Galileo impact is huge. But ultimately he is the sire of middle distance runners, but the commercial flat market doesn’t really want it anyway. He’s still going to have a legacy for many years to come, as Tom said, he has all of his mares and more foals to be born by him so a special horse may come through. Frankel is just doing amazingly well.

Tom: If you compare Frankel and Galileo like for like, Frankel is ahead of Galileo at the same stage. I think the biggest impact will be over the next few years seeing the relationship between Coolmore and Godolphin or Darley has got a lot better. So you’ve seen them send a lot of their top class Galileo mares get sent to them which has came at a really good time for Coolmore. I think they will also try to promote Wootton Bassett massively but in terms of a son it will be Frankel who will be a clear favourite. And Camelot has already proven he can produce good horses.

Will: It’ll be good because we’ll get to see top class mares go to other stallions too. It is a huge impact that he isn’t there and his legacy will last for years to come and other stallions will naturally take over, which will be a good thing for the breeding industry really.

On from that, Aidan O’Brien has always been given a large crop of Galileo’s off-spring, he also has his two sons who are very young and only just getting started, do you think either of them could beat their dad’s records or now without Galileo here to produce Aidan always had the one up on them?

Tom: I don’t think either of them will go on to beat his record. I think the main issue is that there is two of them. Even if they get supported by Coolmore, unless one of them takes the major role, Aidan get’s all of Coolmore’s power behind him, ultimately if you split that then they won’t have the same fire power he has got. I also thinkk with the way the cycle is going, Godolphin are coming back to when they were in their heyday and I think they will put up a fight with Coolmore for those top races.

You both know racing very well, so are there any young horses or stallions you’d tell people to keep an eye out over the next few years?

Will: In terms of national hunt stallions, it’s a very interesting time with a lot of top leading stallions gone. Walk In The Park has been doing very well in the sales so naturally he’ll have been seen by a lot of good broodmares, so you’d think him. He’s an obvious one to follow. This side of the water is very interesting, Kayf Tara has gone who was the leading light here. We’ve got a lot of younger, unproven stallions. It’s quite an exciting time, you could send a mare to one of these stallions cheaply, then in a couple of years time they become very popular. We have a few foals by Masterstroke who is very well bred and they have a great temperament. We support a lot of British stallions here this year, we’ve sent a few to Nathaniel. I think it’s an exciting time. People are all doom and gloom saying we have no nice stallions but we could be sat here in 5 years time saying how many brilliant stallions we have.

On the flat Bated Breath who is proven and as I said earlier, Gleneagles after being out in the cold a little bit last year.

On Thursday we seen the Racing League start, what did you both think, do you think it will work and do you think it will get a younger audience involved or do you think there is still more that needs to be done?

Tom: We have spoken about this a lot because Will was there as his new business venture Thoroughbid sponsors one of the teams.

Will: I’ve got to say it was a lot of fun, there was a great atmosphere. It was really refreshing. We had some owners in our team who had came all the way from Cornwall or Devon and they were in the last race but because all the horses were in the same colours and were trained by Richard Hannon or Andrew Balding they actually felt like the owner of every horse we had and when the horse ran well and still gained points for the team they felt like they were really a part of it. We had trainers cheering on other trainers horses and because on a day to day basis it’s an individuals game so the vibe was great and everybody there really brought into it and had more fun than they ever anticipated. I just think from a racing point of view, I seen people I knew from Liverpool there who shouted over and wanted a cap and then they were cheering on every horse in blue from there.

Most people who go racing don’t know anything about racing, they go for a day or night out and if you hand them a programme they have no idea what any of it means, they pick a horse on its colour or name or something like that and now they pick a team and know what horse they’re supporting and they have friends supporting other teams. The racing was supremely competitive and loads of prize money.

Being there I thought it was a great success and I’m sure there is loads of things they can change, they’ve had a lot of negative press but all of that is from people who are not involved because they feel like they can’t compete for the great prize money and I understand that but Rome wasn’t built in a day. We need change to appeal to a different audience, we can’t keep saying no to everything and I thought it was brilliant.

Tom: From a neutral point of view, I think there’s lots of good stuff and anything that can bring racing forward is needed. They could have done a few things definitely better, one thing I would do is look at The Hundred because it was highly controversial before it started but now everyone on social media is really enjoying it, including lots of kids, so they should look at The Hundred and learn from them, like the music and stuff. Racing has been panned by traditionalists for having concerts afterwards, whereas if I was the Racing League I would go and find a big name to be on stage and rather than have a concert at the end I’d have them sing a few songs before racing and a song or two in-between each race. You can then have the commentators speak to the band and ask them who they’re all supporting and the fans there for the band will hear them say for example ‘team Thoroughbid’ and suddenly they will be paying attention to the racing to support that team. With The Hundred they have used BBC DJ’s and Chris Hughes, who would have been brilliant for the Racing League – they have built it for the younger audience and racing should therefore bring those aspects into it because some people would go just for the music but then actually quite enjoy the racing because racing is a brilliant sport and has lots to offer.

Will: What I thought was key was every race was competitive and competitive racing, no matter what the standard generates an atmosphere. What generates the atmosphere is the team event because they’re supporting everything Hayley rides or they’re supporting team Thoroughbid and going with their team. If you have an atmosphere, people have fun and come back again. There are things that they can do, but they’ve had a great start and I’m looking forward to next week.

Comparing it to The Hundred which is shown on BBC, do you think it’s going to be a big hit that you can only watch the Racing League on Sky?

Will: To start with, of course, but lots of sport has been lost off terrestrial TV and if you’re doing evening racing a lot of people will want to watch Love Island or whatever, I record that, but the more channels the better.

Tom: I think it’s massive, BBC doesn’t have ads which on other channels annoy people because they’ll switch channels in the ad breaks. I was watching the Racing League but then an advert would come on and I’d turn over to The Hundred and get engrossed in that then all of a sudden switch back and miss a race. A lot of people would say and I am one of them that since BBC lost horse racing how many times have you seen horse racing on BBC for a good reason? Never is the answer to that. All I’ve seen and heard from BBC is all about The Hundred, they’ve got the full weight of their advertising behind it because it’s a big thing because they don’t have as much sport, whereas with Sky they have so many good sports now that it’s fighting with that.

Will: At the moment we’re in a weird time with the Olympics being pushed back and the Lions and a lot of people said why put it on the same day as Goodwood, where actually I think it was a good thing, because people were watching Goodwood and enjoying it and thought Racing League starts tonight lets put that on. I can understand why people think it’s a negative but I think it’s a positive too.

Tom: But if they were watching Goodwood on ITV which most people do, how much were ITV talking about the Racing League? I didn’t watch it so I don’t know the answer to that but I would guess not much.

Will: I think cricket already has an audience, in summer at school what sport do you play? Cricket, not horse racing. So we need to get the message out there because if your parents don’t watch it, you probably won’t either. I think it’s great and like with The Hundred, minds will get turned. If you don’t force change, change will never happen. It’s exciting because it’s racing hopefully moving forward

Will, you sponsor one of the teams with your new venture Thoroughbid, so can you tell people what Thoroughbid is?

Will: Thoroughbid is an auction house, predominantly online that we have just launched. It’s very much trying to bring the bloodstock world, firstly into the 21st century and make it more accessible to people. If a man on the street walked into Doncaster sales and went to buy a horse, they wouldn’t have a clue. Whereas what we’re trying to do is modernise things – physical auctions are great and they will always have their place but ultimately with racing a lot of things haven’t changed. The days of trainers having time off are gone, when you go to Doncaster sales in May there are jumps meetings in the day and on the evening, so if a trainer is going for their traditional end of season sale to buy and sell horses, they now have to send staff to the sales, staff to the meeting in the afternoon, staff on the evening meeting and where does the trainer actually go?

During the pandemic online auctions were huge because to continue working they had no choice, but in Australia online sales are huge partly because the size of the country and they can’t move their horses around as much. But we could tell an awful lot from the videos and pictures, they were very good. There is a huge market for it. This way if you want to see the horses once you see the videos then there is plenty of time to arrange a visit to see them. From an owners point of view you can apply for a horse without going through the trainer, where traditionally the trainer buys the horses then sells them to the owners.

We’re starting with a Sunday evening to start with where people may have a dinner and enjoy the process. It also takes that credit risk away from the trainer, it can be passed straight onto the owner. The biggest USP is that we are limiting credit. If you go to the sales you can buy it then don’t have to pay for 30 days and as the vendor you don’t receive the money for 30 days, whereas this way we are saying we’re going to receive the money and pay the vendor within 7 days. It also saves a lot of money and risks for the owners, trainers and vendors, they have to pay people to go there, look after the horses, the travel there and back and the risk of taking the horses away from their stable to a strange environment for 3 days, the hotels, meals, staff, all of that.

But mostly it’s to bring people in and see the process and the transparency. There’s a huge hunger for it from the owners and trainers so it’s exciting.

On Thursday evening you had a team Thoroughbid winner, from that, you still have Oisin Murphy and Sean Levey to come back, do you see your team doing well or even winning?

Will: I didn’t back it by the way, I thought I did but I backed something else instead. We’re going to win it! It was really really competitive and when I was in the paddock in between race 1 or 2 there was that vibe that everyone had targeted these races and they’re going to for £50,000 a race and £150,000 for the winner of the competition so the trainers are taking it very seriously. I thought the format was really great, 5 furlongs, 6 furlongs, 7 furlongs, it made it really easy to understand and it worked really well. I think our strengths lie possibly in the longer races, but hopefully we will do okay. It’s all good sport.

And finally, for anyone who hasn’t joined TopSpeed yet, in a few short sentences can you tell us why they should join and how they can do so?

Tom: It’s the fun of ownership and having that shared experience with other like minded people and hopefully being able to experience top class horses in big races – that’s our aim for everyone. They can buy as many shares as they’d like on our website.

Will: The fun, the content they get is second to none, the all round experience and you’ll be very much made to feel a part of the team and become more knowledgeable about racing in general.


I want to say a massive thank you to Will and Tom for their hospitality, their time and their knowledge. I had a brilliant day meeting the horses and speaking about all things racing.

If you want to get involved with TopSpeed Thoroughbreds then visit their website to sign up and buy your shares: https://www.topspeedracing.co.uk/ If you have any questions then please do message me or the guys and those will all be answered for you!

I hope you all enjoyed this interview as much as I have and I will see you all in my next post!

Peel Hall, TopSpeed + An Interview with Tom Green & Will Kinsey – Part One

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today’s post is a very exciting one! Yesterday I was lucky enough to be invited up North to Peel Hall Stud to meet some of the TopSpeed Thoroughbreds horses, plus some other incredible prospects and also to interview Tom and Will about the syndicate but also all things racing. This post would be ridiculously long if I put it all into one so I have decided to split it into two, the second post will go up at 7pm this evening so you don’t have too long to wait to read it! So without further ado, I’m just going to jump right in!


When we arrived at Peel Hall Stud, Will had arranged for some of the horses to be paraded on the front lawn...

All The Glory
Fame And Glory x Glorybe
4 Year Old Filly
Jonjo O’Neill

All The Glory came 3rd when she made her debut at Ludlow back in May in a bumper and looks to be a pretty exciting prospect for those involved with her! She looked gorgeous and has enjoyed her summer holidays, she was brought in this week with the other TopSpeed horses so she could meet everyone when they have the owners open day next Saturday! She will be off back to Jonjo’s shortly to get ready for the new season.


Urban Grit
Cityscape x Lady Azamour
4 Year Old Gelding
Olly Murphy

Urban Grit came second in his debut at Huntingdon in May in a bumper. The winner was a JP McManus owned horse called Call Of The Wind and interestingly the 3rd placed horse Starlyte for Ian Williams has since won a race, so very good form potentially to follow Urban Grit.

Another interesting point is this race was split into two and if Urban Grit was in the other side of the draw, based on time he would have won the other race. So again, another very interesting horse to be involved with. Olly seems to be impressed with him and is looking forward to having him back to start his training for his next campaign.


Unnamed
Arctic Cosmos x South Queen Lady
4 Year Old Gelding
Donald McCain

He is currently unraced, however Donald McCain is looking forward to having him in training and ready to start his racing career. Will and Tom explained he has taken a little longer than some of the other horses to really settle and mature – This is not a concern and is pretty common with male horses. But he is almost ready to be sent to Donald and he should be well away once he’s there and in full training.


Galaxy Dancer
Telescope x La Doelenaise
4 Year Old Filly
Phil Kirby

Galaxy Dancer made her debut in March at Newcastle where she finished 10th out of 12 runners with a pretty disappointing run. Phil is going to have her back and see if they can get an improvement from her, so we will see how her journey goes!


Walk In The Storm
Walk In The Park x Mucho Macabi
4 Year Old Filly
Ian Williams

Walk In The Storm came 2nd in her debut run at Worcester in April, beaten by Kim Bailey’s I Spy A Diva. Interestingly the 3rd placed horse Malaita for Mel Rowley has since won so again nice form coming out of this race. Ian Williams loves Walk In The Storm and thinks she could be very special.


We then seen 2 horses from the pin hooking syndicate.

First was a 2 year old filly by Westerner. She is the sister to a black type horse.


The second is a 2 year old gelding by Blue Bresil.


We then seen a couple of yearlings.

The first one we seen was a yearling by Telescope. He was born in late April and I must admit, I fell in love with him!


Next out was a lovely Mahler yearling. Again, she was lovely but she definitely had a mind of her own.


Next out was a Nathanial filly. Something I love about TopSpeed is they have options. If a horse is not performing for their owners then TopSpeed have it wrote into their terms and conditions that they will replace the horse in that syndicate. This gorgeous girl is an option for TopSpeed if they wish to replace a horse.


The final horse we seen is a very exciting one! She has been given the nickname Polly because she is the half sister to the Queen Mother Chase and Arkle Chase Put The Kettle On. She is by Valirann out of Name for Fame.

In the very near future she will be entered into a syndicate for TopSpeed – so make sure you all keep an eye out for this one because I think it will be a very quick selling syndicate. I am super excited for this one, if she can go on to be half as good as Put The Kettle On then she is going to be such an exciting horse for all of her owners.


We were then lucky enough to visit all of the horses in their boxes and as everybody knows by now I just adore animals in general so being able to meet all the horses and give them cuddles was a dream!


We were also given the opportunity to have a walk round and see some of the lovely babies that have been born this year! Surprisingly, I have never actually met horses this young before, although I get to visit stables regularly, I always meet the fully grown horses ready to run so it was so exciting to meet all the babies.


We also got the chance to meet the lovely Cara’s Way who Will now owns. He brought her from Gigginstown who had her in training with Gordon Elliott, however she never won for them. Will purchased her and sent her into training with Phil Kirby and interestingly she won her first race at Doncaster in January 2019. However next time out she finished 6th out of 8 horses so Will retired her and she now stays at Peel Hall ready to produce some gorgeous offspring. She is such a gorgeous looking horse!


It was then time to sit down and have a chat about all things racing with two very knowledgeable people within the sport.

Firstly, how did you both get into racing?

Tom: I got into racing from gambling to start off with. I enjoyed a gamble every now and then and I started to look at the horses and I actually decided to take the plunge and join a syndicate which was really good and from there it snowballed into having some of my own horses. The first time I went to the sales, I went with a current trainer who I was using at that time and said let’s go and buy one half decent horse, so I went with about £50,000 to the sales at Doncaster to buy one and we came back with four. And it’s been that way since. Then I started to buy youngsters so we knew how they’d been brought up and they didn’t have any issues and move them down to Will’s and that’s how I met Will and it’s gone on from there.

Will: We were farmers but we always had point to pointers and hunters. My Grandad had point to pointers, my dad’s mom’s dad trained so there was training on that side of the family. I was probably a typical boy really, my sister did the ponies and the only condition for me riding the ponies was that my sister mucked them out whilst I was kicking a ball around. But yeah, we always had horses here and from 16 onwards I went to point to points and went in the beer tent and had a few bets and mixing more in those circles made racing more interesting. Then when I left school I’d been playing rugby and I wasn’t getting any bigger so I said to my parents I fancy a go at race riding and they were like “you what” but my love of racing grew really. I then got into following the pedigrees and it grew and grew from there really.

For those who haven’t heard of Top Speed before, can you explain what it is you do?

Tom In simple terms, it’s a microshare syndicate. We’re trying to bring as many people into the joy of owning a horse as possible alongside both mine and Will’s ethos of we want to have quality horses. We’ve always said if you want to have a horse who runs in a class 6 around Wolverhampton then you can go and get those really easily, but what we’re trying to provide is something a bit different. We won’t go and buy horses in training, we will go and buy foals and yearlings and 3 year old unbroken horses that we think have a chance of taking members to the very top. We do 2 year syndicates so they definitely have enough time and that’s where Will’s experience with the pin hooking and my side of things with the younger horses we think we’ve got something different for people that they can see the progression right from the 3 year old national hunt horse, they can see them brought back to Peel Hall, see them get broken in, see it learn how to loose school and that whole process that most people never see and then they go to the trainer and they get to see all of that as well. They get to have the full picture. That’s why we have a pin hooking syndicate as well so people can see the other side of racing and the breeding and get involved in that too.

And what race on the flat and over jumps would you like to win with TopSpeed? If you could pick just one.

Tom: On the flat it would have to be the Derby because then you’ve got a stallion. Over jumps I’ve got two… One’s a bit weird. I’ve always wanted to win the Supreme at the Cheltenham Festival just because it’s the first race and that massive roar and I guess I’d quite like – and maybe we have one in Polly – a Champion Chase horse. That would be brilliant.

Will: On the flat it would definitely be the Derby without a doubt and then over jumps – we may have to have a horse in the syndicate for quite a few years to do it but it would have to be the Grand National. Maybe it’s not applicable to TopSpeed because to win it we’d need an 8 or 9 year old really and that’s pretty long term, but that’s not saying it won’t happen but it won’t be for a few years because the oldest one we have is 4. So if you’re talking about a young horse it would probably be the Champion Bumper or the Supreme or one of he big novice hurdles at Cheltenham or Aintree or Punchestown.

When I tweeted saying I was interviewing you both I had so many questions from owners asking how the horses are, what the plans are and when they’ll be returning to their trainers so how are they all at the moment?

Will: So yeah the ones that are here have only been back in a week, Urban Grit has been in 3 weeks – he’s been cantering away slowly. He’s doing 2 and 2 which means cantering 4 furlongs one way and 4 the other. And then in-between days he’s doing some loose jumps so nothing too strenuous. Galaxy Dancer, All The Glory, Walk In The Storm and the Arctic Cosmos came back in Monday, so they’ve been on the walker and we’ll start riding them this week.

In terms of prospects for them all, Tom can fill in here too – the Arctic Cosmos we need to get him to Donald’s, hopefully we’ve ironed out his little niggles.

Tom: Urban Grit – Olly thinks he is more than capable of winning a bumper so we will be targeting a bumper and depending on how he performs in that we will either step up or he will look at going over obstacles. He’ll start his hurdling career.

Will: I think that applies for all the others as well really.

Tom: Yeah they will all start off in bumpers and then the vast majority of them will start their novice hurdling. Walk In The Storm may be a bit different, she’s already pencilled in for a listed bumper so she will probably have one bumper to get into the swing of things but then go on to a listed bumper, possibly at Huntingdon and if that goes really well then maybe we look at another top bumper or she might then go and jump some hurdles.

Will: Realistically, unless one of them is going to go for a black type bumper or one of the festivals then what is the point of keeping them in bumpers. I’d sooner get them jumping.

Tom: Yeah, second year of the syndicate they’re all 4 year olds and raced at least one other than Cosmo. Say Urban Grit wins his bumper and wins it well then we may look at a black type bumper for him but otherwise we will get them going over hurdles and have a novice campaign and hopefully they keep showing the ability they’ve got. That’ll be the fingers crossed bit hopefully.

You have both been to the sales plenty of times, so personally what do you both look for when purchasing a horse?

Will: Traditionally the first thing is the pedigree. You’ll get a catalogue come through the post, so that’s what you go with initially. Then you go around and look at them physically. I would look for an athlete then the rest of it. If I don’t think it looks like an athlete then the rest is immaterial. So always an athlete with a good temperament.

Tom: When you’ve got the sales coming up and we’re hoping to have a sales syndicate where we can hopefully include people in the buying syndicate where we can show them the process. First thing we have to do is narrow down the list. If we look at the flat sales coming up there’s book 1, 2, 3 and 4 which is what 2000 horses so it’s impossible really to go and look at all of them. So you have to go through the pedigrees, shortlist them and then look at the physical. For me, when the horse first comes out of the box in the first 5 seconds you get that gut feeling where it’s ‘oh wow’ and you seriously have a look at it. In the first 5 seconds you’ll know if you’re interested or not because they will catch your eye. Then after that it’s if it’s correct but I agree with Will that the most important thing is if it moves well, if it moves nicely you’re more willing to forgive if it’s slightly incorrect. The physical dictates if you buy it, then the pedigree dictates how much it’s worth. That’s how we look at it. Some people just look at pedigrees, others just look at the physical. But with all the horses in the syndicate they have a mixture of both.

Not every horse is a good race horse, so what makes a good race horse?

Will: Mentality. They can move fast but ultimately if they don’t want to do it or don’t have the guts or heart to do it. The mentality and temperament are crucial.

Tom: All you have to do is watch any of Aidan O’Brien’s past interviews and when he’s asked about Galileo, the first thing he always says is they’re born with the will to win. That’s why he’s been such a good stallion because his offspring are born with that temperament, they’re tough, they’re gritty and they knuckle down and give it their all. If you have a supremely talented horse that only give it now and then, in lots of ways it’s disappointing because they should win more races. And also training isn’t easy, these horses have to go through a lot in their lives to be a race horse. But so many horses will never see a race track because their mentality doesn’t allow.

Will: Yes, it’s mentality to withstand training as well.

When you sell a horse on – do you keep in touch with the new owners and keep track of the horse?

Will: We track everything really. As a breeder, when you register the foal you can register for foal tracking so when it’s named you’ll know. But I also keep in contact with the people I sell to. If you own a broodmare you want to know what’s going on so you know what to keep or sell. But also it’s just good customer relations, I want them to come back again.

Tom: Also the BHA now, whenever our horse goes to a trainer there’s a transfer of responsibility so whilst they’re here they’re on TopSpeed’s and Will’s books as we are responsible, when they go to the trainer it transfers to theirs. If we were to ever retire a horse, we have to input that information into the BHA so they are aware of where that horse is going as well as we do. A lot of horses when they retire can go onto a second career if it isn’t as a stallion or broodmare. I retired a horse who is now in a field over the back learning how to do dressage and the girl who is looking after it sent me a video of her training it where it did a little bit then put it’s head down and started eating the grass because it thought it had done enough. Equally, if one of the TopSpeed horses goes to a home and the owner falls on hard times then it will come back here and that will be one of the agreements when we’re doing the vetting so we can find them a new home.

For people who don’t know what the pin hooking syndicate is, can you explain it a little bit?

Will: Pin hooking is basically buying something and selling it on for a profit. So in our case, we buy foals to sell as 3 year old stores or some 2 year old stores. Or buy a mare out of training and sell her on in foal to something, that’s another form of pin hooking. Then on the flat we will buy foals and sell them as yearlings or 2 year olds. That is fundamentally what pin hooking is. But nothing in life when making money is that easy but we love doing it and we love trying to find these, we are looking for horses we can make a profit on but who can go on to win races.

Tom: It’s also the challenge at the sales when you need to find something that other people haven’t seen. You’re trying to find the edge where you can buy a horse for £30,000 instead of £50,000 when you think it’s a £50,000 horse.

Will: You’re trying to imagine how much of a margin is in it to see if it’s worth doing. Ultimately it can be a great pin hook if you can buy a horse for £2,000 and sell it on for £30,000 there’s good profit in that, but buying one for the £20,000 and selling it for £35,000 isn’t such a good pin hook because the cost is the same but you haven’t made as much.

Tom: It costs the same to keep a good horse as it does a bad horse. They both need the same.

Will: What I do find interesting is when you do sell a horse, it’s the following the horse and you get enjoyment whether you make money or not because you get joy as you’ve followed the horse from being a foal or a yearling to being 2 or 3 and seeing them be on a racecourse and turning out to run at Cheltenham or wherever. That’s where I get my satisfaction.

Tom: From TopSpeed’s point of view, we wanted to do it because it’s a side of racing people never get to see or think about or realise.


So I am going to leave it right there for part 1, part 2 will be up at 7pm this evening and there we discuss BBC Panorama, should jockeys face a harsher punishment for using the whip too many times, do jockeys lose count when they’re in a race, how Galileo’s death will impact the breeding side of racing, who will become Coolmore’s flagship horse now, Frankel, the O’Brien’s, the Racing League, Thoroughbid and so much more.

See you in 1 hour, set your alarms so you don’t miss it!

Why Did Diane Crump Require a Police Escort?

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! I don’t think today’s post will be a long one, but it is one I really wanted to share when I read about it. So without further ado, I’ll get straight into it for you.


Diane Crump was born on May 18th in1948 to Walter and Jean Crump in Milford, Connecticut. When she got a little older, her family moved to Oldsmar Florida and at 13 years old she began taking riding lessons.

At 20 years old on February 7th in 1969, Diane Crump became the first woman to compete as a professional jockey in a pari-mutuel race in the United States at Hialeah Park Race Track. However it wasn’t all smooth running for her.

In 1968, two women had been forced out of horse races they had been entered in to after male jockeys threw rocks at the trailers used as locker rooms by the women and threatened to boycott the race day if the women participated so Diane knew, she also would not have it easy.

There was so much hostility towards her that she needed a police escort to get to the track, guiding her though a very angry crowd of people who were shouting things such as ‘go back to the kitchen and cook dinner’ amongst other sexist comments.

Diane Crump ignored the constant abuse thrown at her and she did indeed ride her horse Birdle ‘n Bit. She finished 9th in the 12 horse race and when she returned, there were cheers of support for her. Just two weeks later, Diane rode her first winner.

In 1970, Diane became the first female jockey to ride in the Kentucky Derby. She won the first race on the card that day and then in the Kentucky Derby on board Fathom, she finished 15 out of 17.

In the early 70’s Diane received invitations to ride in Puerto Rico and Venezuela. In a race in Puerto Rico, she realised the male jockey behind her was holding onto her saddle, basically getting a free ride during the race. She began to hit him with her stick and they spent the remainder of the race hitting each other, however the male jockey pulled away and ended up winning the race.

In 1985, Diane retired from the saddle after riding 235 winners (she is officially only credited with 228).

On February 1st 1989, Diane suffered a broken leg, ankle and ribs from a riding accident and was hospitalised for 10 days. Her leg was broken in 6 or 7 different places and the doctors told her she would never be able to ride again.

In 1991 she began to work as a trainer for a small yard at Middleburg Training Center in Virginia, however in 1992 she returned to riding up until 1998 before finally retiring completely from racing in 1999 and beginning to run her own equine sales business living in Virginia.


I thought it was so sad when I read this story that she was treated so awfully by the race-goers, but I have a lot of admiration for her for continuing to pursue her dream as well as opening the sport up to women for years to come. If she hadn’t been brave enough to stand up to the sexist abuse, who knows how differently the sport could have been.

I love the fact that sexism within racing no longer exists, whether you’re male or female you get equal opportunities to take part and succeed if you put the work in and that is proven by the success of those like Bryony Frost, Hollie Doyle, Rachael Blackmore and so many more.

I had never heard of Diane before researching this post, so I hope I have taught you all a thing or two with today’s post and I will see you Saturday morning at 11am for a new post.

The History of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Ahead of today’s renewal of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes let’s take a look at the history of the race, some records in the race and a little look at today’s runners. Let’s get right into it!


The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which was inaugurated in 1951. The race is open to horses aged three and older. It is ran at Ascot racecourse in England over a distance of 1 mile, 3 furlongs and 211 yards and takes place in July each year. In 2020 the race was worth £400,000 with the winner receiving £226,840.

The race was formed as a result of an amalgamation of two separate races at Ascot, the first being the King George VI which was a 2 mile contest for three year olds held in October and the second being the Queen Elizabeth in honour of his wife which was a one and a half mile contest over one and a half miles held in July. The idea was raised by Major John Crocker Bulteel who was the Clerk of the Course at Ascot, who wanted to create an international race over one and a half miles for horses aged 3 or older. So the first ever run took place on July 21st in 1951.

In 2009, Betfair started to sponsor the race and its prize fund was increased from £750,000 to £1,000,000 and is now Britain’s second richest horse race, with a purse exceeded only by The Derby.

In 2011, the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes became part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, so the winner now earns an automatic invitation to compete in the same year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf.


So let’s take a look at some of the previous winners!

The first winner in 1951 was 3 year old Supreme Court who won for jockey Charlie Elliott, trainer Evan Williams and owner Vera Lilley.

Skipping forward 5 years, in 1956 Ribot – who I wrote about in this post: https://zoelouisesmithx.com/2021/05/19/ten-undefeated-racehorses/ won the race at 4 years old for jockey Enrico Camici, trainer Ugo Penco and owner Mario della Rocchetta.

Skipping forward again, in 1970 Nijinsky won at 3 years old for Lester Piggott, Vincent O’Brien and Charles Engelhard, with 3 year old Mill Reef winning in 1971 for Geoff Lewis, Ian Balding and Paul Mellon. In 1973 and 1974 Dahlia won the race at 3 and 4 years old respectively for trainer Maurice Zilber and owner Nelson Bunker Hunt with Bill Pyers riding in 1973 and Lester Piggott in 1974.

Skipping forward again, in 1981 the brilliant Shergar won the race at 3 years old for Walter Swinburn, (Sir) Michael Stoute and HH Aga Khan IV. Skipping to 1997 and 1998 now where Swain won the race for trainer Saeed bin Suroor and owners Godolphin, in 1997 at 5 years old for jockey John Reid and in 1998 at 6 years old (one of two horses to win this at 6 years old) for Frankie Dettori.

In 2001, the late, great Galileo won the race at 3 years old under Michael Kinane for Aidan O’Brien and Magnier / Tabor. In 2011 Nathaniel won at 3 years old for William Buick, John Gosden and Lady Rothschild. In 2015 Postponed won at 4 years old for Andrea Atzeni, Luca Cumani and Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum.

In 2016 Highland Reel won at 4 years old for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Magnier / Tabor / Smith. In 2017, 2019 and 2020 Enable won the race at 3, 5 and 6 years old (second of two to win this race at 6 years old) for Frankie Dettori, John Gosden and Khalid Abdullah. In the middle in 2018 Poet’s Word won at 5 years old for James Doyle, (Sir) Michael Stoute and Saeed Suhail.


So now onto some records in the race.

Firstly the oldest horse to win this race is joint between Swain and Enable who were both 6 years old when winning the race.

The most successful horse with 3 victories is Enable who won in 2017, 2019 and 2020.

The are two leading jockeys in the race both with 7 victories. Firstly Lester Piggott who won with Meadow Court (1965), Aunt Edith (1966), Park Top (1969), Nijinsky (1970), Dahlia (1974), The Minstrel (1977) and Teenoso (1984). And secondly Frankie Dettori who has won with Lammtarra (1995), Swain (1998), Daylami (1999), Doyen (2004) and Enable (2017, 2019, 2020).

The leading trainer with 6 victories is Sir Michael Stoute with Shergar (1981), Opera House (1993), Golan (2002), Conduit (2009), Harbinger (2010) and Poet’s Word (2018).

The leading owner, including part ownership, with 6 wins is Michael Tabor with Montjeu (2000), Galileo (2001), Hurricane Run (2006), Dylan Thomas (2007), Duke of Marmalade (2008) and Highland Reel (2016).


Now onto this years runners… Please not all odds are via Ladbrokes and are correct at the time of writing this post. (11pm on Thursday 22nd July 2021)

Of course we have the 5/4 favourite Love for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore and I think she will be my pick this weekend. I think she’s a very impressive horse and has won over course and distance. I know Ryan can get into some questionable positions sometimes but I think Love is good enough to get him out of a tricky situation. She hasn’t lost a race since October 2019, winning the 1,000 Guineas, Oaks, Yorkshire Oaks and Prince of Wales’s since then. I really like the look of her and I, personally, will find it hard to bet against her.

Although, saying that this is a really competitive race. There are only 6 horses declared but between them they have won 11 Group 1’s and 4 Classics, so a very impressive line up and it should be a brilliant, competitive race, so let’s take a look at the other 5 runners.

Lining up alongside Love we have 9/4 shot Adayar for Charlie Appleby and William Buick. He’s ran the distance before and won The Derby just last month, so again another classy horse. Possibly more to offer after his Derby win and William Buick seems to be in good form also so I wouldn’t be surprised if he came close here.

Next up we have Lone Eagle for Martyn Meade and Frankie Dettori – currently a 5/1 shot. He came second by just a neck in the Irish Derby just a month or so ago clear of the 3rd placed horse. Again another horse you can’t rule out and Frankie Dettori has a habit of coming to the forefront in the big races so with him taking the ride anything is possible here.

We then have Mishriff for John & Thady Gosden and David Egan – currently around the 8/1 mark. Mishriff was very impressive the beginning of the year when winning the Saudi Cup and a Group 1 in Meydan and when returning to the UK he finished 3rd just a neck from Addeybb in the Coral Eclipse. Again not a horse we can rule out here, maybe 8/1 is a big price for a horse that could go very well here. He has won over this distance before, the big occasion won’t affect him at all and he and David seem to have a pretty good relationship so maybe one to watch.

We then have the 11/1 shot Wonderful Tonight for David Menuisier and Oisin Murphy. She has won course and distance before, winning 5 out of 9 races she has had in her career. Interestingly William Buick has rode her the last two times out, in which she won both, but here Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy takes the ride. Now Oisin is in top form lately and he cannot be ruled out whichever horse he rides. Is she as good as some of the others in this race? Maybe not. Could she still win here though if everything goes in her favour? Absolutely.

The final horse in the race is of course another Aidan O’Brien horse. Would this even be a Group 1 without multiple Aidan O’Brien horses? We have Broome at 28/1 under Wayne Lordan. For me 28/1 seems a big price, the second string horse for Aidan O’Brien but by no means a bad horse at all. Broome seems to have been around forever hasn’t he? Pretty impressive career so far and I don’t feel like he’s quite finished winning just yet. There are definitely better horses in the race here, but I definitely couldn’t rule him out. He won last time out in France over a very slightly longer distance of 1 mile 4 furlongs and he could very well win again here.

For me any of the 6 could win this race, they are all extremely talented horses and not one of them can be ruled out, however I am personally going with Love. I really do love her as a horse and I think she will show, once again, just how good she is. I couldn’t back against her, however any of the other 5 could win. It looks to be an absolutely brilliant renewal this year and one thing is for sure… If the running is as competitive as it looks on paper then we’re in for a very exciting race.


This years renewal looks to be an absolute cracker and I can’t wait to see who comes out on top. I will see you all Wednesday evening at 6pm for my last scheduled midweek post. If you did not see my previous post last weekend, from August I will only be doing 1 scheduled definite post on a Saturday and some extras throughout but not a guaranteed post every Wednesday as my current schedule just does not allow me the time to get two posts I am happy with up each week without burning myself out.

Humorist: The One Lung Epsom Derby Winner

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today I am bringing to you a brand new post about a miraculous horse from the early 20th century and when I read about it, I knew I wanted to share his story. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.


Humorist was born in 1918 to Polymelus out of Jest. He was a chestnut colt with a broad white blaze and was described to have a ‘kind and intelligent’ temperament. He was bred by his owner Jack Barnato Joel who was a South African mining magnate and horse breeder. Humorist was sent to Jack’s private trainer Charles Morton at Letcombe Bassett in Berkshire.

When in training, Humorist confused his trainer and owner as he would switch from traveling easily to struggling in a matter of strides. Charles Morton would go on to say ‘all the time I felt there was something wrong with him… He would be perfectly well one day and listless the next’. It would only be after Humorist’s death that the reasons for this would be revealed.

In 1920, Humorist became one of the best two year olds of his generation when he won three times and finished second twice in five starts. His debut came in the Woodcote Stakes at Epsom in June where he won by a neck, however he looked to have been set for an easy victory, the closeness of the finish confusing his connections once again.

Humorist was then found to be suffering with a cough so he ended up missing his intended target at Royal Ascot. His return came in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster where he was beaten by a neck by Lemonora. Humorist then went on to win the Buckenham Stakes and Clearwell Stakes pretty impressively before heading to Newmarket for the Middle Park Stakes, where he was beaten by a neck by Monarch.

Moving into 1921 and now three years old, Humorist headed straight for the Classic 2000 Guineas without having a trial run beforehand. He started as the favourite of twenty six runners. He led the race well into the closing stages and looked like a clear winner, however he abruptly finished third behind Craig an Eran and Lemonora. The audience were less than impressed and many started to question his courage, however his jockey Steve Donoghue insisted there had to be a physical explanation. This being said, trainer Charles Morton changed Humorist’s training regime, working him very lightly in the lead up to the Derby.

Humorist went into the Epsom Derby as the second favourite at 6/1 with only Craig an Eran at a shorter price, going off as the 5/1 favourite. He tracked the leaders before being sent by Steve Donoghue through a gap on the rails and into the lead just two furlongs from the finish. He held off a sustained challenge from Craig an Eran to win by a neck.

After the race, Humorist appeared to be distressed and unsteady and had to spend the night in the racecourse stables before he was well enough to be transported back home.

The plan for Humorist was to head to Royal Ascot next, however during his preparations he was found to be bleeding from his nostrils so it was decided to rest him and miss Royal Ascot again.

In late June, Humorist was painted by artist Alfred Munnings, however just hours later he was found dead in his stable, in a pool of his own blood.

An autopsy was performed and it revealed that Humorist had been suffering from chronic tuberculosis, this would have affected him for months prior to his death. This diagnoses explains the concerns that his trainer had in regards to his sudden change when running and also the concerns of his jockey who knew something was not right. Essentially, this diagnoses means that Humorist had been running with one lung for the majority of his very short career, including his victory in the Epsom Derby. Steve Donoghue paid tribute to Humorist saying:

He gave me everything he had when it must have been agony for him. No horse ever showed greater courage.”

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1086635/2/index.htm

Humorist was buried at his owner, Jack Barnato Joel’s Childwick Bury Stud near St Albans.

To this day, many rate Humorist as one of the best horses of all time, but definitely one of the best of his generation.


What an absolute warrior of a horse. Of course in today’s day and age when there is an issue with a horse, straight away vets are in and doing everything they can to get to the bottom of it, but baring in mind this was in 1921 and it was a far less advanced time and the chances of them being able to detect this would have been a lot lower.

It breaks my heart knowing he was giving everything he had, whilst in excruciating pain and he managed to achieve everything he did.

This was a new story for me, so I hope you all took something from this post that you didn’t know before. I will see you Saturday morning at 11am for a new post!

The History of the Irish Oaks

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Quick side note before we get into this post… From next month I will only be posting one post per week. I have loved writing 2 each week, but now with other projects in the works I just don’t have the time to write two posts a week which are high quality and I am happy to publish. I would much rather post once a week and it be the best it can be than to post two low standard pieces of work. So that means I will be posting Wednesday 21st, Saturday 24th, Wednesday 27th and Saturday 31st and then from August my first post will be the 7th followed by a post every Saturday from then until the end of the year. However special posts about the history of races before they are run will still go up so some weeks I will be writing multiple posts. I’m sorry I have had to cut down but I just feel like this is the best option so I can avoid a burn out. Of course if anything changes and I have the time then I will write more posts but I am just cutting down to a guaranteed 1 post a week opposed to 2, anything I can write up and post additional to that will be a bonus. So with all that being said… Today we will be seeing the renewal of the Irish Oaks so let’s have a look at the history of the race as well as a little look at today’s prospects.


The Irish Oaks is a Group 1 flat race which takes place in Ireland at the Curragh Racecourse. It is open to three year old fillies and is ran over 1 mile and 4 furlongs. The race takes place in July each year and is the equivalent of The Oaks which is a famous race in England. The 2020 race was worth €230,000 with the winner receiving €142,500.

The race was established in 1895 however was originally contested over 1 mile. It was in 1915 that it was extended to its present 1 mile and 4 furlongs.

The first winner of the race in 1895 was Sapling with Latharna winning the first race over the current distance in 1915. Other early winners include The Kiwi in 1921, Santaria in 1932, Foxcroft in 1934, Superbe in 1939, Masaka in 1948, Amante in 1958 and Merry Mate in 1966.

In more recent times Godetia won in 1979 for Lester Piggott, Vincent O’Brien and owner Robert Sangster. Give Thanks won in 1983 for Declan Gillespie, Jim Bolger and owner Mrs Ogden White. In 1988 there was a dead heat called when Diminuendo for jockey Steve Cauthen and trainer Henry Cecil crossed the line at the same time as Melodist for jockey Walter Swinburn and trainer (Sir) Michael Stoute both for owner Sheikh Mohammed.

In 1997 and 1998 jockey Johnny Murtagh and trainer John Oxx won the race. In 1997 with Ebadiyla for owner HH Aga Khan IV and in 1998 with Winona for Lady Clague. In 2002 Margarula won under Kevin Manning for trainer Jim Bolger and owner Jackie Bolger.

In 2004 Ouija Board won under Kieren Fallon for Ed Dunlop and owner the 19th Earl of Derby. Kieren then won it again in 2006 on Alexandrova for Aidan O’Brien and owners Magnier / Tabor / Smith. The next two years being won by Aidan O’Brien also. In 2007 with Peeping Fawn ridden by Johnny Murtagh for Tabor / Magnier and in 2008 with Moonstone again ridden by Johnny Murtagh for Magnier / Tabor / Smith.

In 2010, Ryan Moore won the race on board Snow Fairy for Ed Dunlop and Anamoine Ltd. With Frankie Dettori winning it in 2011 on board Blue Bunting for Mahmood Al Zarooni and Godolphin.

In 2015, the late, great Pat Smullen won the race on board Covert Love for Hugo Palmer and the Fomo Syndicate. With the brilliant Enable winning it in 2017 for Frankie Dettori, John Gosden and Khalid Abdullah.

The last three winners have been Sea of Class in 2018 for James Doyle, William Haggas and Sunderland Holding Inc, Star Catcher in 2019 for Frankie Dettori, John Gosden and Anthony Oppenheimer and Even So in 2020 for Colin Keane, Ger Lyons and Magnier / Paul Shanahan.


Now onto some records.

The leading jockey with 6 wins in the race is Johnny Murtagh who won with Ebadiyla in 1997, Winona in 1998, Petrushka in 2000, Peeping Fawn in 2007, Moonstone in 2008 and Chicquita in 2013.

The leading trainer, also with 6 wins in the race is Sir Michael Stoute who has won with Fair Salinia in 1978, Colorspin in 1986, Unite in 1987, Melodist who won in a dead heat in 1988, Pure Grain in 1995 and Petrushka in 2000.

The leading owner (since 1960 – Including part ownership) is Susan Magnier who has won with Alexandrova in 2006, Peeping Fawn in 2007, Moonstone in 2008, Bracelet in 2014, Seventh Heaven in 2016 and Even So in 2020.


A quick look at this years runners. Please bare in mind I am writing this post at 10pm on 16/07/2021 and all odds are correct at time of writing – via Ladbrokes.

Currently the 2/7 favourite is Snowfall for Aidan O’Brien. Ryan Moore will ride this stable star, opposed to Frankie Dettori who rode her back in June when they won the English Oaks at Epsom.

There is then Nicest at 8/1 for Donnacha O’Brien and Gavin Ryan. Divinely at 10/1 for Aidan O’Brien and Wayne Lordon. Willow at 10/1 for Aidan O’Brien and Seamie Heffernan. Mariesque at 33/1 for Joseph O’Brien and Shane Crosse. La Joconde at 40/1 for Aidan O’Brien and Emmet McNamara. So a pretty big section of the entries belong to the O’Brien family with only Party House at 40/1 for G M Lyons and Colin Keane and Ahandfulofsummers at 66/1 for J A Stack and Chris Hayes in the declarations away from the O’Brien family.

Personally, I would say you have to go for Snowfall, however you can’t rule any of them out. However I would go for Snowfall to become the latest horse to win both the English and Irish Oaks, the first since Enable in 2017. She was impressive last time out, stable jockey Ryan Moore takes the ride this time and I think they’ll win pretty comfortably. Let me know over on Twitter who you think will win!


I hope you all enjoyed this one, good luck with your bets today and I will see you all in my next post on Wednesday evening at 6pm!

Happy Valley: The Worlds Worst Sporting Disaster

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Before we get started I’d like to apologise for not posting on Saturday. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you’ll have seen I was away in Newmarket over the weekend with the Racing TV’s Raceday team and I had no opportunity in the build up to write a post I was happy with so I would rather not post at all than post a low quality post. However I am back today with a new post. Today I am looking at the Happy Valley Racecourse Fire, which is the worlds worst sporting disaster in history. When I read about the tragedy I knew I wanted to share it as it is not something I knew about before recently. I don’t think it will be a long post but I wanted to share it all the same. So without further ado, let’s get into it.


Happy Valley Racecourse was first built in 1845 to provide horse racing to the British people in Hong Kong. The area in which it was built was previously swampland however it was the only suitable flat ground on the island, so to make way for the course, the Hong Kong government prohibited rice growing in villages surrounding the area. The first race meeting took place in December 1846.

On February 26th 1918, it was the second day of the annual ‘Derby Day’ meeting and it started like any other race day. To accommodate extra spectators for the big meeting, a temporary Grandstand was built.

The horses were coming out for the first race The China Stakes when shouts and screams were heard coming from the temporary Grandstand and people were seen rushing from the stand onto the main racecourse. Suddenly there was an explosive noise followed by a string of crackling noises and then the Grandstand started to lean towards the road before collapsing. The Grandstand was sheltering a small village of food stalls, bars and bookmakers so when it collapsed it resulted in knocking over food stalls and causing a fire when bamboo matting was set alight.

Immediately the district’s fire department was called, however this was such a huge incident that the marine police were also called up to help fight the fire.

By the following day, it was reported by the Hong Kong Telegraph that there had been 576 confirmed deaths. However most of the dead bodies had became so unrecognisable and were unable to be identified and were therefore assumed to be ‘Chinese’. A nearby hospital called Tung Wah Hospital offered their assistance by arranging for labourers to collect the bodies and taking them to a nearby area to be buried.

A Chinese-styled memorial site known as Race Course Fire Memorial was built in the Chinese cemetery which now stands before the East Stand of the Stadium. It was declared a momentum in 2015.

It is now widely believed that 614 people died making it one of the worst sporting disasters in history. The below images are very rare photos of the event that were sold in 2019 in a photo album at auction for £4000.

Source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6725187/Photos-Hong-Kong-horse-racing-fire-killed-600-people-sell-4-000-auction.html


I know this is a short one but I wanted to share it because it’s truly a heart breaking situation. Nobody leaves their house to go anywhere not knowing if they will return home. Over 600 people went to a sporting event which they were all clearly really looking forward to and it ended up with them not returning home which is heart breaking. I couldn’t find it in my research but I would be interested in knowing how much work went into the aftermath by the Jockey Club to find out why and how this happened because the Grandstand should have been safe to hold that many people without collapsing. Also interesting to note, in my research I did find that no Jockey Club member or employee died in the event. Many news articles I read also said that although it was one of the biggest disasters in Hong Kong’s history, the Jockey Club knew it was going to be ‘bad for business’ and tried their best to cover up the small details and not allow a scandal to commence as they did not want to lose the race course. Whatever they chose to do, it clearly worked as they still have the racecourse.

I hope you found this one interesting to read and maybe learned something new. I’ll see you Saturday at 11am for a new post!

Calder Racecourse 2006: The Worlds Fastest Daily Double

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today’s is a very interesting story I wanted to share, it may not be a long post but it’s one I wanted to share so let’s just jump straight into it.

In 2006, extreme ‘daredevil’ sports were all the rage in America. Thousands of people were watching sports where lives were at risk, so the management at Calder Racecoure in Miami Gardens decided they wanted to be a part of the action. So in July 2006, they announced their first ever ‘extreme day’ at the races, promising that this day at the races would be like nothing anyone had ever seen before. Long races, short races, backwards races, foot races – you name it, they included it. They were set at bending every rule they could. The Calder President Ken Dunn told the American press at the time:

We may get some people in the industry laughing at us, thinking it’s silly. But it has generated talk and that’s good.”

When the day arrived, the only extreme event taking place was the weather. The rain had made conditions on the track unsafe as well as keeping fans away, which was their whole point of the event. So they decided to try again later in the year, so they rescheduled their promotion to the 25th of November 2006.

The event included:

The Fast N Furious Stakes – Two furlongs on dirt
The Methusela Starter Stakes – For 5 year olds and older
King George’s Wrong Way Starter Stakes – 1 & 1/4 miles on turf going the opposite direction
The Gray Pride Stakes – Starter stakes restricted to horses that were gray or roan in colour (worth $45,000)
The World’s Fastest Daily Double – Two races run simultaneously on the dirt and turf courses
A 70 yard foot race between jockeys


The day didn’t quite go as planned with only 7,000 people showing up to the event and challenges along the way including jockeys protesting that the King George should be ran on the turf, not the dirt like initially planned.

But the highlight of the entire day was the World’s Fastest Daily Double. One was ran on the turf and another on the dirt, finishing just 36 seconds apart. The hardest job being left to the announcer Bobby Neuman who was given the task of calling both races at the same time. Later telling American press:

I just went back and forth as much as I could. I wanted to have fun with it and be as confusing as possible. I didn’t want to focus on one race more than the other.”

To this day, the record has never been beaten and I highly doubt it ever will. However everybody was talking about the event which meant Calder continued the event in 2007, however cancelling it in 2008 as it didn’t attract any many people as they thought it might, it only gained them more national media attention.


Overall, I thought this was a crazy story and had to share it. I hope you all enjoyed and I’ll see you Saturday for my next post at 11am.

The History of the Eclipse Stakes

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Ahead of today’s renewal let’s take a look back at the history of the Eclipse Stakes.


The Eclipse Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which is ran at Sandown Park in Great Britain. It is ran over 1 mile, 1 furlong and 209 yards and is open to horses aged 3 or older. It takes place in July each year. It was first ran in 1886. In 2020 the race was worth £250,000 with the winner receiving £141,775.


The first winner of the race in 1886 was Bendigo who was 6 years old. Tom Cannon Sr was riding for trainer Charles Jousiffe and owner H. T. Barclay.

Both the 1892 and 1893 contests were won by Orme. In 1892 at 3 years old for jockey Georg Barrett and in 1893 at 4 years old for jockey Morny Cannon. Both times the trainer was John Porter and the owner was the 1st Duke of Westminster.

In 1897 and 1900 the Prince of Wales won the race. Firstly in 1897 with Persimmon who was 4 years old with John Watts riding and Richard Marsh training. Then in 1900 with Diamond Jubilee who was 3 years old with Herbert Jones riding and Richard Marsh training again.

In 1910 there was a dead heat called. Here Lemberg who was 3 years old for Bernard Dillon, Alec Taylor Jr and Alfred W. Cox and Neil Gow, also 3 years old, for Danny Maher, Percy Peck and the 5th Earl of Rosebery both claimed the win.

Now skipping forward a few years, in 1951 Lester Piggott won the race on board 3 year old Mystery for Percy Carter and Mme Edward Esmond. He won again in 1955 on board 4 year old Darius for Harry Wragg and Sir Percy Loraine. Again in 1957 on board 3 year old Arctic Explorer for Noel Murless and Giles Loder.

In 1965 Queen Elizabeth II had a winner in the race when her 4 year old horse Canisbay won with Stan Clayton on board for trainer Cecil Boyd-Rochfort.

In 1976 Trepan finished first, however after being disqualified for testing positive for a banned substance, the race was awarded to 3 year old Wollow who was ridden by Gianfranco Dettori for Henry Cecil and Carlo d’Alessio

Skipping forward quite a few years, in 1995 and 1996 Halling won the race. In 1995 at 4 years old for jockey Walter Swinburn and in 1996 at 5 years old for jockey John Reid. Both times for Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin.

Moving into the new millennium sees Aidan O’Brien win the race for the first time with 3 year old Giant’s Causeway under George Duffield for owners Magnier / Tabor.

In 2007, Notnowcato at 5 years old won for Ryan Moore, Sir Michael Stoute and A. & D. de Rothschild.

At 4 years old, Nathaniel won the race in 2012 for William Buick, John Gosden and Lady Rothschild. With Golden Horn winning at 3 years old in 2015 for Frankie Dettori, John Gosden and Anthony Oppenheimer.

In 2018 Oisin Murphy won the race on board 3 year old Roaring Lion for John Gosden and Qatar Racing. Followed in 2019 by Enable at 5 years old for Frankie Dettori, John Gosden and Khalid Abdullah. With the latest winner in 2020 being 5 year old Ghaiyyath for William Buick, Charlie Appleby and Godolphin. – To note in 2020 due to alterations due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, 3 year olds were excluded from the race.


Onto some records in the race, starting with the most successful horses. These all have 2 wins in the race: Orme in 1892 & 1893, Buchan in 1919 & 1920, Polyphontes in 1924 & 1925, Mtoto in 1987 & 1988 and Halling in 1995 & 1996.

The leading jockey is Lester Piggott who won the race 7 times: Mystery IX in 1951, Darius in 1955, Arctic Explorer in 1957, St Paddy in 1961, Pieces of Eight in 1966, Wolver Hollow in 1969 and Artaius in 1977.

We have two leading trainers, both with 6 wins each. Alec Taylor Jr with: Bayardo in 1909, Lemberg in 1910 (deadheat), Buchan in 1919 & 1920, Craig an Eran in 1921 and Saltash in 1923. And Sir Michael Stoute with: Opera House in 1993, Ezzoud in 1994, Pilsudski in 1996, Medicean in 2001, Notnowcato in 2007 and Ulysses in 2017.

The leading owner with 6 wins is Godolphin: Halling in 1995 & 1996, Daylami in 1998, Refuse to Bend in 2004, Hawkbill in 2016 and Ghaiyyath in 2020.


So onto this years renewal, it is a very small field but a very talented field. (All odds are correct on Ladbrokes at time of writing this post 8:30pm on 02/07/2021).

The current favourite is the 6/4 shot Mishriff for John & Thady Gosden with David Egan riding. Last time out was on the 27th of March when winning by only a neck at Meydan over 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 11 yards. The time out before that was at Riyadh when winning the Saudi Cup by 1 length on February 20th. In both runs he was ridden by David Egan so it’s nice to see David be given the opportunity to take the reins on home soil.

The next horse in the line up is currently 13/8, St Mark’s Basilica for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. Another very talented horse, he’s won the French Guineas and French Derby double. This is only the second time Ryan Moore has been on board, the first time being on September 13th last year at the Curragh over 7 furlongs when they finished 3rd. Also interesting to note that he is the only horse who has never won over this distance, unlike the other 3.

The third in the list is Addeybb who is currently 11/4 for Tom Marquand and William Haggas. He is actually the only horse who has won over both course and distance which may be something to note – he has also won 4 Group 1 races. Another thing to note is that he is 7 years old and no 7 year old has ever won this race before. Since the 21st of March 2020 Tom Marquand is the only jockey to have rode this horse, so clearly they know each other very well, since then they have won 5 out of the 7 races they’ve had, finishing 2nd in the other 2.

The final horse in the line up is a 25/1 shot El Drama for Andrea Atzeni and Roger Varian. He has won over this distance previously, however last time out in the French Derby he was less than impressive when finishing 15th out of 19 horses. He is quite an unexperienced horse with only 5 runs under his belt, winning twice, placing 3rd twice and 15th in the French Derby. However in these colours, we’ve seen Andrea Atzeni enter the winners enclosure many many times so would it really be that much of a surprise?

All in all, I would love to see Mishriff win for David Egan – that is what my heart is saying. However I am going with St Mark’s Basilica for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore. He has been pretty impressive the last twice we’ve seen him this year, both times winning by a length and 3 quarters. All in all, I think any of the 4 could win, it wouldn’t surprise me whoever wins. Who do you fancy? Let me know over on Twitter!


Thank you so much for reading this post and I will see you all Wednesday evening at 6pm for a brand new one!