Les Boots: The Worst Jockey in the History of Horse Racing?

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today’s post is one I really wanted to share because I had never heard of this story until recently and thought if I hadn’t then how many others hadn’t? So without further ado, let’s get right into it!


Les Boots was an Australian jockey who’s professional jockey spanned 18 years. In those 18 years he broke just about every bone in his body which included a broken neck which saw him out of action for two years.

Less started as an apprentice jockey, working at Harry Butler’s stables. He began riding out and mucking out stalls until one day Harry called him into the office and told him he wanted him to go to Cheltenham in England and ride a horse called Umbalir in a jumps race, however he parted ways at the first hurdle with Les ending up in hospital. He rode Umbalir twice more, both rimes resulting in a hospital trip. Three for three – It didn’t look great.

Les Boots then went on to be known as the worst jockey in the history of horse racing due to the fact that he never had a winner, never placed in fact, he never even stayed on a horse for more than half a mile in any of his races. In fact, out of 39 starts, he fell 40 times – 41 if you include a non-horse related incident. He explained this to interviewers:

I rode a horse at Cheltenham one day, fell going out the straight, I caught him, remounted him, fell at the half-mile and I fell out the ambulance coming to hospital.”

https://www.punters.com.au/news/the-worlds-worst-jockey_136520/

Les himself told people that out of his 18 year career, he believes he spent 12 of them in the hospital, also saying that Adelaide Hospital used to get a bed reading in advance whenever they saw he had a ride. Les used to ride out many horses each weak and was totally fine, however when it came to a race he just couldn’t stay on.

It got to a point where his wife, alongside a packed lunch, would pack him some pyjamas and anything he would need for a couple of days in hospital whenever he went to a race. In fact it got so bad that whenever he was the jockey, his horse would be 100/1, regardless of how good the horse was due to him being on board.

However Les Boots became a national hero with his jokes and sense of humour with lines such as:

I went to a picnic one day and they even barred me from the merry-go-round – said it wasn’t safe”

https://www.punters.com.au/news/the-worlds-worst-jockey_136520/

A dream of Les’ was always to take part in the English Grand National, he later explained why this never happened:

I never did realise my life’s ambition to ride in the English Grand National at Aintree. My wife cancelled my passport, she reckoned I’d be the first jockey to drown at the water jump.”

https://eu.thespectrum.com/story/sports/mesquite/2019/09/02/worst-jockey-history-had-great-sense-humor/2187365001/

Les Boots lived to be 80 years old and it’s good to see he never lost his sense of humour. Les will go down as one of the worst jockey’s in the history of horse racing, but also someone who will never be forgotten due to the fact he laughed the whole way through his career and although he ended up spending the majority of his time in hospital it was clear to see how much he loved horses and racing.


I thought this was so interesting to read, I had never heard of Les Boots so I really wanted to share. I hope you all enjoyed this one and I will see you all Saturday morning when I have a look at the history of the Irish Derby ahead of this years renewal.

Eddie Castro: The Unbeatable Record?

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com. Today’s post is a really interesting one and even though it may be a little shorter than some of my posts I really wanted to share!

Eddie Castro was born on April 10th 1985 and is a Panamanian born jockey in America. Eddie attended the Panamanian Jockey School and began riding in races in December 2002 at 17 years old. In just 3 months he had rode 36 winners and decided to move to America where he made his debut on April 16th 2003 at Gulfstream Park in Florida. Even though his American career started 3 months into a season, he still managed to win the U.S. Champion Apprentice Jockey in 2003 so he made quite the impact in his first season.

Eddie Castro currently has over 2,500 career wins, including many major races under his belt, including the Galaxy Stakes in 2004, Spinster Stakes in 2005, Sorority Stakes in 2006, Molly Pitcher Stakes in 2007, Indiana Breeders’ Cup Oaks in 2008, Jersey Shore Breeders’ Cup Stakes in 2009, Pennsylvania Derby in 2009, Affirmed Stakes in 2015 and one of the biggest races, the Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2006. However, none of that is what I want to share with you…

On June 4th 2005 at Calder Racecourse, Eddie Castro had 11 rides on a 13 race card. Just the day before on June 3rd he won five races at the same track, so he was in pretty good form. But it was this day that he broke the record for the most wins by a jockey in a single day at one racetrack in North America. The record for the most wins in a single day at one racetrack was held by 6 jockeys with the most recent being Ken Shino at Fonner Park on April 2nd 2000 when he won eight races and the record for the most wins in a single day was held by Chris Antley who rode four winners at Aqueduct during the day and five winners at Meadowlands on the evening on October 31st in 1987.

However, Eddie Castro managed to win 9 of his 11 mounts breaking the first record of a single day at one racetrack and matching the second record of most wins in a single day.

His day went as follows:

Race 1: 2nd – Southphilly Barry

Race 2: 1st – Bill’s No Trouble

Race 3: 1st – Snug Harbour

Race 4: 1st – Dakota Max

Race 5: No Mount

Race 6: 1st – Five Star Susan

Race 7: No Mount

Race 8: 4th – Broadway Buck

Race 9: 1st – Kin’s Hurrah

Race 10: 1st – Sebastian Light

Race 11: 1st – Carey’s Gold

Race 12: 1st – Agent Won

Race 13: 1st – Ben’s Advantage

After winning his 9th race, Eddie Castro told local news reporters:

When I’m riding these kind of horses, I just try to take advantage and make the most of it; but it takes some luck to win this many.”

https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/170179/eddie-castros-9-wins-at-calder-sets-record

To put what he did into perspective, the current record in the UK is held by both Frankie Dettori and Richard Hughes who both won seven races in one day at one course. First was Frankie Dettori in September 1996 who won all 7 races on a card at Ascot. Followed by Richard Hughes who won 7 out of 8 races in October 2012 at Windsor. The first woman rider to win five races in a day under rules was set by Hollie Doyle in August 2020 at Windsor.

When Frankie, Richard and Hollie achieved what they did every racing fan thought it was incredible – because it is – but imagine only being 20 years old and winning 9 rides in a day, that is some going.

Will anyone ever beat this record? There has been much discussion and from every article, tweet, blog I have read not many think his record will ever get beaten and it would not surprise me if it didn’t.


Now, I am not up to date with American racing and I won’t claim to be, but more recently I have been finding a lot of interesting stories from American racing and I want to start sharing more of them.

I really enjoyed reading about this one so I hope you all have to. This is my final post for the week so I hope you’ve all had a brilliant Ascot and I hope today goes well also but I will next see you on Wednesday evening at 6pm with a brand new post, which is all about possibly the worst jockey in the history of horse racing… Who could it be? You do not want to miss that one!

The History of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Ahead of tomorrow’s renewal, let’s take a look back at the history of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.


The Diamond Jubilee Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which was first ran in 1868 and is open to horses four years or older – three year olds foaled in the Southern Hemisphere are also eligible. The race is run over 6 furlongs at Ascot Racecourse in June each year. In 2020 the race was worth £250,000 with the winner receiving £148,000.


The race was established in 1868 and was originally called the All-Aged Stakes. It was renamed the Cork and Orrery Stakes in 1926 to honour the 9th Earl of Cork.

In 1971, the race was classed as a Group 3 race, before being promoted to Group 2 status in 1998. In 2002, the race was renamed to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and was promoted to Group 1 status. In 2012 the race was given it’s current name to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. In 2015 the race changed from being open to three year olds to only being open to four year olds and older after a new six furlong Group One Race (the Commonwealth Cup) was created for three year olds only.


Now onto some previous winners. The first winner in 1868 was a horse called Laneret. In 1872. 1973 and 1874 a horse called Prince Charlie won the race followed by Lowlander in 1875 and 1876. Whitefriar won the race in 1886 and 1887 with Hornet’s Beauty winning in 1913 and 1914 followed by Hamlet in 1923 and 1924.

Now some winners when it changed names to the Cork and Orrery Stakes. The first being Diomedes in 1926, with Right Boy winning in 1958 and 1959. Committed won in 1984, with Danehill winning in 1989, So Factual in 1995 and the final winner before the next name change was Harmonic Way in 2001.

The first winner of the Golden Jubilee Stakes was Malhub for Kevin Darley, John Gosden and Hamdan Al Maktoum. Seven year old Cape of Good Hope won in 2005 for Michael Kinane, David Oughton and Exors of Ron Carstairs. Black Caviar won in 2012 for Luke Nolen, Peter Moody and G. J. Wilkie and K. J. Wilkie. With Slade Power winning the final running in 2014 for Wayne Lordan, Edward Lynam and Sabena Power.

The first winner of the current named race the Diamond Jubilee Stakes was Undrafted in 2015 for Frankie Dettori, Wesley Ward and Wes Welker and Sol Kumin. In 2017 The Tin Man won for Tom Queally, James Fanshawe and Fred Archer Racing – Ormonde. In 2018 Merchant Navy at three years old won for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and the Merchant Navy Syndicate / Tabor / Smith / Magnier. In 2019 Blue Point won for James Doyle, Charlie Appleby and Godolphin and in 2020 Hello Youmzain won for Kevin Stott, Kevin Ryan and Haraas d’Etreham and Cambridge Stud.


Now onto some records. The most successful horse is Prince Charlie who won in 1872, 1873 and 1874.

The leading jockey with 10 victories is Lester Piggott who won with: Right Boy (1958, 1959), Tin Whistle (1960), El Gallo (1963), Mountain Call (1968), Welsh Saint (1970), Saritamer (1974), Swingtime (1975), Thatching (1979) and College Chapel (1993).

The leading trainer with 5 victories is Vincent O’Brien who won with: Welsh Saint (1970), Saritamer (1974), Swingtime (1975), Thatching (1979) and College Chapel (1993).

The leading owners both with 3 victories each are:

Joseph Dawson: Prince Charlie (1872, 1873, 1874)

Jack Joel: Sunflower II (1912) and Hamlet (1923, 1924)


At the time of writing this 11:15pm on June 13th 2021, the official declarations have not been named, however with the list of horses currently still in the race it looks to be a wide open renewal this year so hopefully it’ll be a pretty exciting one to watch. Who do you fancy?

Thank you so much for reading today’s post and I will see you tomorrow at 11am for a brand new post, a very interesting one about a current record within racing that quite possibly will never be broken. You do not want to miss it!

The History of the Coronation Stakes

Good Evening!

Welcome to another post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Ahead of tomorrow’s renewal of the Coronation Stakes, let’s take a look back at the history of the race!


The Coronation Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which was first ran in 1840. It is open to three year old fillies and is ran at Ascot Racecourse in June each year over 7 furlongs and 213 yards. In 2020 the race was worth £250,000 with the winner receiving £148,000.

The race was established in 1840 and is named after the coronation of a new British monarch, Queen Victoria just two years earlier. In 1971, the race held Group 2 status before being promoted to Group 1 level in 1988.


Now onto some previous winners. The first winner in 1840 as a horse called Spangle. In 1867 a very well known horse called Achievement won the race after winning the 1,000 Guineas a few weeks earlier and then went on to win the St Leger and Doncaster Cup in the same year. In 1874, a horse called Apology won the race, she was the third horse to win the Fillies’ Triple Crown when winning the 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and St Leger all in the same year as her Coronation Stakes win before going on to win the Ascot Gold Cup two years later in 1876.

In 1894 a miracle horse won the race when Throstle won. As a foal she was considered a likely candidate for euthanasia when she was born partially bling, however she went on to be one of the best fillies of her generation in Britain.

In 1900 there was a dead heat called when Sainte Nitouche and Winifreda crossed the line at the same time in an impossible finish to call. In 1904 Pretty Polly won the race, she was the 15th horse to win the Fillies’ Triple Crown when winning the 1,000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks before her Coronation Stakes victory then winning the St Leger a few months later all in 1904.

Skipping forward a little while now and into 1961 when Aiming High won for jockey Lester Piggott, trainer Noel Murless and owner Queen Elizabeth II. Skipping forward a little more to 1998, Exclusive won the race for Walter Swinburn, Sir Michael Stoute and Cheveley Park Stud. In 2013 Sky Lantern won for Richard Highes, Richard Hannon Sr and B Keswick. In 2017 Winter won for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Tabor / Smith / Magnier. In 2020 Alpine Star won for Frankie Dettori, Jessica Harrington and Niarchos Family.


On to some records in the race! Firstly the leading jockey, here we have two who both have 5 wins each:

Nat Flatman: The Princess (1844), Stitch (1845), Distaffina (1848), Lady Evelyn (1849) and Barcelona (1851)

Morny Cannon: Lady Hermit (1892), Silene (1893), Throstle (1894), Helm (1896) and Lowood (1898)

Now the leading trainer who has 6 victories in the race John Porter who won with: Lovely (1883), Sandiway (1884), Cereza (1891), Throstle (1894), Helm (1896) and Lowood (1898).

With the leading owner with 7 victories being Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor who won with: Winkipop (1910), Pogrom (1922), Saucy Sue (1925), Book Law (1927), Sunny Devon (1931), Betty (1933) and Traffic Light (1936).


At the time of writing this post (11pm on June 13th 2021) the final declarations have not been made for the race, however the horses still in the current line-up look to make a very interesting renewal this year. Who do you like the look of?

I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you tomorrow evening at 6pm for ‘The History of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes’.

The History of the Ascot Gold Cup

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Ahead of tomorrow’s renewal of the Ascot Gold Cup let’s take a look at the history of the race.


The Ascot Gold Cup is a Group 1 flat race which was first ran in 1807 and is open to horses aged four or older. It is ran at Ascot Racecourse over 2 miles, 3 furlongs and 210 yards and is ran in June of each year. The race was worth £250,000 in 2020 with the winner receiving £148,000.

When the race was established in 1807 it was originally open to horses aged three or older and the first race was ran in front of King George III and Queen Charlotte. In 1844 the running was attended by Nicholas I of Russia who was making a state visit to England. At the time of his victory the winning horse was unnamed so was given the name ‘The Emperor’ in honour of the visiting monarch and in return Nicholas offered a new trophy for the race – the ‘Emperor’s Plate’ and this became the title of the race for a while however it’s original name was restored after 9 years.

On June 18th 1907, the Ascot Gold Cup was actually stolen by thieves, the theft was never solved. In August a replacement was finished.

The Ascot Gold Cup is the first leg of Britain’s Stayers’ Triple Crown, followed by the Goodwood Cup and the Doncaster Cup. Stradivarius was the last horse to win the Stayers’ Triple Crown in 2019.


Now onto previous winners of the race, the first winner in 1807 was three year old Master Jackey. The first multiple winner was Anticipation who won it in 1816 at four years old and winning again in 1819 at seven years old. The first horse to win two consecutive races was Bizarre who won it in 1824 at four years old and 1825 at five years old, both times for jockey Bill Arnull, trainer R D Boyce and owner Lord G H Cavendish. In 1836 (at five years old) and in 1837 (at six years old) Touchstone won for trainer John Scott and owner the 1st Marquess of Westminster. In 1836 with jockey John Barham Day and in 1837 with jockey William Scott.

In 1844 The Emperor won at three years old followed up by another win in 1845 at four years both times for jockey G Whitehouse, trainer W Edwards and owner the 4th Earl of Albemarle. Before The Hero followed up with two wins in 1847 (at four years old) and in 1848 (at five years old) for jockey Alfred Day and trainer and owner John Barham Day.

In 1854, the first ever Triple Crown Champion from the previous year 1853, West Australian at four years old won the Ascot Gold Cup for Alfred Day, John Scott and the 1st Baron Londesborough.

Let’s now skip forward to the 1900’s. In 1931 (at five years old) and 1932 (at six years old) Trimdon won the race for Joe Childs, Joseph Lawson and Charles Lambton. We then move forward to 1942, 1943 and 1944 which were all ran at Newmarket during the World War and were all won by jockey Gordon Richards. In 1942 he won on four year old Owen Tudor for trainer Fred Darling and owner Catherine Macdonald-Buchanan. In 1943 he won on four year old Ujiji for trainer Joseph Lawson and owner Alfred Allnatt. In 1944 he won on four year old Umiddad for trainer Frank Butters and owner Aga Khan III.

In 1957 the leading jockey Lester Piggott won for the first time on board six year old Zarathustra for trainter Cecil Boyd-Rochfort and owner Terence Gray. In 1888 five year old Sadeem won the race for Greville Starkey, Guy Harwood and Sheikh Mohammed, however first past the post was actually Royal Gait who got demoted to last place after a stewards’ enquiry. Sadeem then won again in 1989 at six years old, this time partnering up with Willie Carson.

In 1992 (at six years old) and 1993 (at seven years old) Drum Taps won the race under Frankie Dettori for trainer Lord Huntingdon and owner Yoshio Asakawa. In 1998 Kayf Tara won the race at four years old for Frankie Dettori, Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin before winning it again two years later at six years old this time partnering up with Michael Kinane for the same owner and trainer. In 2001 (at five years old) and 2002 (at six years old), Royal Rebel won for Johnny Murtagh, Mark Johnston and Peter Savill.

Let’s now skip forward to 2006 which was the start of a streak for Yeats. At five years old in 2006 all the way through to 2009 at eight years old he won the race for trainer Aidan O’Brien and owners Magnier / Nagle. In 2006 partnered with Kieren Fallon, in 2007 partnered with Michael Kinane and in 2008 and 2009 partnered with Johnny Murtagh.

Skipping forward to 2016, Order of St George won at four years old for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Smith / Magnier / Tabor. Followed by fix year old Big Orange in 2017 for James Doyle, Michael Bell and Bill Gredley.

We then see a triple winner start his streak in 2018 at four years old Stradivarius won, followed in 2019 (at five years old) and 2020 (at six years old) for Frankie Dettori, John Gosden and Bjorn Nelsen.


Now onto some records. The most successful horse is Yeats who won in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

The leading jockey with 11 victories is Lester Piggott who won on: Zarathustra (1957), Gladness (1958), Pandofell (1961), Twilight Alley (1963), Fighting Charlie (1965), Sagaro (1975, 1976, 1977), Le Moss (1979) and Andross (1981, 1982).

The leading trainer with 7 victories is Aidan O’Brien who has won with: Yeats (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Fame and Glory (2011), Leading Light (2014) and Order of St George (2016).

The leading owner with 7 victories – including part ownership – is Sue Magnier who won with: Yeats (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009), Fame and Glory (2011), Leading Light (2014) and Order of St George (2016).


It is important to note that Stradivarius is currently the 4/5 favourite (odds via Ladbrokes are accurate at the time of writing this post 12:45pm on June 15th 2021) and if he wins he will join Yeats as the joint most successful horse in the race.


Personally, I am going for the now seven year old Stradivarius to win. For me it’s down to the fact that he’s been an absolute fan favourite over the years and I would love to see him win it again. I am going with my heart above all else but I have to stick with him to have his 4th victory in the race. Who do you think will win? Let me know over on Twitter!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you tomorrow evening at 6pm for ‘The History of the Coronation Stakes’.

The History of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! This evening’s post is all about the Prince of Wales’s Stakes ahead of tomorrow’s renewal. So let’s just get right into it!


The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which started in 1862 and is ran at Ascot Racecourse over 1 mile, 1 furlong and 212 yards. It takes place in June of each year and is open to horses who are four years and older. In 2020 the race was worth £250,000 with the winner receiving £148,000.

When the race was established in 1862, it was named after the Prince of Wales at the time, who was the future King Edward VII. The original version of this race was actually restricted to only three year olds and it was originally over 1 mile and 5 furlongs.

After World War II the race was discontinued as there was no Prince of Wales, it only returned in 1968, a year before the investiture of Prince Charles. The new version of the race was 1 mile and 2 furlongs and was opened up to horses aged three or older.

In 1971 the race was classed as a Group 2 race and it was only in 2000 when the race was promoted to Group 1 status with the minimum age of participating horses being raised to four years old.


Now let’s have a look at some previous winners. (This section will be focused on winners before the new version of this race began in 1968 – There is not much information readily available on these winners).

The first winner of this race in 1862 was Carisbrook. In 1888, Ossory gave leading trainer John Porter his first victory before Matchmaker in 1895 giving leading jockey Morny Cannon his first victory and they were followed up by Stedfast in 1911 who gave one of the leading owners, the 17th Earl of Derby, his first victory in the race.

(The following section will be focused on winners since the new version of this race began in 1968).

The first winner of the new version of this race in 1968 was four year old Royal Palace who was rode by Sandy Barclay, trained by Noel Murless and owned by Jim Joel. This trio then went on to win the race the following two years also, both years with Connaught who was four years old in 1969 and five years old in 1970.

In 1973 Lester Piggott won on board four year old Gift Card for trainer Angel Penna Sr and owner Margit Batthyány. In 1976 four year old Annes Pretender won the race for Lester Piggott, Ryan Price and Charles Clore, however it was actually Trepan who was first past the post but was later disqualified after testing positive for a banned substance.

In 1977 and 1978 jockey Joe Mercer won for Henry Cecil. In 1977 with four year old Lucky Wednesday for owner Charles St George and in 1978 on five year old Gunner B for owner Pauline Barratt.

In 1987 (four years old) and 1988 (five years old) Mtoto won the race for trainer Alec Stewart and owner Ahmed Al Maktoum. In 1987 for jockey Richard Hills and in 1988 for jockey Michael Roberts. In 1992 four year old Perpendicular won the race for Willie Ryan, Henry Cecil and Lord Howard de Walden, however it was actually Kooyonga who was first past the post, but following a stewards’ inquiry she was relegated to third place.

A horse winning twice was next achieved in 1994 (five years old) and 1996 (six years old) by Muhtarram, both times for jockey Willie Carson, trainer John Gosden and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.

Into the late 1990’s and into the early 2000’s, trainer Saeed bin Suroor dominated the race for the joint leading owners Godolphin. He first won in 1998 with four year old Faithful Son with jockey John Reid riding, again in 2000 with four year old Dubai Millennium with jockey Jerry Bailey riding, followed by five year old Fantastic Light in 2001 partnered with Frankie Dettori and finally in 2002 with four year old Grandera again partnered with Frankie Dettori.

Jumping forward a few years we see Aidan O’Brien have his first winner in the race in 2008 with four year old Duke of Marmalade who was partnered up with Johnny Murtagh for owners Magnier / Tabor. In 2012 six year old So You Think won for Joseph and Aidan O’Brien for owner Derrick Smith. In 2014 William Buick won on board five year old The Fugue for John Gosden and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

In 2015, we seen the late Pat Smullen win on board four year old Free Eagle for trainer Dermot Weld and owners the Moyglare Stud. Followed by the 2021 Derby winning jockey Adam Kirby winning in 2016 on board four year old My Dream Boat for Clive Cox and Paul and Clare Rooney. In 2017 it was the Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien partnership that proved too strong for the rest of the field when five year old Highland Reel won for owners Magnier / Tabor / Smith.

The following two years were won by trainer Sir Michael Stoute. In 2018 with five year old Poet’s Word rode by James Doyle for owner Saeed Suhail followed by Frankie Dettori riding five year old Crystal Ocean in 2019 for owner Evelyn de Rothschild. The most recent winner was four year old Lord North in 2020 for James Doyle, John Gosden and Zayed bin Mohammed.


Onto some records currently held in this race, starting with the most successful horses, all with 2 wins. Connaught who won in 1969 and 1970, Mtoto in 1987 and 1988 and Muhtarram in 1994 and 1995.

The leading jockey with 6 victories in the race is Morny Cannon who won with the following horses: Matchmaker (1895), Shaddock (1896), Manners (1899), Simon Dale (1900), Rydal Head (1904) and Plum Centre (1905).

The leading trainer with 8 victories in the race is John Porter who won with the following horses: Ossory (1888), Watercress (1892), Matchmaker (1895), Shaddock (1896), Manners (1899), Simon Dale (1900), Rydal Head (1904) and Plum Centre (1905).

Now onto the leading owners, both with 5 wins.

17th Earl of Derby: Stedfast (1911), Sansovino (1924), Caissot (1926), Hyperion (1933) and Heliopolis (1939)

Godolphin: Faithful Son (1998), Dubai Millennium (2000), Fantastic Light (2001), Grandera (2002) and Rewilding (2011).


Something to note in this renewal is that 2020’s winner Lord North is the current (at the time of writing this – 11am on June 14th 2021 on Ladbrokes) 6/4 favourite, if Lord North wins this race he will join the list of most successful horses in this race.


Personally I am siding with Love for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore, purely because I love her and after her winning the 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks last year I don’t see a reason as to why she can’t win this. She has never ran this distance, her wins have came over 7 furlongs, 1 mile and 1 mile 4 furlongs, but I don’t see that being an issue. She’s had a little bit of time off the track but again, I don’t see this being an issue as she had a 240 day break before winning the 1,000 Guineas last year. Currently (at the time of writing this – 11am on June 14th 2021 on Ladbrokes) she is 2/1 via Ladbrokes, 6/4 in some places. However you can’t rule out last years winner Lord North, but for me I am going with Love.

Who do you like the look of? Let me know over on Twitter. As always the odds may change, the lineup for the race may change, jockey’s may change etc due to the official declarations not yet being made however all information I have included was correct at the time of writing (11am on June 14th 2021).

I hope you enjoyed this one and I will see you tomorrow at 6pm for the ‘The History of the Ascot Gold Cup’.

The History of the Queen Anne Stakes

Good Evening!

Welcome to a Monday evening blog post here at zoelouisesmithx.com. With Royal Ascot starting tomorrow I have a week of posts coming up. Each day of this week I will be posting a history post for a randomly picked Group 1 race the following day, ending the week on Saturday morning with a very interesting post about a record breaking jockey! So without further ado, let’s get into today’s post.


The Queen Anne Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which started in 1840 and is ran at Ascot Racecourse over 1 mile, it takes place in June of each year and is open to horses who are aged four or older. In 2020 the race was worth £245,925 with the winner receiving £148,000.

When the race was established in 1840, it was called the Trial Stakes and was originally open to horses aged three or older. It was in 1930 that this changed, when it was renamed in honour of Queen Anne who was the founder of Ascot Racecourse. In 1971 it was classed as a Group 3 race and in 1984 it was promoted to a Group 2 race. It was only in 2003 that it was given Group 1 status and the minimum age was raised to four years old or older.


So let’s take a look at some early winners in the race, starting with the first ever winner, Flambeau, who won in 1840 and again the following year in 1841. Toastmaster was the next horse to win the race multiple times when winning in 1885 and 1886, with Worcester following in his footsteps when winning in 1895 and 1896 and Dean Swift winning the race in 1906 and 1907.

Moving into more recent times, you have Lester Piggott winning the race in 1972 on board four year old Sparkler for trainer Robert Armstrong and owner Maria Mehl-Mulhens. In 1974 the first 3 past the post, Confusion, Gloss and Royal Prerogative were all disqualified meaning the fourth past the post four year old Brook won the race for jockey Brian Taylor, trainer Mario Benetti and owner Carlo Vittadini. In 1975 three year old Imperial March won the race under Gianfranco Dettori for Vincent O’Brien and Walter Mullady. However jockey Brian Taylor would return to the winners enclosure in 1976 and 1977. In 1996 he won on board six year old Ardoon for trainer Gavin Pritchard-Gordon and owner Frank Feeney and in 1977 he won on board four year old Jellaby for trainer Ryan Price and owner Esa Alkhalifa.

Lester Piggott then dominated the race over the next few years. In 1979 he won on board three year old Baptism for Jeremy Tree and Jock Whitney. In 1981 he won on board four year old Belmont Bay for Henry Cecil and Daniel Wildenstein. In 1982 he won on three year old Mr Fluorocarbon for Henry Cecil and James McAllister. And in 1984 he won on board three year old Trojan Fen for Henry Cecil and Stavros Niarchos.

Moving forward a few years there is then Frankie Dettori winning the race for the first time in 1990 on board four year old Markofdistinction for Luca Cumani and Gerald Leigh. In 1992 Willie Carson won on board four year old Lahib for John Dunlop and Hamdan Al Maktoum before Michael Kinane went on t win multiple times. Firstly in 1993 on board four year old Alflora for Clive Brittain and Circlechart Ltd, again in 1994 on board four year old Barathea for Luca Cumani and Sheikh Mohammed and again in 1996 on board four year old Charnwood Forest for Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin.

Starting with the 1996 race, Saeed bin Suroor and Godolphin dominated the race for many years. In 1997 they won with four year old Allied Forces with Frankie Dettori riding, again in 1998 with four year old Intikhab with Frankie Dettori riding again and winning again in 1999 with five year old Cape Cross rode by Gary Stevens.

The next three years would be won by trainer Sir Michael Stoute, firstly in 2000 with four year old Klanisi who was rode by Kieren Fallon for HH Aga Khan IV, in 2001 with four year old Medicean who was also rode by Kieren Fallon, this time for Cheveley Park Stud and again in 2002 with four year old No Excuse Needed who was rode by Johnny Murtagh for Maktoum Al Maktoum.

Jumping forward a few years, in 2006 Aidan O’Brien won the race for the first time with four year old Ad Valorem who was rode by Kieren Fallon for Magnier / Ingham.

In 2012 we seen the brilliant Frankel go on to win the race at four years old for Tom Queally, Sir Henry Cecil and Khalid Abdullah. Followed by four year old Declaration of War in 2013 for Joseph and Aidan O’Brien and owners Magnier / Tabor.

The most recent winners include four year old Accidental Agent in 2018 for Charlie Bishop, Eve Johnson Houghton and Gaie Johnson Houghton, six year old Lord Glitters in 2019 for Daniel Tudhope, David O’Meara and Geoff and Sandra Turnbull. With the most recent winner being four year old Circus Maximus in 2020 for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Flaxman / Magnier / Tabor / Smith.


Now onto some records. Starting with the most successful horses, all of whom have won the race twice. We have Flambeau who won in 1840 and 1841, Toastmaster who won in 1885 and 1886, Worcester who won in 1895 and 1896 and finally Dean Swift who won in 1906 and 1907.

Onto the leading jockey and we actually see two jockeys with six victories each.

Sir Gordon Richards: Sunderland (1925), Sundry (1927), Coldstream (1931), Fair Trial (1935), Pambidian (1949) and Southborne (1952).

Frankie Dettori: Markofdistinction (1990), Allied Forces (1997), Intikhab (1998), Dubai Destination (2003), Refuse to Bend (2004) and Ramonti (2007)

Next up is the leading trainer in this race and with 7 victories this goes to Saeed bin Suroor who has won with Charnwood Forest (1996), Allied Forces (1997), Intikhab (1998), Cape Cross (1999), Dubai Destination (2003), Refuse to Bend (2004) and Ramonti (2007).

The final record is the leading owner in this race and with 8 wins, this is Godolphin who has won with Charnwood Forest (1996), Allied Forces (1997), Intikhab (1998), Cape Cross (1999), Dubai Destination (2003), Refuse to Bend (2004), Ramonti (2007) and Ribchester (2017).


So, some things to note for this years renewal… (Please note all odds are correct via Ladbrokes at the time of writing this post 7pm on June 13th 2021).

Frankie Dettori is on the current favourite Palace Pier for trainers John and Thady Gosden and owner Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum who is currently 4/11 – Meaning if he wins this years renewal he will become the clear leading jockey of this race with 7 wins.

Two previous winners are entered into this race. 2018 winner Accidental Agent for jockey Charles Bishop, trainer Eve Johnson Houghton and owner Mrs R F Johnson Houghton who is now 7 years old and currently 66/1. And the second being Lord Glitters for jockey Daniel Tudhope, trainer David O’Meara and owners Geoff and Sandra Turnbull who is now 8 years old and is currently 22/1. If either of these horses win, they will join the list of the most successful horses with 2 wins each.


So with all of that being said… Who do you like the look of in this years Royal Ascot opener, the renewal of the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes? Let me know over on Twitter! I hope you all enjoyed this one and I will see you tomorrow evening at 6pm for ‘The History of the Prince of Wales’s Stakes’.

Six of the Most Prolific Sires in British and Irish Horse Racing

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today’s post is a little different for me… Recently I have thoroughly been enjoying learning more about bloodstock, bloodlines and breeding. I am no expert, but I am really enjoying researching and reading into it more so today let’s take a look at the top 6 most prolific sires within British and Irish racing – they are the top 6 according to how many times they have won Champion Sire.


Regulus
Godolphin Arabian x Grey Robinson

First up, in 6th place is a horse called Regulus who won Champion Sire 8 times, in 1754, 1755, 1756, 1757, 1761, 1763, 1765 and 1766. He was bred in England by Lord Chedworth in 1739 out of Grey Robinson and by Godolphin Arabian and after the death of Lord Chedworth he was sold to Mr Martindale.

Regulus won 8 Royal Plated in 1745 and a £50 plate and ended up retiring unbeaten to stud.

Regulus sired horses such as Royal (1749), South (1750) and Fearnought (1755). As well as producing the undefeated Alipes. He also produced a successful broodmare in Spilletta who produced an undefeated champion Eclipse who ran 18 times winning all 18 times and earning 2,149 Guineas. (I speak about Eclipse in more detail right here: https://zoelouisesmithx.com/2021/05/19/ten-undefeated-racehorses/)

Regulus passed away at 26 years old.


St. Simon
Galopin x St Angela

In 5th place being crowned Champion Sire a total of 9 times in 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1894, 1895 1896, 1900 and 1901 we have St. Simon. St. Simon was bred in Great Britain by Prince Gustavus Batthyany in 1881 by Galopin out of St. Angela. He was owned by the Duke of Portland and went into training with Mathew Dawson.

St. Simon finished his racing career undefeated winning 9 out of 9 runs and winning £4,676 in prize money, his wins included an Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Epsom Gold Cup all in 1884.

St. Simon was retired to stud in 1886 at 5 years old and he went on to sire 423 living foals who between them won 571 races and over £500,000 in prize money. Among his foals were 10 English Classic winners who won 17 Classics between them, the 10 Classic winners is the 3rd highest total of all time, only behind Stockwell and Sadler’s Wells who both have 12, however the 17 Classic race wins by his offspring ties him for the all time record with Stockwell.

His Classic winners were:

Memoir (Epsom Oaks & St Leger)
Semolina (1,000 Guineas)
Mrs Butterwick (Epsom Oaks)
Amiable (1,000 Guineas & Epsom Oaks)
Persimmon (Epsom Derby, St Leger, Ascot Gold Cup + Champion Sire four times)
St Fusquin (2,000 Guineas, Eclipse Stakes + Champion Sire twice)
Diamond Jubilee ( Triple Crown Winner, Eclipse Stakes + Argentina Champion Sire four times)
La Roche ( Epsom Oaks)
Winifreda (1,000 Guineas)
La Fleche who was sold for a world record price as a yearling in 1890 and went on to win the Fillies Triple Crown (1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and St Leger) plus the Ascot Gold Cup, Champion Stakes, Cambridgeshire Handicap and a 2nd in the Epsom Derby.

St. Simon died when he was 27 years old on April 2nd 1908 and his skeleton belongs to the British Museum of Natural History.


Sir Peter Teazle
Highflyer x Papillon

In 4th place is Sir Peter Teazle who won Champion Sire 10 times, in 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1804, 1805, 1806, 1807, 1808 and 1809. He was bred in Great Britain in 1784 by Edward Smith-Stanley and the 12th Earl of Derby who both also owned him through his career. He was by Highflyer and out of Papillon.

Sir Peter Teazle had 21 runs in his career, winning 16 times with one of his wins being the Epsom Derby in 1787.

When he was retired from racing, Sir Peter Teazle stood at Derby’s Knowsley Stud in Lancashire where he sired a Doncaster Cup winner, 4 Epsom Derby winners, 2 Epsom Oaks winners, 4 St Leger winners and many more. He produced Walton and Sir Harry who also went on to be crowned as Champion Sire’s – Walton in Britain and Sir Harry in America.

Some of his biggest winners were:

Hermione (1791) who won 21 races including the Oaks in 1794.
Parisot (1793) who won the Oaks in 1796
Ambrosio (1793) who won 18 races, including the St Leger in 1796.
Sir Harry (1795) who won the Derby in 1798 – He was then imported to America for the highest price ever paid for a horse brought there. He went on to be a Leading Sire in America.
Archduke (1796) who won the Derby in 1799.
Ditto (1800) who won the Derby in 1803.
Fyldener (1803) who won the St Leger in 1806.
Paris (1803) who won the Derby in 1806
Paulina (1804) who won 8 races including the St Leger in 1807
Petronius (1805) who won the St Leger in 1808

Sir Peter Teazle passed away aged 27 on August 18th 1811.


Galileo
Sadler’s Wells x Urban Sea

Third on the list is Galileo who won Champion Sire 12 times and is the current reigning Champion Sire. He has won in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. Galileo was bred in Ireland by David Tsui and Orpendale in 1998 by Sadler’s Wells out of Urban Sea. He was owned by Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor and went into training with Aidan O’Brien.

Galileo ran 8 times, winning 6 times including the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes all in 2001.

Galileo retired to stand as a stallion at Coolmore Stud, where originally he would stand at their County Tipperary stud in Ireland for part of the year and then move to their Australian branch in New South Wales for the other half of the year. However since 2012, he has stood exclusively in Ireland. Interesting since 2008 his stud fee has always been privately negotiated, but he is known to be the most expensive stallion in the world with some saying his fee was north of €400,000″ and suggested to be as high as €600,000 in 2018.

In August 2018, Sizzling gave Galileo his 328th European Group race win as a sire, which took him past the record previously held by his own sire Sadler’s Wells. On November 9th 2019 Magic Wand became his 84th individual Group/Grade 1 winner putting him level with Danehill for most such winners sired. After Minding’s victory in the 2016 1,000 Guineas, Galileo became the sire of winners of all 5 British Classics. Also in 2016, in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe he sired the first 3 finishers, Found, Highland Reel and Order of St George. In the 2019 Derby he was the sire, grandsire or great grandsire of 12 out of 13 runners and was the broodmare sire of the 13th.

If I name every horse he has produced we would be here all day, so here are just a few of his big winners: (If you want a more in depth look you can read all about him right here: https://zoelouisesmithx.com/2021/03/12/galileo-what-makes-a-peoples-horse/)

Nightime (2003) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas
Sixties Icon (2003) who won the St Leger
Celestial Halo (2004) who won the Triumph Hurdle
Soldier of Fortune (2004) who won the Irish Derby and Coronation Cup
Frankel (2008) who won the Dewhurst Stakes, 2,000 Guineas, St James’s Place Stakes, Sussex Stakes Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Lockinge Stakes, Queen Anne Sakes, International Stakes and Champion Stakes
Treasure Beach (2008) who won the Irish Derby and Secretariat Stakes
Great Heavens (2009) who won the Irish Oaks
Ruler of the World (2010) who won the Epsom Derby
Australia (2011) who won the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and International Stakes
Order of St George (2012) who won the Irish St Leger x 2 and Ascot Gold Cup
Churchill (2014) who won the National Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes, 2,000 Guineas and Irish 2,000 Guineas
Anthony Van Dyck (2016) who won the Epsom Derby
Love (2017) who won the Moyglare Stud Stakes, 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks
Peaceful (2017) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas
Serpentine (2017) who won the Epsom Derby
Empress Josephine (2018) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas just last month.

Galileo has also produced sons who have went on to be sires themselves including Teofilo, New Approach, Nathaniel and probably the most famous of them Frankel.

Galileo is currently 23 years old and living at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.


Highflyer
Herod x Rachel

In second place is Highflyer who was Champion Sire 13 times, in 1785, 1786, 1787, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1781, 1792, 1793, 1794, 1795, 1796 and 1798. Highflyer was bred in Great Britain by Sir Charles Bunbury in 1774 by Herod, out of Rachel.

In his racing carer, Highflyer had 14 races and won all 14 times, he was retired to stud undefeated. Sadly the owners of Highflyer had a plan to make them rich and their plan was to breed Highflyer to as many mares as possible to bring in the stud fees. Many criticised them for this and believed they were over-breeding him which later they were proven correct when he died at just 19 years old.

During his stud career, Highflyer produced 469 winners which included 3 Epsom Derby winners, 3 St Leger winners and 1 Epsom Oaks winner.

Some of his big winners were:

Noble (1783) who won the Epsom Derby
Sir Peter Teazle (1784) – Who we looked at above – who went on to win 16 races including the Epsom Derby
Skyscraper (1786) who won the Epsom Derby
Volante (1789) who won the Epsom Oaks
Diamond (1792) who won many races including the 1,000 Guineas

Highflyer sadly passed away at just 19 years old on October 18th in 1793.


Sadler’s Wells
Northern Dancer x Fairy Bridge

Number 1 on the list is Sadler’s Wells who was Champion Sire 14 times, in 1990, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000,2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. He was also the leading sire in France in 1993, 1994 and 1999.

Sadler’s Wells was foaled on April 11th 1981 by Northern Dancer, out of Fairy Bridge by Breeders at Swettenham Stud in America. He was owned by Robert Sangster and was trained by Vincent O’Brien.

In his racing career Sadler’s Wells had 11 runs winning 6 of them and finishing 2nd in 4 of them. In the 6 wins was the Beresford Stakes in 1983 and the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, Irish 2,000 Guineas, Eclipse Staes and Phoenix Champion Stakes in 1984.

In 1985 Sadler’s Wells was syndicated by Coolmore for €800,000 a share with a total value of €32 million. His initial stud fee was around £125,000 with it increasing in 1990 to £150,000.

In 1989 Sadler’s Wells set a world record by having 11 stakes winners in one year and in 1990 his daughter Salsabil won the 1,000 Guineas, Epsom Oaks and Irish Derby which very much helped steer him to his first Champion Sire title. In 2004 when he won his 14th title, this made him another record breaker after breaking Highflyer’s record of 13 titles.

Sadler’s Wells sired 12 English Classic Winners which were:

Salsabil who won the 1,000 Guineas and Oaks
Intrepidity who won the Oaks
Moonshell who won the Oaks
Entrepreneur who won the 2,000 Guineas
King of Kings who won the 2,000 Guineas
Imagine who won the Oaks
Galileo who won the Derby
Milan who won the St Leger
High Chaparral who won the Derby
Brian Boru who won the St Leger
Refuse to Bend who won the 2,000 Guineas
Alexandrova who won the Oaks

In 2001, his daughters held the first 3 positions in the Oaks. Sadler’s Wells also sired 14 Irish Classic winners including in 1999 his sons held the first three positions in the Irish Derby.

In 2001 his stud fee increased to £200,000 with roughly 200 mares each year visiting him which increased his winners rapidly. Briefly he held the all time record for the number of Stakes winners when Roman Saddle became his 177th Stakes winner in July 2001, passing Mr. Prospector’s record of 176 stakes winners.

In 2002, Sadler’s Wells sired his 200th Stakes winner becoming the first stallion to achieve that landmark, however Danehill passed him reaching 300 Stakes winners in 2005, in which Sadler’s Wells achieved in 2008.

In 2011 when Sadler’s Wells passed away he had sired 323 Stakes winners including 73 individual Group/Grade 1 winners on the flat, also producing several National Hunt winners too.

Some of his big winners not yet mentioned are as follows (again we cannot go through every single one as we will be here all day so here are just a few):

Saddlers’ Hall (1988) who won the Coronation Cup
Barathea (1990) who won the Irish 2,000 Guineas and Breeders’ Cup Mile
Pridwell (1990) who won the Aintree Hurdle
Istabraq (1992) who won the Royal Sunalliance Novices’ Hurdle, Irish Champion Hurdle x 4, Champion Hurdle x 3 and Punchestown Champion Hurdle
Ebadiyla (1994) who won the Irish Oaks and Prix Royal Oak
Kayf Tara (1994) who won the Ascot Gold Cup x 2 and Irish St Leger x 2
Galileo (1998) probably one of his best known children who won the Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes as well as going on to be a Champion Sire 12 times (so far)
Gossamer (1999) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas and Fillies’ Mile
Yesterday (2000) who won the Irish 1,000 Guineas
Percussionist (2001) who won the American Grand National
Yeats (2001) who won the Ascot Gold Cup x 4, Coronation Cup, Irish St Leger and Prix Royal Oak
Alexandrova (2003) who won the Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks
Synchronised (2003) who won the Welsh Grand National, Lexus Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup

Also interesting to mention, in November 2007 Sadler’s Wells daughter Playful Act out of Magnificient Style wa sold at the Keeneland Breeding Stock Sale for a world record price of $10.5 Million USD.

On May 13th in 2008, Coolmore announced Sadler’s Wells would be retiring from breeding due to declining fertility and on April 26th 2011 he passed away peacefully at home in Ireland at Coolmore Stud.


So there we have it, according to the amount of Champion Sire title’s they hold those are the 6 most prolific sires in the United Kingdom and Ireland over the years. I have found it so interesting to research this kind of stuff recently so I hope you have all enjoyed reading it too! I will see you all on Monday for a full week of posts starting with The History of the Queen Anne Stakes ahead of Tuesday’s renewal!

Eight Interesting Horse Racing Facts You May Not Know

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today’s is an interesting one where I look at 8 facts you may or may not know about horse racing, so without further ado, let’s get right into them!


First up, the fastest recorded speed for a thoroughbred racehorse was recorded on May 14th in 2008 at Penn National Racecourse in Pennsylvania. Winning Brew is a mare who was born in 2006 and was put into training with Francis Vitale by owner Ronald Francoeur. At two years old she broke the Guinness World Record for being the fastest racehorse in the world when she covered a two mile distance (402 metres) in 20.57 seconds, which averages 70.76 kilometers per hour which is roughly 43.97 miles per hour.


The biggest racehorse in history is believed to be Holy Roller. The gelding was 18.1 hands high and was estimated to weigh 1,800 pounds (around 660 pounds heavier than average) – he could not be weighed on a scale as he was so big, therefore they could only estimate how much he weighed. His head along weighing in at 110 pounds. His feet were trimmed as short as possible to fit into a size 8 shoe – 3 sizes bigger than a typical racehorse.

However it is important to note that in December of 2020 the owners of a horse called Shinshinto came out to say they believe their horse is the new tallest standing at 18.2 hands – however this is yet to be confirmed.

To put this into perspective, Frankel was considered to be a decent sized horse at 16.1 hands whilst dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll measures 15.2 hands.


It is no secret that in horse racing, jockeys need to be carrying the lowest weight they possibly can. In 1841, what is believed to be the lowest weight in history was made when a jockey known as Kitchener rode in the Chester Cup on a horse called Red Deer where he weighed just 2 stone and 12 pounds. The saddle and bridle etc weighed 1 stone 2 pounds which made the weight up to the 4 stone which the was handicapped. It is believed his regular body weight was 48 pounds – 3 stone and 6 pounds, so he lost 8 pounds for this race.


The slowest recorded time for winning a race was achieved by Never Mind II in 1945 when he finished a two mile race in 11 minutes and 28 seconds. Never Mind II refused at a fence and was abandoned by his jockey, however his jockey heard that all of the other runners in the race had either fallen or been disqualified so therefore he returned to his horse and they finished the race at their own leisure.


One of America’s most famous jockeys George Edward Arcaro – better known as Eddie Arcaro – rode 250 losers before he finally won his first race. He then went on to win another 4,778 races in his career which included each of the races making up the American Triple Crown. He was introduced into the American Thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame and has won more American Classic Races in history than any other jockey and is the only jockey in history to have won the American Triple Crown Twice, once in 1941 and again in 1948. He is widely known in America as the greatest jockey in American horse racing.


A jockey called Levi Barlingume raced competitively until he was 80 years old. His career ended in 1932 when he broke his leg during a race – other than this injury he had no plans to retire from the saddle just yet so who knows how old he would’ve went on to be still riding.


The record for the longest living thoroughbred was believed to be a horse called Tango Duke who was an Australian horse who passed away at the age of 42 in 1978, however stud records in Australia do not show any record of a horse being registered with this name – so it is believed he was not a pure thoroughbred and that is why. The official longest living thoroughbred is Prospect Point who was born in Kentucky USA, however ended up in South Carolina. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 38 years old.


The oldest winning National Hunt horse is Sonny Somers who in 1980, won at Lingfield Park at 18 years old, beating 5 and 6 year olds that were in the race. He was trained by Fred Winter and Ben De Hann rode him for his record breaking race.


So there we have it, 8 interesting horse racing facts you may or may not have known. I find these posts so interesting to look into and from the figures whenever I post something like this, so do my readers. I hope you all enjoyed this one and I will see you all Saturday a 11am for a new post!

The History of the Epsom Derby

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Ahead of today’s renewal of the Cazoo Derby, let’s have a look into the history of the race!


The Epsom Derby Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which is ran at Epsom Downs racecourse and is open to three year old colts and fillies. It is ran over a distance of 1 mile, 4 furlongs and 6 yards and it takes place in late May or early June each year and the first running of the race was in 1780. It is Britain’s richest flat horse race and the most prestigious of the 5 Classic races as well as the middle leg of the Triple Crown, with the 2,000 Guineas before and the St Leger following. In the previous running in 2020 the race was worth £491,850 with the winner getting £283,550.


The first winner of the race in 1780 was a horse called Diomed for jockey Sam Arnull, trainer R. Teasdale and owner Sir Charles Bunbury. Jumping into the 1800’s, Robert Robson who dominated the Epsom Oaks, started to dominate the Epsom Derby winning firstly in 1802 with Tyrant who partnered up with Frank Buckle and owner the 3rd Duke of Grafton, winning again in 1809 with Pope for jockey Tom Goodisson and owner the 3rd Duke of Grafton. In 1810 with Whalebone for Bill Clift and owner the 3rd Duke of Grafton with plenty more victories to follow up to 1823.

In 1828, interestingly there was a deadheat, however Cadland for Jem Robinson, Dixon Boyce and the 5th Duke of Rutland ended up winning in a ‘run off’ against The Colonel.

Skipping forward quite a few years, in 1896, Persimmon won the race for jockey John Watts, trainer Richard Marsh and the Prince of Wales, with another winner for the Prince of Wales in 1900 when Diamond Jubilee won for jockey Herbert Jones and trainer Richard Marsh.

In 1909, Minoru won for jockey Herbert Jones, trainer Richard Marsh and owner King Edward VII.

In 1930, Aga Khan III won with Blenheim with jockey Harry Wragg and trainer Dick Dawson, winning again in 1935 with Bahram for jockey Freddie Fox and trainer Frank Butters and again in 1936 with Mahmoud for jockey Charles Smirke and trainer Fred Butters again. As well as a victory in 1952 with Tulyar for jockey Charles Smirke and trainer Marcus Marsh.

In 1954, Lester Piggott won the race for the first time on Never Say Die for trainer Joseph Lawson and owner Robert Sterling Clark.

In 1970, the very famous Nijinsky won the race for Lester Piggott, Vincent O’Brien and Charles W. Engelhard Jr. Mill Reef in 1971 for Geoff Lewis, Ian Balding and Paul Mellon.

Another notable name is Shergar who won the race in 1981 for Walter Swinburn, (Sir) Michael Stoute and Aga Khan VI. (If you don’t know the story of Shergar you can read all about it right here: https://zoelouisesmithx.com/2020/07/25/what-happened-to-shergar/)

If we now skip forward to the 21st century, we see Galileo win the race in 2001 for Michael Kinane, Aidan O’Brien and Magnier / Tabor. (You can read all about him, his racing career and his career in stud right here: https://zoelouisesmithx.com/2021/03/12/galileo-what-makes-a-peoples-horse/)

Motivator won the race in 2005 for Johnny Murtagh, Michael Bell and the Royal Ascot Racing Club. Authorized in 2007 for Frankie Dettori, Peter Chapple-Hyam and Al Homaizi / Al Sagar. In 2009, Sea The Stars won the race for Michael Kinane, John Oxx and Christopher Tsui. With Camelot winning in 2012 for Joseph and Aidan O’Brien and owners Smith / Magnier / Tabor, followed by Ruler of the World for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Magnier / Tabor / Smith and in 2014, Australia for Joseph and Aidan O’Brien and Smith / Magnier / Tabor / Khing.

2015 we seen Golden Horn win the race for Frankie Dettori, John Gosden and Anthony Oppenheimer. And in 2016, the late, great, Pat Smullen won the race on Harzand for Dermot Weld and owner Aga Khan IV.

In 2019 the late Anthony Van Dyck won the race for Seamie Heffernan, Aidan O’Brien and Smith / Magnier / Tabor. And the most recent winner in 2020 which was ran in July due to the Covid 19 pandemic was Serpentine for Emmet McNamara, Aidan O’Brien and Tabor / Smith / Magnier.


Now onto some records within the race!

The fastest winning time was set in 2010 when Workforce won the race in 2 minutes 31.33 seconds.

The longest odds winners were Jeddah in 1898, Signorinetta in 1908 and Aboyeur in 1913 who all won at 100/1.

The shortest odds winner was in 1894 when Ladas won at 2/9.

The widest winning margin was in 1981 when Shergar won by 10 lengths.

The race with the most runners was in 1862 when 34 horses ran.

The race with the fewest runners was in 1794 when only 4 horses ran.


Now onto the leading jockey, trainer and owner!

Firstly the leading jockey who is Lester Piggott who won the race 9 times. Never Say Die in 1954, Crepello in 1957, St Paddy in 1960, Sir Ivor in 1968, Nijinsky in 1970, Roberto in 1972, Empery in 1976, The Minstrel in 1977 and Teenoso in 1983.

The leading trainer is Aidan O’Brien, who to date has won 8 times. Galileo in 2001, High Chaparral in 2002, Camelot in 2012, Ruler of the World in 2013, Australia in 2014, Wings of Eagles in 2017, Anthony Van Dyck in 2019 and Serpentine in 2020.

And the leading owner – including part ownership – like many of these posts I have done are Sue Magnier and Michael Tabor who have won it 9 times. Galileo in 2001, High Chaparral in 2002, Pour Moi in 2011, Camelot in 2012, Ruler of the World in 2013, Australia in 2014, Wings of Eagles in 2017, Anthony Van Dyck in 2019 and Serpentine in 2020.


So there we have it, a little look into the history of the Epsom Derby. Today’s renewal looks to be another brilliant race so I cannot wait to see how it goes! I hope you enjoyed this one and I will see you all on Wednesday evening for a new post and it is a very interesting post – Eight Interesting Horse Racing Facts You May Not Know!