The History of the Epsom Oaks

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! A 2nd midweek post from me must mean there is something happening, so ahead of tomorrow’s renewal of the Group 1 Cazoo Oaks Stakes, let’s have a look at the history of the race!


The Epsom Oaks Stakes is a Group 1 flat race which is ran at Epsom Downs racecourse and is open to three year old 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 1779. It is the 3rd of Britain’s 5 Classic races and it also serves as the middle leg of the Fillies’ Triple Crown behind the 1,000 Guineas and before the St Leger. In the previous running in 2020 the race was worth £250,000 with the winner getting £141,775.


The first winner of the race was in 1779 and was a horse called Bridget with Dick Goodisson riding for trainer ‘Saunders’ and the owner was the 12th Earl of Derby. Dick Goodisson then won the following two years with Tetotum in 1780 for owner Thomas Douglas (trainer unknown) and in 1781 with Faith for trainer John Pratt and owner the 1st Earl Grosvenor.

The following two years were then won by the same trainer John Pratt both with Sam Chifney riding. In 1782 with Ceres and in 1783 with Maid of the Oaks, both for the 1st Earl Grosvenor.

If we then move into the 1800’s, we see trainer Robert Robson dominate the race for many years, starting in 1802 with Scotia with Frank Buckle riding for owner John Wastell. He then won it again 12 more times between 1804 and 1825.

If we then skip forward quite a few years into the 1900’s we have Aga Khan III winning as an owner in 1932 with Udaipur with jockey Michael Beary and trainer Frank Butters.

In 1942, King George VI had a winner when Sun Chariot won for jockey Gordon Richards and trainer Fred Darling. Followed by his daughter, Queen Elizabeth II having a winner in 1957 with Carrozza who partnered up with Lester Piggott and trainer Noel Murless. Queen Elizabeth II then had another winner in 1977 with Dunfermline who was rode by Willie Carson and trained by Dick Hern.

Aidan O’Brien then had his first winner as a trainer in 1998 when Shahtoush won with Michael Kinane riding for owners Nagle / Magnier.

Into the 21st century we then see winners such as Imagine in 2001 for Michael Kinane, Aidan O’Brien and Nagle / Magnier. Ouija Board in 2004 for Kieren Fallon, Ed Dunlop and the 19th Earl of Derby. Snow Fairy in 2010 for Ryan Moore, Ed Dunlop and Anamoine Ltd. Minding in 2016 for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Smith / Magnier / Tabor. Enable in 2017 for Frankie Dettori, John Gosden and Khalid Abdullah. And finally Love in 2020 – which was run in July due to the Covid 19 Pandemic – for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Tabor / Smith / Magnier.


So now onto some records within the race!

The fastest winning time was in 2020 when Love won the race 2 minutes 34.06 seconds.

The longest odds winners are Vespa in 1833, Jet Ski Lady in 1991 and Qualify in 2015 who all started the race at 50/1.

The shortest odds winner is Pretty Polly in 1904 who won at 8/100.

The widest winning margin was Sun Princess in 1983 who won by 12 lengths.

The race with the most runners took place in 1848 when 26 horses ran.

The race with the fewest runners took place in 1799 and 1904 when only 4 horses ran each time.


Now onto the leading jockey, trainer and owner.

First things first – the leading jockey is Frank Buckle who won the race 9 times. Nike in 1797, Bellissima in 1798, Bellina in 1799, Scotia in 1802, Theophania in 1803, Meteora in 1805, Neva in 1817, Corinne in 1818 and Zinc in 1823.

The leading trainer is Robert Robson who won the race 13 times. Scotia in 1802, Pelisse in 1804, Meteora in 1805, Briseis in 1807, Morel in 1808, Maid of Orleans in 1809, Music in 1813, Minuet in 1815, Landscape in 1816, Corinne in 1818, Pastille in 1822, Zinc in 1823 and Wings in 1825.

And finally, the leading owner – Including part ownership – like many of these posts I have done, is Susan Magnier who has won it 7 times. Shahtoush in 1998, Imagine in 2001, Alexandrova in 2006, Was in 2012, Minding in 2016, Forever Together in 2018 and Love in 2020.


So there we have it, just some of the history behind the Epsom Oaks, tomorrow’s renewal looks to be a decent one so I cannot wait to watch it. I hope you’ve all enjoyed this one and I will see you all Saturday morning at 11am where I go through the history of the Epsom Derby before the 2021 renewal.

Enable: What Makes a People’s Horse?

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today’s post is another post in my What Makes a People’s Horse series and of course we had to look at the Queen that is Enable. After her retirement being confirmed in October 2020, the racing world shown an outpouring of love to her which is proof in itself that she is in fact a people’s horse, so let’s have a look back at her career to see just exactly why the world fell in love with her. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!


Enable was foaled on February 12th 2014 at Juddmonte Farms. She is by Nathaniel out of Concentric. With her Grandsire being Galileo and her Damsire being Sadler’s Wells (Galileo’s father) so all in all – she was destined to be an all time great coming from an incredible bloodline on both sides of her family.

Enable’s owner Khalid Abdullah sent her into training with John Gosden and her first race quickly approached at 2 years old on November 28th 2016 in a Maiden Fillies’ Stakes over 1 mile on the all weather track at Newcastle. She started at 7/2 under Robert Havlin and impressively won on debut by 3 and 3/4 lengths to Gallifrey (8/1) for Richard Kingscote and Lucy Wadham.

Enable then took a 144 day winter break and returned to the track on April 21st 2017, this time heading to Newbury for a Class 3 Stallions Conditions Stakes over 1 mile, 2 furlongs. This time she started at 5/1 with William Buick riding. However she could only manage a 3rd place behind the winner and stable mate for the same owner Shutter Speed at 5/4F for Frankie Dettori and in second place Raheen House (7/2) for Jimmy Fortune and Brian Meehan.

Just a couple of weeks later on May 10th 2017, Enable headed to Chester for a Class 1 Listed Race, the Arkle Finance Cheshire Oaks over 1 mile 3 and 1/3 furlongs. For the first time Frankie Dettori took the ride and 2/1 was their starting price. She ended up winning by 1 and 3/4 lengths to the Evens favourite Alluringly for Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien.

The next race for Enable was less than a month later and it was a big one. The Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom where under Frankie Dettori she was a 6/1 shot. Coming out of stall 9, she ended up winning quite impressively by 5 lengths to the odds on 8/11 favourite Rhododendron for Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien once again.

Just over a month later on July 15th 2007 Enable headed over to Ireland and to the Curragh with her partner Frankie Dettori for the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks. This time she started as the odds on 2/5 favourite and to nobodies surprise she won by 5 and 1/2 lengths to Rain Goddess (7/1) for Seamie Heffernan and Aidan O’Brien.

Exactly 2 weeks later on July 29th 2017, Enable headed to Ascot for the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes where she started as the 5/4 favourite with her now regular partner Frankie Dettori. Here she won again, this time by 4 and 1/2 lengths to Ulysses (9/1) for Jim Crowley and Sir Michael Stoute.

Next up for Enable would be the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks at York on August 24th, again starting as the odds on 1/4 favourite under Frankie Dettori. Here she beat her stable mate Coronet (16/1) for Olivier Peslier by 5 lengths.

Enable’s final run in 2017 came on October 1st when she headed over to France and to Chantilly for the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomph. Starting as the 10/11 favourite under Frankie Dettori, she was once again crowned the winner, this time beating Cloth Of Stars (20/1) for Mickael Barzalona and A Fabre by 2 and 1/2 lengths.

We then head into 2018 and in May of that year, it was announced that Enable had suffered a ‘training setback’ and she would not return until August at the earliest. So after a 342 day break, Enable’s much anticipated return finally happened when she headed to Kempton on September 8th for the Group 3 September Stakes. Although she had been off the track for the majority of a year she returned as the 8/15 favourite with her regular partner Frankie Dettori. She ended up winning by 3 and 1/2 lengths to Crystal Ocean (6/4) for David Probert and Sir Michael Stoute.

A month later on October 7th, she headed back to France, this time to Longchamp for the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. This time as the Evens favourite, again with Frankie Dettori riding, this time winning by just a short neck to Sea Of Class (6/1) for James Doyle and William Haggas.

We then head into November and on the 3rd of the month, Enable headed to America for the first time, this time to Churchill Downs for the Grade 1 Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. Frankie Dettori travelled with her and they started as the 8/13 favourites where they ended up winning by 3/4 of a length to Magical (13/2) for Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien.

Enable then took a 245 day winter break and returned to the track on July 6th 2019 for the Group 1 Coral Eclipse at Sandown. She was the odds on favourite at 4/6 with Frankie Dettori once again taking the ride. Here she ended up beating Magical (11/4) for Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien by 3/4 of a length once again, practically re-living her previous race.

Three weeks later on July 27th 2019, Enable headed to Ascot for the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, this time as the odds on 8/15 favourite again, with her regular partner Frankie Dettori riding. Here she won by just a neck to Crystal Ocean (7/2) for James Doyle and Sir Michael Stoute.

Moving into August, Enable headed to York on the 22nd for the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks where she was the 1/4 favourite under Frankie Dettori. She beat Magical (4/1) by 2 and 3/4 lengths for Ryan Moore and Aidan O’Brien.

On October 6th 2019, Enable headed back to Longchamp in France for the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc Triomphe once again. This time she was 1/2 favourite with Frankie Dettori, however she only managed a second place by 1 and 3/4 lengths to the winner Waldgeist (131/10) for Pierre-Charles Boudot and A Fabre.

After a 273 day break, Enable returned to the track on July 5th 2020 this time at Sandown for the Group 1 Coral Eclipse once again. Here she was the Evens favourite under Frankie Dettori, once again she could only manage a second place, this time by 2 and 1/4 lengths behind Ghaiyyath (9/4) for William Buick and Charlie Appleby.

Enable then returned to winning ways on July 25th 2020 when she went to Ascot for the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes as the 4/9 favourite under Frankie Dettori and won by 5 and 1/2 lengths to Sovereign (12/1) for William Buick and Aidan O’Brien.

On September 5th 2020 Enable had her final race in the UK when she headed to Kempton for the Group 3 September Stakes on the all weather surface. She was the 1/14 favourite and Frankie Dettori took the ride. Her final run in the UK would be a victorious one when she won by 7 lengths to Kirstenbosch (33/1) for James Doyle and James Fanshawe.

Enable’s final run came on October 4th 2020 when she headed to Longchamp in France for another go at the Group 1 Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. The public were aware this quite possibly would be her final run so she was heavily backed into the 9/10 favourite under Frankie Dettori. Unfortunately she would have her worst finish of her career when finishing 6th, however she still got an incredible standing ovation when returning from the race from the whole crowd and everybody watching from home.


On October 12th 2020 it was confirmed that Enable would be retired with trainer John Gosden saying:

Enable has retired happy and sound after an extraordinary career. We all here at Clarehaven Stables have been very fortunate to be with her for the past five years. She’s been a joy to be around.”

https://www.greatbritishracing.com/news/all-hail-the-queen-enable-retires/

With her regular partner Frankie Dettori also saying:

Obviously I shed a tear as I was a bit emotional. She’s done so brilliant for all of us and I love her. I’m never going to forget her. I went to see her this morning. We had a tremendous journey for three and a half, four years. She was the horse that most touched my heart.”

https://www.greatbritishracing.com/news/all-hail-the-queen-enable-retires/

So all in all, Enable finished her racing career with some incredible figures:

1/3111111/111/1112/2116-

Other than her 6th place in her final appearance, Enable never finished outside of the first 3. She had:

19 x runs
15 x 1st
2 x 2nd
1 x 3rd
1 x 6th

Winning over £10.7 million in her career including some major wins and awards along the way. The Cheshire Oaks, Epsom Oaks, Irish Oaks and Yorkshire Oaks in 2017 as well as the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in 2017, 2019 and 2020, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2017 and 2018, the September Stakes in 2018 and 2020, the Breeders Cup Turf in 2018, the Yorkshire Oaks again in 2019 and the Eclipse Stakes in 2019. As well as winning the Cartier Champion Three Year Old Filly in 2017, the Cartier Horse of the Year in 2017 and 2019 as well as the Cartier Champion Older Horse in 2018 and 2019.


Enable has now went on to be a broodmare standing at Juddmonte and on March 2nd 2021 it was confirmed by Juddmonte via Twitter that Enable is successfully in foal to Kingman. So therefore her story is far from over and if her foals are anything like her or the family she has came from then they will be a force to be reckoned with and I am very excited to see how the future goes.


All in all, I don’t think I even need to say much, Enable was and is still loved by so many and that shows by the emotion when she had her final run, not only from Frankie, John and those involved with her personally, but also those at home who have just watched her. I think it shows how loved she is by the reaction to her also being in foal, the excitement on social media that her story will be continuing was amazing and I think that speaks for itself. Enable is a true people’s horse and for me she will go down as one of the greatest and I cannot wait to see how well (hopefully) her career as a broodmare goes and how successful her foals will go on to be.

I personally love Enable and I loved being able to have a look back at her career, I hope you all enjoyed reading. I will see you all Saturday morning at 11am for a new post!

Newmarket 1852: Running For Their Lives… Literally

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today’s post is another piece in my Horse Racing History series and it’s a fascinating one to say the least! I think this may be a slightly shorter post but it’s one I found interesting and wanted to share, so without further ado, let’s just get right into it!


On a Saturday in October 1852, thousands flocked to Newmarket racecourse for one reason only. The Earl of Glasgow had announced that he intended to run 6 of his horses the next day and had said:

The losers should pay the penalty of death.”

And everybody knew that this was not an idle threat, with a fellow owner George Hodgman recording:

A bad horse in his opinion was only fit to be shot. The Earl of Glasgow knew no such word as ‘hesitation’, his thinning out process by aid of the gun being a common topic of conversation at this period.”

The news of the Earls threat had spread very quickly amongst thousands which meant crowd and crowds of people headed towards the course with a morbid curiosity as to 1) if he kept his word and 2) what horses would be losing their lives.


The first horse to run was a bay filly called Senorita who run in a half mile race and was sent off as the favourite. She ran for her life – literally and ended up winning by one and a half lengths.

The second horse up was a chestnut colt called Knight of the Garter who was taking on Lord Exeter’s Ilex over one and three quarter miles. Luckily, he ended up winning by three quarters of a length.

The next horse was a bay colt called Double Thong, who was spared an expected defeat when his main opponent bolted in the wrong direction when the flag fell.

We then move onto the forth horse a brown colt called Caracara who was 1/3 favourite again a horse called Sackbut who ran in a 1 mile race. Both horses passed the line at the exact same time and everybody held their breathe until the number went up showing that Caracara had in fact won. A cheer of pure relief rang around the track.

We then move onto the fifth horse and the first horse to be partnered with a new jockey. All 4 of the previous horses were partnered with Nat Flatman, but now Tommy Lye took the ride on the 5th horse who was a sister to the previous horse Caracara, however she had not been named. The owner did not believe she deserved a name and he had previously called his horses ‘He Isn’t Worth A Name’ as well as ‘Give Him A Name’. She was relatively unfancied as she was taking on an odds on favourite for Duke of Bedford called Hesperus Across The Flat, however shockingly she beat the odds on favourite.

So now, it was the final horse’s turn to run. Another filly without a name, however the Duke of Bedford declined to start his horse called Ernestine against her, so therefore she did not run and her life was saved.

So in the end, all 6 horses were saved and went on to live another day. Some suspect that the horses had been given a helping hand, however others suspect it was all a cynical publicity stunt set up by the Earl. But truly, nobody knows if he was doing it for publicity or if he would have stuck to his word be it one or more of his horses had lost. And he never really spoke out about the situation after the day had ended either, so to this day, nobody really knows and probably never will.


I honestly found this one so interesting to read into, it’s such a crazy story and we still don’t know the real truth which makes it even crazier. What do you think? Would he have stuck to his word? Was it all a publicity stunt? Or did others help his horses along to win? I love these history posts and from what my figures show so do my audience so I have plenty more planned!

Thank you for reading and I will see you all Wednesday evening at 6pm for a new post!

Sprinter Sacre: What Makes a People’s Horse?

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Today’s post is a highly requested one, when I asked people to send in some suggestions of ‘people’s horses’ to research, Sprinter Sacre came up 20+ times, with the first person being @Smasher_Smith88 on Twitter so thank you to everyone for the suggestion. I have a spreadsheet where I am continuously adding horses to research and look into as per my Twitter followers so if you want to suggest any horses feel free to send those over so I can add them to my list and attempt to get through them all! So with all of that being said, let’s get right into it!


Sprinter Sacre was foaled on April 23rd in 2006 out of Fatima III by Net in France by Breeder Christophe Masle and was imported to the United Kingdom for owner Caroline Mould to send him into training with Nicky Henderson.

His first race would come just before his 4th birthday on February 20th in 2010 at Ascot where he took part in an Open National Hunt Flat Race (Bumper). He started as the odds on 8/11 favourite and under Barry Geraghty – who would go on to be Sprinter Sacre’s regular jockey for the majority of his career – he won by just a nose to Ruby Walsh on the Paul Nicholls trained horse King Of The Night at 100/30).

There was a 56 day break before Sprinter Sacre returned to the track, this time at Ayr on April 17th 2010 for another National Hunt Flat Race (Bumper) where he started as the favourite once again, this time at 13/8 again under Barry Geraghty, this time winning more comfortably by 4 lengths to Yes Tom (5/1).

Sprinter Sacre then took a 216 day summer holiday before returning to Ascot on November 19th 2010, this time for his first Novices’ Hurdle over 2 miles, 3 and 1/2 furlongs. This time, he would suffer his first defeat of his career, only managing a second place by 1 and 3/4 lengths as the 6/5 favourite under Barry Geraghty behind the 100/30 shot Frascati Park for Nigel Twiston-Davies and Paddy Brennan.

After a quick 78 day break, on February 5th 2011, Sprinter Sacre headed to Ffos Las for his second Novices’ Hurdle, this time as the massively odds on 2/9 favourite under Barry Geraghty he returned to his winning ways, this time winning even more impressively by 10 lengths to Sorcillera (20/1) for John and Rhys Flint.

Just two weeks later on February 19th 2011, Sprinter Sacre returned to Ascot, this time as the 30/100 favourite, again under Barry Geraghty for another Novices’ Hurdle, this time over 1 mile 7 and 1/2 furlongs, where he impressively won by 7 lengths to Polisky (7/2) for Paul Nicholls and Nick Scholfield.

Just under a month later on March 15th 2011, Sprinter Sacre headed to his first Cheltenham Festival. This time under A P McCoy in the Grade One Supreme Novices’ Hurdle as an 11/1 shot, he managed a 3rd place behind the winner, 10/1 shot Al Ferof for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh and stable mate Spirit Son at 5/1 for Nicky Henderson and Barry Geraghty in 2nd.

Sprinter Sacre then took a well deserved 269 day summer break, it was then December 9th 2011 when he returned, this time heading to Doncaster for his first Novices’ Chase over 2 miles 1/2 furlong. This time David Bass took the riding claiming 3. He started as the 2/9 favourite and in his most impressive victory so far, he won by a massive 24 lengths to 6/1 shot Lightening Rod for Michael Easterby and Jake Greenall who claimed 5.

Wasting no time, just a few weeks later Sprinter Sacre returned to the track, this time heading to Kempton on December 27th for a second Novices’ Chase. This time he was 11/10 and regular jockey Barry Geraghty was back on board. Impressively he won by 16 lengths, beating the 4/5 favourite Peddlers Cross for Donald McCain and Jason Maguire.

Sprinter Sacre would be seen again after a 52 day break on February 17th 2012 this time at Newbury in the Grade Two Super Saturday Chase – Registered as the Game Spirit Chase. He was the 2/5 favourite and Barry Geraghty took the ride. He ended up winning by 6 lengths to his stable mate French Opera (16/1) for Andrew Tinkler.

Next up for Sprinter Sacre was a return to the Cheltenham Festival on March 13th, this time for the Grade One Arkle Chase over 2 miles. He was the 8/11 favourite and his regular jockey Barry Geraghty took the ride. Here, he impressively won by 7 lengths to Cue Card (13/2) for Colin and Joe Tizzard.

His season didn’t end there, he instead headed to Aintree on April 14th 2012 for another Grade 1, this time a Novices’ Chase. He was a massively odds on price of 1/7 with Barry Geraghty riding. This time winning by 13 lengths to Toubab (10/1) for Paul Nicholls and Ruby Walsh.

He then took a 238 day break and was not seen again until December 8th 2012, this time for the Grade One Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown. He was, again, the massively odds on favourite of 4/11, again Barry Geraghty riding. This time he impressively won by 15 lengths to Kumbeshwar (25/1) for Alan King and Wayne Hutchinson.

Moving into 2013, Sprinter Sacre headed to Cheltenham on January 26th for the Grade One Victor Chandler Chase – Registered as the Clarence House Steeple Chase. On heavy ground and at 1/5 with Barry Geraghty riding, Sprinter Sacre won by 14 lengths to 50/1 shot Mad Moose for Nigel and Sam Twiston-Davies.

It was then time for his 3rd visit to the Cheltenham Festival, this time for the Grade 1 Queen Mother Champion Chase over 2 miles. He was a very short price again at 1/4 with Barry Geraghty riding again. This time he impressively won once again by 19 lengths to Sizing Europe (6/1) for Henry De Bromhead and A E Lynch.

On April 5th, he then headed back to Aintree for the Grade One Melling Chase, again as the odds on favourite at 1/3 and Barry Geraghty riding, he won again, this time by 4 and 1/2 lengths beating Cue Card again at 7/1 for Colin and Joe Tizzard.

However, this time his season didn’t end at Aintree, Nicky Henderson instead sent Sprinter Sacre and Barry Geraghty over to Ireland for the Punchestown Grade 1 Champion Chase on April 23rd. This time he was again odds on at 1/9 and won again beating Sizing Europe again by 5 and 1/2 lengths for Henry De Bromhead and A E Lynch.

Sprinter Sacre then took a 248 day summer break before heading to Kempton on December 27th 2013 for the Grade Two Desert Orchid Chase, however as the 2/9 favourite, under Barry Geraghty, he got pulled up. After the race the vet said he had an irregular heartbeat. On February 2014, Nicky Henderson announced that Sprinter Sacre would miss the remainder of the season saying he had recovered from his heart problems, however he was not working ‘with his usual brilliance’. (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/horseracing/cheltenham-festival/10657004/Sprinter-Sacre-ruled-out-of-Cheltenham-Festival-after-disappointing-Nicky-Henderson-in-work-at-home.html)

It would actually be 386 days later on January 17th 2015 that we would see Sprinter Sacre again, this time at Ascot for the Grade One Clarence House Chase. He was 4/6 favourite and Barry Geraghty took the ride again. This time he finished 2nd by 3 lengths behind Dodging Bullets (7/2) for Paul Nicholls and Noel Fehily. A vet said after the race that he had suffered a low level bleed.

Sprinter Sacre then took a 53 day break before returning to the Cheltenham Festival for a fourth time on March 11th 2015 for the Grade 1 Queen Mother Champion Chase however as the 9/4 favourite, Barry Geraghty pulled him up again. It was reported that after the race he was treated for a back problem.

Just over a month later on April 25th 2015, Sprinter Sacre then headed to Sandown for the Grade 1 AP McCoy Celebration Chase, he was 4/1 and for the first time we seen Nico de Boinville take the ride. However, Sprinter Sacre could only manage a 2nd place, 6 lengths behind the 3/1 favourite Special Tiara for Noel Fehily and Henry De Bromhead.

Sprinter Sacre was then given a 204 day summer break, before he returned to the track on November 15th 2015, this time heading to Cheltenham for the Grade 2 Cheltenham Chase over 2 miles. Here he started as the 15/8 favourite under Nico de Boinville and impressively he returned to winning ways, beating Somersby (5/1) for Brian Hughes and Mick Channon by 14 lengths.

Just over 1 month later on December 27th, Sprinter Sacre headed to Kempton for the Grade 2 Desert Orchid Chase. He started as the odds on 8/11 favourite under Nico de Boinville and once again, he won. This time beating Sire De Grugy (11/4) by 3/4 of a length for Jamie and Gary Moore.

Sprinter Sacre then took an 80 day break before returning to Cheltenham for his 5th Festival on March 16th 2016 for the Grade 1 Queen Mother Champion Chase. He started at 5/1 under Nico de Boinville and to the surprise of many, he actually won, beating the 4/6 favourite Un De Sceaux for Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins by 3 and 1/2 lengths.

Just one month later, we would see Sprinter Sacre for the final time when he returned to Sandown for the Grade 1 Celebration Chase on April 23rd 2016 where he started the race as the 11/10 favourite under Nico de Boinville and impressively beat Un De Sceaux (5/4) for Paul Townend and Willie Mullins.

Sprinter Sacre took a summer break and was then being prepared for the Tingle Creek Chase, however he sadly sustained a leg tendon injury whilst in training and to the surprise of many, on November 13th 2016 Nicky Henderson announced that he was being retired from racing. He tweeted saying:

He was the horse of an absolute lifetime.”

When interviewed, Nicky Henderson said the following:

If he was seven, you’d say give him a year off and he’d be back. But he’s not seven any more and this is the right thing to do.”

https://www.thesun.ie/sport/horse-racing/6451308/sprinter-sacre-retires-horse-of-a-lifetime-which-won-more-than-1million-has-time-called-on-career/#:~:text=%22HORSE%20of%20a%20lifetime%22%20Sprinter,two%2Dmilers%20of%20all%20time.&text=He%20was%20the%20horse%20of%20an%20absolute%20lifetime.%22

If you look at Spinter Sacre’s racing career, it really is something special!

11/2113/11111/11111/P/2P2/1111/

So if we sum that up, he was pulled up twice however the rest of his career he has never finished outside of the top 3, which is a pretty incredible achievement. So all in all, Sprinter Sacre had:

24 x runs
18 x 1st
3 x 2nd
1 x 3rd
2 x Pulled Up

Winning well over £1.1 million, he was truly a horse of a lifetime for his owner and those involved with him.

Some major wins we can see include the Arkle in 2012, the Tingle Creek in 2012, the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2013 and 2016, the Melling Chase in 2013, the Desert Orchid Chase in 2015 and so many more. He was an incredible horse, who I remember watching fondly over the years.


I think his figures and the words of Nicky Henderson speak for themselves, he was a true people’s horse.

Thank you for reading and I will see you all Saturday at 11am for a new post!

The History of the Irish 1,000 Guineas

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com. A post on a Sunday morning must only mean one thing, something important is happening! Ahead of today’s renewal of the Irish 1,000 Guineas I thought we could have a look back at the history of the race including past winners and some record holders, so with that being said, let’s get right into it!


The Irish 1,000 Guineas is a Group One flat race which takes place at the Curragh in Ireland and is open to three year old fillies. It is ran over 1 mile and takes place in May each year. The first running of the race was 1 year after the Irish 2,000 Guineas and took place in 1922. In 2020, the race was worth €230,000 with the winner collecting €142,500.

Now let’s look into some previous winners o the race, starting with Valoris in 1966 for jockey J. Power, trainer Vincent O’Brien and owner Charles Clore. She went on to produce foals such as Valinsky by Nijinsky who won 3 races including the Geoffrey Freer Stakes as well as Savannah Dancer by Northern Dancer who won 6 races including the Del Mar Oaks.

Let’s then jump to 1986 when Sonic Lady won the race for jockey Walter Swinburn, trainer (Sir) Michael Stoute and owner Sheikh Mohammed who won the race again in 1989 with Ensconse with Ray Cochrane riding for trainer Luca Cumani.

In 1994 jockey Willie Carson won the race on board Mehthaaf for trainer John Dunlop and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, he then won for the same owner again in 1996 on Matiya this time for trainer Ben Hanbury.

In 1997, the leading trainer in the race Aidan O’Brien had his first victory in the race with Classic Park with jockey Stephen Craine and owner Mrs Seamus Burns. Jamie Spencer then won the race in 1998 on Tarascon for trainer Tommy Stack and owner Jane Rowlinson. In 2001, Imagine won giving leading owner Sue Magnier a first victory in the race with jockey Seamie Heffernan and trainer Aidan O’Brien.

In 2002, Gossamer won the race for jockey Jamie Spencer, trainer Luca Cumani and owner Gerald Leigh. Yesterday won in 2003 for Michael Kinane, Aidan O’Brien and Sue Magnier. Attraction won in 2004 for Kevin Darley, Mark Johnston and the 10th Duke of Roxburghe.

In 2006, the late Pat Smullen won the race on board Nightime for trainer Dermot Weld and owner Marguerite Weld, also winning it in 2010 on Bethrah for Dermot Weld again and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.

In 2014 we seen Marvellous win for Ryan Moore, Aidan O’Brien and Smith / Tabor / Magnier. Pleascach won in 2016 for jockey Kevin Manning, trainer Jim Bolger and owner Jackie Bolger.

Since 2017, Aidan O’Brien along with owners Tabor / Magnier / Smith have won 3 times with only Jessica Harrington in the middle. In 2017, Ryan Moore won on board Winter, with Colm O’Donoghue winning for Jessica Harrington in 2018 on board Alpha Centauri for owners the Niarchos Family. In 2019, Ryan Moore won again on board Hermosa with Seamie Heffernan winning the June run race in 2020 (Delayed due to COVID 19 pandemic) on board Peaceful.


Now onto the records…

The leading jockey with 7 victories is Morny Wing who won on Lady Violette in 1922, Glenshesk in 1923, Spiral in 1931, Sol Speranza in 1937, Gainsworth in 1940, Panastrid in 1945 and Sea Symphony in 1947.

The leading trainer, which will come as no surprise to anyone at this point is of course Aidan O’Brien with 9 wins. These were Classic Park in 1997, Imagine in 2001, Yesterday in 2003, Halfway To Heaven in 2008, Misty For Me in 2011, Marvellous in 2014, Winter in 2017, Hermosa in 2019 and Peaceful in 2020.

The leading owner (since 1950 – including part ownership) may not surprise anyone again, being Sue Magnier. With 9 winners which are: Imagine in 2001, Yesterday in 2003, Halfway To Heaven in 2008, Again in 2009 Misty For Me in 2011, Marvellous in 2014, Winter in 2017, Hermosa in 2019 and Peaceful in 2020.

This means that Aidan O’Brien trained 8 out of Sue Magnier’s 9 winners and Sue Magnier owned 8 of Aidan O’Brien’s 9 winners. The only winner that Sue Magnier has had which was not trained by Aidan O’Brien was Again in 2009 who was trained by David Wachman. The only winner Aidan O’Brien has had that was not owned or part owned by Sue Magnier was Classic Park in 1997 who was owned by Mrs Seamus Burns.


The Irish 1,000 Guineas usually includes horses who have previously ran in the English version of the race, however only 4 horses have won the English and Irish 1,000 Guineas double. These were: Attraction in 2004, Finsceal Beo in 2007, Winter in 2017 and Hermosa in 2019.


So there we have it, a little look back at the history of the Irish 1,000 Guineas. Who do you like the look of for today’s renewal? Let me know over on Twitter!

I hope you all enjoyed this post and I will see you all on Wednesday evening at 6pm for a new post!

The History of the Irish 2,000 Guineas

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com. With the renewal of the Irish 2,000 Guineas taking place today I thought we could have a little look back at the history of the race including some records, so without further ado, let’s just get right into it!


The Irish 2,000 Guineas is a Group One flat race which takes place at the Curragh in Ireland and is open to three year old colts and fillies. It is ran over 1 mile and takes place in May each year. The first running of the race was in 1921, meaning this year will be the 100th year. In 2020 the race was worth €250,000 with the winner collecting €142,500 of that.

So let’s have a look at some of the winners of the race. Firstly let’s jump into the 1970 running of the race, here Decies won the race with Lester Piggott riding for trainer Bernard van Cutsem and owner Nelson Bunker Hunt. In 1972, Ballymore won the race for jockey Christy Roche, trainer Paddy Prendergast and owner Meg Mullion.

Skipping forward to 1984, Sadler’s Wells won the race for jockey George McGrath, trainer Vincent O’Brien and owner Robert Sangster. He then went on to produce horses for the flat and over obstacles, including 4 times Irish Champion Hurdle, 3 times Champion Hurdle and Punchestown Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq, 2 time Ascot Gold Cup and 2 time Irish St Leger winner Kayf Tara, one of the most famous racehorses in the world, Epsom Derby, Irish Derby and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner Galileo who has went on to produce many of the horses we have all known and loved over the years. 4 times Ascot Gold Cup, Coronation Cup, Irish St Leger and Prix Royal Oak winner Yeats, Fillies’ Mile winner Playful Act who holds the world record price of $10.5 million (USD) when sold at the Keeneland Breeding Stock Sale in 2007 and Welsh Grand National, Lexus Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Synchronised plus many many more.

In 1986, Flash of Steel won the race for jockey Michael Kinane, trainer Dermot Weld and owner Bertram Firestone. In 1994 and 1995, jockey John Reid and trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam had the winners, Turtle Island in 1994 for owner Robert Sangster and Spectrum in 1995 for owner Lord Weinstock.

We then skip to 1997 and the first victory in the race for the leading trainer in the race Aidan O’Brien when he won with Desert King with Christy Roche on board for owner Michael Tabor. The following two year would be won by jockey Olivier Peslier, in 1998 on Desert Prince for trainer David Loder and owners Lucayan Stud and in 1999 on Saffron Walden for Aidan O’Brien and owner Sue Magnier, the leading owner in the race’s first victory.

We then enter the new millennium and in 2000 Frankie Dettori won the race on Bachir for trainer Saeed bin Suroor and owners Godolphin. The following two years were again won by Aidan O’Brien, in 2001 Johnny Murtagh rode Black Minnaloushe to victory for Sue Magnier and in 2002 Michael Kinane rode Rock of Gibraltar to win for Ferguson / Magnier.

In 2005, Dubawi won the race for jockey Frankie Dettori, trainer Saeed bin Suroor and owners Godolphin. He then went on to sire horses such as Dubai World Cup winner Monterosso, Tingle Creek, Clarence House and Queen Mother Chase winner Dodging Bullets, Hong Kong Cup winner Akeed Mofeed, 2,000 Guineas and Lockinge Stakes winner Night of Thunder, King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Dubai Sheema Classic and International Stakes winner Postponed, Grand Prix de Paris winner Erupt, Grosser Preis von Baden, Coronation Cup, Eclipse Stakes and International Stakes winner Ghaiyyath, Dewhurst Stakes, Prix Jean Prat and Sussex Stakes winner Too Darn Hot and plenty of others.

If we then skip forward to 2011, for 3 years Joseph O’Brien won the race riding for his dad Aidan O’Brien for owners Magnier / Tabor. In 2011 Roderic O’Connor won the race, with Power winning in 2012 and Magician in 2013.

In 2014, Kingman won the race for jockey James Doyle, trainer John Gosden and owner Khalid Abdullah. Gleneagles in 2015 for jockey Ryan Moore, trainer Aidan O’Brien and owners Magnier / Tabor and the same trio winning again in 2017 with Churchill. The latest running of the race took place in June of 2020 dur to the COVID 19 pandemic, this was won by Siskin for jockey Colin Keane, trainer Ger Lyons and owner Khalid Abdullah.


So who holds the records?

The leading jockeys with 5 wins each are Tommy Burns who won with Soldennis (1921), Soldumeno (1923), Cornfield (1939), Grand Weather (1947) and Beau Sabreur (1948). And Martin Quirke with Salisbury (1929), Glannarg (1930), Museum (1935), Nearchus (1938) and Khosro (1941).

The leading trainer with 11 wins is Aidan O’Brien who has won the race with Desert King in 1997, Saffron Walden in 1999, Black Minnaloushe in 2001, Rock of Gibraltar in 2002, Henrythenavigator in 2008, Mastercraftsman in 2009, Roderic O’Connor in 2011, Power in 2012, Magician in 2013, Gleneagles in 2015 and Churchill in 2017.

The leading owner (since 1950 – Including part ownership) is Sue Magnier with 10 victories, all of which were trained by Aidan O’Brien, these are: Saffron Walden in 1999, Black Minnaloushe in 2001, Rock of Gibraltar in 2002, Henrythenavigator in 2008, Mastercraftsman in 2009, Roderic O’Connor in 2011, Power in 2012, Magician in 2013, Gleneagles in 2015 and Churchill in 2017.

This means, every victory in the race for trainer Aidan O’Brien apart from his first being Desert King in 1997, was for Sue Magnier.


Very few horses have completed the 2,000 Guineas and Irish 2,000 Guineas double, only 9 have ever been successful, the first being Right Tack in 1969 and the most recent horses being Rock of Gibraltar in 2002, Cockney Rebel in 2007, Henrythenavigator in 2008, Gleneagles in 2015 and Churchill in 2017.


So there we have it, a little look back at the history of the Irish 2,000 Guineas. Who do you like the look of for today’s renewal? Let me know over on Twitter!

I hope you enjoyed this post and I will see you all tomorrow at 11am where we look at the history of the Irish 1,000 Guineas ahead of the renewal tomorrow afternoon!

Ten Undefeated Racehorses

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! Some horses go through their career with a win here an there, or even multiple wins in a row, however very few go through their whole career without being beaten, so today let’s look at 10 undefeated racehorses!


Black Caviar
Bel Esprit x Helsinge

In no particular order, first up is Black Caviar. Black Caviar was foaled on August 18th 2006 in Victoria, Australia and she went on to be true racing champion. Black Caviar had 25 races in her career and won every single one of them, this included 15 Group One victories and not only did she achieve success in Australia, but she also won here in the UK too when winning the Group One Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012. Black Caviar was brought for $210,000 and ended up winning $7,953,936 in her career.


Frankel
Galileo x Kind

Frankel was foaled on February 11th 2008 in Great Britain and started his career in racing in 2010 on August 13th and retired in 2012 and in the 3 seasons he was racing he won 14 out of 14 starts, including 11 Group One races. His win in the 2011 running of the 2,000 Guineas is one fondly remembered by many, he led the race from start to finish and by the half way mark he had opened up a gap of 15 lengths, he was eased up before the finish but still won by 6 lengths. In 2012, Frankel received the highest rating in the history of Timeform when they assigned him a rating of 147. Frankel won £2,998,302 in his career as well as winning 1st in the World Thoroughbred Rankings in 2011 and 2012, European Horse of the Year in 2011 and 2012, European Champion Two Year Old Colt in 2010, European Champion Three Year Old Colt in 2011, European Champion Older Horse in 2012 and in 2021 he was entered into the British Champions Series Hall of Fame.

After retirement, Frankel went to Banstead Manor Stud in Cheveley in Suffolk where he was born and has since produced some brilliant horses. On June 16th 2014, his first foal sent to auction sold for £1.15 million, Cunco – he then went on to win his debut. He’s also produced horses such as Cracksman, Logician, Quadrilateral and more.


Eclipse
Marske x Spilletta

Eclipse was foaled on April 1st 1764 at the Cranbourne Lodge Stud and to this day no British or Irish racehorse has beaten his record. He was purchased in two stages, 50% in June 1769 for 650 Guineas and 50% in April 1770 for 1,100 Guineas. He had 18 starts, winning all 18 races, including 11 King’s Plate’s, the Winchester, Salisbury, Canterbury, Lewes, Lichfield, Newmarket First Spring, Guilford, Nottingham, York, Lincoln Heath and Newmarket October. In his career, he won 2,149 Guineas.

After retiring from the track, Eclipse became a very successful sire and he appears in the pedigree of most modern Thoroughbred horses today.


Ribot
Tenerani x Romanella

Ribot was foaled on February 27th 1952 in Great Britain and is one of Timeform’s top rated racehorses of all time. He was trained in Italy and in his time he had 16 starts, winning all 16 races over all distances from 5 furlongs to 1 mile 7 furlongs in 3 countries on all types of track conditions. Although Ribot primarily ran in Italy, he also won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France and the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes in the UK. He won $294,414 in his career. In 1956, he was the Timeform Top Rated Horse with a rating of 142. He is the second longest undefeated British racehorse in history.

Following his retirement from racing, Ribot became a highly successful breeding stallion. He was crowned the Leading Sire in Great Britain and Ireland on 3 occasions in 1963, 1967 and 1968. He was also ranked the 4th Italian Athlete of the 20th Century by La Gazzetta dello Sport’s poll.


Kincsem
Cambuscan x Water Nymph

Kincsem was foaled on March 17th in 1874 in Hungary and she holds the record for the thoroughbred racehorse with the most wins of an unbeaten horse in the history of the sport with a record of 54 starts with 54 victories. (Black Caviar with 25/25 is the closest to her). In 1877, Kincsem won every classic in Hungary and then went on to conquer Europe with a win in the Goodwood Cup in the UK in 1878 as well as races in Germany and France. She won a total of 199,754.50 fl which is equal to an estimated €2.56 million in today’s money.

After retiring from the track, Kincsem went on to produce just five foals with two of them becoming classic winners and her daughters proving to be outstanding broodmares. Her family have proven a lasting influence on the breed, with modern descendants including Polygamy and Camelot.


Colin
Commando x Pastorella

Colin was foaled in 1905 (date not specified) in the United States and successfully won 15 out of 15 starts. He won many big races such as the Eclipse Stakes, Belmont Stakes and Tidal Stakes. In his career, he won $180,912.

Colin stood his first season in 1909 at Heath Stud near Newmarket in the UK for a fee of 98 Guineas, however many British breeders stayed away from him due to this American bloodlines. He was then purchased by Wickliffe Stud for $30,000 where he stood until January 1918, he was then brought for $5,100 at 13 years old to stand at Belray Farm in Virginia, United States. In his 23 seasons at stud, he produced 11 stakes winners out of 81 foals, which is around 14%.


Personal Ensign
Private Account x Grecian Banner

Personal Ensign was foaled on April 27th in 1984 in the United States and won 13 of his 13 starts including several Grade 1’s, which also included a win against male horses in the prestigious Whitney Handicap. She also won the Breeders Cup Distaff in 1988 where she defeated the Kentucky Derby winner Winning Colors to end her career unbeaten. She also went on to win the American Champion Older Female Horse in 1988. In her career she won $1,679,880.

After retiring unbeaten, Personal Ensign went on to become a successful broodmare producing 10 names foals, with the majority being successful either on the track or at stud. In 1996, she was named the Kentucky Broodmare of the Year.


Peppers Pride
Desert God x Lady Pepper

Peppers Pride was foaled on March 24th 2003 in the United States and ended up winning 19 out 19 starts in her career. In her career she never raced outside of her native state of New Mexico and only ever had 1 jockey from her first race to her last, this being Carlos Madeira. She won races ranging from 5 and 1/2 furlongs up to 1 mile including 12 in stakes company.

After retiring from the track, Peppers Pride went on to have multiple foals including one to Tiznow, which she sadly lost. One to Distorted Humor in 2011 and another in 2012. One to Malibu Moon in 2013. One to Hard Spun in 2014. One to 2015 Triple Crown Champion American Pharaoh called American Pepper which was born in 2018. And her final foal being to California Chrome in February 2019 just 7 months before her death on September 19th 2019 due to complications with laminitis.


Zarkava
Zamindar x Zarkasha

Zarkava was foaled on March 31st in 2005 in Ireland and went on to win 7 of her 7 starts. She was trained in France which is where her 7 victories came. She won 5 Group 1’s, which were the Prix Marcel Boussac in 2007 and the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, Prix de Diane, Prix Vermeille and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe all in 2008. She also won the European Horse of the Year and European Champion 3 Year Old Filly. After her 2008 victory in the Arc, Timeform announced they had rated her at 133 making her the joint best filly or mare in the past 20 years.

Like many of the good horses you read about, Zarkava went on to produce many foals – Most of them being unraced. Let’s have a look at a few of them!

Zarkava’s first foal being by Dalakhani which was foaled on February 6th 2010 at Gilltown Stud in Kilcullen in Ireland, who was called Zerkaza who was unraced and went on to have a foal called Zeyrek by Sea The Stars in 2017 and has won twice and placed twice and is still racing which is previous race being just last month on April 24th 2021.

Zarkava also had a foal by Sea The Stars in 2011 called Zarkash, however he never made it onto a racecourse, he broke a leg during training in October 2014 and sadly was euthanised.

Zarkava had a foal called Zarak in 2013 by Dubawi who raced between 2015 and 2017 and retired in 2018, he had 13 starts and won 4 times including 1 Grade One and 1 Grade Three. He also finished second twice in Grade One races and once in a Grade Two, with 1 Grade Two third place and 2 Grade One fourth places.

Zarkava has also had Zarkamiya by Frankel in 2015 who won twice and placed twice out of 5 starts, Zarkallani in 2016 by Invincible Spirit who won twice and placed twice out of 9 starts, Zaykava by Siyouni in 2017 who won twice out of 3 starts and Zaskar by Sea The Stars in 2018 who is unraced.


Ajax
Flying Fox x Amie

Ajax was foaled in 1901 (date not specified) in France and went on to win his 5 starts including 2 of Frances most prestigious races at the time – the Prix du Jockey Club and the Grand Prix de Paris both in 1904.

Ajax is probably more well known for becoming an influential sire after his retirement from the track. He went on to produce French Group One winner Teddy and his first Classic winner Union. His daughters then went on to produce horses such as Havresac II, Invershin, Massine and Le Correge.


So there we have it, 10 undefeated racehorses. I know there are so many more in the world, but these are 10 I found to be most interesting whether that be for their time on the track or their time producing foals.

I loved researching this one and I hope you all enjoyed it too! If there are any similar posts you’d like me to look at then please do message me on social media and I will try my best to produce any content people want to see.

This weekend I have 2 posts, one Saturday morning and one Sunday Morning, both at 11am! Thank you for reading and I will see you all then!

RIP Presenting Percy: What Makes a People’s Horse?

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com! After hearing the upsetting news recently that Presenting Percy has passed away, I thought it would nice to have a look back at his career.


Presenting Percy’s career started at Punchestown on January 31st 2016 when he trainer Patrick G Kelly sent him to a 2 mile INH Flat Race (bumper) under Mr S D Bohan who claimed 7. He was a huge 50/1 and shocked almost everybody when he finished 2nd by just 2 and 1/4 lengths to Battleford who was the 4/6 favourite for Willie Mullins and Patrick Mullins.

Presenting Percy then took a 75 day break before heading to Ballinrobe on April 15th 2016 for a Ladies Pro/AM Flat Race over 2 miles 1 furlong, this time Ms Katie Walsh took the ride on the 1/2 favourite and at 5 years old, carrying 12 stone, he had his first win by 6 lengths to his eventual new trainer Gordon Elliott’s horse Carrig Cathal (5/1).

Just a couple of weeks later Presenting Percy headed back to Punchestown for his first Grade 1, this proved to be a little bit too much too soon for him when he could only manage a 7th place at 10/1 under Miss J M Mangan.

After a 167 day break, on October 11th Presenting Percy went to Galway for his Maiden Hurdle and his first ride under his eventual long term partner Davy Russell, he was 2/1 but could only manage a 4th place, finishing 19 lengths behind the 4/5 favourite Le Martalin for Noel Meade and Sean Flanagan.

Just a few weeks later on October 30th Presenting Percy went back to Galway for his second Maiden Hurdle over 2 miles, this time Sean Flanagan took the ride and at 9/4 he beat the odds on 8/11 favourite Canelie for Gordon Elliott and Mark Walsh by 2 lengths.

On November 19th 2016, Presenting Percy headed to Punchestown for a Novice Handicap Hurdle, again under Davy Russell and this time as the 4/5 odds on favourite. He won by 3 lengths to Llancillo Lord (7/1) for Thomas Mullins and Paul Townend.

Just over a month later, on December 28th, Presenting Percy was declared for the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle Qualifier at Leopardstown over 3 miles, he was the 5/1 joint favourite however could only manage a 5th place under Davy Russell.

It would be February 5th 2017 when we next seen Presenting Percy again, this time back at Punchestown for his second Pertemps Network Group Handicap Hurdle Qualifier again over 3 miles, this time under David Mullins at 8/1 he managed a 4th place finishing 4 and 1/2 lengths behind the 11/2 winner Isleofhopeandreams for Willie Mullins and Danny Mullins.

On February 25th, Presenting Percy appeared at Fairyhouse for the first time for a Handicap Hurdle over 2 mile 4 furlongs, with Davy Russell back on board and as the 2/1 favourite he won by 3 and 1/4 lengths.

On the 16th of March 2017, Presenting Percy made his way over the Irish sea to the British mainland to appear at his first ever Cheltenham Festival. As an 11/1 shot in the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle – a listed race over 3 miles. Impressively, Presenting Percy at 6 years old won with Davy Russell riding, carrying 11 stone 11 pounds, by 3 and 3/4 lengths.

Just over a month later on April 26th, Presenting Percy went back to Punchestown for a Grade 1 Novice Hurdle and at 5/2 could only manage a 6th place under Davy Russell. Interestingly, he finished behind horses such as dual Cheltenham Festival winner Penhill, Martin Pipe winner Champagne Classic, Gold Cup 4th place Monalee and back to back Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo.

Presenting Percy then took a 187 day break before returning to Galway on October 30th 2017 for a Beginners Chase over 2 miles, 6 and 1/2 furlongs. He was 11/4 and Davy Russell took the ride again, this time beating the 2/1 favourite De Plotting Shed for Gordon Elliott and Keith Donoghue by 3 lengths.

A few weeks later on November 19th, Presenting Percy headed to Punchestown for a Grade 2 Novice Chase and as the Evens favourite under Davy Russell, he finished 3rd behind winner Jury Duty (6/1) for Gordon Elliott and Robbie Power and 2nd placed Shattered Love (11/4) for Gordon Elliott and Sean Flanagan.

On December 3rd at Fairyhouse, Presenting Percy ran in a Grade B Handicap Chase, and as the 7/2 joint favourite, under Davy Russell he won impressively by 11 lengths to Forever Gold (10/1) for Edward Cawley and Chris Timmons.

Presenting Percy then took a 53 day break before returning to the track, this time Gowran Park on January 25th 2018 for a Grade 2 Hurdle race, as the 9/4 joint favourite, this time under Davy Russell once again, he won by 5 and 1/2 lengths beating Augusta Kate (8/1) for Willie Mullins and David Mullins.

On February 17th, Presenting Percy headed back to Gowran Park for the Grade 2 Red Mills Chase, this time as the Evens favourite, under Davy Russell he finished second by 1 length to Our Duke (5/2) for Jessica Harrington and Robbie Power.

Next up for Presenting Percy was his second visit to the Cheltenham Festival, this time the Grade 1 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase. And in impressive style as the 5/2 favourite under Davy Russell, he won by 7 lengths to Monalee (100/30) for Henry De Bromhead and Noel Fehily.

Presenting Percy was then off the track for 316 days before returning to Gowran Park on January 24th 2019 for another Grade 2 Hurdle race, again under Davy Russell and as the 9/4 favourite, he won the race by 1 and 1/4 lengths to Bapaume (11/2) for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend.

It was then time for a 3rd trip to the Cheltenham Festival for Presenting Percy, this time being the Grade 1 Cheltenham Gold Cup, he was the 100/30 favourite, however under Davy Russell, they could only manage an 8th in the race, behind horses such as Clan Des Obeaux (5/1), Native River (6/1), Bristol De Mai (18/1) and of course, the winner Al Boum Photo (12/1) for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend.

After a 268 day break, on December 8th at Punchestown, Presenting Percy returned to Punchestown for a Grade 1 Chase, this time at 10/1 under J J Slevin he finished 3rd behind odds on winner Min (8/11) for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend and 2nd placed Hardline (25/1) for Gordon Elliott and Keith Donoghue.

On December 28th 2019, Presenting Percy headed to Leopardstown under Davy Russell, finishing 5th at 7/2 in the Grade 1 Savills Chase, finishing behind winner Delta Work (11/2) for Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy, Monalee (8/1) in 2nd, Road to Respect (7/2) in 3rd and 7/4 favourite Kemboy in 4th.

We then move into 2020 and on February 2nd Presenting Percy ran in the Grade 1 Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown, at 100/30 he finished 3rd under Davy Russell behind winner Delta Work (5/2) for Gordon Elliott and Jack Kennedy and 2nd placed 5/4 favourite Kemboy for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend.

It was then the 4th journey to the Cheltenham Festival for Presenting Percy and a 2nd attempt at the Grade 1 Gold Cup. At 10/1, under Davy Russell he unfortunately fell 2 out.

On October 8th 2020, Presenting Percy then changed trainer from Patrick G Kelly to Gordon Elliott and his first race under his new trainer quickly approached and on October 31st 2020, he headed to Down Royal for the Grade 1 Ladbrokes Champion Chase, he was 3/1 and Denis O’Regan took the ride, this time finishing 4th behind the winner, The Storyteller (9/2) for Gordon Elliott and Keith Donoghue, the 5/2 favourite Chris’s Dream in 2nd and Tout Est Permis (8/1) in 3rd.

On November 19th 2020, Presenting Percy returned to his winning way, to the joy of so many racing fans, when he headed to Thurles and under Jack Kennedy, he won at 3/1 in the boomerang.ie Chase (Listed Race), beating 11/10 favourite Kemboy for Willie Mullins and Paul Townend.

The last time we would see Presenting Percy would be on December 28th at Leopardstown when he ran in the Grade 1 Savills Chase and at 8/1 under Denis O’Regan however he could only manage an 8th, 76 lengths behind eventual winner A Plus Tard (15/2) for Henry De Bromhead and Darragh O’Keeffe.


Sadly on April 16th 2021, owner Philip Reynolds announced that Presenting Percy at 10 years old had passed away after suffering from a blood infection. He told Racing TV that there had been a three month battle against the blood infection with Fethard Equine Hospital working to save his life and allow him to retire but sadly that wasn’t to be. He could not be saved and he had to be put to sleep. He also said the following:

The sudden sadness of his passing is hard to contemplate, and the wonders of ‘what if’ will remain. To everyone who shared our love for Percy, we are so sorry. The horse of my lifetime – and my honour to have been called his owner.”

https://www.racingtv.com/news/dual-cheltenham-festival-winner-presenting-percy-dies

For me, the words of Philip Reynolds says everything, he was a special horse and so many people fell in love with him, including his long term partner Davy Russell. It makes me sad that he couldn’t have the retirement he truly deserved. It’s sad when any horse passes away and this was no different, the day it was announced everybody on social media was speaking about him and his talent. I think he was a very talented horse and maybe we didn’t get to see him show his full potential. After his win in November 2020, I think we all held out hope that the old Presenting Percy was back and we’d go on to see him continue winning and coming back stronger than ever, it breaks my heart that we will never get that opportunity now.

I hope you’ve enjoyed having a look back at this legends career, like I did whilst writing. Rest in peace Presenting Percy.

I will see you all in my next post Wednesday evening at 6pm.

Russell Baze: The Man Behind 12,844 Career Wins

Good Evening!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com. Today’s post is one I have found so interesting to research and I had to share it! It is quite unbelievable and I cannot believe I hadn’t heard of it before now. It isn’t the longest post, but it definitely one of the more interesting stories I have seen!

When AP McCoy rode over 4000 winners when retiring, we all thought that was an incredible achievement – which of course it was! But would you believe me if I told you there is someone in the world who had 3 times the amount of winners that AP did? Let’s get right into the story of Russell Baze.


Russell Avery Baze was born on August 7th 1958 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. His father Joe Baze is a former jockey and trainer who was competing at Exhibition Park in Vancouver at the time, so therefore Russell was given dual Canadian/American citizenship.

In 1974 at 16 years old, Russell started his career as a jockey, debuting in Walla Walla, Washington and that year he recorded his first victory at the Yakima Meadows racetrack on October 28th on board Oregon Warrior. Russell’s first big win came in 1975 when he won the Gottstein Futurity at Emerald Downs race track.

By the early 1980’s Russell was becoming a well known name within racing after winning recording some big wins across California including the 1981 California Derby. On October 14th 1989, Russell was riding Hawkster when he set the Santa Anita Park track record for 1 and 1/2 miles on turf.

In 1995, Russell was honoured with a special Eclipse Award after winning 400 or more races in a year for four consecutive years. From then on he won 400 or more races in a year 7 more times – No other jockey has accomplished this more than 3 times.

In 1995, the Isaac Murphy Award was created to be presented annually by the National Turf Writers Association to the jockey with the highest winning percentage in North America. Russell ended up winning this 13 out of 14 years – finishing second in 2004.

In 1999, Russell was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame and in 2002 he was voted the winner of the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award by his fellow jockeys.

On December 1st 2006, Russell set the world’s all-time record for the most career victories, which was previously held by Laffit Pincay Jr with 9530 wins. Russell won on board Butterfly Belle – his 9531 career victory.

On February 1st 2008, Russell rode Two Step Cat to victory in a photo finish at Golden Gate Fields to become the first North American rider to win 10,000 races. Then just 2 years later on August 14th 2010 at Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California, Russell rode Separate Forest to victory to win his 11,000 race. On July 7th 2013, Russell won on Handful of Pearls in Pleasanton, California, this being his 12,000th win.

On June 12th 2016, Russell Baze guided Wahine Warrior into second place at Golden Gate Fields and after doing so told his long-time agent and friend Ray Harris “That’s it. I’m going to retire.”

At the time of retiring, Russell Baze was the jockey with the most career victories in the world with a huge 12,844 wins, 9,600 seconds and 7,855 thirds. He rode a total of 53,578 times and earned $199,334,219 in his career.

Two years after his retirement he lost the title of the jockey with the most career victories in the world, when Brazillian Jorge Ricardo bypassed him, with 13,069 career wins as of March 15th 2021. However Russell keeps the record of the North American jockey with the most career victories.

Russell Baze won 12,844 races including some of the biggest races in America including the California Derby in 1981, El Camino Real Derby in 1984, 1998, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014, Oklahoma Derby in 1996, Bay Meadows Breeders’ Cup Sprint in 2002, Churchill Downs Handicap in 2006, Aristides Breeders’ Cup Stakes in 2006, Azalea Breeders’ Cup Stakes in 2008, California Oaks in 2009, San Francisco Breeders’ Cup Mile in 2010 and Berkeley Handicap in 2013 and 2015.

He also won the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in 2002, the Isaac Murphy Award in 1995-2003 and 2005-2007, Eclipse Special Award in 1995 as well as the United States Champion Jockey by wins in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 and 2008.


Maybe I’m naïve and I haven’t paid attention to what was happening around the world, but I can’t believe I had genuinely never heard of Russell before now. Reading his story and learning about his career has been really eye opening for me. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope you have all enjoyed this slightly shorter post!

I will see you all Saturday morning at 11am with a brand new post!

The History of the Flat Jockey Championship

Good Morning!

Welcome to a new post here at zoelouisesmithx.com. Before I get started I want to say sorry for not posting on Wednesday evening as I normally do, I have set out my schedule of 2 posts a week and stuck to it every week, however the past few weeks I had a lot going on so I was unable to get a post wrote up that I was happy to put out there, so I chose not to post and instead get a post up today and hopefully stick to the schedule here on out for the rest of 2021.

As many of you will know, the Flat Jockey Championship started last week, so I decided for today’s post to have a little look at the history of Championship and a look at who is up there in the betting for this years title, which looks like it could be a very good renewal! So without further ado, let’s just get into it!


The Flat Jockey Championship runs between May and October each year, with this years falling between the Guineas Festival on May 1st and the British Champions Day on October 16th. Originally the Championship was decided between the Lincoln Handicap Day and November Handicap Day, however it was in 2015 it was announced it would be reduced. So instead of the 32 weeks, it is now only around 24 weeks. In 2015, it was also announced that the Champion Jockey would receive a prize of £25,000 and the runner up would receive £10,000.

The first recognised Champion was in 1840 when Nat Flatman had 50 wins. Nat Flatman then went on to win the Championship consecutively up until 1852, with 104 being his biggest tally in 1848. It was 1853 when a new person won the Championship when John Wells had 86 winners, then winning again in 1854 with 82 winners.

In 1855 a new Champion took over when George Fordham won with 70 victories, then keeping the title all the way up to 1863, with 166 victories in 1862 being his highest winning season. In 1864 Jemmy Grimshaw won the title with 164 wins, before George Fordham won it back in 1865 with 142. In 1866 Sam Kenyon won with 123 wins, before George Fordham winning it back again in 1867 with 143 wins and keeping it in 1868 with 110 wins and in 1869 with 95 wins.

In 1870 there was the first join title when William Gray and Charlie Maidment both had 76 winners, followed up by another joint win in 1871 when George Fordham and Charlie Maidment had 86 wins.

The next mentionable name is Fred Archer who started his rein of Championship victories in 1874 when he has 147 wins, he then kept the title all the way up to 1886 when he won it with 170 wins. Throughout that time he recorded some of the biggest number of winners ever seen totalling 2609, including a 210, 218, 220, 229, 232, 241 and 246.

In 1900 the first winner from outside of Britain won the title when American born Lester Reiff won with 143 victories, followed by another American born jockey Danny Maher in 1908 with 139 victories. From 1909 to 1912 Australian jockey Frank Wootton won the title with a highest winning season of 187 in 1911. Danny Maher then won the title back in 1913 with 115 victories.

Between 1914 and 1922 Steve Donoghue won the title with a highest winning season of 143 in 1920. In 1923 Steve Donoghue jointly won the title with Charlie Elliott both with 89 wins.

Between 1925 and 1953, Gordon Richards won the title a record breaking 26 times with 1947 being a record breaking season – still to be broken – with 269 wins.

In 1960, the very famous Lester Piggott won the title for the first time with 170 wins, then winning it again in 1964 and all the way up to 1971 with his highest winning season being 1966 with 191 wins. In 1972 and 1973 Willie Carson won the title with 132 wins followed by 164.

Between 1974 and 1977 Irish born Pat Eddery won the title, with 148 wins followed by 164, 162 and 176. In 1978, Willie Carson won the title back with 182 victories, before winning it again in 1980 with 166 wins. Followed by Lester Piggott regaining the title in 1981 and 1982 with 179 and 188 wins. Before Willie Carson won the title back again in 1983 with 159 wins.

In 1992 the first South African born jockey won the title, this being Michael Roberts with 206 wins. In 1994 and 1995, Italian born Frankie Dettori won the title with 233 victories followed by 211 victories. In 1997, 1998 and 1999 Irish born Kieren Fallon won the title with 202, 204 and 200 wins. Before regaining the title back in 2001 and keeping it until 2003 with 166, 136 and 207 wins, before Frankie Dettori retained the title in 2004 with 192 wins.

In 2005, another Irish born jockey win, this time being Jamie Spencer with 163 wins, followed by Ryan Moore in 2006 with 180 wins. In 2007 we seen another joint win when Seb Sanders and Jamie Spencer both had 190 wins. In 2008 and 2009, Ryan Moore regained the title with 186 and 174 wins. In 2010 and 2011 Paul Hanagan won the title with 191 and 165 wins. Between 2012 and 2014 Irish born Richard Hughes won the title with 172, 208 and 161 wins.

In 2015, we see Brazilian born Silvestre de Sousa win the title for the first time with 132 wins. Jim Crowley won in 2016 with 148 wins, before Silvestre de Sousa won the title back in 2017 with 155 wins and keeping it in 2018 with 148 wins. For 2019 and 2020 we seen current Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy crowned with 168 victories in 2019 and 142 in 2020.


The person with the most titles is Gordon Richards who won it a massive 26 times, he also holds the record for the most wins in one season when he recorded 269 wins in 1947.

The most consecutive titles is 13, which is held by Nat Flatman who won between 1840 and 1852 and then done again by Fred Archer between 1874 and 1886.


On to this years Championship. (I have got all odds from the Sky Bet website and they were correct at time of editing on 07/05/2021.)

The favourite for this years title race is currently William Buick who is 7/4, followed very closely by Oisin Murphy at 2/1. Third up is the person currently at the top of the table, Ben Curtis with 7 wins out of 25 rides (Strike rate of 28%) who is 11/4. We then have the best couple in sport in the next two spots Tom Marquand at 5/1 and Hollie Doyle at 11/2. It then opens up with Daniel Tudhope, James Doyle, Ryan Moore and Silvestre de Sousa at 33/1 with Andrea Atzeni at 50/1. There is then Ben Robinson, David Egan, David Probert, Jim Crowley, Kevin Stott and Luke Morris all at 66/1 with Cieren Fallon and Paul Hanagan at 100/1.

So overall, it looks a pretty open race, with the top 5 all with a very good chance of winning the title, but as we all know, anything can happen in racing!


Who do you think will win the title this year? Let me know over on Twitter. I hope you enjoyed this little insight into the Flat Jockey Championship and I will see you all in my next post!