As the Flat season enters its final furlong, a star-studded card assemble for the richest day of the British racing calendar. It is of course Champions Day at Ascot! With FOUR Group 1s, a Group 2 and a Heritage handicap to get your teeth into, this short preview should have you covered for the season finale.
“At the halfway point of the season it’s still all to play for in the race to become Britain and Ireland’s first-season sire by number of individual winners. But one sire in particular has played a strong hand early and stormed to the top of the table – causing bookmaker Fitzdares to slash his odds to claim the title.
Midway through Flat racing’s biggest week, we sat down with former Group 1 winning jockey Freddy Tylicki to get the inside scoop from a jockey’s perspective on this year’s Royal Ascot.
Forget natural instinct, paddock picks or pure luck. The only way to consistently back winners is with cold, hard data. Trends are clues. If you find enough, you’ll solve the puzzle. This puzzle is called the Cheltenham Gold Cup and it’s been going since 1819. Just don’t ask us for a receipt…
With the Epsom Derby just days away, confidence is sky high for the impeccably bred John Leeper to give trainer Ed Dunlop his first win. It’s been a while between drinks for the Newmarket handler, whose last Classic coup came in 2010 with Oaks heroine Snow Fairy. We managed to grab a few words with Harry Dunlop, Ed’s brother, for the inside scoop on their Derby hope.
A maximum of 40 horses will line up at 5:15 on Saturday looking to join the illustrious list of champions of Britain’s richest jump race. A notable absentee is dual-winner Tiger Roll (2018, 2019), who was withdrawn after relentless battle over his handicap mark. However, 40 will go forward, attempting to jump all 30 obstacles across the two-circuit, four and a quarter mile race.
To everyone who has successfully hurdled their way over the first two days of Cheltenham with their wallets intact, that is a commendable effort. After the first day, it was a winning draw for the bookmakers. After Wednesday, the balance is marginally in our favour again.
Racing needs a success story to lift our spirits like Best Mate did. Cornelius Lysaght relives those days with trainer Henrietta Knight and assesses another potential hat-trick hero.
At the Cheltenham Festival that nearly wasn’t, trainer Paul Webber felt the stars were finally aligning in his long quest for a Festival winner.
As the grand old race celebrates its 100th birthday, even the historical symmetry seems to be lining up for Enable and Frankie Dettori to gain an indelible place in horseracing folklore with an unprecedented third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe triumph.
In contrast, under the astute guidance of first Sir Michael Stoute and now the renowned Cheveley Park Stud breeding operation, the equine Ulysses has found navigating a passage through life somewhat less of an odyssey.
As Lyons prepares to travel to Goodwood with Siskin’s jockey Colin Keane, partner of the trainer’s daughter Kerri, he has described the assignment ahead, taking on the four-year-olds Mohaather and Circus Maximus and fellow 2000 Guineas winner Kameko, in what’s being billed as the ‘Race of the Season’ as “scary”.
Cox’s Golden Horde has dominated the picture for the high-summer sprinting feature since confirming the promise of his two-year-old career with success in Royal Ascot’s Commonwealth Cup.
“It doesn’'t get bigger,” says a man whose 2016 season took him to the stratospheric heights of racing stardom with victories for Galileo Gold in the 2000 Guineas and St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.
It’s jam-packed, badly spread and completely nuts – nope, we’re not talking about a peanut butter jelly sandwich – it’s the flat racing season! If ever there was a genuine positive to take from lockdown, it’s that the racing calendar is playing catch up in a big way. If you thought June was full-on, with...
At a secret location in West London, a giant outdoor cinema screen will beam out all the live racing from the Epsom Derby meeting, including the flagship race at 4:55pm, with 80 cars lined up to watch the drama unfold.
It feels like a lifetime ago that we were offering our members the chance to place a wager on whether Royal Ascot would even go ahead. By the time it was announced, it was a bet we were overjoyed to lose.
Gunner B, Le Moss, Ardross, Bosra Sham... Henry Cecil sent out so many stars to deliver equine excellence at Royal Ascot. However, it’s hard to believe there can have been a performance at racing’s most prestigious meeting that gave him more satisfaction than Frankel’s astonishing victory in the 2012 Queen Anne Stakes.
For more than a decade, American trainer Wesley Ward has been bringing over young sprinters who conquer Europe’s best at the Royal meeting.
It’s the same for everyone – life tests us all. But in the late 1970s and through the 1980s, Henry Cecil may well have wondered if he had been granted a unique exemption. Everything just seemed to flow so effortlessly for the master of Warren Place.
For Jake Warren at Highclere Stud, lockdown has done little to slow down the process of breeding future champions, he tells Rory Fairfax
For seven decades, the jewels in Her Majesty the Queen’s crown have been her racehorses. Cornelius Lysaght looks at a lasting love affair
We discovered that our box, car park No1 spot, and favourite table at the pop-up J Sheekey would be empty for the greatest week of at racing in the world, so we pulled our collective brains together and came up with the stupidest idea of all time: the Virtual Royal Enclosure.
The news that Royal Ascot is going ahead is extremely welcome, but it does pose one or two important questions. Not least about the fate of this young crop of two-year-olds. The juvenile races at Royal Ascot this year will certainly feature a different dimension.
The return of racing sees an action-packed fortnight in June, with both the 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas preceding five spectacular days at Royal Ascot. We give you the lowdown on what to look out for!
There were no celebratory hugs and trainers and jockeys wore masks as French racing resumed under the shadow of coronavirus at the fabled Longchamp racecourse on Monday.
We’ve all got cracked hands from over washing and alcohol hand rubs and the team have more cash in their pockets from ever before due to the pubs being shut! Joking aside, we are blessed to be living and working in the countryside and very conscious of how lucky we are in that regard.
We haven’t altered our training routine massively. We just haven’t done any fast work with the horses over the last two weeks. We have given them their flu vaccinations which will enable us to run throughout the year without having to stop with them. All being well we will be back doing some faster bits of work in the next week to 10 days.
We have stepped back our training regime slightly. The horses were quite well forward and so I have taken this opportunity to ‘fill them up’ again over the last couple of weeks and plan to start dialling things up again gradually from next week onwards.
It endeavours to explain why chaotic things are happening and how we have retreated into a simplified fake version of the world. A bit like the Virtual Grand National at 5pm this afternoon.
Ahead of this year's digital Grand National, aired on ITV1 at 5pm this Saturday, we are proud to declare that we will be donating all profits to the NHS. In honour of our wonderful National Health Service, we are calling the name of the race the NHS VR Grand National!
Cornelius Lysaght takes a look at the chances of all the runners and riders in the 2020 virtual Grand National, amidst these uncertain and strange times.
When you’re told that you are losing a long-held job, as I was late in 2019 after just short of thirty years working for the BBC, there are clearly many things about which to worry.
The Dewhurst Stakes, run over seven furlongs at the Rowley Mile, is notoriously known as a good indicator for the Guineas. It is at the backend of the flat season before the two-year-olds go for their winter breaks and come back 6 months later for a three-year-old campaign.
It's amazing to think Cheltenham was only last week. So much seems to have happened in that time. We have gone from the madness that is Gold Cup Friday to racing behind closed doors, to no racing at all till May!
A week is also a long time in racing. Operation ‘Herd Immunity’ was taken quite literally by the racing community at Cheltenham as 250,000 crammed into a space smaller than the average politician’s garden.
Read all the insight from our five excellent panellists on the five biggest races. Introducing jockeys Nico de Boinville, Megan Nicholls and David Crosse, trainer Jamie Snowden and our very own Shark.
Legendary racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght reviews next week's Cheltenham Festival. This is a must-read for everyone who loves racing.
Now that the mud has settled on Cheltenham Trials Day, our Head of racing, Ed Guiver, shares his thoughts on Nicky Henderson's multiple chances at the Festival in March. We have boosted him to be Festival Top Trainer to 4/1.