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Welcome to Horse Trainer Directory

''Why listen to whispers when this comes straight from the horse's mouth?''

Welcome to the one-stop shop where everything gallops. This resource details a comprehensive list of Horse Trainer Websites, Blogs, Twitter links & Facebook pages for National Hunt & Flat racing. Take advantage of this primary source of data by clicking our ‘Quick Buttons’ to detail all the latest news. Why listen to the whispers when this comes straight from the horse’s mouth?

With our website going ‘live’ we've been amazed by the response with testimonials/feedback from horse trainers, journalists, racing fans & welfare groups among those who have a love of everything equine.

What makes our website so impressive is the ease you can navigate 100s of resources with our user-friendly features. Three simple ‘Quick button’ allow access to trainers of both codes, including our latest development the ‘Track’ facility which highlights every racecourse website & twitter link so you need never miss a day’s racing, promotions or news.

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Don’t waste time searching the Internet high & low when the Horse Trainer Directory is the easiest way to keep you in the know. With regular updates you won’t miss a stride because we’ve gone the extra furlong. 


Class Fillies Contest the Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1)

If a horse trainer has a potential star filly then they're mind will wander towards Connolly's Red Mills Cheveley Park Stakes. This Group 1 event is contested over six furlongs on the Rowley Mile, Newmarket.

The 26th September should be noted in your diary. Why? Because you don't want to miss this race which separates the wheat from the chaff: blue bloods, equine stars, the fabled Pegasus without wings.

Has this race yielded Classic winners? You bet! 1000 Guineas [since 1980] include: Ma Biche, Ravinella, Sayyedati, Natagora & Special Duty. Historically, it has seen the most talented fillies.

This race was named after Cheveley Park, an estate purchased by Harry McCalmont in 1892. Established just before the turn of the century, the inaugural race was won by a filly named Lutetia.

Pretty Polly was the first horse to win the Cheveley Park Stakes & 1000 Guineas in 1903-04. She was an astounding filly winning by an easy three lengths at odds of 1/4f. Trained by Peter Gilpin, she won fifteen consecutive races going on to win the British Fillies' Triple Crown.

Leading jockey? Sir Gordon Richards. He won nine races spanning from Tiffin (1928) – Sixpense (1953).

Leading trainers with four victories? Alec Taylor Jr: Maid Of The Mist ( 1908) – Miss Gababout (1924). French trainer Criquette Head-Maarek: Ma Biche (1982) – Special Duty (2009).

Leading owner? Robert Sangster with four wins.

Who won last year's contest?

Tiggy Wiggy [pictured] – a pocket rocket trained by Richard Hannon Sr. She was named Cartier Champion Two-year-old Filly 2014. In addition, crowned best two-year-old filly in Europe.

Who will win this year? From the many to the few. Take a look at the sixty-one fillies who have been entered at this first declaration stage. British, Irish, French & American-trained horses have their eye on win prize money of over £100,000.

Five leading form horses at this time include:

Acapulco, who started her racing career at Churchill Downs in America, when third over a distance of four-and-a-half furlongs.

Boy did this American-bred daughter of Scat Daddy make an impression when taking the Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) by just under two lengths. Trained by Wesley Ward, she holds entries for the Lowther Stakes (Group 2), favourite for the Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) against, predominantly, older horses.

Lightly raced she might be – an exceptional talent.

Illuminate is trained by Richard Hannon Jr. This daughter of Zoffany is unbeaten in three starts with win prize money of almost £100,000. Winning the Albany Stakes (Group 3) at Royal Ascot, she was ''all out'' to beat the following two runners who competed in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2) [formerly known as the Cherry Hinton Stakes]. This talented bay filly holds entries for the Lowther stakes (Group 2) & Moyglare Stud Stakes (Group 1) held at the Curragh, Ireland. That contest is less than two weeks before the Cheveley Park Stakes.

William Haggas' gritty two-year-old, Besharah, has caught the eye. She has been consistent in all five races to date. This daughter of Kodiac won on debut, narrow loser in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes (Group 2), before taking the Princess Margaret Stakes (Group 3) in style. She likes all ground conditions and not afraid to get mud on her shoes.

Another horse from that contest is Easton Angel, who is a star turn for Michael Dods. In truth, this daughter of Dark Angel hasn't seen much luck with a poor draw when second in the Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) and then hampered time after time returning a frustrating fourth behind Illuminate and Besharah at Newmarket. Considering she beat Beshara at Royal Ascot, connections will be pinning their hopes on ''what could be'' with a clear run.

A filly who made a sparkling debut is the once-raced Lumiere. This daughter of Shamardal out of an Irish mare was all the rage at Newmarket when a facile winner by six-lengths at odds of 6/5f. Mark Johnston has been a phenomenon with his two-year-old horses this season. This bay filly has much to prove on form but held in high regard by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum.

Will one of these talented fillies take the spoils? They have enough ability to suggest they will be heading to Newmarket. Plenty of d├ębutantes will fall by the way, form horses disappoint or bolster their case – but only the best two-year-old horses race in the Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1).

There's one guarantee: the victor will be class.

Dark Horses - Best 2YO Colts & Fillies in Training

Successful betting starts with knowing the signs: trainers, connections, information which indicate horses have class before hitting the headlines. Our analysis goes beyond the everyday, priding ourselves on highlighting the best two-year-olds in training. In fact, as challenge I will pinpoint five debutantes that I predict will win this season. Make the most of this top-notch info betting on horse races at 10bet

1) Ian Fleming -  trained by Andrew Balding. This two-year-old is yet to make his debut but going well on the gallops. This son of Makfi was purchased by the trainer at the yearling sales for £50,000. Kingsclere Stables can send out winning debutantes. If priced 10/1 & less could go well on racecourse bow - although I'd expect a bold show second start. 2nd

2) Continental Lady - trained by David Brown. This stable can go well first time out, especially if priced 13/2 & less. A daughter of Medicean she is out of a multiple-winning mare. This chestnut filly has been given a Lowther Stakes (Group 2) entry which indicates potential.  Won easily

3) Lapilli - trained by William Haggas. A class trainer in every sense and he has a talented string of juveniles to give him a mark. This bay colt is owned by Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum and held in high regard. Basically, this son of Bahamian Bounty will be winning. 

4) Laughton - trained by Kevin Ryan. Hambleton Stables have a fine record in the Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2) and this bay colt has been earmarked for this lofty race. This son of Acclamation is out of a talented French mare who won at Listed class - a very consistent horse. Laughton was recently purchased at the breeze-up sales for 150,000Euro. Could be running in the next few days and has sound claims, especially if priced 8/1 & less. 4th on debut (will win)

5) Very Talented - trained by Saeed Bin Suroor. Godolphin have so much wealth they never have a poorly-bred juvenile. This son of Invincible Spirit was born on January 1st. One of few horses entered for the National Stakes (Group 1) Ireland. Let's hope this colt takes after his name.  3rd on debut 20/1 (will win)

Horse Racing Loses a Friend in Mel Brittain

Sad news from Northgate Lodge Stables that Yorkshire-based stalwart Mel Brittain has passed away on Thursday morning at the age of 71. 

A successful businessman, Brittain had horses in training before taking out his own licence in 1985. A quietly spoken, modest man, he was renowned for starting the career of many talented jockeys. Readers will remember his ultimately talented horse Grey Desire ''the pride of Yorkshire'' who finished runner-up in the July Cup (Group 1) and later a successful stallion, while Dublin Lad was victorious in the Gosforth Park Cup. From a personal point of view he had some talented two-year-olds including recent winner French a bargain-buy at £800, who competed at York's Marygate Listed Stakes.  

Brittain's son, Anthony, who is presently assistant trainer, will take charge of the training operation.  

His best season came in 1988 with 44 winners. 

A rare visitor to the race track he preferred to watch the racing at home on TV.      

Mick Easterby said: "Mel was a wonderful chap and we were big friends. He was a very good trainer and will be sorely missed by everybody in racing who knew him. It's a very sad day."

Mel trained over 500 winners in his career. 

Condolences to family, friends and race fans. 

Picture: Sandra & Mel Brittain   

Kurland Heads to Royal Ascot After Impressive Debut

Newmarket handler Martyn Meade unleashed a talented two-year-old at the Rowley Mile on Thursday [16th April] and plans to go straight to the Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) on June 17. 

This daughter of Kheleyf out of talented mare Bunditton was well backed starting 8/1 on her debut in a five-furlong maiden contest. This grey looks a bargain buy costing just 15,500 euros as a foal when purchased by Ladywood Stud. It was an eye-catching performance - just out of a canter - to record a three-and-three-quarter-length victory.

 Meade said: "Fergus (Sweeney, jockey) was quite impressed and said that he could have maybe won on the bridle.

"I'd always thought she was really nice at home but you are never quite sure until they get to the track.

"She has come out of the race really well and has been bucking and squealing, which I am really pleased about.

"I think I will stick to my original plan and go straight to the Queen Mary as I don't think she needs to have too much racing.

"The dam, from as far as I know, was a bit buzzy and I don't want to risk her as I have her nicely settled now. 

"I don't really want to break her routine so we will work her accordingly and tell her when we need her to wake up again.

" Profiles Kurland While Meade is content with sticking at the minimum distance for the time being, he is hopeful Kurland will get further in time.

The Newmarket handler said: "She should go seven furlongs, without any doubt, though whether she progresses any further than that I don't know.

"If she did get a mile that would be fantastic as then we could really start dreaming about next year."

Horses to Follow in 2015

It may be early days for this new Flat turf season but that doesn't mean we haven't seen a potential star of the future. With the likes of Mark Johnston with an increased string of almost 130 two year olds it isn't beyond the realms the standards this early season are higher than normal. We have already seen a touch of class with a few smart debut winners from Kingsley House Stables: Buratino, Rah Rah, Ravenhoe. Here are a few dark horses on our radar.

The first race of the Flat turf season has - in its time - proven a great starting point for top class two year olds. The Brocklesby Stakes at Doncaster has historically seen some great talents including Mind Games, Hearts Of Fire who both raced at Group 1, the latter horse, trained by Pat Eddery, proving victorious. Who could forget Provideo, trained by Bill O'Gorman and ridden by Tony Ives. This colt started his career winning the Brocklesby Stakes by four lengths - then achieved an outstanding feat. In 1984 he set a record for a British-trained two-year-old winning sixteen of his twenty-four races. Although rated some twenty pounds below the top juveniles he was named British Horse of the Year. 

This year's Brocklesby is unlikely to reveal such talents but three horses are worth following.

Mark Johnston's Ravenhoe just edged victory for the first juvenile runner from Kingsley House Stables. This chestnut son of Bahamian Bounty cost £16,000 at the yearling sales when purchased by the trainer for established owner David Abell. The mare was a prolific sprinter with Kevin Ryan, who won on debut at Doncaster. There is nothing in the breeding of this horse to put you off. This colt is likely to progress with racing.

Brocklesby second - losing in a photo finish - First Bombardment is trained by David O'Meara in the silks of Northern Hart Racing & Partner. This son of Pastoral Pursuits is out of a twice-winning mare costing £18,000 at the yearling sales. This colt has a lot  of natural pace and was seen next start competing at Musselburgh in the Scottish Brocklesby, a race which could highlight future winners. He had the opposition a touch flat footed but tired in the final furlong. On faster ground, this youngster will take some stopping and worth checking out on the betting markets

It wouldn't be a surprise to see General Alexander - who finished third - winning next start. This grey colt is a son of Zebedee out of a winning Irish mare. Quite an early February foal, he was purchased by the trainer at the yearling sales for £30,000. Mrs J A Martin is a good patron of Spring Cottage Stables (Northgate Lad won on debut as a two-year-old at Beverley). This youngster had no luck: a slow start, slightly hampered, then switched a couple of times before running on with promise with no more than a hands-and-heels ride. Must have a winning chance second start if not more. 

The winner of Scottish Brocklesby is reputed to be a smart horse with mention of Royal Ascot and the Coventry Stakes (Group 2). Tribesman is trained by David Brown and owned by John Fretwell - a combination which has proven a potent force with two year olds. This partnership have made an art of finding talented two-year-olds and often sell them for a king's ransom. This chestnut son of Equiano - out of a poor race mare - cost 12,000gns as a foal, later purchased at the yearling sales by Fretwell for £35,000. He won comfortably on debut and could well see this talent competing in the Coventry. 

It is often difficult to assess the value of a debut performance especially when against opposition who are making their racecourse bow. However, Gin In The Inn really caught my eye at Leicester. This Irish bred son of Alfred Noble is out of a winning mare who didn't race until three. This bay was purchased by the trainer at the yearling sales for 35,000. This horse is a lovely specimen with size, strength and scope to improve with racing. There were a few fancied horses in that 5f sprint but Fahey's talent literally won in a canter. I'd be very surprised if he isn't going places and another two year old with high hopes of Royal Ascot. 

Top Australian Turf Sprints

There's no doubt that turf sprints are where the action is today in Australia's Thoroughbred racing scene. If you're new to the track or maybe have been more a staying race enthusiast, here is a bit of background about sprint races, along with some tips to help you increase your winnings when you see your bookmaker for free bets.

Australian Group One Sprint Races

Australian Thoroughbred sprint races are divided into groups. Group 1 races feature the top horses and best jockeys and make for exciting, high-stakes sport. These races, with their large purses, are a chance to make big money with free bets in Australia.

If there's any doubt that these Group 1 sprints are growing in popularity, just look at the increase in Group 1 races over the last few years. Recent upgrades of Group 2 sprints to Group 1 sprints (the Memsie Stakes, the Canterbury Stakes, etc.), show an increasing trend towards sprint prevalence.

Top Group One Sprint Races in Australia

While there a number of thrilling Group 1 sprint races, and as mentioned above, that number is on the rise, there are a few that stand out as top events for which to see your bookmaker for free bets.

Black Caviar Lightning

If you've ever seen Black Caviar in motion, you'll know why this race was named for this now-retired beauty. Undefeated in 25 races, Black Caviar was named the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings (currently the World's Best Racehorse) World Champion Sprinter four years in a row.

Black Caviar won the 1,000-metres Lightning Stakes three years in a row, no small feat given the field of top Thoroughbreds it attracts for its A$500,000 purse. The Black Caviar Lightning, run at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, kicks off a three-leg fall series of races, including the Oakleigh Plate and the Newmarket Handicap.

Newmarket Handicap

The Newmarket Handicap is a 1,200-metre race also run at Flemington and is considered Australia's most important Thoroughbred sprint handicap. Taking place in March to wind up the Autumn Racing Carnival, the Newmarket Handicap has been attracting huge crowds since its inception in 1874. It's prize is a cool million dollars. Four horses have won the Newmarket twice, and the race record is held by none other than Black Caviar.

Darley Classic

The Darley Classic is another 1,200-metre race run at Flemington and is a weight-for-age sprint for horses age three or older. Bringing in a purse of A$1,000,000, the Darley Classic is the final event of the Victoria Racing Club Spring Carnival. Three horses have won the race twice, including Black Caviar.

TJ Smith Stakes

The TJ Smith Stakes is another weight-for-age sprint in the 1,200-metre distance, held at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney. Originally named the Endeavour Stakes, it was renamed in 1999 for Thomas John Smith, who won 33 titles in Sydney during his career. Only one horse has ever won the race twice, and that was--you guessed it--Black Caviar. It's considered by many to be Australia's premier Group 1 sprint with a A$2.5 million purse.

Your Friend, the Form Guide

If you're new to sprint racing or haven't been a punter before, how do you know where to put your money down? When you're placing free bets in Australia, the first place to look for information is your form guide. A form guide is essential if betting off the track or if you don't plan on going to the parade ring prior to a race.

Some things to look at in your form guide:

  • What is the horse's history of finishes at different distances?
  • What were the track conditions for those races?
  • Has the horse had the same jockey and/or trainer consistently?
  • What have the horse's recent workouts been like?
  • Has the horse had any recent changes in equipment?
  • Has the horse had a recent spell and why?

A spell isn't always a bad thing; in fact some mares and fillies come back better after a spell. A horse that failed to maintain the lead in a staying race may perform wonderfully in a sprint. A horse that has a long and successful history with the same jockey or trainer is likely to continue on that path.

Other Betting Tips

Even with all the data you can glean from your form guide, there's nothing like checking out a horse in the mounting enclosure prior to a race to really see what it's like on race day. Does the horse seem nervous and agitated or just appropriately "on the muscle" (ready to go)? Is it saddling and accepting the jockey easily? Are there bandage marks on the horses legs? These may have been just a protective wrapping measure, but they could also indicate tendon problems.

When placing your bets, start off small, and learn by trial and error. While it's easy to bet the "chalk" horse (the favourite or the one with the most money down), the bigger payoffs come with higher odds.

Another great source of information is social media. There is a world of knowledgeable Tweeters and Facebook posters out there with invaluable information if you can tap into it. It takes a while to build a network, but it can be worth it to put together the whole picture of a horse.

Picking winners takes time and practice, and if it were easy, everyone would be a millionaire. The great thing about betting on sprint races is that even if it takes you and your picks a while to hit your strides, you'll have a blast doing it.

Can Clouds overcome the Many doubts?

Oliver Sherwood has already won one big National Hunt handicap chase this season. Now he goes in search of another after confirming Many Clouds is an intended runner in the Grand National.
Sherwood prepared Many Clouds to deliver an impressive performance to win the Hennessy at Newbury back in November and his run immediately stamped him out as a future National contender.
However, Sherwood initially opted to send the eight-year-old down the Gold Cup route and that appeared to be a justifiable target after another solid win in the BetBright Cup Chase at Cheltenham on Festival Trials Day in January.
When it came to the Gold Cup, though, Many Clouds was a shade disappointing when sixth behind Coneygree after being sent off at 7/1. He was never truly able to get close to Coneygree and Sherwood acknowledged the horse was out of his comfort zone.
He has now decided to go for the National, after previously putting the race down as a back-up in case something went wrong in the Gold Cup. The uncertainty over whether Many Clouds would run at Aintree has seen his price fluctuate quite wildly in the Grand National betting as he has gone from a 20/1 shot, out to 40/1, and now back in to a general 25/1 price. But, if he is to justify connections’ decision to go for the race, then he will have to buck a few trends.
Many Clouds is currently second top weight on 11st 9lbs, and that could rise by 1lb if Lord Windermere doesn’t line up. The last horse to carry that burden was Red Rum when winning his second National in 1974 with a weight of 12st.
That was also the last time a jockey won back-to-back renewals of the National. Leighton Aspell has ridden Many Clouds in all 19 starts, and won the National 12 months ago on Pineau De Re. The last time a jockey won the National in successive years on different horses, though, was in the 1950s when Bryan Marshall won on Early Mist and then Royal Tan.
Many Clouds’ record at the Grand National meeting is also a concern as he has run at Aintree the last three years. He was 11th behind The New One in the 2012 Bumper, pulled up in the Silver Cross Handicap Hurdle in 2013 and then fourth to Holywell in the Mildmay Novices’ Chase last year. All of those runs were on good ground, and Many Clouds is a better horse with soft in the going description.
Yet, for all the negatives, there is still a persuasive case for Many Clouds giving owner Trevor Hemmings a third National win. He is a sound jumper, has a touch of class and stays well. And, in some ways, he could be reasonably weighted. It all depends on how much stock you put in the statistics and history.

Top 5 Australian Trainers

If you love to watch and bet on horse racing in Australia, then you need to know a little bit about top Australian trainers. When making free bets in Australia, it pays to pick the horses trained by the likes of Gai Waterhouse and Chris Waller. You’ll do better with free bets online if you watch what trainers the horses work with. Read on to learn a little about five of the top Australian trainers today.

David Hayes

It’s no surprise that David Hayes is a top Australian trainer with a father like Colin Hayes and brother Peter Hayes, both superb trainers he worked with and learned from since childhood. He ran the Lindsay Park operation in the 90s and opened the family business in Hong Kong to train for nine seasons for hundreds of winners. He’s an Australian trainer with 20 years of solid experience in his training career, having trained more than 2,800 winners. He’s won most of Australia’s major races, including the Melbourne Cup in 94, the Caulfield Cup in 93, Cox Plate in 90 and 06, and the Golden Slipper in 06. If you're placing free bets in Australia, it's good to know that he’s the only Australian trainer to with the Japan Cup in 90, and he’s the youngest trainer to be inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 08.

Gai Waterhouse

Gai Waterhouse is the daughter of T.J. (Tommy) Smith although her early career as an actor in the U.K. kept her briefly away from horses. But working hard with her father for 15 years to gain her training license in the 90s was the solid foundation she needed to become a top trainer. It didn’t hurt that she took over Tulloch Lodge in 1994 when her father retired. She went on to train many winners in the Victoria Derby and Melbourne Cup, as well as the Sydney Premiership. Her skills as a trainer are matched by her fashion sense and personality, making her a high profile trainer.

Peter Snowdon

Peter Snowdon started as a rider and gained experience through steady promotion under Vic Thomson and John Hawkes. He represented Hawkes’ stable for 10 years then went on to be head trainer for Ingham Blookstock. From there, he worked as head trainer for Darley Racing until 2014. During his time with Darley, he won many races, including the Golden Slipper in 2010. He left to join his son Paul in a training partnership at Royal Randwick’s 70 stables. Working with his son, Snowdon is expected to be very successful and continue adding to the long list of wins to his credit, including wins in recent years at Thousand Guineas, The Darley Crown, Tea Rose Stakes, Takeover Target Stakes, Pago Pago Stakes, and Keith Nolan Classic.

Chris Waller

Chris Waller worked with famous Singapore trainer Paddy Busuttin. He started with five horses and went on from there to success in Australian racing with more than 40 Group 1 winners and many Sydney premierships. His consistent winning record over six consecutive seasons makes him a top trainer with multiple wins at Doncaster Handicaps, Epsoms, Metropolitans and Australian Oaks. His long list of wins includes even more prestigious races including the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, and Melbourne Cup. He is neck and neck with other top trainers including Gai Waterhouse and Peter Snowdon.

Gerald Ryan

Gerald Ryan was a successful jockey before becoming a trainer in the 90s in Melbourne. He quickly reached the top rank of Melbourne trainers before moving to Malaysia. His return to Australia in 1998 was very successful, enabling him to open a new stable at Rosehill. As an experienced horseman because of his jockey days, he knows what to look for in young horses to train, and says it’s athleticism, confirmation, attitude, action, and pedigree. Top horses he’s trained include Snitzerland, Hot Snitzel, Dances on Stars (NZ), Adnocon, and Calvary Rose. His horses are the ones to play for free bets online.

How Many Times Did Red Rum Win the Grand National?

On the 11th April 2015 (4:15 Aintree) horse racing fans across the world will be searching for the winner of this most famous National Hunt steeplechases - The Grand National. Run over 4 miles 3 1/2 furlongs, 30 jumps have to be cleared over two circuits in the ultimate test of horse and jockey. Take a look at the the runners and odds for the Grand National 2015.   

The Grand National is steeped in racing history. 

The remarkable stories of triumph over adversity have captured the heart of millions. Who could forget Bob Champion and Aldaniti and their touching story when winning in 1981. Champion, a jockey battling cancer, Aldaniti, a horse who was deprived in its younger years and suffered terribly from chronic leg problems. Their victory captured so beautifully the feeling of hope, later made into a film starring John Hurt - Champions.

This great race brings equal measure of triumph & tears. Foinavon proved a surprise winner in 1967. Just about the whole field had been hampered or dismounted at the 23rd fence (in 1984 this fence was named in the memory of Foinavon) but this lucky horse, detached by at least half a furlong found space to jump and won a most unlikely victory at odds of 100/1.

Commentator Michael O'Hehir described the chaotic scene:

''And now, with all this mayhem, Foinavon has gone off on his own! He's about 50 to 100 yards in front of anything else!'' 

His owner had so little faith in winning that he traveled to Worcester instead.

One horse synonymous with the Grand National is the legendary Red Rum. This beautiful, bay gelding won three times (1973, 1974 & 1977) and finished second in the intervening years. Trained by Ginger McCain in the ownership of Noel le Mare, his victory in 1973 is considered the greatest Grand National in history after being some 30 lengths behind the leaders. Without question Red Rum loved to jump a fence. He was a master of all fences and never fell once in 100 races. His third win was voted in 2002 as the 24th greatest sporting moment of all time.  

Commentator Peter O'Sullevan said of his third win: 

''The crowd are willing him home now. The 12-year-old Red Rum, being preceded only by loose horses, being chased by Churchtown Boy... They're coming to the elbow, just a furlong now between Red Rum and his third Grand National triumph! It's hats off and a tremendous reception, you've never heard one like it at Liverpool... and Red Rum wins the National!''

 In addition, he won the Scottish National in 1974. 

He was a celebrity in his own right opening super markets, bookmakers shops and leading the annual Grand National parade. He switched on Blackpool illuminations in 1977. Along with merchandise, many books were written about Red Rum.  

Red Rum died of natural causes in 1995 at the age of 30. In a fitting tribute he was buried at the winning post of the Aintree Racecourse. His epitaph reads: Respect this place/ this hallowed ground/ a legend here/ his rest has found/ his feet would fly/ our spirits soar/ he earned our love for evermore. A life size statue of Red Rum stands at Aintree racecourse.

In the 1970s the future running of the Grand National was uncertain. However, Red Rum and his historic victories captured the heart of a nation and ensured huge public support for the fund to buy Aintree which is now ownership and protected by the Jockey Club.

Tony McCoy said of this National hero:

 ''Red Rum's feats, of three Nationals and two seconds, are legendary. They will never be equaled, let alone surpassed. They say records are there to be broken, but Red Rum's at Aintree is one which will stand the test of time.''        

The Grand National is so much more than just another horse race. Which story will be told this year?        

Horse Rugs: Keeping them warm this Winter

The winter months can be harsh for horses just the way that they can be harsh for people. People wear coats during the cold winter months and a horse should have a rug during those frosty, snowy and icy days and nights. Knowing when to use a rug on a horse can provide protection as well as comfort in order for the horse to stay healthy. 
Horse Rugs: Keeping Them Warm This Winter
There are many reasons to purchase a good quality horse rug for winter months. Watch for signs that the horse is cold such as shivering. If he is shivering, he could very well benefit from the use of a warm rug. It is important to keep horses warm in winter to help prevent illnesses with them. They can catch colds and other illness when they are too cold. 
Stable or Pastured Horses
Whether a horse is kept in a stable or in the pasture, he can still be cold. Just because he is kept in a stable or stall does not mean that he will always be warm during the winter months. When the weather produces snow, high winds or icy conditions it is safe to assume that a good rug will help him to be more comfortable. Horse Rugs: Keeping them warm this winter should be an important factor to every equine owner as well as those that care for them. 
Older Horses Need Rugs
Horses that are older are the best candidates for a rug. The food they they eat may not be enough to help their bodies generate the warmth that they need to endure the low temperatures that can arise during a heavy winter. The rug will help keep the direct rain, wind and snow from making them cold and possibly ill. 
Pay Attention to the Weather
When a horses coat gets wet it looses its value of warmth to the horse. This is no different than a human wearing a wet coat, it is not going to provide the warmth and protection that they need. Wind can blow a horses body heat away leaving him cold and shivering. Rain and windchill can make the difference in the horse being in need of a quality rug. 
Choosing The Best Rug
When choosing a rug for a horse making sure that the rug the perfect fit is important. A good fit allows the horse to move about freely. A poor fitting rug can cause discomfort and lead to the horse chewing on the rug as well as chaffing. Rugs should be made of material that allows the horses skin to breath and to prevent sweating. Purchasing more than one rug is often a great idea as it will allow a wet blanket to be removed and a dry one placed on the horse for comfort. 
When considering Horse Rugs: Keeping them warm this winter will be much easier if purchased from Ride 4 Less, they offer a large variety of rugs to choose from in a great selection of styles and thickness. Affordable prices are always available making it easy to provide all horses with the comfort that they deserve during those long winter months that can seem to last forever. Provide all horses with the best protection possible by choosing rugs for them that fit properly and make the winter months much easier for them to withstand. Good rugs can save on vet cost as well as keep the horse healthy through winter. 

Olympia Horse Show 2014

Fans  come  from  all over  Europe to behold  this  grand  event  that occurs  annually at the Olympia London International Horse show. Even though the event takes place in late December, ticket booking starts as early as May. This includes bookings for accommodation and sitting. With its continued popularity, each year, it gets better.
In 2014, the seven-day show included not  only  dressage  shows, but also  the Shetland pony Grand  National, The  metropolitan Police activity  Ride, Show  jumping  and the  kennel Club Dog  agility  performance. Clearly, there was something for everyone in attendance.
Olympia Dressage Star
Decked in a dark colored tailed coat, Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro went ahead to break another record with their breathtaking grand prix, breaking the 87.46% former record and also the 94.3% points for the freestyle. Dressage training helps a horse  to acquire technique crucial  to either  racing  or  other  sport  activity as it  learns  to  be  keen  and  attentive  to the  rider. The routine movements, when done with precision and with fluidity score points for the overall performance. A  rider and his or her animal communicate with ease such that it  almost  seems  that  the horse  is moving  at  will and  not  under  subtle  guidance. The end result is a safe, comfortable horse for future riders.
The side shows
Different spectators  who came for the Olympia Horse Show 2014, come in for  different  shows, and it  really  does  no  harm  to  check  the  schedule  in advance  to  know which show is most  appealing. Show jumping is a sport favored by those that are particular about horse agility and athleticism. Jumping is creatively designed to appeal to the eye, with colorful displays elaborately packaged. The rider and his ride jump over obstacles that vary from water, stone walls and bars. There is  the Oxer bar which is composed  of  two verticals close  together, a triple bar and  even the hogs back which  is a  spread  fence with  three rails. The  penalties pop  when  a horse  refuses  to jump and obstacle, exceeds  the  time  limit  or  knocking  down a rail. Ben Maher riding Diva made a spectacular show of jumping, maintaining his former position.
Some  have argued  that  the metropolitan police  activity ride  is  a bit  over  the  top, but  a consideration  of the  purpose  of the  show can shed  light  to the  whole  idea. Since  it  involves jumping fire  and  other hair  raising actions, it  is no  different  from  what the  police  go   through  during  normal   training, and  is  in fact  quite  appropriate when  performed  in  controlled   environment.
Riders of 9-14 years of age participate in the Shetland Pony Grand National show. Which  is a fast  paced  race to  show  off  the  young  one’s  abilities. It is also a great reservoir for future jockeys and racers. Young ones are also thrilled about the display of canine agility by the Kennel Club Dog show.
The Olympia Shop
Such a celebrated event  require at  least a souvenir, and  the International Equestrian Displays Shopping village  is a  home  to  all that  and  more. Guests were able to bring home beautiful art, key chains and stuffed animals. The beauty  of  this  is  that  is  even a  luggage  drop  of  point  so  one  need  not  cart  around the  items  bought. Hotels  bookings  can  be  made  online, even  specifying  the  requirement  for  maybe, a walking  distance  to the event  venue. Disabled visitors have their own sitting areas, completed with toilets fitted for the disabled. In the coming years, it is expected that the show will keep getting more competitive, with even more participants. If you want your equine to participate in such a prestigious show, then start grooming your loving horse with best quality equestrian equipment from a store like Robinsons Equestrian where the superior products are available at competitive prices.

Coneygree hoping for Gold Cup glee

The top stables are used to having good horses running in the biggest races, but the chances of dining at National Hunt racing’s top table are a little more fleeting when you are a smaller yard.
Perhaps that is why, when you do have a horse which looks like it can be top class, you should grasp every possible opportunity to go for gold.
That certainly seems to be the case for Mark Bradstock, who is set to let his stable star Coneygree take his chance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup after scrapping a tilt at the RSA Chase instead.
As a novice, Coneygree certainly has it all to do in the Gold Cup after running just three times over fences in his career. Captain Christy was the last novice to win the Gold Cup in 1974, while Gloria Victis is a tragic reminder of what can happen after suffering a fatal fall when running in the 2000 race as a novice.
But, after Coneygree’s impressive win against more experienced chasers in the Denman Chase last time, you can understand why Bradstock has succumbed to the temptation of going for the Gold Cup. And if you fancy Coneygree’s chances just as much as the trainer by betting on Cheltenham Festival races then he is 9/1 with bet365.
The question now is whether Coneygree is capable of making an impact in the Gold Cup.
He is proven around Cheltenham, albeit over hurdles, which is a plus. He won Grade Two trials for both the Neptune and Albert Bartlett in 2012 before then finishing third in another trial for the Neptune behind At Fishers Cross and The New One, which is extremely solid form, in January 2013.
That proved to be Coneygree’s last run until his chasing debut at Newbury in November last year. He made all to beat Dell ‘Arca by a length-and-a-half in a Grade Two on soft ground over two-and-a-half miles.
Coneygree’s second start over fences was in the Grade One Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton over Christmas when he beat Warden Hill by 40 lengths. Saphir Du Rheu, who unseated his rider at Newbury, fell in that race and is ante-post favourite for the World Hurdle. Carraig Mor and Sausalito Sunrise, who could also have given Coneygree a race, both failed to make it round as well.
But Coneygree showed back at Newbury in the Denman Chase that there is plenty of substance behind his ability after making all to beat Houblon Des Obeaux by seven lengths. Houblon Des Obeaux had finished second to Many Clouds in the Hennessy earlier in the season and was ninth in the Gold Cup last year. Unioniste, a leading contender for the Grand National, was third and 2014 JLT Novices’ Chase winner Taquin Du Seuil was fourth.
Still on the upgrade, Coneygree will line up for the Gold Cup with a solid chance, despite his lack of experience. He is tough, jumps well and could prove hard to overhaul if he is allowed his own way in front.
It would certainly be a remarkable training achievement if Bradstock can pull it off.

Cheltenham Gold Cup 2015: McCoy Last Time Lucky

With A P McCoy announcing his retirement from race riding all eyes will be on him for this year's Cheltenham Festival 2015. 

We have to go back to 1992 for his first victory. However, his performances have written the headlines with milestones which have become racing folklore. 

On 7th November 2013, he eclipsed all records when riding his 4000th winner on Mountain Tunes at Towcester. In fact this modest man has been champion jockey since turning professional: first championship in 1995/96 and 19 consecutive Champion jockey titles to date. His accolades include an OBE in 2010, along with Sports Personality of the Year to cement his status as all-time great. 

As of 18th February 2015 he has achieved career wins of 4,333.         

It would be fitting for this racing supremo to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, held at Prestbury Park, run over 3 miles 2 1/2 furlongs. In truth, this steeple chase has been elusive for A P McCoy. National Hunt fans will remember his first victory in 1997 when Mr Mulligan, trained by Noel Chance, proved a surprise. In 2012, Synchronised [pictured] proved a popular winner for Jonjo O'Neill in the familiar racing silks of legendary gambler J P McManus. 

Come 13th March, 2015 many punters will be interested in betting Tony McCoy for the Gold Cup if not taking a bet on Cheltenham's top jockeys because trainers will make this a Festival to remember for ''the champ''. 

It would be a magical moment if his likely mount Holywell could make the headlines for horse trainer Jonjo O'Neill, riding in the colours of Mrs Gay Smith. This eight-year-old gelding, sired by Gold Well out of a Thatching mare, won well last time out at Kelso when 1/4f by twenty-five lengths. This bay horse has proved victorious on his two Cheltenham starts to date, both at double-figure odds. 

Holywell is presently priced at 10/1 to win the Gold Cup. 

Win or lose, the Cheltenham roar will be as much for one jockey as the occasion itself - the legend A P McCoy. 

Jockeys and trainers prepare for Cheltenham challenge

 Cheltenham Festival, which falls this year on March 10th - 13th, is an annual celebration of this country’s equine culture. Alongside the Grand National at Aintree it stands as the premier event in the National Hunt racing calendar - attracting only the finest racers to compete for some of the richest purses within the sport.

During the Festival, Cheltenham Racecourse at Prestbury Park will be overrun by trainers, owners and jockeys all frantically preparing for their big moments - which may only last a few minutes. Over the 4 day event there will be no less than 27 races each of which will bring lashings of drama to the final second.

For jockeys the run up to Cheltenham is an exciting and challenging time. The “big names” - like Tony McCoy, Ruby Walsh and Frankie Dettori will all have their pick of mounts for the big events and so use the run up to gauge ability and form. Everything learned during these lower key races will be stored and analysed before Cheltenham.

Owners, too, have some tough emotional and financial decisions to make. The large fields and challenging nature of the Cheltenham courses has cost several mounts their lives in recent years. Owners must weigh up the risk to their horses and riders against the chance of winning and also consider that a healthy, retired horse may be worth more at stud than on the course. Against all this weighs the considerable prestige of winning any Cheltenham event, let alone the Gold Cup which is possibly racing’s most sought after prize.

But it isn’t just those “in the business” that sweat the run up to Cheltenham Festival. Even now an operation of hundreds is preparing the track and readying the grandstand. During The Festival itself a huge operation involving thousands of caterers, security guards, marshals and plenty more will come together to give the 80,000 daily spectators a seamless experience. If the temperature dips below freezing in the run up (not unlikely, given this country’s climate) every inch of Cheltenham’s track will be covered in sheeting to mitigate damaging frosts that can cause delays and cancellations.

Bookmakers too will be busy studying every race run by Cheltenham contenders to adjust their prices on the thousands of markets they’ll be offering. As much as £600m will be wagered on Cheltenham and even fractional mistakes can take millions from the bottom line.

With just weeks to go until March 10th and another incredible installment of The Cheltenham Show the excitement is ramping up in all quarters. Nowhere else in the world will you such pivotal moments occur in such quickfire succession - the tiniest element the difference between glory and ignominy!

Kentucky Derby update

Texas Red beaten at Santa Anita

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner Texas Red was beaten by Bob Baffert’s Lord Nelson in the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes last weekend.

Kent Desormeaux settled the son of Afleet Alex at the rear of the six-runner field before launching his challenge up the rail. Rafael Bejarano delivered Lord Nelson on the outside and was briefly headed inside the final furlong before rallying to win by a neck.

Texas Red was among the outsiders at around 14-1 for the Kentucky Derby after the race with Lord Nelson at 25-1. It was a ninth win in the Vicente Stakes for Baffert but connections of the runner-up were not too disheartened. Their colt was giving 5lbs to the winner and was racing over an inadequate trip of seven furlongs.

When Texas Red won the Breeders’ Cup, he was detached in the early stages before his stamina came into play in the closing stages. Connections are optimistic that he will improve over a longer trip in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at Fair Grounds on February 21st.

Ocean Knight leaves it late at Tampa Bay

Ocean Knight remains a general 33-1 shot after arriving late to catch Divining Rod in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. There were no points on offer on Saturday but Kiaran McLaughlin’s Curlin colt will be chasing 50 points next time in the Tampa Bay Derby on March 7th.

The colt had to deliver his challenge on the outside and it was a big improvement on his debut victory at Aqueduct. Divining Rod is not nominated for the Triple Crown but battled on bravely when challenged and should win his fair share of races for Arnaud Delacour.

Calculator out of Triple Crown

One horse that will not be lining up in the Triple Crown is the Peter Miller-trained Calculator. The son of Summation won the Grade 3 Sham Stakes and was also runner-up in the Del Mar Futurity and the FrontRunner Stakes. The grey had worked brilliantly over five furlongs at San Luis Rey Downs on New Year’s Eve but has been side-lined by an injury that will keep him off the track for six months.

The Great War off to a winning start

Former Aidan O’Brien colt The Great War started the season with an impressive victory in the 96Rock Stakes at Turfway Park. The son of War Front stormed to a seven and a quarter lengths victory over the six and a half furlong trip.

The Great War raced seven times in the UK and Ireland last season before finishing a creditable fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He won over five furlongs at Tipperary and the Curragh before proving a disappointing favourite in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot. He won the Listed Blenheim Stakes over six furlongs at the Curragh in September to earn a trip to Santa Anita.

The Coolmore team decided to leave him in the capable hands of Wesley Ward over the winter. Ward is familiar to British racing fans for his successful raids on the two-year-old races at Royal Ascot, including Hootenanny in the Windsor Castle Stakes last summer. The Great War was given a tentative quote of 40-1 for the Kentucky Derby.

El Kabeir and Dortmund set to return

The Grade 2 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita and the Grade 3 Withers Stakes at Aqueduct could provide some early Derby clues this weekend. The Lewis sees the return of Dortmund who is set for a re-match with Los Alamitos Futurity runner-up Firing Line. Kentucky Jockey Club winner El Kabeir is long odds-on favourite to continue his progress in the Withers.

The grey faces six maiden stakes winners in the $250,000 contest at Aqueduct as he bids to follow up his victory in the Jerome Stakes at the same track. El Kabeir goes into the weekend at equal-first in the list of Derby contenders with 21 points alongside International Star.

Triple Crown entries

There are 429 horses entered for the Triple Crown this year, just fifteen more than last year and the highest since 2008. Aidan O’Brien has entered five colts led by Racing Post Trophy runner-up Aloft. He chased home the impressive Elm Park at Doncaster in October and is joined by Battle Of Marathon, War Envoy, Smuggler's Cove and Royal Navy Ship.

Dermot Weld, who won the 1990 Belmont Stakes with Go And Go, is represented by Don Camillo, Sight Hound, Time To Inspire and Tombelaine. John Oxx has entered an unnamed Kamarinskaya colt while Godolphin’s entries include recent all-weather winner Tempus Temporis and Somerville Tattersall Stakes winner Maftool.

The Triple Crown begins with the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 2nd. The Preakness at Pimlico Downs follows on May 16th with the Belmont making up the final leg on June 6th. The last horse to win the Triple Crown was Affirmed in 1978.