Horse Racing Around the World: Yesterday and Today

Horse racing around the world
The traditions of horse racing date all the way back to 4500BC when prehistoric nomadic tribesman of Central Asia are said to have recorded the first use of domesticated horses; and the sport in general has come a long way since then.

Nowadays, horse racing is one of the most popular sporting events on the planet, with over 1,000 racecourses and tracks in Europe and the United States alone.

The Western world are incredibly fond of the horse racing scene and community and it will only continue to grow as major events, such as the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National, are popular with the masses.

But it hasn’t always been that way. Traditionally, horse racing was inclusive for the rich and those who were ‘in the know’. Some view today’s business in the same way but it would be na├»ve and foolish to claim that horse racing is still targeted at the upper classes.

Head down to any racecourse on any given Saturday and your entrance fee will be no more than £15; a lot cheaper than the average ticket for a Premier League football match – even more so if there is a special offer on for your local track. Horse racing has a great influence on society as almost everybody can enjoy it as a spectacle even if they don’t want to place a bet on the races.

In fact, horse racing has now developed into a key sport in popular culture; largely down to the success of individual horses, trainers and jockeys. For example, everybody knows Frankie Dettori – one of the main personalities in flat racing and soon to be special guest on ITV’s new racing channel.

And ITV’s deal to take over from Channel 4 is testament to how racing is viewed. It is no longer a sport for the elite; it is inclusive of all ages, gender and race. Whether you get into horse racing from watching events on the television, simply heading down to the local track and checking out a few races or playing LadyLucks online casino games, one thing is for sure: horse racing WILL continue to grow as media attention soars.

The sport has come a long way since the days of racing in Asia and the Great British racing scene deserves a lot of credit for its rise to prominence. With so many major events on throughout the year, racing has flourished and it now ranks alongside the likes of football and basketball in terms of popularity.

So watch this space, it is only going to grow further if the sport continues to amaze as a spectacle and viewers are treated to some of the best thoroughbreds in the business...

2017 Cheltenham Betting Tips: Remembering Champions

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Few horse racing meetings capture the imagination more than the Cheltenham Festival. 

It's a perfect time to consider your 2017 Cheltenham betting tips. Four magnificent days of racing action. 

14th March – Champion Day 

The build-up to this meeting is like no other. The anticipation which leads to the Cheltenham roar heralding the start with the Supreme Novices' Hurdle. 

Last year saw wonder horse Annie Power set a course record being only the fourth mare in history to win this race. In truth, there is no better trainer than Willie Mullins for the big occasion. The way this daughter of Shirroco drew clear of her field was exceptional. 

Willie Mullins & Ruby Walsh have a fantastic strike rate in this race with five wins each. 

Which horse ticks your box for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle? 

Remembering Champions: Bula, 1970, trained by Fred Winter and ridden by Paul Kelleway. Ran in a 'golden period' of National Hunt racing for two-mile hurdlers in the 1970s which saw the likes of Night Nurse, Monksfield & Sea Pigeon. Bula was known for his come-from-behind style. In addition to many top class victories, he won the Champion Hurdle twice. 

On this six-race card, other highlights include the Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase & Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy. 

15th March – Ladies Day 

Style meets horseracing supremacy. 

Few racegoers will forget last year's Queen Mother Champion Stakes winner – Sprinter Sacre triumphant for Nicky Henderson. Sadly this son of Network will not be heading to Prestbury Park after sustaining a tendon injury in November when preparing for the Tingle Creek. 

Can any horse fill the hooves of Sprinter Sacre? 

If the betting is to be believed – and all is well come the big day – Willie Mullins may have a very special horse in Douvan. 

Remembering Champions: Badsworth Boy, 1983, 1984, 1985, trained by Michael Dickenson and ridden by Robert Earnshaw in the ownership of Doug Armitage. He became the 12th horse in jumping history to earn over £100,000 in prize money. He lived to the age of twenty-seven. 

Other race highlights on the day include the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle & the RSA Steeple Chase. 

16th March – St Patrick's Thursday 

The third day of the Cheltenham Festival. 

Two feature races make this a day worthy of champions. The Ryanair World Hurdle & Ryanair Chase among a tantalising card. Thistlecrack, trained by Colin Tizzard, won the World Hurdle impressively justifying even-money favouritism last year. A true talent. While Vautour took the Ryanair Chase in very comfortable fashion. Sadly, Willie Mullins seven-year-old died in a freak accident at his stables in Carlow, Ireland. Owner, Rich Ricci said: ''It's one of those things.'' 

The mixed fortunes of racing, so often bittersweet. 

Remembering Champions: Alberta's Run, 2010, 2011, trained by Jonjo O'Neill, ridden by A. P. McCoy. 

17th March – Gold Cup Day 

The fourth day of the Cheltenham Festival. The Gold Cup is the highlight of not only this day but the Festival 2017. Last year saw Gordon Elliott's Don Cossack lead three out to win by over four lengths for owners Gigginstown House Stud. The 9/4 favourite will most likely battle a vintage field with Thistlecrack the new horse on the block earmarked for the greatest steeplechase this year. 

He could well start a hot favourite after taking the King George VI Chase defeating Cue Card and noted rivals. 

Remembering Champions: Golden Miller, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1935, 1936, trained by Basil Briscoe & Owen Anthony (1936), for owner Dorothy Paget. This son of Goldcourt is the only horse to have won the Gold Cup & Grand National in the same year (1934). Other outstanding winners include: Arkle, Best Mate, Kauto Star & Mill House. Whatever your bets. Good luck.

Visit Robert Cowell's Website At HTD

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Robert, upon completion of his A levels at school in Norfolk, immediately began work in Newmarket for trainer Gavin Pritchard-Gordon. Whilst working there he was keen to ride in races so took out a licence and promptly rode a winner at Brighton on his second attempt. Two seasons with David ‘the Duke’ Nicholson was invaluable experience and at a time when the great Charter Party and Waterloo Boy were victorious at the Cheltenham Festival. 

Robert then set sail across the channel to work as an assistant to John Hammond in France for 2 years at the time when Suave Dancer, Dear Doctor and Polar Falcon were among the stable stars. It was in France that he was able to live the dream which was to work in a highly respected yard with very good horses and also ride as an amateur. John gave him numerous opportunities but managed to get most beat! Robert recalls with a smile ‘yes, I finished 2nd most of the time beaten only the shortest of margins but Johns’ instructions were quite difficult for a novice, “don’t win too far!!”.’ The best story was a ride Robert was offered in the provences for owners Cheveley Park Stud. 

Click here to read the story – An extract from Marcus Armytage’s ‘Hot Cherry’. In 1992 he then moved further afield to become an assistant to Neil Drysdale in America. It was here that he was proud to be part of the team when A.P.Indy and Hollywood Wildcat both won Breeders Cup races. After a brief spell as a trainer and considerable success in California, Robert decided to return to England as he had a larger group of owners willing to support him. He is training at Bottisham Heath Stud, which provides an excellent privately owned base for Robert and his wife, Ghislaine, along with their son, Alex and daughter, Kara.

The yard is sponsored by Mr Malih Al Basti’s ‘AL BASTI EQUIWORLD’.

We have had some fantastic seasons over the last few years with plenty of highlights to talk about. However horses most notably to mention, PROHIBIT gaining us our first Group 1 winner in the 2011 Royal Ascot, Kings Stand Stakes. JWALA winning in great style in the Group 1, Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York in 2013. Having seen her through her entire career from a yearling this was particularly special. KINGSGATE NATIVE has been a great success since joining us, producing some consistent performances in Group company, including landing the Group 2, Temple Stakes at Haydock Park and most recently the Achilles Stakes at Haydock Park in 2015 at the grand old age of ten! INTRINSIC won the always highly competitive Stewards Cup at Glorious Goodwood in August 2014 for us. He has since retired to stallion duties under the guidance of Hedgeholme Stud. 

GOLDREAM was a sensation in 2015, winning the Group3, Palace House Stakes at Newmarket in May. He then went on to win the Group 1, King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and another Group 1 at Longchamp at the October Arc meeting, the Prix de L’Abbaye. It is exciting news that he returns to training with us for the 2016 season. He is another very special horse for us, not just for his Group successes but also having unearthed him at the horses in training sales a few seasons prior. It certainly appears that we have an affinity with OASIS DREAM progeny – PROHIBIT, JWALA, INTRINSIC and GOLDREAM – With any luck in 2016 we will add further names to this list! Other exciting horses that we have enjoyed training and have had success over the last few seasons domestically in the UK and abroad at the highest levels have been, SPIRIT QUARTZ (Gr2), MONSIEUR JOE (Gr3), IFFRANESIA, LUI REI, FOREVER PHOENIX, BINIOU, CANADIAN DANEHILL and HIGH SPICE.

For the 2016 season, Robert Cowell will train around 70 horses. He is a great believer in communicating regularly with his owners to discuss daily training and future plans. Frequent written reports about the horses, and many telephone calls are the order of the day here.

Bottisham Heath Stud is completely self-contained, peaceful, and provides a welcoming atmosphere for all owners, potential owners and their horses. It is ideally suited to keeping the horses happy and helping them to achieve their full potential, with Robert’s expertise of course!

Visit Robert Cowell Website Here. 

Contact details: Bottisham Heath Stud, Six Mile Bottom, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 0TT

Tel: 01638 570330



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Latest News from Paul Cole Racing at HTD

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Paul Cole is one of Britain’s most successful trainers, responsible for winning high-performance races, Classic races, Group races, and Handicaps. Paul was Champion Trainer in England 1991 and has won the Champion European Trainers 4 times and holds European record for the most prize money won with one horse, Snurge. 

Royal Ascot is one of Whatcombe’s favourite meetings, having had four winners in one week. Paul is one of the top trainers on the list for the most winners at the meeting having won the Coventry Stakes, Jersey Stakes, Chesham Stakes, Windsor Castle Stakes, Norfolk Stakes, Hardwicke Stakes, Wokingham Stakes, Queen Mary Ascot Stakes and the Queen Alexandra Stakes. 

The Domesday Book was commissioned in December 1085 by William the Conqueror, who invaded England from Normandy, France, in 1066. The first draft of the Domesday Book was completed in August 1086 and contained records for 13,418 settlements in the English counties south of the Scottish border (marked by the rivers Ribble and Tees at the time). 

Whatcome was recorded as a medieval village. It is a mile or so south east from Fawley Manor. Saxon remains were found here when in the 1930s a grave was dug for Blandford, probably the most famous stallion of his day. The present house incorporates parts of the old Norman church which, like the original manor house, has long since fallen into ruin. 

It is said that stones from this church were taken to build the chantry chapel at Lambourn. Another well known tradition has it that the bells were stolen from Whatcombe’s church and were surreptitiously melted down, so that they could not be traced, and were then recast to provide bells for East Garston church. Local legend maintains that Whatcombe was also at one time a monastery and that a secret passageway linked it to the Manor at South Fawley Many generations of children have searched for the priest’s hole and the secret staircase that would lead them down to this underground escape route. 

Whatever its origin, in the present century Whatcombe has become fam¬ous as a racing stable, first under R. C. Dawson, later under Arthur Budgett and now Paul Cole. Several Derby winners have been trained on nearby Woolley Downs, one of the best training gallops in the country, known both for the superlative quality of its turf and for its contours which closely resemble those of Tattenham Corner. 

At the junction of the South Fawley road and the A338, there is a wooded and waterlogged area where used to stand three famous elms known as Adam and Eve and the Serpent. When one succumbed to Dutch elm disease a decade or more ago they said it must be the serpent. Now alas Adam and Eve have also left this Berkshire Eden.

Source: Paul Cole Website

Visit Paul Cole Website Here.


Contact details: Paul Cole Racing, Whatcombe Estate, Wantage, Oxfordshire, OX12 9NW

Tel: 01488 638433



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Latest News from Ben Case Racing at HTD

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Ben Case started his career as a successful event and point to point rider, before gaining valuable experience working within the bloodstock industry. 

He went on to work extensively with both flat and national hunt trainers including 2 years in the USA with Eclipse award winning trainer Shug McGaughey. 

On the National Hunt circuit, Ben worked with Oliver Sherwood in Lambourn and Arthur Moore in Ireland. Newmarket flat experience was earned by a short period at Luca Cumani’s yard and more recently, he was Assistant Trainer to Erwan Charpy, based in Dubai, for 5 years. 

Backed by this sound knowledge of all aspects of racing, Ben took out a full training licence in his own right in 1999, initially operating from a small yard, adjoining historic Edgcote House. 

He has now expanded into larger premises at Wardington Gate Farm which have been completely refitted and purpose designed as a racehorse training yard. 

Ben is assisted by a team of dedicated and friendly staff. With innovative and fresh ideas, each horse receives the very best individual care and attention. 

Always keen and enthusiastic, Ben has many ambitions waiting to be fulfilled and looks forward to a bright and successful future, training both Flat and National Hunt horses.

Source: Ben Case Website

Visit Ben Case Website Here. 


Contact details: Wardington Gate Farm, Edgcote, Chipping Warden, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX17 1AG

Tel: 01295 758 840 

Mobile: 07808 061 223



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Latest News from Lee Carter Racing at HTD

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Old Yard, Clear Height Stables Was originally the Training Yard of successful Jockey and Trainer Ron Smyth. From here many, a group winner was sent out and then taken over by Royal Ascot winning Trainer John Akehurst.

Since John's sad passing in 2012 John's Assistant Lee Carter has taken over the training licence here and is backed by some of John's team of staff and some new faces as well. Many of John's owners have stayed with Lee and the team as well as Lee attracting new owners, therefore, enabling us to have a winning team. We were successful and award winning in the 1st Year. The second year has was as exciting with Lowther winning an award at Epsom Owners and Trainers Awards Evening and 2014 got off to a flying start. 2015 saw us winning yet another award, with the team growing in confidence and ability.

A horse crossing with traffic lights provide safe and direct access to Epsom Downs and a couple of minutes walk away are the famous Epsom Training Facilities.

Old Yard, Clear Height Stables provide 40 excellent and well-aired stables. The yard is sectioned into 2 yards for colts, fillies, and isolation boxes. Horses are able to relax and rest in this serene environment.

Surrounded by 5 acres, the setting is peaceful and quiet overlooking Epsom Racecourse and Epsom and Walton Downs.

There is a 4-stall horse-walker and a set of schooling stalls on site together with a sand pit for lunging and rolling and several turn-out pens for both colts and fillies. Grazing paddocks are used daily for horses to have a pick of grass after exercise.

From this superb location, we have direct access to some of the best peat-moss gallops in the country and also several excellent all-weather surfaces including a 5 furlong sand track, a 5 furlong polytrack and a Mactrack 9 furlong gallop, installed by McArdle in January 2007 - this provides one of the best surfaces in the country to gallop horses.

Schooling fences and hurdles are available just 15 minutes walk away from the yard. Starting stalls can also be arranged on the gallops when requested.

Source: Lee Carter Website

Visit Lee Carter Website Here. 


Contact details: Lee Carter Racing Ltd, Old Yard, Clear Height Stables, Derby Stables Road, Epsom, Surrey, KT18 5LB

Tel: 01372 740878
Mob: 07539 354819 


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