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21 Sep 2020

These Flat Racehorse Trainers Have Had A Fine 2020

While there is nothing unusual in John Gosden and Aidan O’Brien leading the British Flat trainers’ championship, their annual battle for the most prize money masks other handlers having fine seasons. The usual suspects sit atop the standings, but even in early September there are eight racehorse trainers with more than £1,000,000 in earnings. Who are the best of the rest outside the big two? Let’s take a look.

Mark Johnston 

If the Flat trainers’ championship was awarded on most wins, then Middleham maestro Mark Johnston would be leading the way. He has sent horses out to victory over 100 times yet again from his Yorkshire Dales stables, including Royal Hunt Cup winner Dark Vision during Royal Ascot. Johnston has also had by far the most runners with over 800 going to racecourses right across Britain. The yard has enjoyed a number of Group 3 success thanks to the likes of Sagaro Stakes scorer Nayef Road, Musidora heroine Rose Of Kildare, Acomb victor Gear Up and March Stakes winner Subjectivist. He also won the Group 2 Dante at York with Thunderous.

Andrew Balding 

A Classic winner came out of Andrew Balding’s Park Hill Stables at Highclere earlier in the season when Kameko stormed to 2000 Guineas glory on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket. The way in which this yard started the campaign was impressive with Berlin Tango also winning at Group 3 level on the all-weather at Kempton Park. Dashing Willoughby and recent recruit Spanish Mission have both gained wins in black type races for Flat stayers too. There was success for Queen Elizabeth II at Royal Ascot and the July Festival with Tactical, while Happy Power took the Supreme Stakes at Goodwood.

Richard Hannon 

While there have been one or two disappointments for Richard Hannon, most notably Threat, he is still having a good campaign. His reputation for getting the most out of juvenile horses is entirely justified after saddling a third winner in four seasons of the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury in Happy Romance. There was a big handicap winner in the Bunbury Cup courtesy of Motakhayyel. Hannon also laned the Group 3 Solario Stakes at Sandown Park with Etonian. As an expert horse racing betting guide will tell you, follow trainer form carefully as they purple patches just like this one is having or Balding enjoyed in early June.

Roger Varian 

The association with major racehorse owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid continues to pay dividends for Newmarket handler Roger Varian. He has saddled Fujaira Prince to two big handicap wins in the famous yellow and black spotted silks, including the Ebor at York. Although the Varian yard sadly lost popular grey Defoe this season, there were also big Royal Ascot wins in the Jersey Stakes for Hamdan Al Makotum’s Molatham and the Wolferton Stakes with Mountain Angel. Expect this stable to continue adding to its 80 winners in the autumn.

Charlie Appleby 

As Godolphin’s retained trainer in Britain, Charlie Appleby always gets sent good horses. While Pinatubo was the great hope for this season, he has only won one of his four starts and that came over in France. Space Blues has been the undoubted success in the stable after making fine progress. Ghaiyyath has also finally become the finished article, notching a Group 1 hat-trick with wins in the Coronation Cup, Eclipse and Juddmonte International. Exciting juvenile Master Of The Seas also look another top prospect for Appleby and backer Sheikh Mohammed.

26 Aug 2020

Virtual Horse Racing – A Good Way to Get Action Between Events

Ten years ago, horse racing enthusiasts may have scoffed at the idea of actually watching and betting on virtual horse races. But now, in 2020, the technology used by online bookies for the digital races is way more advanced than it was back then. Indeed, there is a great deal of realism involved and, with ever-improving graphics, soon it could be difficult to tell the difference between real and virtual sports. For anyone who is yet to check out virtual horse racing, there are a few reasons why it may be a good idea to get into it. 

What Are The Advantages of Virtual Horse Racing? 

One of the main reasons why virtual sports have come into their own in recent times is due to the fact that they don’t face a lot of the same circumstances which can sometimes adversely affect real sports. Natural disasters, terrible weather, or unforeseen accidents can all lead to the postponement of sports in real life, but can never put a stop to digital horses galloping away on a computerised screen. 

Some bettors may even believe virtual horse racing to be a superior option to the real thing in that they can go about their betting in a more scientific manner. No matter how many different variables you take into account in the real world, there is always the chance that the 50/1 outsider who everyone wrote off suddenly gets a new lease of life and takes the racecourse by storm. Bettors can take their tried and tested strategies to many online casino sites like NetBet casino, which take things like form, jockey, and surface into consideration, and use this calculation to make the shrewdest bets possible. 

What Makes Virtual Sports so Realistic? 

The constantly evolving gaming industry has helped developers push the limits when it comes to graphics and gameplay. Sports games are some of the longest-running franchises in the gaming industry, with popular options like FIFA from EA Sports having been in existence for almost thirty years. If you take a look back at the earliest offering, FIFA International Soccer, and compare it with the latest, FIFA 20, the difference is astounding. This progression suggests that it will soon be almost impossible to differentiate between real and virtual sports.



The latest version of sports games on consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are using the Frostbite engine developed by DICE, which has been lauded for being incredibly realistic. With the next generation of consoles right around the corner, these graphics are set to get even better. The gambling industry has not ignored these developments, and operators have realised that they can take advantage of them by offering virtual sports on their sites. 

Even the most hard-core sports enthusiasts are beginning to see some of the benefits of virtual sports. A decade ago, virtual horse racing may have been fairly dull and visually inferior. But now, the enhanced graphics make it extremely immersive. If you haven’t seen virtual horse racing yet, you may be missing out.

25 Aug 2020

How to Bet on the 2020 Preakness Stakes Horse Race: 5 Guides To Take Heed

Betting on horses is probably one of the top sports betting games that every punter wants to take. Unlike typical sports, horse racing is attended by many entries, and the betting games are massive. Bettors and fans can make their wagers diverse so they can make more room to earn more money. 

In line with that, the U.S. Triple Crown Series is underway, where the Derby takes place two weeks from now. The Preakness Stakes will close the show, which happens on October 3, 2020. That said, there are many prizes at stake in betting games and making sure to form the best bets as early as today. 

While it's true that the racehorses' odds and lines are showing in many horse racing platforms today, picking the right entry can be tricky. To make it easier for you, here’s some essential Preakness Stakes betting guide you can contemplate to save every dime from losing. There might be no formula to win consistently, but by applying these tips, you are heading to form a deserving bet most of the time. 

Always Be Selective

The Preakness Stakes betting games have the same categories as other races that make the whole Triple Crown Series. Most of the time, you'll find the same horses saddling up in the field. These horses have been working out so much and come with impressive racing forms throughout their career. 

Always be selective when it comes to your Preakness Stakes betting. It means that you should pick betting categories you know how to play and where your horses can possibly emerge as winners. Seasoned horse racing bettors always pick the simple betting categories rather than risk a more difficult one. 

Consistently Check The History

It refers to a review in the horse's racing form from time to time. The experience of the racehorse is the only key to determining how well they can work inside the Preakness Stakes field. This is a Grade 1 Stakes race that competes in the dirt track and features more than a million-dollar purse prize. 

Do know that the horses do not only run in the Preakness Stakes without experience. Some of them have done well in many stakes races before taking a bid in the Run For The Black Eyed-Susans. Make sure to review them from time to time and check how well they did to know whether they're good bets. 

Consider Derby Favorites And Belmont Accomplishers 

Due to the unique placement of the Preakness Stakes this year, picking your bets might be influenced by the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes. The Belmont Stakes settled last June 6, 2020. Review the horses who did well in this racing game and consider betting them for the Preakness Stakes. Moreover, the Kentucky Derby will commence a few weeks from now, and those who end the race well are expected to join the Preakness Stakes. Moreover, if Tiz the Law, the Belmont winner, can end up victorious in the Derby, he'll probably get the best odds in the Preakness Stakes race, so don't hesitate to bet for him. 

Compare Rest Time And Layoffs 

Rest time and layoffs can affect how the racehorse will perform inside the racecourse. It has both advantages and disadvantages. But, when it comes to the Triple Crown races, it is a continuous tournament in three segments. Colts may have their rest times, but they should not take a long lay off. 

If the colts have rested for so long, their groove is affected and might not be able to accomplish the racing well. Some trainers send the colt to training after the competition or a week before a new racing starts. It is to make sure that the colts can maintain their hype no matter what racing games they are running for. 

Evaluate The Jockeys And Trainer 

No matter how tough the horse looks, he won't be able to fulfil his goal to reach the finish line without a jockey and a trainer. The trainer spends all the time handicapping the horse and bringing out the best in him. He also develops the different speed variation that is needed to win the racing show. 

On the other hand, the jockeys also are a huge contributor to the colt's success. They are the ones who control the horse's speed inside the track. Besides, they should build a great connection with the racehorse so they both can reach the finish line impressively.  

Takeaway 

The Preakness Stakes is going to be more exciting as it settles in October. Knowing that it is the last series of the Triple Crown, the fans and bettors can anticipate only the best horses at Pimlico racecourse. If you are one of the bettors who want to gamble in the 145th running of the Black-Eyed Susans, take note of the betting guides above to earn substantially.

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24 Aug 2020

Three National Hunt Trainers Who Will be Hoping For Better Luck Over the Jumps This Season

Sheena West horse trainer
With the start of 2020-21 National Hunt season creeping ever closer, jumps trainers are slowly beginning to ramp up their preparations for the autumn. Nicky Henderson landed his sixth trainer's championship last year, and many of the usual suspects also enjoyed fruitful campaigns, however, there were also a number of handlers who were far less successful, and were forced to endure fallow periods. We have picked out three trainers who have had an unexpected blip but are likely to bounce back in the coming months. 

Micky Hammond 

Although he is officially ranked as a dual-purpose handler, the Yorkshire-based trainer is primarily famed for his hurdlers. Although the season began positively with Cornerstone Lad's victory in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle, the talented six-year-old wasn't able to reproduce that effort in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham back in March and looks set to go novice chasing this year instead. 
The Middleham trainer enjoyed just a 10% success rate last season, with 31 of his 304 representatives landing the spoils, his lowest total since 2016. He has yet to get off the mark this season, although as of August 22nd, he's only sent out 19 runners. 

Although he remains one of the savviest operators in the north of England, Hammond will be desperately hoping to improve upon his underwhelming numbers last season, and although he's enjoyed success on the flat with Frankelio, he'll hoping for much better luck over the larger obstacles this winter.  

Sheena West  (pictured)

Although Sheena West's operation is relatively low-key, and the East Sussex-based trainer isn't a name that you would expect to feature prominently on the today's horse racing results at Paddy Power page, the dual-purpose handler does have a decent record with hurdlers at tracks such as Plumpton and Fontwell. She regularly teams up with jockey Marc Goldstein and tends to average an annual strike-rate of around 11%.  However, despite sending out 49 runners last season, she managed just three winners. With a lowly 6% success rate last season, West will be hoping for better fortunes this time around, and with plenty of opportunities on the south coast throughout the winter months, she will be expected to bounce back from her uncharacteristically disappointing spell.  

Ben Case 

Although the 2018-19 campaign ended on a high for Banbury-based trainer with Croco Bay's success in the Grand Annual, the last twelve months haven't been particularly profitable for punters who have chosen to follow Ben Case's horses. Although he sent out fewer runners last season, the handler's strike-rate dipped to just 9%.  

However, the current campaign has started well for the Oxfordshire yard, with talented eight-year-old Kings Temptation recording back-to-back wins this summer. He has now won three of his last four appearances over fences, and although it's still early days, it has helped push his trainer's strike-rate out to 25%. 
Whilst the in-form gelding's superb run is unlikely to be sustained throughout the winter months, the trainer also has a number of other interesting recruits, including Kilbrew Boy, whose recent third over the three miles at Kempton was hugely promising, and points towards a bright future in staying contests. 

Although every professional will have peaks and troughs during the course of their lifetime, it appears to be nothing more than an anomaly in these experienced handlers otherwise hugely successful careers. They will be expected to immediately bounce back from a disappointing twelve months, and a huge upturn in form for this trio of talented trainers during the winter months looks extremely likely. 

21 Aug 2020

Your guide to the Ebor Festival

They call it the ‘Ascot of the North’, and York Racecourse opens its doors for the famous four-day Ebor Festival later this month. Of course, as racing has done since its restart, the Festival will take place behind closed doors, but is set to commence on Wednesday 19th August. There’s a bumper programme of seven races each day this year, and while Betting on horse racing is back, it’s difficult to predict who will fare best. But read on as we guide you through the Ebor Festival, focusing on the feature races of each day. 

Day 1: Juddmonte International 

The highlight of the opening day is the Juddmonte International Stakes, which is a Group 1 race and part of the British Champions Series. It’s York’s richest race of the season and this year, will be the fourth race on opening day – the only Group 1 race run that day. Run over 1 mile and 2 furlongs, the race is open to horses aged three years and above, and last year’s showing was won by Aidan O’Brien’s Japan, ridden by Ryan Moore. This year, the colt can be found at a price of 7/1 to retain the International Stakes, with Ghaiyyath the early favourite, having recently won the Eclipse at Sandown. 

Day 2: Ladies’ Day 

Day two is often referred to as Ladies’ Day, but it’s also named after another Group 1 race, and a further stage of the British Champions Series. The Yorkshire Oaks is strictly limited to fillies and mares, aged three years or older, and is run over a distance of 1 mile and 3 furlongs. Again, it’s the only Group 1 race of the day, and the prize money for this year stands at £250,000. More often than not, horses that raced in the Oaks (at Epsom) will feature at York and Enable was the last filly to complete the Oaks double in 2017. This year’s favourite is Love, another from O’Brien’s yard and since the season resumed, the filly has won both the 1,000 Guineas and the Epsom Oaks – so is well on her way to a potential memorable Oaks double. 

Day 3: Coolmoor Nunthorpe 

The third and final Group 1 race of the Ebor Festival is run on day three, and once again is a British Champions Series race. The Nunthorpe Stakes is the only Group 1 race in the UK that is open to horses aged two years and above – and is the fifth of seven races in the Series, that falls within the sprint category. The distance is 5 furlongs. Last year’s winner Battaash is the early favourite once more and has had a bright start since racing restarted – with two wins in his last two starts, in the King’s Stand Stakes and the King George Stakes (marking a fourth successive victory at Goodwood). 

Day 4: Ebor Handicap 

The Ebor Handicap is the highlight race on the final day of the Ebor Festival, and is a race steeped in history, having been inaugurated in 1843. It’s run over a distance of 1 mile and 5 furlongs and is open to horses aged four years and older. The prize money was increased to £1m last year, making it the richest handicap race in Europe. However, this year, it’s likely that purse strings have been tied. At this early stage, the joint-favourites are the British-bred Hamish, who has raced just once this season, and Nickajack Cave, who has won his last two outings at Leopardstown.

20 Aug 2020

Have you been to Royal Ascot?

Now there is a question. 

I'm sure many racegoers are saying: ''Yes.'' While others are saying: ''No, thank you very much.''

Generally, I don't travel too far afield to have a day at the races and that could well be a mistake. 

When you consider the idiosyncratic racecourses we have in the United Kingdom, from quaint little racecourses such a Cartmel to the colossal Aintree which holds the Grand National, there truly is something for everyone. 

I would love to travel to a few seaside racecourses. I've been to Great Yarmouth, but what about Musselburgh, Redcar, Bath, Brighton? I'm sure there are many more but my lack of geography is letting me down. It would be great to visit all 59 (or 60 racecourses, I can't quite remember) and enjoy the sights and sounds of each. From one location to the next and hearing a multitude of accents from southern to the extreme of the north. 

We are blessed with so many wonderful racecourses rather than so many countries whose tracks are basically the same with little character to make them stand out from the crowd. 

In truth, I haven't frequented many racecourses at all. Here's my shortlist: Great Yarmouth, Fakenham,  Kempton (turf), Huntingdon, Leicester...

So have I been to Royal Ascot? 

I'm pretty sure I have been a couple of times but many years ago. 

The good thing is that you can get some decent betting offers for royal ascot. The worst thing is going and it hammers down with rain all day long. That's what happened to me sometime back in the 1990s and it put me off going back. It literally didn't stop raining for the duration and the opportunity to get under cover, such as the volume of racegoers, was impossible and I was sodden in about half an hour. 

We traveled from my Fenland home in March to Berkshire by coach. Never again. I detest going anywhere and being at the mercy of the last person who wants to get home as there is always someone who wants to stop at a pub or two on the return journey. 

I know this isn't selling Royal Ascot but on this occasion, it was a day where staying at home was the answer to the question. 

On a beautiful summer's day, there is no better place to be with top-class horse racing and ladies dressed up to the nines. 

I think on that particularly wet day even her majesty the Queen didn't bother with the traditional procession with horse and carriage down the course. 

It would be a good idea to stay a night or two at a hotel so you can enjoy the spectacle without having a very long day on the road.  

If you love to dress up and want pomp and ceremony then Royal Ascot is the place to be. There is definitely a lot to be said for enjoying Royal Ascot at least once in your life and making hay while the sun shines. 

I would definitely check out the weather report before traveling. 

Personally, I would prefer a day at Great Yarmouth. 

But each to their own.