13 Jun 2019

The Female Irish Horse Racing Superstar

The Female Irish Horse Racing Superstar
Racheal Blackmore, aged just twenty-nine has achieved a lot as a female jockey and having ridden some ninety winners, she certainly makes it look easy, but it is anything but. BlackBook.com.au is looking into her as a person. 

Born in Co Tipperary in a town called Killenaule, she has taken the horse racing world by storm, not only winning ninety plus races but also picking up a win earlier this year at the historic Cheltenham Festival, back in March. She might have ended the race tired and splattered with mud, much like her horse for that race ‘A Plus Tard’ but she knows it was something that every jockey dreams about. 

She turned professional back in 2015. The first time that a woman has done so since Maria Cullen did back in the eighties. Since then she has been breaking the mould with historic wins at every turn. She even managed a win at the Conditional Riders Championship in 2017, making her the first women ever to do so. She has also followed that up by setting a single-season record for most wins in one season, which placed her as a champion jockey in the National Hunt season, where she finished second only to Paul Townend. 

When she is not racing, she has become a bit of a fashion model as a sports brand ambassador for Kildare Village and has recently done a photoshoot for them at the famous Curragh Racecourse in Co Kildare. The iconic racecourse is boasting of having just finished a €17M refurbishment to bring its facilities right up to date, with some of the best features in the world — something to mirror the world-class racing that takes place at the track. 

Even while modelling, she is very calm and collected and in control of what she wants to do. An example of this came up when the photographer on the shoot noticed that she was nursing an injury and asked her about it, only for her to respond by saying “[its] just a broken nose, collarbone and wrist – not much” Only someone with great awareness and composure could answer with such an air of nonchalance. She is aware of what can happen while riding though and went on to say “I don’t think about injury. If you start thinking about what could go wrong, it is not the job for you,” 

She knows that the sport can be dangerous for jockeys and horses alike. At the Cheltenham Gold Cup this year, she knows that seven horses lost their lives, and she is also aware of fellow jockeys that have suffered extensive injuries, she mentions the former Gold Cup Winner Robbie McNamara. He now uses a wheelchair to get around after having had an accident on the track. She also talks about fellow jockey Joseph O’Brien, of whom, she says “He is now training and says he gets more enjoyment from training than riding, and that tells you something about working day to day. The jockey just rocks up for the glory of the day a lot of the time.”

12 Jun 2019

Archie Watson's Royal Ascot Two Year Olds in 2019

Archie Watson shook off his rookie status faster than a horse up the gallops. In truth, he wasn't wet behind the ears. Fair enough, you need a winner to train a winner. But he's made a real impact since taking charge of Saxon Gate, Upper Lambourn. 

I saw a quote on Twitter which went like this: ''Archie Watson is making a name for just training two-year-old winners.''

I don't like being critical of other's comments, but I thought it was a ridiculous statement. I've never trained a horse, but I know from being involved within horse racing for many years that it is incredibly difficult to train one winner. Take a look at your average horse trainer and you will find the statistics tell the story. Even accomplished trainers have seasons where the sweet taste of success turns distinctly sour. 

Anyway, each to their own. 

Archie Watson has shown his worth as a trainer of two-year-old colts, geldings and fillies. This year's Flat turf season 2019 has seen a string of talents flying the flag for owners big and small. 

Here's a quick rundown of his best two-year-olds this season. You will notice they are all winners. 

Lady Kermit
Electric Ladyland 
War Storm 
Guildsman (entered for Coventry Stakes)

All won on debut bar War Storm, who put that blip to rights with a tidy victory on his second start at York. 

With Royal Ascot 2019 starting on Tuesday 18th June, it will be intriguing to see which juveniles go where (i.e which race)

A list of the two-year-old races at Royal Ascot 2019

  • Coventry Stakes (Group 2) 
  • Windsor Castle Stakes Listed Race 
  • Queen Mary Stakes (Group 2) 
  • Norfolk Stakes (Group 2) 
  • Albany Stakes Listed Race 
  • Chesham Stakes Listed Race 

Good luck to Saxon Lodge Stables. 

30 May 2019

Racing Events from Around the World to Follow in the Digital Age

Racing Events from Around the World to Follow in the Digital Age
Summer is here, and in years gone by, that meant something of a lull in the racing and betting season. Sure, there are still some high-profile flat races on the horizon like the Epsom Derby and Royal Ascot, but the next National Hunt season seems an eternity away.

However, in the digital age, the world of sport has become a smaller place. For those who like betting on the football, for example, the end of the European season more or less coincides with the start of Major League Soccer in the USA, and online bookmakers provide odds and different betting options on games regardless of the league or the country where the sporting action is taking place. The bookies have become more international in nature, assessing the odds and form of different teams in different leagues across the globe to meet the requirements of worldwide sports betting customer base. 

The same applies to the world or racing. Global networking deals along with online streaming mean that distance is no object, and similarly, bookmakers provide a range of odds and even some betting tips for meetings across the world. Here are some racing events that are big news in their home countries and are well worth a look, and indeed a bet, over the remainder of 2019. 

Baden Baden Spring Festival

The spa town of Baden Baden is one of the most popular tourist locations in Germany. Its casinos have always made it popular with gamblers – this is the place where Dostoyevsky literally lost his shirt. It is also the venue for the country’s biggest horse racing events, and its racecourse is known as the “Royal Ascot of Germany.” The Spring Festival will take place over six days, starting on 29 May. There is more than a touch of the Cheltenham feel to the event, with each day having very different themes. 

The Belmont Stakes 

Think of American horse racing and you will probably think first of the “blink and you miss it” Kentucky Derby. For those more accustomed to horse racing in the UK and Ireland, the Belmont Stakes seems slightly less frantic, as it is run over a distance of 12 furlongs. Last year marked the event’s 150th anniversary, and Justify made it a year to remember, by adding victory here to wins in the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, thereby winning the American Triple Crown

The Melbourne Cup 

The Australians love their horse racing, and there are several major meetings throughout the year. The biggest event of them all, however, is the Melbourne Cup, held every year at Flemington racecourse. With a history going back more than 150 years, it is an event that is steeped in tradition, and the list of winners includes legends such as Phar Lap, Think Big and Makybe Diva. This year’s race will take place on 05 November. 

The Hong Kong Cup 

This might not have the long history of some events – the first Hong Kong Cup took place in 1988 – but it is nevertheless one of the most prestigious Group 1 races on the international calendar. It is open to entrants from around the world, and its HK$25 million purse (about £2.5 million) is the highest of any 2,000-metre race in the world. This year, it will take place on Sunday 08 December.

27 May 2019

Go Horse Racing in Antigua...

Think of  a racecourse... 

Any racecourse! 

I know what you are thinking - there are literally thousands across the globe. Where would you go racing?

I guess most people - if given a choice - would plump for the high fashion of Royal Ascot with its pomp and ceremony, top hats and tails [mourning suits] and ladies dressed up to the nines. What more could any lady ask than high heels, champagne, and winner or two? 

If you are searching for something spectacular then look no further than St Moritz in Switzerland. Forget the green grass of home, this is called White Turf. Racing takes place in an alpine setting where horses, many sent from the United Kingdom, race on the frozen lake St. Moritz which is covered with snow. Make no mistake it's cold but a unique, exclusive and top-class race meeting. It's a tradition which dates back to 1906. If you fancy a winter flutter then I suggest St Moritz every February. 

Perhaps you want somewhere a bit closer to home. You love the beach. OK!!!! So you want to go to a horse racing meeting on the beach? Surprisingly, I've got just the place. Did you know that Laytown racecourse is unique as it is the only Irish and English race event to be run on a beach under the rules of the Turf Club? This famous meeting takes place in County Meath, Ireland. It was first raced in 1868.

Thinking about racecourses, I can't help but wonder if there is an exotic location with a racecourse - but somewhere you wouldn't really imagine racing taking place. I've found just the location.

We've ventured to Royal Ascot, St Moritz & Laytown. But let's go further afield, far away from Europe. A holiday destination. It lies between the Caribean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Any guesses? Leeward Island. Getting warmer.  Think Christopher Columbus. It's Antigua and Barbuda. Take a look here to enjoy the best that Antigua has to offer holidaymakers.


Antigua horse racing. It's a beautiful holiday destination famous for its luxury resorts. If you love horse racing then you are unlikely to see anything like Cassada Gardens Horse Racetrack. It is situated next to Mount Pleasant and located in Saint George, Antigua and Barbuda. Take a look at this video from the Antigua Turf Club. It's far from the splendour of the luxury resorts but it's racing.     

14 May 2019

Top of the Search Engines

horse trainer
Horse Trainer Directory is a free resource featuring a comprehensive list of Horse Trainer Websites, Blogs, Twitter & 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. You will not find this information anywhere else. 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.

Join the community spirit by exchanging links to your equine-related websites for free. Help support your favourite charities by telling us about their work, appeals & successes promoting racing welfare.  In addition, we have some wonderful deals for advertisers from a cool full page to a tiny chilled-out text link.               

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. 


29 Apr 2019

Is Gene Doping a Threat to Horse Racing?

While they are keen to reassure us that they do not consider gene doping to be a current issue, it seems that the British Horseracing Authority has significant concerns to the tune of £1m which it has added to an international pot to ensure that the practice does not find its way into the sport as bonusbets.com reports. 

Gene doping is basically the term used to cover the science of gene manipulation for the sole purpose of enhancing performance. Obviously breeders have been using the practices of natural selection for years and explicitly breeding their best examples of racing horses to create new thoroughbred lines that are even better, but until now actually manipulating genes in a lab is something we have not seen.

Less than a decade ago the idea was touted as future development, and now the know-how exists to make it a reality. Keen to keep the industry free from what would essentially be cheating there is an international team working on staying ahead of the potential threat. As they are keen to reinforce there is no danger right now, but if it were to find its way into the sport the consequences could be disastrous, and this is not something the industry wants and has global commitment to prevent.

The money will be used for various things including research as the Chief Regulatory Officers, Brant Dunshea explains. “Late last year we were in discussion with our laboratories, who said that we need to be part of international collaboration on gene doping to ensure that we are not globally duplicating work. Across six or seven countries, we are all working together to do various pieces of the jigsaw puzzle on gene doping. There’s no specific evidence that we’re aware of in relation to there being genetic manipulation that’s happening, but we haven’t done the research yet to be able to develop the techniques to be able to monitor it, so that’s what this research is all about.” 

This initiative will offer reassurance to trainers and breeders, the majority of whom would not want to see the sport polluted in this way. David Sykes, the British Horseracing Authority’s director of equine health and welfare explained how technology could undermine the competition and create issues. “This is new technology that is unravelling all the time. None of us here think that there has probably been a previous incidence of it, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be looking forward into the next five or 10 years and at least being able to identify if it is going to occur. For example, you could send in the material which would alter the EPO [erythropoietin] receptor site, to allow an animal to produce increased levels of EPO naturally [and increase the blood’s oxygen-carrying capacity]. That could be expanded to anything else. For example, you could target muscle mass and increasing it, or at some point talk about circulatory systems, increasing blood supply or even cardiac muscle size by genetically altering the DNA sequence.”