Archives for December 31, 2018

A History of England’s most prestigious horse racing event

Cheltenham Festival

The most definitive race meeting of the National Hunt Season is swiftly approaching, and punters will be eagerly anticipating landing some big winners at Cheltenham Festival. The four-day event is the most prestigious event in the British racing calendar, with some of the biggest prizes up for grabs and some of the finest horses in the business competing for a place in the record books. Here, we take a look back at the history of the world famous event and explore the roots of Cheltenham Festival.

The early days: According to cheltenhamfestival.net, the Festival was originally known as the National Hunt Meeting and was staged at Market Harborough in 1860. It wasn’t until 1911 that Cheltenham became the permanent fixture for the National Hunt Meeting, Prestbury Park being the exact location.

The famous track had held the festival in 1904 and 1905, in fact, but it took a further six years to become established as the home of the National Hunt Meeting. From 1911, the event was known as Cheltenham Festival and has remained that way to this very day, with much owing to Fredrick Cathcart. Cathcart was the Clerk of the Course and Chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse until his death in 1934, with much of his life’s work being based around making Cheltenham what it is today and establishing the Gloucestershire town as the headquarters for National Hunt racing.

 

Beloved Individuals that the horse racing industry lost in 2018

John Asher, who was an ambassador for the Kentucky Derby and the face and voice of Churchill Downs, died at the age of 62 on Aug. 27.

Asher died of a heart attack while vacationing in Orlando with his family. Asher was an award-winning journalist and publicist for over 30 years. He joined Churchill Downs in 1997 and served as vice president of racing communications since 1999. As a radio journalist, Asher earned five Eclipse Awards for “outstanding national radio coverage of thoroughbred racing.” Asher was also known for his community service outreach and volunteerism. He was well known, well respected and will …

Boom Time for California Horse Racing

Santa Anita Park’s 2018-19 Winter Meeting got off to a record-breaking start on Wednesday, as the track posted an all-sources pari-mutuel handle of $20,491,016, a 19 percent increase over a year ago and an all-time opening day record.

Wednesday’s opening day crowd of 41,373 contributed to an on-track handle of $3,463,535, a five percent increase over last year’s $3.3 million. On-track attendance was up year to year three percent.

In measuring the significance of Wednesday’s numbers, the last time Santa Anita opened on a Wednesday was 2012, when all-sources handle was $13.4 million, making yesterday’s handle of $20.4 million a whopping 52 percent increase. On track attendance on Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 was 27,273, making yesterday’s 41,373 a 52 percent increase.