Industry Profile: RIP Trainer Alec Head

Frankie Dettori: Enable will have to bring her A-game to beat MagicalAlec Head, one of the key figures in French racing for more than 70 years, has died at the age of 97.

A hugely successful trainer with four wins in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe to his name, Head was also an influential owner and breeder, while his children Freddy and Criquette and his grandson Christopher have continued one of the most remarkable dynasties anywhere in the racing world.

In the post-war era Head dominated the French training ranks alongside Francois Mathet and enjoyed huge success in Britain and Ireland, with Lavandin’s victory in the 1956 Derby the highlight…

In 2013 his homebred Treve won the Prix de Diane, the Prix Vermeille and the Arc for Criquette, the last-named success being repeated 12 months later….

More on the passing of Alec Head from The Racing Post

Breeders’ Cup Watch: A New Star in the Making in Homeless Songs

Homeless Songs lit up the Curragh on Sunday with a scintillating performance in the 1000 Guineas and is now just about the most exciting Flat horse in training. The way she travelled and quickened clear against a high quality field at the Curragh marks her out as potentially one of the best milers we have seen in years. She looks to possess the same star qualities as her father Frankel and I can’t wait to see what she can achieve over the course of the season.

She had shown a glimpse of her electric acceleration when beating Agartha in a Trial race over seven furlongs at Leopardstown at the beginning of April but her performance at the Curragh was truly out of the ordinary. All the more extraordinary when you take into account the poor form of her stable coming into the race. Since Homeless Songs won at Leopardstown on April 2nd Dermot Weld had trained just one winner – Ezine, a short head winner of a maiden race at Naas at odds of 4/6 favourite – from 69 runners in almost two months.

Weld is a past master at nurturing high-class talent and his patience with Homeless Songs certainly reaped due reward with her demolition job at the Curragh, but there is a real sense that she is only going to improve with racing. The veteran trainer turns 74 in a couple of months and this Moyglare Stud filly could well roll back the years to the halcyon days of Vintage Crop, Media Puzzle, Grey Swallow, Go And Go and Vinnie Roe.

The Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot is set to be the next assignment for Homeless Songs where she could meet last season’s Champion 2-y-o filly Inspiral and the English 1000 Guineas winner Cachet in an exciting clash. If she turns up in the same form she was in on Sunday they won’t see which way she went…

Watch Homeless Songs demolish the field, along with a post-race interview with trainer Dermot Weld.

This Hall of Fame Jockey Wanted to End It All. His Story

…It is what follows next from the man who spent three seasons riding some of the best racehorses in the world for trainer Aidan O’Brien that stops you in your tracks.

Eighteen months after he was on the top of the racing world when winning the Derby on John Oxx-trained Sinndar and 13 months after winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe on the same horse, the future five-time champion jockey in Ireland was at such a low ebb because of his losing battle with drink that he stood on a top-floor balcony of a Dubai apartment block ready to throw himself off.

Johnny Murtagh: Creating Belief

Johnny Murtagh has opened up on his a battle with alcoholism that almost cost him his life

A desperate phone call to US trainer John Sadler, who Murtagh was in town to ride for, rescued him from the precipice until his family could arrive to look after him. Murtagh, 51, says: ‘I looked over… that’s how close I was. It scares me to think back now. It is still gut-wrenching when you think about how close it was.

‘The signs were probably there. Drinking a bottle of wine at night on your own with all those bad thoughts in your head.

Johnny Murtagh: Creating Belief is sponsored by Coral and broadcast on Thursday May 5 at 9pm on ITV4 and Tuesday May 10 at 11pm on ITV.

For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch. See www.samaritans.org for details.

The Queen Calls These Two the Most and It’s About Horse Racing

Queen Elizabeth's Horse Wins Race — and Her Racing Manager Says She'll Be Watching on TVHer royal phone is packed with “anti-hacker encryption” which shows the importance of maintaining a secret channel for the monarch.

Two people – including one of her children – the monarch reportedly contacts the most with her phone may come as a surprise.

Royal expert Jonathan Sacerdoti said the Queen calls her daughter Princess Anne and her racing manager John Warren the most.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Not Down Under in Australia

Arrowfield Group’s John Messara says engagement with Australian horse racing has “grown” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think the fact that we’ve been able to get through COVID and survive during that COVID period,” Mr Messara said.

“The engagement has, I suppose, grown as people have been stuck at home and not able to do other things.

“Racing has continued, and people have been drawn to it … And the pie is growing.”

Check out the 6-minute video interview with Messara and learn about the strength of the Australian sales market where 94% of the horses entered sold.

The Story of High-profile Racehorse Owner Damion Flower

How Horse Racing Enthusiasts Can Plan Ahead for a Future Trip to New ZealandWhile he was secretly importing cocaine, Racing New South Wales blocked high-profile racehorse owner Damion Flower from working as one of the lowliest positions in racing — a stablehand — because of questions regarding his character.

Then, less than four years later and as rumours swirled about the source of Flower’s wealth, the NSW horseracing operator and regulator accepted his promise of $1.8 million to help create one of the world’s richest horse races, The Everest, in 2017

Flower spent the better part of 20 years in the industry, where he described himself as a property developer or professional gambler and thoroughbred owner, if people were brave enough to ask.

“I’d heard rumours about him and I remember meeting him once at Randwick racecourse, so I asked him what he did. He just talked around the question,” said a racing industry figure who spoke on condition of anonymity given fears for their safety.

“Then I asked again and he didn’t respond. He just stared at me, gave me this really long, hard stare, which made it clear to me that I shouldn’t ask a third time.”

More on this crazy story down under

 

Bill Vlahos and the Massive Horse Racing Ponzi Scheme

Dazzled by the promise of plum winnings on the racetrack because of a secret mathematical formula, the investors that Bill Vlahos swindled named their syndicates accordingly — Richy Rich, Winners Circle, Oceans 18.

And they opened their bank accounts to him, too, pouring hard-earned savings into a club that he named “The Edge” because it would give participants a secret advantage on other punters.

The lure was strong.

One man transferred $1.2 million directly into the racing identity’s personal bank account, convinced that his investment would generate life-changing cash and on paper, that’s how things appeared.

But in reality, Vlahos was actually the principal of a preposterous Ponzi scheme that hustled investors out of $17,520,224… more about this Aussie man and his horse racing ponzi scheme

The Top 10 Betting Apps in the U.K.

Lots of UK sports fans now prefer to use a mobile device to bet on the big game of the day. Android sports betting apps are therefore getting more and more popular in the UK. Most of the top sports betting sites now offer an Android sports betting app.

Here are our picks for the top 10 Android sports betting apps in the UK right now:

Bet365

Arguably the largest sports betting site in the UK, Bet365 also offers a top Android app. Features like Cash Out, Auto Cash Out and Partial Cash Out are all available to use.

Bet365’s market-leading odds and outstanding betting bonuses can also be found here. Android users can benefit from Match Live Alerts to stay up to date with the latest action on the app too.

With streaming of UK and Irish horse racing also included, the Bet365 Android app is a must.

Betfair

Rivaling Bet365 to be named the best Android app in the UK is Betfair, which offers a total of over 100,000 live events each year to ensure it is an absolute mecca for in-play betting.

Betfair users who grab the Android app can also look forward to top promotions including Beat The Drop, while keeping up with the latest scores is a cinch thanks to push notifications.

Betfred

Among the UK’s most established betting brands is Betfred, which has…

Grand National 2022 antepost odds: Galvin leads the way; Cloudy Glen looks strong

Cloudy Glen had an impressive win at the Ladbrokes Trophy and has now entered the Grand National 2022 antepost betting market with a bang. The race horse defied the odds of 33/1 to win at Newbury on Saturday, December 4. Cloudy Glen’s trainer Venetia Williams previously saddled up Aintree winner Mon Mome in 2009. Mon Mome started the race at 100/1 odds. There are hopes that Williams will be able to do the same with Cloudy Glen.

Minella Times won the Grand National last season and is one of the favorites to win the race this time around. Horse racing fans are already anticipating the Grand National and a big 2022 horse racing calendar. Bettors can visit https://horse-betting.pro/ to get the latest bet bonuses and information on horse race betting before taking a punt on the Grand National and other events.

Steeplechase scene black whiteWho are the Grand National 2022 favorites?

While Minella Times is considered one of the favorites to win the Grand National 2022, Galvin and Run Wild Fred are currently the odds leaders to romp to victory at Aintree. Both horses, Galvin and Run Wild Fred, are at the antepost betting odds of 16/1.

Galvin is trained by famed horse racing trainer Gordon Elliott. In October, Galvin got back to winning ways on the racetrack with a victory at the Irish Daily Star Chase. The seven-year-old has strengthened his claims to the Grand National 2022 trophy by finishing second in the Grade 1 Champion Chase at Down Royal.

Galvin’s win at Down Royal followed on from the seven-year-old’s fantastic first-place win in a Grade 3 race at Punchestown.

“He might be more a Grand National horse,” Elliott said after the Down Royal event. “He knows how to win and he’s just a great horse to have.”

Elliott’s Mount Ida is another horse that will be let loose at Aintree. Mount Ida impressed onlookers at Clonmel recently. Run Wild Fred became co-favorite to win the Grand National 2022 after a victory in November’s Troytown Handicap Chase at Navan.

When is the Grand National 2022?

The Grand National 2022 is scheduled for Saturday, April 9. The race will be the crowning glory of the three-day Grand National Festival held at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool. The festival is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 7.

The Grand National is run over 4 miles and 2.5 furlough. The Aintree race is one of the most prestigious in the world. In 2020, the Grand National’s prize purse was £750,000. Irish horses have dominated the Grand National in recent seasons by winning four of the last five meetings.

Two of those wins came courtesy of the exploits of the incredible Tiger Roll. There has been no word thus far on whether Tiger Roll will run once more in the Grand National in 2022.

In 2021, jockey Rachael Blackmore made history as the first female jockey to win the legendary Grand National. Prior to winning the Grand National, Blackmore was named the Cheltenham Festival’s top jockey. Blackmore’s accomplishment has led to her being nominated for the BBC’s World Sports Star of the Year award for 2021.

Premier French Race for Two-year-olds – G1 Critérium de Saint-Cloud

Critérium de Saint-Cloud

The Critérium de Saint-Cloud is a Group One thoroughbred race for two-year-olds, staged at Saint-Cloud over 2000m. The race is the only Group One event at this distance for juveniles in Europe.

Established in 1901, the event was originally run in September over 1400m, before switching to the current journey five seasons later. The race was given Group Two status in 1971 before being promoted to the top tier in 1987. In recent years the most successful winner of the race is Waldgeist (Galileo) – winning by one length in 2016 – a first of four Group One victories. Subsequently he won the G1 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (2400m) defeating Enable (Nathaniel) in 2019. Today, he stands at Ballylinch Stud in Ireland for a fee of €17,500.

Horse by Horse Analysis

Unconquerable
Unconquerable has plenty of experience and seemed to enjoy the step up in trip to 2000m when second in the G3 Zetland Stakes at Newmarket (UK). He is yet to win at Group level but the Irish-trained colt is capable of featuring in the closing stages.

Dreamflight
The well-bred Frankel colt out of a Dansili mare was off the mark on his third outing in the G3 Prix Thomas Byron Jockey Club de Turquie (1600m). He made all the running in gutsy style, fending off a couple of well-touted rivals by a short neck. André Fabre raises him in class and distance and is the pick of the home team against multiple overseas challengers.

Stone Age
Yet to win in four starts but proving progressive is Stone Age who ran sixth in the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (1400m) on Arc weekend at Longchamp earlier this month. Aidan O’ Brien has plenty of runners, with this Galileo colt an imposing type who may appreciate this extra journey as his dam was a half-sister to G1 Prix de Diane (2100m) winner Bright Sky. He deserves respect.

Garachico
The Carlos Laffon-Parias-trained youngster ran out a comfortable maiden winner at Evreux prior to a fair fourth in a Chantilly Group Three over 1800m. He needs to take a step forward with two-and-a-quarter lengths to find over the winner that day, El Bodegon.

Goldspur
The Godolphin-owned Goldspur is unbeaten in both starts including a determined display to put his head in front on the line at Group Three level over this distance at Newmarket. His dam was a Group Two winner who reached the frame in the G1 Prix Vermeille (2400m). This unexposed contender could easily make the jump to this level for his top trainer and rates the one to beat.

Dillian
Michael Bell’s Camelot colt was off the mark in decisive fashion at Pontefract (UK) over this distance on soft ground after a promising debut at Newmarket. He finished behind a subsequent Group Three winner, with the form working out exceptionally well. The youngster will have no trouble if conditions deteriorate and is a fascinating contender.

El Bodegon
The James Ferguson-trained El Bodegon has made an impressive start to his career with two successes, notably when scoring by one-and-a-quarter lengths in the G3 Prix de Conde (1800m) at Chantilly last month. He appreciated the extra distance and soft ground on that occasion. El Bodegan is a brother to Best Solution (Kodiac), who finished runner-up to Waldgeist attempting this contest in 2016 and aims to go one better.

Buckaroo
The thrice-raced Joseph O’Brien contender was a luckless sixth in the G2 Champion Juvenile Stakes (1600m) at Leopardstown (IRE) on third career run. He would need to improve on the bare form of his first couple of starts but is open to progress over this increased journey.

Martel
The Wertheimer Brothers owned Frankel colt made it two from two in a Class Two conditions event at this track over 1600m. There is scope for further progress stepping up to this new trip for André Fabre and holds strong claims. sion will be made next week but that is the plan and most likely it will be the G1 Breeders Cup Turf (2400m).