How Sol Kumin Turned A Labour Of Love Into The World’s Leading Horse Racing Business

Is Sol Kumin the ultimate “hobby-preneur”? Amid a 20-year career on Wall Street, including the launch of his own hedge fund business, Kumin only became interested in horse racing in 2014 when a friend persuaded him to take a stake in a thoroughbred. Six years later, the financier has built one of the world’s most successful racing stables, with a string of winners of prestigious races to his name.

“The racing has turned into a more commercial endeavour but it certainly didn’t start out that way,” reflects Kumin, who confesses he quickly got “hooked” following his initial foray into the sport. “Initially, it was a bit of a journey to understanding there was so much more to this sport; we bought more horses, did some research on how to do things a little differently, and over time it became a business.”

Make It a Trio. European Racehorse Stradivarius Wins Gold Cup at Royal Ascot Again

Stradivarius was on hand to produce a breathtaking performance to carve a niche for itself as the third horse to win three successive Gold Cups at Royal Ascot.

Frankie Dettori took his time on the ground which had been softened by rain and initially thought to be unfavorable for John Gosden’s exceptional superstar but eventually closed in on the leader and eventual runner-up Nayef Road. After successfully closing in, he went on to win by a whopping 10 lengths.

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There were doubts if he would be successful with the hat-trick of triumphs due to the downpour that continued till it was almost time for the race. However, Stradivarius, in black and yellow colors was bent on emerging victoriously.

The six-year-old who was released as the 4-5 favorite made the odds appear seemingly generous as he initially settled behind Nayef Road and Withhold before coasting into a winning position as Dettori brimmed with confidence.

Regardless, the odds proved to be well-placed as Dettori was able to applaud the achievement of passing the post in an isolated manner before coming up with his trademark flying dismount as he returned to the winner’s enclosure.

This was the case even as there were no crowds due to the social distancing procedures being deployed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The performance effectively meant that Stradivarius had matched the achievement of the race’s fellow gold hat-trick heroes in the past, namely, Yeats and Sagari. However, Yeats still stands alone after winning it four times in succession for Aidan O’Brien.

Dettori revealed how excited he was in an interview after the race. Dettori said:

“I’m so proud of the horse. He’s been a joy to be around. He’ll go down as one of the great stayers, like Yeats and Sagaro. Who knows, maybe we’ll try for for next year.”

He added: “Even with no crowd I’m quite emotional. A very proud moment.

 

“I was worried about the rain. They were talking up the Martyn Meade horse (Technician) a lot. It was a concern. He actually really surprised me, because he went through it like a hot knife through butter. I had everybody covered. I was surprised I didn’t have anyone to challenge me.

“It’s always that scary moment when you get to the furlong marker – will he pick up or not – but he did and he stretched away by 10. Amazing.

“We purposely all stayed wide on the fresh ground. That helped a little bit, but nevertheless it was still very soft. It just shows what a fighter and how versatile he is. It’s all about Stradivarius today. He’s a wonderful horse.

“You’re never on the bridle in the Gold Cup a furlong out. Usually everybody labours by the three, so it was an amazing feeling and a fantastic performance. The horse deserves it. I’m very proud of him.”

Gosden added: “I’m very proud he’s won three and particularly proud for the man who’s done it, Bjorn Nielsen, the owner-breeder – he’s passionate about breeding and keeps trying to breed a Derby winner, but he’s got a very good Cup horse. For him it is profoundly fulfilling and it’s just a pity he can’t be here today.

“It’s down to Bjorn whether we come back for a fourth. We might just look towards the Goodwood Cup next, he’s won three of them already, then we might take a pull as there is talk of running in an Arc. He ran brilliantly in the Coronation Cup, so an Arc on Autumn ground isn’t out of the question.”

Little Racetrack expecting big business out of the gates from online horse betting

So, what betting handle total will Edmonton’s Century Mile hit next Sunday when the track reopens with no fans onsite?

I’m putting the over-under at a million dollars.

You should know that the average handle for thoroughbred racing in the inaugural season at Century Mile last year was $172,422 and the high was $838,429 for the Canadian Derby.

A million dollars?

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The key appears to be something called HPIbet.com.

If the Edmonton track can replicate the phenomenal success story of Assiniboia Downs in Winnipeg, it’ll be a bigger story than whatever stories the horses and jockeys managed to write on the track in the 10-race card being put together to launch the season during the pandemic.

More about Century Downs:

News that Queen’s Plate will run on this Date

North America’s oldest continuously run horse race [the Queen’s Plate] was originally scheduled to take place on June 27 but was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The history of The Queen’s Plate is so rich and the fact that it’s been held every year since the inaugural race in 1860 is remarkable,” said Woodbine Entertainment CEO Jim Lawson. “We are honoured to be able to continue this rich history in face of adversity by hosting the race for the 161st consecutive year.”

Woodbine and Horse racing Return June 6

The Associated Press

Horse racing is back on at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, but without fans.

The track’s thoroughbred season will open June 6. The pandemic forced Woodbine to postpone its scheduled April 18 start.

Harness racing, suspended in March, is to resume June 5 at Woodbine Mohawk Park.

Wager on WoodbineMark Casse, one of North America’s top trainers, says the reopening is crucial.

“We have many horses that we’ve targeted for this meet that haven’t done anything,” he said. “But this is even more important for the owners and trainers who’ve been up there since December and haven’t been able to run.”

Casse has won both the Preakness and Belmont Stakes as well as five Breeders’ Cup races. He has been named Canada’s top thoroughbred trainer an unprecedented 11 times.

UK Horse Racing Set to Return in Early June

According to TimeForm (UK)

The 2000 Guineas remains in its slot on June 6, with the 1000 Guineas 24 hours later, although all plans remain subject the Government giving sport clearance to resume behind closed doors.

royal ascot paddockRoyal Ascot is also still set for its scheduled position of June 16-20, although “some changes to the order of races” at the meeting are likely, details of which “will be confirmed as soon as possible”.

The Derby and Oaks will be scheduled for July 4, with the Eclipse moved back a day to the Sunday (July 5). The BHA said that “under these circumstances, the Eclipse would be restricted to four-years-old and upwards”.

The 10-furlong Classic Trial, the Snowdrop Stakes over a mile and the six-furlong Pavilion Stakes, which often serves as a trial for the Commonwealth Cup, will all be run between June 3 and 4 under the revised timetable.

June 5 is also set to be a bumper day of action with the Lingfield Derby and Oaks Trials and Group One Coronation Cup programmed alongside the Abernant, Brigadier Gerard and …

Horse Racing Could Return to Woodbine in June

“We’ve had 1,100 horses on the track every morning for two months now and we haven’t had any cases, knock on wood.”

TORONTO – Jim Lawson is cautiously optimistic there could be live horse racing as early as next month.

Buoying the Woodbine Entertainment CEO’s optimism is the Ontario government’s gradual easing of COVID-19 restrictions Monday, allowing some mostly seasonal businesses to re-open. The novel coronavirus pandemic forced the suspension of harness racing at Woodbine Mohawk Park in March and postponement of the April 18 start of Woodbine Racetrack’s thoroughbred campaign, and subsequently the $1-million Queen’s Plate.

Woodbine via WO FB pageBut Lawson sees the Ontario government’s actions as a sign that racing could return in early June ahead of other sports entities because it could be done safely and without fans. While the pandemic forced all major sports to shut down, harness racing continued without spectators before being suspended.

“The big proviso is we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, governmental and health authorities because that’s the wrong thing to do,” Lawson said. “But I do think if restrictions are eased, we’ve shown and exhibited already we’re capable of doing this.

“Not only did live racing occur at Mohawk without gatherings but with what we’ve achieved in our backstretch the last two months, we feel comfortable we can conduct safe racing. And when you combine safe racing with 15,000-20,000 people whose livelihoods really depend on this, we feel we’re a good model to help kick-start the economy.”

While no racing has occurred at Woodbine Racetrack, Woodbine Entertainment has continued operating its backstretch providing daily care for approximately 1,100 horses. Access has been limited to essential personnel – no jockeys, agents, trainers or media are allowed – and those individuals must strictly adhere to guidelines entirely consistent with those established by government and health agencies.

“We don’t need stands and it’s not like we have players rubbing against each other,” Lawson said. “There’s physical distancing by definition.

Some of the measures implemented by Woodbine include …

New Zealand horse racing training to resume today?

New Zealand’s Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) has announced initial approval for businesses and stakeholders in the country’s thoroughbred and harness racing sectors to return to work on 28 April.

Subject to meeting strict protocols and guidance established by each code, staff will be able recommence trialling and training, with preparations set to continue over the weekend.

The decision comes after the New Zealand government downgraded to Alert Level 3 of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) alert system, which requires strict social distancing measures to be put in place, but allows for a partial re-opening of the economy. Horse racing in the country had been suspended since 25 March when Alert Level 4 – resulting in a nationwide lockdown – was put into effect.

However, RITA said it is yet to reach an agreement as to when greyhound racing could return, with officials in ..

British Horse Racing Suspension Extended Amid COVID-19 Concerns

UK Epsom Downs(Reuters) – British horse racing will remain suspended beyond April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said on Wednesday.

Racing activity was suspended last month until the end of April before the government introduced lockdown measures.

The BHA said in a statement https://www.britishhorseracing.com/press_releases/bha-extends-suspension-of-racing that it had not set a new date for ending the suspension but plans were in place so that the sport was ready to resume as soon as is possible.

“The BHA has been working with trainers, racecourses and other participants to develop a phased plan for resumption which will allow the sport to transition back to its normal fixture list later in the year,” it said.

“Our plans continue to allow for a resumption in May, if that’s possible. We assume it would be behind closed doors only, at a point when the safety of participants can be assured and the pressure on the health service allows.

“Because of the very strong likelihood that restrictions on mass gatherings will continue, the BHA has decided that racing with crowds will not be possible until June at the earliest.”

The BHA said tough biosecurity measures would be in place to keep any risks to a minimum once activities resume.

Reported cases of the new coronavirus crossed 2 million globally and more than 131,100 people have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 1400 GMT on Wednesday. [nL3N2BY1AH]

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

The biggest winners from this year’s Cheltenham Festival

It almost feels like an age since the 2020 Cheltenham Festival came to an end. The sporting world has since been thrown into turmoil as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown measures. Horse racing had continued behind closed doors for a while, but eventually the government guidelines meant that there was no option but to suspend racing indefinitely.

As we sit and pine for more live racing action, there’s no better time to cast our minds back to the action at this year’s Cheltenham Festival and analyse who the biggest winners were at Prestbury Park.

UK JockeyWillie Mullins

It was Willie Mullins who captured the Leading Trainer title at this year’s Festival, and although Gordon Elliott (who we’ll come to later) also bagged seven winners, Mullins’ superior number of third-place finishes earned him the accolade. Despite getting off to a relatively slow start, Ferny Hollow got Mullins off the mark with a win on day two of the Festival, and from there the victories kept on coming.

His other winners included Min, Concertista, Burning Victory, Saint Roi and Monkfish, but the icing on Mullins’ Cheltenham cake came in the showpiece race of the meeting. After winning the Gold Cup last year, Al Boum Photo made it a memorable double, winning a closely fought battle with Santini to win the coveted trophy and ensure another moment to savour for a trainer who can do little wrong at the moment.

Paul Townend

Mullins owed a lot to jockey Paul Townend for the triumph in the Gold Cup, as it was he who successfully guided Al Boum Photo to that famous win. It was the culmination of a fine Festival for the jockey as well, making it five wins in total, three on Gold Cup Day, and the coveted Top Jockey title.

Townend has long been regarded as one of the sport’s best jockeys, and the best jockeys are regarded so because of their ability to perform in the biggest occasions under incredibly high pressure. Townend did this at Cheltenham this year, epitomised by his performance in the Gold Cup in which he admirably held off the challenge of Nico de Boinville on Santini. Al Boum Photo winning the Gold Cup was the one bet on horse racing many people had banked on ahead of the Festival, and Townend brightened the days of many happy punters.

Gordon Elliott

As already mentioned, trainer Elliott also enjoyed a fine Festival with seven winners, and although he was pipped at the post for the Leading Trainer accolade, it was still a strong showing from Elliott’s horses. It started with a win on the opening day for Ravenhill, and further triumphs for Envoi Allen, Aramax, Samcro, Sire Du Berlais, Milan Native and Chosen Mate ensured it was a Festival to remember for the trainer.

It had looked for all the world as though Elliott was cruising towards that Leading Trainer title, but Mullins’ trio of winners on Gold Cup day meant he agonisingly missed out to his fellow Irishman.

Barry Geraghty

The sight of Barry Geraghty’s smiling face became a familiar one at Cheltenham this year, as he notched five wins in total. His success was well spread out over the course of the Festival, as he got off to the perfect start in the Champion Hurdle on day one, on Epatante. This strong performance was backed up the following day as victories on Champ and Dame De Compagnie gave a showcase of Geraghty’s class in the saddle.

Further victories with Sire Du Berlais and Saint Roi capped off a fine Festival for the Irish jockey, and there can be no doubting that we’ll be seeing plenty more wins for Geraghty at Cheltenham in the years to come.