Virtual Horse Race Raises Nearly $3 million for Health Workers

“The Virtual Grand National has exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations. There was nothing virtual about the feel-good factor this race generated and the fantastic sum raised for a great cause,” said Simon Clare, representing betting business Coral[UK Bookmaker].

The 4.8 million people who watched the 30 minute Virtual Grand National on TV station ITV was around half what might have been expected for favorite Tiger Roll’s historic shot at a third consecutive win with last year’s real race attracting 9.6 million viewers.

The figure equated to a third of the viewing audience and was a massive leap from the 737,000 who watched the 2019 Virtual Grand National shown on ITV4 on the eve of the race.

Christian Williams, trainer of Potters Corner, embraced the Virtual Grand National.

“I’m delighted, it’s great and great to cheer everyone up in tough times – I think even people from outside of racing were tuned in. It was something for people to cheer on, people are stuck in their houses and it probably got a good viewing. It was something to watch together and have a bit of banter leading up to it.”

More about the 2020 Virtual Grand National

Covid-19? Australian horse racing and harness racing race on

Horse racing and harness racing continues on after a coronavirus scare, with the industry saying they will continue operating unless explicitly prohibited by health advice. Racing, including greyhound racing, is one of the last organized sports still operating in Australia after shutdown rules …

Thompson said horse racing supports 25,000 direct and indirect jobs in Victoria alone. According to the Australian Skills and Industry Committee, about 11,400 people are employed directly in horse and dog racing in Australia.

Unlike other sports, racing has animal care requirements which cannot be shut down.

“In announcing the resumption of racing, I want to assure the Victorian community that racing will continue to operate under strict biosecurity protocols and where required act decisively, as we did when suspending racing yesterday, should there be any risk to the health of our industry stakeholders and the wider community,” Thompson said.

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New Zealand Horse Racing Shut Down

From horsebetting.com.au

All racing in New Zealand is to be shut down for four weeks as the country moves to level four of the Covid-19 alert system.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, Harness Racing New Zealand, Greyhound Racing New Zealand and the TAB, have met to discuss what steps the industry needs to take to protect the livelihoods of participants..

“While the country will effectively be in lockdown, the welfare of our animals remains as an essential service during this time,” NZ Thoroughbred Racing said.

“Horses and dogs will still need to be fed, exercised and cared for during this time.

“People caring for our animals will need to look at stringent procedures around staffing levels and any contact between staff members.

“We recognise that these are challenging times for everyone within our industry and we will be working closely with those impacted to help them through the coming weeks.”

New Zealand has been on level three alert and will move to level four from Wednesday which means:

  • People instructed to stay at home
  • Educational facilities closed
  • Businesses closed except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities.
  • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities
  • Travel severely limited
  • Major reprioritisation of healthcare services.

Saturday’s Dubai World Cup Cancelled

DUBAI, March 22 (Reuters) – The Dubai World Cup, one of the world’s richest horse races, has been postponed until next year to safeguard the health of participants, the Dubai government said on Sunday.

The race had been due to go ahead on March 28 without spectators, organizers said earlier this month.

New Horse Racing College Course in Scotland

A new qualification – said to be the first of its kind in Scotland – is aiming to equip students for work in the world of horse racing.

Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has joined forces with the Scottish Racing Academy (SRA) for the initiative.

It allows equine students at the college to specialise in racehorse care as part of their course.  The aim is to give them the skills necessary to find employment in the sport in future.

More about the New Horse Racing College Course in Scotland:

Group 1 winner Benbatl heading to Dubai World Cup for Suroor

Benbatl will represent Godolphon trainer Saeed bin Suroor as he bids for a record 10th victory in the Dubai World Cup.

A Group One winner on turf in Australia, Dubai and Germany, the six-year-old made a successful switch to dirt at Meydan in the second round of the Al Maktoum Challenge last month, to earn himself a shot at last weekend’s inaugural Saudi Cup in Riyadh in which he finished third behind Maximum Security.

The trainer said he had come through the race well.

“He ran really well to finish third. It was a tough race, but he seems happy since and we are very happy with him,” bin Suroor said.

“We’ll give him an easy time now and get him ready for the World Cup…

More about the Dubai World Cup:

Launch of New Horse Racing League

Goal to Bring Horse Racing Alongside Other Mainstream Sports

LONDON, March 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Championship Horse Racing announced the launch of its new flat horse racing initiative – Racing League – at a gathering of industry figures and press in London. The team-based League format will bring increased levels of innovation, fan engagement and accessibility to British horse racing. Unveiled over the coming months, teams consisting of 2-4 trainers working together, three jockeys, stable staff and a squad of 30 horses, will battle it out for an unprecedented £1.8m in prize money, as well as an overall prize to the team that wins the Racing League.

Held over six consecutive evening race meetings in July and August 2020, the Racing League will be contested at four of the UK’s leading racecourses – Doncaster, Lingfield, Newcastle and Royal Windsor. Racing in bespoke team colours, the 12 teams will compete across 36 handicap races (rated 0-90), each worth £50,000.

The Racing League’s inaugural meeting will be held on Thursday 16 July 2020. Each meeting’s six races will be contested over distances 5F – 1½M, with all 36 races broadcast live on Sky Sports.

Format

  • Racing League’s 12 teams will each select one of their 30 horses to contest each of the 36 races
  • Winners of each race will win 25 points for their team; second place collects 18 points; third place earns 15 points, with points available for finishing in the top 10 places out of 12
  • £50,000 prize money for each race distributed as per BHA rules
  • The team with the most points at the end of the season will be crowned the Racing League champion
  • The winning team will earn a bonus prize shared between owners, trainers, jockeys, stable staff and a fan ambassador, picked from the public at random at the start of the competition

2003 Epsom Oaks-winning trainer, Andrew Balding, said: “I look forward to being involved in the inaugural Racing League and welcome the innovation it brings to our sport.”

2006 Epsom Derby-winning jockey, Martin Dwyer, commented: “The Racing League is a really exciting addition to the British horse racing calendar, and I believe the fans will welcome it. It’s a positive step for the racing industry to take, and the increase in prize money at handicap-level racing will be good for the sport.”

Matthew Imi, CEO, Sky Sports Racing, added: “In recent years Sky Sports has been instrumental in helping mainstream sports grow their fan bases exponentially, appealing to a broad audience of sports enthusiasts and innovating in the process. We are confident that we can achieve something similar with horse racing, so partnering with an exciting new initiative like the Racing League makes absolute sense. If the Racing League and Sky Sports Racing’s coverage encourages the person who goes racing once a year to go again, then I would consider that a success.”

Horses You Should Consider Betting on at Cheltenham in 2020

Steeplechase scene black whitePart of the thrill of being at Cheltenham and placing a bet on your favourite horse is that you never really know how it might perform on the day. Most people bet on horses with the most favourable odds or most promising tips as outlined in Cheltenham betting offers. While this is a good strategy for success, it doesn’t always work. It is surprising just how many times the underdog has come out on top at Cheltenham, particularly the younger up and coming horses.

 

Horses by Trainer 

Willie Mullins. Willie Mullins remains the trainer to keep your eye on this year. He is, of course, the all-time leading trainer with 65 total wins. This year is set to be equally impressive, with two out of 31 entries for the 2020 Champion Hurdle with Aramon and Sharjah. There’s also the chance he could be supplementing Benie des Dieux.

Gordon Elliott. Producing three winners last year, he’s supposed to achieve great things once again. Keep your eyes peeled for Abacadabras (supreme) and Champagne Classic in the National Hunt Chase.

Nicky Henderson. As usual, Nicky has several up and coming horses such as Shishkin (supreme), Champ (RSA) and other contenders for the Championship Hurdle and Gold Cup. Other horses to look out for include Epatante (10/3) which featured a great boxing day win at Kempton. Santini also got back on track at the previous Blue Ribans chase so could be another horse worth watching in 2020.

 

Horses by Jockey 

Ruby Walsh. In the history of Cheltenham, Ruby Walsh still remains number one, despite being retired since May. He’s achieved an astounding 59 total wins thanks to superb horses like Klassical Dream in the Supreme Novices Hurdle and again in the 1998 Champion Bumper. Further wins were also achieved in 2009 and 2016.

Paul Townend. There are many horses to consider betting on this year for Paul. These include Asterion Forlonge (supreme), Benie des Dieux, Chacun Pour Sol, Faugheen and Min. All these horses are predicted to be heading towards grade one events. Desert Hero has been particularly impressive, achieving several back to back wins.

Davy Russell. Achieving a total of nine wins since 2015 from 66 rides, this isn’t expected to stop any time soon. The novice Envoi Allen has performed fantastically and is now heading to grade one this time around.

Nico de Boinville. Since 2005, Nico has won nine races from forty-nine rides in total. Who knows whether he will win the second Gold Cup with Santini this year.

 

Promising Horses at the 2020 Trials 

Galahad Quest. JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (Grade 2). This 6/1 horse from Nicky Williams and Harry Cobden played a great position just behind the lead. An inexperienced horse that will only get better and better as long as he runs on the right ground.

Simply the Betts. Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase. The odds are 11/2 with this horse by Harry Whittington and Gavin Sheenan. Despite not having a precise rhythm last time around Kempton, he finished the second day with great form. Depending on the ground he’s travelling on, he should be able to jump well but needs to improve if he’s to rise in the rankings.

Cepage. Paddy Power 45 Sleeps to Cheltenham Trophy Handicap Chase (Grade 3). Cepage played an excellent performance despite his smaller size. Although the ground slowed him down last time, he’s also displayed impressive performances for Ryanair and is definitely a reliable jumper.

Bristol de Mai & Santini. Paddy Power Cotswold Chase (Grade 2). Santini is dubbed 13/8 in the 2020 renewal whereas Bristol de Mai did over three lengths with an impressive effort. It is a powerful horse which is still learning and has every chance in the Gold Cup.

Harry Senior. Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 2). This horse, by Colin Tizzard and Robbie Power at odds of 4/1, is a high performing six-year-old which stays strong throughout and is on peak form. This horse fits perfectly into the Albert Bartlett race, despite struggling slightly at the bottom of the hill. Potential improvements may be seen on the day if the ground is suited to Harry Senior.

Paisley Park. Galliardhomes.com Cleeve Hurdle (Grade 2). It is very much business as usual for Paisley Park with a 4/6 odds of it being a favourite. This eight-year-old achieved success for a second time, winning the G2 Galliard Homes.com Cleeve Hurdle. It will be interesting to see how he does for the G1 Paddy Power Stayer Hurdle. He tends to approach fast and is a great jumper. This could be due to his break from Ascot.

Back on the Lash. This horse has achieved local success recently with 13/2 odds for Jonathan Burke. This six-year-old horse was able to surpass Lust for Glory by 3.25 lengths.

Maximum Security wins the richest horse race in world

$20-million Saudi Cup goes to DQ’d Kentucky Derby winner

Maximum Security probably will always be remembered for the race he didn’t win when last year he was the first horse in the 146-year history of the Kentucky Derby to be disqualified on race day for interference.

It was a tremendous race as he ran down Mucho Gusto and held off the talented mare Midnight Bisou at  the wire…

Horse Races with No Spectators?

Coronavirus Strikes Horses Races in Japan

The Japan Racing Association said on Thursday that it will hold its horse races without spectators for the time being starting Saturday.

The association says the decision was made to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

The horse races are the latest in a number of sporting events to be canceled or postponed as a result of the outbreak.