World’s Richest Horse Race, Saudi Cup, this Saturday

With a prize pot of $20m (there is $29.2m across the eight-race card), it will become the richest race in the world, surpassing the Pegasus World Cup in Florida, which was the world’s richest race in 2018 before deciding to split its $16m fund across two races in 2019 (PWC further slashed the prize purse this year to the $3m Pegasus World Cup and $1m Pegasus Turf World Cup). It even trumps the $12m Dubai World Cup by some considerable margin.

The prize for the winning horse will be $10m, with horses down to 10th place sharing another $10m between them.

And it has the potential to be part of the greatest horse racing meeting of the year, according to Tom Ryan, Saudi Jockey Club’s director of strategy and international racing…

Watch and wager on it with www.betptc.com – Join today with promo code “AGOS”

British Horseracing Authority to Monitor Betting Trends on Irish Racing

The Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) has signed a deal with the British Horseracing Authority to monitor the betting trends on Irish racing.

The four-year commercial package was estimated at the time to cost €350,000 and the British Horseracing Authority has ultimately emerged successful.

“We will be working together in different areas of intelligence. It’s just a stronger link between the two of us,” an IHRB spokesman said.

The tender replicated other sports organisations around the world which have employed sports betting monitoring companies in recent years.

“We are outsourcing an element of our function. It’s the same as using a third party service provider to provide the laboratory, or to provide camera pictures. This will be a monitoring service,” IHRB’s chief executive Denis Egan said.

Bookies braced for Cheltenham betting bonanza

UK bookmakers are bracing themselves for a record breaking Cheltenham Festival this year. The meeting runs from March 10th to 13th with punters expected to gamble in excess of half a billion pounds over the four-day meeting.

The Cheltenham Festival is the highlight of the jumps racing season in Great Britain and Ireland with 28 top class races totalling over £4.5 million in prize money. The festival accounts for more than half of the top forty betting races in the UK in terms of turnover. So where can we expect to see the smart money go at Cheltenham 2020?

Epatante favourite for Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle is the feature race on the opening day with leading owner J.P. McManus chasing a record ninth win in the race. Trainer Nicky Henderson is only one behind him and they team up with ante-post favourite Epatante. She was a 33-1 outsider at the start of the season but those odds were slashed following her impressive win in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

There has also been a very strong market move for Henderson’s Shishkin in the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He put an early season fall behind him to register easy victories at Newbury and Huntingdon and will probably start even shorter than his current odds of 3-1.

Ireland has won 10 of the 12 renewals of the Mares’ Hurdle and has the two market leaders this year in Benie Des Dieux and Honeysuckle. Connections of both horses are considering a tilt at the Champion Hurdle as an alternative so punters should make sure they bet only “with a run”.

Altior aiming for fifth Cheltenham Festival win

Henderson will also be the focus of attention on day 2 with star chaser Altior going for his third successive Champion Chase and fifth festival success. His record unbeaten run of 19 races came to an end over a longer distance at Ascot in November. The ten-year-old successfully reverted to his optimum trip of two miles at Newbury in February.

Steeplechase scene black whiteAltior faces stiff opposition in Defi Du Seuil and Chacun Pour Soi but is certain to attract huge public support.You can get a comprehensive guide to every race at the festival and free Cheltenham Tips at the OLBG website. This long-established site hosts a thriving racing forum as well as providing interesting statistics, betting trends and pointers.

Henderson has yet another leading Cheltenham contender in Champ, as short as 7-2 favourite for the RSA Chase despite falling on his last start. Envoi Allen is rated by many as the Irish banker bet of the meeting in the opening Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. Many punters will be keen to double him up with the Willie Mullins-trained Appreciate It in the Champion Bumper, a race the trainer has won a record 9 times.

A spectacular day’s racing could be capped by Tiger Roll, the winner of the Aintree Grand National for the past two seasons. He is favourite to win the Cross Country Chase for a third successive season.

Paisley Park expected to dominate Stayers’ Hurdle

Paisley Park is the shortest priced favourite of the weekin the Stayers’ Hurdle on day 3. He is unbeaten in seven races and has won his prep races with the minimum of fuss.Sire Du Berlais landed one of the biggest gambles of the week in the Pertemps Network Final 12 months’ ago. He caught the eye when qualifying at Warwick this season and it would be no surprise to see him start shorter than his current odds of 8-1.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup on Friday is the climax of the meeting, won last year by 12-1 chance Al Boum Photo. He is a general 4-1 favourite to become the first horse since Best Mate (2002-2004) to retain his crown. Delta Work and Kemboy, first and second in the Irish Gold Cup, give the raiding party a very strong hand again this year.

On a cautionary note, the final day of the meeting in 2019 proved to be a bonanza for bookmakers with winners at 66-1, 50-1 and 20-1. Only Hazel Hill in the Foxhunter Chase prevented a whitewash for favourite backers.

By Harvey Mayson

The State of Horse Racing in Ireland

Horse Racing Ireland sees on-course betting increase in 2019

Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), the sports’ national governing body, has reported a 4.5% year-on-year rise in on-course betting turnover for 2019, despite seeing a decline in Tote wagering.

Total on-course betting turnover for the 12 months through to 31 December 2019, including the Tote, amounted to €78.9m (£66.8m/$88.8m), up from €75.5m in the previous year.

Growth was driven by an increase in turnover from betting rings, which climbed 6.6% year-on-year to €58.4m.

However, the HRI noted a decline in turnover from on-course Tote betting, with this falling by 0.9% to €10.6m, while turnover from on-course starting price (SP) shops also fell by 1.0% to €9.9m.

Total Tote betting turnover was also down by 13.0% from €69.2m in 2018 to €60.2m in the past year.

On-course betting was boosted by an increase in attendance, with this figure up 3.2% year-on-year from 1.27m to 1.32m, due in part to a busy Christmas period.

Elsewhere, prize money climbed 4% to €66.1m for the year, while the HRI said commercial sponsorship was also up by 17.3% to €6.1m. However, there was a slight decline in European Breeders Fund sponsorship, which declined 0.5% to €2.19m.

More about State of Horse Racing in Ireland

Enable Unlikely to Race before Royal Ascot

“Every sport needs champions and she’s been amazing, Dettori said. “She’s captured not just racing’s imagination, but she’s attracted other people to watch the sport.”

The Guardian:  Enable is unlikely to begin her fifth racing season until Royal Ascot at the earliest, with her campaign being planned entirely around a return to Longchamp in October in search of an elusive third win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, John Gosden, the mare’s trainer, said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the annual Longines World’s Best Racehorse ceremony in London, Gosden said that “June time, Royal Ascot” is the obvious place for the six-year-old to start what seems almost certain to be her final year on the track.

“If you aim for the autumn, you don’t want to be starting in the spring,” Gosden said. “We aimed at Ascot last year and ended up running in the Eclipse [in July]. We’ll see how she is make the decision together, but the final thing is that the decision will be taken by the filly herself.”

Enable’s defeat when favourite for last year’s Arc was the only significant reverse in what was otherwise the best season of Frankie Dettori’s three decades in the saddle, and he is eager to be back aboard a horse whose performances at times rendered him almost speechless with emotion in 2019.

 

A look back at Paul Nicholls’ four Gold Cup wins – can he make it five?

In the history of the Cheltenham Gold Cup, one trainer stands above the rest with their record number of wins. Tom Dreaper famously won a trio of races in the 1960s with Arkle, but his first win came in 1946 when Prince Regent was the favourite. He went on to have further success with Fort Leney in 1968, bringing his total number of Gold Cup wins to five.

Of all the currently active trainers, Paul Nicholls holds four Gold Cup titles and is one win away from sharing Dreaper’s record. But can Nicholls make it five? Let’s take a look back at his Gold Cup success and his chances in this year’s race.

2020: Clan des Obeaux or Frodon?

This year, Nicholls rests his hopes on two eight year olds: Clan des Obeaux and Frodon, and betting odds ahead of the Cheltenham Gold Cup price the former at the better price of 9/1, while Frodon can be found as an outside chance at 25/1. The early favourite at the time of writing is last year’s winner, Al Boum Photo, trained by Willie Mullins.

Clan des Obeaux came fifth in last year’s race, but is in reasonable form, having recently won the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day by 21 lengths. Frodon will be making his Gold Cup debut, but won last year’s Festival Trophy. Earlier this month, the gelding ridden by Bryony Frost won the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton, making a swift return to form.

2009: Kauto Star

Nicholls’ last success came in 2009, when the legendary Kauto Star made history in becoming the first horse to regain the Gold Cup. Rode by Ruby Walsh, Kauto Star beat stablemate Denman to the finish line by some 13 lengths – and no other horse could come close. It was a return to form for the pre-race favourite, who had been beaten in the previous year’s race. And it could have been a trio of placed-finishes for Nicholls, but for Exotic Dancer securing third, ahead of Neptune Collonges.

2008: Denman

The 2008 Gold Cup saw Nicholls famously orchestrate a winning one-two-three, as Denman got one over on Kauto Star, ensuring the horse didn’t secure back-to-back races for the first time since Best Mate in 2003-04. Neptune Collonges completed the placing. Denman took the lead as early as the eleventh fence and never looked like relinquishing his advantage – going on to win by seven lengths. Many were expecting a close race between Denman and Kauto Star, but it never materialised and the previous year’s winner only made up ground with three fences to jump.

2007: Kauto Star

Kauto Star secured his first win in the Gold Cup on his debut, but it could have been oh-so different for Nicholls’ horse. Exotic Dancer was the pre-race favourite, but was eventually beaten by two-and-a-half lengths. Kauto Star had come from behind and came into his own on the second lap. With four fences remaining, he chased the leading pack before taking the lead with two fences left to jump. But after hitting the final fence, the win was in doubt. However, he stayed on strongly to reach the finish line first.

1999: See More Business

1999 was a breakthrough year for Nicholls at the Cheltenham Festival, where he won a trio of races. After success in the Arkle Challenge Trophy and Queen Mother Champion Chase, he went on to win the Gold Cup with See More Business. The Irish-bred gelding had previously won the King George VI Chase that season, but despite that, was by no means the favourite going into the Cheltenham centrepiece. The 16/1 hopeful hadn’t started well and it wasn’t until the final fence that he soon led, with one length separating See More Business from second-placed Go Ballistic.

 

 

 

Three big questions ahead of the Cheltenham Gold Cup

The 2020 Cheltenham Festival is less than two months away and already punters are gearing up to one of the biggest highlights in the jump racing calendar. The entries to this year’s Gold Cup have been announced and even at this early stage, many are checking out the latest odds in Cheltenham betting with Paddy Power. But ahead of this year’s festival, what are the key points of interest?

  1. Can Al Boum Photo win back-to-back Gold Cup titles?

Not since Best Mate’s trio of wins between 2002 and 2004 has a single horse won consecutive titles. In the race’s history, only seven horses have won the Gold Cup more than once. Looking to make the record books this year is Al Boum Photo, one of the entrants from Willie Mullins’ yard. In 2019, Al Boum Photo could be found at odds of 12/1 ahead of the race and this year he is the favourite at 7/2. In winning last year, he beat the likes of runner-up Anibale Fly and bookies’ favourite Presenting Percy to hand Mullins his first success in the Gold Cup.

Al Boum Photo went into last year’s race in good form, having won the Savills Chase on New Year’s Day at Tramore. On that occasion, he beat Total Recall by six lengths and had the same margin of victory in this year’s chase – this time as one of four finishers. Not only does Al Boum Photo go into the Gold Cup as the favourite but of all the winners, 22 horses have been eight years old, so it looks like a lucky omen for the French thoroughbred.

  1. Will the dominance of Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins be too much for the rest of the field?

Irish trainers Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins are both hugely successful in their own right, but both have one thing in common: just one winner in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. After fielding six runners-up, Mullins received his first victory last year; while Elliott fielded a winner on his debut in 2016 (Don Cossack) but hasn’t come remotely close to matching that in subsequent years. Of his three entrants in the following three races, his best result came last year, when Shattered Love came ninth.

This year, both men field four horses each, the most of any trainer. As well as favourite Al Boum Photo, Mullins enters Kemboy, who’s worth a shout at 11/2, as well as outsiders Bellshill and Real Steel. For Elliott, his best chance comes from Delta Work, priced at 8/1, with his other three entrants (Alpha des Obeaux, Death Duty and Shattered Love) all completely unfavoured. However, it’s rare that the favourite wins the Gold Cup and the last three years have seen lesser-favoured horses win, so anything is possible.

Of the other trainers representing, Henry de Bromhead and Colin Tizzard boast three entries each, while the highly-decorated Paul Nicholls and 2017 winner Jessica Harrington each fancy their chances with two.

  1. Can Paul Nicholls break records and become the most successful Gold Cup trainer?

In terms of active trainers, Nicholls is the most successful in the Cheltenham Gold Cup – with four winners to his name. After a first win in 1999 with See More Business, Nicholls won the race three years running with success for Denman sandwiched between Kauto Star’s two titles. Nicholls hasn’t won the Gold Cup since 2009 and hangs his hopes on Clan des Obeaux (8/1) and Frodon (25/1).

The former came fifth in last year’s race but has recently performed well and won the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day by 21 lengths. It will be the eight-year-old’s second entry into the Gold Cup, despite plenty of experience over the Cheltenham fences.

Frodon looks to make his Gold Cup debut, after winning last year’s Festival Trophy. With five wins at Prestbury Park to his name to date, the eight-year-old made a quick return to form earlier this month, winning the Silviniaco Conti Chase at Kempton.

In Gold Cup history, Tom Dreaper is the most successful trainer with five wins from three horses. He won his first title in 1946 and went on to famously win the treble with legendary horse Arkle in the 1960s. Can Nicholls equal the record this year?

 

*Odds correct at time of writing

Latest 2020 Cheltenham News Updates

We are in the new decade of 2020 and the Cheltenham Festival 2020 is just a couple of days away. Some of the leading horses and jockeys are expected to participate at the biggest world horse racing event in the UK. Top bookmakers are gearing up for the event and luring punters with exciting betting offers for the expected races there. This year’s event is expected to be very competitive as the leading jockeys and top horses are going to participate.

The Cheltenham Festival is one of the biggest horse racing events in the UK that is only rivaled by the Grand National. It is a perfect gift for all horse race fans and punters alike who like to try their luck by placing bets on their popular sport. While the festival is known to be a horse racing event, it does more than just horse racing. It is also acts as a perfect venue for people from different parts of the globe to converge and get to know each other!

A review of the latest betting odds for the Cheltenham Festival 2020

Being one of the biggest horse racing betting events in the national hunt calendar, punters are usually on the look for exciting betting offers from bookmakers. As a punter, you are also perhaps looking to review the latest Cheltenham betting odds 2020. Well, the event features some of the best jockeys and horses that you could select to help you win a bet.

Basically, bookmarkers usually offer lower odds for horses or jockeys that are favorites to win a race. If you wish to increase your chances of winning a bet then the best thing you could do is choose a horse or jockey with the lowest odds. While lower odds may not offer you much of possible win price, your chances of winning remain high.

Conversely, horses or jockeys that are not likely to win a race are usually offered higher odds. This is usually a subtle strategy used by bookmarkers to persuade punters to pick jockeys or horses that are least likely to win.

So, which betting is good – online or brick and mortar betting?

The Cheltenham Festival is just around the corner and if you that punter seeking to try his/her luck through bets perhaps you are wondering what type of bet is best. Is online betting better that the traditional betting at a physical brick and mortar shop? Of course, you will have a variety of horse races that you can opt to place your bets for.

As the prestigious sporting event keeps drawing nearer, you certainly have the choice to select which type of betting to go for. There is the in-shop betting that involves walking into a physical betting shop and pacing your bet on either of your favorite jockey or horse to win a race. You also have the option of choosing a bookmaker and placing your online bet on a favorite horse or jockey to win at the race. The choice obviously is yours but several reports suggest that online betting has got more benefits and advantages over the traditional in-house bets.

Here is a sneak peak at some of the amazing benefits and advantages of online betting:

  • If you are signing up for a bookmaker for the first time, you get offers such as the introductory free bet offer and amazing bonus offers. These are things that lack on in-house betting shops.
  • There are some bookmarkers that do offer ¼ odds offers which are non-existent in-house betting shops.
  • Instant payouts on winnings right on your bookmarker account unlike in-shop betting shops that you need to collect winnings yourself in person.
  • Online betting also offers you important betting information such as a team’s, recent stats and performance so that you can make an informed betting move. This is lacking in in-house betting shops.
  • When you are betting online, you will also have various funding options including debit card, PayPal, mobile wallet etc.
  • You also have the opportunity to watch live sporting action from bookmakers with live stream.
  • Bookmarkers also provide their users with a complete bet slip history thus raising confidence amongst users.

Industry Profile: Jockey Frankie Dettori and his Incredible Year

UK correspondent Edward Sadler has a sit-down interview with superstar jockey Frankie Dettori to look back on his incredible year in the saddle in 2019.

There’s Horse racing in St Lucia

Royal St Lucia Turf Club Opens on Schedule

KINGSTON, Jamaica — St Lucia placed themselves on the horse racing map when they hosted their first race meeting under the auspices of Royal St Lucia Turf Club.

The feature offering on the five-race card was the US$150,000 Pitons Cup, which was won by the American-bred Casting Crowns.

The event run over nine furlongs saw Casting Crowns, ridden by Qin Young, come from off the pace to catch Colonel’s Pride at the top of the straight to win convincingly.

Casting Crowns is trained by Deoner Visser and owned by well-known American outfit Taylor Made Farms. The winning time was 1:50.91. Second, went to Colonel’s Pride.

Run Bayou, ridden by Rasheed Hughes and trained by Jamaica’s Andrew “Busha” Nunes, was third. Busha Nunes now trains in Barbados.

Andrew’s brother and current leading trainer in Jamaica, Anthony Nunes had three runners in the Pitons Cup, one of which, Rock Creek, was ridden by Shane Ellis. Rock Creek finished sixth with Oriental Crown occupying the fifth slot.

In the other races on the five-race card, Anthony’s horses Shane Doan finished second with Nasty Critter and Queen of Pitons both earning third spots.

Earnings on all races were paid out to positions one to six.