Sunday, 24 January 2021

Tiger Roll - Grand National

Could Tiger Roll be the next Red Rum
Already a four-time winner at the Cheltenham Festival, as well as a Grand National winner, Tiger Roll has carved his name, indelibly, into the annals of history. However, still only a nine-year-old, and officially 8lb ‘well in’ for his attempt to become the first back-to-back winner of the Grand National since Red Rum in 1974, Tiger Roll is a top-priced 9/2 to defend his crown. 

When the Grand National weights were revealed on February 12, Tiger Roll was allotted 11st 1lb, commensurate with an official handicap rating of 159 but, following an effortless, 22-length victory in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham on March 13, his rating was raised to 167. However, no penalties are applied to horses who have won since the publication of the Grand National weights so, with British Horseracing Authority (BHA) handicapper Martin Greenwood freely admitting that he has ‘possibly underestimated’ the level of the Cheltenham form, the continued support for Tiger Roll is, perhaps, understandable. 

Indeed, Tiger Roll has the potential to become the shortest-priced favourite for the Grand National for a good many years. That said, the shortest-priced favourite in the history of the Grand National was Golden Miller who, in 1935, was sent off at 2/1 after breaking the Aintree course record the previous year; he unseated jockey Gerry Wilson at the open ditch known as ‘Booth’ on the first circuit. The shortest-priced winner of the Grand National, though, was Poethlyn, who was sent off at 11/4 favourite in 1919; he had also won the previous renewal, known as the ‘War National’, staged at Gatwick Racecourse in 1918. 

Before you steam into Tiger Roll, it is worth remembering that several horses have threatened to start the Grand National at, frankly, ridiculously short prices, only for punters to come to their senses on the day of the race. In 2008, Cloudy Lane, trained by Donald McCain, went into the National chasing a four-timer and seemed likely to be sent off at around 7/2, before drifting to 7/1. In 2015, it was a similar story with Shutthefrontdoor, trained by Jonjo O’Neill; seeking to give Sir Anthony McCoy his second National winner on his final ride in the race, Shutthefrontdoor came in for sustained public support before drifting to a more realistic 6/1 at the ‘off’. 

It is also worth remembering that plenty of recent Grand National winners, including Bindaree, Hedgehunter, Comply Or Die, Ballabriggs and Many Clouds, have tried and failed, to emulate Red Rum. Hedgehunter and Comply Or Die did, of course, finish second on their second attempts, in 2006 and 2009, respectively. Both horses were 10-year-olds by that stage, with Hedgehunter carrying 12lb, and Comply Or Die 15lb, more than they did the previous year so, having already won off his revised mark, which is 9lb higher than last year – and being only a 9-year-old to boot – Tiger Roll may yet be making headlines, once again, on April 6.

Friday, 11 December 2020

Grand National 2021 - Bookie Vs Sweepstake

It was a sad day in Grand National history when the 2020 running was cancelled due to Coronavirus. 

I think the only other occasions the Greatest Steeplechase in the World did not taken place was in times of the great wars and 1997 when the race was postponed for two day after the Provisional Irish Republican Army threatened to explode a bomb. 

It was disappointing to see the 2020 Grand National fall by the way when it looked to be an even-money shot to take place. 

I hate to be negative but the Virtual Grand National was simply a poor replacement and meaningless.

Fans of Tiger Roll, who would be attempting to win three Grand Nationals on the bounce, missed his chance of making history - perhaps even superseding the legendary status of Donald ''Ginger'' McCain's Red Rum who won in 1973, 1974 & 1977. 

Considering George Elliott's charge disappointed on this return to racing, pulling-up at Cheltenham when a 4/1 shot to take the 3m 6f Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase, it proves such opportunities are fleeting at best.  With talk of retiring the son of Authorized if putting in below-par effort on his next outing, the Grand National has another story to tell.

Let's hope for connections and racing fans that Tiger Roll takes his chance to equal the unprecedented victories of Red Rum. I'm sure many fans of ''Rummy'' will be hoping Tiger Roll doesn't turn up although not many would wish that on such a resolute ''pintsized'' horse who is literally made of steel. 

By 5:15 PM Saturday 10th April, we will know the line-up and those brave horses and jockeys taking part, each with their story to tell, with the chance of making history. 

It's interesting that many people who never bet chance their luck on Grand National. 

I remember my Gran, we called her Nana Polo (because we used to get confused which Nan was which and my Dad's mum loved Polo mints). 

Ivy Coote ''Nana Polo'' wouldn't have a bet in a year of Sundays.

However, when it came to the Grand National she was ready to bet like a man!

I'm pretty sure she backed Red Rum on all his victories in the 1970s. My brother and I there by her side cheering him on too.

But here's the question. 

Do you bet with bookies or sweepstake?

I have taken part in both and they are options for all those who love to watch the race, be part of the excitement, and hopefully win a few pounds along the way. 

Now, each to their own, but I would always favour betting with the bookies rather than the sweepstake.

Here are my top 5 reasons why betting on the Sweepstake may be a bad idea. 

1) It's based on luck rather than skill. If you have an opinion that's reason enough to bet with a traditional bookmakers. 

2) The majority of winners of the Grand National would have given a much better return on your bet. 

3) If you fancy an outsider in the Grand National you would be crazy to play the sweepstake. 

4) Gambling is about putting your money down. Somehow, the sweepstake seems like you are doing something less exciting. 

5) The only reason you should favour the sweepstake over the bookies is if the last horse to be picked is the favourite. I can tell you this much - that offer won't be around long. 

Whatever your Grand National tip, bet, wager, finger's crossed this year's contest takes place and horses and jockeys finish safe and sound. 

Good luck. 

Rule The World Grand National Winner 2016

Rule The Word Grand National Winner
As the 169th Crabbies Grand National earnestly kicked off at the customary Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool, not even the most seasoned racing pundits could expect a mere 33-1 shot to miraculously clinch a dramatic victory. All the same, that’s what exactly transpired. 

The feisty Rule the World – that little-known champ who had never bagged any other steeplechase title before, simply ran faster than all his challengers to a spectacular finish! This utterly startling win watched by millions of fans excitedly following the Grand National, both locally and on thousands of television screens across the world. 

Ably ridden by the mud-stained David Mullins, the persistent ‘magic’ horse unbelievably outpaced The Last Samuri – the vigorously chasing runner up - by a whopping six lengths! Strenuously trailing the leading duo was the doughty Vic's Canvas – the only 13-year-old participant in the race, and who also enduringly galloped home to a distant third place. 

Rule The World indeed accomplished a once-in-a-generation horse-racing exploit. He made history as the only complete novice to secure a Grand National win, with a similar feat having been equally phenomenally marked in 1958 by Mr. What. 

Trained in Ireland by Mouse Morris, the unanticipated success seems to have been made possible by the acclaimed 67-year-old’s thorough training. The triumph attracted worldwide praise as an undisputed masterstroke, especially given the fact that the Irish ace had lost his son to carbon monoxide poisoning a year before. Morris opined that he’d not expected his horse to pull off anything better than a hard-fought third position. He reportedly quipped that he’d have still deemed a lesser performance admirable enough. 

A telling sparkle appeared on his beaming face, the jubilant trainer joked that the underrated horse had “ran on like a train...Didn’t he?” Thus rhetorically posed the delighted champion trainer; somewhat betraying an awkward readiness to put up with anyone eager to oppose his patently exaggerated claim that his gifted horse had supposedly flitted like a real train.

Besides, the overjoyed training genius revealed that the out-of-the-blue front runner had in fact suffered some slight troubles jumping in earlier training sessions. According to the respected Irish horseman, the incredibly flourishing Rule The World had also sustained career-jeopardizing injuries previously - two pelvis fractures and a few other grim mid-track accidents, for instance. 

Even so, the exceedingly proud Morris didn’t hesitate to detail that Rule The World was one of the finest horses he had trained. Summarized, Morris took immense pride in the fact that the formerly unpromising horse had just catapulted his career to new heights. 

In addition, the winning jockey enjoyed the limelight. A nephew of legendary trainer Willie Mullins, David Mullins’s magical success amply proved that he’s essentially tipped for a successful career. 

Mullins shared the veteran trainer’s misgivings concerning the horse's lack of experience - candidly telling journalists that he’d also harbored worries that the new champion would lose speed as he’d earlier exhibited slight problems jumping fences. 

The event was sponsored by Crabbies – the giant ginger-beer maker who financially supported the contest for the last time after three successive sponsorships. The high-ranking live broadcast rights went to Channel 4 for the fourth consecutive year. The widely followed championship’s field proceedings were also covered by BBC Radio, having retained airing privileges for nearly a century, since 1927.

A total of 106 potential competitors sought inclusion in the 2016 Aintree race. However, the preliminary appraisal shortened the list to 96 contenders, and an even finer confirmatory review left only 87 candidates. Making four customary reservations to cater for any eleventh-hour withdrawals, the final 40 contestants were officially announced on April 7. 

The overall winner was awarded a cash prize of £561,300. The Last Samuri (ridden by David Bass), Mullin’s closest challenger, received a comparatively smaller but still covetable bounty - £211,100. Vics Canvas, adroitly steered by Robert Dunne, got a worthy token of £105,500. The fourth and the fifth slots went to Gilgamboa/Robbie Power (£52,700) and Goonyella/Jonny Burke (£26,500) in that order.



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Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Grand National 1970 Winner: Gay Trip Wins at Top Weight

Gay Trip was the third of four different horses trained by Fred Rimell to win the Grand National. The reigning champion trainer at the time, Rimmell had already saddled E.S.B. – the main beneficiary of the bizarre collapse of Devon Loch – in 1956 and Nicolaus Silver in 1960 to victory in the celebrated steeplechase.

Gay Trip was due to be ridden by Terry Biddlecombe but, with the retained jockey at Kinnersley Stables sidelined through injury, was partnered by 40-year-old Irishman Pat Taaffe instead. Taaffe had been instrumental in the purchase of Gay Trip by Fred Rimmell on behalf of owner Tony Chambers, who reasoned that he should be offered the ride on account of having “virtually bought the horse”.

Gay Trip had been in decent form during the 1969/70 season, winning the Mackeson Gold Cup at Cheltenham the previous November, under 11st 5lb, and subsequently running creditably in defeat in the Massey Ferguson Gold Cup, the King George VI Chase and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Consequently, he was allotted top weight for the National – also, coincidentally, 11st 5lb – and, as a confirmed two-and-a-half mile specialist, was sent off joint-seventh choice of the 28 runners at 15/1.

Only seventh of the dozen horses still standing at the end of the first circuit of the National Course, Gay Trip was “still running away with Pat Taaffe” as the field approached Becher’s Brook, according to BBC commentator Julian Wilson. He went some way clear of the remainder, along with Vulture and Dozo, crossing the Melling Road for the final time and took a definite lead, travelling comfortably, on the run to the second last. Thereafter, the 8-year-old just drew further and further clear, crossing the line 20 lengths ahead of Vulture, with Miss Hunter half a length away in third place.


Gay Trip was a second National winner for Pat Taaffe, after Quare Times in 1955. In the intervening five decades, only Red Rum (twice), Neptune Collonges and Many Clouds have carried more weight to victory in the National and, of them, only the inimitable Red Rum shouldered top weight. 

Gay Trip ran carried top weight in the National again in 1971 and 1972. In 1971, reunited with Terry Biddlecombe, he started favourite, despite carrying 12st, but fell at the first fence. In 1972, under 11st 9lb, he failed by just 2 lengths to concede 22lb to the winner, Well To Do.



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Friday, 28 August 2020

1958 Grand National – Mr. What Stuns All with a 30-Length Victory



The 1958 Grand National was the 112th unveiling of the internationally famous Grand National equestrian sporting showdown that occurred at Aintree Racecourse, close to Liverpool in England, on 29th March 1958. The widely followed event attracted a total of 31 contenders who were competing for then-record prizemoney nearly £14,000.

The ultimate champion happened to be the 18-1 Mr. What, outdistancing number two by a whopping 30 lengths. This winning horse was steered by jockey Arthur Freeman and coached by Tom Taaffe senior...becoming the fifth contestant to clinch the grand title since the Second World War.

According to reports sports news reports doing rounds at the time, jockey Pat Taaffe should have steered Mr. What instead Arthur Freeman. He, however, missed the much-sought chance to ride his father-trained horse and make the unique history that comes with such striking firsts in the competitive racing world.

Aged only eight years at that time, and proudly owned by David Coughlan, the promising gelding happened to be winning a major derby title for the very first time. Those in the know will nevertheless bear in mind the fact that the same equine champion had participated in sundry other sporting showdowns before, most without any exemplary results.

It is also important to note that Arthur Freeman served as the Queen Mother's professional rider...and that not many racing fans really expected him to achieve such an awesome feat that very sporting season. Putting up 6 lb(equivalent to 2.7 kg) overweight, the trophy-winning pair appeared hugely favored by the prevailing precarious ground conditions of the time. It was all seemingly credible to the unmistakable preparedness of the triumphant pair and the other stakeholders(including the trainer and owner) that possibility such a colorful victory that day.

Although the champion horse appears to have been largely favored by the tricky conditions that ruined chances for closest rivals, the year witnessed the longest winning distance. Mr. Freeman won by a staggering 30 lengths - a rather huge winning gap unwitnessed in many other similar races before, or even long after.

Keen followers of the annual racing event will remember that 1958 The national champion would continue to participate in the succeeding years...somehow inking nearly equally spectacular records - maintaining a third position in the 1959 and 1962 unveilings. 

Nonetheless, Mr. What did not win any other Grand National title or excel thus exceptionally in any other similarly high-profile equine competition.

The winning duo survived two pretty encumbering blunders - at the very last jumping point and at the Becher's brook. The impact of these potentially destabilizing obstacles got summarily swept away by the sheer wisdom of the old proverb that it's indeed well that which ends well.

The two midtrack mishaps, however, proved costly, as Arthur was later diagnosed with minor head injuries that greatly affected his sporting career. He resorted to training at Suffolk, at which later equine instruction station he churned out excellent products such as Tibidabo...that unforgettable sprinter who won the National Hunt Centenary in 1966. This minor victory was nevertheless nothing compared to his unforgettable big day back in 1958.
He was all the same able to make do with other averagely rewarding victories in several other fairly rewarding races like Juvenile Hurdle on Le Bel and King George VI Chase using Lochroe. These post-1958 successes served to portray the prizewinning jockey as a real history-changing equestrian icon of superlative skill.

Arthur was born on January 7th, 1926 - to a Zetland huntsman named Bill Freeman. He began by racing on the flat in 1939 for George Lambton, a Newmarket trainer of remarkable repute. And he actually came from an illustrious pedigree of great racers that included his elder brother Bill's riding a Cap-A-Pie to emerge first in the Ebor for Lord Derby.
Having had a colorful stint in the war as an infantryman, Arthur came out rather battle-hardened go-getter and ready for gritty action on crowded racecourses. And he in such contests excelled with tremendous success, his 1958 National being crystal-clear evidence of this fact.

A season later, he rode as second jockey (behind Dick Francis); a tough assignment that he capably undertook for Peter Cazaletat, a major in the local military ranks.

In 1955, he steered the French-trained M'As-Tu-Vu for the Queen Mother, thus taking a prominent part in the year's National. He again tried his luck in the same event the following year, without much success, finishing nineteenth.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Michael Scudamore & Oxo Grab the Prestigious 1959 Grand National Jackpot



The annually-held Grand National championships are a pretty fantastic time for gaming enthusiasts from all over the world. And such a typically fabulous racing occasion was the 1959 National, which buzzy sporting contest was won by Oxo, a still little-known horse at the time.

This marked the 113th unveiling of the famously competitive horse-riding affair...usually run at the Aintree Racecourse, a few miles from Liverpool in England. Taking place on 21 March, it has been fittingly remarked as being one of the most exciting versions ever, with a couple of firsts that rendered it a particularly memorable clash.

The event's ultimate victory went to the 8/1 Oxo, shepherded by the evidently skillful Michael Scudamore, a jockey of real tenacious zeal. The unanticipated winner had been trained by Willie Stephenson.

The iconic race drew a total of thirty-four horses, including the defending champion, Mr. What, who finished third. The second place went to Wyndburgh, a tough horse who would go on to enroll for a couple of other future clashes. However, he at large ended up without inking any other similarly victorious career records.

The 1959 staging involved a characteristically large number of in-field accidents, with a single fatality. Henry Purcell was one of the few unlucky jockeys who suffered an early fall at the Becher's Brook, a somewhat spooky harbinger that portended the occurrence of thirteen other pace-killing mishaps.

Following Purcell in the slowly unfolding string of falls was Slippery Serpent, who conked out at the 13th fence. The terminally injured runner was eventually euthanized as a result of irrecoverable fracture problems, one week after the ill-fated sprint. The ensuing encumbrances attracted a great deal of negative coverage by animal lovers and equestrian opponents from across the globe.

Actually, a major debate on these questionable accidents convened in the British parliament...to discuss for the umpteenth time the very obvious brutalities previously associated with equine games. The Home Secretary, Rab Butler, was arraigned before the local National Hunt Committee and asked to respond to the growing concerns voiced by various global fraternities opposed to the time-honored animal sport.

The winning horse was only a little bay gelding raised up in Dorset by one A.C. Wyatt. Being generally inexperienced in top-cadre professional sprints, very few actually expected him to come out with such a record-setting performance. He nevertheless easily pierced the proverbial ceiling to take home the year's jackpot.

The 1959 winner was only eight years old when he attained this picture-perfect success. He was owned by Jack Biggs but instructed by Willie Stephenson around Royston...a doubtless fine horse handler domiciled in Hertfordshire, also Stephenson's close buddy and valued professional partner.

Michael Scudamore received wide-ranging accolades for the classic feat. He's especially celebrated as a truly dexterous rider who ably steered a sheer starter with the shiny odds of 8/1, a second favorite, to a distinguished finish. He had to beat the mighty challenge posed by Wyndburgh, who missed the top prize by one and a half lengths.

Michael Scudamore, the number-one rider of the year, was born on 17 July 1932. He was a locally admired equine maverick who dominated numerous English National Hunt sporting meets in the 1950s and 1960s. He capably captained to excellent finishes many illustrious runners, a glittering catalogue of victories capped by his winning 1959 National atop Oxo.
Moreover, he took a prominent part in 16 uninterrupted Aintree tournaments, with Oxo's stunt entering history books as his most noteworthy racing feat. The hardworking jockey is also famed for having ridden Linwell - a relatively renowned horse best remembered for winning 1957 Gold Cup.

Mr. Scudamore's sufficiently decorated equestrian gaming career hit a final snag in 1966, due to grave racetrack accidents. The determined rider developed severe health complications after a serious fall while on a chance ride, on Snakestone, at Wolverhampton. These led to multiple fractures and a problematic lung, eventually causing near-blindness in one eye.

None to be easily deterred by any small upsets, the unconquerable riding doyen carried on with his horse training career until his demise four decades later. Michael Scudamore continues to be deservedly eulogized as one of the modern world's most outstanding equestrian talents of all time. To say the least, he's a lasting motivation to upcoming jockeys and seasoned gamers alike.

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Hot Favorite Earth Summit Wins 1998 Grand National

Earth Summit Grand National Winner 1989
Earth Summit, a pre-match 7-1 favourite, successfully outran other contesters participating in the 1998 Grand National to pass the finishing post distinct streets ahead at Aintree Racecourse. Maintaining a chiefly judicious pace from the very start, jockey Carl Llewellyn beat Sun Bay (the 2nd runner) by an extraordinary 11 lengths. Samlee and St Mellion Fairway took distant third and fourth position, respectively. 

Such a ‘superbly judged’ run – as a lively BBC coverage immediately described it - had hardly been before seen at the Liverpool’s time-honoured racing facility. As many longstanding gaming experts rightly explained, the shiny performance narrowly paralleled another similarly tremendous record inked by the same rider back in 1992. 

Again, it was not only Llewellyn’s worthy show of skill but also a likewise solid testimony for Nigel Twiston-Davies’ superior horse-training prowess.

Nigel Twiston-Davies seemed completely clueless at first, and just tensely looking on as the tough chase kicked off and the participants coursed along the ancient gaming arena. Evidently, very little could at those early moments tip the experienced trainer about the huge honours that lay ahead of him. 

Some minutes later, the consummate equestrian coach was however spotted celebrating and hugging Llewellyn quite heartily in the finishing area. 

In what has since been commonly described as the most unfavourable British weather conditions for a Grand National showdown, Earth Summit overcame such notoriously inclement climatic circumstances to pull off an unprecedented 11-length finish…confirming the rosy pre-contest predictions he’d earned from the majority of Aintree aficionados before the event’s kickoff. 

Official statistical records prove that the literally murky clash noted three racetrack fatalities – with Do Rightly, Pashto, and Griffins Bar emerging out of the harsh National scuffle with outright mortal wounds.

Close observers have also unanimously lauded the top horse’s ‘perfect start’ – having met all his fans’ wild expectations as a deserving 7-1 favourite ahead of the competition. 

Earth Summit came out as the only renowned runner who really lived up to prior punters’ anticipations…while other would-be champs such as Rough Quest and Suny Bay desperately drifted to less-shiny forecasts hours to the start, and eventually fell distantly short of the glossy pre-race wagers they’d previously attracted from optimistic supporters. 

The unforgettable steeplechase showpiece was preceded by a rare torrential downpour. But, immediately the interrupting drizzling had ceased, the officiating starter Simon Morrant paced undeterred his designated post, and at once formally ushered anxious clutter into the long-awaited tussle. 

Shortly after, Pashto became the first casualty to crash to the rain-drenched floor at some point along the initial fence. 

With many mud-encumbered pairs falling out of the weather-affected circuit, Greenhil Tare Away was sighted making positive moves up the testing field, a few minutes into the historical chase. Almost simultaneously, Decyborg began to create some gap between the two candidates, even with the frontrunners breaking into an apparent casual banter that lasted some brief moments. 

On the other hand, a bunch of furiously advancing competitors soon started to emerge from the rear. Subsequently, the leading duo then called off their budding chitchat so as to better fight the growing opposition behind them. 

Toward the end of the first circuit, any keen spectator might have easily noted the cutthroat pursuit put up by real soft-ground pros such as Cel de Brion and St Mellion Fairway. Minutes later, as the collectively energized huddle eased into the second circuit, the day’s ultimate winner remained tactfully inconspicuous…slyly beguiling himself among then still-middling sprinters like Sun Bay and other hard-to-notice eventual top performers. 

Having thus clandestinely but very calculatingly trailed their colleagues throughout much of the track, both Sun Bay and Earth Summit finally shot into limelight as they dashed past the Becher’s Brook – commanding an invincible lead. All of a sudden, the latter gained even greater momentum and began to gradually outdistance his closest challenger.

Although Suny Bay tried all the harder to keep up with the winning galloper, he appeared to lack the requisite strength to outdo the more determined pair. In the end, amid deafening ululations issuing from the unbelieving crowds, Carl Llewellyn unstoppably piloted his resolute mount to trounce second-placed Graham Bradley by an unmistakable 11 lengths.

The third-ranking horse was Samlee – steered by the thoroughly practised Richard Dunwoody, swiftly followed by Andrew Thornton's St Mellion Fairway and Kenny Whelan/Gimme Five, in that particular order.



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Thursday, 20 February 2020

Bob's Worth Inimitable Racing Career - 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup & Other Notable Sporting Exploits



A rare record graced Bob's Worth's glistering gaming career after winning the extensively coveted Gold Cup 2013 title. The unassailable champion became the very first racing star to bag a consecutive string of three Cheltenham wins since the unbeatable Flyingbolt in the 1960s. It was such a thrilling moment - as the helplessly ecstatic multitudes roared their deafening cheers, and as the victory-smelling trailblazer gained momentum to pass Sir Des Champs and Long Run close to the final fence, with adequate tenacity still left to outdistance the two rivals by a whopping 7 lengths. Just as the proud rider remarked, the indefatigable winner proved to be such a truly brave and professional horse - an outstanding gold medalist of real unparalleled repute.
It was such an immensely happy moment for trainer Nicky Henderson as his horse came out as the overall best in a widely viewed Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, with an equally successful stablemate Long Run emerging third in the same globally famous mete. This godsend breakthrough came even as the remarkably celebrated gamer was marking his 50th year of unparalleled racing stardom. The internationally revered training maverick praised Barry Geraghty ever so profusely for having patiently but skillfully ridden the star-studded victor to such a breathtaking record-breaking finish.
The decisive performance was, however, a near miracle, according to a tearfully delighted Geraghty who confessed to having sensed a possible decline in his mount mid-way the course. In fact, the successful showing was attributable to his skillful management of the winner's apparently diminished energy throughout the colorful sprint, the title-emboldened rider said, amid cheers from thousands of congratulating fans.
Held on 15 March 2013, this was the 85th annual running of the Cheltenham Gold Cup horse race. Just as the name already tellingly suggests, the electrifying event was held at Cheltenham Racecourse, an enduring tradition that has continued for numerous years ever since the decade-old yearly function's first staging. It featured a total of nine horses - out of whom the 11/4 favorite Bobs Worth emerged the overall winner. The second and third places were grabbed by Sir Des Champs and Long Run(also trained by Henderson) respectively. The outstandingly colorful tournament was broadcast on channel 4 throughout the UK and Ireland.
Foaled on 21st May in 2005, the Irish-bred but British-trained racehorse is now considered to be among the most gifted thoroughbreds in the entire annals of English equestrian gaming fraternity. Having also emerged top in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle in 2011, the newly crowned champion is an indisputably formidable figure throughout Europe and beyond. Additionally, the gallant star outdid several other equally endowed runners to attain gold in the RSA Chase in 2012, thus making him the first-ever lucky mount since Flyingbolt in the 1960s to clinch three different races of intercontinental interest. The star-decorated sensation also bagged the globally famed Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury within the same racing period. Although he was painstakingly trained by the now-doubly-happy Nicky Henderson, Bobs Worth still remains under the proud ownership of the Not Afraid Partnership.
The legendary winner began his racing career during the 2009/10 sporting phase, the National Hunt season. Participating in two notable meets, he grabbed the top position in one while emerging second in the other, both at Kempton Park. The gold-seeking sporting icon followed this up with a deserved victory at Cheltenham. Ridden by this very capably seasoned jockey - Barry Geraghty - the naturally lucky horse went ahead to win a two and a half hurdle tournament at Cheltenham, at the same venue where he made history on 15th March 2013.
Already emboldened by the yesteryear's commendable performances in various racetrack events, the intensely admired 11/4 favorite entered the heavily contested Cheltenham Gold Cup tournament. According to the unanimous views expressed by some respected commentators and equestrian sporting pundits, Bobs Worth appeared quite unlikely to beat other tough-fighting racing giants since he looked somehow hampered at the third fence - still an estimated 8 lengths behind Long Run. While the actual gallops and magical hops that actually followed after this clearly unfavorable juncture remain subject the varying opinions and conjectures of keen spectators, it was extremely unbelievable for all to finally see Geraghty outdistance Sir Des Champs by a whole 7 lengths to earn a third consecutive Cheltenham title.
A bay gelding bred and nurtured by Mrs. L Eadie, Bobs Worth's dam was dubbed Fashionista - a daughter of George VI favorite champion King's Theatre. The internationally recognized champ is also closely related to Burton Port and Bob Back - both spectacularly talented participants in various top-cadre tourneys such as Epsom Derby and Supreme Novices' Hurdle. Again, the 2013 title winner is also a close relative of Roberto - the extensively remembered earner of 1972 Epsom Derby championships. Going by the foregoing genealogical highlights, it seems abundantly clear that the experienced gamer has in their most innate genetic canyons all it takes to outrun even the most unforgiving of his racecourse competitors.
Unlike other racers that slump into near oblivion after a glimmering sporting bout, Bobs Worth has continued to post extraordinarily colorful results after his 2015 Cheltenham breathtaking feat. For instance, the timeless hero struck a rare seasonal debut in the Betfair Chase - held at Haycock Park Racecourse in November, the same year. Starting as a 15/8 favorite in a particularly tough contest featuring longstanding luminaries such as Silviniaco Conti, Tidal Bay, and Long Run. However, the already world-lauded star was not in his best form. Consequently, Geraghty eased him down and maintained a comparatively moderate speed, eventually finishing sixth. At this placement, the remarkably unfit Bobs stood a total of 40 lengths behind Cue Card - the title-clinching horse.
Bob's steadily shining gaming skill remained inextinguishable even throughout the 2015/16 racing season. Specifically, the sensational runner enjoyed a successful start of his novel campaign in the Betfred Hurdle on 7th November 2015, effectively reestablishing his diminished standings after being expelled as the outsider of 5 runner field. This laudable achievement was Bob's first participation in hurdles meet after a show-stopping victory at the 2011 Cheltenham Festival. What's even more enthrallingly commendable is the fact that the brave sporting idol remained unbeaten until he came third during the World Hurdle at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Beginners Guide to Betting the Grand National

The Grand National is one of those races that doesn't need an introduction. Taking place at Aintree, Liverpool it is the world's most famous steeplechase. It is viewed by millions of racing fans who keep coming back for more. 

What makes the Grand National different from many horse races is that the whole family love to bet. Everyone sits around the box (TV) in the corner ready for the race to begin. This year, our household will be like so many across the UK. Checking the colour of their horse, remembering its name and, of course, taking note of the betting odds. 

I'm sure you are like me, calculating the winnings before the first fence has been jumped.

(In fact, even before the race has started.) 

That reminds me, set the reminder on your phone for 5:15 pm, Aintree, Saturday, 6th April 2019. 

Get seated. A nice cup of tea and a couple of biscuits to mop up any spillage from your saucer as the excitement builds. Now here's the important part. The Beginners Guide to Betting on the Grand National. Here you can bet on the Grand National and claim a free bet. It's important because so many bookmakers want you to bet with them so you can receive bigger odds or bonuses by shopping around. 

Let's take a quick review of the betting for the 2019 Grand National. The likely favourite is Tiger Roll who won the Grand National in 2018. Could this horse be another Red Rum who won three times in the 1970s? Only time will tell, but he's here with a favourite's chance. Tiger Roll could be worth a bet at 10/1

Other fancies include Rathvinden, who is in good form after winning comfortably on his return to racing at Fairyhouse in February. Bookies have this bay gelding, trained by Irishman Willie Mullins, priced 12/1. You have to go back to 2005 when Hedgehunter won for the stable. A long time between drinks! 

A horse which may go well at speculative odds is Elegant Escape. This seven-year-old may be a touch immature for a race of this stature. His trainer, Colin Tizzard, is still looking forward to his first National winner. On the plus side, this rare talent has won the Welsh National, which is often a good indicator of a horse's chance, and he's earmarked as a possible Gold Cup winner.

Anibale Fly finished fourth in last year's National. Can Tony Martin's charge defy the weights after that sparkling effort? This gelding is owned by legendary punter J P McManus who won with Don't Push It (2010), the year Tony McCoy finally won got the monkey off his back to taste victory in the getting steeplechase of them all. 

Whichever horse you bet, lady luck can decide your fate. The likes of Foinavon, who won at odds of 100/1 in 1967. His owner gave him so little chance he went to a different racecourse to watch a different horse! For those betting for the first time, here are a few pointers. Even though it doesn't seem very scientific you may get lucky by following a favourite name, colour or number. Remember there are 40 runners! (In case you have a penchant for the number 53). The betting odds are often shortened toward the start of the race, so take a price when placing your bet. Simply say: ''Can I take the price, please!'' and you are likely to see the benefit come to the starting price (SP). 

Other than that, please, if you are sitting next to your old gran and her horse hits the front, watch out for that boiling cup of tea. 

Good luck.

Friday, 13 December 2019

Monty's Pass Takes 2003 Grand National

Monty's Pass Takes 2003 Grand National
Monty’s Pass inked a breathtaking win during the 2003 Grand National showpiece, held at England’s Liverpool’s Aintree racecourse. The noteworthy event is also referred to as the Martell Grand National, in an enduring centuries-old effort to commemorate the lucky bearers of the year’s sponsorship privileges. The apparently in-form 10-year-old won attained these laudable accolades under the adroit ride of one Barry Geraghty – a really experienced equestrian sportsman of longstanding status.

The chiefly fortunate winning rider and galloper are both internationally viewed as astonishingly gifted racetrack competitors. The champion horse had been trained in Ireland by Jimmy Mangan and smartly outran the second runner to come first by a decisive victory margin of 12 lengths!

Obviously, this wonderful job not only entered history’s fairest chronicles as one of the biggest winning margins ever but also ranked among Aintree’s swiftest cases: 9 minutes and 21.7 seconds! Plainly stated, it was the creditably rare sort of distinguishing conquests that most well-knowing equine sporting aficionados would naturally expect from a richly endowed racer of Geraghty’s singular skill and endurance.

The usually 4.5-mile course attracted the regular field of 40 contenders, with only a paltry 14 of them completing the conventionally designated circuit. One of the most discrete aspects that defined the really testing showdown was the unforgettable high number of immobilizing horse injuries and jockeys casualties witnessed that memorable day. A notable case in point – the altogether unsuccessful Warren Marston and his likewise unlucky ride Goguenard lost the entire showpiece after stampeding into a crashing melee at the 19th fence
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You Never Walk Alone, a previous top favourite with the crowds - mostly due to a prior cosy dalliance with the Liverpool Football Club – ended up with a broken leg…instead of the eagerly awaited first-position medals and laurels. Even though the minor harm was shortly effectively restored, it had seemingly cost the pair the whole race, already. A fairly little-known rider Gerry Supple also faced a lot of obstacles that included a terribly fractured wrist and a wrecked nose.

Ruby Walsh’s Willy had been 2003’s leading pre-match favourite, his decent prospects having momentarily risen after a terrific display of prowess in the Gold Cup tourney, staged earlier at Haydock. The 7-1 shot however extinguished the wildly soaring crowd hopes as he sluggishly trailed top sprinters throughout the heated chase…ultimately pulling up at the 21st fence, at which fateful juncture the previously highly favoured choice encountered a terminal mishap.

Iris Bleu was another noteworthy contester who had elicited a huge deal of interest among spectators and bookmakers alike. The proud riding choice of the sufficiently renowned Tony McCoy’s had joined the clash as an 8-1 joint-favourite, a clear contrast when casually compared to the eventual winner’s 16-1 entry odds.


Monty’s Pass’s ratings had barely improved a few hours before the start of the annual confrontation – inching markedly closer to the crest from the originally predicted success chances of 40-1. Some sports media outlets like the accurate Racing Post had forecast the outstanding win some months to the ultimate yearly tussle.


Barry Geraghty’s triumph earned simultaneous honours for Dee Racing as they owned the 2003 event’s top-ranked galloper. Some of the well-known horse-owning establishment’s executive caught by media cameras celebrating this new achievement included Ian Rose, Noel Murphy, Muir Higginson, and Adam Armstrong. The evenly happy trainer Jimmy Mangan joined the tiny excited crew in relishing the extraordinary performance, their bliss-filled faces radiating heroic gleams in the searing spring sun. 


When he was finally reached for news comment, Geraghty simply described the whole conquest as a vivid authentication of his tireless practice, skill, and an undeniable measure of providential luck…maintaining the pompous air of the real sporting ace he still is today – wearing an evidently surefooted pro’s pose seeming to unflinchingly ask, “Who didn’t know Barry Geraghty does win these things, after all?” 

Tirelessly trailing Barry Geraghty and Monty’s Pass was Leighton Aspell, mounting the tenacious Supreme Glory. The third position went to Graham Lee and Amberleigh House; the horse who went ahead to clinch the 2004 National title. Barry Fenton finished fourth, atop the fairly dauntless Gunner Welburn. Lastly, Joe Tizzard steered Montifault to a quite-commendable number-five finish…and thus expediently earned himself a snug slot in the memorable roll of the big day’s five most impressive contestants.




Comment if you bet on this winner