Faugheen heads Champion Hurdle ratings as main contenders stand their ground

Filed on 12 Feb 2015 @ 08:11

Cheltenham Festival 2015 championship race acceptors revealed

The acceptors for the five main Grade One championship contests - the Stan James Champion Hurdle, the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Ladbrokes World Hurdle, the Ryanair Chase and the Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup, plus the newly-promoted OLBG Mares' Hurdle - at next month's Cheltenham Festival have been unveiled, with the main contenders all standing their ground.

Dubawi filly tops Arqana February Sale

Filed on 12 Feb 2015 @ 08:00

Sale returns trade on a par with 2013

Tuesday's second and final session of Arqana’s February Mixed Sale saw 122 of the 170 lots that went under the hammer change hands (a clearance rate of 71%) at an average price of €8,300, grossing €1,014,900.

Gentlewave colt tops steady Arqana February opener

Filed on 10 Feb 2015 @ 09:06

Trade drops back to 2013 levels

Monday's opening session of the Arqana February Sale saw 127 of the 176 horses on offer change hands (a clearance rate in excess of 72%) for an average price marginally above €7,000. Following on an outstanding 2014 renewal, and for its first-ever two-day format, the February Mixed Sale returned to its level of 2013. The aggregate for day 1 reached €895,500.

Shared Belief sees off California Chrome in the San Antonio

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 11:11

Santa Anita, 8 February 2015

Candy Ride colt comes out on top at Santa Anita

Jerry Hollendorfer’s Shared Belief (Candy Ride), a tough-luck loser of the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Classic last November, established himself as the nation’s top older horse with a convincing 1 ½ length win over reigning Horse of the Year California Chrome in Saturday’s Grade Two San Antonio Invitational at Santa Anita, as he negotiated 1 1/8 miles under Mike Smith in 1:48.45.

Tapit's Constitution makes all in the Donn Handicap

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:49

Gulfstream Park, 8 February 2015

2014 Florida Derby winner lands Gulfstream Grade One

The return to Gulfstream Park on Saturday brought out the best in Constitution (Tapit), when the Todd Pletcher-trained four-year-old colt led throughout the 60th running of the Grade One Donn Handicap to register a three-quarters of a length victory over 2014 winner Lea.

Mshawish takes Grade One honours in the Gulfstream Turf Handicap

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:38

Gulfstream Park, 8 February 2015

Stuck behind horses with the wire in sight, Al Shaqab Racing’s Mshawish (Medaglia D'Oro) found a narrow opening in deep stretch to split horses and outfinish Slumber for a thrilling nose victory in Saturday’s Grade One Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

A P McCoy to retire by the end of the season

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:27

19-times champion jockey announces decision to retire

A P McCoy, the dominant force among National Hunt jockeys for the last two decades, announced his decision to retire by the end of this season at Newbury on Saturday, immediately after he had brought up his double century of winners for the season when piloting Mr Mole to victory in the Game Spirit Chase.

Front-running Violet Dancer wins the Betfair Hurdle

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:19

Trainer Gary Moore won his third Betfair Hurdle in recent years when the front-running Violet Dancer won the valuable event at Newbury on Saturday.

Ridden from the front by Josh Moore, Violet Dancer was well clear at the third-last, and found plenty when Cheltenian challenged, coming home three lengths to the good. Activial was third, with the favourite Calipto fourth.

Mr Mole wins the Game Spirit as Sire De Grugy unseats

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:08

Coneygree an impressive winner of the Denman Chase

The Paul Nicholls-trained Mr Mole won an eventful renewal of the Betfair Price Rush Chase (Registered As The Game Spirit Chase) at Newbury on Saturday, prevailing under A.P. McCoy despite having lost 10 lengths at the start. The seven year old took advantage after Sire De Grugy and Uxizandre both departed in the home straight, coming home 13 lengths clear of Upsilon Bleu.

Vibrato Valtat impresses in the Kingmaker Chase

Filed on 8 Feb 2015 @ 10:05

Nicholl's main contender for the Arkle wins in style

Last December's Henry VIII Chase winner Vibrato Valtat was an impressive winner of the Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Warwick on Saturday, sweeping four and a half lengths of Top Gamble after the second last fence.

Frankyfourfingers wins at Meydan as African Story fails to fire

Filed on 6 Feb 2015 @ 08:23

Dubai, 5 February 2015

Frankyfourfingers (Sunday Break) gave rookie flat race trainer, Salem Bin Ghadeyer a first big-race win in the Group Two Al Maktoum Challenge R2 empowered by IPIC on Thursday evening’s Dubai World Cup Carnival card. The middle round of the Al Maktoum Challenge series, held over 1900m, also featured African Story, the Dubai World Cup defending champion, who ran home unplaced on a first try on dirt.

Australian champion sire Encosta de Lago retired from stud duty

Filed on 6 Feb 2015 @ 08:21

Australia, 6 February 2015

Coolmore Australia has announced that champion sire Encosta de Lago has been retired from active stud duty at the age of 21. The son of Fairy King has twice been crowned champion sire of Australia as well as earning the title of champion sire in Hong Kong for the 2011/12 season.

Acclamation mare tops strong renewal of Tattersalls February Sale

Filed on 6 Feb 2015 @ 08:12

Aggregate rises 19% on last year

The Tattersalls February Sale saw a record turnover and median with the mares Sutton Veny and Postale leading the way, selling for 80,000 guineas and 72,000 guineas respectively. The one-day sale saw 211 lots sell for a record 2,586,100 guineas, a rise of 19% on last year’s renewal with the average at 12,256 guineas - down 2.7% - and the median a record 7,000 guineas, up 3.7% on last year. The clearance rate for the sale was an impressive 88%, up from 80% last year.

Dynaste ruled out of Ryanair defence with injury

Filed on 5 Feb 2015 @ 09:04

Last year's Ryaniar Chase winner Dynaste will not be lining up in this year's renewal of the two and a half mile Grade One after being ruled out for the season. The nine-year-old returned sore after finishing third in the BetBright Cup at Cheltenham at the end of last month.

Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere among 98 Grand National entries

Filed on 5 Feb 2015 @ 09:01

Last season's Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Lord Windermere heads 98 entries for the £1-million Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on Saturday, April 11. Trained in Ireland by Jim Culloty, the nine-year-old could bid to become the first horse since L’Escargot and only the third ever to win the Gold Cup and Grand National.

Presenting colt tops strong Tattersalls Ireland February Sale

Filed on 4 Feb 2015 @ 08:07

A strong renewal of the Tattersalls Ireland February NH Sale on Tuesday saw consistent trade through the day and at the close of play the average of €8,635 and the median of €6,200 were improvements of 9% and 24% on 2014. The aggregate of €1,493,900 was also an increase of 48% on last years sale and was the highest turnover seen at the February Sale since the two day sale in 2008.

Returning Sire De Grugy heads six in the Game Spirit Chase

Filed on 4 Feb 2015 @ 08:01

The Gary Moore-trained Sire De Grugy is set to make his return to action in the Betfair Price Rush Chase at Newbury on Saturday, where he heads an entry of six. The nine-year-old was the stunning six-length of the Queen Mother Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season but has not been seen out since winning a Grade One contest at Sandown Park in April after a setback.

Quinn planning Guineas prep for The Wow Signal

Filed on 4 Feb 2015 @ 07:56

Last season's Coventry Stakes and Prix Morny winner The Wow Signal (Starspangledbanner) is being trained for a prep run before lining up in the Qipco 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 2.

Calipto heads 32 in the Betfair Hurdle

Filed on 4 Feb 2015 @ 07:55

Ante-post favourite Calipto headlines 32 six-day acceptors for the £155,000 Grade Three Betfair Hurdle at Newbury on Betfair Super Saturday, February 7. Calipto has not run since finishing runner-up at Cheltenham in October and is out to give champion trainer Paul Nicholls a second victory in the extended two-mile contest. The Somerset handler took the spoils with Zarkandar in 2012.

25 years on – thoughts of Curzon Street and Charlie

Filed on 2 Feb 2015 @ 08:13

Charles Benson was a larger than life character who was a member of the Lord Lucan set and fraternised with Barry Hills and Robert Sangster. I came to know him around 25 years ago when his autobiography No Regard For Money (‘No regard for the truth, either, old man’, as O’Sullevan impishly remarked) came out and he arrived at Corsham Street to do an interview with me for SIS, then broadcasting exclusively to the betting shops.

Callback cruises to Las Virgenes victory

Filed on 1 Feb 2015 @ 10:50

Santa Anita, 31 January 2015

Exacta for Street Sense in Santa Anita Grade One

Sent to the lead, Callback (Street Sense) opened up leaving the three furlong pole under Martin Garcia and went on to a hard-fought half length win in Saturday’s Grade One Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita as she ran a mile in 1:36.92 while outrunning eight rival three-year-old fillies. Trained by Bob Baffert, lightly raced Callback ran without blinkers for the first time in her four-race career.

Mullins lands Sandown Grade One with Gitane Du Berlais

Filed on 1 Feb 2015 @ 10:44

Irish champion trainer Willie Mullins made a successful raid on the Grade One Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices' Chase at Sandown on Saturday, with Gitane Du Berlais proving much the best under Daryl Jacob, seeing off Irish Saint with plenty in hand. The winning margin was eight lengths. Champagne West fell when making a move from the rear, and Splash Of Ginge was pulled up.

Silsol defies top weight in the Welsh Champion Hurdle

Filed on 1 Feb 2015 @ 10:41

The Paul Nicholls-trained Silsol defied top weight to win the Betway Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las on Saturday, taking command before the second last flight under 7lb claimer Jack Sherwood and going five lengths clear of the pacesetting Kayf Moss.

NZB Select Sale concludes on a par with 2014

Filed on 30 Jan 2015 @ 10:06

New Zealand, 30 January 2015

Tartan Bearer colt sets new record price for sale

New Zealand Bloodstock’s 2015 Select Sale drew to a close on Friday with three solid days of trade that posted figures to match last year’s successful Sale. There was a new record price for the sale with a colt by first season sire Tartan Bearer - winner of the Dante Stakes selling for $525,000, smashing the previous record of $300,000 set in the bumper year of 2008. Lot 610 is a half-brother to Group Two winner and multiple Group One placegetter Thunder Fantasy (Lucky Owners).

Vercingetorix continues De Kock's domination of the Al Rashidiya

Filed on 30 Jan 2015 @ 10:00

Dubai, 30 January 2015

Meydan Group Two double for Soumillon

Christophe Soumillon was in the Meydan winner’s enclosure for both the Cape Verdi and the Al Rashidiya on Thursday after landing a Group Two double in the Dubai World Cup Carnival.