Race Favourites and Odds Ahead of the 2021 Irish St Leger

Just a day after the English version, the Irish St Leger takes place on an excellent card at The Curragh racecourse. This is the 4.40 and the final one of three Group 1 races taking place on this course on Sunday September 12.

The Irish St Leger is run over a mile and six furlongs and is for horses aged three years and over. The first prize is €285,000 and the ground is forecast to be Good to Firm. This race has been won for the past two years by the Dermot Weld trained Search For A Song who is bidding for a hat-trick this year.

No horse has won this race three years in succession since Vinnie Roe, who won four in a row between 2001 and 2004. A win this year would see Weld win a record tenth Irish St Leger.

Can Search For A Song complete a hat-trick? It wouldn’t be possible in the English St Leger as that is a race that only three year old can race in. Search For A Song is now aged five and only one of the last nine winners of the Irish St Leger has been that age. However, in 2016, Wicklow Brave was seven years old when winning this race.

Neither of the wins by Search For A Song were expected. He’s won at odds of 10/1 and 7/1 and this year is available at 5/1 to win a third Irish St Leger. Three races have been run since the 2020 Irish St Leger win but without success.

This year has seen the five-year-old finish second in a Listed race at Leopardstown and second in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup on this course but 13 and a half lengths behind the winner. That was back in May and on Soft to Heavy ground. His 2019 Irish St Leger win came on Good to Firm ground, so a much better run is expected by betting analysts at the Racingfestivals.net this weekend.

The favourite for this race is Twilight Payment who is trained by Joseph Patrick O’Brien. The eight-year-old comes into this race having recently won the Irish St Leger trial run on this course on August 13. That was a welcome return to 14 furlongs after finishing down the field in the Ascot Gold Cup in June. Twilight Payment has won on this ground too and is currently best priced 4/1 to win this race. This runner does have to give 3lbs to the favourite but horse.bet expect a bold bid to justify its position as favourite.

Boxing fans may opt to back Sonnyboyliston. Named after the former world heavyweight champion, this is a four-year-old trained by Johnny Murtagh. Like the favourite, this runner won its last race.

That was a Class 2 race at York on August 21, so this will be a lot tougher. This runner did take part in a Group 3 event at York in July but could only finish sixth. You can get odds of 5/1 but this contender looks more a horse that can get placed rather than win the Irish St Leger.

Sir Lucan is trained by Aidan O’Brien who has won this race five times, most recently in 2018. This runner is three years old and two of the last three Irish St Leger winners have been that age. In May, Sir Lucan won a Listed race over a mile and five furlongs and was staying on well. The last two races have both been over a mile and a half but failed to win either of them. At 5/1 a good run over a longer distance looks likely.

 

Australia and the USA – Top Race

If ever there were two countries with a love of both sports and gambling it has to be Australia and the United States. While I’ve personally been to the latter (and seen the bright lights, sights and sounds of Las Vegas for instance!), I have to confess that partially on account of distance I’ve never ventured to Australia. I’ve checked out the best au online casino sites on account to see their take on ‘pokies’ and the like, and enjoyed Australian TV and movies but that’s about as far as it’s gone.

Despite that fact, both I and everyone else not living under a rock will be well aware that the biggest horse race annually in Australia is The Melbourne Cup. This world famous race takes place each year at the Victoria Racing Club on the Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria and attracts a ‘who’s who’ of racing talent. The 3200 meter thoroughbred race is one part of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and dates way back to 1861, so is not only an unmissable event but is also steeped in tradition. Current course record holder is (American thoroughbred!) Kingston Rule in 1990 and last years winner was the Joseph O’Brien trained Twilight Payment.

Stateside, we’re spoiled for choice as far as racecourses and races go. Some will no doubt opt for the Preakness Stakes (Pimlico Course), or Belmont Stakes (Belmont Park) but for me the pick of the bunch has to be the Kentucky Derby. Rather conveniently, along with the other two aforementioned races it forms the ‘Triple Crown’ of thoroughbred racing (in the history of the triple crown only 13 horses have won all three races).

Punters from far and wide are drawn in by the famous Kentucky Derby race. While some enjoy playing on the best big win casinos USA, for racing fans it’s the headline races that hold maximum appeal.  Held each year in Louisville, Kentucky, this grade one race for three year olds dates back to 1875 and beats the attendance figures of all the aforementioned races, as well as the Breeder’s Cup. Medina Spirit won the 2021 Kentucky Derby race – which was held on May 1st over a 1 1/4 mile dirt track. Legend of racing Secretariat holds the course record over this distance, doing so in 1973. The 2019 event was eventful due to Country House winning as result of the disqualification of Maximum Security. What will next year’s race have in store I wonder?

 

Dollar Days – Big Money American Horses and Races

America is always seen as the land of all things bigger and better. The ‘If I can make it there I’ll make it anywhere’ lyrics Frank Sinatra sang about New York may as well apply to the country at large really. By which I mean, the USA is hyper competitive in all spheres so it’s by no means easy to ‘make it’ in, but if you do you’ll occasionally have untold riches winging their way to you.

This can especially be true where we’re talking about gambling. Just look at Lav Vegas and how this barren land was turned into bright lights and entertainment through a combination of will and ‘green backs’. Even on the best american online casino sites, you instantly get a feel that big money isn’t far away.

The world of horse racing is no different of course, a number of American races bring with them prize money than any owner would be more than happy to get their hands on. Take the Breeders Cup turf for instance, with its prize fund of $4 million, or the Kentucky Derby held at Churchill Downs, which has a  first prize of $1.425 million and has been dubbed as “the most exciting two minutes in sports.”

The same applies to some of the most expensive horses of all time. How about Fusaichi Pegasus for starters, this winner of the 2000 Kentucky Derby is the most expensive horse ever at $70 million. With career earnings of $2 million and siring 75 stakes winners,  the price tag is understandable (though still considered to be OTT by many). Another high priced horse sale is Shareef Dancer (Sired by Northern Dancer) at $40 million. All of this clearly demonstrates that there are plenty of deep pockets stateside.

So whether witnessing the bright lights of Las Vegas (or opting for the real money online casino options if you prefer) or if the action of a racecourse is what appeals to you, partaking in these activities stateside certainly isn’t a bad place to start.

Which horse was the first to complete the Mackeson Gold Cup – Hennessy Gold Cup double?

It’s been a funny old year.  Well 18 months to be precise. For a while  racing was off the agenda totally, and we even lost our beloved Grand National – a rare event in itself. Of course ‘life goes on’ and we had a (not entirely convincing) Virtual version of the event in its place, as well as of course more respected online real money casinos which have always had a high level of interest regardless of external circumstances. Racing is very much back on the agenda now though, and two particular races that grab my attention are the Mackeson Gold Cup and Hennessy Gold Cup.

The Mackeson Gold Cup, now the Paddy Power Gold Cup, is a Grade 3 handicap chase run over 2 miles 4 furlongs at Cheltenham in mid-November each year. The Hennessy Gold Cup, now the Ladbrokes Trophy, is a similar, albeit longer, race run over 3 miles 2 furlongs at Newbury in late November or early December.

Both races are prestigious and valuable contests in their own right, but the first horse to complete the double in the same season was Bachelor’s Hall, owned jointly by Mr. and Mrs. Peter Harris, trained by Peter Cundell in Compton, Berkshire and ridden by Martin O’Halloran. A diminutive individual, but a capable jumper blessed with a potent turn of foot, Bachelor’s Hall went on to complete a notable treble when outpointing Uncle Bing and defending champion Royal Marshal in a driving finish to the King George VI Chase at Kempton.

Indeed, according to his trainer, Bachelor’s Hall may well have gone on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup had it not been postponed until April because of snow. Shortly after the postponment, Bachelor’s Hall won the Welsh Champion Chase at Chepstow with any amount in hand; he eventually took his chance in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but the good to soft going was no longer to his liking and, while he ran creditably, he could manage no better than a well-beaten fourth behind Midnight Court. The peaks and troughs of fortune are inescapable for us all,  whether we’re spinning reels on best online casino usa of attempting to be first past the post. But you can certainly nudge the dial in one direction or another at times – as the saying goes ‘you make your own luck’.