The late Pat Taaffe, who died in 1992, aged 62, following a heart transplant the previous year, will always be remembered for his association with Arkle, arguably the greatest steeplechaser of all time. As far as the Cheltenham Festival is concerned, Taaffe rode Arkle to win the Broadway Novices’ Chase, now the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, in 1963 and the Cheltenham Gold Cup three years running, in 1964, 1965 and 1966. A record that if translated to any other sphere, such as the real money casino world, would see you running away with riches!
Taaffe won the Cheltenham Gold Cup again in 1968 on Fort Leney, trained, like Arkle, by Tom Dreaper. He remains the most successful jockey in the history of the ‘Blue Riband’ event, the Queen Mother Champion Chase, which he won five times between 1960 and 1970 and the aforementioned Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase, which he also won five times between 1953 and 1970. Indeed, Taaffe won the Queen Champion Chase in 1966 on Flyingbolt, who was rated inferior only to Arkle, according to Timeform.
All told, Pat Taaffe rode 25 winners at the Cheltenham Festival, all bar two of which were over fences; five decades after his retirement from the saddle, he remains fourth in the all-time list, behind only Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty and Tony McCoy. Of course, Taaffe was also Irish Champion National Hunt jockey nine times and won the Grand National twice, on Quare Times, trained by Vincent O’Brien, in 1955 and Gay Trip, trained by Fred Rimell, in 1970. With a championship standard demonstrated in both Ireland and England he had little else to prove. This was long before the best usa online casino era, but if it had been you can bet the reels would be bringing in three sevens for Pat! The man had a winning way about him. That can certainly not be denied.
Although it was originally run over the ‘last mile of the course’, the Derby is, and always has been, restricted to three-year-old colts and fillies. Consequently, the Epsom Classic cannot ever have been won, at least not legitimately, by a four-year-old.
However, in 1844, inveterate gambler Abraham Levi Goodman attempted what the Solicitor-General later described as ‘a gross and scandalous fraud’, by substituting the four-year-old Maccabeus for the three-year-old Running Rein in the Derby. Just looking at the year alone, it’s fascinating to see that today’s appetite for casino games online, horse racing and the like is nothing new. The swindle was initiated some 18 months earlier, when Maccabeus was saddled, as ‘Running Rein’, to land a gamble in a juvenile race at Newmarket.
Turf reformer Lord George Bentinck had suspected, at that stage, that the horse purporting to be Running Rein was an impostor. However, a subsequent inquiry collapsed when ‘Running Rein’ was postively identified by Northamptonshire farmer George Worley as the horse he had looked after in the winter of 1841/42. In the Derby, ‘Running Rein’ beat Orlando, bred and owned by Colonel Jonathan Peel, brother of Prime Minister Sir Rober Peel, by three-quarters of a length.
However, Lord Bentinck filed suit on behalf of Peel and, after a lengthy court case, lawyers for the connections of ‘Running Rein’ admitted that the horse had vanished and that ‘some fraud had been practiced’. The subtefuge was laid bare, ‘Running Rein’ was disqualified and the race was awarded to Orlando. It’s a relief that such behaviour was called out then as it often is now. Nowadays the hallmarks of a reliable betting environment, whether it’s a casino related one like www.bestusacasinosites.com , or the racing world, is that it’s above board and regulated to the point that those putting down their hard earned money can have faith in it.
It’s almost that time of year again. On April 10th 2021 (after a ‘virtual’ hiatus last year) one of the showpiece events of UK sport, let alone racing, is here. I’m of course referring to the AIntree Grand National.
Above we get to see Katie Walsh of Betway Horse Racing (and renowned former jockey!) give her personal take on the Grand National and how far women and racing has come over recent years.
Many of us I’m sure have our own take and memories related to the Grand National. Steeped in tradition and with worldwide TV viewing figures into the hundreds of millions, it’s a must see event for racing fans and casual watchers alike. It’s a shame that due to unforeseen events (that’s putting it mildly!) and pulling out this year, Tiger Roll was unable to achieve three National wins in a row. That said we do have a very short priced favourite for a change – Cloth Cap and so all eyes will be on whether he has what it takes on the day. Don’t miss it!
As home of Racing Festivals from the UK and abroad, here at racingfestivals.net we’re brimming over with excitement for the Cheltenham Festival, which appeared to sneak up on us from out of nowhere! The event, one of the most highly anticipated in UK racing (and watched live all around the world), is welcome relief from a difficult year and although there won’t be crowds of cheering racing fans, even that won’t take away from the atmosphere and feast of top tier racing. Let’s ease into the festival with an amusing quiz from Betway with some of West Ham’s finest, to see exact what they know about Cheltenham and indeed racing in general.