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’.

Was the Derby ever won by a four-year-old?

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.

Grand National 2021

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!

Nunthorpe Stakes

The Nunthorpe Stakes is a Group One race run over 5 furlongs at York Racecourse on the third day of the four-day fixture, known as the ‘Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival’, staged annually in August. The Nunthorpe Stakes is open to colts, fillies and geldings aged two years and upwards and, as such, is not only one of the few races in which juveniles can compete against older horses, but the only Group One contest in Britain open to juvenile geldings.

Established, in its present guise, in 1922, the Nunthorpe Stakes takes it name from Nunthorpe, an outer suburb of Middlesbrough, on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, 50 miles or so north of York Racecourse. Since 2007, the Nunthorpe Stakes has been sponsored by the prestigious Coolmore Stud – headquarters of the largest thoroughbred breeding operation in the world – in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. In 2019, the Nunthorpe Stakes offered total prize money of £400,000.

Two horses – namely Tag End, in 1928, 1929 and 1930, and Sharpo, in 1980, 1981 and 1982 – have won the Nunthorpe Stakes three times. The leading trainer in the history of the race remains Australian-born Captain Oswald ‘Ossie’ Bell, who saddled five winners in the Twenties and Thirties. Flat racing legend Lester Piggott rode seven winners between 1958 and 1978 and is the leading jockey in the history of the Nunthorpe Stakes.

According to the ‘weight-for-age’ scale, which is designed to compensate younger horses for their lack of physical maturity, juveniles competing in the Nunthorpe Stakes carry just 8st 1lb. By contrast, three-year-olds carry 9st 9lb and four-year-olds and upwards carry 9st 11lb. However, despite a generous weight concession, of 22lb and 24lb, respectively, from the older horses, the last two-year-old to win the Nunthorpe Stakes was Kingsgate Native in 2007.

The 2019 renewal of the Nunthorpe Stakes proved pivotal, insofar as the winner, Battaash, trained by Charles Hills, recorded a time of 55.90 seconds and, in so doing, broke the five-furlong course record set by Dayjur 29 years earlier. Dayjur, trained by Dick Hern and owned, like Battaash, by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, was billed in his heyday as the ‘fastest horse in the world’; his winning time of 56.16 seconds was widely considered to be unbeatable.