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’.

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 , 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!