It’s been an exciting year in the world of racing, both at home and abroad. There have been a few stand out performances or progressions that have really caught my eye though. British thoroughbred Enable, who had already had massive success in 2017 (with wins in the Epsom Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe etc) took her ability to the next level with 2018 wins in both the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe and the ultra competitive Breeder’s Cup Turf. This display of excellence really sets the middle distance runner apart from the rest and highlights her as something special, and with £8,000,000+ already to her name in prize money, the future looks bright indeed.
Another horse that impressed in 2018 is Native River. This Irish born thorougbbred is a firm favourite with the betting public. He had experienced a stellar year in 2017 with wins in competitive races such as the Hennessy Gold Cup and Welsh Grand National (which he won at betting odds of 6/4) and third place in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. In 2018 he went one, or perhaps two (places) better, by winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Due to his obvious ability he had started second favourite in the horse racing betting odds with bookmakers at 5-1, and didn’t disappoint. Fending off a challenge from Might Bite in quite some style really did endear Native River to the racing crowds and those who placed a bet on him. Might Bite was at betting odds of 4-1 with bookmakers, and so had been favoured to win.
In non UK news, 2018 was also a special year for Winx, trained by Chris Waller. The Australian thoroughbred had already done all there is to do in racing following a string of wins from 2015 onward in Group one races. In 2017 Winx had been indicted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame. This year was the real record breaker though, when a win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick meant that Winx had equalled the record of 25 consecutive wins set by Black Caviar. Winx has since gone on to win four more races, the most recent of which was in the Cox Plate, held at Moonee Valley racecourse in Melbourne, and with prize money of a staggering $5,000,000 Australian dollars. What’s amazing is that this was the forth time Winx had won the race, the first horse to ever do so. It’s no surprise then that Winx is currently top ranked horse in multiple world’s best horse rankings.
I wonder what the story of Enable, Native River and Winx will be in 2019? You never can quite tell in racing, but if past form is anything to go by, it will take something quite special to mount a challenge against any of the three!