Horse Racing: Where to Get Your Fix This Weekend
October 19, 2016
While football remains the national sport in the UK, there is another that has an even richer and longer-lasting history. This is the so-called ‘sport of kings’ horse racing, which history tells us became a professional discipline as long ago as the 12th century (when English knights first returned from the Crusades).
Horse racing is now more popular today than it has ever been, however, with a calendar full of thrilling events and meetings. This is particularly true with the flat season coming to a close, with the upcoming Racing Post Trophy on 22nd October one of the stand-out events.
The Racing Post Trophy and Other Events to Look Forward too
The Racing Post Trophy is an event that holds a special place in the heart of racing fans, as future champions and the world’s most talented fillies compete at the famous Doncaster track. Last year produced one of the most memorable races in living memory, as the 33/1 outsider Marcel thundered past the overwhelming favourite Andrea Atzeni in the final straight to secure the most unlikely of wins. If this years’ race is half as exciting, fans will be in for another thrilling and unpredictable ride.
The 2016 installation will also be hard to call, with 49 runners currently in the field (although this is likely to reduce as race day approaches). Regardless of this, however, this season’s leading flat jockeys are likely to be out in force, with A. P O’Brien entering no fewer than six fillies from his Irish stables for the race. Mark Johnston has three confirmed runners, while the experienced Richard Hannon has four (including Larchmont Lad, who dominated while winning the Tattersalls Stakes recently).
O’Brien is looking for his eighth win in the race, however, with Capri the early Racing Post Trophy favourite among bookmakers.
What Other Race Meetings are on During the 22nd and 23rd October?
There is also a popular jump event at the iconic Cheltenham track on 22nd October, which includes the Randox Health Handicap Chase. A thoroughbred meeting in every sense of the world, there is a prize of £31,280 available to the winner so it is likely to be keenly contested. The Paul Nicholls-trained Frodon is well-fancied here, although with up to 23 runners it will be extremely tight to call and a great deal can change over the next few days.
Another big jump meeting takes place at Aintree on Sunday, 23rd October, with the 188Bet Monet’s Garden Old Roan Handicap Chase taking centre stage. With up to 14 runners competing for the winners’ prize of £36,576, this relatively small and evenly-matched field should produce a close and unpredictable race. Paul Nicholls also has two of his horses running here, while he will be hoping to replicate his success in the 2015 instalment when the 7/1 shot Sound Investment came romping home.
These events amount to a truly thrilling weekend of racing, although we expect most eyes to be tuned to the coveted Racing Post Trophy at the iconic Doncaster racecourse.