With 2018 drawing to a close it feels like an opportune time to have an early look through some of the major horse races that will take place at home, and around the world, in 2019.
Pegasus World Cup (January 26th)
The 2019 Pegasus will be a two-race event this year, one a $9 million race on the dirt and now a $7 million turf race has been added to the card at Gulfstream Park as well.
All the ante-post interest is naturally around the original dirt race and at $500,000 a pop entry fee it is easy to see why.
Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Accelerate heads the market, closely followed by the Dirt Mile victor City of Light.
Pegasus World Cup odds: https://www.888sport.com/horse-racing/
Cheltenham Gold Cup (March 15th)
The 2018 renewal of the Cheltenham Gold Cup was won by the Colin Tizzard-trained Native River, ridden by Richard Johnson in a thrilling finish that saw him just fend off the challenge from Might Bite.
This year’s race has a very open look to it at this stage with plenty of reputations being damaged already so far this season.
Presenting Percy, who is yet to be seen on a racecourse this term, leads the betting with Native River also being prominent in the market too.
Gold Cup Betting: https://www.888sport.com/horse-racing-betting/#/event/1004604835
Grand National (April 6th)
The Grand National is the most popular jumps race on the racing calendar as 40 runners tackle the 30 Grand National fences over the course of four and a half miles.
The Gordon Elliott-trained Tiger Roll, who claimed his third Cheltenham Festival success in the Cross Country Chase in March before winning the world’s most famous steeplechase at Aintree the following month, has been targeted at the race once again.
Grand National odds: https://www.888sport.com/horse-racing-betting/#/event/1004627902
Kentucky Derby (May 4th)
The Kentucky Derby takes place on the first Saturday in May every year, and typically draws a crowd of 160,000 people.
The Kentucky Derby is the first race within the American Triple Crown, where it is followed by the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes.
The Bob Baffert-trained Game Winner is currently leading the points scorer on the Road To The Kentucky Derby table and is the 8/1 favourite at present.
Kentucky Derby odds: https://www.888sport.com/horse-racing-betting/#/event/1005109396
2000 Guineas (May 4th)
The first race in the British Champions Series and the curtain-raising Classic of the Flat season. It is run on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, over one mile in early May.
Too Darn Hot, who ended last season unbeaten as Britain’s champion juvenile is tipped to sweep up all the major prizes before him in 2019 and is ranked a 6/4 shot for this Classic opener.
2000 Guineas odds: https://www.888sport.com/horse-racing-betting/#/event/1004760113
1000 Guineas (May 5th)
Hot on the heels of the 2000 Guineas is the second Classic of the Flat season, the 1000 Guineas which is open to three-year-old fillies.
It is run on the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket, and again over one mile.
The Rockfel Stakes winner Just Wonderful, who is trained by the Irish maestro Aidan O’Brien, is currently heading the betting at 10/1.
1000 Guineas odds: https://www.888sport.com/horse-racing-betting/#/event/1004760125
The Oaks (May 31st)
Just like the 1000 Guineas, the Investec Oaks is a fillies-only Classic, run at Epsom Downs over the same mile-and-a-half distance as the Derby a day later.
The Joseph O’Brien-trained Iridessa is attracting plenty of support in the betting.
She provided O’Brien with his first Group 1 win as a trainer in Britain when landing the bet365 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket back in the autumn.
The Derby (June 1st)
The Derby bills itself as “the greatest flat race in the world” and that is pretty much as near a description you will get about this historic Classic.
The race remains the pinnacle of any racehorse’s career and is the most prestigious of the five Classics.
As was eluded to earlier in this article, Too Darn Hot is by far the most popular horse ante-post punters wish to follow in 2019 and he is 3/1 poke for Epsom’s blue-riband event.
Royal Ascot (June 18th - June 22nd)
The five days of the Royal Meeting get underway on Tuesday 18th June and understandably there are far too many races to list here.
However, here at 888sport we do have three of the main feature races priced up for you already:
Queen Anne Stakes: https://www.888sport.com/horse-racing-betting/#/event/1004978454
Ascot Gold Cup: https://www.888sport.com/horse-racing-betting/#/event/1004978456
Commonwealth Cup: https://www.888sport.com/horse-racing-betting/#/event/1004978457
Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe (October 6th)
The 97th edition of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will certainly go down in history for two good reasons.
English filly Enable and Frankie Dettori will forever be the only pair to win two consecutive runnings of the Arc on two different racecourses - Chantilly in 2017 and ParisLongchamp in 2018.
The second reason being that it was Dettori’s 6th Arc title, an all-time record in the history of Europe’s greatest horse race.
The wonder filly stays in training in 2019 for another crack at the Arc for which she is a 7/2 chance.
Naturally ante-post wagering does come with its pitfalls, especially if your selection fails to make the event.
It can however prove to be very lucrative, and with a little bit of foresight and imagination you can end up with a great price on your long term fancy.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*