Racing Rewind

Racing Rewind

Steve Mullington
2017-03-27
Having taken over the mantle as the world's best racehorse from California Chrome, Arrogate proved that he totally deserves that accolade after grinding out a gutsy win in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday.

Having taken over the mantle as the world's best racehorse from California Chrome, Arrogate proved that he totally deserves that accolade after grinding out a gutsy win in the Dubai World Cup on Saturday.

Sent off the long odds-on favourite after wins in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and Pegasus World Cup Invitational, Bob Baffert’s four-year-old appeared to have completely blown his chance when he got off to a slow start as the gates went back.

However, jockey Mike Smith kept his calm, finding a path on the far outside and waiting until the half-mile pole to begin running down the leaders.

Gun Runner appeared to have stolen a march on the field but Smith asked Arrogate for another gear and he found it, bounding clear to give trainer Bob Baffert a third win in the race.

"That was 'Plan F'!," said Baffert. "But that's the best I've ever seen in my life, it's unbelievable.

"I guess he knew where he was but it just goes to show you how great this horse is, he's just a great horse. Mike did a great job, he didn't panic."

"He's just amazing. I've never ridden a horse like this," added jockey Smith.

Arrogate’s connections, with owner Prince Khalid Abdullah, took home a cool $6 million first prize from the $10 million pot for the Dubai World Cup, making Arrogate the highest earning racehorse in history.

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Amateur rider James Ridley was handed a 28-day ban last week when he mistook the winning post at Newbury as Triangular came from nowhere to claim an unlikely victory in the BJP Insurance Brokers Open Hunters' Chase.

At the resulting stewards inquiry, Ridley claimed the half-furlong pole had caused him the confusion, with the stewards ruling he was guilty of failing to ride out on a horse that would have finished first.

Ridley, 27, offered his apologies on Twitter, saying: "Completely gutted for misjudging the winning post today! Sorry for everyone involved #nobodymoreangrythanmyself."

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The popular staying hurdler Reve De Sivola, winner of 10 of his 47 races, collapsed and died after running in the Edinburgh Gin Handicap Hurdle at Kelso on Saturday afternoon.

It was a sad postscript to the race which was won by Lucinda Russell's Big River, beating Seeyouatmidnight by ten lengths.

The Nick Williams-trained 12-year-old pulled up sharply before the final flight and before jockey James Reveley had a chance to dismount, the horse fell to the floor.

Reve De Sivola won the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot three consecutive tomes between 2012 and 2014 and amassed a total of £600,000 in win and place prize-money.

Clerk of the course, Anthea Morshead said: "It was very sad, he suffered an internal bleed and collapsed and died."

The equally as popular 14-year-old Knockara Beau, who won the Premier Hurdle at the course as a novice, was retired after pulling up.

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Sky has taken a majority shareholding in At The Races and the channel is likely to be rebranded as Sky Sports Racing it was revealed at the weekend.

Sky and Arena Racing Company (ARC) have effectively swapped their respective stakes in the company. ARC, which owns 27 courses in Britain, held a 52 per cent interest with Sky holding 48 per cent –this has now flip-flopped.

“We have been long-term partners and investors in At The Races and have decided to strengthen the partnership further, by incrementally increasing our shareholding” a Sky spokesperson said.

Whether the channel will become subscription based remains to be seen but if Sky rebrands the channel and switches the output to HD, it looks like an odds-on chance that this will impact the viewers in the pocket.

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Lady Frankel, a daughter of dual world champion Frankel, duly obliged on her debut run when she won the Prix Calandria at Saint-Cloud last Sunday.

Trained by Andre Fabre, the three-year-old filly was a little green during the race but as the race unfolded Pierre-Charles Boudot pushed her up on the outside of the pack. Once she found her stride she picked up well to lead close home.

It was another welcome success for “Frankel watch”, a band of dedicated Frankel fans who meticulously watch the fortunes of his offspring. He made a big impression with his first crop of two-year-olds last year, registering 18 individual winners worldwide.

Frankel commands a breeding fee of £125,000 and is currently standing at Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket.

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The 2017 Randox Health Grand National moved a step closer with the news last week that 79 horses still remain entered for the world’s most famous jumps race on April 8th.

Minella Rocco, who became the short lived ante-post favourite after his run in the Gold Cup, was a surprise absentee.

Jonjo O'Neill believes that it is too early to let the gelding, who fell on his last trip to Aintree over the Mildmay fences in December, to take his chance in the Grand National.

O'Neill believes his only entry More Of That, who is set to carry 11st5lb, has a great chance of giving him a second victory in the race following the success of Don't Push It in 2010.

Chief Handicapper Phil Smith only expects a handful of horses to be pulled out over the next fortnight and believes those at 50 or above in the list are unlikely to make the line-up.

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This week it was announced that becoming a licenced jockey in the UK will become a much more vigorous process.

The BHA says 30% of jockeys who attend licensing courses never even ride a winner, despite all the money that is spent on training them.

From April 1st, apprentice or conditional jockeys applying to attend a course must undergo a pre-licence assessment.

The existing apprentice and conditional courses will be extended from five to ten days "to provide attendees with detailed training on the wide variety of skills required to be a professional jockey" said the BHA.

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Top jump jockeys (last 7 days): D.Cook (3/5), L.Treadwell (3/5), H.Skelton (5/12), S.Bowen (5/13).

Top jump trainers (last 7 days): W.Mullins (4/6), H.Fry (5/9), P.Nicholls (4/9), N.Henderson (4/9).