From The Horse’s Mouth: Neigh 6

Updated: May 5, 2014

Sandown Park was the venue for the finale to the UK Jump season on Saturday 26th April, when the two big races were the bet365 Celebration Chase and the bet365 Gold Cup. The two mile 13 hurdle Chase was won by Horse of the Year Sire De Grugy 2-7f ahead of Pepite Rose at 9-1. The Gold Cup an arduous 3m 5 ½ furlong 24 fence race went to a thrilling climax when Barry Geraghty on Hadrian’s Approach 10-1 edged out A P McCoy on Burton Port 8-1cf.

Champion Jump Awards

Champion Jockey with 218 winners in 2013-2014: A. P. McCOY

Champion Trainer with 118 winners and £2, 469, 892 prize money: PAUL NICHOLLS

Champion Owner in 2013-2014: J. P. McMANUS

Champion Conditional Jockey with 50 winners: GAVIN SHEEHAN

Horse of the Year: SIRE DE GRUGY

French Fancies

Auteuil: Saturday 26th April: Prix Leon Rambaud (Group 2 hurdle): Distance 2m 3 ½ f: Runners 7

Ruby Walsh injured at Cheltenham made his comeback to the saddle by riding Un De Sceaux to victory in this Group 2 race. The lure to ride a horse unbeaten in 8 runs was too much and Un De Sceaux gave Walsh a great ride, jumping beautifully and being untroubled at the head of the field. Careful management of the horse’s racing campaigns seems to be working well for trainer Willie Mullins, and Un De Sceaux seems to be a horse worth looking out for in the future.

Longchamp: Sunday 27th April: Prix Ganay: Distance 1m 2 ½ f: Runners 8

The starting line-up included the Ganay winner from 2012 Cirrrus Des Aigles and Arc winner Treve making a much anticipated return to the race track since that famous win. Belle De Crecy was to act as pacemaker for Treve. From three furlongs out Frankie Dettori riding Cirrus Des Aigles made a challenge and went ahead for a furlong. But Treve was pushed hard by jockey Alexis Badel and joined the leader for an all out battle over the last two furlongs. Treve managed to nudge ahead but couldn’t find the extra surge to fend off her rival and Cirrus Des Aigles took the victory at 7-2 odds. With odds of 30/100f Treve as winner had been considered an almost foregone conclusion. Alas, it was not meant to be.


Two Great British Classic Flat Races

Saturday 3rd May: 3.50 Newmarket Quipco 2,000 Guineas (Group 1): Distance: 1 mile: Runners14

The field split into two groups each one hugging the rails, with Noozhoh Canarias heading the field in the right section containing Kingman and Night of Thunder whilst Australia and Toormore ran in the left group. Each side seemed to be evenly matched throughout the race and from the halfway point Kingman steadily increased his pace to travel through his group. Australia did likewise on the left rail and a straight out battle to the line seemed likely between Kingman and Australia. However, that was without taking into account Night of Thunder who had made a move at the same time as Kingman. Suddenly, and without warning Night of Thunder put on the accelerator and swung sharply to the left, moving at a diagonal from the right rail group to the edge of the left rail group. When the finishing post came into view Night of Thunder at 40-1 streaked past it to secure victory by just ½ a length ahead of Kingman (6-4) in second and Australia in third place at 5-2.

This was the 206th time the 2,000 Guineas had been contested.

Night of Thunder & Kieren Fallon. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Night of Thunder & Kieren Fallon. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Sunday 4th May: 3.50 Newmarket Quipco 1,000 Guineas (Group 1): Distance 1 m: Runners 17: NR Alutiq, Kiyoshi.

The field held the midline of the course and bunched together in a reasonably tight formation. Manderley took to the front and stayed well until the last quarter of the race. At this point Euro Charline was in second place and Majeyda in third with Miss France being put under pressure in 4th. Then Miss France made a move and went ahead managing to hold off Ihtimal. As the two front horses pulled toward home Lightning Thunder broke slightly away from the edge of the main field to make a surge near the left rail. As Miss France nosed past the finishing post at 7-1 Lightning Thunder took a surprise second place at 14-1 and Ihtimal was third at 7-1. Manderley having faded came in at 100-1 in fourth place and Euro Charline was fifth at 14-1.

This was the 201st time the 1,000 Guineas had been run.

Miss France 1000 Guineas winner. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Miss France 1000 Guineas winner. Image credit @Channel4Racing

American Classic

Sunday 4th May: Churchill Downs Kentucky Derby: Runners 19

California Chrome a 5-2 favourite won the 140th Kentucky Derby by nearly two lengths ahead of Commanding Curve at 37-1 odds and Danza in third place. Art Sherman became the oldest winning trainer of the race aged 77.

Bits and Pieces

Tidal Bay was officially retired at Sandown on Saturday 26th April having appeared in the Champion’s Parade. It was already known that Big Bucks had been retired and he said an official goodbye to his fans during this event, whilst other horse’s taking part included The New One and Silviniaco Conti.

Cheltenham winner Quevega narrowly missed winning her 5th Ladbroke’s World Series Hurdle coming in second to Jetson on Thursday May 1st at the Punchestown Festival. The ten year old was retired immediately after this race.

Quevega Retired. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Quevega Retired. Image credit @Channel4Racing

Champion trainer Paul Nicholls announced that next season Sam Twiston-Davies would be his number one jockey, replacing Daryl Jacobs.

Jessica Harrington had a great winning streak at the Punchestown Festival with 6 wins from 8 races, with a few days racing left to go at the Irish course.

Sad News

When I first began writing horse-racing blogs for this website I picked up a new follower on Twitter @EPDS_Racing (John Powell). I looked with great interest at three pictures of good-looking horses and wondered if I would see them run some day on terrestrial TV. On Thursday May 1st at Towcester one of those horse’s HOMER RUN lined up to race in the 7.05pm Free Tips Every Day At Handicap Hurdle (Class 4). During the 2 mile race Homer Run suffered serious injury (with suspected fractured ribs) that required treatment at O’Gormans in Newbury. Despite extensive treatment in receiving blood transfusions and having a haemorrhage drained, 7 year old HOMER RUN sadly passed away on Friday. Although I never seen him run, or really know anything much about my Twitter  follower, I felt a bond with Homer Run and had a tear in my eye on discovering the news. He and Loxley Mezile and Money Maid started out with me in this blogging race, and I am so very sorry that I won’t have the pleasure of writing about Homer Run as my journey continues, rest in peace my equine pal.

RIP Homer Run. Image credit @EPDS_Racing

RIP Homer Run. Image credit @EPDS_Racing



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