Category Archives: Horse Racing
Royal Athlete 1995
1995 Winner Royal Athlete beat the 1992 winner Party Politics by seven lengths in this wonderful National. Royal Athlete had sustained so many injuries over his time it was hard to predict if or when he would run.
Memory of R. Lee – May 21st 2009 – UK
After 6 years being engaged, I proposed to my girlfriend on this day so there was more than the usual excitement. That was until we thought we were invincible and placed half our savings on Royal Athlete! After that we felt immortal. Been married 13 years now too!
Rough Quest 1996
This was a close one! A Grand National where a stewards enquiry had to be held as it seemed Rough Quest had drifted into Encore Un Peu’s path on the final run in.
Lord Gyllene 1997
The 1997 Grand National winner Lord GYllene was actually bred in New Zealand and with top jockey Tony Dobbin always had a fighting chance of getting the result.
One of seventeen who completed the race, he had to compete with greats such as Suny Bay, Master Oats and Nahthen Lad.
Lord Gyllene was retired in 2001 due to injury.
Memory of V. Fanning – May 23rd 2009 – UK
I worked in a call centre and had to work the Saturday. I was lucky enough to get off a little earlier for the National as I still had a 35 minute drive. Feel stupid now but I had enough time but I sped and was stopped by the police. They were understanding (slightly) and after all the usual paperwork and tests was sat in my car with the police listening to the race on Five Live. I think even one of the policemen won!!
Earth Summit 1998
A Great Horse. Earth Summit is the only horse to have won The Grand National, Welsh National and Scottish National. Having won the Scottish National in 1994 Earth Summit won the 1998 Grand National ahead of Suny Bay by a huge eleven lengths.
This was after a near fatal accident at the Haydock Course. Whilst he also won the Welsh National in 1997 at a great price of 25-1 Earth Summit will always be remembered as the horse that won a triple crown of Nationals. Something that may never be done again.
Earth Summit passed away peacefully in 2005 from cancer.
Memory of M. Etherington – 21st April 2009 – UK
I really remember the 1998 National well because my husband and I backed the winner Earth Summit at 18-1, but Jerry didn’t pay tax on the stake which was the thing to do at the time.
Therefore after betting £50 to win we would have expected £900, nonetheless a great race and good to get a win, even if we had to pay the Labour Party for the pleasure!
Bobbyjo ridden by Paul Carberry, won the 1999 Grand National and is remembered specifically because he was the first Irish trained horse to win the National in an astonishing 25 years. Incredible when you think of all the great Irish trained horses over that period of time. The jockeys father, Tommy Carberry, was the last jockey to ride an Irish trained National winner when L’Escargot won the 1975 National. The fact Bobbyjo won the Irish National the previous year in 1998 makes the story of this horse even more fascinating.
Bobbyjo died at the very early age of 11 due to the non-recovery of a broken bone in his knee.
This was the first Grand National I was legally allowed to bet on. Everyone at school was going on about Bobbyjo because we had a girl there that shared the same name. Unfortunately I didn’t listen and as a Michael Jackson fan I went for Double Thriller who fell at the first!
The thing that sticks most in my mind is that back then we had to pay tax before or after the race depending on the result. I suppose I was lucky in one way because I didn’t pay tax on the stake, saved me 90p!
In 1991 the Grand National was sponsored by Seagram Distillers. That should have told everyone something when a horse called Seagram turned up at 12-1 beating the favoured 7-1 chance Garrison Savannah.
The subsidary of Seagram Distillery were called Martell Cognac – ring any bells? From 1992 the National was sponsored by Martell but as yet, no horse with that name has sprung up.
Party Politics 1992
The 1992 National was not just about the race but about the General elections which were to be held a few days after the race. Ironically Party Politics won the race at odds of 14-1 and ridden by the very experienced Carl Llewellyn.
15-2 favourite Docklands Express came fourth but it what one of those Nationals that you felt what was going on in the country, that Party Politics would be the only winner. Some may remember the race when after the 12th fence, the public on that side came rushing across to get to the finish line. An amazing sight.
Memory of Q. Felger – 23rd April 2009 – UK
I remember all the politics going on with John Major and Thatcher which is why I chose Party POlitics, it was pretty obvious it was going to win although I should have backed it more at the time, I paid the 9% stake at the time of the bet but it’s only when the winner comes in that you think I should have placed more on it. I know that’s always the way but I with something like Party Politics happening at the time of the race you should realise this it going to be it. Still had fun although I will always regret not placing more money on him.
Memory of A. Onjo – May 16th 2009 – London
Me and my husband were in New York for this race and because of the time difference we were watching the race at breakfast! It took a while to find a place that would show it, but where theres people theres always an Irish O’Neils bar. God bless them.
Everyone will remember the mal-organisation of the 1993 Grand National, the false start, the flag raised but not flying. Of 39 horses that started this race only 9 stopped, the other 30 went round as normal, jumping and negotiating fences, some other jockeys were informed by which time it was too late.
The day started with Animal Rights protestors on the track, then certain horses were became entwined in the starting tape meaning there were two false starts prior to the third and final start. Esha Ness was the first horse to cross the line ridden by John White who believe even after crossing the line that others had fallen and he had won the race.
Memory of H. Brown – May 22nd 2009 – Ireland
To this day I am sure if the race had run its correct course I would have won big this time. Must have been a very difficult day for the bookmakers.
Memory of U. Potter – 20th April 2009 – Ireland
In a strange way I got quite excited about this race as the horse I had picked(cannot remember the name) was a 150-1 shot and was one of about 10 horses that did not go round.
There was talk that the race would be re-run, possibly with the remaining horses, and as I had taken the price each way I felt I had a good chance.
Unfortunately for me that was not the case and the whole race became void, it must been really embarrassing for the staff as I felt it was they that balls’d it up. At least the bookies were so king to pay all the bets back. I could imagine them trying to pull a sneaky one out of that.
Owned by the very funny comedian Freddie Starr, Miinnehoma won the 1994 Grand National by a length and one quarter to ‘Just So’. 36 started the race with only six finishing the Aintree course.
Snow and rain meant the conditions were not ideal for most horses but with Miinnehom and Just So fighting it out at the end it was memorable enough to class this as one of the best, if not to look at for weather reasons but for the jockeys and horses.
I actually saw Freddie Starr before the race, I didn’t know he owned a horse and he told me his horse had a small chance because the weather was so bad, he was so funny telling jokes to those around him, everyone was in stitches, I remember there being a sort of aura about him, as if he was special, I was so glad his horse won.
The Grand National – The most prestigious horse racing event of the year – every year. 40 jockeys, 40 horses, 4 miles 2 furlongs and 30 jumps, what an event!
Everyone enjoys the National whether you are placing money on the race or not. It is a time where the whole family sits together, cheers their chosen horse on and have a great 15 minutes together.
The Grand National, the largest of all the Nationals started in 1839 and has gone on to be a huge race throughout the world of horse racing. Winners like Red Rum and Aldaniti are not just winners of the Great Race but the stories behind these fantastic horses and jockeys will remain in memories forever. The year of 93 will never be forgotten, unfortunately for the wrong reasons.
The road to the Grand National starts with other great races such as the Irish, Welsh and Scottish Nationals, many that brave these races go on to take part in the great race, not to mention the Cheltenham Festival which is really the springboard for the Grand National, including the Gold Cup – another wonderful race in the racing calendar.
The most important aspect of betting on the Grand National is that you enjoy it and bet responsibly, it is such a beautiful race that the best way is to bet a little and enjoy each race as though it will be the last.
Hallo Dandy 1984
Gordon Richards was the jockey on Hallo dandy for this race and did wonderfully in seeing off favourite Greasepaint, Corbiere and Lucky Vane. He retied in 1986 but was unfortunately loaned to an Earl of Onslow, a Tory member of the House of Lords who used Hallo Dandy for hunting. 8 years later Hallo Dandy was in a terrible state and had obviously not been looked after at all.
Thankfully a Carrie Humble (Thoroughbred Rehabilitation Centre that retrains retired horses) and Aintree commentator Peter O’Sullevan, bought Hallo Dandy back to full health. He died at the Grand Old age of 33 – thankfully, due to Carrie Humble, more happy years than miserable years with this Earl of Onslow.
Last Suspect 1985
A brilliant 50-1 outsider no-one saw Last Suspect coming, ridden by Hywel Davies fended off some classic National horses to win the 1985 Grand National in Mr Snugfit, Corbiere and Greasepaint who was the 13-2 joint favourite.
West Tip 1986
One of the Grand National’s best. West Tip not only won in 1986 at odds of 15-2 but ran a consecutive six Nationals from 1985 to 1990 on West Tip, where he was actually favourite in 1985 but fell at Bechers Brook on the second lap, finishing each way in all but 1990 where he finished a respectable tenth.
Richard Dunwoody, the famous jockey also won in 1994 aboard Freddie Star’s horse Miinnehoma when the conditions could have been classed as torrential.
Maori Venture 1987
1987 Grand National Winner Maori Venture was a rank outsider at 28-1, and at 11 years old but at a good weight of 10-13 was ridden superbly by Steve Knight was able to see off the likes of The Tsarevich,Lean Ar Aghaidh and 1986 winner West Tip who was the 5-1 favourite.
T & J. Dowd – 23rd April 2009 – New Zealand
I think we backed Maori Venture because we were visiting friends in Cheshire and we come from New Zealand. We had not heard about this race but our friends told us how amazing it was.
We told them we knew nothing about racing and doubted we would win any money. When my wife saw that a horse called Maori Venture was running we just had to back it, I mean most people just back a horse they like the sound of so why not. When we went back to New Zealand we made a habit every year of making sure we watch it, if the horse has a name that means something to our homeland then we will back it 100%!
Rhyme ‘N’ Reason 1988
Ridden by Brendan Powell the 1988 Grand National winner was a generous 10-1 shot which made this a bad day for the bookmakers. Especially as Rhyme ‘N’ Reason fell at Bechers Brook first time round but managed to continue to victory. 2nd favourite was 1986 winner West Tip at 11-1 who managed a respectable 4th.
Rhyme ‘N’ Reason also won the Irish National in 1985 making him one of the ‘Special’ horses that were able to complete a double.
Mr Frisk 1990
A winning horse ridden by an amateur jockey by the name of Marcus Armytage, this was a truly fascinating finish with Mr Frisk and Durham Edition going all out after the final fence. Mr Frisk was always in the lead, with it looking like he was being caught up, then he wasn’t, then he was, then he wasn’t.
It was real nail and tooth stuff but Mr Frisk just had enough of a lead, the fans were going loopy with Durham Edition a punters choice with odds of 9-1 just being beaten to the post by 16-1 Mr Frisk 1990 Grand National Champion by half a length.
Memory of P. Somersall – 24th April 2009 – UK
This has to be my favourite National of all time, the first one I watched was in 1987 when Maori Venture won it, but because 1990 was so close I reckon it has to be up there with the best of them. I was watching this one on tv and everyone who was watching with me were shouting for Durham Edition to catch Mr Frisk up. It looked as though it would but Mr Frisk just kept on going showing great stamina although you would have to give credit to both jockeys for making this National such a great close race!
When you are betting on a horse race, it can sometimes be difficult to know which one to bet on. Here are some tips as to what to consider when you are making a William Hill horse racing bet.
It is worth considering the past form of the horse to see whether it may do well. Look at its general past form as well as whether it has taken part in this particular race in previous years and how well it did then. More recent form is probably more relevant than form from a long time ago, but it is all worth some consideration.
Whether the ground is hard or soft can have an effect on how well the horse performs. It is often well known as to whether a horse performs better on certain surfaces. On the day of the race there will be an announcement as to what the ground is like so that will help the person placing the bet to decide.
The jockey can be as important as the horse when deciding whether the horse might win the race. Consider their experience generally and in that specific race before making a bet. It is also worth thinking about whether they have ridden that particular horse before.
The odds are important because they show what other people think about the chances of horses winning the race. People do say that the favourite doesn’t ever win, but actually they often do and they are the horse that most people think will win. You need to consider how much risk you want to take though because if you bet on the favourite you will get less money back if it does win. However, if you bet on a less popular horse, the odds will mean that you will get paid more money if that horse does win. You may prefer to have a chance of winning more but take more risk or you may prefer to have a better chance of winning any prize and take less risk.
You may find that you know people who are willing to give you tips on which horse might win the race. Some people do a lot of research and therefore have a lot of information; others tend to just get lucky. You may like to listen to tips or you may prefer to just make up your own mind.
Frustrated that you’re not winning as many bets on the races as you should be? Handicapping should be your best friend. Even though a lot of people do not like taking the time for handicapping, the truth is that this is the only way to fly if you’re going to be a serious punter. There’s no real point in betting on the races if you’re not prepared to look at a ton of data. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the casual player can’t have a little fun. But we’re going to assume that you’re into more than just entertainment. You want to actually make some money. There’s nothing in the world wrong with that. We like making money on the races.
Handicapping sounds difficult at first but it definitely gets easier. Here’s a few more tips for the frustrated among us. Even though you’re not guaranteed to win anything, these tips should help you do pretty well in the races to come.
One of the biggest mistakes that newbies make is that they bet on maiden claiming races. You have to work with horses that have already proven themselves. Leave the experimenting to someone with deeper pockets. You can look at whether or not the race is a claiming one just by checking out the race description in the track program.
From here, you need to calculate each horse’s lifetime earnings per start.
The equation is pretty easy: LEPS = the horse’s lifetime earnings / the horse’s lifetime starts.
The information you need will be in the upper right hand corner of the listing from the past performances.
Finally, you can bet on the horse that has the highest LEPS as long as the closing odds will be greater than or equal to 8:1.
What you’re really betting on is the horse’s level of ability. This is why there are different classes of horses within the world of thoroughbred horseracing. If you have a good horse, you’ll still make money on him even if he’s dropped to a lower class level.
Trainers manipulate this system as well. They know that a horse that’s been dropped to a lower class due to injuries will still have a good chance of beating out the competition within that class. And if the horse improves? They make even more money.
Keep in mind that this method isn’t without problems. You can still lose money. It’s not “sure money”, but what would the horse betting world be if you had to go with everything being a sure bet? Test the method out for yourself and see where it takes you. Good luck!
Knowing your horses is very important when you’re trying to bet on different horse races. Knowing the difference between Standardbreds used in harness racing and Thoroughbreds used in what most know as “horse racing”.
Before we begin comparing, you have to understand that both breeds are very good. You’ll find winning horses in both categories. They are separated — you will not find Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds in the same race. However, each horse category has its own allure.
Standardbreds are FAST — they are bred that way, and they are here to stay. They have to meet a certain speed standard in order to be registered in the first place. They have refined, solid legs, with powerful shoulders and hindquarters. They are also known for having a long body and being very muscular. They have to be — they will be pulling a sulky as part of harness racing.
They are known for their excellent temperament as well. Many horse enthusiasts lean towards the Standardbreds in terms of investment, for a few different reasons. Many Standardbreds get better with age, while Thoroughbreds tend to run for less time.
Now then, that’s not to say that thoroughbreds don’t carry their own prestige. The racing world for Thoroughbreds is HUGE. You will never run out of opportunities to bet on them, and they will return some good results if you make your bets right.
Strong handicapping methods are needed to make your bets pay off properly. You do not want to get caught making the bets off the gut. Emotion is not a good key to success in the horse betting world.
Look up some old racing data before you get too excited about either type of racing horse. You might find that you lean more towards harness racing than flat racing with Thoroughbreds, but it’s completely up to you.
As a side note, you should find a sportsbook that accommodates both types of racing. If you have to give up harness racing online, though, it’s not the end of the world. You can always go offline for this. However, in recent years both racing worlds are represented at the top sportsbooks in the world. Check them out and see where you want to go.
It’s not all about the Kentucky Derby, though that’s a great race to watch. There’s a lot of money that exchanges hands at the Kentucky Derby, but that isn’t where the top horses debut. They have to start from the ground up just like any other horse does. By the way, horse racing is divided into not only different race types, but also different types of horses. Harness racing is different from thoroughbred racing, but that’s an article for a different day.
Let’s check out those races, shall we?
First and foremost, you have maiden races. This is actually where it all begins for a horse. Any horse that hasn’t won a race is known as a maiden. In fact, winning that first race is known as “breaking his/her maiden” and it can happen in any type of race. There are different class levels for maiden races.
The top class of the maidens are known as Maiden Special Weight races. These are amazing horses that will win quickly and move on to other races. There’s also maiden claiming races for horses that failed in the maiden special weight company. The lower the claiming tag on a horse, the lower the quality.
So, what about those claiming races anyway? Well, in a claiming race every horse has a price tag. The horse can be bought or “claimed” out of the race for that price. The person who wants to claim the horse puts in the request before the race. Here’s the fun part — no matter what happens to the horse in the race, the new owner gets the horse. Even if the horse is injured after the race — yes, it’s a little weird but it’s true.
Claiming races have their own classes as well based on price. The highest level is the optional claimer — this goes for 75 grand per horse or more. The horses can be entered with an option to be claimed but if the owner doesn’t want to, they don’t have to.
Regular claiming races can go from a grand to a full hundred grand per house, but the high end is usually only at like Belmont or Santa Anita. The low end will be at minor tracks.
There’s allowance races — a step up from claiming races. The horses are not for sale, and you would look silly expecting them to be. There are set conditions and weights to carry with weight allowed off for meeting various other conditions. Typical races are for the horses that didn’t win a certain number of races from the other category. Horses here aren’t necessarily terrible — they just haven’t won. Allowances like having 5 pounds off the assigned weight if the horse hasn’t won since a certain date or brought in a certain amount of money. These races can still be exciting to bet on.
Finally, you have the stakes races. This is where things really get interesting. Stakes races can go for a lot of money — all the way up to the 5 million dollar Breeders’ Cup Classic. The finest horses will be at the finest races, and those stakes races are Graded Stakes. These have no restrictions except for age or sex. The grade assigned to a race is controlled by a committee that ensures that a Grade 1, 2, or 3 race is the same no matter what track is being run. The big tracks will run all three grades but smaller tracks might only have one.
Grade 1 races are ones you probably know of — Preakness, Belmont Stakes, and all eight of the Breeders’ Cup. These are amazing races to watch — they are filled with horses at their prime. Study the horses well here if you’re going to handicap.
We hope this guide was helpful to you, even if you’re going to be betting online. Good luck!
Horse betting can be about data, or about emotion. Those in the former category believe that data is all that matters, while those in the latter category believe that there’s room for emotion at the table. Our view is that it’s your money, you can do whatever it is that you want to do. Betting on the horses is a personal decision, and we aren’t here to mock anyone for the way they pick their ponies. We just happen to think that there’s something to be said about thinking about horse handicapping. This is where you pick horses on a variety of factors that matter to you.
What about getting handicapping picks handed to you? This is something that players turn their noses up at, but the reality is that you really do a lot better picking the horses that you want based on what someone else has chosen — at least for a while. You might take time on your own to become a great handicapper. This is not something that happens overnight. It’s completely up to you to figure it out.
We decided to give you a few tips to help you get on the right track, in a manner of speaking.
First and foremost, you have to make sure that you’re following the tiers. Most handicappers will give you multiple tiers filled with horses that are ranked from best to worse. The horses that you start with will depend on the type of race you’re betting on. Single race, multi-leg bets and more all have different picking styles.
You also want to choose where you’re betting. Not every race will yield gold for you. Being selective helps you keep your bankroll as well as give you time to survey more horses.
There’s nothing wrong with thinking about how you’re going to bet — but you need to make sure that you’re being realistic. If you’re a newbie in the horse racing world, throwing big money around isn’t the answer. It only makes you look ridiculous. You’ll wind up scaring off other people that would have easily helped you if you had started small. When you throw around money and brag about it, nobody is going to feel sorry for you if you lose.
Starting small isn’t a bad thing. You can start with the basic win/place/show, or exacta/quinellas and even doubles. It’s not the end of the world just because you don’t have enough money to really make a Pick 4 or Pick 6 work out.
As an aside, if all of this sounds like Latin to you, you might want to brush up on horse betting lingo. It’s going to help you make sense of our site as well as other guides out there online.
Looking at workouts also matters. Past performance is EVERYTHING in the world of horse racing. You don’t want to go with a horse that really isn’t in top form.
The type of track also makes a difference — indeed, there is a big difference between turf and dirt. The horses know this as well. The way breeding works is that the horse that’s good on turf isn’t good on dirt, and vice versa. Weather conditions matter as well — has the horse ran on a wet track? What about on a dry track? Horses have preferences just like people.
Study all of these tips before you put handicapping tips into action — it’ll lead to better winnings.