Is favourite status at the horse racing a poisoned chalice?



Tiger Roll’s win at the Grand National extended the run at the event without the pre-race favourite taking home the crown.

Gordon Elliott’s charge put forward a brilliant performance at Aintree, although he was almost beat at the line by Pleasant Company, edging out his late surge by a head. The bay gelding was a strong contender for the crown given his display at Cheltenham Festival. Tiger Roll was on form in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, dominating the rest of the field to deliver a comfortable victory. He maintained his standards at the National and was flawless over 4 miles 510 yards, although the horse almost gave it away in the last four yards of the race.

Tiger Roll’s triumph made it eight-straight years that the race favourite has not claimed victory. The last favourite to win the crown was Don’t Push It in 2010 for Jonjo O’Neill as Tony McCoy rode the horse to victory by five lengths. Comply Or Die had success two years before as the favourite but the trend has moved away from the consensus selection in recent years, with the tag seen as some people as a poisoned chalice. A study by Betway has highlighted the issue that only nine joint and outright favourites have won the event since 1946.

Total Recall became the latest victim of the curse, although he appeared to be feeling the effects of his run at the Cheltenham Gold Cup. He finished off the pace in the Festival but was expected to rise to the challenge of the longer race. The major events are the biggest test of competitors and trainers, and there’s no atmosphere like the National. However, he could not compete with the pace of Tiger Roll and failed to finish the event, pulling up at the 29th fence. The unpredictability of the National makes it a must-watch, although the struggle of the favourite is becoming a staple.






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Gallop Magazine
First issue

SOUMILLON conquers Europe

The charismatic Belgian rider Christophe Soumillon set a new European record of wins in a calendar year, when riding 306 winners in 2017. The 36-year old French-based jockey rode in 1,635 races across the country, over a total distance of more than 3,000 km, to beat the previous record of 300 wins, set the year before by Pierre-Charles Boudot.

Proud of DADDY

Tourist, a multiple Grade 1-winner in the USA, closed his racing career in 2016 with an impressive victory in the fastest Breeders’ Cup Mile in history. His first foal, born on January 11, has every reason to be proud of her dad.

Taking horse sales to the next level

Australia Inglis, the oldest thoroughbred auctioneers in Australia, has opened a state-of-the-art sales complex at Warwick Farm in Sydney. Riverside Stables and the adjacent William Inglis Hotel opened their doors to both horses and people in February when hosting the 2018 Classic Yearling sale. The A$140million venue includes more than 800 boxes and an air-conditioned sales arena. Each of the 144 hotel rooms have their own name and theme based on champion racehorses sold through Inglis. The hotel also features a rooftop pool and bar overlooking the stable area and the Warwick Farm racecourse.

Kitasan Black – signs off in style

The Japanese fan-favourite Kitasan Black, ridden by jockey Yutaka Take, ended his outstanding career with a victory in the G1 Arima Kinen on December 24. More than 100,000 racegoers gathered trackside at Nakayama Racecourse in Japan to enjoy Kitasan Black’s final racecourse appearance and watch him capture his seventh Grade 1 title. The victory boosted his career earnings to almost 1.877 billion yen ($17.4m/€14m), making the five-year-old horse the highest earner in Japanese racing history. Shortly after, Kitasan Black was announced as the Horse of the Year in Japan for the second consecutive year. He will now enter stud at Shadai Stallion Station in Hokkaido.
Gallop Magazine_Golden Slipper

World’s hippest slipper

At Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Australia on March 24, one very lucky owner will be awarded a trophy with a 24-carat gold-plated slipper as its centrepiece. Since its introduction in 1957, the Golden Slipper Stakes has grown to become the richest and most prestigious race in the world for two-year-old horses, with a total purse of A$3,500,000. The trophy itself is worth A$23,000, and comes with a detachable golden bow brooch encrusted with 74 diamonds.

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