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.




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.
Heart to Heart.

A little horse with a big HEART

The aptly named racehorse Heart to Heart showed that he has got a big heart (and not just on his forehead) when capturing his first Grade 1 victory at Gulfstream Park in Florida, USA, on February 10. The popular racehorse scored his first graded stakes success in 2014 and has since then tallied up another eight Grade 2 or 3 wins, but this was his first triumph at the highest level after several heart-breaking near-misses.
Highland Reel.

Out on a High

When the globe-trotting Highland Reel crossed the line in front in the G1 Hong Kong Vase on December 10, he brought an end to an extraordinary career that has spanned over four seasons. The victory also made him the top European-trained earner of all time. Owned by Coolmore and trained by the legendary Irishman Aidan O’Brien, Highland Reel has captured the hearts of racing fans in seven different countries. He is estimated to have travelled more than 180,000 kilometres during his career, making four trips to Hong Kong, three to the USA, three to France, two to the UAE, one to Australia, and many to the UK, from his base in Country Tipperary, Ireland. Highland Reel now starts his second career as a stallion at Coolmore Stud in Ireland.
Facts about Highland Reel
27 career starts in 7 countries on 4 continents 7 Group 1 victories £7,513,355 in racecourse earnings

Thunder & Lightning strike at Meydan

Half-siblings Thunder Snow and Winter Lightning starred on the fifth day of the 2018 Dubai World Cup Carnival at Meydan in Dubai, UAE. Winter Lightning proved that she is a filly for the future when galloping to victory in the Listed UAE 1,000 Guineas. A couple of hours later, it was her brother Thunder Snow’s turn to visit the winners’ enclosure following a narrow win in the G2 Al Maktoum Challenge. The two winners are both out of Godolphin’s mare Eastern Joy. Thunder.
Beholder and her new born.

A Prince is Born!

Beholder, the winner of four Eclipse Awards, eleven Grade 1’s including a trio of Breeders’ Cup races, and more than $6 million in prize money, delivered her first foal on January 23. The outstanding racehorse retired to Spendthrift Farm in Kentucky, USA after her photo-finish victory over Songbird in the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Distaff. The foal is a strong, bay colt by Uncle Mo, and Spendthrift Farm announced that Beholder has taken motherhood perfectly in her stride.

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