How many times did Sir Gordon Richards win the Derby?

How many times did Sir Gordon Richards win the Derby? Sir Gordon Richards, who was knighted in 1953 in recognition of his services to horse racing, was arguably the most successful Flat jockey in British racing history. During an extraordinary career, between 1921 and 1954, Richards rode a total of 4,870 winners and became champion jockey on 26 occasions.

In 1947, Richards rode 269 winners, thereby setting a British record that would stand until beaten by the incomparable Sir Anthony McCoy 55 years later. Richards also enjoyed considerable success in British Classic races, winning the St. Leger five times, the 2,000 Guineas three times, the 1,000 Guineas three times and the Oaks twice.

However, for much of his career the most important Classic of all, the Derby, proved elusive. In fact, it was not until the so-called ‘Coronation’ Derby, run just five days after he had been knighted, in 1953, that Richards broke his duck in the Epsom Classic. On that occasion, he rode the 5/1 joint-favourite, Pinza, owned by Sir Victor Sassoon and trained by Norman Bertie. Shikampur, owned by the Aga Khan, led the field into the final quarter of a mile, but was soon tackled by Pinza, who drew away in the closing stages to win by four lengths. Aureole, owned by the Queen, came around the outside of the field to finish second, but was always in vain pursuit.

Which is the best Grand National trial?

Which is the best Grand National trial? Various steeplechases are considered ‘trials’ for the Grand National, officially and unofficially. Ironically, one of the worst of all is the William Hill Grand National Trial, run over 3 miles 4½ furlongs at Haydock in February, which has failed to produce a Grand National winner since Party Politics in 1993. Across the Irish Sea, the Bobbyjo Chase, run over 3 miles 1 furlong at Fairyhouse in February, has produced just one Grand National winner, Hedgehunter in 2005, in its relatively short history. That said, the 2017 winner, Pleasant Company, was beaten just a head in the 2018 Grand National and the 2019 winner, Rathvinden, finished third at Aintree the same year.

The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, run over 3 miles 6 furlongs at Cheltenham in March, was inaugurated as recently as 2005, but has since produced two Grand National runners-up and two winners. The 2014 winner, Balthazar, went on to finish second to Pineau De Re at Aintree, the 2017 winner, Cause Of Causes, went on to finish second to One For Arthur and the 2018 and 2019 winner Tiger Roll followed up in the Grand National on both occasions. By contrast, the Becher Chase, run over 3 miles 2 furlongs on the National Course in December, has yet to produce a Grand National winner in the same season; the 2001 and 2004 winners, Amberleigh House and Silver Birch, did go on to win the National, but not until a season or two later.

Which racecourse originally hosted the Welsh National?

Which racecourse originally hosted the Welsh National? Nowadays, the Coral Welsh Grand National is a Grade 3 handicap steeplechase run over 3 miles 6½ furlongs at Chepstow Racecourse, where it has been hosted since 1949. In its history, the race has assumed various positions in the calendar, but in recent years has been scheduled for December 27 each year. The race is also the subject of the longest-running commercial sponsorship in British horse racing, having been sponsored by Coral bookmakers since 1973; understandably, more often than not, it is referred to by its sponsored title.

Prior to Chepstow, the Welsh National was staged at Caerleon Racecourse, on the banks of the River Usk, just once before its closure in 1948. The race was established at Ely Racecourse, to the west of Cardiff, in 1895, largely as a result of the popularity of horse racing in the Principality. Indeed, the inaugural running was watched by 40,000 spectators, many of whom overwhelmed the stewards and effectively gatecrashed the meeting. The Welsh National remained at Ely Racecourse until its closure, in the face of dwindling attendances, in 1939. After a brief hiatus for World War II, the race was transferred, briefly, to Caerleon and hence to Chepstow.

What is the Ayr Gold Cup?

What is the Ayr Gold Cup? Although obviously not as famous as, say, the Cheltenham Gold Cup or the Gold Cup at Ascot, the Ayr Gold Cup is, nonetheless, the most famous Flat race run in Scotland and forms the centrepiece of the three-day Ayr Gold Cup Festival staged annually in mid-September. Run over a straight six furlongs, open to horses aged three years and upwards and worth £75,000 in total prize money, the Ayr Gold Cup was first run, in its current guise, in 1908. Nowadays, the race is what is known as a ‘Heritage Handicap’ and, as such, is always a hotly-contested, competitive betting heat.

The Ayr Gold Cup has a safety limit of 25, but testament to its popularity is the fact that a consolation race, the Ayr Silver Cup was introduced in 1992 and a consolation race for the consolation race, the Ayr Bronze Cup, was introduced in 2009. Officially, the Ayr Gold Cup is open to horses rated 0-105 but, in 2020, the lowest-rated horses in the field were Arecibo, Staxton and Bungee Jump, all of whom were rated 94; the attraction of the Ayr Silver Cup, worth £30,000 in 2020, and the Ayr Bronze Cup, worth £19,000, is easy enough to understand.

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