Which was the last filly to run in the Derby?

Which was the last filly to run in the Derby? Theoretically, there’s nothing to stop fillies running in the Derby, but the trend among modern trainers is to run them against their own sex, in the fillies-only Oaks, rather than against the colts, from whom they receive a 3lb allowance. Interestingly, in 2021, the Derby is worth £1,125,000 in guaranteed prize money, while the Oaks is worth just £375,000, but prize money is not the only consideration.

Of course, a Derby-winning filly would be a valuable commodity as a broodmare, but not nearly as valuable as a Derby-winning colt would be as a stallion, granted that the latter could cover hundreds of mares a year, potentially at hundreds of thousands of pounds per covering. Anyway, whatever the rationale behind the dearth of fillies in the Derby in recent years, the last filly to line up for the ‘Blue Riband’ event was Cape Verdi in 1998.

Trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Frankie Dettori, the daughter of Caerleon had previously justified favouritism in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket, beating subsequent Oaks winner Shahtoush by 5 lengths. Consequently, she sent off favourite for the Derby, but seemingly failed to stay a mile and a half, weakening two furlongs from home to finish ninth, 12 lengths behind the winner, High-Rise.

Which was the greatest Flat horse ever?

Which was the greatest Flat horse ever? Any discussion of which was the greatest ‘anything’ ever is, invariably, biased towards events occurring in the recent past. Furthermore, ‘greatest’ is a subjective term, not necessarily based on empirical evidence, so which was the greatest Flat horse ever is really just a matter of opinion. Notwithstanding the fact that Timeform ratings were not published until 1948 and, for much of their existence, included only horses that raced in Britain, they probably provide as reliable a comparison between generations as we’re likely to find.

According to Timeform, the greatest Flat horse ever was Frankel, who won all 14 of his races between August, 2010 and October, 2012, including ten at the highest, Group One level. His Timeform Annual Rating of 147, achieved when winning the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2012, is 2lb higher than that of Sea-Bird, who raced just once in Britain, but was an effortless winner of the Derby at Epsom and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp in 1965. Of course, there are numerous Flat horses that never raced in Britain, or did so before the advent of Timeform, that could described as the ‘greatest’ ever; Secretariat, Phar Lap and Pretty Polly are just three of them.

Which are the biggest outsiders to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Which are the biggest outsiders to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup? Of course, the Cheltenham Gold Cup is a ‘conditions’ race, run at level weights, with weight-for-age and weight-for-sex allowances. As such, it would be reasonable to assume that winning outsiders are something of a rarity. In fact, for the first three decades of its existence, as a steeplechase, the longest-priced winner was the locally-trained Four Ten, at 100/6, in 1954. However, the very next year, Gay Donald, trained by Jim Ford and ridden by Tony Grantham, sprang the first real surprise when winning, easily, at 33/1.

The Cheltenham Gold Cup was transferred to the New Course at Prestbury Park in 1959, but it was not until 1970 that L’Escargot, trained by Dan Moore and ridden by Tommy Carberry, also popped up at 33/1. To his credit, L’Escargot proved that effort was no fluke by returning to Cheltenham to defend his title in 1971, at rather less ‘shocking’ odds of 7/2.

It was nearly two decades later that the next unlikely winner came along, but when he did, he caused the ‘Shock of the Century’, according to the ‘Racing Post’. The unlikeliest of unlikely winners was Norton’s Coin, a previously unheralded 9-year-old, trained by Carmarthenshire permit-holder ridden by Graham McCourt. Belying odds of 100/1, Norton’s Coin was always going well and led on the run-in to beat Toby Tobias and defending champion Desert Orchid, breaking the course record in the process. Indeed, the Nineties proved a profitable decade for outsiders, with Cool Ground and his near namesake Cool Dawn both winning at 25/1, in 1992 and 1998, respectively.

Which are the shortest-priced winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Which are the shortest-priced winners of the Cheltenham Gold Cup? At the time of writing, in 92 runnings since its inauguration, the Cheltenham Gold Cup has thrown up nine odds-on winners – all of whom, with one exception, were also multiple winners – but, interestingly, only one since 1966. The first odds-on winner was Easter Hero, who was sent off at odds of 8/11 for the second of his two wins, in 1930. He was followed shortly afterwards by the celebrated Golden Miller, who started at 4/7 and 1/2 for the second and fourth victories of his unprecedented five-timer, in 1933 and 1935 respectively.

Next up was Prince Regent, at 4/7, in 1946, who has the distinction of being the only one of the odds-on winners to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup just once. Indeed, the last five odds-on winners – which were, in fact, just three different horses – were all in the process of completing hat-tricks. Cottage Rake was sent off 4/6 and 5/6 for the second and third legs of his hat-trick, in 1949 and 1950, Arkle started 30/100 and 1/10 for the second and third legs of his, in 1965 and 1966, and Best Mate was returned at 8/11 for the third and final leg of his, in 2004. Unsurprisingly, Arkle – arguably the greatest steeplechaser of all time – holds the record for the shortest-priced winner in Gold Cup history.

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