What Are Horse Racing Silks?

What Are Horse Racing Silks? They help identify each horse in a race, the owner choosing their design such as shapes and colours. This consists of a top and cap. The cap may be a different colour and design from the top.

If an owner has more than one horse in a race they are often identified by a different colours cap such as white, red or blue.

The practice of using racing silks originated in England.

Horse racing silks are not a new idea and date back to the 12th century. However, many historians assign them around the date of 1515 when Henry VIII was king. In the 17th – 18th century is was more customary for jockeys to wear colourful silks.

You can design your own unique racing silks via a number of companies (such as Gibson Saddlers) however the guidelines for these are outlined by the British Racing Authority. This detail a set of 18 colours to choose from with a variety of shapes and designs. They can be made of crepe satin or pure silk.

Racing silks may be registered annually, or every 5, 10 or 20 years.

Some of the most famous horse racing silks have been sold.

It is reputed that the royal blue silks of Godolphin were originally in the ownership of Alan Bailey. Simon Crisford, now a horse trainer but originally racing manager for Godolphin, was said to have contacted Bailey to buy the silks for £500. However, following negotiations between the two Sheikh Mohammed wrote a cheque for £26,000. A lot of money in the 1980s, now seemingly a giveaway in these modern times.

What would your racing silks look like?


Do All Racehorses Wear Shoes?

Do All Racehorses Wear Shoes? The simple answer is no. However, you will find that most racehorses wear shoes to protect their hooves, especially to prevent the hoof wall from cracking or splitting. You may find that some horses are not fitted with shoes because they have problems with their hooves.

Horse racing shoes are generally made of aluminium – strong and light weight. In recent years, carbon shoes have become more popular as they almost half the weight of aluminium (65g per shoe). There is scientific evidence that carbon shoes are better for horses.

Many non-racing horses wear steel shoes, while some traditional draft horses have naturally strong hooves and do not need shoes.

Racehorses need their hooves trimmed or shod every couple of months by a farrier. Trimming and balancing can cost from £25 – £35 and shoeing £50 – £85.

You may have seen horses spread a plate or lose a shoe when racing. This is usually because they step on it with another hoof. This is more likely to happen in softer conditions because they are less coordinated. It is unlikely a horse will lose a shoe just by the muddy conditions.

Horse shoes are considered lucky.

Some considered the traditional blacksmith working with fire and steel as having special powers. While the eighth century Chaldeans, the cradle of civilisation, thought its crescent shape represented moon goddesses protecting against the curse of the evil eye. An upside down horseshoe is a common sight for those who are superstitious.

Can Minella Indo defend the Cheltenham Gold Cup?

Can Minella Indo defend the Cheltenham Gold Cup? Rachael Blackmore took most of the headlines at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, becoming the first woman to win the Champion Hurdle, on Honeysuckle, and the first woman to win the Ruby Walsh Trophy, presented to the leading jockey at the meeting. However, in the ‘Blue Riband’ event itself, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Blackmore and her mount, A Plus Tard, were usurped by lesser-fancied stablemate Minella Indo, ridden by Jack Kennedy, who stayed on gamely to win by 1¼ lengths.

In fairness, Minella Indo had looked a desperately unlucky loser in the 2020 RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, where he was unable to withstand an extraordinary finishing effort from Champ, who made up fully 8½ lengths from the final fence. After two easy wins at Wexford and Navan at the start of the 2020/21 season, Minella Indo had fallen before halfway in the Savills Chase and finished only fourth of five in the Paddy Power Irish Gold Cup, both at Leopardstown, en route to the Cheltenham Festival.

However, the form of his Cheltenham Gold Cup win looks pretty solid, with previous dual winner Al Boum Photo only third, beaten 5½ lengths, and a yawning 24-length gap back to the 2018 winner, Native River, in fourth place. Minella Indo has done all his winning on good to soft, or softer, going, so unseasonably warm weather would not be in his favour. That would appear to be his only negative and, while he has the feted novice Monkfish to contend with this time around, he fully deserves his position at the head of the ante-post market.

Which were the top three two-mile hurdlers in 2020/21?

Which were the top three two-mile hurdlers in 2020/21? According to Timeform, Honeysuckle (165) put up the best performance of the season in the two-mile hurdling division when winning the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, impressively, by 6½ lengths from Sharjah (164). Abacadabras (159) fell at the third flight in the Champion Hurdle, but proved no match for Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle or the Punchestown Champion Hurdle on either side of that mishap.

In receipt of a 7lb mares’ allowance – controversially so, in the eyes of more than one learned observer – Honeysuckle carried all before her, winning four times at Grade 1 level to extend her unbeaten sequence to twelve races under Rules. The closest she came to being beaten was in the Hatton’s Grace Hurdle, over 2 miles 4 furlongs, at Fairyhouse in November on her reappearance; she won, for the second year running, but only just did enough to beat Ronald Pump and Beacon Edge by half a length and a neck.

Sharjah is, without doubt, a very smart hurdler and comfortably won the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown over Christmas, for the third year running, before tackling Honeysuckle at the major festivals on both sides of the Irish Sea in the spring. Henry de Bromhead’s mare took his measure on all three occasions, by 19 lengths at Leopardstown in February, 6½ lengths at Cheltenham in March and 2¼ lengths at Punchestown in April, but Sharjah lost little or nothing in defeat.

Like Sharjah, Abacadabras, who went down by just a head to Shishkin in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, is clearly no slouch. In 2020/21, he managed to avoid Honeysuckle and/or Sharjah on just three of his seven starts, but won two of them, both at Grade 1 level. After a less-than-stellar start to the campaign, when turned over at odds-on at Down Royal on his reappearance in late October, he edged out Saint Roi and Jason The Militant in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown two weeks later for his first Grade 1 win of the season. The following April, he once again demonstrated very smart form when always doing enough to win the Aintree Hurdle with more in hand than the 1¼-length winning margin might suggest.

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