What is a Monty Roberts blanket?

What is a Monty Roberts blanket? The Monty Roberts blanket takes its name from its inventor, American horse trainer, or ‘horse whisperer’, Marvin Earl ‘Monty’ Roberts. Originally designed in the early Nineties, the lightly-padded blanket is fitted, temporarily, behind the saddle and covers the hindquarters of a horse down as far as the hocks, or the equivalent of the human ankle. Other styles of stalls blanket exist but, in Britain, Monty Roberts has become synonymous with this type of equipment.

All starting stalls include rails, on either side, on the inside walls, on which jockeys can put their feet down. In the absence of a Monty Roberts blanket, contact with these rails can cause some horses to become claustrophobic and unruly. The purpose of the blanket, therefore, is to protect the ‘vulnerable’ areas of the horse, such as the ribs or stifle joints – the equivalent of the human knee – from unwanted brushing, or bumping, against the starting stalls. A rope is attached to a ring at the rear of the blanket, so that it can be pulled off by a stalls handler when the stalls open.

How many horses have won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe more than once?

How many horses have won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe more than once? Traditionally staged on the first Sunday in October at Longchamp Racecourse in the Bois de Boulogne, west of Paris, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is one of the highlights of the international racing calendar. Run over a mile-and-a-half and open to horses aged three years and upwards of either gender, except geldings, the ‘Arc’ is a prestigious Group One contest, which regularly atrracts the crème de la crème of middle-distance from all over the world.

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in 1920 and has been sponsored by Qatar Racing, under the auspices of Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, of the Qatari Royal family, since 2008. It is, in fact, the most valuable race run on the Flat anywhere in Europe, offering €5 million in total prize money, of which €2.86 million goes to the winner. Horses aged four years and upwards carry 9st 5lb, three-year-olds carry 8st 12lb and fillies and mares receive a 3lb allowance. Consequently, for horses of the ‘Classic’ generation – that is, three-year-old colts and fillies – British trainers often consider the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe as a viable alternative to the St. Leger Stakes, which is run over two furlongs further at Doncaster in September.

All told, eight horses – in chronological order, Ksar (1921, 1922), Motrico (1930, 1932), Corrida (1936, 1937), Tantieme (1950, 1951), Ribot (1955, 1956), Alleged (1977, 1978), Treve (2013, 2014) and Enable (2017, 2018) – have won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe twice, but no horse has won the race three times.

Whatever happened to Folkestone Racecourse?

Whatever happened to Folkestone Racecourse? Nowadays property of Folkestone & Hythe District Council and destined to become part of the sprawling ‘Otterpool Park’ housing development, Folkestone Racecourse still stands in Westenhanger, west of Folkestone town centre, as it has done since 1898. In its heyday, Folkestone was the only official horse racing venue in Kent and staged both Flat and National Hunt fixtures throughout the year.

However, following its ‘temporary’ closure in December, 2012 which, according to previous owners Arena Racing Company (ARC) was to allow redevelopment of ‘outdated’ facilities, Folkestone never opened its gates again. In fact, the previously magnificent site has essentially been left to slowly decay into rack and ruin.

The tumbledown buildings, including the wooden-fronted main stand, are still standing, albeit only just, but the steeplechase fences and running rails. The attractive parade ring and paddock area, behind the main stand, has at least been maintained to some extent, but the racing surface has been reclaimed by grass and tall, ugly weeds, reminiscent of a large, unkempt field than a racecourse.

Racing Post journalist Lee Mottershead once wrote, hauntily, of Folkestone, ‘They once raced horses here.’ They did, indeed, and the brutal demise of a landmark that stood for over a century is heart-breaking and shameful in equal measure.

How many times has Frankie Dettori won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe?

How many times has Frankie Dettori won the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe? At the time of writing, the superstar mare Enable, on whom Lanfranco ‘Frankie’ Dettori won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in 2017 and 2018, and finished a heartbreaking second in 2019, has yet to make her second attempt to win the race for an unprecedented third time. The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, popularly known as the ‘Arc’, is the most prestigious and valuable Flat race run in Europe, with total prize money of €5 million. Since its inuguration in 1920, eight horses have won the Arc twice but, with the exception of Enable, Treve in 2015 is the only horse to try, and fail, to win the race three times.

Regardless of whether or not Enable makes history, Dettori, who turns 50 in December, 2020, is already the leading jockey in the history of the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with six winners. His first three winners, Lammtarra in 1995, Sakhee in 2001 and Marienbard in 2002, were all trained in Newmarket by Saeed bin Suroor; Lammtarra was owned by Saeed bin Maktoum al Maktoum, the nephew of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, founder of Godolphin, while Sakhee and Marienbard carried the royal blue silks of Godolphin. Dettori lost his job as retained jockey to Goldolphin in October, 2012, but subsequently renewed his association with his old mentor, John Gosden; so far, Gosden has supplied him with three more Arc winners, Golden Horn, owned by Anthony Oppenheimer, in 2015 and Enable, owned by Khalid Abdullah, in 2017 and 2018.

1 103 104 105 106