A Cheltenham great: Sprinter Sacre

When it comes to the Cheltenham Festival, Sprinter Sacre has to be one of the first horses which springs to mind. With twelve major wins under his belt, he’s simply without question one of the greatest jump horses of the last decade.

It was clear for all to see that trainer Nicky Henderson had a special horse when Sprinter Sacre bolted up on only his third ever hurdle race at Ascot in 2010. It was almost decided there and then that he would be heading to the Cheltenham Festival that season, where he was entered into the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

A Cheltenham great: Sprinter Sacre

Source: Sprinter Sacre by Carine06 via Flickr (CC BY SA-2.0)

 

Despite all the hype, a major blunder three furlongs out meant that Sprinter Sacre could only manage third place. However, this was an early sign he would have an illustrious career.

Two years on, having won the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury under Barry Geraghty, Nicky Henderson entered his superstar into the Arkle Challenge Trophy, facing the likes of Al Ferof, Menorah and Cue Card.

No mistakes were made on this occasion and the race was never in doubt, with Sprinter Sacre leaving Cue Card seven lengths behind, although this could have been at least 20 if it wasn’t for Geraghty deciding to virtually crawl over the finish line.

Sprinter Sacre was branded as “The Special One” after the race by his jockey, who had simply stunned the Cheltenham crowd on his return to the track after a two-year absence.

Nicky Henderson’s horse continued to prove unbeatable throughout the 2012/2013 campaign, storming to success in the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown and the Celebration Chase.

A return to Cheltenham for a third time, saw Sprinter Sacre collect the Queen Mother Champion Chase title at odds of just 1-4, the shortest a horse had ever been at the Festival since Sir Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup for England.

Cue Card must have been sick of the sight of Sprinter Sacre, having to settle for second once more when Henderson’s superstar hosed up in the John Smith’s Melling Chase at the Grand National Festival, by almost five lengths. This was hardly surprising to the bookmakers, who had sent off Henderson’s horse as the 1-3 favourite.

A Cheltenham great: Sprinter Sacre

Source: Sprinter Sacre & Simonsig by Carine06 via Flickr (CC BY SA-2.0)

 

Sprinter Sacre was seeking a hat-trick of victories when heading to his fourth visit to Cheltenham the following season but it wasn’t to be for the heavily backed favourite. He looked to protect his title in the Queen Mother Champion Chase but a back injury saw him fade away, allowing Dodging Bullets to steal his glory.

Yet in his true, aggressive, fighting spirit, Sprinter Sacre’s last visit to the Festival was to be a fairy-tale ending. Despite odds of 5-1, the then ten-year-old turned over the Irish-trained favourite in Un de Sceaux to land his second Queen Mother Champion Chase.

After the race, his trainer said: “He’s just been so feisty and aggressive all season. I’ve been looking at him every night for the last three weeks and I just knew that it was still there. It’s just talent, isn’t it?”

His last ever race was back at Sandown Park in the Celebration Chase, where he challenged Un de Sceaux once more and with Nico de Boinville on board, there was only going to be one outcome. Sprinter Sacre devoured the field, finishing fifteen lengths clear of his nearest rival, bowing out still very much at the top of his game.

On November 13th 2016, it was with regret that Nicky Henderson announced Sprinter Sacre’s retirement due to a leg tendon injury he had sustained.

“The horse of an absolute lifetime” were the famous words reiterated by Sprinter Sacre’s trainer upon the announcement. His achievements will go down in racing history for years to come.

Robert Thornton

Robert Thornton  Robert “Chocolate” Thornton was forced to call time on his career as a jockey in September, 2015, after failing to fully recover from fractured vertebrae in his neck – the latest in a series of bad injuries – suffered in a fall at Chepstow the previous April. However, in nearly 20 years, for most of which he operated as stable jockey to Wiltshire trainer Alan King, Thornton rode 1,129 winners, including 16 at the Cheltenham Festival.

 

He rode his first winner at the Cheltenham Festival, King Lucifer, trained by David Nicholson, in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup as an 18-year-old amateur in 1997 and completed a notable double on Pharanear in what is now the Pertemps Network Final for the same trainer just 35 minutes later. Thornton enjoyed his most successful year at the Cheltenham Festival in 2007, when victories on My Way De Solzen in the Arkle Challenge Trophy, Voy Por Ustedes in the Queen Mother Champion Chase, Katchit in the Triumph Hurdle and Andreas in the Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup made him leading jockey at the meeting for the one and only time.

 

He was, in fact, the last British jockey to win the leading jockey award at the Cheltenham Festival.

 

Thornton also won on his first two rides at the Cheltenham Festival in 2008, Captain Cee Bee in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and Katchit in the Champion Hurdle, in what turned out to be the most successful season of his career, with 105 winners. His final Cheltenham Festival success came aboard Bensalem in what is now the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase in 1998, avenging a luckless defeat in the same race twelve months previously. All in all, Thornton won three of the four ‘championship’ races at the Cheltenham Festival, the Champion Hurdle, the Queen Mother Champion Chase and the Stayers’ Hurdle, but never won the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

TVG: Bettor’s one-stop favorite for horse races

TVG: Bettor’s one-stop favorite for horse races

Photo by Jeff Griffith on Unsplash

For centuries, horse race betting has been a favorite leisure of elite men and women. These gamblers stake their money on the final placement of the horses taking part in the race. However, such gambling is not allowed in some race tracks just like in Springdale’s renowned Carolina Cup and the Colonial Cup Steeplechase in Camden South Carolina since the law was passed in 1951.

Since horse racing has become bigger and bigger in the coming years, gambling on horses is allowed where most tracks offer parimutuel betting in which the money is pooled and shared proportionally among winners just like in the Kentucky Derby—the biggest horse race in the world.

The Kentucky Derby, or what other calls as ‘The Run for the Roses” or “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports” is ranked as one of the most important thoroughbred races in the world and the first to form the Triple Crown Series. This race has been the longest running since 1875 even continuing through two World Wars and the Great Depression which makes it a valuable jewel in the racing world.

This is a two-week race held annually that culminates on the first Saturday of May in Louisville, Kentucky of United States. It is still a Grade I race just like the Pegasus but for three-year-old runners at a ten furlong distance of a one and quarter mile run (2km) in Churchill Downs.

This is a race the so-called classic generation which means we have not yet seen the very best of them. It rises up the excitement on race day where people on their big hats, mint juleps and collective voice in “My Old Kentucky Home” exchange their opinions on who they think is the best on the run.

Since the Kentucky Derby is the first on the list, winners of the race will make its way to the Belmont Stakes and Preakness Stakes to win the Triple Crown. 15 young three-year-old contenders sprint their way for the standing $2 million dollar purse for this derby.

Kentucky, just like any major race have a live TV coverage courtesy of NBC Sports attracting about millions of viewers for this two-week event. But if you are someone who is always on the run, you don’t need to get to a tv to watch it as it has an online broadcast at TVG.

This livestreaming can be streamed through NBC Sports Live Extra or by using NBC Sports Live Extra app pretty easy to access in your mobile devices or tablets.

Watch TVG online for some unforgettable moments of the Kentucky Derby which has been beamed live over the years here. TVG has a full real-time race schedule and the live online coverage of any of their 150+ tracks such as Aqueduct, Arlington Park, Churchill Downs, Del Mar, Gulfstream, Golden Gate Fields, Keeneland, Monmouth Park, Santa Anita, Turf Paradise, Saratoga and many more.

Don’t forget that you may also place your bets for the Triple Crown through TVG once you have signed up a membership in their website.

Having your TVG online betting account will give you a strong undercard with ample opportunities on the day to win some money from betting, a chance for you to take part at the biggest race ever through betting which is the next best thing you can be proud of yourself other than owning one of the runners in the any of the races in store.

This online horse racing experts also provide a searchable list of all horse racing track lists, results and payout info from around the country and the world for the convenience of your betting scheme. They have a list of an analysis of the leading racers in the Kentucky Derby which will be really helpful and can give you ample knowledge before posting a bet on the contender you think will keep the crown on all throughout the three races.

TVG also has a step-by-step instructions on how to post your bets for the Kentucky Derby. If you ought to know about the win, place, and show bets, then this would be the best outlet for you. You may also spice things up with an EXACTA or try a pro betting called TRIFECTA while checking the odd days early before the race in their website.

Take TVG with you and keep the wagering on the go anywhere in your mobile devices or smartphones and tablets. This is why TVG is a crowd-favorite on the horse racing industry as it provides bet players the convenience for this most-watched sport.

If you are a new player and wish to be successful in your first placed bet, this online expert will guide you with a bounty of information and details from the history of the race, to the leading contenders and the odds of the possible winner. This is the only membership which you can definitely say that the money you spent was worth it.

Lastly, you may visit TVG’s website today which can be found at https://www.tvg.com/promos/kentucky-derby/ and once you sign up you get your first doubled deposit instantly.