Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Saeed bin Suroor

Saeed bin Suroor
Born and raised in Dubai, Saeed bin Suroor is a four-time British Champion trainer and longest-serving trainer at the world-famous Godolphin Stables in Newmarket. 
With over 2,000 international victories and more than 180 Group One winners, including three Prix de l'Arc de Triomphes and four King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Diamon Stakes, bin Suroor is one of the most successful and fearsome trainers of his generation. 
His impressive career includes 12 British Classic victories including at the 1,000 Guineas, the 2,000 Guineas, the Epsom Oaks, the Epsom Derby the St, Leger Stakes and won the Ascot Gold Cup five times. He’s just as successful in his native Dubai with a record-breaking eight wins in the Dubai World Cup, most recently with Thunder Snow in March 2018 and has been awarded the Leading Trainers’ title at the Dubai World Cup eight times, including last year.

Internationally he’s saddled winners in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia, Italy and Ireland. 
Bin Suroor’s life might have turned out very differently if he had stuck with his first career as a policeman. He decided to stop in 1990 when he met Sheikh Mohammed, who after noting his talents, approached him to train his 30 racehorses running in the UK. He took out his training licence in 1993 and a year later was appointed trainer at Godolphin in Newmarket. Godolphin is one of the most famous and largest flat racing operations in the UK.

He currently splits his year between six-months in the UK and six-months in Dubai.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Peter Scudamore

Peter Scudamore
As the son of the famed English National Hunt jockey Michael Scudamore, it was clear from an early age that Peter Scudamore had inherited his father’s talent for winning horse races. Born on the 29th June 1958, the jockey known as ‘Scu’ to his friends began his career in 1978 during his all too brief 15 years in the saddle and he went on to win a remarkable 1,678 races in that time. Such was his success, that he received an MBE for his work in the sport.

Amongst his achievements were 8 British Champion jockey titles, two Scottish Grand National wins, four Welsh Grand National triumphs, two Hennessy Gold Cups, three Sun Alliance Chases and one Triumph Hurdle. It would not be an exaggeration to call Peter Scudamore one of the great jockeys and it was a sad day for racing when he retired in 1993, having achieved great success on the likes of Bonanza Boy, Strands Of Gold and Celtic Shot.

He bowed out in style however, winning his last ever race in the saddle on Sweet Duke at Ascot. A very fitting end to a brilliant career.

Scudamore the Trainer

Peter walked straight into a job as assistant trainer to Nigel Twiston-Davies, a position he fulfilled until carrying out the same role for his now life partner, Lucinda Russell at the Arlary House Stables in the Scottish town of Milnathort. A role he still enjoys today.

Scudamore has also been active in the media, often appearing as a BBC pundit on their racing coverage and penning a racing column in British newspaper, the Daily Mail.

The good news is that it seems that the Scudamore legacy is set to continue, as Tom Scudamore, Peter’s son is now a professional jockey. If he has a career anything like his dad’s, he won’t have done too badly at all.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Key Contenders For 2018 King George VI Chase

The King George VI Chase is the highlight of the festive programme over Christmas in the UK and this year’s race is set to be another fantastic renewal with a strong field expected to line up at Kempton in the 3m contest. Here is a look at the leading contenders for the Grade One chase.

Might Bite

BHA Press Office via Twitter

Last year’s winner Might Bite is expected to return to Kempton in December to try to defend his crown and become the first horse to prevail in the race in back-to-back years since Silviniaco Conti in 2014. Nicky Henderson’s runner had a fantastic campaign last season as he also won the Aintree Bowl and finished second in the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The nine-year-old is expected to target all the leading 3m+ chases in this division this season and connections will have the Gold Cup in mind as the priority where they will be hoping he can go one better than he did in March. Might Bite has proven that Kempton is a course he enjoys, therefore, it is no surprise that he tops the early betting for the 2018 King George.

Waiting Patiently

Waiting Patiently is set to return to the racecourse after 10 months off the track when he lines up at Kempton. Ruth Jefferson’s horse was last seen when he won the Ascot Chase, beating Cue Card, Top Notch and Coney Island in a strong field for the Grade One contest. The son of Flemensfirth has won his last seven races, therefore, he has been in great form. Unfortunately for connections, he has had a number of injuries which have prevented him from running in the big meetings, including the 2018 Cheltenham Festival. Despite his long absence, Waiting Patiently is prominent at 6/1 in the horse racing betting for the King George where, if successful, he would scoop the biggest prize of his career so far.

Native River

Racing UK via Twitter

Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River will be looking to join a small club of horses who have won the feature race of the Cheltenham Festival and King George in the same year. The eight-year-old already has an impressive CV with victories also coming in the Hennessy Gold Cup and Welsh Grand National. Native River missed the King George last year through injury and did not make his seasonal reappearance until February where he made a winning return in the Denman Chase. A month later, Colin Tizzard’s Chaser outstayed all of his rivals in the Gold Cup. Given how the pair locked horns throughout at Cheltenham, many people will be looking forward to seeing Native River take on Might Bite once again in what could prove to be a fascinating rivalry for many years to come in the sport. Native River can be backed at 6/1 in the King George betting and he is sure to have his supporters at that price as he is officially rated as one of the best chasers in training in the UK and Ireland.

Enjoy the action on Boxing Day and good luck if you are having a bet in the King George.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Tony McCoy

Tony McCoy
Sir Anthony Peter McCoy OBE, is a retired horse racing jockey hailing from Northern Ireland and is widely regarded as one of the most successful ever in the steeplechasing world. In his career, the jockey known simply as ‘AP’ to many has won everything there is to win, including the Grand National , most recently on Don’t Push it in 2010. With a total of 4,358 winners to his name and he boasts the incredible achievement of winning Champion jockey title 20 years in a row, something that may never again be matched by anyone in the sport.

Out of the Ordinary

Other than his freakish talent for winning, Tony McCoy is different to many other jockeys in that he stands at 5ft 10 inches tall, which is tall for a jockey. Once in the saddle though, there truly is no one like him, as he has a virtually unblemished record as a jockey, even winning the title of Conditional Jump Jockey Champion in his first ever season, winning 74 races.

The fact that AP McCoy won the Champion Jockey title every year he competed in it says everything you need to know about the man and his victories in the Cheltenham Gold Cup, King George VI chase and the Champion Hurdle set him apart from the rest and when you see who he’s up against, you realise just how special that makes him. In his last race, he came third on Box Office at Sandown and despite not bowing out with a win, those attending knew they had witnessed the end of an era.

Tony McCoy retired in 2015 and went on to become Sir AP McCoy a year later. Never has the term champion been more apt and his feats may never be equalled again.