Which Horse, What Race?

Which Horse, What Race?

Racing a horse is a lot more than simply looking at whether the ground is wet or dry. It’s not even simply about how well the horse has been fed, rested or trained before a big race. In fact, the bulk of knowing what makes a particular animal suited to a specific form of racing requires an understanding of the animal’s lineage and breeding.

As with the diversification of humans in their ability to develop certain strengths for particular sports, such as the differences between sprinters and marathon runners, ice skaters or American Footballers, a number of factors can enter into the ability of a horse to rise to the top of a particular discipline.

Factors such as stamina, muscle twitch, weight or aggression can all factor into the animal’s performance. Careful attention to the traits of specific breeds have, over the centuries, led to the deliberate breeding of horses suited to specific tasks. Some of these traits have been developed out of necessity, either for the horses’ natural survival or from the needs of their owners, whether for commercial or recreational purposes.

This article will cover some of the common types of horses and the races they are most suited to beginning with the breed whose name is most misunderstood, the Thoroughbred.

Thoroughbred

Famous for giving their name to what is perhaps the most popular form of racing, the Thoroughbred have left many a ticket holder gasping for breath with close finishes and unexpected outsider wins. Whilst the name can lead to confusion, insofar as is can be used to refer to other pure-breed horses, the Thoroughbred is a pure-breed horse in its own right.

These horses were developed through selective breeding throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in England and can all trace their lineage to three stallions imported from the Middle East at this time.

Characterized by long necks and legs with lean bodies, they maintain a classical profile with their temperament begin described as “hot-blooded”. This refers not only to their spirited nature but also to the inherent qualities of speed and agility that are present in their breed.

Traits such as these make Thoroughbred particularly suitable for flat racing, both as sprinters and for long distance races. Although these are their main strengths, they may also be seen competing in barrel racing and steeplechase as well as in many Olympic show events.

Arabians

The history of the Arabian breed of horse goes back as far as four thousand years and is one of the oldest recognized purebreds still with us today. Originally these were primarily used in combat and this is apparent in the way they have developed through generations of selective breeding.

Known for their stamina over long distances as well as their speed it is no wonder that this particular line has been used over the centuries to improve certain qualities in other breeds. Whilst they are suited to short distance racing, their particular forte is that of endurance racing where they reign supreme.

Like Thoroughbreds, their superb breeding has contributed to a fine temperament making them reliable and also suitable for many show events.

Standardbreds

Arriving on the scene in the eighteenth century, the Standardbred was developed at a time when trotting races were becoming popular. A robust stature, muscular shoulders and hindquarters lend well to harness racing and they have, in effect, evolved alongside the sport.

Their origin can be traced back to a smorgasbord of established breeds including Thoroughbreds, Hackneys and Canadian Pacers. Formally recognized in 1879 the breed is known for having a much affable nature, being easier to train and possessing an intuitive intelligence making them suitable to harness racing.

Physically longer and more muscular than their Thoroughbred cousins it is perhaps not surprising that this combination of physique and intelligence makes them especially strong and suited to harness racing. All registered Standardbreds should be able to trace their lineage back to one sire known as Hambletonian 10.

American Quarter Horses

These horses take their name from their traditional forte which was the quarter-mile race. Their broad muscular chest belies a powerful and compact torso making them suitable for short sprint races.

Another breed that was developed and established in the mid nineteenth century, American Quarter horses still see additional Thoroughbred bloodline injected into their strain without being considered “less pure”.

Their particular strength over short distances is best seen in races of distances between 220 to 870 yards and they are commonly referred to as the “world’s fastest athlete”. However, their versatility has seen developments within the breed making some horses more suited as hunter or rodeo horses. These slightly different statures and core strengths should be noted when sizing them up for competition as over short distances there is not much room for error.

Appaloosa

This American breed descended from the early Spanish horses brought to the new world. Through a mixture of voluntary, and later forced, adoption by native communities this horse probably traces its roots back to the Far East.

Known for its leopard patterning the horse has over the last century received injects into its bloodline from nearly all the main pure breed racing horses. Whilst still maintaining a relatively short stature this has encouraged positive traits in its racing ability.

As a result the Appaloosa has become known for its powerful sprinting ability. Unlike their Quarter Horse relatives, they are more suited to middle distance races, performing best at distances between 350 yards and 0.5 miles.

Their agility and compact stature also makes them particularly suited to barrel racing or timed pole racing events. This versatile animal continues to have an open book with regard to breeding lines which has resulted in there being some diversity in some strains with a potential to develop into a jack of all trades.

The 2018 Edition Of The Ryder Cup

The 2018 Edition Of The Ryder Cup

Between the 25th and 30th September, the 2018 edition of the Ryder Cup will be held at the Albatros Course at the Le Golf National in Paris. The tournament attracts some of the top talents of the two continents, who aim to win the coveted cup for their home nation. In order to better understand what is at stake in this competition, it’s a good idea to learn where it all began.

History Of The Cup

The competition started in 1927 and originally involved two teams, one representing the United States and the other representing Great Britain. Samuel Ryder, a successful English businessman, donated the cup to the championship and as a result, it was named after him. The very first event was held in the US at the Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts.

The Ryder Cup has since been organized every second year. In 2001, due to the September 11 attacks on America, it was delayed a year. Since then, instead of occurring on an odd number year it started being held on an even number year.

In 1979, the rest of Europe joined Great Britain in representing the continent. This was done, amongst other reasons, to improve their chances against the dominant US teams. This proved to be a successful move as, since then Europe won the tournament a total of 10 times, whilst the US won it 8 times.

In the previous edition, held in 2016, the Americans won their latest title with a score of 17 against Europe’s 11. The championship was held at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

Participants

The selection of the two teams is somewhat different between the two continents. Each team consists of 12 professional players. Europe selects the members of its team in 3 different ways. The top 4 players in the European Points List are the first to be added to the team. Then, the next 4 players who make up the 4 players from the World Points List are added. Finally, 4 random, wild picks are chosen.

America’s selection process is a lot simpler. The highest ranking 8 players according to their points are automatically part of the team. However, who the remaining 4 players will be is up to the discretion of the team’s captain.

This year’s edition will see a strong European team, led by the English number 1, Tyrrell Hatton. The young star is full of potential, having already won the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship two years in a row, in 2016 and 2017, amongst other competitions.

Each player in Europe’s top 3 spots is British, with Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood following Dunhill. Then, the list becomes a lot more continental, with Italy’s Francesco Molinari, Spain’s John Rahm and Sweden’s Alex Noren in 4th, 5th and 6th rank respectively.

America’s Brooks Koepka is no stranger to the Ryder Cup, with his debut of 3-1-0 at Hazeltine. He will be joined by the 2nd highest ranked player in the world, Dustin Johnson. Meanwhile, the very energetic Patrick Reed is number 3 in the team. He is followed by Justin Thomas, who in 4th place is eager to show what having a professional golf dad and grandad can do to a talented golfer.

Betting On The Ryder Cup

Punters who wish to be part of the action can do so by placing a wager on the team they think is going to take home the cup. There are numerous online casinos which offer a sportsbook and allow bets on this prestigious cup.

Currently, the odds are in slight favor of the Americans, but the Europeans are following closely. Players who enjoy wagering on wild and unexpected events can also choose to wager on the two teams ending in a tie. Whilst this event is rare, it has happened a few times in the past.

Winner’s Prize

Surprisingly, for such a high profile event involving some of the best golfers in the world, there is no prize money awarded to the winners. Instead, they have the prestige that comes with being winners and the ability to hold on to the cup until the next event.

Horse Racing: Capturing Every Breathtaking Moment

For horse racing enthusiasts and admirers, as one season comes closer to an end, another begins with opportunities to place in stakes and hopefully get lucky and win big.

Horse racing has become a lucrative sport for participants and spectators alike, and an exciting one in that especially whilst waiting for that moment in which the fastest horse gets to the finish line first.

Over the years, spectators have traveled far and wide to experience live horse-racing at popular spots and platforms.

This article takes a look at some of the best horse racing events in 2019, giving aficionados and budding entrants the opportunity to stay informed about the upcoming horse racing calendar.

Dubai World Cup

The Dubai World Cup, since its inception, has become one of the greatest horse racing platforms at which several of the current, most formidable racehorses from around the world converge to compete for a grand prize of over $10 million.

Interestingly, the Dubai World Cup coincides with the Dubai World Cup Carnival in Meydan, which is the testing ground for riders to compete with the best.

Spectators – whether Dubai residents or foreign guests – can expect to have a thrilling time as horses are in peak condition to compete in one of the most keenly anticipated horse racing festivals of the year. Whilst the horse racing season will initially kick off in November, schedules will run through to March 2019.

Moreover, Dubai has grown to become one of the largest economic centers in the world, attracting foreigners from across the globe. This visibility on the world stage means that the Dubai World Cup expects to attract in excess of 30,000 spectators.

Cheltenham Gold Cup

With over £4.5 million in cash prizes to be won, the Cheltenham racecourse attracts different horse racers and participants worldwide. In order to keep racers and spectators informed, the racecourse will begin activities on the first week of January.

Some racing trials will be held in February, with the hope of getting racers prepared for this spectacular live showcase which will include some of the finest horses in action.

Oaklawn Racing and Gaming

In the United States, Oaklawn Racing and Gaming provides a great opportunity for racers to compete on racecourses at different grades. These grades are 1, 2, 3 and non-grades stakes. All of these races have different prizes which will be awarded to the top performers.

Moreover, Oaklawn tends to be one of the busiest venues, where the strength and agility of competing horses and their riders are put to the test.

The Grade 1 racecourse will garner a $1 million prize, whilst the winner on the Grade 2 course will go home with $900,000. The winner for Grade 3 will get $500,000, whilst the non-graded stakes will vary.

Additional sideline activities will include checking the condition of horses for qualification in the different categories, measuring the distance that will be covered by horses, and a display of the trophies that will be claimed by the eventual winners.

Both owners and jockeys alike will be keen to use these events as a display of their hard work and to introduce new entrants to a high profile audience.

As a start to the year these three world-renowned events are the perfect way for equine connoisseurs to whet their appetite for the year ahead.

2018 Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is the horse race that stops America, taking place every year at Churchill Downs racecourse in Louisville, Kentucky. While the US and many parts of the rest of the world will stop for it, it stops for nothing and nobody, running every year since 1875. It is no exaggeration to say that the Kentucky Derby is as significant in America as the Grand National is in the United Kingdom. Some of the best thoroughbreds in training will travel to Kentucky from Europe and Japan to challenge the domestic stars in an attempt to go down in history.

The race

The race is prestigious enough in itself but it is also the first event in the American Triple Crown which includes the Preakness Stakes and is concluded with the Belmont. While there have been many attempts to land the Triple Crown, American Pharoah was the first to achieve it in nearly 30 years when winning in 2015.

The 20 runners participating in 2018 come from the Road to the Kentucky Derby leaderboard, where each horse has earned qualifying points to become eligible, mainly through success in their own countries. The list is headed by Magnum Moon, currently 4th in the betting, with Justify, another American thoroughbred occupying favourite status alongside European raider Mendelssohn, trained by the legendary Aidan O’Brien.

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