The Greatest Moments In Horse Racing History

The Greatest Moments In Horse Racing History Just like any other sport, horse racing has its fair share of defining moments. If you’re a horse racing fan (and you certainly should be), then you’ll probably already be able to bring a fair few of them to mind; those moments that you’ll tell other people about for years to come, the moments that you’ll remember fondly if you’re an enthusiast. Of course, it isn’t possible to recap every amazing thing that has happened throughout the storied history of the sport. Still, we wanted to pay homage to this incredible pastime, so here, without further ado, are some of the greatest moments in horse racing history.

Any Royal Ascot win

Alright, we’re copping out a little here with our first entry, but we want to draw attention to just how iconic the Royal Ascot is as an event. It’s one of the most important moments on the horse racing calendar, and so literally any win, any horse that crosses the finish line, is a special moment. We’re going to throw our lot in for the 2021 race, though; Berkshire Shadow’s victory was special in an event that trainer Andrew Balding told Betway is “the focal point of what we (horse racing professionals) try to achieve”.

American Pharoah wins the Triple Crown

At the time that American Pharoah took home the Triple Crown victory, it had been a stunning 37 years since any horse had achieved the feat. American Pharoah had already won the Kentucky Derby and followed that victory up with another stunner at the Preakness Stakes, so now it was all down to the Belmont Stakes. At the beginning of the race, it didn’t look like American Pharoah was going to take the crown, but then he picked up the pace and left his competitors in the dirt. His Belmont Stakes win was the second-fastest ever, behind Secretariat (not a bad place to be!).

Mine That Bird overcomes the odds

Horse racing enthusiasts will already know the name of Mine That Bird, but if you haven’t heard the tale, draw up a chair. Conditions were awful for Mine That Bird’s race in the 2009 Kentucky Derby; the rain had poured overnight, which meant the ground was the perfect consistency for getting stuck. Mine That Bird’s start was horrible, but he quickly found his hooves and ended up 6-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of the competition by the time of the last half-furlong. Mine That Bird’s victory would go down in history as the fastest Kentucky Derby win since Secretariat’s 1973 victory.

Secretariat breaks records

Secretariat is another horse completely deserving of his immense fame. Back in 1973, Secretariat was ready to break records, and that’s exactly what he did when he ran the Belmont Stakes. The course is a mile and a half long, and Secretariat managed to run it in a staggering 2 minutes, 24 seconds. That’s a record that still stands today, which means that the Belmont Stakes has arguably never seen a horse as special as Secretariat was. He would go on to sire daughters who would then mother several successful racehorses, so Secretariat’s line was just as powerful as he was.

Grundy and Bustino clash

When you think about horse racing clashes of the titans, this race between Grundy and Bustino has to qualify. Four years after Steven Spielberg released his taut masterpiece Duel, another tense battle between two great rivals was due to take place. Right out of the gate, it wasn’t obvious who was going to win; both Grundy and Bustino were furious monsters battling for dominance. Neither was far ahead enough to guarantee victory until Grundy managed to edge ahead, securing the win and putting his name in the history books. To this day, both horses are remembered as legends.

Red Rum inches past Crisp

There’s a good reason that Red Rum is one of the most famous horses of all time. Of course, the horse has managed to achieve a number of stunning victories in his time, but almost none are as stunning as his incredible win at the Grand National in 1973. Crisp was set to dominate the race; indeed, he’d been ahead for some time, and being ahead by a staggering 20 lengths, it was pretty much guaranteed that he would win. Unfortunately, his opponent was the legendary Red Rum, who managed to inch past Crisp right at the end of the race, claiming victory by a single quarter of a length. Close!

Shergar needs a telescope

One of the most famous pieces of horse racing commentary ever to grace the microphone came in 1981, when Shergar was racing at the Epsom Derby. Shergar was, of course, the favourite to win the Derby; after all, this is Shergar we’re talking about. However, nobody was quite prepared for just how decisive Shergar’s win would be. As he began to open up his lead, commentator Peter Bromley proclaimed that you would “need a telescope” to see the other horses in the race, so massive was Shergar’s lead. Suffice it to say that Shergar achieved victory that day.

Kauto Star reclaims his crown

In 2008, the legendary horse Kauto Star suffered an embarrassing setback as he lost to the horse Denman by seven lengths at Cheltenham. Kauto Star had been the favourite at that competition, so his loss was especially jarring (although both horses had been trained by Paul Nicholls, so really, the victory was his). However, in 2009, it was all to play for, and Kauto Star clearly wanted his crown back. He went on to destroy Denman by an astonishing 13 lengths, easily winning back his title and becoming the first ever horse to do so.

The changing face of Sports Betting

The changing face of Sports Betting The old days of popping into a bookmakers and putting on a bet can seem very old fashioned for today’s crowd. Of course the rise in betting apps is in large part responsible for that, with anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection able to place a bet from the comfort of their  own home, or while out with mates watching the game and having a pint.

The betting shop days used to be a bit haphazard with a sometimes a frantic push to put a bet on before a big event or race, and occasional issues with betting slips (often due to poor handwriting!). Online of course that’s no longer an issue, and really the only mistake you can make is betting at the wrong odds or putting too much on, and that is your own issue.

The advent of online bookmakers and its ease of use also brought with it an avalanche of different bet types. I don’t by default mean those we’re used to via horse racing accumulators and the like (singles, doubles, trebles, heinz, trixies, yankees, the list goes on), instead very specific outcomes within events. Take football for instance, where you can now bet on the number of corners, cards, assists, and any number of other outcomes within a game at the click of a button. There are of course also more typical best such as half time – full time result, number of goals and so on.

With increased access to what amounts to a bookmaker in your pocket there have been pushed by some to clamp down on betting, and ensure that those having a flutter be it on a World Cup game, or a big race like the Grand National, stay within their limits. The government is still (after several delays) deciding on the structure of new gambling laws, and punters, the general public and betting companies alike waiting to see what is thrashed out, so that there is an awareness of where we go from here!

Which cricketer has the worst Test match bowling average?

Which cricketer has the worst Test match bowling average? According to ESPNcricinfo, the cricketer with the worst Test match bowling average is the splendidly-named Sri Lankan Ellawalakankanamge Asoka Ranjit de Silva, thankfully listed on cricket scorecards as E.A.R. De Silva and referred to hereafter as ‘Asoka de Silva’. A right-arm, leg-spin/googly bowler by trade, Asoka de Silva had a relatively short playing career, featuring in ten Test matches between 1985 and 1991.

He made his Test debut against India at the Singhalese Sports Club (SSC) Cricket Ground in August, 1985 and, although wicketless, bowled entirely respectably for match figures of 27-11-38-0. It was a similar story on his final Test appearance, against New Zealand at Eden Park, Auckland in March, 1991, when he finished with match figures of 54-12-128-2, although his did manage to record his career-best bowling figures of 2/67 in the first innings.

All told, Asoka de Silva bowled 2,328 deliveries in Test cricket, conceding 1,032 runs and taking eight wickets at an average of 129.0. That is not to say that he was an altogether poor or wildly inaccurate bowler; in fact, his Test match economy rate of 2.66 is positively miserly compared with many bowlers. However, he evidently had difficulties making a breakthrough, judged by his strike rate of 291.0, or the equivalent of one wicket every 48.6 overs, or over half a day’s play in a typical Test match.

Royal Ascot with Andrew Balding

Well hasn’t it come around quickly? This year’s Royal Ascot is now upon us. The fabulous five day event as always promises to be a heady mix of top racing action, high fashion and class. Commencing on Tuesday 14th June until 18th of the same month, excited racing fans will be heading to Ascot, Berkshire, in their droves as well of tuning in across the nation (with UK TV audiences approaching 2 million) and indeed the world. Thursday 16th is the cherry on the cake, as it’s Ladies Day, and the fashions on display from wild to wonderful really add to the sense of occasion.

One person more excited than many at Royal Ascot has to be trainer Andrew Balding. In 2021 he had no shortage of winners (4) which made it his most successful display yet. With such high hopes for 2022 and an upcoming documentary in the pipeline, in the above Betway Insider (who is an Ambassador for Betway) interview Andrew offers up an assessment of his 2021 performance, hopes for 2022 and comments of those oh so pertinent (Jubilee!) to our times Royal connections – the prospect of training a winner for the Queen. Check it out!

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