Highland Reel in Hong Kong can bring the curtain down on an outstanding Ballydoyle season

If Ireland’s champion trainer Aidan O’Brien needs any reminder of the scarcely credible season he has enjoyed in 2016, then Monday’s Horse Racing Ireland celebration of the Irish Flat season may have provided him with just that – an opportunity to reflect on exactly what the Ballydoyle team have achieved in a year in which he has left other trainers toiling in his slipstream. There he collected the Flat Award, as well as seeing his five-time Group 1 winner Minding crowned Horse of the Year…

Wholestone and West Approach on course for another clash at Cheltenham on Saturday

Wholestone and West Approach are among nine entries for the £30,000 Grade Two Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (2.25pm) at Cheltenham on day two of The International, Saturday, December 10. The three-mile contest has been a good pointer to future stars in recent seasons, with subsequent Festival scorers Unowhatimeanharry (2015), Blaklion (2014) and Coneygree (2012) all on the roll of honour. Wholestone (Nigel Twiston-Davies) and West Approach (Colin Tizzard) have met at the last two Cheltenham meetings, with Wholestone coming out on top on both occasions. West Approach, a…

Australian Takedown aiming at fast back-up in LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint

Australian sprinter Takedown seemingly faces a herculean task to win Sunday’s G1 LONGINES Hong Kong Sprint (1200m) but his effervescent trainer Gary Moore remains typically upbeat. The massive gelded son of Stratum, who stands 17 hands and weighs in at 617 kilograms, has to overcome the rigours of travel from Melbourne to Perth to Hong Kong in less than a month, and back-up just two weeks after his G1 Winterbottom Stakes win, in the Western Australian capital, on 26 November. It is, however, a path…

Defending champ Lerena joins all-star 12 for LONGINES IJC

South Africa’s defending champion Gavin Lerena says he is “hoping for the best” in Wednesday night’s (7 December) LONGINES International Jockeys’ Championship at Happy Valley, while local guns Joao Moreira and Zac Purton are guarded about their prospects of a 2016 win. They, of course, are just three of the all-star cast of 12 competing in the celebrated challenge and will face stiff competition from accomplished rivals including Australia’s Hugh Bowman and Ireland’s Pat Smullen who believe their chances, in theory at least, are better…

Newbury Racecourse announces that Hennessy sponsorship has come to an end after 60 years

Newbury Racecourse today announced that the 60th Hennessy Gold Cup, won in such memorable style by Native River, will be the last running of the historic race under the backing of Hennessy. The first three Hennessy Gold Cups took place at Cheltenham, from 1957 to 1959, with the initial contest won by the legendary Mandarin, owned by Peggy Hennessy, a member of the Hennessy family. From 1960 onwards, the race has taken place every year at Newbury and has established itself as one of the…

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