Tag Archives: jockeys

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THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL- WHO, HOW AND WHY YOU SHOULD WATCH IT THIS YEAR.

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Tuesday 12th - Friday 15th March 

 

£100,000,000- the economic impact of The Festival on the local community each year.

262,637 people attended over four days last year

£4.59 million in prize money

40,000 hospitality guests

100 helicopter movements per day

45,000 bread rolls eaten

265,000 pints of Guinness served

120,000 bottles of wine consumed

45,000  afternoon teas served

£2.35 million was withdrawn from the cash machines at the Festival last year.

£45 million spent on redeveloping Cheltenham

 

But beyond big bucks, betting, boozing and carb loading, The Cheltenham Festival presented by Magners, is a celebration of everything that is great about horseracing. It never fails to deliver sporting action that makes your heart want to explode. A clash of the best- the world’s greatest horses, jump jockeys and trainers. It will always throw up inspiring and moving tales of triumph and heartbreak. And if that is not enough to lift your heart, it also embodies the sense of occasion that we Brits do so well. The chance to flirt and flaunt and embrace the social scene, the fashion, and style. Who would have guessed twenty years ago, that tweed would become ever become sexy?

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Horse Scout will be there to soak up the entertainment and most importantly the sport. As ever it will be a four day spectacular, this year running from Tuesday 12thto Friday 15th March.

 

Tuesday kicks off with Champions Day and the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at 1.30pm. The headline race is the Unibet Champion Hurdle which has been won for the last two years by Buveur D’Air. The Nicky Henderson champ will be returning to defend his title again and if he wins, he will go into the hall of fame with greats like Istabraq who dominated the race from 1988-2000. The crowd will undoubtedly be behind Lalor in the Racing Post Arkle. Trained by the small-stable of Kayleigh Woollacott who has taken over from her husband, after he tragically took his own life last year.

 

Wednesday is Ladies Day. The fashionistas and socialites are out in force but for racing, it’s all about speed and stamina. The Betway Queen Mother Champions Chase is one of the most high-octane races of the entire week as the fastest two-milers in the business, cream it around a demanding Steeplechase course. All eyes will be on Altior who goes for a second win and has not been beaten in 17 starts over jumps. The RSA Novices’ Chase, at over three miles, is the test for true stayers. Whilst the Cross-Country Chase is always enthralling and perhaps commands more respect after last year’s winner, Tiger Roll went on to win at the Grand National soon after. He will be back to stake his claim this year. Perhaps trainer Gordon Elliott sees this as another dress rehearsal for the National next month.

 

The St Patrick’s Day crowd on Thursday is always a hearty one and for racing enthusiasts, it is set to be an awesome equine lineup. The Ryanair Chase, the Sun Bets Stayers Hurdle, the JLT Novices’ Chase, and the Pertemps Network Final Handicap Hurdle are all Grade One races (the best) which brings out the crème de la crème of the National Hunt fraternity. Paisley Park, trained by Emma Lavelle will be the favourite for the Stayers Hurdle and another moving story if he wins for his owner Andrew Gemmell who was born blind. Plus Love Island’s Chris Hughes joins the ITV team to get involved in the banter and opinion.

 

Friday is Gold Cup Day which rounds off the week with the most coveted prize of all. The Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup is the race they all want to win- trainers, jockeys, owners and punters alike. Nothing beats the “Cheltenham roar” as the world’s best horses thunder up that grueling hill to the winning post, cheered on by 70,000 onlookers in the stands and many millions around the world. This year sees some legendary horses in the entries list. We will never forget that heroic battle between Native River and Might Bite last year and if all goes to plan, both horses will be running again. Let’s not forget “Presenting Percy”, considered in Ireland as the “People’s Champion”. It will also be a first Gold Cup Challenge for Bryony Frost, whose strong partnership with Frodon has seen the pair win three of her last four races. If it was to be their day, Bryony would be the first female jockey in history to win the Gold Cup.

 

If you can’t be there in body, be there in spirit by tuning into live ITV Racing, on ITV daily from Tuesday to Friday 1pm-4.30 pm. The Opening Show is on ITV4 from 9.30-10.30 am. Delivered by the BAFTA award-winning team of Ed Chamberlain and Francesca Cumani and the fun and knowledgeable crew of Oli Bell, A P McCoy, Mick Fitzgerald, Matt Chapman, Alice Plunkett, Luke Harvery and Brough Scott amongst others

 

Although if you are planning to join the fun and look “Insta ready”, don’t forget our friends at Glow & Dry. The luxury styling concierge and their experienced team will be on hand to travel to your home or hotel, offering hair and make-up to have you looking your very best.

 

ROYAL ASCOT: What Meghan Markle should know.

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Photo from hopedeamer1-13

300,000 people from around the world will flock to Royal Ascot this week, making it the third most attended sporting event in the UK.

 

It is one of the premier race meetings on the global horse-racing calendar since racing began. It draws the best bloodstock, jockeys and trainers from around the world and is probably the most famous fashion parade in sport. For centuries, Royal Ascot has been “the place to be seen” on the social calendar and the fashionistas, networkers and socialites arrive in their droves, some scarcely seeing a horse.

 

Because Horse Scout is all about sharing our enviable contacts and insider knowledge, we bring you hot-off-the press Royal Ascot insight, directly from ITV’s racing PR team. So here’s a few things you probably don’t know about one of the greatest sporting events on the planet.


The Royals

  • The Queen first attended Royal Ascot in 1945 at the age of 19, and has had 23 winners there since
  • Ascot is the only place at which the Queen has ever been seen running in her life
  • In the earlier days of her historic reign, she used to gallop down the track in the early mornings before racing started – In 1960 she finished fourth to other members of her party of seven in an unofficial ‘race’
  • Her reign has seen many years of social change, even at Ascot – until 1955 divorcees were not allowed into the Royal Enclosure
  • Every day The Queen and her procession travel down the straight in front of the stands at precisely 2pm - this year, Meghan Markle, the new Duchess of Sussex, is hotly tipped to make her Royal Ascot debut

 

The Fashion

  • There are four enclosures at Royal Ascot, the Royal Enclosure being the most prestigious. Each has their own strict dress codes
  • The last few years has seen the rules relaxed somewhat and last year, jumpsuits were successfully introduced in the Royal Enclosure
  • However, banned for the first time were gentlemen’s ankles and socks are now compulsory for men
  • Every year the bookies bet on the colour of the Queen’s outfit – and this year they no doubt will be doing the same with the Duchess of Sussex. ITV’s fashion expert, Mark Heyes thinks she will be “low key, sleek and elegant in a pastel shade.”

The Food and Festivities 

  • There is a 100-year waiting list for one of the coveted ‘picnic’ parking spots in the Royal Enclosure’s Car Park One
  • There are more than 100 bars and food outlets around the racecourse and 225 private boxes, with 39 professional kitchens operating during Royal Ascot
  • There are three miles of festive bunting – which is over half a mile further than the longest race
  • 60,000 finger sandwiches and 80,000 cups of tea are consumed across the five-day week of Royal Ascot – that’s almost the same number served at the three garden parties the Queen hosts at Buckingham Palace each year
  • 56,000 bottles of champagne, 44,000 bottles of wine and 21,000 jugs of Pimm’s are drunk at Royal Ascot each year, which together is just slightly less than the 128,500 bottles of mineral water.  Over the Wimbledon fortnight they drink a mere 29,000 bottles of champagne but 230,000 bottles of water
  • Despite the festivities, Thames Valley Police described Royal Ascot 2017 as a “well-behaved event” for the 300,000 racegoers

Horse Scout will be playing Paparazzi and if you are lucky enough to join the fun, please do tag us in your snaps and tweets.  at the end of racing you may want to join in the communal sing-song with a huge gathering around the bandstand.

If you can’t make it this year, you can join the BAFTA award-winning ITV Racing team at the times below. This is why you should tune in:

  • Every race live and unrivalled access to the horses, jockeys and connections
  • Fascinating racing features including ‘AP McCoy meets Aidan O’Brien’
  • Coverage of the Royal procession every day – who is there and who’s wearing what
  • The best fashion around the course from vintage to high street to high end with ITV fashion experts, Charlotte Hawkins Mark Heyes

 

Tuesday 19 June:
ITV4 – The Opening Show- 0930-1030
ITV – Live Racing – 1330-1525
ITV4 – Live Racing – 1520-1800

Wednesday 20 June:
ITV4 – The Opening Show -0930-1030
ITV – Live Racing – 1330-1800

Thursday 21 June:
ITV4 – The Opening Show – 0930-1030
ITV4 – Live Racing – 1330-1800

Friday 22 June:
ITV4 – The Opening Show -0930-1030
ITV4 – Live Racing – 1330-1530
ITV – Live Racing – 1520-1800

Saturday 23 June:
ITV4 – The Opening Show – 0930-1030
ITV – Live Racing – 1330-1525
ITV4 – Live Racing – 1520-1800

Written by Ellie Kelly

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VIPs turn out for reopening of Jockey rehabilitation centre

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VIPs turn out for reopening of Jockey rehabilitation centre

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It was a right royal affair at the reopening Oaksey House in Lambourne. On a brisk February Tuesday, not only did HRH The Princess Royal, a Patron of the Injured Jockeys Fund attend but she accompanied by racing royalty including world-renowned sports journalist, Brough Scott MBE, 10 times Champion jockey, Sir Anthony McCoy OBE and ex jockey and now well-known racing journalist John Francome MBE and Jack Berry, the man whose vision became The Injured Jockey Fund (IJF).

This intimate occasion was to celebrate the extensive improvement of Oaksey House, the IJF’s Fitness and Rehabilitation Centre in Lambourn, Berkshire.

The Injured Jockey’s Fund was founded in 1964 following the horrific falls suffered by Tim Brookshaw and Paddy Farrell in the Grand National.  Both resulted in severe paralysis, thus ending their careers.  It was Jack Berry who was there in 1964, shaking a bucket to collect donations in order to help these jockeys. Since then the Fund has helped over 1000 jockeys and their families, paying out more than £18m in charitable assistance.

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The IJF helps any rider who holds, or has held, a Professional or Amateur licence issued by the British Horseracing Authority including Apprentice, Conditional and Point-to-Point riders, including any spouse, partner, child or dependant they may have. Their policy is that they help these people for life. Furthermore, the money and assistance becomes available almost immediately, unlike many other charitable foundations who are forced to

Oaksey House, which first opened in 2009, now offers state of the art Hydrotherapy equipment- the ‘AP McCoy Hydrotherapy Pool’. The pool is beneficial in treating a multitude of injuries with its underwater treadmill, massage hoses and performance monitoring systems.  It can also accommodate spinally injured patients.

IMG_0594There has also been a significant internal refurbishment including a new more extensive gym, which is open to all jockeys, not just those in need of rehabilitation. They also offer support and education services to jockeys such as nutrition and manual therapy to improve performance as well as careers advice in collaboration with JETS, The Jockeys Employment and training Scheme.

Those visiting can expect help from the very best practitioners, therapists as well as good banter from the jockeys. The team aim to keep it a positive atmosphere, more like a health club than a hospital and you certainly get that feeling when you walk through the doors.

The IJF has two Fitness and Rehabilitation Centres, Oaksey House in Lambourn and Jack Berry House in Malton which opened in 2015. Peter O’Sullevan House, to be built within the grounds of the British Racing School in Newmarket, will open in 2019.

HRH The Princess Royal was impressed by the new facilities and said:

“Having just come back from the Winter Olympics in South Korea and seeing the injuries some other sportspeople such as snowboarders suffer, your brains could be picked and the skills you have could be of such benefit to a range of other sports.

“It seems extraordinary that Oaksey House opened only nine years ago.  The knowledge achieved in that time has been phenomenal.”

Sir Anthony McCoy, President of the Injured Jockeys Fund had received rehab and support from the IJF, during his career:
“I am delighted to be here today and that the Injured Jockeys Fund is able to now provide these amazing facilities for jockeys both injured and riding. If I’d had this 20 years ago, I’d probably still be going now!”

Lisa Hancock, CEO of the Injured Jockeys Fund commented:
“We are very committed to ensuring we provide state-of-the-art facilities in our centres and a Hydropool is essential to modern rehabilitation.  Oaksey House can now provide all jockeys, riding and retired, and the local community with a facility that can support every type of injury.  This is very much part of our charitable vision and we will complete the loop with the build of Peter O’Sullevan House in Newmarket, set to open in autumn 2019, and for which we are now commencing the fundraising campaign.”

 

The IJF is entirely dependent on donations and money raised through events. For more information on how you can get involved visit:

www.ijf.org.uk

To learn about support and education available to jockeys before, during and after their careers visit:

www.jets-uk.org

Written by Ellie Kelly

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Galloping in Style towards the Cheltenham Festival

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Galloping in Style towards the Cheltenham Festival

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“For me the boys winning at Cheltenham was as big a highlight as winning in Rio” Nick Skelton announced after “Superb Story” gave his sons Dan and Harry, their first Cheltenham Festival win.

“It’s the Olympics of the horseracing world” claims leading trainer Dan Skelton

The Cheltenham Festival is so world-famous, it has become known as simply “The Festival”. This year it runs from Tuesday 13th to Friday 18th March and it should be etched in your social calendar. Tickets start at £40 but because we regard our members so highly, Horse Scout will be giving away two pairs of tickets this year. Stay tuned to our Facebook page  and our Twitter for more information.

This four-day spectacular attracts the finest horses, jockeys and trainers in the world of Jump racing and remains one of Europe’s most prestigious sporting events. In fact it is fourth best attended event in the country and the £4.5 million of prize money makes it one of the biggest prize funds in UK sport.

The racing scene is always a cultural melting pot but The Festival epitomises that more than most, attracting the real racing enthusiasts from all walks of life. When you put 260,000 people together with common ground- a passion for horses, the countryside and great sporting action, it can only result in one thing- a fabulous sense of occasion.

The festival commences with Champions Day on Tuesday 13th. It includes a packed seven-race card including the most important 2 mile hurdle race of the entire jumping season, the Unibet Champion Hurdle.

Wednesday 14th March is Ladies Day and this year the competition is for ladies only and is all about bringing colour and style to The Festival. There is the chance to win a brand new MINI ONE CAR from W.O. Lewis and Sytner Solihull, as well as other splendid prizes. Whether you want to flash your finest fur, parade your best hat or give a nod to your favourite horse’s colours, get ready to #ColourMeMarch.

St Patrick’s Day on Thursday 15th March draws the luck of the Irish to Cheltenham. The whole of The Festival has a strong Irish flavour to it but on Thursday, it is loud and proud and you can enjoy Irish music around the course throughout the day. As well as the ambience, the racing is top class with the JLT Novices’ Chase, the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle and the Ryanair Steeple Chase to enjoy.

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The climax of the entire jump racing season is Friday’sTimico Cheltenham Gold Cup. This really is the golden crown of jump racing and never fails to  be the greatest spectacle.  The Timico Gold Cup is a race associated with the elite of the sport and nothing can rival the Cheltenham roar as the horses charge up the famous hill.

The Festival really does offer something for all (erm adult) interests. As a Cheltenham die-hard for a decade or so, I aim to indulge in the whole social landscape. Perhaps what I love best, is weighing up horse flesh in the paddock. Usually I swap notes with one of the many Irish folk, who seem to know more about the nags than their own flesh and blood. We will talk breeding, handicaps and ground conditions, then I’ll head down to the course to throw some bad money after good at the bookmakers. Although rarely the Tote, as a like supporting the little guys who are stationed near the track. There is something quite antiquated and ironically pure about swapping cash for a betting slip with a man in a tweed cap and a cockney accent.

I’ll often try to latch on to someone, to get an invite into to Owners and Trainers for spot of people watching and a great afternoon tea. If I am lucky enough, I’ll be invited to a box for more champagne and the best the views of the course and the race.

You can expect food and drink for every taste. There is a generous scattering of champagne bars and about every ten paces- another Guinness watering hole. So be aware of wobbly drinkers if you’re wearing your best cashmere. That sticky brew could ruin your day as well as your wardrobe.

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The selection of cuisine options, is nothing short of a sensory odyssey. New for this year is The Theatre @Festival, a Pan Asian Theatre restaurant experience situated on the third floor of the course facing suites, giving guests unrivalled views over the final fences of the racecourse and offering a unique culinary and visual feast.  Designed to offer a premium but casual environment, relaxation and attention to detail are the order of the day along with simply exquisite dining influenced from the continents of Asia to the foothills of Cleeve Hill.

Michelin star chef, Albert Roux is back in his popular Chez Roux Restaurant. And there are eleven other top quality restaurants on offer, over The Festival with a range of different packages available to suit all requirements and most budgets.

No sporting event would be the same without the inevitable burgers, pies and chips. Do not knock it when you know it really is the only way to help stave off tomorrow’s hangover.

For many seasoned racegoers, a picnic in the car park is a big part of the day. Cars start to arrive as soon as the gates open at 10.30 and the pop of champagne corks can be heard within minutes. The downside is that you might pull the short straw to become designated driver and the traffic coming into Cheltenham is historically horrendous.

The Cheltenham experience would not be complete without losing your senses- and your savings, in the Shopping Village. There are 70 stands with a unique boutique feel, mainly involving fashion, art and gifts. This is the place to discover exceptional pieces you won’t find on the high street.

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To book tickets visit www.cheltenham.co.uk or call 0344 579 3003.

 

By Ellie Kelly