Hi all my name is Jake and I am a 20 year old Horse Racing fan from Cambridgeshire in England. My first entrance into the wonderful sport that is Horse Racing was through my late Grandad who had an immense passion and love for the game throughout his entire life. Whenever you would pop round his house, he’d always have the racing on TV whether it be a prime Saturday card at Cheltenham or a 2m4f Class 5 Hurdle round Southwell there was something fascinating about it which i couldn’t take my eye away from.
My earliest memory I can recall is having a family gathering for the 2008 Grand National. Being so young at the time I hadn’t a clue on form, trainers or anything on the racecard. My betting strategy was very simple: pick the horse wearing the orange silks. This landed me on a horse called Chelsea Harbour, trained by Thomas Mullins and ridden by the great Davy Russell.
I remember watching him bowl along out front jumping like an absolute stud before weakening up the homeward stretch but he completed to finish back in 9th. 5 year old me was delighted I had backed a horse to come 9th in the National and i was absolutely jubilant!.
My Top 5 Horses of All Time
First off, these are no particular order
Synchronized – Back when I was a 9 year old, I asked my Dad to put a few quid on Synchronized for me to win the 2012 Gold Cup, mainly because he was ridden by a certain AP McCoy and was wearing those famous Green and Yellow silks. To see him storm up that hill like he did after such an enterprising ride from AP was a quite simply brilliant sight and still too this day I can somewhat recall the sheer excitement and ecstasy of backing the Gold Cup winner.
Minella Times – Starting to see a bit of a trend here with these JP horses here! Simply love this horse because he was my first success in the National. As a youngster I used to obsess about picking out the National winner and after so many years off hitting the crossbar (backed Saint Are in 2015 and even more agonizing Sunnyhillboy in 2012) I finally backed the one who crossed the line in front. A great moment and day for the sport and for Rachael Blackmore. I’m glad my money was on.
Thistlecrack – He was simply just a weapon of a horse, his stayers hurdle win and King George will live long in the memory.
Minella Indo – The second time i was on the Gold Cup winner, a fabulous horse and a great day when he won back in 2021.
Fakir D’oudairies – Such an admirable warrior, he very rarely runs below his mark and always gives his very best. A fine credit to his ability and connections.
Top 5 horse racing memories
A few of these are gonna relate to the above.
Synchronized 2012 Gold Cup – First Gold Cup winner and a simply sensational ride from AP.
Minella Times 2021 Grand National – Similar story to the above, the first time I backed the Grand National Winner!
Energumene vs Shishkin 2022 Clarence House – One of the best races this sport has ever produced. Two of the best stables across each side of the Irish Sea, with two of the best horses at the time producing an all-time classic race and finish.
Hewick 2022 Galway Plate – Was all aboard Hewick on this day, when he came down the finishing straight and almost got put through the rail by the loose horse, with Darasso flying home down the other side of the rail my heart and head was in pieces. Hewick gamely hanged on though with Jordan Gainford onboard to score by half a length. Never felt such a rush of different emotions when watching a horse race!
Sunnyhillboy 2012 Grand National – This one still hurts to the day. Flying up the elbow in front, I had done it, I’d finally backed the winner of the National. Jumping around, up and down only for Neptune Collonges to come flying up the outside and do me on the line. Devastated was an understatement, he just couldn’t hold on.
Horses To Note
I have a couple for this season who I’m looking forward too.
In the open divisions it’s nothing to wild but I am really looking forward too seeing El Fabiolo make his mark on the open 2M division. He could be a star this season and I expect him to mop up all the big prizes at the minimum trip including the Champion Chase in March.
The division looks weak right now with Energumene out and Edwardstone more than likely stepping up in trip leaving him just Jonbon too beat. While Jonbon is a very good horse, i’m not sure he’s completely in love with Cheltenham as a track, (assuming this will be the first time the two clash heads in the season) he has quite clearly bumped into two superstars in both his runs there but both times throughout he didn’t look as happy/comfortable as he’s done at other venues.
For the Novice Chasers I am so excited about watching Marine Nationale over a fence. This horse has so much natural speed and if Barry Connell thinks a fence can improve him even more then he could be seriously tough to beat in this division.
The only other one i’ll mention is Mirazur West who is an extremely exciting prospect for the novice hurdle division, a winner on his only start under rules in a bumper at Naas, that form looks fair enough. The second, He’s my Hero ran well in a Graded bumper since, the 4th Ask Anything has already won a maiden hurdle and the 5th Rhaenyra placing in a Graded mares bumper at the Punchestown festival. He has seriously untapped potential and is one for the future to look forward too.