For a lot of racing fans, you either prefer National Hunt or Flat racing. It’s not that one is better than the other, it tends to just be personal preference. But for those who take an interest in both, there are some true superstars galloping around the world. We decided to take a look at five of the biggest names racing this season. For many of them, the prize money on offer is staggering so the stakes are very, very high.
For big Grand National fans, there’s only one horse that we are waiting to see. And that is Tiger Roll. Following his epic second National win last season all talk immediately turned to his chances of winning three in a row.
Odds were short as bookmakers ran for the hills and at one point the best you could get him at was 5/1. But then his owner, Michael O’Leary stated quite clearly that there was no way he was going to run the horse into the ground. Should he be burdened with top weight then O’Leary says he will withdraw him.
The reality is that his Official Rating is now 172. That makes him one of the best chasers in the country so the likelihood of him getting 11-10 from the BHA Handicapper on February 11th, 2020 is very high.
Will O’Leary stick to his guns and take Tiger Roll out of 2020 Grand National contention? We’ll know next month!
Owned by Fox Hill Farms and trained in the USA by Richard Mandella, Omaha Beach is just four years old. But what a four year old he is. From just 12 runs on either All-weather or in the Stakes, he has won nine of them, placing second in the other three. That has earned connections over £1.2m since November 2018.
Most recently he has won the Malibu Stakes and his win in the Arkansas Derby last April bagged him a whopping £472K. However, that is nothing compared to the purse on offer at the Pegasus World Cup Invitational for which he is the current favourite.
Scheduled to be held at Gulfstream Park on January 25th, he is just one of the Pegasus World Cup 2020 contenders that we have our eye on. A relatively new race, it’s total prize purse in 2018 was $16m making it the richest horse race in the world.
However, with the creation of a second Pegasus Turf race, the prize money has been split between the two and now the Pegasus Cup is worth just $3m. A win here would seriously propel Omaha Beach into superstardom.
Winning an incredible 19 consecutive races, Altior is an absolute legend. Trained by Nicky Henderson, his impressive run came to an end at Ascot in November when he was beaten by Cyrname in the Christy 1965 Chase.
What makes Altior an exciting prospect will be his attempt to win a third Queen Mother Champion Chase at back-to-back Cheltenham Festivals. Not only that but if he does achieve the win, it will be his fifth consecutive Festival win since he first won the Supreme Novice’s Hurdle in 2015.
No prizes for guessing that he is the current ante-post favourite for the Champion Chase at around 3/1 with most bookmakers.
This is such an interesting horse. He was bred by his owners, Gary and Mary West and after his very first race, a claimer that he won in January 2019, he could have been sold for as little as $16,000. However, fortunately for the West’s, there were no takers.
He has since gone on to win over £1.4m – in a year! He has won the Florida Derby and most recently the Cigar Mile but the biggest controversy was around his Kentucky Derby run last May.
Despite winning the race, a steward’s inquiry determined that he had caused interference and essentially disqualified him. Technically he placed 17th but more importantly, connections missed out on the $1.8m first prize.
This year, he looks like he will be aimed at the Saudi Cup. That race will be held on February 29th, 2020 and with a prize pot of $20M, it is the world’s richest race. First prize will earn connections a staggering $10M – so will Maximum Security claim it?
This five-year-old has already earned connections over £2.5m. Though well beaten last time out in the Breeders Cup where he finished second, he still came away with over $1m. But now it looks like he will be traveling further afield in search of an even bigger win.
Currently, McKinzie is favourite for the Dubai World Cup. Created in 1996 by the owners of Godolphin Racing, this used to be the richest race in the world boasting a total prize fund of $12M.
Thunder Snow has won it for the last two years but it doesn’t look he will be back to defend his crown. So it’s all to play for and McKinzie is in with a great chance. Though he will have some tough competition on the day, not least if Maximum Security also takes chances in the race!