Charles II: Father of the English Turf

Charles II: Father of the English Turf Following his return from nine years’ exile and the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660, King Charles II breathed new life into horse racing in Britain, which had previously been banned by Oliver Cromwell, and the sport became an abiding passion. Charles II was instrumental in the development of Newmarket as the ‘Home of Horse Racing’ and, in 1666, inaugurated the Newmarket Town Plate, which is still contested annually, by amateur riders, over three-and-three-quarter miles on the Newmarket Round Course.

Indeed, the older of the two racecourses in Newmarket, the Rowley Mile, takes its name from ‘Old Rowley’, a red-blooded stallion owned by the King and a nickname after applied to the King, himself, who was a notorious philanderer. What remains of the original Palace of Newmarket, which dates from the time of Charles II, is now known as Palace House and, fittingly, is the home of the National Horse Racing Museum.

The ‘Father of the English Turf’, as Charles II became known, was also responsible for establishing the Twelve-Stone Plate, later known as the King’s Plate, and laying down official rules for horse racing, which were adopted first in Newmarket and later nationwide. The Twelve-Stone Plate was contested by 6-year-olds carrying, as the name suggests, 168lb, or 12st 0lb, and the winner was the first horse to win two 4-mile heats.

Coolmore Syndicate

Coolmore Syndicate There are many forms of being ‘in it together’ gambling wise. For some cheering on friends playing the best online casino australia may tick that box. For others they prefer more real world action. Coolmore syndicate was established in Co. Tipperary in the mid-Seventies, when legendary trainer Vincent O’Brien, his son-in-law John Magnier and wealthy owner Robert Sangster, the son of Vernons Pools founder Vernon Sangster, joined forces. They bought expensive yearlings at the Keeneland Sales in Kentucky, which were trained, with no little success, by O’Brien and subsequently syndicated to stud for commanding fees. This approach helped develop Ballydoyle Stables and Coolmore Stud into the world-class training and breeding facilties that they are today.

Following the retirement of Vincent O’Brien in 1994, Magnier acquired both facilities and approached his unrelated namesake Aidan O’Brien to take over as private trainer at Ballydoyle Stables. Robert Sangster died of pancreatic cancer in 2004 but, by that stage, Magnier had been joined in the Coolmore syndicate by bookmaker-turned-business-tycoon Michael Tabor, to whom he was introduced by mutual friend John Patrick ‘J.P.’ McManus, and Derrick Smith. Smith, too, hails from a bookmaking background, having worked for Ladbrokes for two decades or more, but amassed his fortune by investing in the property and leisure sectors. Tabor and Smith have their own racing colours, but most of their horses are owned in partnership with Magnier and/or his wife Susan. Much like hearing of a¬† big win on the best nz online casino sites, there’s nothing like forming¬† syndicate and experiencing the highs and lows of that together.

Newbury Racecourse

Newbury Racecourse The history of Newbury Racecourse dates back to 1905, when it was founded in its current location, approximately two miles south-east of the centre of the market town of Newbury in Berkshire, South East England, by local trainer John Porter, with support from King Edward VII. Porter is commemorated by the running of the Group 3 John Porter Stakes, a mile and a half contest for older horses, at the course each April.

The round course at Newbury is a left-handed oval, approximately 15 furlongs in circumference, with a 5-furlong straight. There is a also a straight mile course. The National Hunt course is situated inside the Flat course and, consequently, a furlong or so shorter. All the courses undulate, gently, throughout, but wide, sweeping turns make Newbury galloping in nature and ideal for big, long-striding types. Indeed, it is considered one of the fairest courses in the country under both codes.

On the Flat, the seasonal highlight is the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes, run over mile and open to older horses, in May. The roll of honour includes Brigadier Gerard and Frankel, to name but two. Under National Hunt rules, Newbury is known for the Ladbrokes Trophy, formerly the Hennessy Gold Cup, Betfair Hurdle, Game Spirit Chase and Denman Chase, the result of any of which almost invariably has a effect on the market for the corresponding ‘championship’ race at the Cheltenham Festival.