Horse racing is a sport that is loved around the world and those who follow the action closely hope each year that a new superstar emerges that is a horse of a lifetime. With the method of breeding used where the best stallions meet the leading broodmares, that is always possible. Here is a look at the best horses which are in training today.
In 2016 the French-based horse Almanzor dominated Europe with five consecutive victories as a three-year-old, including the Qipco Champions Stakes on British Champions Day at Ascot in October. Such was his dominance, he ran in three different countries and had no problem on different ground conditions.
Domestically, Almanzor saw off the best of the French three-year-old colts in the Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby). He then travelled to Ireland to meet the leading middle-distance horses in Europe in the Irish Champions Stakes which included the Epsom Derby winner Harzand, the impressive Aidan O’Brien-trained filly Found and the 2016 French Derby winner New Bay and he had no problem coming out on top against those proven horses.
Sadly we have not seen much of Almanzor in 2017 as he has been kept out of action with an injury. He did though make his return at Deauville recently where he was far from his best as his lack of action showed in the Group Three contest. Connections will be hoping he returns to top form again for some of the leading races at the back end of the year, including the Champions Stakes where he is likely to be defending his crown.
The undisputed champion in the United States right now is a horse called Arrogate who has swept up the leading dirt races in the North America over the last 12 months. The grey colt first rose to prominence when he won the Travers Stakes at Saratoga by a staggering 13 lengths in 2016. His next run came in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the biggest race of the year in the USA where he upset the popular favourite California Chrome at Santa Anita.
Arrogate proved his victory in the feature race of the Breeders’ Cup was no fluke when he landed the inaugural Pegasus World Cup, the richest race in the world back in January. The contest was advertised as a rematch between Arrogate and California Chrome, however, it was former who proved too good at Gulfstream Park as he enhanced his reputation once again.
After winning the two richest races in the USA, connections opted for a test abroad for Arrogate next outing and they were rewarded when he won the Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse in the UAE. Some of the best American horses in history have been successful in the race, therefore, the four-year-old joined an impressive list and added to his legacy in what could be his final season in training.
The standout three-year-old in the UK this year has been the John Gosden-trained filly who is now a dual Classic winner as she has claimed the Oaks and Irish Oaks in what has been a dominant campaign. Her run started at Epsom in June where she handled conditions better than any of her rivals in the biggest race of the year for fillies. With former British Champion Jockey Frankie Dettori on board, the pair hit full speed inside the final 400 metres and put distance between themselves and the rest of the field crossing the line.
Although the two Classic victories are impressive enough, Enable’s biggest success this year so far was her win in the Group One King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes. The three-year-old showed her class at Sandown against the older generation to win by over four lengths. On the back of that victory, she is now the clear favourite to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly in October is what is the most prestigious open flat race in Europe. If you are placing a bet on Enable in the race, check out a preview of that card and on the daily racing each day at Oddchecker’s racing tips where you can also find the best prices and promotions with the bookmakers.
Australia has a fantastic record of producing very fast sprinters and their latest product is Winx who has won her last 18 races. Known in Australia as a wondermare, the six-year-old has won the last two runnings of the Cox Plate, which is only second to the Melbourne Cup in terms of prestige in Oceania and she is the favourite to make it a hat-trick of wins later this year.
Winx could be set to travel to the UK in 2018 for the first time to take part at Royal Ascot. If she does, she will follow in the footsteps of Black Caviar who made the trip in 2012 when she won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
The Australian sprinter has a huge cult following around the world and attracts big crowds at the racecourse whenever she is in action.
With the stars of the future starting to appear as two-year-olds this season, who knows who will be on this list in 2018. More money is being invested into the sport and breeding each year though so don’t be surprised if the standard gets even better next year.