May Bank Holiday 2012.

Althougth it’s a bit late this year today is May Bank Holiday, and that means lots of racing!

Or does it?

There is not as many meetings on today as there has been in past years, with only five British meetings (now four as Warwick has been abandoned), and one Irish. There was just as many meeting planned for last Tuesday, now the night racing has started!

Out of those six meetings, which one is the best meeting, with more prestigious races?

That’s right! The Irish one, as our cousins at the Curragh trump us with a solid card, with a plethora of races named afer some tops horses that are at stud at present. This is in comparison with some of the ‘more-middling’ races on offer from Britain today, but there are still some nice chances to win.

One of the main races from Curragh, is the Athasi Stakes, which is open to fillies and mares aged three years plus, over a distance of 7 furlongs.

This years race title is a bit more of a mouthful – Canford Cliffs European Breeders Fund Athasi Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares).

Last year this was named after Starspangledbanner, who is an Australian-bred horse (Not American as you may think, regarding the name!) Who is currently having a good time ‘sire-ing’ at the moment, after winning a brace of prestigious flat races in Britain in 2010.

This year, good old Canford Cliffs (Not the place near Bouremouth!) gets his name in the title, as he too has been a busy lad since retiring!

The European Breeders’ Fund was established to be similar to the Breeders’ Cup scheme, with revenue from stallion fees. The EBF gives European horses to intergrate with the Breeders’ Cup races.

And finally the race is named after Athasi, a successful mare in the 1920′s and 1930′s.

This race does not seem as clear as the betting suggests, and there are a few that could bounce back without any clues to show this. I have swerved this race! Incidently, the horse ‘Swerve’ was the horse I had marked down in this race before the dec’s, but sadly he did not make the final field!

The other race of note is the Mooresbridge Stakes, which is open tohorses aged four years plus, over a distance of 1 mile and 2 furlongs. The full title of this years renewal is the easy-to-remember High Chaparral European Breeders Fund Mooresbridge Stakes.

This was after the great horse High Chaparral, who is an Irish Thoroughbred racehorse from the early ‘noughties’ who won many races, finishing with a fantastic late burst of energy to win the Breeders’ Cup Turf in 2002, and dead heating in 2003!

Both of these races are sponsored by Coolmore Stud, as both are Coolmore stallions.

I’d like to dig out an each way opportunity here, but it’s a seven runner race with only two places, with a tough mix of horses after the obvious favourite is taken out. St Nicholas Abbey would be a cosy winner.

The Dylan Thomas European Breeders Fund Tetrarch Stakes looks to have a solid favourite, and our Cheltenham third, Pique Sous looks to be to big a price in the The Irish Field INH Flat Race too.


Bath hold an interesting card, supported with their version of the West Country Olympics. Plenty of country themed events such as pig racing, welly wanging, egg and spoon races and apple bobbing!

Beverley hold their Mayday Raceday, Warwick hold a family day, with Bob the Builder making personal appearances through the day, along with a Giant Slide, Bouncy Castles and a Pillow Bash (which should be for the adults!)

Windsor fight back with someone called Ben 10′s Humungousaur (?) a lady called Jelly Kelly, and Batman. Nice range of charactors!

But Kempton out-do all of these other courses entertainment, as they hold the Mascot Grand National, where all different mascots, from all different walks of life, race down the track for charity.

Special hurdles have been created for people in the daftest of outfits to jump, and run up the course, but it is all in the name of charity, and the entry fees are given to Have a Heart. Good Work!

Enjoy the holiday!

The Jag.

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