FIVE HORSES TO TAKE OUT OF CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2020

FIVE HORSES TO TAKE OUT OF CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2020 Sports Betting Stars

With the Cheltenham blues well and truly among us, it’s that time of year where the majority of experts and punters start to look forward to next year’s festival and pick out the eye-catchers from the festival just gone. Here I have picked out five horses to look forward to going forward into next season and hopefully ones that we will see line-up again at Prestbury Park in a year’s time.

The first and stand out for most is Ballymore Hurdle winner Envoi Allen for Gordon Elliott. A winner at the last two festivals, including the Champion Bumper in 2019, this big strapping horse will be on many people’s radar and he has plenty of options and will be worth a bet with asiabet888. The Champion Hurdle is the first if connections decide to keep him over hurdles, he’s got the right credentials to be a strong fancy, he stays and has plenty of pace. For me I’d be looking at getting him over fences in the early part of the season as he’s built to be a chaser. He’d be fine in the Arkle if taking well to jumping, though a better route might be the RSA Chase over 3m as he wasn’t stopping up the hill last week. He’s unbeaten in eight starts and is a horse to get really excited about, if you’re not already.

The most unfortunate horse of the whole week was Goshen, who came to grief at the last flight in the JCB Triumph Hurdle when in splendid isolation. The turn of foot this horse produced on the turn into the straight was electrifying, one that I’ve not seen in a long time. All season he’s been running away with his races and there was speculation over the quality of those but he showed that they were plenty strong enough and despite a tendency to jump right at times he was better last week and trainer Gary Moore has said ‘I think he’s a champion hurdle horse, and that’s how I’ll be training him’. Very much looking forward to seeing this talented young gelding next season.

After a neck defeat in the Albert Bartlett having lost a hind shoe, Latest Exhibition is a horse who looks to have a bright future once tackling fences. He’s already a grade one winner over hurdles and was a tad unlucky not to add to that on Friday but next season can see him go to another level. He’s a son of Oscar who should turn into a lovely staying-chaser with the RSA a target but he may well go even further than that and have a crack at the National Hunt Chase over a marathon trip for trainer Paul Nolan who almost won the race last year with Discorama.

Darver Star has come on leaps and bounds this season with four wins (one listed) before filling the places the last three times, all in grade one’s and the latest came in the Champion Hurdle when third behind the likeable mare Epatante. He jumped the last together with the winner before becoming outpaced but he stayed on well up the hill which was no surprise as he’s been winning over 2m4f/2m5f. Trainer Gavin Cromwell has said they’ll be going chasing with him next season and he’s one that I’m looking forward to seeing in this discipline. The two likely races they’ll target would be the Arkle (2m) or the Marsh Chase (2m4f) with the latter the better option in my opinion.

The final horse that I’m to take out of the week is the Gigginstown-owned Abracadabras who finished a close second to Shiskin in the opening race of the festival, the Supreme Novices Hurdle. He was well-backed on the day going off second favourite and was unlucky not to win the race having been slightly hampered two out by a faller. His hurdling was very slick wasting no time in the air and he travelled like a dream throughout the race and it’ll be a head-scratcher for connections as to whether they stay hurdling or decide to go chasing with him. It might be a case of trying both next season but I’d be inclined to leave him over timber and have a real go at the champion hurdle – both he and Shiskin look serious horses going forward.

WETHERBY (17/03) PREVIEW

WETHERBY (17/03) PREVIEW Sports Betting Stars

Racing goes behind closed doors at Wetherby on Tuesday and a spokesperson for the course has stated that only one trainer/representative, one other member of staff and no more than two owners per horse will be allowed into the course, as of the instructions of the UK Government.

There are seven races on the card though the field sizes are limited slightly and you may be better at looking for football betting tips today. The opening race is a handicap hurdle for conditional jockeys’ being run over the minimum 2m. Twelve-year old Flanagan’s Field was a winner just under a fortnight ago and though up 6lb and against some less exposed younger rivals I’d be surprised if he doesn’t go in again ahead of the top-weight Hello Bob in a weak opener.

There are two fancied runners in the novice hurdle (2.35pm) from successful yards. Fergal O’Brien and Jonjo O’Neill both boast 20% strike-rates when visiting this course and it’s the former’s representative, Global Fame, who should take all the beating on the back of a good second behind future grade 2 winner Harry Senior. Couer Serein should chase him home and I can see Eagle De Guye filling the places, providing all eight run, with him being a half-brother to Friday’s Gold Cup winner Al Boum Photo.

Lady Master (3.10pm) is currently unbeaten over this trip and did win over C&D in the winter last season. He’s now racing off a 19lb higher mark but is still capable off this rating after tiring over a longer trip last time at Market Rasen. The other five in the field are relatively well-handicapped with the exception of Roxboro Road but it’s that horse who might be the one to back here on his second start for Ben Haslam. He went off 3/1 on stable debut in a higher grade at Ayr and despite being pulled-up that race was a lot stronger and the winner has subsequently gone down by half-a-length in a class 2 at Kempton.

Gennady had been in good form prior to moving stables but finished last of nine for his new yard recently and might be best watched for now it would be difficult for me to tip this horse. I think Present Of Dubai is a favourite worth taking on as connections reach for the headgear after failing to settle last time out so the two that catch my eye are Bobndave for Sue Smith who if ready to go after a 228-day break would have a chance as he was in good form before his break. The other is four-year old Half Bolly on handicap debut. He was pulled-up on return to action but that was on bottomless ground and his run prior to that came in a C&D listed event where he finished midfield. He’s won a juvenile hurdle as well as this season and he looks a nice price in a trappy looking contest.

It’s a three-way match-up in the Novice Chase (4.20pm) and though it’ll more than likely become a tactical race it should well be a good contest with only 3lb separating the three runners on official ratings. Coole Hall has been the bridesmaid the last three outings whilst Bobo Mac has filled the same spot twice in his last three runs, neither have won over this 3m journey though. The latter has to carry a penalty in this and that should open the door for Commodore Barry who has already gained three distance wins, once on soft ground and he hails from the in-form Kim Bailey yard.

It may well be a quickfire double for Kim Bailey as he saddles a fancied runner in the class 5 handicap hurdle (4.55pm), Pond Road, who shaped as though the step up to this longer trip would suit the last day. Espoir Moriviere should appreciate the drop back in trip whilst Skylanna Breeze could offer more in first-time cheekpieces but one at a bigger price who could be the answer is the seven-year old Incertaine who is just 2lb above the mark she won off just three starts ago. She needs to put her last two runs behind her but Brian Hughes, who won on her at Market Rasen, is on board again.

The concluding NH Flat race (5.25pm) should go to the way of the favourite Glencassley as that gelding finished a respectable fifth in a hot Newbury bumper behind eventual Champion Bumper sixth Ocean Wind. Aidan Coleman travels for just the one ride for Charlie Longsdon who has a 33% strike-rate at the course with his bumper horses. The unraced No Anxiety has a nice pedigree and looks the main danger to the favourite.

AL BOUM PHOTO – A GOLD CUP HERO

Al Boum Photo

It’s a rare occasion to see a horse win back-to-back Gold Cups with only six horses prior to this year’s festival having achieved this, but by 3.40pm on Friday that number had increased to seven with Al Boum Photo securing top honours for the second successive year.

Over the years we have seen horses winning at consecutive festivals at Prestbury Park and some doing so in the same contest as they’d done previously. Before last week’s meeting, Tiger Roll had won the Cross-Country Chase two years in a row and an even more recent example came here on Thursday when Sire Du Berlais took the Pertemps Network Handicap Hurdle again. However, just a day later and history was about to repeat itself as the Willie Mullins-trained eight-year old Al Boum Photo claimed one of jumps racing’s biggest prizes and the £350,000 pot, the Magners Gold Cup, to become only the seventh horse in it’s 96-year history to do so.

AL BOUM PHOTO - A GOLD CUP HERO Sports Betting Stars

Last year he went off at a price of 12/1 with some of the best betting apps when getting the better of the JP McManus-owned Anibale Fly with the re-opposing Bristol De Mai back in third. His preparation leading up to that was exactly the same route the gelding took this time round with just the one outing which came on New Years Day at Tramore when winning the listed Savills Chase by six-lengths and his winning distance in that race this year, now a Grade 3, was identical. All eyes were on him this year and punters must have believed the dream was possible as he was sent off the 10/3 favourite. He may not have been as fluent in the jumping department as jockey Paul Townend would have hoped but there’s no doubt that he travelled powerfully in between fences and on the turn for home he took it up and despite being slightly headed by Lostintranslation between the final two flights the son of Buck’s Boum stuck his head down and battled on well up the famous Cheltenham hill which he’d done just twelve-months prior.

This achievement meant he joined an illustrious list of multiple Gold Cup winners, who include;

EASTER GOLD – The first horse to win back-to-back renewals, he did so in 1929/1930 both times going off as the favourite (7/4F, 8/11F), trained by Welshman Jack Anthony.
GOLDEN MILLER – A remarkable five successive wins in the race between the years of 1932-1936 (13/2, 4/7F, 6/5F, 1/2F, 21/20F), four of those were trained by Basil Briscoe with the last of those when in the hands of Owen Anthony. He also won a Grand National in 1934.
COTTAGE RAKE – The combination of Aubrey Brabazon and Vincent O’Brien teamed up to win the race three years running between the years of 1948-50, he was 10/1 for the first of those before going off an odds-on shot (4/6F, 5/6F) for the other two.
ARKLE – Arguably the best jumps horse ever, won his first Gold Cup by five-lengths in 1964, then going on to win the next two by 20L & 30L respectively at odds of 30/100F and the shortest ever price in the race, 1/10F. Irish-trained by Tom Dreaper and the jockey on all three occasions was Pat Taaffe.
L’ESCARGOT – French for snail, this horse was certainly nothing like his name, he won the 1970 & 1971 runnings of the race with the first of those a shock at 33/1, he followed that up at 7/2 under Tommy Carberry for Irish trainer Dan Moore.
BEST MATE – Over twenty years had gone by until Henrietta Knight’s bay-gelding made more Gold Cup history, three wins between 2002-2004 (7/1, 13/8F, 8/11F) all in the hands of Jim Culloty (who later went on to become the fourth person to ride and train the winner of the race, with his Lord Windermere).

Can Al Boum Photo do it again next year and make it a hat-trick of wins? He’ll only be a nine-year old so there’s every chance that he can do and I’m sure connections will take a similar, if not the same route as he’s done so previously though there will be plenty of younger and very talented horses bidding to steal the crown away from him in the 2021 Magners Gold Cup. Let’s hope he turns up in full health and ready to defend the title which he’s made his own over the past two seasons!

Tiger Roll on Course for Grand National Again

Tiger Roll on Course for Grand National Again Sports Betting Stars

Irish Trainer Gordon Elliott has revealed that his horse Tiger Roll worked very well on his recent racecourse gallop at Leopardstown, which suggests the 5/1 favourite for the steeplechase at Aintree is back to his best ahead of that race.

Tiger Roll has featured just once so far on the track this season and that was in the Boyne Hurdle where he came home fifth of the nine runners at Navan after going off at 9/1.

The 10-year-old’s next assignment is the Cross Country Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. He has Cheltenham odds of evens for that unique contest where the runners are required to jump all kinds of different obstacles in the middle of the course.

Tiger Roll has won the Cross Country in each of the last two years. His experience around the course is why he is one of the leading Cheltenham bets tips for the race this year on his hat-trick attempt. If successful, it will be the fourth time he has won at the meeting as he also prevailed in the 2014 Triumph Hurdle.

History on the cards at Aintree


There have been various points this season where a bid for a third Grand National win has been in serious doubt. Despite that uncertainty, Tiger Roll has topped the betting to win the 2020 event ever since he crossed the line in front last April in Liverpool.

Once his connections confirmed their horse would run if he was fit and healthy, his odds shortened for the 4m2½f contest.

Tiger Roll was handed 11st-10lb by the handicapper at the weights launch for the race last month. He will need to carry top weight, 2lb more than his closest rival on that list, Bristol De Mai, who is 20/1 for success.

No horse in history has won the Grand National three years running. Tiger Roll became the first back-to-back winner in 45 years to defend his crown in 2019 when he justified going off as the 4/1 favourite. Given how much he enjoys the bigger fences, a third success cannot be ruled out.

Elliott has 15 entries in the field

Elliott has had a fantastic season so far and is vying for the Irish Jump Trainer Championship. He currently trails Willie Mullins in the standings but there is very little between the two men. The dual Grand National-winning trainer is second best in the betting to win that trophy.

Although that championship will be on Elliott’s mind, the Grand National is likely to be his main priority. He has 15 horses entered for the race. It is very unlikely that they all will make it into the final 40-runner field but he is sure to have the most horses by any trainer.

His second-best chance this year is likely to be Alpha Des Obeaux who is 25/1 with the bookmakers. He fell in the race in April two years ago but has finished the Grand National course since then, finishing third in the 2019 Becher Handicap Chase.

If he is able to prevail in the latest renewal of the world’s most famous steeplechase, Elliott will be just one win away from the joint record of wins by a trainer.

Cheltenham Festival 2020

Cheltenham Festival 2020 Sports Betting Stars

An overview of the Cheltenham 2020

Cheltenham Festival is arguably one of the leading horse racing competitions in the world. The annual horse racing event is characterized by an incredible 28 races that contribute to the thrill it offers enthusiasts. At least 500 horses are expected to participate in the events that make up the Cheltenham this year. All of which will be competing for a price money that is worth more than £6,000,000. By far, this makes Cheltenham to only be challenged by the Grand National in terms of prestige in UK’s horse racing calendar!

There are many fans who get thrilled by this prestigious UK horse race event not only for the fun it offers, but also for the money making opportunity it avails to them. Horse race enthusiasts who love to try their luck at betting also make the most out of this event by placing their bets using the Cheltenham Festival 2020 betting tips.

The Cheltenham Festival 2020 Betting Tips & Odds

The 2020 Cheltenham Festival edition with its four days of action is surely going to provide plenty of betting opportunities to punters as well bookmarkers. Did you know that you could possibly find free betting tips that bookmarkers offer to new users? Yes, in fact, there are bookmarking websites that are already providing free bet offers for the Cheltenham Festival. You can get the free bet offers if you are a first time user creating an account for the very first time. Horse racing is traditionally known to attract betting interest not just in the UK but in other different parts of the world.

A number of bookmarkers are already offering different types of markets to their users. You could take advantage of this by trying accumulator bets which usually offer handsome rewards should your bet win. You could also bet on your favorite horse with this Cheltenham odds guide here. There are various horses that are being perceived to be favorites to win in their respective races.

The two elements that will take center stage as the Cheltenham 2020 kicks off are the jockeys and horses. The Cheltenham racing tips are usually based on the jockeys and horses. As a punter you therefore need to know the history of any given jockey or horse before placing a wager. It is wise to go with the top jockeys and horses that are highly favored by most of the tipsters and bookmarkers because they are the ones that are more likely to win.

There are various factors that are usually looked into before a horse is favored to be a likely winner at the Cheltenham. Factors like the weight, latest health & physical and form, is key in this determination. The previous performance of a given horse is also another important factor that is looked into.

The Cheltenham 2020 Favorite Horses & Jockeys

Benie des Dieux was on course to winning the Mares Hurdle in the previous season before disaster prevented her at the last minute. She is a good contender for the Cheltenham Festival 2020 season and has been given odds of 4/5 to win. The other reason why she stands to do well in this season’s race is her recent form gain. She remains unbeaten in the last 8 starts for Mullins and this just makes her a big contender for the win this year at the Cheltenham.

The other favorite horse to win a race this year is Douvan, the horse is also attracted ante-post odds of 2/5 to become a champion chaser. With this kind of price, there is likelihood that Douvan could win at least a race. Colin Tizzard is yet another racer that has enjoyed a fabulous season he is going to be a strong fancy to take on the World Hurdle bearing in mind that he just won Cleeve Hurdle in January.

Sizing John is also another favorite horse to perform very well in Cheltenham Festival 2020. He comes to the race unbeaten in the last six races he has participated in. He recently came into prominence with a victory at the Top Novices’ Hurdle in the 2016 season.

Amongst the jockeys, Ruby Walsh remains a top contender for the upcoming Cheltenham Festival 2020. He has participated in more than 30 horse races and has also managed to win in a number of occasions. If you are to place your bets on a jockey, then Ruby Walsh would be a highly promising jockey to try your luck with.

How To Potentially Earn Big In Sports Betting

How To Potentially Earn Big In Sports Betting Sports Betting Stars

Sports betting is gambling in general. Although it is the best alternative way of potentially earning money, there is no formula that you can find to win consistently. You only need to make sure that you understand the whole nature of betting and create effective strategies that you can apply every time you gamble.

The betting games can be overwhelming, especially in huge sporting events. Some of these sports include horse racing and football. Most of the time, the prize at stake you can win for these betting games are massive. Hence, many punters are seen every time a specific racing is held in any field.

In line with betting, the grandest horse racing event is about to start very soon. The U.S. Triple Crown Series will have its turn during the second quarter of this year. Current Belmont Stakes 2020 Odds, together with Preakness Stakes and Kentucky Derby betting lines, are slowly filling every sports platform to guide each punter what to expect during this show.

So, winning in sports betting is the main goal of every punter. However, there are times that the odds are not aligned to be in your favor, and you experience a losing streak. That’s why you think twice about why some bettors do not lose so much.

Is there really a way to bet successfully and avoid losing? Here’s an explanation.

Adapt to Changes

Horse racing and betting is a fast-changing game. Every horse athlete is appropriately trained by their trainers and jockeys to develop both their physical and mental conditions. They also make sure that their horses have excellent soundness and connection so they will not struggle inside the racing field.

So, successful bettors always look at the horse’s ability to adapt to the type of racing games they’re going to play. It means that no matter how well they researched your entry, but they do not look good during the racing game, they immediately scratch their bets. They changed it to a horse that showcases the best form before the race.

Remain Optimistic

Sports betting may be stressful at times. You may get the best feeling only if you win, but if you lose a lot, then you might get discouraged. Aside from that, the competition in sports betting is tougher, and the money involved is big, so you need careful decision-making skills to make everything work for you.

Most successful bettors do not lose a lot because they go with the flow. It means that they remain positive all the time regardless of whatever the outcome of the racing game is. If they sense that they are starting to lose, they change their plans and believe that they can still go home with a stronger bankroll.

Do Calculated Risks

Sports betting is taking risks all the time, but you should choose to take calculated risks instead. You don’t get inside the racing field and buy betting tickets to wager any betting entries you feel to gamble. The same when you bet online, you should not shop a lot of odds and eager without thinking.

Taking calculated risks means you should weigh your option in picking your bets. Do know that the oddsmaker layout odds value before the racing game starts. It measures the percentage and probability of winning of every entry. Successful bettors do this all the time, and you should also learn this betting art.

Move On Right Way

The emotions you can involve in sports betting are relatively high. It’s human nature that we get too happy, especially when we win the betting game. On the other hand, you get disappointed, discouraged when you did your best, yet you still end up losing. That’s why it’s hard to balance your emotions when you partake in betting games.

For pro bettors, they have learned that emotions can’t get you any further. If you celebrate too much and bet more, you might still lose what you have. At the same time, if you are already lost and get mad, you might go home with nothing. That’s why some bettors became successful because they know how to balance their emotions and focus more on their betting strategies.

Takeaway

Sports betting, for some, is an easy task to fulfill. While this is true because you only need the money and a sports event where you can bet, winning is a hard goal to achieve. You have to understand that in sports betting, it’s anyone’s ballgame, and when you exert so much effort in creating betting strategies, there are times that you still lose a lot.

Therefore, if you like to bet successfully and make sure that you still get a  good bankroll at the end of the day, you must practice the tips listed above of a successful sports bettor. If you do this, you are sure that your betting games are all fulfilling and triumphant.

Defi Du Seuil the new frontrunner for the Champion Chase

Defi Du Seuil the new frontrunner for the Champion Chase Sports Betting Stars

With one powerful, strident finish, Defi Du Seuil laid claim to the favourite’s tag ahead of this year’s Champion Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The Clarence House Chase at Ascot offered the perfect opportunity for trainer Philip Hobbs and jockey Barry Geraghty to show Defi Du Seuil’s true qualities, and he did that in fine style, streaking home by a distance of nearly three lengths.

The performance saw Defi Du Seuil leap to the position of favourite for the Champion Chase in the latest odds for betting on Cheltenham 2020, consigning the highly-fancied Altior to second-favourite. It was a storming display and a major statement of intent ahead of one of racing’s biggest events of the year.

“Obviously we were very hopeful we might win again, but I couldn’t imagine he was going to win that easily,” said trainer Hobbs after the race.

“It was dazzling and breathtaking,” added Geraghty. “I love riding him. He’s not the biggest in the world but has so much scope. He’s up for it and that’s what you love about good two-mile chasers.”

It was the latest victory in a series of fine triumphs for Defi Du Seuil this season, which has included wins in the Cheltenham Chase in November and the Betfair Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown the following month. Both the Sandown victory and this latest win at Ascot came by way of pipping the Willie Mullins-trained Un De Sceaux to the post – proof that Defi Du Seuil is more than able to dominate against the big names.

In fact, Hobbs’ seven-year-old has only lost twice since December 2018. Those defeats came in the Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day last year and the Novice Chase at Punchestown in May. For the latter, Richard Johnson was in the saddle as opposed to usual rider Geraghty. Apart from that, it’s been a remarkable run for Defi Du Seuil, and one that Hobbs will hope is leading towards a big result at Cheltenham in March.

Of course, there will be stiff competition if he is to land the victory in the Champion Chase. Altior’s qualities as a chaser are well documented, and he was on a fine unbeaten run before an untimely loss to Cyrname in November’s 1965 Chase at Ascot. While fitness concerns have plagued Altior in recent months, there will be a fierce determination in trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Nico de Boinville to reassert Altior’s dominance and claim a third Champion Chase victory in a row. It will be interesting to see how Defi Du Seuil handles the significance of taking on Altior in such a high-profile race.

Of course, there are other strong contenders that can’t be ignored. Chacun Pour Soi, and Cilaos Emery – both trained by Mullins – are among the leading contenders in the odds for the race, and each will be eager to cause something of an upset.

Speaking after the recent win at Ascot, Geraghty said that he was rubbing his hands at the prospect of the Cheltenham showdown: “I’m relishing the chance to win the Champion Chase again and the dream is alive. Altior is a superstar but if that’s the race Defi goes for, you look forward to it.”

All Defi Du Seuil’s team can do is focus on themselves, and focus on making sure the horse is in the best possible shape when the Festival comes round. He has put himself right in contention to land another fine victory. The question now is whether or not Defi Du Seuil can live up to the hype.

The four horses to back ahead of the 2020 Grand National

The four horses to back ahead of the 2020 Grand National Sports Betting Stars

The most valuable and hotly-anticipated jump race is not too far away. We are of course talking about the Grand National, set to take place on Saturday 4th April. Staged at Aintree Racecourse since its inauguration in 1839, it is believed that 600 million people will be tuning in worldwide, and who can blame them? The excitement of the race stems from its unpredictable course, with horses jumping 30 fences over two laps – and the bookies’ favourite rarely winning. Such are the demands of the course, the larger fences create the ultimate test for horse and rider and more often than not, there are non-finishers, making it difficult to predict who will win if you bet on Grand National online. But who are the horses to look out for this year? Read on as we give our tips ahead of the UK’s most famous race.

Tiger Roll (7/1)

There’s going to be an immense amount of pressure on the two-time winner, as Tiger Roll looks to make history.  Not only could he emulate and equal Red Rum’s record of three Grand National victories but also become the first horse to win three races in a row. The Gordon Elliott-trained 10-year-old hasn’t raced since that famous day at Aintree and in November underwent a procedure to get rid of a chip in his leg. Fans will be pleased to hear that Tiger Roll is back on the track, but it’s undecided yet whether he will feature at Navan on February 16th or Cheltenham on March 11th in readiness for the National.

Burrows Saint (14/1)

Willie Mullins’ Burrows Saint has had his odds severely shortened, following success at Punchestown on New Year’s Eve. The seven-year-old’s win somewhat overshadowed 2017 Gold Cup winner Sizing John’s return after a lengthy absence, as he fell at the third last fence. Last year, Burrows Saint won the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse, giving Mullins his first win in the race – and could well be worth a shout at this year’s Aintree equivalent if he makes his debut.

Walk In The Mill (20/1)

There were high hopes placed on Walk In The Mill in last year’s race as he won the Becher Chase the previous December. The horse from Mullins yard eventually placed fourth in the Grand National, which was no mean feat after being up against Tiger Roll. After securing the Becher Chase for a second year last December, anticipation will be high once again. With plenty of experience over the famous green fences and at 10 years old, can British-bred Walk In The Mill disrupt the Irish dominance at the Grand National?

Magic Of Light (25/1)

Jessica Harrington’s Magic Of Light surprised everyone at last year’s Grand National when the 66/1 outsider almost upset the odds, but was beaten by two-and-three-quarter lengths by Tiger Roll. After competing in a debut to remember, Magic Of Light came third in the Navan Hurdle and won Newbury’s Mares’ Chase just last month, beating Drinks Interval for a second year running. She could look to upset the odds again this year and become the first mare to win the National since Nickel Coin in 1951.

*Odds correct as of 09/01/2020

Mark Johnston: Britain’s most successful racehorse trainer

Mark Johnston: Britain’s most successful racehorse trainer Sports Betting Stars

Horse racing is one of Britain’s most popular pastimes. Betting on horses is just as popular, with the industry turning over a whopping £4.32 million from April 2017 to March 2018. During the historic horse events such as the Grand National, Royal Ascot and the Cheltenham Festival, we see hundreds of horses compete for incredible amounts prize money.

We see the jockeys and horses perform, but what we don’t see is all the hard work that goes into training the horses. Although the trainers of every horse are mentioned at events, they don’t receive much praise for their achievements. One man is far more deserving of this spotlight than any other trainer, and his name is Mark Johnston.

Mark Johnston: Britain’s most successful racehorse trainer Sports Betting Stars

Early Career

Born in Glasgow, Johnston received his Veterinary degree from Glasgow University after taking an interest in his father’s ownership of horses. Johnston went on to work in a veterinary practice for three years before purchasing his first training yard in Lincolnshire. He was granted a trainer’s license in 1987 and sent out his first winner that summer, Hinari Video.

It was the beginning of what is a successful career. Johnston moved to Middleham in 1988 and has since bought a further two yards at Kingsley House. Building on his initial success, Johnston went on to achieve his first century of winners by 1994, but he didn’t stop there.

Decorated over and over again

As you can imagine, Johnston’s accolades are impressive. He has major wins across the globe, including Great Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy and the United Arab Emirates. Amongst his major wins are the 1,000 and 2,000 Guineas, as well as three wins at Ascot’s Gold Cup.

After an incredible 32 years of being a horse trainer, Johnston has saddled over 4,000 horses. He broke the record for the most successful racehorse trainer in Britain during the summer of 2018 – beating Richard Hannon’s record of 4,193 winners. Hannon held his license for a little over 43 years and retired in 2013. By those estimates, Johnston will have smashed the previous record and set a near-impossible challenge as he took only 32 years to break the previous record.

Current activities

To this day you will find Johnston at his three-yard Middleham empire, married to Deidre with two sons, Charlie (his assistant trainer) and Angus. But he is still up to his winnings ways. As recent as July this year, Johnston broke another record, this time by sending out an astonishing 50 winners in a single month.

Although the Scotsman already held the record with 47 winners, he managed to top it, setting the bar that little bit higher for any potential competition. Johnston is well-known within the sport for many impressive records, one of them being that he has trained more than 100 British winners for 26 consecutive seasons.

Johnston Racing now has a large team behind the scenes, from vets and yard managers, to drivers and groom riders. Johnston Racing employs every potential role in the process of looking after these horses, including the embroiderer of their team kit.

Johnston has built himself not only an incredible career but an astonishing legacy that will live on long after he retires. That being said, he doesn’t appear to be slowing down any time soon, producing more winners each season – as his motto says, he’s “Always Trying”.

Jamal Lowe’s rise to prominence is testament to hard work and dedication

jamal-lowe

For a period in his career, Jamal Lowe probably would have laughed if you’d said that he’d be playing in the Championship a few years later. An unfulfilled youth career at Barnet resulted in a plethora of different loan moves, switching from club to club like the proverbial journeyman.

However, after finally finding his feet at non-league Hampton & Richmond Borough, Lowe soon earned a move to League Two’s Portsmouth, where he helped the club win promotion and establish themselves in the third tier. It was a meteoric rise for a player who at one stage appeared to be running out of time to fulfil his potential.

Lowe now finds himself at Championship side Wigan Athletic, and has become one of the EFL’s stand-out talents. The speedy, tricky winger plays with the kind of freedom that belies the struggles of his early career. In fact, overcoming those obstacles seem to have loosened whatever inhibitions once plagued the now 25-year-old.

During the time in which he was being shipped out to various non-league clubs on loan, Lowe worked as a P.E. teacher to ensure he could pay his bills. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Lowe said: “You can stand in front of a group of 20 kids and they don’t care what you have to say and then go to Fratton Park and there’s 18,000 people there, all anticipating a good performance. I’d say they are both as hard as each other.”

It is perhaps from that point of understanding that Lowe has achieved his success. Many footballers can become so enveloped in their own sporting prospects, so obsessed with the bubble that is the professional game, that they can forget there is a world outside of football. Lowe’s experience of working a normal job has undoubtedly given him a more rounded perspective.

His move to Wigan is the latest step in a career that lately has represented a steep upward trajectory. You will find the English Championship odds do not list the Latics as promotion favourites – rather at the time of writing they are hovering around the relegation zone – but at this early stage Lowe and his teammates have plenty of time to rise up the table.

Indeed, for the sake of Lowe’s career progression, it is important for him to be at a Championship club where he can be sure of game time. The prospects of many players have stalled as a result of making the wrong move, of joining a club where minutes will be limited. Wigan seems like a good base from which Lowe can continue to improve.

Despite being limited to substitute appearances in the first few games of the season, he has established himself in Wigan’s starting XI, and will be hoping that the step up to the Championship will not be a step too soon. There is little evidence to suggest that will be the case though, and after three seasons of success perhaps a relegation scrap would help Lowe develop the battle-hardened nous that is required in the tough school that is the Championship.

There were heady days at Portsmouth when Lowe was running the Fratton Park wing, rising up from League Two and into League One. In many ways the resurgence of his club at the time mirrored his own personal ascension from the ashes of those frequent loan moves. His success was a just reward for a player who lives, speaks and plays in all the right ways.

In that Telegraph interview, Lowe is keen to assert that money is not a driving factor in his life, that there are things more important than one’s bank balance, the shoes on their feet or the car on their drive. The goal for him is always to improve. Having got this far where it once seemed so unlikely, Lowe takes pleasure in the journey that has brought him this far and stretches out further before him. It’s been a long and winding road so far, but he is all the stronger for it.