Stars of the summer – the horse racing edit
The summer months boast some of the best meetings and events that the flat racing season has to offer. It’s typically when the British Classics (May-September) take place, as well as Royal Ascot (June), and Glorious Goodwood (July). In Ireland, fans can enjoy the Irish Oaks at the Curragh, as well as the Galway Summer Festival – both taking place in July.
For those that are searching the latest horse racing odds ahead of online betting, let’s take a look at some of the big names from the sport this summer.
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
The Irish trainer is no stranger to a winner, and when it comes to the British Classics, O’Brien has trained 40 winners – a joint-record with John Scott, an active trainer in the 1800s. Among those victories are a record eight wins in the Derby, nine in the Oaks; seven in the 1,000 Guineas and 10 in the 2,000 Guineas. O’Brien also lays claim to 76 Royal Ascot winners.
This season, O’Brien won the 1,000 guineas with Mother Earth, as well as the Epsom Oaks with Snowfall. With the latter, he most recently won the Irish Oaks, and will be hoping to lay claim to a winner at the Yorkshire Oaks next month too.
O’Brien is currently fourth in the leading trainers list for the 2021-22 season by prize money – having saddled 18 winners, but placed 44 horses from 83 runs.
Jockey: Oisin Murphy
He rode five winners at Royal Ascot, and it could have been six but for disqualification in the Commonwealth Cup, after Dragon Symbol impeded the Frankie Dettori-ridden Campanelle in the final furlong – and connections recently lost their appeal. But Murphy was still named the meeting’s leading jockey – ahead of the likes of Ryan Moore and Frankie Dettori. It marked the Irishman’s first ever leading jockeys’ title at Royal Ascot.
And the 25-year-old is on for being named Champion Flat Jockey in 2021, which would mark a third successive season that he has won the accolade. Murphy claimed 142 wins last season, and currently boasts 62 this season – six clear of nearest rival, Tom Marquand. With the season coming to an end on British Champions Day at Ascot on Saturday 16thOctober, there’s still plenty of time for Murphy to assert his dominance over the rest of the chasing pack.
We have to include the O’Brien-trained filly who’s had a very successful season. The three-year-old is unbeaten in her three starts, since winning the Musidora Stakes at York in May. Two Group 1 have followed – landing a very respective English/Irish Oaks double, the first filly to do so since Enable in 2017.
Not only that, but more impressively, the margin of victory in both races were record-breaking. Snowfall won the Epsom Oaks by an incredible 16 lengths ahead of Mystery Angel, with Frankie Dettori in the saddle. And it was Ryan Moore who rode her to victory at the Curragh – eight-and-a-half lengths ahead of stablemate, Divinely. While it wasn’t the biggest margin of victory in the Irish Oaks, it was the greatest since 1905, when Blakestown won by 10 lengths.
There’s definitely more to come for the filly – and with the Yorkshire Oaks and then the Longchamp’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in October, it could be an exciting remainder of the season.