Monday, 28 May 2018

A Comprehensive Historical Account of Santa Anita Racecourse

Santa Anita Racecourse is a thoroughbred equestrian racing amenity found in Arcadia in California - United States. It offers a number of the well-known racing functions in the United States in the course of winter and spring. With its background of the San Gabriel Mountains, it is deemed by many to be the world's most attractive racetrack. The racetrack is home to many high-status races that include the Santa Anita Derby and the Santa Anita Handicap as well as staging the Breeders' Cup for more than five times in the recent years. In mid 2010, Santa Anita's ownership and management rights were transferred to MI Developments Inc. (MID).

Santa Anita Racecourse was formally part of "Rancho Santa Anita," at first owned by the then San Gabriel Mission Mayor-Domo, Claudio Lopez, and christened after a widely recognized family member named, "Anita Cota." The farm was afterward purchased by the prominent rancher Hugo Reid, a gentleman of Scottish descent. Afterward, it was acquired by multimillionaire equine breeder and popular racer Lucky Baldwin. Baldwin originally built a racecourse contiguous to the current location in what is presently referred to as Arcadia, outside of the metropolitan area of Los Angeles, in mid 1904. It shortly after shut down in 1909 and set ablaze in 1912.

In mid 1933, California allowed parimutuel betting and several investment groups worked to register racecourses. In the San Francisco vicinity, a club headed by Dr. Charles H "Doc" Strub had trouble locating a suitable location. In the Los Angeles neighborhood, another group headed by film producer Hal Roach needed of further finances. These two parallel groups joined and the just formed Los Angeles Turf Club re-launched the racecourse on Christmas Day in late 1934, making it the very first racecourse in California then. Architect Gordon Kaufmann came up with its different buildings in a blend of Colonial Revival and a form of art deco referred to as Streamline Modern, painted principally in Santa Anita's authentic colors of Persian Green and Chiffon Yellow. 

In its most illustrious days, the facility’s races drew top stars such as Betty Grable, Esther Williams, and many other top names. The stockholders included Bing Crosby, Joe Brown, Al Jolson, as well as Harry Warner. Under the management of Doc Strub, Santa Anita started numerous innovations that are currently standard amenities in the world of thoroughbred horse racing, like the widespread use of starting gates and photographic finishes for each event. It is motivating to observe that the accomplishment of photo finishing at Santa Anita essentially recorded an upsurge in dead heats. Santa Anita was so prosperous that in its initial year under Doc Strub's stewardship, it gave its investors a 100% bonus on their initial investment.

In early 1940, Seabiscuit registered a major win at the Santa Anita Handicap in his final start. Two years after, in 1942, sporting at Santa Anita was shortly suspended as a result of the Second World War, at which time the prominent amenity was utilized as an "assembly center" for Japanese Americans exempted from the West Coast. For many months in mid 1942, more than 18,000 individuals survived in horse stables and military barracks made on the venue, including celebrated actor George Takei, then a youthful man. Shortly after the racetrack was re-launched in late 1945, it survived the postwar years with marked success. A downward turf course, which gave it a noticeably European stylishness to sporting at Santa Anita, was included in 1953.

Because of its closeness to Los Angeles, Santa Anita has conventionally been connected with the film and television fields. The racecourse series in the Marx Brothers 1937 hit A Day at the Races were shot there, and widely liked The Story of Seabiscuit with Shirley Temple was also filmed on venue in 1949. Numerous stars, comprising Bing Crosby and MGM mogul, Louis B. Mayer, have brought their horses at Santa Anita Racecourse. Most notably, the 1958 Santa Anita Derby was graced by 61,123 fans, making the turnout of the historical event that day an unprecedented record crowd. The huge number of people had come to witness Silky Sullivan advance from 28 lengths away from the pace and still win—going away.

The highly transformative 1960s welcomed major renewal of Santa Anita Park, including a much-extended grandstand plus supplementary seating areas. In mid 1968, Del Mar Racecourse surrendered its fixtures for fall events. A group of racers and jockeys comprising Clement Hirsch chipped in and set up the non-profit Oak Tree Racing Association. This new racing outfit had no amenities of its own and leased Santa Anita Park for its maiden autumn events in 1969. The Oak Tree Association thus became the managers of the autumn race meetings at Santa Anita Racecourse. 

This meeting normally operated from the final weeks of September up to the start of November. Numerous key stakes events were staged in the course of the Oak Tree Meeting, among them many preparations to the Breeders' Cup fixtures. The Oak Tree meetings shifted to Hollywood Park for 2010 although the California Horse Racing Board gave the fall sporting dates to Santa Anita in its exclusive right in 2011. These developments led to a renaming of numerous stakes races staged at the fall fixtures that were previously linked with Oak Tree. For instance, the Norfolk and Oak Leaf were in the process.

Groundbreaking success persisted at Santa Anita all through the 1970s and the 1980s. Around 1984, Santa Anita was the prominent location of top equestrian events at the historical1984 Olympics. The subsequent year, the racetrack set a turnout record of 85,527 individuals on the glamorous Santa Anita Handicap Day. Nonetheless, recognizing the likely revenue benefit to the State of California, the California Legislature extended off track wagering, bringing operating betting facilities within nearer driving space of the sporting-day courses. Although the Santa Anita race could still attract huge crowds, turnout numbers had reduced by a third. Merely 56,810 individuals were at the field for Santa Anita Derby Day 2007 to view a Grade I sporting function.

The Seabiscuit statue, fashioned by American craftsman Jame Hughlette Wheeler was elaborately hand-tooled by Frank Buchler, a German settler and the proprietor of Washington Ornamental Iron Company in Los Angeles. Washington Ornamental Iron Company set up all of Santa Anita's fundamental amenities. 





Saturday, 26 May 2018

Chester Racecourse - Fundamental Info

Chester racecourse
Also known as the Roodee, Chester Racecourse is the oldest racecourse whose track activities have continued to attract widespread influence in Britain and the larger world. According to existing historical records, racing events at Chester started in the early decades of the 16th century. Although some of the official records do not exist, it can be accurately said that events were taking place at the racecourse as early as 1511.

Again, the sporting site is regarded as the smallest racecourse of global significance in the whole of England. It measures about one mile and one furlong – equal to an estimated 1.8 kilometers. Nonetheless, its colossal influence on the history and variety of Europe’s horse sports can only be rivalled by very few racecourses in Britain.

Another notable fact about Chester Racecourse is that it lies on the banks of River Dee. The area of land on which the racecourse stands was once used as a harbour during the Dark Ages. However, sitting around the river bank area led to the closure of the racing facility and, a few decades later, the grounds were used for horse riding training and competitions. Ever since the fame and glory has not waned over the last four centuries.

In the middle of the racecourse, there is a raised mound which is ornately decorated. The mound is popularly referred to as rood’ and has become one of the most prominent physical landmarks that distinguish the sporting spot from similar amenities in Britain. From the word rood’, the alternative name for the racecourse was coined. A corruption of the phrase rood eye’, Roodee loosely translates to "The Island of the Cross". Historically, Chester is one of the leading ancient establishments that have inspired the way horse racing track events are conducted today.

Popular legend has it that the much-talked-about cross marks identify the burial site of the mythological statue of Virgin Mary who was sentenced to hang for conspiring in the murder of Lady Trawst, the legendary Governor of Hawarden. It is mythically believed that she had gone to intercede with the heavens on behalf of the drought-stricken area. However, her supplications elicited a lot of thunderstorms and her statue loosened and fell on the governor’s wife. It is believed that the statue was found guilty by a 12-man jury. Although this sounds like a hopelessly inaccurate mythology to a foreigner it is one of the reasons why locals hold the global facility in immense esteem.

As a result, the guilty’ statue was infamously burned for having caused a most painful murder that sends the whole olden community mourning the onset of the beloved governor’s tragic widower-hood. If this legendary story has any factual merits, then this enters history as the first use of a formal jury in the legal circles. Whether purely mythological or true, these cross marks join a host of other intriguing peculiarities that have made this racecourse outstandingly influential in the world of horse racing and beyond. 

Despite how outsiders may view this mythical record, locals hold it as a time-old truth that cannot be successfully discredited.

Few facilities can outstrip the fame of Chester Racecourse. The site was the home to the bloody but famous Goteddsday football competitions. The historical football melee engendered so much infamy that the authorities of the day replaced the soccer events with horse racing championships in 1539. This change of the track’s functions was ratified with the consent of Mayor Henry Gee. It is the influential name of this respected local ruler that birthed the widespread use of the gee-gee’ term in horse handling. Summarily, the medieval racing grounds have hosted one of the oldest riding occasions ever recorded in the annals of horse sporting.  

The position of the racecourse is one of the strongest explanations for its being a leading racing site in Britain. In particular, its proximity to the city makes event meetings very popular and boosts training and track championships turn-outs. Specifically, the hospitality services offered at the racecourse and in the neighbouring centres make it a top favourite to sightseers as well as millions of racing fanatics in the whole world. 

The Chester May Festival is especially well-attended to celebrate the arrival of the summer season. Chester’s tracks and courses are aptly set in a luxurious background with exclusive facilities that enable patrons to have a first-hand view of horse riding events as they unfold on the track. 

Contact details: The racecourse, Chester, CH1 2LY

Tel: 01244 304 600 

Email: enquiries@chester-races.com 

Visit Chester racecourse website here. 

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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Comprehensive Info about Goodwood Racecourse

Goodwood racecourse
Goodwood is a horse racing venue that is located about 5 miles west of Chichester in West Sussex – England. Indisputably one of the very best equestrian sporting facilities in Britain and the world at large, the venue is managed by the Duke of Richmond and his family. With the famous Duke headquartered in a nearby Goodwood House, members of the royal family are well-known to both fans and racegoers. The key role played by the Duke in the administration of the racecourse has given the racing arena a coveted place in the annals of English horse racing.

Goodwood Racecourse is often given preferential treatment by nationwide event organisers and officials due to the fundamental services available at the sporting centre. As one of the very few racing facilities handled by a noble member of the British Royalty, the racecourse enjoys a prestigious standing that very few similar sites can rival. Its state-of-the-art facilities are simply the envy of most other racecourses in the United Kingdom. It is always a top favourite with leading sports journalists worldwide while its social and recreational departments attract diverse classes of punters from all over the globe.

Goodwood Racecourse holds the yearly Glorious Goodwood gathering which is one of the central highlights of the British flat racing calendar. The annual meetings at Goodwood usually draw the attention of both local and international sport news bulletins. Most notably, the Duke of Richmond graces the once-in-a-year assemblies, giving the occasion and the racecourse a great deal of worldwide significance. Sponsors from across the sectors usually target these yearly gatherings in their keen pursuit of the prized advertising deals provided by the trailblazing racing amenity.

Further, the widely recognised site also hosts two of the universally popular UK’s 31 Group One flat racing events. During these key sporting events, the racecourse’s crowd capacity gets badly overwhelmed that some fans go without sitting places. The two much-publicized UK 31 events that Goodwood hosts are the Nassau Stakes and the Sussex Stakes – essential competitions that are normally televised across the world. Television screens are all tuned into the Goodwood field during these notably universal events, and advertisers cash in on the rare opportunity the twin occasions provide.

Goodwood Racecourse enjoys a considerably well-suited location in the hugely attractive area north of the Trundle Iron Age hill fort. The prime location has therefore contributed to the huge patronage that the facility enjoys during prominent events and also on normal days. The fairly raised ground is usually used as an alternative Grandstand on racing days. Fans that are familiar with the Chichester facility often prefer the informal grandstand to the official one because the former offers an uninterrupted view of the entire racecourse a safe distance from the smothering crowds. 

Despite its good location, the racecourse’s proximity to the nearby coast means that it is foggy most of the times. As a result of the sometimes inclement weather at Goodwood, certain high-attendance have severally been undertaken at other less endowed horse riding facilities in the United Kingdom. However, the prime racing facility enjoys friendly weather conditions most of the time. As such, Good Racecourse is hardly shunned by patrons, racers, or trainers exempting the very few relatively short spells characterised by unwelcoming weather. 

Unlike other racecourses that invariably resemble each other in several profound respects, Goodwood Racecourse is a sharp departure from this familiar trend. As such, Goodwood’s expertly laid out tracks and courses have a number of unconventional physical aspects that set them apart from those of other well-known horse riding spots in the United Kingdom. For instance, the racing tracks have straight six furlongs, often known as the "Stewards' Cup Course"- which is uniquely hilly for the first furlong but mostly downhill to the very end. 

Yet again, there is a tight-handed loop found at the near end of the straight, where the various other long-distance field events start. These long-distance events start-points include the 1 mile 2 furlongs (1m 2f) "Craven Course", the 1m 4f "Gratwicke Course" and the 1m 6f "Bentinck Course. This course is only used for flat races only. Despite these physical peculiarities, Goodwood is still one of the well-rated racing centres by leading racers and ward-winging track champions. 

Goodwood Racecourse enjoyed unprecedented media attention when its late summer meetings were broadcast live on ITV between 1968 and 1970. The routine racing assemblies attracted big names in the racing fraternity as well as other celebrated personages outside the horse sporting world. From the early 2000s, some of the essential horse riding events on the grounds occasionally appeared on Channel 4. 

Nevertheless, BBC’s far outweighed any other journalistic attention showered on the well-known racing arena. Covering the grounds with an exclusive deal that discouraged broadcast by any other television station, the global media behemoth served the facility without any rival competition from 1956 to 2006. 

After the 50 years of nearly uninterrupted coverage of the Goodwood’s interesting racing events, BBC was denied this lucrative deal and instead was given to Chanel 4. This widely discussed move was most likely motivated by a fresh desire to meet the ever-changing racing needs of viewers and fans, as well as a host of other intricate contractual technicalities. Channel 4 has steadily maintained its coverage of Goodwood’s key occasions since 2006 – a helpfully symbiotic deal which has extensively marketed the media channel and the facility promotes. 

In the last 18th century, Goodwood made history as the very first British racing site to adopt the flag start. These changes were implemented at the request of Lord George Bentinck after much grievous inefficiency that had been witnessed previously. For instance, a shambolic event start that was superintended by an elder starter with speech difficulties badly affected a well-regarded champion of those days named Sam Arnul. 

The historical Goodwood event start changes ensured that all the racing competitions were fairly officiated regardless of any possible inefficiency involving either the participating racers or the officiating starters. With this widely lauded ratification, Goodwood Racecourse cut itself a name as the preferred racing ground for every horse rider of distinguished taste. Fan following also intensified upon the implementation of the field amendment that was deservedly granted at Lord Bentinck’s historical behest.

Visit Goodwood website here.

Contact details: The Goodwood Estate Company Limited, Goodwood House, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OPX

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Great Yarmouth Horse Racing Open For Business

Great Yarmouth Racecourse
This well-known racecourse is one mile north of Great Yarmouth, belonging to Arena Racing Company. The well-designed track assumes the shape of a narrow four-sided figure that’s about one mile and three-quarters round, with two fairly long straights that measure about five furlongs. It is among Britain’s many left-handed courses, used for flat turf racing events. 

The racecourse hosts some of the most noteworthy sporting events on the British calendar and it is, as a result of its busy schedule, a leading horse racing ground in Britain if not Europe. 

Racing meetings were recorded for the first time in 1715 when a lease was issued by the Yarmouth Corporation to an association of visionary innkeepers for some piece of land where the group could stage local race meetings. Events may well have taken place at Great Yarmouth before the recorded date. Nonetheless, it is generally believed that such activities, if any at all, must have been infrequent involving small groups of individuals from Norfolk.

Sports historians believe horse racing at Great Yarmouth must have been quite intermittent throughout the 18th century. Racing almost certainly coincided with the annual town fair. 

Miscellaneous events such as donkey racing competitions and chasing a swine with a soap-stained tail were staged. In 1810 formal racing began. Records show meetings involving thoroughbred races and ample prize money at Great Yarmouth Racecourse from this date. 

Great Yarmouth Racecourse, on the South Denes, became fully established shortly after. A two-day race meeting was convened in the late summer every year. From 1866 race fixtures increased. The continuous upward trend carried on from decade to decade until the long-established racing facility soared to its current glory as one of the world’s most influential horse riding amenities.


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Racing at Great Yarmouth restarted after a short suspension during the first world war. In 1920, the just reopened racecourse was relocated to the nearby North Denes, as a result of immense pressure from the local fishing industry to extend its structures onto the piece of land on the South Denes. Two grandstands were demolished and shifted to North Denes, where they are presently situated. As such, Great Yarmouth is one of the oldest racing structures in the United Kingdom that have maintained their initial geographical positions to the present day. Great Yarmouth’s enduring fame and stature are a testament to Britain’s long and colorful racing history that stretches over four centuries of enthusiastic horse sporting. 


The local authorities had taken over the running of the racecourse in 1904, and for most of the 20th century, the course profited from the local community, not only by offering entertainment but also because its proceeds helped to maintain their rates at the bare-minimum. Since 2001, they have been the smaller shareholders in a new company formed to manage the distinguished racecourse. A private entity, Arena Racing Company, is the main shareholder. For that time, they have been capable of financing improvements that the Council could not fund, including the building of an extra grandstand. 


The most important event at Great Yarmouth is the John Musker Fillies' Stakes, staged over one mile and a quarter every year in September. Nevertheless, any of the racing events for two-year-olds can be chiefly instructive as some of these juveniles go on to participate in and win highly regarded races. 

During the 1998 competitions, Dubai Millennium won his debut at Yarmouth extraordinarily, ably ridden by Frankie Dettori, prior to becoming one of the most accomplished horses to run for the Godolphin operation, proudly owned by the Dubai royal family. Since then, Great Yarmouth victors included Ouija Board, who further won the English and Irish Oaks before registering impressive, score at the Breeders Cup, the yearly international horse racing championships held in the USA. Wilko, Raven's Pass and Donativum were among the winners at Yarmouth headed for future Breeders Cup glory. 

Visit Great Yarmouth Racecourse Website Here

Contact details: Great Yarmouth, Jellicoe Road, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, NR30 4AU

Tel: 01493 842527

Email: info@greatyarmouth-racecourse.co.uk 

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