There is something extremely invigorating and exciting about horse racing. This equestrian sport dates back to 4500 BC when the nomads of Central Asia domesticated horses. The ancient Greek Olympics featured chariot and mounted horse racing. The Romans had their chariot races. Norse mythology tells of the horse races of the God Odin and Hrungnir the Giant.
In the 12th century, English Knights on their way back from the Crusades brought Arab horses with them. Right up until the 16th century, these Arab horses were imported into Great Britain. Once imported, they were bred with English mares and produced a strain of horses that had endurance, power and great speed. It was during Queen Anne’s reign (1702 – 1714) that horse racing became a professional sport. Racecourses were developed and in 1750 the Jockey Club, a regulatory body, was formed.
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Irish racing has a very rich history. Point-to-point racing has its origins in Ireland. This is a kind of amateur horseracing for hunting horses. The horses are required to clear fences in this race. Many horses first take part in these point to point races before competing in the National Hunt races. In Irish racing, the horses that do well in point-to-point races are those that command a very high price. These races are run over a distance of three miles (minimum). Some races, such as the Lady Dudley Cup, have a track which is three miles and two furlongs. The Heythrop Men’s Open is four miles in length. Point-to-point racing is usually done on farmland. Sometimes, though, they can be run on the inside tracks of professional racecourses, such as in the Bangor-on-Dee or the Hexham.
Every course has to have at least eighteen fences. Two fences should have ditches, unless thought unsafe for the horses. The fences are of birch wood. They are 4′ 6″ high. These races are very challenging which is why Irish racing uses horses that have succeeded in point-to-point racing. These horses are all thoroughbreds. The Cheltenham Festival is the main event of the National Hunt calendar, and many Irish racing fans make sure they are there for this sport. In recent years, most of the racing horses are Irish-owned or Irish-bred. The Coolmore Stud, which is the world’s largest Thoroughbred stud, is located in Ireland.
One cannot ignore the trainers when talking about Irish racing. Irish trainers include: John Oxx; Aidan O’Brien; and, Dermot Weld. Great jockeys, such as Michael Kinane; Johnny Murtagh; Tony McCoy; Kieron Fallon; and, Ruby Walsh take part in Irish racing. Irish Racing is also known for its top-quality horses, such as Best Mate. This horse won the multiple Gold Cup and Red Rum and was bred in Ireland before it went away to be trained across the Irish Sea. The greatest steeplechaser was the thoroughbred Arkle and a legendary racing mare of Irish racing was Dawn Run.
Racecourses which are famous for Irish racing are: the Cork track; the Down Royal; the Leopardstown Limerick; Punchestown; Tipperary; Wexford; Navan; Fairyhouse; Naas; Galway; and, Curragh.
The standards of Irish racing are maintained by the Turf Club. The Turf Club was founded in 1790. This is a regulatory body and is responsible for the integrity of Irish racing. They have the reputation of maintaining high standards in Ireland, as well as in the international arena. The Turf Club is responsible for making the rules for Irish racing and seeing that these rules are enforced. Since Irish racing is so popular, the Turf Club does whatever is within its power to improve racing in Ireland.
All members of the Turf Club are horse lovers and are deeply interested in Irish racing. The Turf Club is the proprietor of the Curragh Racecourse in Kildare. It administers this racecourse as well. This is one of the main international venues in the world for horse racing. It is also a favourite location for Irish racing. The racing season is from March to October. It includes all five Irish Classic races – the Boylesports Irish Guineas Festival; the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby; the Darley Irish Oaks; and, The Irish Field St.Leger.
Horses that are showing their courage in Irish racing are: the Joanna Morgan-trained horse – Raise Your Heart. This is a six-year old and under Conor O’Farrell it won the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap. The owners are the Gaeltacht Gang Syndicate. Rose Hip, a filly, trained by Joe Murphy won the Stillorgan Handicap under Chris Hayes. Profound Beauty, trained by Dermot Weld, won the Challenge Stakes (a listed race) for the second consecutive year. She ran under Pat Sullen and carried the colours of Molyglare Stud Farm. Weld is aiming for her to run the Melbourne Cup.
Irish racing has a rich history. Featuring some of the best jockeys, horses and race tracks in the world, you can’t go past Irish racing for top-quality racing action. You can place all your bets on your favourite Irish jockeys, horses and trainers. Don’t worry about heading down to the betting agency. Capture the excitement of Irish racing at home or at the office – all online. From Melbourne Cup betting to Irish betting, online bookmakers have you covered. It has never been more convenient to punt online on the best of Irish racing.