Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2011 – Record Breakers

2011 proved to be a vintage year for horse racing and there were plenty of feats that deserve to be applauded and lauded especially on the equine front.

Four particular stars worthy of a Kauto Star, Frankel, Goldikova and Rapid Redux. The first three are pretty much household names but the last named my not be as well-known to you all. So let's start with Rapid Redux who broke one post-1900 US record and equalled another while winning 21 races in succession since 2010 (since then victory 22 has been added) – including all 19 starts in 2011. The all-time US record is 23 consecutive victories by Leviathan (1797-1801) and the world record is 56 by Camarero in Puerto Rico (1953-55). Trained by David Wells, the ultra-tough and consistent front-running Rapid Redux is no champion having scored all his victories in lowly company but that should not detract from his superb record this year. Fans of on line racing should remember this.

Kauto Star needs no such introduction and his win on the King George VI Chase on Boxing Day made him the greatest steeplechaser since Arkle and the first horse to win Kempton's mid-season championship race five times, beating the record that he had previously shared with Desert Orchid. When Kauto Star won the Betfair Chase on November 19 he became the only horse, Flat or jumps, to win two different Group/Grade 1 races four times each, as he had already landed the Haydock prize in 2006, 2007 and 2007 – a remarkable achievement. Those looking for a horse betting how to need to bear this in mind.

Frankel bestrode the Flat season and this colossus of a horse and on most rating systems he was a record breaker, his wins in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and his spectacular four-length victory in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on the inaugural British Champions Day being performances that will long live in the memory and his record breaking feats look sure to be continued in 2012.

Finally, no equine list of record breakers for 2011 would be complete without the inclusion of Goldikova. She won two Group 1 races in her final year of racing which extended her tally in very top-level races to 15. The six-year-old mare trained by Freddie Head, retired with a total prize-money total of £4,364,886, a record for a filly or mare trained in Europe.

Four very different horses but all ones from whom 2011 was a record breaking year.

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