2016 is shaping up to be a big year in horse racing with bigger prizes, higher stakes and a very competitive field. There’s plenty to look forward to and to keep you on the edge of your seat and your finger on the betting pulse in what promises to be the best year in horse racing yet.
Competition is fierce throughout the group races and the big events on the racing calendar promise to bring excitement and surprises along the way. There are, of course, the big name favourites to look out for this year but there are also a few new names and wild cards not to be written off in the big events. With more money than ever before up for grabs for the winners – 2016 will be a tight fought year.
The Big Events
As always, the racing calendar this year is packed with big racing events throughout the year. One of the first big events of 2016 will be the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, with the two-day ‘The Championship’ taking centre stage. The Championship, which has had a huge injection of $18million in prize money this year, is run over two consecutive weekend in April and attracts some of the best gallopers from Australia and worldwide. It now consists of the richest weight-for-age race, the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which will be run Saturday 9th April. The Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival is expected to bring in some of the biggest named horses and jockeys from all over the world so expect some upsets and close finishes.
Other big events in 2016 to keep an eye on include the Dirt and Dust Festival in April, Doomben 10,000 in May and Great Northern Prelude in June. The winter and spring racing festivals also promise to be excitement filled weekends.
The Ones to Watch
When it comes to horse racing, form is everything. There are a few standout jockeys and horses to keep an eye on so far this year that we expect great things from. So far in the jockey’s standings, William Pike and Dean Yendall are topping the leader boards with a high win rate and some impressive races already under their belt. Other jockeys making big impressions are James Orman and Damian Lane. If you see any of these names on the racing card then they are the ones you should keep an eye on.
Horses to watch in 2016 include the likes of Exosphere and Chautauqua but it is Winx who’s the one to really keep an eye on. The fan favourite will not run at Royal Ascot in England this year and instead will stay home to wow fans across Australia. Winx already has several impressive wins and places to her name and promises to make a big scene at some of the biggest events of the year. Relatively unknown horse, Blizzard Belle is also making a big name for itself so far in 2016. With not much known about the South African born horse but an impression win rate to boast; this one looks to be a true wild card at the big events.
Surprise Return for the General
Ambitious General is looking set to make a surprising return to the racing world, long after his own racing career finished. Ambitious General has been being looked after at Ross and Rhonda Clark’s Bellevue Stud at Goomeri in rural Queensland and has been a stock stud for his time there. However, the former Group 1 performer has sired his first big race winner in General Assault who won in a Doomben midweek two-year-old race on March 9. General Assault will run at the Gold Coast on Saturday in preference to Doomben as a lead-up to the $120,000 Capricornia 2YO Classic in Rockhampton on April 9. General Assault is Ambitious General’s only names foal but 2016 may see the general being studded with thoroughbred mares as interest in his fantastic bloodlines