Wednesday 16 January 2013

2012: A Year to Remember in Horse Racing

Looking back, it has been another eventful year in horse racing. Following are some of the highlights and lowlights, as well as a look at what can be expected going forward.

The Good

It was a year of champions at the Royal Ascot, with not one but two undefeated runners competing during one of the most noted social events of the British annual calendar. First up was Frankel in the Queen Anne stakes, winning by over 11 lengths and remaining undefeated. Frankel went on to win a total of 14 times in 14 starts before being retired still undefeated and put to stud in October. Following that spectacular opener was Black Caviar, who traveled halfway around the world to run in the Diamond Jubilee race on Saturday of the Royal Ascot. Expected to win by a similar Frankel, she ended by winning only by a nose after her jockey eased up on her in the final furlong, causing her to slow down. Nonetheless, a nose is a nose, and Black Caviar maintained her undefeated status with 22 wins in 22 starts. 

The Bad

Damien Oliver, the jockey of Melbourne Cup fame, has been banned from racing for ten months for betting on a rival horse during his competition at Raceway Victoria and for using a mobile phone in the jockeys’ room before the race. Allowed to continue riding through the Melbourne Spring Carnival before admitting to the bet, he nonetheless did not deny it when charges came to light, circumstances that have caused others to question Raceway Victoria’s handling of the scandal and why charges were not brought to light sooner. 

The Crusader

Peter V’Landys finally won his case with corporate betting houses in which he asserted that waging operators should pay a one and a half percent fee to the racing industry based on the turnovers rather than simply gross revenue. The race-fields case, on file since 2006, was decided by the High Court in V’Landys’ favor. While the case was being fought, the value of the percentage was estimated at $100 million, an amount that V’landys put aside and held in trust until a decision could be reached.


Royal Randwick returns to give Sydney a racecourse to admire, with partial opening of the redeveloped grandstand in April for the Australian Derby, and expected full grand reopening in the spring. In addition, Black Caviar is set to start Melbourne in February. Melbourne betting scandals are still ongoing. 

This post was prepared by the guys at Free Bookie Bets, an Australian horse betting website dedicated to hunting down the best free bookie bets for punters. If you'd like to score a free bet, they can sort you out.