Friday 16 October 2015

Champions Day dual set for clash of the season

We’ve been waiting all season for the clash between two of the leading milers in Europe, Solow and Gleneagles, and it does now look like that match up will take place on British Champions Day as Gleneagles has been declared at the 48-hour stage for the contest.
The two horses were first scheduled to meet at Goodwood in the Sussex Stakes in what was being billed as the latest Dual on the Downs. However, sadly, Aidan O’Brien’s runner was pulled out due to ground concerns. Solow stayed in the race and won by just under a length after going off the 2/5 favourite.
Solow is set for his sixth start of the season on British Champions Day where he has a 100% record in 2015, with notable victories coming in the Dubai Turf, Prix D’Ispahan, Queen Anne Stakes and Susses Stakes. The French-trained horse has had a break since Glorious Goodwood and is likely to go off as favourite at Ascot, even if Gleneagles does remain in the contest.
The 2015 season started so well for Gleneagles as he scored in the opening Classic of the season, the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket where he was ridden to success by Ryan Moore. He has only once run since then, though, winning the St James’s Palace Stakes.
Solow v Gleneagles could go down in the history books as a classic. Here is a look back at three of the great clashes over the years in horse racing:-
Arkle v Mill House – 1964 Cheltenham Gold Cup
Many people still view the race between Arkle and Mill House in the 1964 Cheltenham Gold Cup as the greatest clash in the history of horse racing. The match up did not fail to deliver. Arkle, the younger of the two, was able to beat the former champion as Ireland got the better of Great Britain in front of a huge audience on TV.
Red Rum v Crisp – 1973 Grand National
Just like ahead of the Grand National 2016 runners, you always hope for a quality field in the world’s most famous steeplechase - and in 1973 we got that. Red Rum was fancied to do very well in his first attempt at the Grand National but if he was to win the race, he had to beat the Australian champion Crisp who many Down Under felt was a sure thing for the 4m4f contest.
It turned out to be an absolute classic as both horses were in contention when passing the elbow and towards the finishing line. In the end it was Red Rum who just got up to score for the first of three wins in the Grand National.
Kauto Star v Denman - 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup
Stable mates Kauto Star and Denman caught the imagination of many outside the world of horse racing with their clash in the 2008 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Both had their admirers and opinion was divided about who was going to win the clash of styles. It was powerful and dominant Denman who won the race from the front, forcing his races, including Kauto Star, into submission as they could not live with him in one of the great Cheltenham Gold Cup runs.