Many Clouds won 12 of his 27 races under National Hunt Rules, including nine of his 18 steeplechases, and earned £928,000 in total prize money. However, the son of dual-purpose sire Cloudings will be forever immortalised as the winner of the Grand National in 2015.
A first winner of the world famous steeplechase for trainer Oliver Sherwood, but the second successive winner for jockey Leighton Aspell, after Pineau De Re in 2014, and a third winner for owner Trevor Hemmings, after Hedgehunter in 2005 and Ballabriggs in 2011, Many Clouds was attempting the National fences for the first time. Nevertheless, he had already proved himself a classy staying chaser, winning the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Betbright Cup prior to finishing sixth, behind Coneygree, in the Cheltenham Gold Cup en route to Aintree.
In the Grand National, he raced prominently throughout and, having been left in the lead by the fall of The Druids Nephew at the fifth last, galloped on relentlessly to win by 1¾ lengths from Saint Are, with Monberg Dude a further 6 lengths away in third. In so doing, Many Cloud, who carried 11st 9lb to victory, put up the best weight-carrying performance since Red Rum in 1974.
Less than two years after his Grand National triumph, in the Betbright Trial Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham, Many Clouds lowered the colours of King George VI winner and Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite, Thistlecrack, for the first time over fences. Tragically, having won by a head, Many Clouds collapsed after the finishing line and, despite immediate attention from racecourse veterinary staff, died.
A subsequent post mortem, conducted by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) with the permission of owner Trevor Hemmings and trainer Oliver Sherwood, revealed the cause of death as severe pulmonary haemorrhage. Sherwood said afterwards, “He was beaten at the last and fought back in the last 50 yards to get up and win. It’s sad for Trevor and the team at Rhonehurst. I’ve been in the game 32 years now and horses like him don’t come along very often.”
As with every year , 2018 has plenty of stand out moments and horses that really push it to the next level. Since we like to shine a light on racing success here at horsesandcourses.net , I figured that I would pick some of the racing moment and horses of 2018 that really shone and demonstrated equine excellence at its best. There are of course many to choose from and so in this edition I’m shining a light on a couple of the most successful fillies / mares from at home and abroad in 2018!
First off and most recent has to be Winx, whose achievements I recently highlighted on the site. We’re used to hearing of UK and US success, but not so much Australian. However, Winx, an Australian thoroughbred made global racing news (CNN, Racing Post etc) just days ago when she won the coveted Cox Plate for a record 4th time. This came as part of an ongoing run of 29 wins in a row. A stunning achievement and one I’m sure plenty of those betting on online casino and sports betting sites will have appreciated greatly. Check out this site to get place a wager. The Guardian highlighted the fact that Winx is held in such high regard in her home country that one Ebay user had even sold a bag of her droppings on the site for $200. It’s a crazy world! Winx is currently number one in the Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings.
Another highly respected ranking system is of course Timeform, of which Enable, the other mare that’s really stood out for me this year, is currently representing herself well. This British thoroughbred started as she meant to go on in 2017 by winning the likes of the Epsom Oaks, King George VI and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, but the real cherry on the cake was in winning the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, one of Europe’s most prestigious races, with none other than Frankie Dettori on board. In was 2018 that really confirmed this filly’s place in the history books though with a second win in the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in two years, making her the first England trained horse to win this event twice. With numerous ‘Horse of the Year’ awards under her belt, and career prize money of over £6 million and counting, the future looks very bright for Enable.
With 2018 soon coming to a close, what will 2019 hold in store for these two I wonder, and what other ‘New kids on the block’ will come through to stake a claim to racing greatness. Time will tell!
Winx, an Australian thoroughbred owned by Magic Bloodstock Racing, R G Treweeke & D N Kepitis, holds the distinction of winning a stunning 29 races in a row, dating from 16th May 2015 – the Group 3 Sunshine Coast Oaks to the Group 1 Cox Plate on 27th October 2018. In fact 22 of those races were Group 1 races, a record in its own right. Sh’es picked up various accolades as she goes (such as being inducted into the Australia Racing Hall of Fame).
Winx was bred by Fairway Thoroughbred in Australia and sold for $230,000 as a yearling in 2013. This surely has to now be seen as bargain of the century being that her current prize money total is almost $23,000,000 AU.
Winx’ career had got off to a flying start with three wins, but the next two years proved to be a bit more of a grind. It was mid 2015 when the mare really got into her stride with this winning streak that continues today. Group one races won during this period include the Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Australian Oaks and Cox Plate. The latter of which she won for a record fouth time in 2018 leading to CNN calling her a ‘Superstar Mare’ and ‘one of the greatest racehorses of all time’.
Such is the reputation of Winx that the Warwick Stakes was renamed to the Winx Stakes in her honour when she ran it in August 2018. Predictably Winx won the race, collecting $500,000 prize money in the process. It’s unsurprising that Winx is the leading earner in Australasian history. She’s also number one in the current Longines World’s Best Racehorse Rankings (October 2018) ahead of Gun Runner (US), Poet’s Word (IRE) and Crystal Ocean (GB).
With jockey Hugh Bowman on board for all but two of the current amazing run, he appreciates the magnitude of the moment. “I’m just proud to be part of this amazing story” he said, following the fourth record Cox Plate win. Even trainer of beaten Benbatl, Saeed bin Suroor called Winx ‘the best of the best’ following the win.