Welcome to Arseonlineracing’s – 2021 – Who was the Best?
A few thoughts from the team on a select categories’ of who was the best of 2021…
Jockey of 2021 –
Rachael Blackmore – 21 Class 1 wins & 12 places in 2021, winning over £1.000.000 in prize money. Top Jockey at the Cheltenham Festival 2021 having won the Champion Hurdle, Ryanair Chase. Triumph Hurdle & Champion Bumper. Rachael also won the Grand National at Aintree…
I’ll have a word here for hard working and highly respected jockey Brian Hughes. Despite not having the access to the top level horses at the big meetings like some of his colleagues, he took the 2020/21 title to the wire against Harry Skelton, narrowly coming up short. Hughes has used this as extra motivation this season, taking in a huge amount of rides for some popular owners and trainers up north, and currently holds a lead of around 50 after a great Christmas period of racing. I admire his style on a horse, keeping things simple and smooth to get the best from his mount, he rarely finds himself in the wrong position during a race. Hopefully Hughes can continue the charge in the new year and land a well deserved maiden jockey’s championship.
My jockey of the year will have to be William Buick to have over 150 wins and lose the championship by 2 to Oisin Murphy on the last day of the season made sure we were kept on the edge of our seats until the penultimate race was over. It has to be one of the closest finishes to a championship in recent times.
Trainer of 2021 –
Charlie Appleby – Landing 30 Class 1 winners & 28 places in 2021. Won over £3,200,000 in prize money. Trained the winners of the Derby & Irish Derby. National Stakes, Dewhurst Stakes, King George VI & QE Stakes, Champion Sprint Stakes & the St Leger in the UK & Ireland in a stunning 2021…
Henry De Bromhead – What a terrific 2021 Henry De Bromhead has had. His golden year started with his golden Mare Honeysuckle landing the Champion Hurdle to get the ball rolling, the Champion Chase, Triumph Hurdle and a 1-2 in the Gold Cup followed. Then in April came another 1-2 in the big one, the Aintree Grand National. His relationship with Blackmore has been wonderful to watch. 10 Grade 1s…
Charlie Appleby – To win over 3.2m in prize money and land 30 Class 1 wins in the process is outstanding. But to win the Irish and uk Derby’s alongside the Dewhurst Stakes and the King George Vi and Queen Elizabeth Stakes along the way make it a more remarkable achievement.
Race of 2021 –
Irish Champion Stakes – Always one of the races I look forward to every year and in 2021 it served up another Leopardstown thriller. St Mark’s Basilica went head to head with Guineas winner Poetic Flare and Breeders Cup heroine Tarnawa. All three surged into the straight as shown by a spectacular camera angle. St Mark’s Basilica just had enough to repel his rivals in a three horse war for the line and boost his claim for horse of the year. It was a victory that will live long in the memory.
Meeting of 2021 –
Cheltenham Festival – The festival that came to racing’s rescue. With all the negative press that racing was under heading into the festival it proved to be a tonic for the sport. It was all lit up by one Jockey, a new hero for young and old, male or female, Rachael Blackmore. Her stunning exhibition of race riding was something to behold as she had the week of her life, ticking off the big races and putting our beloved sport in the headlines for the right reasons. There was some fantastic racing too with Allaho’s Ryanair romp being a particular highlight for me. Despite there being no crowds it was a memorable week, especially for the Irish!
York Ebor Festival – Having found myself in the fortunate position of having the week off, I thoroughly enjoyed the Ebor Festival this year, packed with some fantastic racing once again. Mishriff kicked things off with a stunning win in the Juddmonte on day 1, pushed out and winning by 6 lengths. We were also treated to another win by star stayer, Stradivarious, who despite not being as good as he perhaps was, showed all heart to win the Lonsdale Cup. Winter Power blasted clear to win the Nunthorpe for local trainer Tim Easterby, as the favourites fluffed their lines. Added to that was some decent winners by old favourites such as Space Blues, Copper Knight and Sam Cooke, It’s easy to see why this meeting is high on my shortlist next season.
Horse of 2021 –
Creative Force – I do like a horse that rises’ from Handicaps to Group winner & Creative Force did just that in 2021. He won 2 Class 2 6f Handicaps starting from a mark of 89. Winning his first 4 races, including the 6f Carnavon Stakes (Listed) at Newbury before taking the Group 2 Jersey Stakes, 6f at Ascot. Yes he suffered 3 defeats but that’s all part of learning & ended 2021 by winning the Group 1 British Champion Stakes, 6f, at Ascot in October. From a mark of 89 to 118….
Judicial has been a star for Elite Racing Club, setting the club record in the white and black silks, earning his 17th career win in the Listed Queensferry Stakes at Chester this past summer over 6 furlongs. Jude also placed on a further 2 occasions at that level this season, proving to be almost as good as ever despite his advancing years. At the age of 10 in the new year, it remains to be seen if he can reach the 20 win milestone, but you certainly wouldn’t rule him out of another sprint success for the top Julie Camacho team at Star Cottage.
Stallion of 2021 –
With the passing of Galileo we were sad when the news broke but it did give a glimpse of hope when Frankel stepped up to the plate and scooped the prize normally set aside for Galileo as the top Sire of 2021 and hopefully he will continue to carry the can in years to come.
As 2021 ends & 2022 begins, we as horse racing fans have plenty to look forward too….
An Arseonlineracing Publication – December 2021
Pictures – Via Twitter & File