10 Super Moments in Horse Racing From The Past 50 Years
Over the 50 years, Horse Racing has given its spectators a number of surprising events, but in all of these moments, we’ve picked out 10 super moments to talk about.
From thoroughbred performances to legendary trainers to award-winning jockeys all feature in our list of these magical moments which had left many punters, spectators and just sports viewers in great awe.
Red Rum’s first win at the 1973 Grand National
In 1973, spectators saw one of the greatest racecourse comebacks in racing history which also birthed the rise of a renowned horse. With only a few fences left, Red Rum was 20 lengths down of runaway leader Crisp, who appeared to be headed for victory. But as they neared the finish line, Crisp—who was carrying the bigger load of victory became weary. Red Rum sprinting in from behind gradually pulled him in and overtook him for the first position just before the line in front of a cheering Aintree crowd. The next year, Red Rum successfully defended his Grand National championship, making him the only three-time winner in history—a distinction he still holds today.
Secretariat’s Triple Crown at the 1973 Belmont Stakes
Secretariat’s winning time is still a Belmont record even though this race raced almost 50 years ago. Secretariat not only outperformed the competition, but he also won the race by an unbelievable 31 lengths apart from his co-runners. That fact that he also ran so strongly in the final two furlongs that it took two more to catch up to him, has documented this as an ‘incredible showcase’ in horse racing history. Incredibly, Secretariat smashed the speed records in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, giving him the first Triple Crown since 1948. His barnstorming triumph also gave him the first Triple Crown since 1948. Fans believe the winning Tote tickets are more valuable as keepsakes of this historic victory, so they have not been claimed.
1975 “Race of the Century” King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes
Grundy and Bustino, two of Europe’s top horses, engaged in a dramatic clash at Ascot in one of the sport’s most eagerly anticipated showdowns. In the last furlong, Bustino and Grundy were neck-and-neck; however, Bustino regained the lead thanks to his endurance. Grundy, though, managed to outrun his competitor in a frantic finish and set a new course record that would remain for 35 years. Both soon retired as a result of the intense nature of the race.
Affirmed vs. Alydar Incident at the 1978 Belmont Stakes
One of the greatest rivalries in horse racing history came to a close in the year 1978 Belmont Stakes. Affirmed defeated Alydar by a length and a half in the Kentucky Derby, before going on to defeat him once again by a neck in the Preakness Stakes to win and setting up chances to win the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes. It appeared as though Alydar, according to many popular Kentucky Derby Betting odds, may win the race a third time as Affirmed appeared to slow down and dropped behind by a nose before the stretch as the two horses led the field, neck-and-neck, throughout the whole race. However, it took a late surge of momentum brought on by a change of whip hand, for the last Triple Crown to be won in 37 years was won by Affirmed.
Shergar dominance at the 1981 Derby
Shergar started the 1981 season strong, including a decisive victory at Sandown; however, few anticipated such a dominant performance. As he rounded the final bend, Shergar opened up a huge lead, with BBC commentator Peter Bromley proclaiming that there’s only one horse in the racecourse, and spectators would need a telescope to see the rest. Although slowing as he approached the finish line, Shergar’s 10-length gap of victory remained.
Arazi’s explosive comeback at the 1991 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile
Arazi made an amazing comeback during one of Churchill Downs’ most historic races, prompting a stunned announcer to declare that “he’s a superstar.” The French two-year-old colt, who had begun slowly and was around 12 lengths behind the leader, suddenly started to run past the other horses as if they were standing still, and on the last bend, Arazi easily passed the leader. One of the most astounding performances in the history of the sport was capped by him winning by a comfortable five lengths despite slowing down as he neared the finish line.
Makybe Diva’s hat trick at the 2005 Melbourne Cup
Makybe Diva, who not only set a record by winning the Melbourne Cup three times but also by doing it in back-to-back years, is one of the few horses in history to have dominated a single race. She won the Melbourne Cup the following year after becoming the first mare to win the Sydney Cup and Melbourne Cup in the same season in 2003. In the 2005 race, she started at the back of the field and gradually made up ground before making her move on the final straight. As she crossed the finish line, the crowd erupted in big applause for the incredible performance.
Kauto Star’s revenge at the 2008 & 2009 Cheltenham Gold Cup
In recent years, a renowned rivalry in racing involved two stablemates. Kauto Star, who had won the 2007 Cheltenham Gold Cup and started the 2008 race as the favorite, suffered a shocking loss when another horse trained by Paul Nicholls, Denman, won by seven lengths. Although there was a lot of anticipation for the 2009 race, many anticipating a competitive race were shocked when Kauto Star put on an impressive display, defeating second-placed Denman by 13 lengths and becoming the first horse to win back the Gold Cup.
Frankel is 15 lengths ahead in of others 2011
In 2011, Frankel dominated the field at one of the sport’s most important contests at Newmarket, putting on one of the most impressive performances in British racing history. Taking a commanding lead early on and expanding it to 15 lengths at the halfway point of the race, Frankel won by a margin that was the widest since 1947 and was deemed “barely believable” at the time. With this victory being the sixth in an undefeated 14-race career, this was also no passing fad.
American Pharoah Claimed Triple Crown at the 2015 Belmont Stakes
American Pharoah’s outstanding performance put an elegant end to the sport’s 37-year Triple Crown drought. He won the Preakness Stakes with ease after narrowly winning the Kentucky Derby at a time when many questioned whether all three races could ever be won in the same season once more. Leaning back in the gate caused him to get out to a slow start at Belmont, which led to renewed misgivings, but he rebounded to win by five and a half lengths, finishing the course quicker than any horse since Secretariat in 1973.