Is Ohio The Next Kentucky for Horse Racing?  Change is on the horizon. When the topic of horse racing surfaces, the mind often defaults to the rolling bluegrass hills of Kentucky. Yet, the landscape is shifting. Just beyond the horizon, Ohio casts a long shadow, poised to make its mark on this esteemed sport.

The Current State of Affairs

Ohio has long held an appreciation for equine endeavors, but it’s been a slow climb to recognition on a larger scale. With the state’s current progress, that recognition seems within reach. Ohio is home to several racing facilities, harness and thoroughbred alike. These venues are the cornerstones of Ohio’s expanding influence on the horse racing industry.

Growth and Development

Ohio’s commitment to growth and advancement in horse racing has been nothing short of commendable. An effort has been made to ensure the welfare of the racing animals, backed by stringent regulations. This focus on animal welfare not only mirrors but surpasses standards set in other established horse racing states.

Sports Betting Platforms

The presence of DraftKings Ohio, a popular sports betting platform, further emphasizes the state’s commitment to its racing industry. By expanding its offerings to Ohio, DraftKings acknowledges the potential that resides within the state. The platform’s involvement has contributed to a steady rise in attention and interest towards Ohio’s horse racing.

Harnessing Potential

The potential is abundant and Ohio has done an exceptional job of harnessing it. In recent years, Ohio’s horse racing industry has been marked by an increasing quality of competition and the emergence of high-quality thoroughbreds. All these aspects point to a state that is ready and willing to become a major player in the horse racing industry.

Ohio and Kentucky: A Study in Progress

There are striking similarities between Kentucky’s past and Ohio’s present status in horse racing. The parallels are evident, from their shared focus on animal welfare to their pursuit of quality competition. As Ohio continues to grow its industry, it’s clear that they are indeed treading a path once walked by Kentucky.

Embracing Innovation

Ohio’s rise in the horse racing industry is in part due to its willingness to embrace innovation. The state has been at the forefront of employing modern technologies to improve various aspects of the industry. The use of digital platforms, like DraftKings, for betting has opened up the industry to a broader audience, extending its reach and impact.

Expanding Horizons

Not content with just improving the existing standards, Ohio is also looking beyond. The state has invested heavily in the development of new racing facilities and the upgrading of existing ones. These improvements are a clear indication of Ohio’s determination to establish itself as a premier destination for horse racing. By providing state-of-the-art facilities, Ohio is making a statement about its commitment to the industry.

The Role of Community

A noteworthy aspect of Ohio’s horse racing growth is the role of the local community. Ohio’s people have embraced horse racing wholeheartedly, contributing to the sport’s development and growth in the state. The public’s enthusiasm is evident in the increasing attendance at races and the growing number of Ohioans involved in the horse racing industry. This level of community involvement is a significant factor in Ohio’s success and will likely continue to play a key role in its future growth.

The surge in community involvement, coupled with Ohio’s willingness to innovate, paints a promising picture. It suggests that Ohio has the potential to not only match Kentucky in terms of horse racing prestige but also pave its own unique path. The future of horse racing in Ohio looks brighter than ever.

The Future Outlook

What does the future hold for Ohio’s horse racing industry? Predictions are tricky, but the trends are positive. The involvement of major players such as DraftKings, the constant drive for growth, and the rise in quality all indicate a bright future. Ohio’s horse racing industry is undeniably on the rise, and time will only serve to solidify its position on the national stage.

The Bottom Line

As we come to a close, it’s evident that Ohio is carving its own niche in the horse racing industry. Comparisons aside, Ohio’s strides in horse racing are nothing short of significant. The question posed at the beginning is becoming less of a question and more of a statement of intent. Whether Ohio will become the next Kentucky for horse racing remains to be seen, but it is clear that Ohio is an emerging force to be reckoned with. The race is on, and Ohio is fast gaining ground.

Analysing the Cheltenham Gold Cup Favourites  The annual Cheltenham Festival is undoubtedly one of the key dates on the UK horseracing calendar. It attracts racing and betting fans in their thousands each year and those with an interest in the event often include royalty.

This year’s festival is scheduled to be held between the 14th and 17th of March and it will feature all of the usual celebrated races. They include the Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and the Turners Novices’ Chase.

Each of them contributes to the increasing global interest in the event. For all that though, it is the Gold Cup that represents the pinnacle of the Cheltenham Festival.

Popularity of the Cheltenham Festival

In recent times, this festival has been assuming an ever-higher place in the rankings of UK horseracing events. Arguably the biggest reason for that is just how action-packed it is.

With a championship race taking place every day, alongside six other supporting ones, there is no time for either the competitors or the punters to catch their breath. Furthermore, as top trainers and jockeys have flocked to Cheltenham to compete in the races, the worldwide enthusiasm for it has understandably grown.

The Gold Cup is the final championship race and is the most prestigious of them all. This is the one that every jockey and trainer particularly wants to win and also the race that attracts the most betting interest.

That will be the case again in 2023 and it means that anyone thinking of placing a bet will want to know which horses are ranked as favourites for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Galopin Des Champs

The current favourite for the race among the bookmakers is Galopin Des Champs, with odds of 13/8. He is trained by Willie Mullins, one of the top trainers in the business right now and the seven-year-old heads to Cheltenham in great form.

He won the John Durkan Memorial Chase at the end of last year and followed that up with an Irish Gold Cup triumph last month. That win by eight lengths suggests he has the stamina needed for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, even factoring in the additional two furlongs on that course.

Galopin Des Champs is looking for his first Gold Cup win at Cheltenham, but did come close to claiming victory in the Turners last year, only to fall at the final hurdle.

Noble Yeats

This eight-year-old horse has risen to become second favourite, at 8/1, and it is not hard to understand why. In just his second season he came from nowhere to beat the fancied Any Second Now at last year’s Grand National.

Going into the race with odds of 50/1, he levelled with the favourite near the end before pulling clear to win by 2 ¼ lengths. That has inevitably increased the interest in him and it will be the same man in the saddle – Sam Waley-Cohen – at Cheltenham.

He is confident that the Emmet Mullins-trained thoroughbred is even better now than he was at Aintree, and winning a first Gold Cup would cap a remarkable year.

A Plus Tard

The next horse to be considered a serious bet for this year’s Gold Cup is A Plus Tard. Trained by Henry De Bromhead, this horse is one of the few non-Irish contenders for 2023.

We certainly know he is capable of it, as he won the Gold Cup at last year’s event. Ridden by Rachael Blackmore, the French thoroughbred finished a remarkable 15 lengths ahead of the rest of the field in the 2022 Gold Cup.

Blackmore will be riding him again this year for the Cheveley Park stable and they have odds of 7/1 at the moment to repeat the triumph. It has not been a great season for him this time though, with his only race being the Betfair Chase last November, where he was pulled up.

It remains to be seen whether Blackmore can pull another top performance out of him at Cheltenham.

Minella Indo

Another previous Gold Cup winner is the 20/1 rated Minella Indo. The main reason why the 2021 champ is not rated higher by bookies is that he has not hit those levels since.

He is another Henry De Bromhead horse and is definitely less fancied than A Plus Tard. There are pundits who think he is an under-the-radar contender though, arguing that his season is built around the Gold Cup.

Outside of these four horses, there are Stattler and Shiskin, at 8/1 and 12/1. The former may have the lower odds, but it is the latter horse that caught the eye at the recent Ascot Chase.

Galopin Des Champs is odds-on favourite for a first Gold Cup, but any of these horses could win.

Looking Back At 3 Most Memorable Grand National Moments Of All Time  The Grand National tournament is arguably the most exciting horse race in the annual racing calendar. The fence presents a bigger challenge than other races in the UK, and the distances pose an endurance test to even tough horses.

For horse racing punters, the Grand National 888Sport offers the best odds from this April event. Besides the exciting betting opportunities the tournament presents, it offers some amazing moments worth watching. Here are the three most memorable Grand National moments in history.

The Fall of Devon Loch

The 1956 Grand National went down in history books as one of the most memorable horse racing moments of all time. Devon Loch was in the blink of winning this prestigious race but failed in the end. Riding the Queen Mother’s horse, Devon Loch fell and landed on his belly only a few yards to the winning post on the last final straight.

While Dick Francis attempted to cajole the horse, Loch could not finish the race. Much to the anguish of the hopeful jockey, ESB claimed the prize. The Queen Mother said that’s the nature of racing after the disappointment, although many theories floated around in an attempt to understand Lock’s strange behavior that day. However, nobody truly knows why the horse reacted that way at the Aintree racecourse.

Foinavon’s victory

How many racehorses can boast of claiming a historic win as they were the slowest in every competition of the day? Probably none, but Foinavon. The Irish racehorse won the 1967 Grand National despite being the outright underdog with pre-race odds of 100/1. In fact, both the horse owner and trainer weren’t in the stands during the race day.

Under normal circumstances, Foinavon stood no chance of winning, but this Grand National event yielded an unusual incident that gave him an excellent chance. Popham Down veered to his right during the 23rd fence and caused a huge pile-up, and most horses in the race were pulled down by it.

Being the slowest in the race, Foinavon could easily evade the chaos since he was lagging a little behind the others. He soon established a solid 309-lengtgh lead with only six fences left in the race. Many horses tried to make a comeback in the race, but that was in vain. Foinavon easily rode through the winning post with a huge margin.

Red Rum shocks everyone.

Red Rum is among the greatest names in UK’s horse racing history. Although he didn’t have a great start, trainer Ginger McCain believed in his ability and started training the horse on the sand. However, his first major victory was recorded in 1973 during the Grand National.

This win was quite memorable as his arch-rival, Crisp, led the race all the way and even took charge at one point with a whopping 30 lengths. By the last fence, Crisp was 15 lengths ahead of Red Rum. However, Red Rum didn’t give up. Instead, he came with a thundering speed, making up the difference during the final stretch.

The Ginger McCain-trained racer managed to outrank Crisp by ¾ of a length. The race is often considered among Grand National history’s closest and most exciting victory.

No horse put more distance between themselves and their rivals at the Cheltenham Festival come the finish line this year than Appreciate It.

He gave the premier National Hunt horse racing meeting’s winningest handler and multiple Irish champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins a seventh success in its opening race, which also opened the floodgates for the Emerald Isle. The tide swept almost all British horses away and powerful domestic stables like those of Ditcheat maestro Paul Nicholls and Dan Skelton went without any victories.

This trend continued into the Grand National meeting and in the world’s most famous steeplechase itself. Each of the first five home in the Aintree showpiece, and all but three of 15 finishers were trained in Ireland.

Besides being the winner of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival day 1, Appreciate It landed two Grade 1 races at Leopardstown on his side of the Irish Sea earlier in the season. Whatever happens at Punchestown at the end of the campaign, this is a seemingly seriously smart horse on paper based on his results going forward.

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A modern record margin of 24 lengths for Supreme success, if taken literally, suggests Appreciate It is a horse with the world at his feet. Closer scrutiny of his form may give a different impression, however. Appreciate It was sent off odds-on for three of his first four hurdles starts, so the market thought there wasn’t much in the way of opposition.

The two-mile novice hurdle division has been particularly weak this jumps season, then. Repeat victories over previous Grade 1 winner Ballyadam showed the superiority of Appreciate It, but there was a big chance for his rival to advertise that form when stepped up in trip at Aintree.


What happened instead was Ballyadam flopped, further denting the value of the Supreme. Appreciate It faced the smallest field in the race’s history with just seven rivals in total. The third home, For Pleasure, is a keen sort who also bombed out during the Grand National Festival.

There was also a final flight faller, Appreciate It’s stable companion Blue Lord, in the Supreme which may mean his comprehensive victory flatters him slightly. Nonetheless, bookmakers make him the early favourite for next year’s Arkle over fences. He is also prominent in the betting on the Marsh Novices’ Chase and could do no more than beat the horses put up against him.

Wins in an Irish point-to-point and in various National Hunt Flat races, plus second in the Champion Bumper, earlier in his career mean Appreciate It is clearly quite a versatile horse. Some of his prospective Arkle rivals could certainly be campaigned over longer trips if switching to fences, and you could also say the same about him.

Mullins initially had novice chasing in mind for Appreciate It long-term. Whether his exploits over the smaller obstacles could force his master trainer into a rethink and tilt at the Champion Hurdle next season remains to be seen. If tackling the Cheltenham Festival opening day feature, Appreciate It may end up against the formidable and currently unbeaten Henry De Bromhead trained mare Honeysuckle sooner or later.