Tommos World of Racing
Swedish racing is getting bigger and better all the time and now comes the news that a new state of the art racecourse is being built just north of Stockholm at Bro Park and the launch day on Sunday 19th June will carry prize money of nearly 500,000 euros!
Bro Park which is situated next to one of the finest hotels and golf courses in Sweden will replace the old Taby Racecourse and will become the home of horseracing in the Swedish Capital!
Prestige races on the opening day will include both the Swedish 2,000 and 1,000 guineas, The Stockholm Stora Prix (Group 3) over 9 furlongs, the Zawawi Bro Park Sprint (listed) over 6 furlongs and the Bloomers Vase (listed) over 1 mile.
All these races will take place on the turf course which is 2,100 metres in circumference and there will be an 1800 metres dirt course on the inside.
The whole area is around 500 acres and there will be stabling and training facilities for 300 horses!
But to make the day even more special there will be an international lady jockeys event between the Scandinavians managed by Inez Karlsson and the Rest of the World Team who will be managed by Hayley Turner.
There will be 5 or 6 riders in each team and invites have gone out to some of the top lady jockeys including Michelle Payne who became the first woman to ride the winner of the Melbourne Cup in Australia, Danielle Johnson from New Zealnd, Emma Jayne Wilson from Canada, Chantelle Sutherland from the USA , Steffi Hoffer from Germany and Mary Jo Bell and Cathy Gannon from the UK/Ireland.
A crowd of around 10,000 is expected and a member of the Swedish Royal Family will hopefully make the official opening ceremony and present the trophy to the winning team.
It’s a great move by the Swedish Racing authorities and their investment is to be applauded!
Alan King is one of the finest trainers here in the UK and he had a dream day last Saturday winning the 3 big races at Cheltenham and 2 more at Doncaster.
Smad Place headed his hattrick at Cheltenham where he led all the way under the season’s leading jockey Richard Johnson to win the BetBright Trial Chase and stake his claim for a place in the line up of next months Cheltenham Gold Cup.
The flying grey finished ahead of the Grand National winner Many Clouds and his jockey told me he will have a great chance in next month’s Blue Riband of Steeplechasing!
Then his Yanworth kept his unbeaten record intact as he cruised home under Barry Geraghty who didn’t move a single muscle in the novice hurdle and he is now favourite for the Neptune Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.
And then his Annacotty who you remember won the Paddy Power chase back in November won a thrilling Freebets Trophy Chase and he could well line up in the Ryanair Chase at the Festival.
The longest winning distance of the day was 12 lengths and the horse who achieved this was Thistlecrack in the Cleeve Hurdle.
Colin Tizzard has got a real cracker on his hands here and this 8 year old is now a red hot favourite to win next month’s World Hurdle.
Sedgefield might be considered one of the smaller national hunt tracks in the UK but it is very well run and on Sunday a massive crowd braved the cold to turn out and pay homage to 91 year old Denys Smith.
When I left school I joined Denys Smith as his assistant trainer and I like to think what I learnt from him then has helped me in my many years of racing.
He trained many big winners both on the flat and over jumps – he sent out Red Alligator to win the 1968 Grand National under Brian Fletcher – and he trained winners of the Middle Park and the Lincoln Handicap.
150 of his old pals joined him for a celebratory lunch and there was a poignant moment when champion jockey elect Richard Johnson and all the other riders joined him in the winners enclosure at the track where he sent out 145 winners which is still a record to this very day!
And finally….it’s going to be a busy weekend for Tommo because on Friday I’ll be in Dubai for the Jebel Ali Stakes prep – can Silver Galaxy who won the race last year by 5 lengths win again – and then Emirates to Scotland for the Cheltenham Trials Day at Mussleburgh on Sunday!
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