Leading Contenders for The British Trainers’ Championship In 2024?

It has been an exciting start to the 2024 British Flat season. We have seen four of the opening British Classics, and with big meetings such as Royal Ascot, Glorious Goodwood and British Champions Day still to come, it is all to play for.

Here is a look at who are the leading contenders for the British Trainers’ Championship in 2024.

Aidan O’Brien

The 2023/24 British National Hunt Trainers’ Championship was won by an Irish-based trainer last season, as Willie Mullins was able to seal the top prize after landing the Champion Hurdle, Cheltenham Gold Cup, Grand National and Scottish Grand National. Aidan O’Brien could be set to make it a clean sweep for Ireland with the Flat title later this year.

O’Brien claimed his 10th Derby success when City Of Troy proved far too good for his rivals in the Epsom feature. 24 hours earlier, he also won the Coronation Cup with talented four-year-old Luxembourg.

The Ballydoyle trainer has been crowned the British Trainers’ Championship six times in his career, with his last success coming in 2017. After the start he has had made in 2024, it has given him a great platform to compete for title number seven this year, should he choose to push for it.

Andrew Balding

Ian Balding was successful in the British Trainers’ Championship in 1971 and his son Andrew is now bidding to replicate what his father achieved 53 years ago. With over 60 winners already in the campaign, Balding is off to a flyer.

Based at Kingsclere Stables, Balding’s numbers at his yard seem to increase every year. He is backed by many owners, including RaceShare. The three-time British Classic winner trains Scampi for the syndicate. Shares in a racehorse gift voucher can be purchased and then redeemed on Balding’s gelding right now. This would ensure you join Balding’s journey this season in his bid to win a maiden Trainers’ Championship.

One of Balding’s leading homes this season is Coltrane in the stayers’ division. He is going to be a big player in the Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Long Distance Cup. Those three races carry lucrative prize money, so success in either of those contests will be a huge boost towards his tally in the Trainers’ Championship.

Charlie Appleby


Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby won the opening British Classic of the 2024 Flat season when Notable Speech prevailed on the Rowley Mile in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. The talented colt will be a key horse for him in his bid to another Trainers’ Championship this season.

Appleby has such a strong yard that he will be well represented at all the leading meetings this season. His older horses, such as Rebel’s Romance, Siskany and Military Order, are all predicted to have big seasons in their respective divisions, while he has a strong batch of three-year-olds who could get better as the campaign progresses.

The British Flat season concludes on Saturday, 9th of November at Doncaster where prizes will be handed out to the Champion Trainer and Champion Jockey.

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Which are the longest, and oldest, horse races run in Britain?

Anyone with even a passing interest in horse racing is probably only too well aware that the longest race run under the Rules of Racing, on a modern, enclosed racecourse, is the Grand National. In the past decade or so, the advertised distance of the Aintree showpiece has been shortened twice, once in 2013, when the start was moved closer to the first fence for safety purposes, and again in 2016, as the result of a change to the measuring methodology employed by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA). Nevertheless, at 4 miles, 2 furlongs and 74 yards, the National remains the longest race of its kind run in Britain.

Likewise, the oldest ‘official’ race on the British racing calandar is the Doncaster Cup, which is run over 2 miles, 1 furlong and 97 yards on Town Moor during the St. Leger Festival in September each year. Fans of weekly free bet clubs will have enjoyed watching selections run in this prestigious race. Since 2003, the Doncaster Cup has been a Group 2 contest, but was inaugurated, as the Doncaster Gold Cup, run over 4 miles on Cantley Common, to the east of site of the modern racecourse, in 1766, before being transferred to the present venue a decade later.

However, if we consider all the horse races run anywhere in Britain, inside or outside the Rules of Racing, the Kiplingcotes Derby, which, according to popular belief, was established in 1519, pre-dates the Doncaster Cup by nearly two-and-a-half centuries. The race is run annually on the third Thursday in March, over 4 miles on an unconventional, occasionally hilly course consisting of roadside verges, country lanes and farmland, in the vicinity of Kiplingscote, a hamlet in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Unlike the Grand National or the Doncaster Cup, the Kiplingcotes Derby is open to horses of any age or ability.

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Saratoga Race Course: A Look at the Venue For The 2024 Belmont Stakes

Saratoga Race Course: A Look at the Venue For The 2024 Belmont Stakes  The 2024 Belmont Stakes will be held at the historic Saratoga Race Course, a venue synonymous with Thoroughbred racing for over 160 years. This relocation, due to renovations at Belmont Park, offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich heritage and charm of Saratoga Springs, New York.

A Storied History

Saratoga Race Course, located on Union Avenue in Saratoga Springs, is the oldest major sporting venue in the United States, having opened in 1863. Its roots trace back even further, to county fairs in the early 19th century, where the site hosted horse trials and exhibitions. The course was officially established by casino operator John Morrissey, who saw potential in Saratoga’s burgeoning racing scene and purchased land to create the now-famous venue.

The Birthplace of Champions and Upsets

Known as “The Graveyard of Champions,” Saratoga has witnessed several legendary upsets. Man o’ War, Gallant Fox, and Secretariat all suffered surprising defeats on this track, underscoring its unpredictable nature. This reputation adds an extra layer of excitement to every race held here, making it a perfect fit for the Belmont Stakes.

The Venue Layout

Saratoga Race Course is renowned for its unique track layout. The main dirt track, one of three at the venue, measures 1⅛ miles in circumference. Additionally, it features the Mellon Turf Course, a one-mile turf track, and an inner turf track. Steeplechase races are also a highlight, run on the inner turf course.

Another notable feature is the Wilson Chute, used for one-mile races. Originally dismantled in 1972 for parking expansion, it was resurrected in 2022, adding to the track’s versatility. The Oklahoma Training Track, located across Union Avenue, serves as a vital training ground and retains historical significance as the site of the original 1863 track.

The 2024 Belmont Stakes: A New Challenge

The relocation of the Belmont Stakes to Saratoga will see the race run at a shorter distance of 1 1⁄4 miles, compared to the traditional 1 1⁄2 miles at Belmont Park. This change, necessitated by Saratoga’s smaller track size, will likely influence race strategies and outcomes, offering an intriguing twist to this storied event. For those interested in placing wagers, FanDuel online betting offers a convenient platform to get involved and experience the thrill of the race from anywhere.

Unique Features and Traditions

Saratoga Race Course is steeped in traditions that enhance its unique charm. One such tradition is the hand-rung bell that signals jockeys to the paddock 17 minutes before each race. The venue also boasts a gazebo in the infield, which has become an iconic symbol of the course. Additionally, the Big Red Spring, located on the picnic grounds, provides patrons with a taste of Saratoga’s famous mineral waters.

Anticipation for the 2024 Belmont Stakes

The excitement surrounding the 2024 Belmont Stakes is palpable. The relocation has sparked curiosity among racing enthusiasts about how the shorter race distance and Saratoga’s unique track characteristics will affect the competition. The stakes are higher than ever, with the prize purse increased to $2 million, ensuring a thrilling race.


Saratoga Race Course, with its rich history and distinctive features, provides a fitting and exciting venue for the 2024 Belmont Stakes. This historic track, known for its charm and unpredictability, will undoubtedly add a unique twist to one of horse racing’s most prestigious events. As we look forward to June 8, the world will be watching to see how this venerable course shapes the Belmont Stakes’ future.


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Why is Chester Racecourse known as ‘The Roodee’?

Chester Racecourse is situated in the heart of the historic cathedral city in Cheshire, North West England, where it is contained within a loop of the River Dee, close to the Welsh border. Established in 1539, under the auspices of Mayor of Chester, Henry Gee, Chester Racecourse is the oldest active racecourse, not just in Britain, but anywhere in the world and is officially recognised as such by Guinness World Records. A tight, nigh on circular course, with a circumference of just nine furlongs, Chester also has the distinction of being the smallest racecourse in Britain.

Chester Racecourse is popularly known as ‘The Roodee’, with ‘Roodee’ being a corruption of ‘Rood Eye’, which translates as ‘Island of the Cross’. ‘Rood’ is a Middle English word, dating from before the twelfth century, which is derived from the Old English word ‘rod’, meaning ‘cross’. The latter, in turn, has its roots in Proto-Germanic, which is also the source of similar words in Old Norse, Old Frisian and Old Saxon. What’s the connection to Chester Racecourse? Well, the middle of the course features a stone cross, atop a raised mound, which is known to have existed since the Middle Ages. Legend has it that the cross marks the burial place of a statue of the Virgin Mary, supposedly tried and convicted of causing the death of the wife of the Governor of Hawarden, Lady Trawst.

Likewise, ‘Eye’ is derived from the Old English word ‘īeġ’ meaning ‘island’. The aforementioned cross was original built on a island in the River Dee, but years of silt deposition eventually turned the site of the original ‘Rood Eye’, or ‘Roodee’, into meadowland, which ultimately became the location the modern racecourse.

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