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    I’ve just been reading the Racing Post’s 100 Greatest Races and with the prospect of another great race on Friday in the Gold Cup, I thought I’d make this thread and ask you all what you think your top 10 favourite races would be. I realise this is a tough task especially for people who have been following the sport for a long time but I’m interested to see which races you’d choose. In the end because I like both codes of racing I had to make two separate lists, one for flat races and the other for National Hunt. Before I show you my top 10 lists here’s the top 10 races in the Racing Post book:

    1. 1989 Gold Cup (Desert Orchid) 2. 1973 Grand National (Red Rum)
    3. 1975 King George (Grundy) 4. 1986 Arc (Dancing Brave)
    5. 1986 Gold Cup (Dawn Run) 6. 1964 Gold Cup (Arkle)
    7. 2001 Irish Champion Stakes (Fantastic Light)8. 1984 Whitbread Gold Cup (Special Cargo) 9. 1990 Breeders Cup Mile (Royal Academy) 10. 1977 Templegate Hurdle (Night Nurse & Monksfield)

    Here’s my favourite races, some of them may bring back good memories for some of you as well. I have rambled on a bit about them so I apologise for length of this.

    National Hunt

    10. 1993 Supreme Novice Hurdle – Montelado

    Montelado left a big impression on me when he won the Supreme Novice Hurdle in 1993. The way he powered away from the field after jumping the second last flight was really exciting to watch. I remember thinking back then that he would win the Champion Hurdle the following season. Unfortunately, after this victory he never performed to his best again due to injury problems.

    1993 Supreme Novice Hurdle – Montelado[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    9. 1995 Melling Chase – Viking Flagship

    If you want to watch an exciting finish to a race then you need not look any further than the 1996 Melling Chase. The race featured the ultra tough, two time Champion Chase winner Viking Flagship, a previous Champion Chase winner in Deep Sensation and the up and coming Martha’s Son who had won his last nine races over fences. Martha’s Son was the favourite and looked like the winner when he jumped to the front at the second fence. However, Deep Sensation came right at him on the inside rail and between them Viking Flagship was fighting on as usual under Adrian Maguire. They all jumped the last together (which was a great sight) and fought to the line. Deep Sensation got away from the fence the best and it looked like for once that he would beat his old rival. However, VP fought back and just nailed DS on the finish line. Great stuff.

    1995 Melling Chase – Viking Flagship[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    8. 2003 Stayers Hurdle – Baracouda

    It was fascinating watching this vintage renewal of the Stayers Hurdle unfold between the defending champion Baracouda, high class novice Iris’s Gift & the brilliant front runner from Ireland Limestone Lad. Entering the home straight it was between the three of them. Baracouda took it up and jumped the last flight in the lead as LD was beginning to fade. It looked like Baracouda had the race won but as usual with him he started to idle in front and IG started fighting back up the hill. It turned out to be a great finish between the two of them with the French horse hanging on to the line.

    2003 Stayers Hurdle – Baracouda[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    7. 1994 Emblem Chase – Remittance Man

    When Remittance Man lined up for the 1994 Emblem Chase he hadn’t run a race for fifteen months due to injury. Being a huge fan of the horse I was obviously eagerly anticipating this race, hoping that he would run well and that nothing would go wrong. To be honest I wasn’t expecting victory because he was up against the reigning Champion Chaser Deep Sensation & the very useful Wonder Man. RM & DS were carrying level weights but WM was receiving half a stone from both and was made favourite. In the end I had no need to be concerned because RM showed his class with a superb round of jumping. He ended up winning the race easily with DS in second. It was a fantastic performance considering the length of time he had been away from the racetrack and I was delighted to see him run so well.

    1994 Emblem Chase – Remittance Man[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    6. 2005 Victor Chandler Handicap Chase – Well Chief

    Heading in this race I was feeling Well Chief wasn’t getting the credit he deserved for his superb run behind Moscow Flyer & Azertyuiop in the Tingle Creek Chase. A lot of people were saying that WC didn’t deserve the rating he had been given at Sandown for his third place finish and being a fan of the horse since his novice chase days I thought this was unfair. Thankfully, on this day in the Victor Chandler he proved just how good he was with a magnificent weight carrying performance to defeat the very good Thisthatandtother. I was thrilled for the horse and he did get a lot more respect after this victory.

    2005 Victor Chandler Handicap Chase – Well Chief[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    5. 1999 Stayers Hurdle – Anzum

    Anzum’s starting price for the 1999 Stayer’s Hurdle was 40-1 and I backed him so obviously this race holds great memories for me!
    It looked on paper a match between the brilliant mare Lady Rebecca and the gambled on Irish challenger Le Coudray but I remembered Anzum finishing second in the previous years renewal and I thought 40-1 was a decent price about the horse. Rounding the home bend and into the straight Lady Rebecca & Le Coudray were head to head and the crowd were getting very excited. Le Coudray looked the stronger of the two as they jumped the last flight and he began to draw away up the hill. I hadn’t really been paying any attention to the front two because I had been watching Anzum slowly reeling them in for quite a while. I knew he stayed all day and just as it looked like Le Coudray had the race in the bag Anzum came with a late rush a nicked it on the line. I lost my voice through all of the shouting, this was the largest priced winner I’d ever had! It’s quite funny watching the race back now, the crowd are going crazy over the prospect of Le Coudray winning and when Anzum pips him on the line the place goes completely silent. I think I might have been the only person cheering for him in the whole country!

    1999 Stayers Hurdle – Anzum[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    4. 2000 Racing Post Chase – Gloria Victis

    Gloria Victis put up one of the most exciting performances that I have ever seen from a chaser in the 2000 Racing Post Chase. The way he attacked his fences and destroyed the opposition from the front & carrying top weight was just so impressive. Marlborough was a well beaten second that day and he was certainly no slouch. Sadly, we know that this was GV’s last victory and that he was never to realise his full potential.

    2000 Racing Post Chase – Gloria Victis[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    3. 1990 King George Chase – Desert Orchid

    By the time of the 1990 King George I had only been following racing for a year and a half but I had already become a big fan of Dessie just like the vast majority of racing fans. He was attempting to win a record fourth KG and even though he had run poorly on his first two starts of the season he was still made favourite for the race. For the first circuit and part of the next Dessie had to make do with running in second place behind Sabin Du Loir. Then at the seventeenth fence (I think) Sabin Du Loir fell. Dessie looked much happier in the lead after that and rounding the home bend into the straight he only had Toby Tobias to beat. He cleared away up the straight to win with the crowd going mad. It was the first time I’d heard such a loud response from the crowd and it really added to the excitement of the race. I got into racing after his famous Gold Cup triumph so for me Dessie’s fourth King George has always been my personal favourite victory of his.

    1990 King George – Desert Orchid[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    2. 2004 Tingle Creek Chase – Moscow Flyer

    I’m sure it will be a long time before I see a 2m chase that involves three horses in it as good as Moscow Flyer, Azertyuiop & Well Chief again. The build up chat revolved around Azertyuiop & MF. Many thought that MF would be to old (me included) to defeat the younger reigning Champion Chaser Azertyuiop. WC wasn’t really considered to be a threat to the big two however I was hopeful that he could rise to the challenge. I had been very impressed with his victories as a novice in the Arkle Chase and then at Aintree. The useful Cenkos led the field along to the railway fences and then MF took over and when he hit the front the crowed roared. At that point my heart started racing and when I saw Azertyuiop & Well Chief both travelling strongly in behind I was just so excited to watch what the outcome of the race would be. At the pond fence MF jumped it best and from then on Azerty & Well Chief couldn’t land a blow. In fact after the last fence it looked like WC was going to finish second but Azerty came back at him up the hill to snatch that position. It was a privalege to watch such a fantastic race and we were lucky to have three outstanding 2m chasers around at the same time.

    2004 Tingle Creek Chase – Moscow Flyer[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    1. 1992 Champion Chase – Remittance Man

    The headlines in the newspapers read “Man vs Boy” for the 1992 Champion Chase. They were referring to the exciting match up between Waterloo Boy & Remittance Man. WB was in the best form of his career after winning the Tingle Creek, Victor Chandler & Game Spirit Chases. RM had only ever been defeated once over fences when he finished third in the King George after appearing not to stay the trip. The previous years winner Katabatic was also running but he was being overlooked a little bit with all the talk about WB & RM. I was really excited about the race mainly due to the fact that I was a fan of both RM & WB. Unfortunately for me during the 90’s up until 1997 I had to be at school during the Cheltenham Festival, which was extremely frustrating! Thankfully, my Dad recorded the races that I missed so that I could watch them when I got home. I have him to thank for my collection of Festival races that I’ve put on Youtube recently! Anyway, the race itself didn’t disappoint. The Martin Pipe trained Star’s Delight set a steady pace right the way through until they started running down the hill towards the third last fence. From then on they ran flat out and it became really exciting. At the second last WB & RM jumped it together a fought all the way to the last fence when RM assumed control and jumped it brilliantly (as usual). He had seen off WB but then Katabatic came to challenge although he could never land a blow to RM who stayed on strongly up the hill. This has always been my favorite national hunt race probably because I was such a huge fan of Remittance Man and this was his most notable victory. IMO had it not been for injury he would have been a multiple winner of the race.

    1992 Champion Chase – Remittance Man[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    Top 10 Flat Races

    10. 1992 Sussex Stakes – Marling

    This was a proper clash of the generations between the top 4 year old miler Selkirk and the high class three year old filly Marling. Selkirk was the previous years winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes and he had won well on his reappearance in the Lockinge Stakes. Marling had been undefeated as a two year old and would have been undefeated at the three as well if she had had better luck in running behind Hatoof in the 92′ 1000 Guineas. It had the makings of a great race and that’s exactly what it turned out to be. At the business end the two of them fought out a magnificent finish with Marling just prevailing under a strong drive from Pat Eddery.

    1992 milers part 1[/url:3hvk5tuj]1992 milers part 2[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    9. 1997 King George & Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes – Swain

    It was billed as “The Race Of The Decade” and looking at the main three contenders you wouldn’t have disagreed at the time. Helissio was the previous years impressive Arc winner, Pilsudski was a winner of a Breeders Cup Turf and Eclipse & Singspiel had won the Japan Cup, Dubai World Cup & Coronation Stakes. Given good ground this was going to be a classic…then the rain arrived and the ground softened up a lot. I didn’t think it would make much difference at the time and I was really excited about the prospect of these champions racing each other. Entering the home straight it looked like the big three were going to fight it out but then the soft ground played it’s part and the 14-1 shot Swain enjoyed the conditions and stayed on to beat Pilsudski. Of course Swain proved himself a very high class horse the following season so this was no fluke. Although, given good ground I’ve always been pretty confident that Singspiel would have won that day.

    1997 King George[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    8. 1991 Irish Derby – Generous

    Two outstanding three year olds around at the same time racing each other, it doesn’t get much better than this. Generous had won the Derby in great style, Suave Dancer had showed a scintillating turn of foot to win the French Derby and so the Irish Derby was the decider. Alan Munro was first to commit on Generous with Walter Swinburn following behind on Suave Dancer. The battle commenced and as hard as Suave Dancer tried he couldn’t get past Generous who ended up winning well. After this Generous won the King George in tremendous style, Suave Dancer went on to win the Irish Champion Stakes and then he got his revenge on Generous when he won the Arc. They were both outstanding racehorses.

    Generous & Suave Dancer Part 1[/url:3hvk5tuj]
    Generous & Suave Dancer Part 2[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    7. 2003 1000 Guineas – Russian Rhythm

    In the build up to the 2003 1000 Guineas I was convinced that it was a pretty vintage year and so it proved after the race. The finishing order was 1st Russian Rhythm (4 time Group 1 winner) 2nd Six Perfections (Breeders Cup Mile) 3rd Intercontinental (Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf) 4th Soviet Song (multiple Group 1 winner) 5th Hanami (Pretty Polly Stakes) 6th Casual Look (Epsom Oaks) 8th Yesterday (Irish 1000 Guineas). As well as being a top class renewal it also turned out to be a very controversial race. Six Perfections looked incredibly unlucky in running and at the time there was quite a bit of debate as to whether the french filly would have won the race with a clear run.

    2003 1000 Guineas – Russian Rhythm[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    6. 1993 2000 Guineas – Zafonic

    The best performance that I’ve seen from a racehorse in any Guineas was in 1993 when Zafonic won the 2000 Guineas. I remember watching Zafonic and Barathea cruise up to the front of the field on the far side of the track. Then Graheme Goode came out with the great line “Zafonic on the left is ABSOLUTELY PULLING DOUBLE!!!”. Which he was and then he displayed a stunning turn of foot to clear away from Barathea (a future Breeders Cup Mile winner). It’s a shame we never saw the best of him again but he left a big impression anyway with this performance.

    1993 2000 Guineas – Zafonic[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    5. 1989 Derby – Nashwan

    I’ve always been biased towards Nashwan and this race because it was the first ever horse race I watched. From that day onwards I’ve been a horse racing enthusiast so this race has always been special. Of course it helped that Nashwan happened to be an outstanding racehorse with such a fantastic powerful stride and brilliant turn of foot. Which he displayed with great effect when he stormed clear to win the 1989 Derby. It will be a very long time before we see a horse win the 2000 Guineas, Derby, Eclipse & King George in the same season again.

    1989 Derby – Nashwan[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    4. 2000/2001 Breeders Cup Classic – Tiznow

    I’m going to cheat a bit and pair these two races together because I have the same feeling for both them. In 2000 I cheering on Giant’s Causway & in 2001 it was Sahkee and both were denied by that ultra tough American horse Tiznow. Yet I include them in my favorite races because they were just so exciting to watch and a lot of the excitement in both races was heightened by Tom Durkin’s outstanding commentary. In 2000 I was really enjoying the Breeders Cup. Johannesburg had won the Juvenile & Kalanisi had triumphed in the turf so by the time of the Classic I was hoping for a big run from Giant’s Causway. Obviously, I was nervous about the dirt surface as you never know whether they will act on it or not but other than that I thought he had a decent chance. He was in touch throughout and entering the home straight Tiznow took control and then GC came with his challenge and that’s when Tom Durkin commentates in a menacing voice “AND HERE COMES GIANT’S CAUSWAY FOR IRELAND ON THE OUTSIDE”. At that point I thought GC was going to win as he was just so tough in a finish but Tiznow seemed to out battle him to the line. It was only after the race that it was said that M.Kinane got his whip caught in the reins which made GC ease off. Did that cost him the race? We’ll never know but he lost nothing in defeat that day.
    Fast Forward a year and it was Sahkee’s turn to have a go. He was an outstanding racehorse that season winning the International and the Arc in stunning style. Europe was also represented by the brilliant Galileo but unfortunately he didn’t handle the dirt surface. Sahkee did though and he got even closer to winning than GC had a year before. In fact, when he took the lead at the top of the stretch it looked like he had the race won. But hats off to Tiznow who once again dug deep and clawed his way back to just win on the line. Once again Tom Durkin’s commentary was magnificent, it’s a shame we can’t say the same about Trevor Denman!

    2000 Breeders Cup Classic[/url:3hvk5tuj]
    2001 Breeders Cup Classic[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    3. 1991 Breeders Cup Juvenile – Arazi

    I can’t imagine that I’ll ever see a performance on a racetrack quite like this again. Arazi was an outstanding & unbeaten two year old when he lined up for the 1991 Breeders Cup Juvenile. However, he had a horrible draw right on the outside (14 of 14) and he had never run on dirt before. After the first few furlongs it looked like he was hating the experience, he had broken slowly and was right out at the rear of the field. Then, when they were making there way along the back stretch Arazi made a forward move that just defied belief. He cut through his opposition like a knife through butter and moved up to challenge the leader Bertrando. Well, actually he didn’t really challenge the American horse he just ran right past him! He then carried on moving further and further clear down the home straight as Tom Durkin shouted the words “HERE INDEED IS A SUPERSTAR!”. Arazi was a superstar on that day.

    1991 Breeders Cup Juvenile – Arazi[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    2. 1990 Nunthorpe Stakes – Dayjur

    In the 1990 season Dayjur dominated the sprint division in a way that hasn’t been matched since. He was impressive in all of the races that he contested over sprint distances but for me his victory in the 1990 Nunthorpe was his best. He broke from the stalls brilliantly and assumed control of the race straight away. From then on he was just majestic as he powered along the York straight. At the final furlong marker he surged clear and beat the then track record by a second. The record he set that day still stands today and will for a long time to come. With Dayjur I don’t just say he’s the best sprinter that I’ve seen I say he’s got to be one of the best that anyone has ever seen.

    Dayjur King Of Sprinters Part 1[/url:3hvk5tuj]
    Dayjur King Of Sprinters Part 2[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    1. 1989 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – Zilzal

    I’ve always felt that the 1989 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes was an underrated race. After all, it featured the clash between the best miler in England (Zilzal) and the best miler in France (Polish Precedent). Both of them were undefeated and this was going to be the race that proved who the ultimate champion miler of 1989 was. Also running was Distant Relative who had been defeated by Zilzal earlier in the season but had gone on to win his next three starts, so he had to be respected as well. There were only five runners entered for the race with no confirmed front runner so Walter Swinburn made the running on Zilzal. As they turned into the home straight Polish Precedent was asked to go and pass Zilzal but the English champion found a superb turn of foot to put a few lengths distance between himself and the French challenger. He maintained the gap all the way to the finish line and won the race impressively. Polish Precedent finished second ahead Distant Relative in third. I’ve always maintained that Zilzal’s performance that day is as good as any performance that I’ve seen from any miler since. Unfortunately, he only ran six times in his career and so he doesn’t get mentioned with a lot of other great milers.

    1989 Milers[/url:3hvk5tuj]

    • Total Posts 3901

    That Tingle Creek still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up!

    What a race.

    • Total Posts 226

    That Tingle Creek was the definative race of that generation. (shame about the corny music in the video, Holty and the Sandown crowd alone provided the perfect soundtrack)

    Although were it for fate, this race would have preceded many a Gold Cup win for Jair Du Cochet … re=related

    His last race is important to me as it was a poignently standout performance on it’s own but I don’t think there will ever be another horse who could gallop and jump so beautifully. In terms of class and aesthetics, Jair Du Cochet was one in a billion.

    • Total Posts 226

    Btw. Brilliant post Arazi!

    • Total Posts 1688

    Too many to count for mine. Because I did an enormous overview of the Breeders’ Cup greatest moments I would be a little biased.

    • Total Posts 3494

    Six months of expectant waiting
    puts Red Rum at the top
    of my hottest shopping list.
    So so exciting
    my hair stood up and
    my chair almost levitated.

    A little careworn woman
    from Bagnolet
    packed cucumber sandwiches
    and a pate filling
    for her exotic channel trip,
    all carefully planned
    wirth a small half bottle of beau
    packed right way up.

    It was a slow slow crossing
    even more so for the captain’s handlebar
    that caught the crosswind
    but all made up for later by
    Zilzal as he shook the Ascot oak
    just past the bend
    and left france in a demi sec
    thrilling the half cut jeans
    off the little lady
    whilst her ra ra
    exploded the silver ring

    • Total Posts 2924

    Sublime, Sir!

    I am in awe.


    • Total Posts 1688

    8. 1991 Irish Derby – Generous

    Two outstanding three year olds around at the same time racing each other, it doesn’t get much better than this. Generous had won the Derby in great style, Suave Dancer had showed a scintillating turn of foot to win the French Derby and so the Irish Derby was the decider. Alan Munro was first to commit on Generous with Walter Swinburn following behind on Suave Dancer. The battle commenced and as hard as Suave Dancer tried he couldn’t get past Generous who ended up winning well. After this Generous won the King George in tremendous style, Suave Dancer went on to win the Irish Champion Stakes and then he got his revenge on Generous when he won the Arc. They were both outstanding racehorses.

    To the wonders of the internet, and specifically YouTube – we salute you!

    What a story.

    • Total Posts 3777

    The 1971 2,000 Guineas shoot out between Brigadier Gerard, Mill Reef and French trained, top rated European 2 year old, My Swallow, remains a particular favourite of mine.

    Gambling Only Pays When You're Winning

    • Total Posts 1688

    Arazi – I’ll take a guess and say you are Arazi12 on YouTube? Thanks for the videos! I’m loving these. Any more?

    Seventy Four
    • Total Posts 155

    The 1971 2,000 Guineas shoot out between Brigadier Gerard, Mill Reef and French trained, top rated European 2 year old, My Swallow, remains a particular favourite of mine.

    Yes, that was a very good race which the great Brigadier Gerard won comfortably. :D

    One minor point though – was My Swallow not trained by Paul Davey at Newmarket for the television tycoon David Robinson ? It is certainly true that My Swallow was the top-rated two year old of 1970, possibly because he beat Mill Reef by a short head in the Prix Robert Papin (maybe wrong about the actual race title),which is perhaps where the French connection came in.

    Personally (and I expect flames for this), I always felt that Mill Reef was over-rated, especially in relation to Brigadier Gerard. The fact remains that Brigadier Gerard beat Mill Reef very decisively (by 3 lengths) that day at Newmarket and I’d always have backed him against Mill Reef (though not a betting man). Mill Reef’s performance in scrambling home in the Coronation Cup at Epsom by a neck from Homeric as a 4 year old was certainly nothing special, and I always felt that the Brigadier had improved by far more.

    • Total Posts 3777

    My Swallow – my mistake and my apologies. :oops: Must be my age or something. :oops: :lol: Probably confused by the French race right enough. :?

    I happen to disagree with you about Mill Reef. Although I was a huge Brigadier fan, and let’s face it, he was nigh unbeatable over a mile – the fact remains that Mill Reef remained unbeaten over a mile and half and won the Derby, Eclipse (by 4L, King George (by 6L) and Arc in great style. He was a tremendous little horse and just for the record, Joe Mercer ( Brigadier Gerard’s jockey) has always maintained that Mill Reef would have been too good for The Brigadier over 12 furongs. I happen to agree with him.

    Gambling Only Pays When You're Winning

    Seventy Four
    • Total Posts 155

    I respect your opinion Himself and that is what makes this so much fun – we will all have different views on horses and races, and I doubt whether many people are prised away from their own original stance on a topic.

    Certainly, I accept that some of my views do not go down well with some people – but it would never stop me expressing them or remaining true to my feelings (for example, the absolutely ridiculous hype re Kauto Star and Denman which I have written about elsewhere – cue intervention from Fist of Fury ! :wink: ).

    It’s great to realise at any rate that there are others on here who remember that great era around the late 1960’s and into the 1970’s. 4th in that race at Newmarket incidentally was Minsky, Nijinsky’s lesser talented half-brother, with a tail revolving like a windmill ! :shock:

    Fist of Fury 2k8
    • Total Posts 2930

    I don’t want to discuss the race other than to say it will only be hype if it turns out if the young upstsrt get trounced. If he wins or goes very close then the word hype will have been wrongly used. :wink:

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