Wales is home to how many racecourses?

Nowadays, Wales is home to three racecourses, namely Bangor-on-Dee, Chepstow and Ffos Las. Historically, Wales was home to various other racecourses, including those at Cardiff, or Ely, Newport and Oswestry and Llanymynech, but by the middle of the twentieth century they had all closed their doors.

Not to be confused with the seaside resort of Bangor, in Gwynedd, northwest Wales, Bangor-on-Dee is a National Hunt venue in Clwyd, northeast Wales. The racecourse, which is situated approximately 6 miles south-east of Wrexham, on the banks of the River Dee, has the distinction of being the only one in Britain without a grandstand.

Chepstow, situated on the northern outskirts of the town of Chepstow, in Monmouthshire, southeast Wales, near the English border, is a dual-purpose racecourse. Billed as Wales’ premier racecourse, Chepstow is home to the most prestigious race of the year in Wales, the Welsh Grand National, which is staged annually on December 27.

Ffos Las, situated just north of the former mining village of Trimsaran and approximately 4 miles east of Kidwelly, in Carmarthenshire, southwest Wales, is another dual-purpose racecourse. Built on the site of a former open cast coal mine, Ffos Las opened in 2009, making it the first new turf racecourse in Britain for 80 years.

What does it mean if a horse is ‘supplemented’ for a race?

If a horse is ‘supplemented’ for a race, it is entered into the race at a late stage, known as the ‘supplementary stage’, after the original entry stage. Supplementary entries typically involve a substantial fee, which must be paid by connections before their horse can run in the race in question.

The initial entry stage for the Derby, for example, takes place eighteen months before the race, when the horses that will participate are still yearlings and have yet to set foot on a racecourse. Yearling entry is, understandably, the most economic way to enter the Derby but, even by the second entry stage, in early April in the year of the race itself – by which time the horses are three years old – a trainer may not know he has a Classic prospect on his hands. However, he or she has one last chance to enter a horse in the Derby; five days before the race, when the remaining horses have their entries confirmed, a horse can be supplemented for £85,000, or just under £5,000 more than the prize money for fourth place.

What is the record for the most winners by a trainer in a single day?

As listed in the Guiness Book of World Records, the record number of winners trained in a single day is twelve. That was the number sent out by Michael W. Dickinson, at six different meetings across Britain, during the Bank Holiday programme on Boxing Day, 1982, and included Wayward Lad, winner of the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park. Apparently, while having dinner with his parents, Tony and Monica, in early November, Dickinson Jnr. announced, to the exasperation of his father, that he was going to break the world record for the number of winners in a day. He eventually ran twenty horses on Boxing Day, of which twelve won and just one finished outside the first three. The record is unlikely ever to be broken.

Has any horse ever won all five British Classics?

Of the five British Classics, two of them – that is, the 1,000 Guineas and the Oaks – are restricted to three-year-old thoroughbred fillies, so it is impossible for a colt to win more than three. That said, a total of fifteen colts have won the 2,000 Guineas, the Derby and the St. Leger, a.k.a. the ‘Triple Crown’, while nine fillies have won the 1,000 Guineas, the Oaks and the St. Leger, a.k.a. the ‘Fillies’ Triple Crown’. Remarkably, though, two of those fillies not only ran in, but won, the 2,000 Guineas, taking their tally to four English Classics.

In 1868, Formosa, trained by Henry Woolcott, dead-heated with the colt Moslem in the 2,000 Guineas, before easily winning the 1,000 Guineas, over the same course and distance, two days later. She subsequently won the Oaks, by 10 lengths and, despite being beaten, twice, at Royal Ascot, was sent off joint-favourite for the St. Leger at Doncaster, which she duly won by 2 lengths under just hands-and-heels riding.

In 1902, Sceptre, owned and trained by Robert Sievier, started her three-year-old by being narrowly beaten, under 6st 7lb, in the Lincolnshire Handicap, but went on to win the 2,000 Guineas and the 1,000 Guineas, again within two days. She was arguably unlucky not to win the Derby, finishing fourth after missing three days’ work with a bruised foot, but returned to winning ways when hacking up in the Oaks two days later. Subsequently, she ran in the Grand Prix de Paris, twice at Royal Ascot and twice at Glorious Goodwood but, come the autumn, still managed to beat Rising Glass, who had finished second in the Derby, in the St. Leger. In so doing, she became the first and, so far, only horse to win four British Classics outright.

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