Nijinsky  The talented and impressive Nijinsky was a powerful horse that was known as Nijinsky II to most who seen it run. A Canadian-bred and Irish-trained horse, it was a thoroughbred and a sire. At one stage the talk of the European racing scene at the age of two, it went unbeaten in five races. The next season, it wowed audiences by being the first horse in close to four decades to win the prestigious English Triple Crown!

 

However, the Nijinsky is known for its work as a sire as much as for a glittering career that seen it win close to $700,000 for its jockeys. It helped to establish the reputation of Northern Dancer, one of its sires. It also became, for a time, the leading sire in the whole of Great Britain and Ireland, as well as the top broodmare sire in the whole of North America.

 

It even had a movie made after it; the 1970 movie known as A Horse Called Nijinsky. It won the Horse of the Millenium award from The Sun, and also has Canadian and Irish events named after it; the Nijinsky Stakes. From 1969-1970, the horse won an incredible 10 major wins, with wins at the likes of the Epsom and Irish Derbies as well as the Railway, Anglesey, Beresford, Dewhurt and Gladness Stakes.

 

Incredibly, it sired over 155 Stakes/Group winners and is the only sire to have a winner of both the Kentucky and Epsom Derbies in the same year. From the likes of Ferdinand and Golden Fleece to Niniski and Sky Classic, this produced some rather amazing specimens that carried on the noble name long after it had passed on.

 

Retired to stand at stud at Caliborne Farm near Paris, Kentucky, the mastermind was syndicated in August for close to $5.5m.

 

Paul Hanagan  Born on the 8th September 1980 and hailing from Cheshire, Paul Hanagan is a ex champion jockey of great acclaim in the flat racing world.

 

Having never been in the saddle until the late age of 14 and having had his eyes firmly fixed on a career on the green grass of a football field rather than a racetrack, Paul Hanagan was a graduate of the British Racing School after great encouragement from his father, Geoff Hanagan. Deemed ‘too small’ for professional football, he helped out as a weekend work experience stable hand for trainer Terry Caldwell, based in Warrington, which ultimately led to the pivotal moment when Hanagan realised that racing had gotten under his skin and into his blood.

Captivated by what he saw at Caldwell’s yard, Hanagan would get his first taste of being a jockey, being allowed to ride out at the age of 14 and begin training the British Racing School, graduating in 1997.

 

Breakthrough

 

Hanagan got his first taste of senior racing on Stone Beck 4 days shy of his 18th birthday , racing to a creditable 4th place under the stewardship of Malcolm Jefferson, who was better known for his work in National Hunt training. Jefferson knew his onions and he saw a promising flat jockey in Hanagan, guiding the young man to join Richard Fahey as an apprentice flat jockey just a year later.

Over the next four years, the apprentice jockey saw his promise turn into results, improving each season and gaining the title of Champion Apprentice in 2002. He did this by riding a highly impressive 87 winners, the 2nd most since the end of WWII, which included a win on Vintage Premium in the John Smith’s Cup.

 

Richard Fahey foretold a big future for Paul Hanagan and he wasn’t wrong. Having matured over the next few years, he won his first senior Champion Jockey title in 2010 with a brilliant 191 winners and then backing that up by winning it again in 2011, beating Silvestre De Sousa from Brazil on the very last day of the season.

After this great achievement, Hanagan took a brief sabbatical and stated that he need a break after all his efforts. He did return the next year, but he never again hit the heights of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. To this day, he attributes much of his success to Richard Fahey who he spent 14 years with and he will forever be included in the pantheon of great flat jockeys.

 

Warwick Racecourse  Warwick racecourse is located in Hampton Street, Warwick. It is one of England’s most ancient racecourses having been founded in 1808. The racecourse is famous for its National Hunt races, and is owned by Jockey Club Racecourses. Recently, the racecourse experienced major changes as its ancient stalls were demolished to allow the erection of new facilities. A modern nine-hole golf course together with a golf driving range was built to diversify its activities. Next to the racecourse is a parking lot that is just five minutes away from town, making it
easily accessible.

 

The course used to host both flat racing and National Hunt until the year 2014, when it was forced to drop flat racing after an incident whereby a horse fell at the track. This came in as a disappointment to most people, since a number of flat racing fixtures that had been scheduled to take place in Warwick racecourse were transferred to other racecourses. Its final flat racing was held in 26th August, the same year.

 

Warwick racecourse has been hosting a total of 25 meetings each year, Leamington Novices’ Hurdle being famous of them all. The race is a Grade 2 National Hunt, and horses five years and above take part in it. It is scheduled for January of every year, has been taking place since 2002. Another race taking place in Warwick racecourse is the classic chase. It is a Grade 3 National Hunt race, and just like the Leamington Novice’s’ it is opened to horses aged 5 years and above. The race is scheduled for January of every year, and is only for the handicapped. It is run over a distance of 5,883 meters with a total of twenty four fences for the horses to jump over. This event was officially introduced in the year 2004, and has since then been happening every year.