International Horse Racing Preview: 18/12 – 24/12

19 December, 2023

It’s coming up to the festive period of the year, with Christmas right around the corner. Ahead of all those busy shops and inordinate amounts of food, you might want to get a wager on the horses. Somewhere in the world, there’ll be a race, even if it is Christmas time. So, let’s look ahead to some of the biggest and best races across the globe this week.

Tuesday 19th December 2023

13:40 at Mahoning Valley Race Course – Ohio, United States

This race course in Youngstown, Ohio, is the pinnacle of the American gambling experience, with a decent casino adjoined to the track. The third race of the day here on Tuesday has a wide variety of horses from all over the US participating. The Kentucky horse, Street Max, is an interesting choice to wager on. He’s won and placed in his last two races, which both came at this very track. He’s joined by experienced jockey, the Peruvian Edgar Paucar, who has won more races this year than he has done for the last three. Can he notch up another W before 2023 ends?


13:00 at Catterick – North Yorkshire, England

Combining the pleasures of rural North Yorkshire and horse racing, Catterick Racecourse is a truly lovely day out for all. There’s also the potential for a decent bet whether you’re local or not. The second race of the day, 1:00 pm, is a hurdles event and features a very promising horse that is always having its odds slashed as it continues to perform. Hourless has been winning and placing in races this year. That included a triumph in the juvenile hurdle race in Hexham, which could lead it to another win.

Another horse to watch in the same race is Climate Precedent, which has started to place in more races after it changed trainer ownership in the summer. Could there be a win for the horse to end the year?


19:30 at Wolverhampton Racecourse – Wolverhampton, England

The Stay Golden With BetMGM Safer Gambling race, otherwise known as the 7:30 pm at Wolverhampton, features an appealing horse from Ireland. Master of Combat has extensive experience here in Wolverhampton, having raced here four times. Two of those resulted in wins and a second-place finish. Unfortunately, its last race here saw it slip to sixth. Yet the horse could easily get back to winning ways here in the West Midlands.

Wednesday 20th December 2023

16:17 at Zia Park – New Mexico, United States

The final race here at Zia Park in New Mexico should be an exciting contest between nine horses from the state. It has one of the highest purses available on the day with $64,500 (US) set to be split between the top finishers. The one to watch here is Beau Vero. This horse won its debut race back in late November – where some lucky punters benefitted from a 16/1 starting price. Jose Vazquez won that race with Beau Vero and will be back in the saddle again in this one. Could it be two wins on the bounce for the pair?


17:45 at Dundalk Stadium – Dundalk, Ireland

The Happy Christmas From All At Dundalk Stadium race at 5:45 pm, local Irish time, will be a very enticing race with the biggest prize of the day on offer: a crisp €22,000.00 hanging in the balance. One to consider a wager on here is San Andreas. For the most part, the horse has been placing in races here in Dundalk.


Happy Wednesday at Happy Valley Racecourse

The Hong Kong track is promoting midweek hedonism at the Happy Valley Racecourse with its promotional racing event: ‘Happy Wednesday’ for the majority of the winter months. However, it’s an Irish horse that is our one to watch out for. Drombeg Banner is set to participate in the first race of the evening and has won its last two races. Could it become a three-peat? Although there will be stern opposition from Chill Chibi, a horse that has won its last three!

Thursday 21st December 2023

13:10 at Vaal – South Africa

To the south of the South African capital city, Johannesburg, sits Vaal Racecourse which regularly hosts exciting horse racing events which welcome some of the best horses from the continent and beyond. The second race of the day here at the local time of 1:10 pm has an exciting field. Kabelo Matsunyane is a local jockey and is set to ride Officer in Command in this race. The horse put in a good performance in November here in Vaal and Turffontein coming second and placing in its prior race. He might be a good option to bet on another placement.

Saturday 23rd December 2023

Hanshin Cup – Hyogo, Japan

This race in the west of Japan is one the most followed International Grade 2 races in Asia as it attracts a wealth of different participants every year. While the minimum age to compete is three, that’s not to say that experienced horses can’t succeed here. Last year, Diatonic, a seven-year-old horse, won the race with his jockey, Yasunari Iwata. This is typically a very fast race, usually run in 80 seconds but recent editions have seen them hit the 79-second mark. Could there be another lightning-quick finish here?

Sunday 24th December 2023

Arima Kinen – Chiba, Japan

The Arima Kinen (sometimes known as the Nakayama Grand Prix) is considered to be one of the ‘All-Star’ races on the Japanese circuit. Horses must be aged three or over to participate and have a chance to win the enormous first place ¥ 400,000,000 prize pot, that’s over $4,200,000 in Aussie dollars!

There are two jockeys to watch out for in this race, Yutaka Taka and Christophe Lemaire, who have both won it three times before! If either can win the race this year, they will match the record held by Kenichi Ikezoe, who has won it four times! 

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