• The week’s significant milestones
9 Summer Pudding
South Africa: Outstanding filly Summer Pudding, South Africa’s reigning Horse of the Year, took her career record to an unblemished nine out of nine with victory in the Gauteng Summer Cup, the biggest race in Johannesburg, at Turffontein on Saturday [Nov 28].
Drawn out wide in gate 18 of 20, she was giving weight under G1 handicap conditions to most of her rivals as she made her debut against her male counterparts in the R1m (£55,000) contest.
The queen of South African racing stormed clear to score by 2½ lengths for trainer Paul Peter. Warren Kennedy rode the four-year-old daughter of Silvano, who is set to visit Cape Town for the summer.
50 Calder (Gulfstream Park West)
USA: After nearly 50 years, they raced for the final time at Calder – or Gulfstream Park West, as it has been branded in recent years – in Miami Gardens on Saturday [Nov 28].
Eddie Plesa jr, whose father Eddie Plesa sr was one of the first trainers at the facility when it opened for the 1971 season, supplied the final winner as Diligent took the tenth and final race, a maiden claimer, under jockey Victor Lebron.
With three winners on the card, Edgard Zayaz captured the final jockeys’ title at the venue, which is now set to be turned into a facility for jai alai by owners Churchill Downs Inc – much to the chagrin of the Florida racing community.
129 Rafael Hernandez
Canada: After starting late and finishing early owing to Covid-19, Woodbine’s abbreviated meet featured 96 days of racing.
The jockeys’ race went right down to the wire, with Rafael Hernandez edging out Justin Stein by 129 wins to 126 to claim his first Woodbine jockeys’ title. Hernandez, 36, who moved to Toronto full-time in summer 2016 and has finished in the top three ever since, landed his first G1 win on the Chad Brown-trained Etoile in the EP Taylor Stakes.
With 93 victories, Mark Casse landed his 12th Woodbine training title with more than double the wins of his closest pursuer.
1.9bn Almond Eye
Japan: Almost a case of pick your own number when it comes to the great Almond Eye, who joined the immortals with her brilliant Japan Cup victory.
The only horse in JRA history to win eight G1 titles on turf at home, she is retired with nine top-level successes on her CV and an overall career record of 11 wins from 15 starts. With a total of ￥1,912,029,900 – or about £13.8 million at current exchange rates – she becomes the biggest prize-money earner in Japanese racing history.
19.9m Into Mischief
USA: According to Equiline statistics published by the Blood Horse, Into Mischief has broken Tapit’s single-season earnings record for a North American stallion.
After the impressive maiden victory of Bob Baffert-trained Life Is Good at Del Mar on November 22, the Spendthrift stallion’s progeny had amassed a total of $19,994,720 – beating Tapit’s mark of $19,983,173 from 2016.
Authentic is Into Mischief’s top prize-money earner in 2020, having accrued more than $6.1m, primarily via victories in the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic. Into Mischief also sired Authentic’s Breeders’ Cup-winning stablemate Gamine.
500 Caspar Fownes
Hong Kong: Three-time HK champion Caspar Fownes trained his 500th winner at Happy Valley with the success of Eplosive Witness on Wednesday’s card [Nov 25].
The 53-year-old, who leads the HK premiership for 2020-21, passed the 900-mark overall in Hong Kong at the start of October. He is set to saddle Everest winner Classique Legend in the HK Sprint.