• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures
6 Jamie Richards
New Zealand: Reigning champion Jamie Richards made history on Boxing Day when he became the first trainer ever to record a six-timer at Ellerslie, the country’s premier track.
Richards, trainer for the powerful Te Akau Racing team, landed six races on the spin on the showpiece card at the Auckland venue, where he also saddled a second and third in other races. Highlight of the half-dozen was Amarelinha, who bolted up in the G2 Jamieson Park Eight Carat Classic under Opie Bosson, who split the six with runaway title-race leader Danielle Johnson.
Richards, 30, currently stands at #8 in the TRC global rankings and is running away with the NZ trainers’ premiership. He won the title solo for the first time last season, having previously won in partnership with Stephen Autridge in 2015-16.
1,000 Joao Moreira
Hong Kong: With a treble at Happy Valley on Wednesday [Dec 23], Joao ‘Magic Man’ Moreira became only the third jockey ever to reach the 1,000-winner mark in Hong Kong.
The Brazilian, who has a healthy lead in this season’s HK premiership, reached 1,000 with his second winner, the John Size-trained Incanto Prepared, in a Class 4 handicap.
“I can only describe it as a dream come true but I would never have thought that I could get to that mark in Hong Kong, knowing the place is such a tough place,” said Moreira, 36.
Only 13-time champion Douglas Whyte (1,813) and reigning champ Zac Purton (1,209) have ridden more HK winners. Three-time HK champion, Moreira also has more than 1,000 wins to his name in South America plus for jockeys’ titles in Singapore (2010-13).
16 Bob Baffert
USA: Charlatan’s brilliant victory in the Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday [Dec 26] was Bob Baffert’s 16th G1 success of the year. With the Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic among them, under normal circumstances he would be a shoo-in to win a fifth Eclipse Award at Outstanding Trainer – but some voters may think twice given his unfortunate record with ‘overages’ in post-race dope tests in 2020.
2,983,455,872,000 Japan Racing Association
Japan: Despite the attentions of Covid-19, the JRA’s reported annual betting turnover is up 3.5% to ￥2,983,455,872,000 – that’s nearly three trillion yen, or about £21bn. The record pari-mutuel figure remains just in excess of four trillion yen in 1997.
Sunday’s Arima Kinen, the world’s biggest betting race, turned over ￥46,425,894,400 (£335m).
175 Bryony Frost
GB: With a memorable victory on Frodon in the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Saturday [Dec 26]. Bryony Frost partnered the 175th winner of her career under Rules in Britain – enough to make her the most successful female jump jockey of all time as she surpassed the previous record of 174 achieved by Lucy Alexander.
The King George was Frost’s third G1 win after Black Corton (2017 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase) and Frodon’s Cheltenham triumph in the Ryanair Chase (2019).
150 Hollie Doyle
GB: Hollie Doyle reached yet another milestone in a truly remarkable year with her 150th winner of 2020 in Britain aboard Darwell Lion in a 7f handicap at Lingfield Park on Tuesday [Dec 22].
The winner was also a first British winner for Irish trainer Ellmarie Holden, while Doyle completed a double on the card with Kendergarten Kop to reach 151 – second only to Ben Curtis (170) on a calendar-year basis.
“It’s great to get to 150,” Doyle said. “To get to 100 was a relief, but 150 is different class. I didn’t think it would happen this year. The Group 1 on Glen Shiel on Champions Day was the biggest highlight, and hopefully it will open a few doors for the future.”