On the record: Glorious Goodwood shoots Andrew Balding to head of GB title race – plus Joe Bravo and more …

• The week’s significant milestones, facts and figures

Horse Racing Alcohol Free Goodwood Andrew Balding
Number one: Alcohol Free’s trainer Andrew Balding heads the trainers’ title race after Sussex Stakes win. Photo: Qipco British Champions Series

2.87 million Andrew Balding

GB: With 15 winners in the last fortnight, Andrew Balding has taken over at the head of the British trainers’ title race with nearly £2.9 million in win and prize-money.

A highly successful week at the five-day Qatar Goodwood Festival – that’s ‘Glorious Goodwood’ to you and me – enabled 48-year-old Balding to leapfrog Charlie Appleby and Aidan O’Brien to claim top spot.

With five winners highlighted by Alcohol Free in the £1m Sussex Stakes, Balding was leading trainer at Goodwood, where both Godolphin and Ballydoyle powerhouses drew rare blanks. Balding, whose father Ian was champion trainer in Mill Reef’s 1971 annus mirabilis, has 93 winners altogether in 2021. As of Sunday night, he led Derby-winning trainer Appleby by about £220,000.

Speaking of Goodwood, Godolphin jockey William Buick led the way among riders with seven winners, including Group success on Arc hope Wonderful Tonight and French-trained sprinter Suesa, who floored Battaash in the G2 King George Stakes.

5,500 Joe Bravo

USA: ‘Jersey Joe’ Bravo rode his 5,500th winner when he partnered Red Storm Risen to win the fourth race at Del Mar on Thursday [July 29]. The Phil D’Amato-trained gelding scored by a neck to land an allowance race over a mile on turf – and his rider soon moved onto winner number 5,501 when he completed a double later on the card with Over Attracted in the eighth.

Bravo, 49, has ridden in more than 30,000 races since starting out in 1988. He is better known for his exploits in his native New Jersey, where he has won 22 riding titles, including 13 at Monmouth Park; his biggest career success came on Blue Prize in the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

However, he moved west this summer when Monmouth introduced its controversial rules banning the whip other than for safety reasons.

339½ Chris Waller

Australia: Sydney’s leading trainer Chris Waller achieved a new personal best when So Wicked too him onto 339½ winners for the season on the final day of the 2020-21 campaign on Saturday [July 31].

With dead-heats counting for half-a-win, Waller went past his previous top score of 339 from 2018-19 as the seven-year-old claimed a 1m1f handicap at Randwick under James McDonald. Waller later completed a double to end the season on 340½ wins, 169 of them coming on the Sydney metropolitan circuit. “It’s a lot of wins, a lot of city wins,” said Waller. “We concentrate on city races more, we don’t run in the country and we’re proud of where we’re at.” 

McDonald completed a hat-trick of Sydney titles with 131 victories. He has won five NSW metro premierships altogether.

144 Johnny Allen

Australia: Among the various premiership winners in Australia when the 2020-21 season ended on Saturday [July 31] was former Irish jump jockey Johnny Allen, whose total of 144 wins was enough to win the Victorian state title.

Jamie Kah won the more prestigious Victorian metro title for Melbourne city winners with 105; she had 140 taking country winners into account. Only 31 of Allen’s total came in the city.

Chris Parnham won the all-Australia premiership with 201 winners, six more than runner-up Blaike McDougall.

1,500 Sheldon Russell

USA: Sheldon Russell rode the 1,500th winner of his career on Saturday [July 31] – on a filly trained by his wife Brittany. Hello Beautiful, the horse in question, was sent of 1-10 favourite and duly delivered the goods in the Alma North, a $100,000 black-type event over 6f on dirt at Pimlico, to take her career record to eight wins from 16 starts.

1,000 Hironobu Tanabe

Japan: Hironobu Tanabe has become the 40th jockey in Japan Racing Association history to reach the 1,000-winner mark. Tanabe, 37, reached the landmark on Nordlys in the eighth race at Niigata on Sunday [August 1].

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