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Horse Racing

Small Trainer Tom Gibney Wins Irish Grand National with Intense Raffles

Tom Gibney's Winning Bet

Small trainer Tom Gibney is on cloud nine after securing his second Irish Grand National victory with Intense Raffles. Despite being relatively inexperienced, the classy grey horse impressed everyone by galloping to victory at Fairyhouse.

Impressive Performance

Intense Raffles, previously a winner of only two small-field races since moving to Ireland from France, rose to the occasion under JJ Slevin's guidance. Despite a near mishap at the fifth last hurdle, the six-year-old excelled in the home straight and clinched the win at 13-2 odds.

Emotional Victory

Gibney, who manages a small team of horses in County Meath, expressed his excitement, stating, "I’m buzzing. That’s every bit as much of a thrill as 2012 with old Lion Na Bearnai, for different reasons."

Resilience on Display

Jockey JJ Slevin, also celebrating his second win at Fairyhouse, commended Intense Raffles' bravery and determination, especially after a challenging season. He also extended his sympathies to Daryl Jacob, who missed the race due to a recent injury.

Heartwarming Performance

Veteran Any Second Now put up a strong fight to secure a second-place finish, earning praise from trainer Ted Walsh for his consistent performances over the years. Walsh expressed pride in the 12-year-old's achievements.

Gambling Responsibility

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Remember to gamble responsibly:

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  • Only gamble with money you can afford to lose
  • Never chase losses
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role a jockey plays in the training and preparation of racehorses?

Jockeys play an essential role in training racehorses. The jockeys ride the horses, giving feedback on their performance. They also help to educate the horse in racing tactics, like pacing the horse, positioning it, and responding when given commands. A good jockey is able to recognize the horse’s strengths, weaknesses and how they can be improved.

What are the different methods of race training for different horse breeds and types?

Race training methods can indeed vary for different horse breeds, as breed characteristics and racing distances differ. Thoroughbreds are often associated with flat-track racing over long distances. They receive different training than Quarter Horses who specialize in sprinting. Each breed has unique physical and behavioral traits that require a tailored training approach.

What age should a race horse start training?

Although horses can begin basic training at a young age, they usually start more intensive race training and conditioning around the age of two. It is at this age that their bodies are ready to take on the demands of the racetrack, yet still young and flexible enough to adapt. The exact timing depends on the horse’s maturity and temperament.

What is a horse’s first step of training?

The first phase of training a racing horse involves “breaking”, where the horse gets used to wearing a saddle and bridle as well as the weight of the rider. In these early sessions patience and gentle treatment are essential to ensure that the horse becomes comfortable with humans and the equipment he will wear during his racing career.

What health precautions must be taken when training racehorses?

Meticulous attention to a racehorse’s health is vital in preventing injury and illness. It is important to have regular veterinary exams, receive vaccinations, provide dental care, and maintain proper hoof health. It’s also crucial to watch for signs such as fatigue, strain or discomfort. It is important to implement a carefully planned training regime that allows a gradual progression in intensity. This will minimize the risk for musculoskeletal problems.

What is the importance of a horse’s pedigree to racing success?

Pedigree is a good indicator of potential but it’s not the only factor that determines a horse’s performance. The lineage of a horse may indicate an inherited ability for speed or endurance. However, training, health and temperament can also be influential factors. Training can enhance a horse’s natural abilities, and allow it to perform better than horses with more impressive pedigrees.


  • Statistically, less than 1% of thoroughbred foals born each year will go on to win a stakes race.
  • The average racehorse reaches its peak physical ability between the ages of four to five, with some variation based on the breed and individual development.
  • Research has found that a racehorse’s stride length can increase by up to 7% following specific strength and conditioning programs.
  • Around 80% of thoroughbred racehorses begin their racing careers by the age of two, according to industry estimates.
  • Studies suggest that proper early training can reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in racehorses by up to 50%.
  • Racehorse mortality rates during racing have been observed to be between 1.5 to 2 deaths per thousand starts, depending on the racing jurisdiction.

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How To

How to Prepare Racehorses for Specific Track Surfaces

Acclimate your racehorse slowly to the track surface you have chosen by incorporating training sessions on it. For example, if transitioning to a synthetic track, introduce the horse to the different texture and response through repeated training sessions. This will allow for a better stride, and the development of muscle groups. Adjust the intensity of training based on the horse’s comfort level and the response to a new surface.