Flightline established himself as one of the greatest dirt runners in history, with a dominant campaign that ended with success in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
It has been a fantastic year in the sport of horse racing, with many memorable moments on the Flat and over jumps. Here is a look at some of the biggest storylines of 2022.
There are no doubts over who has been the star horse internationally in 2022. Flightline established himself as one of the greatest dirt runners in history, with a dominant campaign that ended with success in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The four-year-old colt won three Grade One races across the calendar year. His last run at the Breeders’ Cup Championship was his toughest challenge, as he came up against a strong field that included Life Is Good, Hot Rod Charlie and Taiba. However, he went clear of those horses in the closing stages of the race at Keeneland.
Flightline is now retired to stud. His owners sold 2.5% shares in their horse for £3.82 million after his retirement which values him at around £153 million. He will now have a career as a stallion where he could produce the stars of the future.
Horses like Flightline are exactly the reason some fans of the sport go into ownership, particularly with syndicates where they can buy shares. They hope to one day own a percentage in a horse like the unbeaten American star.
Although Flightline is a well-bred colt, not many would have predicted him to have such a stellar career before he saw a racecourse. This is what makes purchasing shares in unraced horses exciting. For example, you could get racehorse shares in Treasure Time, an unraced colt from William Haggas’ yard. Like Flightline, he has a nice pedigree, as he is out of the Grade One winner Passage Of Time. Those involved in the yearling colt will be hoping to see him produce something special on the track.
Treasure Time’s trainer, Haggas, knows all about handling horses of Flightline’s ability. His Champion Miler Baaeed was just ahead of the US horse in the world rankings for the majority of 2022, before the Breeders’ Cup Classic winner leapfrogged ahead of him. He is a patient trainer who has experience in picking the right races for these exceptionally gifted horses to thrive.
In the final month of 2022, Frankie Dettori announced he will be retiring from the saddle at the end of the 2023 season. Although he is 52 years old now, it was news not many were expecting.
The Italian remains one of the leading jockeys in Europe, as he proved in 2022, with big race wins coming in the Coronation Stakes, Prix Jacques Le Marois and Dubai World Cup. He is currently riding in the United States during the winter months, which shows his passion for the sport is as high as ever.
Dettori has won 20 British Classics, he has been Champion Jockey on three occasions, and he has over 500 Group successes. Arguably his greatest day came in 1996 when he rode all seven winners on a card at Ascot, a feat that cost bookmakers millions of pounds. He is a jockey who is going to be missed by horse racing fans around the world.
Rachael Blackmore has had another fantastic year in 2022, with the highlight for the Irish jockey being her success in the Blue Riband event of the Cheltenham Festival, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Blackmore rode A Plus Tard to victory in the 3m2½f contest. She has now won the two biggest races on the jumps’ calendar in the UK, as she landed the Grand National in 2021 with Minella Times.
A Plus Tard is likely to be back in March with Blackmore in the saddle as the pair look to defend their crown in the biggest race of the Festival.
With so many exciting horses in training heading into 2023, we could be set for some great storylines at the end of the next calendar year.