All the leading Czech crosscountry steeplechasers, including last year’s winner Mr Spex and also two horses from Ireland and the same number from Slovakia, will go to the start of this year’s Velka Pardubicka with Slavia Insurance on Sunday October 8th. Trainer Stanislav Popelka will be sending 3 horses. The numbers that will be carried by the horses in the race were drawn by singer Jitka Zelenková together with Count Francesco Kinský dal Borgo.
There have been some changes of jockeys due to injuries. Last year’s winner Mr Spex has a new partner for this year. He will be ridden by Irish amateur rider Patrick Mullins, and they will carry number 13. Some other horses also have interesting partners. 12-y-o gelding Alpha Male will be ridden by Czech jockey Petr Tůma. Trainer Peter Maher has engaged Irish jockey Sean Francis O’Keeffe for the second Irish runner, 6-y-o Jet Fighter. Both horses have been preparing for the last month under the supervision of trainer Greg Wroblewský near the Albertovec Stud. In the draw, they received the first two numbers, and they will therefore carry numbers 1 and 2 in the race.
Slovak-trained horses regularly run in races at Pardubice, and this year they will be ridden by experienced Czech jockeys. Trainer Jaroslav Brečka has engaged Jaroslav Myška to ride 10-y-o Kaiserwalzer. Royal Gino, a grey, will be ridden by Jan Odložil.
The only mare in the race is Italian owner Josef Aichner’s Santa Klara, trained in the Czech Republic by Josef Váňa junior. She will carry number 15, and will be ridden by Jan Kratochvíl, who stands in for injured Josef Bartoš.
There will be no change of jockey in the case of the winner of the Velka Pardubicka in 2021. 12-y-o Talent will again have Pavel Složil in the saddle. “Talent has put in all the work that was intended. With the exception of his most recent race. In that qualification race he unseated his rider, but he ran the whole race without a jockey along with the other horses. He’s been enjoying his work. I’m pleased with him,” says Talent’s trainer Hana Kabelková. In the race, Talent will carry number 14.
Sacamiro, bred at the Napajedla stud in the Czech Republic, is the current favourite, and he will be ridden by Jan Faltejsek. He has been allocated number 3. His main challenger may be Argano, who will be ridden by his trainer, Martin Liška, and will carry number 11.
”I’m pleased that we have the foreign horses in the field. The Czech participants are very strong, as expected. We are now working on with the state of the racetrack. It has been very dry, but we will deal with it. The racecourse will be perfectly prepared,” says Jaroslav Muller, director of Dostihový spolek, organiser of events at Pardubice racecourse.
The Velka Pardubicka is the most watched sports event on television in the Czech Republic, and is the only sports event that is transmitted on two programmes of Česká televize. The direct transmission begins on ČT Sport on Sunday, October 8th at 11 a.m., and ČT1 joins the transmission at 2.05 p.m. The Velka Pardubicka is a 4 p.m.
LIST OF RUNNERS FOR THE 133rd RUNNING OF THE VELKA PARDUBICKA WITH SLAVIA INSURANCE
number Horse’s name Rider
1 Jet Fighter ž. Sean Francis O´Keeffe
2 Alpha Male ž. Petr Tůma
3 Sacamiro ž. Jan Faltejsek
4 Lodgian Whistle ž. Ondřej Velek
5 Lombargini Adam Čmiel
6 Dulcar De Sivola Josef Borč
7 Royal Gino ž. Jan Odložil
8 Player ž. Marcel Novák
9 Zataro ž. Jakub Kocman
10 Star ž. Marek Stromský
11 Argano ž. Martin Liška
12 Stuke ž. Benoit Claudic
13 Mr Spex am. Patrick Mullins
14 Talent ž. Pavel Složil
15 Santa Klara ž. Jan Kratochvíl
16 Imphal ž. Ludovic Solignac
17 Kaiserwalzer ž. Jaroslav Myška
18 Godfrey Daniel Vyhnálek