Velká Pardubická (Oct. 14th) - Tzigane Du Berlais

I almost forgot! I wanted to write about this race although it’s not in the game, but I think it is a famous one and very similar to The Grand National. Both races are nearly 7 km long, and both have around 30 obstacles; and one that is especially deadly - Becher’s Brook in the Grand National and Taxis Ditch in Velká Pardubická. Both races are unusually long and difficult, and surrounded by controversies as there are horse deaths and serious injuries. But on the other hand, horses that do win the race (or even finish it safe & sound) exhibit extraordinary soundness and stamina, so rarely seen in the modern thoroughbred.

There is a 2012 documentary about Czech jockey Josef Váňa, who won the race 8 times (in the years 1987−1989 and in 1991 on Železník; in 1997 on Vronsky and in the years 2009−2011 on Tiumen). Váňa also trained 10 winners of this race, and 6 horses that finished it 2nd. This year his son will ride the last year’s winner, No Time To Lose.

In real life horses starting in the race must be at least 6 years old (prior to 2009, the minimum age was 7 years); Czech horses must qualify by finishing at least one of four qualifying races during the season.

I know that in October we have all the Breeders’ Cup steeplechase races, including a 16 furlongs long Endurance, but other than that, there are not so many Grade 1 steeplechase races… so maybe Velká Pardubická could be added? In real life it takes place on the second Sunday in October, but in the game it could be earlier, so that horses could still recover before Breeders’ Cup.

The distance between Pardubice and Chantilly Racecourse (where FF races in France are located) would be similar to that between Belmont and Arlington, so 2 days by road.

Taxis Ditch (Wikimedia Commons) - 4th obstacle in the race, jumped only during Velká Pardubická.


Velká Pardubická 2017 [HD] - video

128th running of the Velka pardubicka - homepage

Film Vana - The biggest race is life itself - English trailer of the documentary directed by Jakub Wagner

Past winners in real life:

  • 2015 - Ribelino (FR) - actually finished 2nd, but was awarded the win as the winner tested drug positive
  • 2016 - Charme Look (CZ) - 2016 Champion Cross-Country Horse in Czech Republic
  • 2017 - No Time To Lose (GB)

I’ve never heard of this race, which is a shock for me! Definitely watching the documentary sometime this week.

Also would not be opposed to seeing more G1 chases, or more graded chases in general. :slight_smile: BC and BS aside, there’s only one G1 SC left this year (vs. 24 flat G1 races, not counting BC/BS).

I knew about this race because of the win by Stephen’s Society in 1973. He was owned and ridden by Chris Collins, who was a British Amateur Jockey. I was living in England at the time and the British Racing Media made quite a big deal of the fact that the race had been won by a British horse.

What a beautiful weekend it was!
On the Saturday I attended a dogtrekking event with my dog, although we did not officially participate this time, just had a walk in the forests and enjoyed the weather. The place was not far from Pardubice actually, so I thought that it’s going to be the same gorgeous weather on the Sunday.

The winner of Velká Pardubická is a 7yo gelding Tzigane Du Berlais (FR) by Poliglote (Sadler’s Wells), out of Boheme Du Berlais (Simon Du Desert). No Time To Lose finished 5th.
Looks like one horse died - from what I understand of Czech comments - that was 9yo Vicody (FR) which ran with number 12. He probably fell on Taxis Ditch.

Race replay:

128. Velká Pardubická 2018

And here is my dog enjoying the lovely weather:

Lucky for him we just had a stroll with a friend, no Taxis ditches to jump or anything :stuck_out_tongue: