Best Storylines In Horse Racing Ever


Horse racing is a sport full of fairytale victories. Whether it’s in big events like the Kentucky Derby and Grand National, or low-key moments most of us will not remember, the world of horse racing is one of triumph, of spirit and of perseverance.

So when it comes to the best storylines in horse racing ever, it’s fair to say we’ve plenty to choose from.

Some detail the remarkable fortunes of horses that have come back from injuries. Others provide breakthrough moments for people in the sport, when they broke down barriers to become a legend of the game. And other moments are down to sheer good luck!

Yet not every fairytale requires an against-the-odds outcome in the horse racing betting markets. So, here at Gamble Online we’ve collected six of the best moments from down the years that make you proud to love racing!

Best Storylines In Horse Races

Of course, there are new storylines and fairytales written in horse racing every single week. So we’re not arguing that these six tales are the very best in the sport. But they are all humbling, important storylines that have helped crafted the sport of horse racing…

Rachael Blackmore Wins 2021 Grand National

We start with a recent triumph that marks a fresh break through the glass ceiling. Rachael Blackmore rode her first winner in Ireland back in 2011. She turned professional in March 2015 and from thereon began setting new records for women in the sport.

In 2019 Blackmore won the Handicap Chase at Cheltenham on A Plus Tard. Three years later and she led the same horse to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory. During that time Blackmore also won two Champion Hurdles, two Irish Champion Hurdles and the 2021 Grand National.

Female jockeys existed before Blackmore but were unable to attain her level of success. Now with a Grand National and Cheltenham Gold Cup behind her, Blackmore is considered one of the best jockeys in the UK and Ireland – and is bringing more women into the sport every year.

Storylines in horse racing Victor Espinoza

Jockey Victor Espinoza finally won the Triple Crown in 2015

Mexico’s Triple Crown Breakthrough

Another jockey who has broken barriers in recent years is Victor Espinoza, the seasoned rider who famously won the Triple Crown on American Pharoah in 2015. In doing so, Espinoza became the first Mexican to win America’s Triple Crown and the oldest jockey to accomplish the feat too.

What’s more, the triumph had been a long time coming. Espinoza won his first Kentucky Derby in 2002 on War Emblem before winning the Preakness Stakes later that summer. Unfortunately, he missed out on Belmont Stakes glory, finishing eighth that year, and so the Triple Crown remained out of his grasp.

In 2014 he went again, this time on California Chrome, and won the first two legs of the Triple Crown. But once more a shortcoming at Belmont left him without that coveted prize.

Yet Espinoza was not to be deterred. A year later he guided American Pharoah to the first US Triple Crown since 1978. In doing so he laid a marker for Mexican jockeys in the horse racing industry.

Seabiscuit And Red Pollard

Seabiscuit was the horse of his generation in the 1930s, so much so that he would run special events just so people could come and watch him in action. The horse swept up most of the big races in 1937 and 1938, and seemed a direct rival for Triple Crown winner War Admiral. He formed a bond with jockey Red Pollard that had rarely been witnessed in the sport, neither before nor since.

Unfortunately, both Seabiscuit and Pollard suffered serious injuries that kept them out of the game for a good while. Pollard was unable to ride Seabiscuit during the one-on-one race with War Admiral in 1938 due to a crushed leg, while the horse suffered ligament damage while racing a few months later.

The pair, however, would be reunited back on the track by 1940. Pollard rode the now-seven-year-old Seabiscuit to victory in the Santa Anita Handicap, after which the horse was retired. Of the 30 stakes or handicap races Pollard and Seabiscuit ran together, they won a remarkable 18.

Storylines In Horse Racing Gary Stevens

Gary Stevens was famous for his remarkable comebacks from injury

Gary Stevens

Known by many was the Comeback King, Gary Stevens was left in a coma back in 1985 when he crashed into a starting gate during training. Further injuries during his career include a collapsed lung, a broken neck, a torn ACL (for which he had a knee replacement) and a hip replacement.

Still, he kept bouncing back. Stevens won the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes three times each, twice claimed the Kentucky Oaks and in 2013 cruised to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

His success has been down to dogged determination to get through every scrape, crash and setback that life as a jockey has thrown at him. The ‘Bionic Man’ finally retired in 2018 after yet another fall. He claimed more than 5,100 race wins worldwide.

Littorio’s Flemington Comeback

Few horses make even an unsuccessful comeback to racing if they have been out for more than a year with injury. But Littorio not only managed to regain fitness after 19 months hurt, he went on to win Australia’s Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington in 2011.

What’s more remarkable is the manner of his victory. Littorio was “unwanted” in the racing betting before the race, with few punters siding with the former dual Grade One winner. Littorio had undergone stem cell treatment to his ‘suspensory ligaments and had surgery to remove a bone chip from his near-side fetlock’. That’s a lot of work for a horse to recover from, but recover he did!

The gelding, ridden by Craig Williams, was priced at +4100 to win at Flemington and did so in style, charging up the outside from nowhere to claim victory by half a length.

“A lot of hard work has gone into the horse,” said trainer Nigel Blackiston. “To return as he did today is unbelievable. No-one gave him a chance but his previous form was as good as any horse in the field. You see him in the mounting yard and he looks magnificent.”

Foinavon Wins Grand National 1967

The Grand National is famous for its huge jumps that horses must vault in they are to win the four-mile steeplechase across England’s countryside. It is a gruelling race for horses and jockeys, and unfortunately sometimes they fall at the fences.

This happened to dramatic effect in 1967, when practically every jockey was unseated during a pile-up at the 23rd fence. Foinavon, however, got lucky. Jockey John Buckingham had never ridden in the Grand National before but spotted a gap when the pile-up began, and managed to squeeze Foinavon through.

From here it was a gallop to the end, with a handful of horses chasing the +10000 outsider to the post. Foinavon cantered over the line to claim perhaps the most remarkable Grand National victory of all time. In fact, such a shock was it that neither his trainer nor owner had cared to show up and support the horse! And so, the winner’s enclosure was left for Buckingham and a steaming Foinavon to share to themselves!

Dave Consolazio

Dave Consolazio has been passionate about writing and sports journalism since his high school years. He has a degree in Broadcast Journalism from USC where he worked with the school's radio and television stations. His work has been featured in SportsbookReview, Sports Illustrated and SB Nation. Dave's experience ranges across multiple fields in the gambling industry. You can find his sports, casino, and poker articles in

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