The 2019 Velka Pardubicka with Slavia Insurance was run on a remarkably warm and sunny day before a very large crowd in east Bohemia. Twenty runners went to the start.
A rumour that had been going around has been confirmed. Last year's winner of the Velka Pardubicka, Tzigane du Berlais, which is also currently the favourite for this year's race, had a colic attack and spent a couple of days in a clinic in Brno a few days after his last race, 5 weeks before the Velka Pardubicka. He had run very disappointingly in the September Qualification Race, and finished only fifth, well beaten by Talent and Theophilos.
We are told that Tzigane du Berlais seems to be OK and is expected to run in the Velka Pardubicka on Sunday.
Richard Askwith's outstanding biography of Countess Lata Brandisová, who in 1937 rode the winner of the Velka Pardubicka, was published in English a few months ago. Now, the book has appeared in a Czech translation, which will be presented at Řitka on Friday afternoon, October 11th and at Pardubice racecourse on Saturday, October 12th.
Each year, Chris Simpson posts his pre-race analysis of the runners and riders in the Velka Pardubicka on his website. As usual, this is a very well informed analysis. In particular, he provides some useful information about British-trained Rathlin Rose, and about the form in France of numerous runners in the race that have run most of their races there. They were only more or less recently brought to be trained here in the Czech Republic.
Trainer Radek Holčák has announced that Hegnus has had a setback and will not run in the Velka Pardubicka. He states that the horse should be fit to resume his racing career in 2020. Hegnus finished second in VP 2018, and would have been strongly fancied for this year's renewal of the race.
I have also read that French-trained Urgent de Gregain is a non-runner. This horse finished second in VP 2017, and would presumably also have been well fancied.
It has already been announced by Josef Váňa senior that 2017 VP winner No Time To Lose is a non-runner.
According to IRB https://www.irbracing.com/, the Newmarket-based agency which has for many years facilitated the transportation and all arrangements for horses from the UK that are entered for the Velka Pardubicka, both of the British horses entered for the VP are expected to ru