First Pardubice qualification to be run on Saturday

The first of the four Velka Pardubicka qualification races will be run at Pardubice racecourse on Saturday, May 22nd, behind closed doors. Fourteen runners have been declared for the qualification race, which will be run at 2.45 p.m.

There is a strong field that includes three past winners of the Velka – No Time To Lose (2017), Tzigane du Berlais (2018) and Theophilos (2019) – and also each of the 2nd – 6th finishers in VP 2020 – Player, Vandual, Talent, Tzigane du Berlais, Casper. 7-y-o Evžen has won 6 of his 7 races over the crosscountry course at Pardubice, including the Labe Stakes on VP day 2020, in addition to races for young crosscountry chasers on VP day in 2018 and 2019.

In past years, entries for the Velka Pardubicka opened in May. This year, however, entries will not close until the autumn. According to the Jockey Club of the Czech Republic website, the closing date for entries will probably be on Thursday, September 23rd.

The 131st running of the Velka Pardubicka will be run on Sunday, October 10th. A Saturday afternoon meeting at Pardubice is also planned for October 9th.

Despite the problems, all the main races in the Czech calendar in 2020 were run. In 2021, too, every effort is being made to keep the horses running. The racecourses hope to get the go-ahead to welcome crowds again quite soon.

written by Robin Healey