Chris was a Swiss citizen who appeared in the Czech Republic in about 1999, and set about becoming a major racehorse owner here. Initially, his great ambition was to win the Velka Pardubicka. At first he owned a number of racehorses, trained at Lysa and at Mimon. After some years commuting between Switzerland and the Czech Republic, he decided to live mainly in the Czech Republic and he set up with his own trainer, Pavel Kinsky.
We are told that the virus figures have been heading sharply in the wrong direction. Stricter measures have been introduced, and open-air events must be held behind closed doors, at least until November 3rd. The Jockey Club of the Czech Republic has been arguing for an exception to be made for horseracing, so that the Czech St. Leger can be run, and a premature end to our racing season has not been called.
In the second half of September, the COVID-19 data for the Czech Republic were heading in the wrong direction. The numbers of people being tested and testing positive were rising, though the numbers in hospital and the numbers dying with the virus remained fairly low (but, admittedly, rising).
The entries are in for the Velka Pardubicka and the other nine races at Pardubice on Sunday, October 11th. As the race conditions for the Velka Pardubicka were changed, the entries that had been made in May have been cancelled. All the foreign-trained horses that were entered in May have not been re-entered, with the exception of Slovak-trained outsider Vandual.
Just one week after announcing his impending retirement, Jan Rája rode two winners to complete his 500 winners on the flat, in addition to 14 winners over fences earlier in his career. 500 winners on the flat, almost all of them in the Czech Republic or in Slovakia, is a tremendous lifetime achievement by Jan. Well done!
At the age of 20, grey mare Sixteen, two-time winner of the Velka Pardubicka, has had to be put down. She ran in the colours of BUC Film, and she spent the last years of her life in the riding section of the Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague – Suchdol.
Only seven runners started in the third of the four qualification races for the 2020 Velka Pardubicka on Saturday, August 8th.
On Tuesday evening, June 30th, a long table stretched along Charles Bridge, and people sat outside on a beautiful evening and enjoyed the food and drink that they had brought along to share with each other.
The 2020 steeplechase season at Pardubice made a belated start on Saturday, June 20th. It was the first time this year after the lockdown in the Czech Republic that 2 500 racegoers were allowed to enter the racecourse area, though the crowd that turned up on a very wet afternoon was probably quite a lot less than that.