The EJC has been a remarkable annual event since 2015. Tomáš Machovský and his team have mobilized support for this major event. Generous sponsors have stepped forward, especially Leram and Loko Trans. Leading trainer Václav Luka has persuaded top jockeys to participate, and owners of good horses to run them in EJC races. Martin Cáp, both as a writer and as a television presenter, has promoted plenty of interest in the meeting. Many other volunteers have have contributed.
Pardubice racecourse, 100 km east of Prague, is the home of the Velka Pardubicka steeplechase. This famous race, the oldest annual sporting event in the Czech Republic, has been run annually at Pardubice racecourse since 1874 – except for a considerable number of breaks in years when weather conditions, wars and political changes intervened and caused a cancellation.
No. 17 Sztorm will be ridden by French jockey Julliot.
No. 18 Lombargini will be ridden by Martin Liška. (Jan Odložil injured in a fall in the fourth race).
Number 1 will be carried in the Velka Pardubicka by 9-y-o Vanesse, trained by Pavel Vítek, on her first race in central Europe.
The third of the four qualification races for the 131st running of the Velka Pardubicka with Slavia Insurance attracted 12 runners on August 7th. Most Czech-trained horses that are intended to run in the VP had already qualified safely for the big race. Owners and trainers know that there is always a high risk of a very hot afternoon and rock-hard ground at Pardubice in August.
An ever-growing trend for Czech-trained horses to run in races abroad
František Holčák, trainer of more Czech Derby winners than anyone else and one of the greatest personalities in Czech horseracing, announced his retirement as an active trainer in April 2021. He will continue to train just three of his old favourites.
The second qualification race for the 131st running of the Velka Pardubicka was held on Saturday, June 26th. The official going was ‘good’, and the temperature was fairly mild for the end of June in eastern Bohemia. The track appeared to be in good order, and the ploughed fields were neither dusty nor muddy.