Tudor Minstrel was a son of 1941 Derby winner Owen Tudor and a grandson of 1933 Derby winner Hyperion but, ironically, suffered just one of two defeats in his ten-race career in the 1947 renewal of the Epsom Classic. Nevertheless, Tudor Minstrel was awarded a Timeform Annual Rating of 144, which places him joint-third on the list of highest-rated horses to race on the Flat since World War II, alongside Brigadier Gerard and inferior to only Frankel and Sea-Bird. Indeed, Phil Bull, founder of Timeform, described Tudor Minstrel as ‘the fastest I have ever timed’.

Owned by John Arthur Dewar and trained by Fred Darling, Tudor Minstrel was the leading juvenile in Britain in 1946. He won all four starts, notably winning the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and the National Breeders’ Produce Stakes – now the National Stakes – at Sandown by four lengths apiece.

The following season, after winning his preparatory race at Bath, Tudor Minstrel was sent off 11/8 favourite for the 2,000 Guineas and turned the Newmarket Classic into a procession, winning, eased down, by eight lengths. The official winning margin remains a record but, according to some observers, could easily have been doubled.

On the strength of his bloodless victory at Newmarket, Tudor Minstrel was sent off 4/7 favourite for the Derby at Epsom. However, the combination of pulling hard and continually lugging right, on the left-handed course, put paid to his chance and he eventually finished a tried fourth behind Pearl Diver.

Nevertheless, dropped back to a mile for the St. James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot later the same month, Tudor Minstrel recorded another easy victory. His second attempt beyond a mile, in the Eclipse Stakes, over a mile-and-quarter, at Sandown the following resulted in his second defeat, but his finished his racing career on a high note by winning the Knights’ Royal Stakes – now the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes – at Ascot, back over a mile, on his final start.

If you’re a beginner to horse racing, it can be intimidating, with lots of confusing jargon and rules that you can’t figure out. So, here’s a short guide on how to make the most of your time at the races if you’re new to the sport.

How to Get the Most Out of Racing

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Firstly, take a friend with you. If you already know people who are interested in racing and have a little more experience, then you’ll feel more confident in asking them questions and learning more, rather than relying on the knowledge of strangers at the course. Racing can be a sport that is just as sociable as rugby or football and having a friend there with you to celebrate your wins or commiserate your losses will make it all the more fun. If you don’t know anyone, then bring someone who is as eager to learn as you – this means that you won’t feel stupid or alone if there’s something you don’t know, and you won’t be as self-conscious if you need to ask others for advice.

Do your research. You wouldn’t go to a football match without searching up the offside rule, or what role each position plays, and it’s the same with racing. Thanks to the internet, it’s possible to learn about different types of races, ground, and horses from your sofa, so do a bit of self-learning at home and you’ll feel far more confident when you actually get to the course. This also applies to the individual races, the more you can learn about each horse and its recent performances before you get to the race, the better. This knowledge will not only increase your chances of a win but will make you seem like a professional race-goer rather than a novice.

Check out the online community. This is one for the more modern racing fans, but anyone can get involved. With all sports becoming increasingly virtual, some of the classic event experiences have moved online, for example, horse racing betting is now available at home, with sites offering tips, race information and betting odds for you to browse. It is also a good way to make friends in the community, so that next time you go to a meet, you’ll have people to watch racing with and to learn from, as well as joining them for a celebratory pint at the pub afterwards.

How to Get the Most Out of Racing

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Only bet what you can lose. Gambling can be tricky to keep an eye on, so to make sure that you are only having fun experiences, only bet the money that you can afford to lose. Some racegoers do this by bringing only cash and limiting the amount they bring, or by transferring money from their main bank account to a smaller one that they only use for betting. The main point here is to avoid risking too much in case you don’t get lucky and end up in trouble rather than having a good time.

These general tips should help you to make the most of your racing experience, and will give you valuable knowledge that you can pass on to others when you are the pro, even if that takes a while!