Tim Easterby  Tim Easterby is the son of Miles Henry ‘Peter’ Easterby, who won the National Hunt Trainers’ Championship three seasons running in 1978/79, 1979/80 and 1980/81. Formerly a successful amateur rider, Easterby served a lengthy apprenticeship as assistant trainer to his father before taking over the licence at Habton Grange, near Malton, North Yorkshire in 1996. Where casino fans go to casinoroar casino to win, racing fans look to Tim Easterby for the same!

Like his father, Tim Easterby is a dual-purpose trainer. Under National Hunt rules, he saddled his first Grade 1 winner, Barton, in the Royal & SunAlliance Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in 1999. He has since added two more, Garruth, in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle and Barton, again, in the Aintree Hurdle on consecutive days at the Grand National Festival in 2001.

On the Flat, Easterby saddled his first Group 1 winner, Pipalong, in the Haydock Sprint Cup in 2000. He would win the same race again with Somnus – who would go on to win the Prix Maurice de Gheest at Longchamp and the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp the following season – in 2003. No doubt french online casino and sports fans looked on impressed. By that stage of his career, Easterby had already saddled his first and, so far, only British Classic winner, Bollin Eric in the the St. Leger in 2002. He also won the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot with Fayr Jag in 2004. Remarkably, Easterby did not train over a hundred winners in a Flat season until 2018, but enjoyed his best season ever, numerically, in 2019 with 126 winners.

Appreciate It will attempt to end one of the most dominant runs of form in the National Hunt when he takes on Honeysuckle at Cheltenham Festival in the Champion Hurdle. Honeysuckle is the defending champion in the event and has won her last 14 races in a row.

Henry de Bromhead’s charge is the leading contender in the Cheltenham horse racing bets on the Champion Hurdle given her prowess on the track over the course of the season. Appreciate It on the other hand has not been in action in a year since dominating the field in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival. Despite his lack of time on the track, Willie Mullins’ charge is still touted to make a strong run for the crown in the Champion Hurdle tips on the sheer basis of his pedigree.

The Irish thoroughbred appears to have all the credentials of a champion, but toppling the incredible Honeysuckle without a year of racing will be a difficult challenge. Either Mullins knows something about his charge that the rest of us do not, or the legendary trainer is simply backing Appreciate It to blow away Honeysuckle with his outright pace. It will be fascinating to see whether Mullins’ gamble pays off on the grand stage, especially in a race where he has not been successful of late.

The Irishman had won the Champion Hurdle four out six times between 2011 and 2016, which included two victories for his horse Hurricane Fly along with triumphs for Faugheen and Annie Power. Since then he has been forced to watch Nicky Henderson win three times with Buveur D’Air in back-to-back seasons along with Epatante in 2020. Gavin Cromwell’s Espoir d’Allen was a surprise winner in 2019 when Buveur D’Air fell at the third hurdle, presenting the Irishman with his first victory in the race, whereas Mullins’ horse Melon finished second in the contest.

De Bromhead entered the scene with Honeysuckle last season, and Mullins could only finish second once more with Sharjah, who has previously placed as a runner-up behind Epatante. It appears that history could be repeating itself for Mullins in the event unless Appreciate It can produce a truly remarkable outing with his first run of the campaign. The Irish thoroughbred won all four of his races in the 2020/21 campaign, including his brilliant performance in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

There were good horses in the field in the event last season, but none of the calibre of Honeysuckle or even Epatante. Without measuring the quality of his charge over the course of the season, Mullins is leaving a lot to chance and in the hands of jockey Paul Townend.

Although Townend is one of the most accomplished jockeys in the sport, notably thanks to his two Cheltenham Gold Cup wins with Al Boum Photo, he has not won the Champion Hurdle. Rachael Blackmore outshone the Irishman last season, and will be in a position to do so again with Honeysuckle in the event. There is a lot of pressure on Mullins and Townend for Appreciate It to at least compete against a formidable opponent.

Tom Marquand  A graduate of the British Racing School, Tom Marquand became apprenticed to Richard Hannon in 2014 at the age of 16. He rode his first winner, Mecado, in a lowly selling stakes race at Kempton in December that year. In his first full season, 2015,  much to the delight of horse racing betting fans, he rode 67 winners and won the apprentice jockeys’ championship. In 2016, he rode a further 63 winners, thereby riding out his claim and, during the winter, enjoyed a brief, but successful, spell with Australian trainer David Hayes.

In 2017, increased his winning tally to 86, including his first Group winner, Anna Nerium, in the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury. In his next three seasons, Marquand rode 105, 136 and 147 winners, finishing fourth in the Flat jockeys’ championship in 2019 and third in 2020.

In early 2020, he returned to Australia, joining Sydney trainer John O’Shea, for whom he won both the Ranvet Stakes at Rosehill and the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Addeybb, thereby recording his first Group 1 successes.

It’s no surprise really that he was drawn to Australian racing and experienced his first Group 1 success there, with its reputation for both top class Group 1 and feature races. This month alone, we have the likes of the Cox Plate and the Victoria Derby to look forward to. Held at Moonee Valley, Melbourne the Cox Plate is a 2040 meter race steeped in history – its origins can be traced back to 1920. Prize money for the race is a staggering $5,000,000 AUD and this year it will be held on 23rd October. Current favourite to win is the Sir Michael Stoute trained and Ahmad Alotaibi owned Zaaki at 2/1 (despite his current shock defeat coming third to Probabeel and Nonconformist at Caulfield). Racing fans will no doubt be using the best betting apps in Australia to place their wagers on this much anticipated race.

The Victoria Derby, held a week later on 30th October, is a group one race held at Flemington racecourse with still impressive prize money of  $2,000,000 AUD. Dating back to 1855 (yes you heard that right!) last years winner was Johnny Get Angry.

Both events really though can be considered somewhat secondary to the Melbourne Cup which is held early in the following month. Even in these covid times, such is the excitement and anticipation of the events that it is due to have an attendance of 10,000 as part of Australia’s re-opening plan. The Melbourne Cup, held at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, and first held in 1861 is known as the richest two miler handicap in the world  and has prize money of a very weighty $8,000,000 AUD. Those in the running to win this years race (Held on 2nd November) include the Peter Moody trained Incentivize and Spanish Mission.

Outside of Australian racing, Marquand rode his first Group 1 winner on home soil, Galileo Chrome, in the St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster that September, having picked up a ‘spare’ ride after original jockey Shane Crosse tested positive for Covid-19. On New Year’s Eve, 2020, Marquand announced his engagement to fellow jockey Hollie Doyle, whom he originally met at pony camp ten years previously.