Mr. Hal Dane is a reader of this blog, a follower of Russian racing, and a frequent and contentious commentator here. In the two posts below this, Hal has made several comments about Russian racing, and I thought I’d take the opportunity here to use them as an excuse to show a video of the 2009 President of the Russian Federation Cup (President’s Cup), a 2400-meter Russian Group 1 race that has quickly become the premier event for older horses in Russia since Vladimir Putin established the race a few years back. In this video, you’ll get an excellent look at racing at its highest level in Russia at the Moscow Hippodrome, a dirt track.
First, some background on the 2009 edition of the President’s Cup. Monomakh, a Kentucky-bred son of Mineshaft owned by the Donskoi Stud, won the 2008 Russian Derby and the 2009 President’s Cup and by year’s end he was ranked the best horse in Russia (click here to see the rankings). Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, however, had tried to derail Monomakh’s ascent that sunny July 18th by running the ex-European multiple Group 2 winner Bronze Cannon in the race. Mr. Kadyrov had recently purchased the colt from A.E. Oppenheimer, and Bronze Cannon was trained for the race by John Gosden. The horse was ridden in Moscow by Jimmy Fortune, and he was the first British-trained runner in Russia since Paul Cole had sent Fine Silver to the 2005 edition of the race at the Kazan International Equestrian Complex in Tartarstan. The Kazan surface, by the way, is all weather.
Below is the 2009 President’s Cup, won by Monomakh (No. 8). European invader Bronze Cannon (one of two in Kadyrov silks of white and green sleeves, red body; No. 1), a turf horse, finished fourth on the choppy dirt.
See the video of the 2011 President’s Cup from the Kazan International Equestrian Complex by clicking here. It, too, was won by a Kentucky-bred colt. Mr. Kadyrov won the 2010 edition of the race.