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The Madrid Grand Prix, an unmissable event at the Zarzuela Hippodrome

Javier Fdez-Cuesta

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This Saturday, June 25, the most important sporting event on the Spanish turf calendar will be held, the Madrid Grand Prix in its LXXXVI edition, which this year recovers the Listed Race Category, the maximum awarded in Spain, which this year is sponsored by Bilba, a family construction company with 20 years of experience, a benchmark in the province of Malaga, with a national and international expansion plan, which seeks to achieve excellence with professionalism and responsibility, and, of course, belongs to the circuit of great scoring prizes in the Iberia Talent Ranking on board.

A little history

The first Madrid Grand Prix was held in 1881, three years later, the La Castellana Racecourse was inaugurated; the test was won by the mare Siren.

Between 1881 and 1919 the event was still called the Madrid Grand Prix, although it was later renamed the National Prize. In this way, and with the new nomenclature, it can be said that the statistics of the Nacional begin in 1881 and those of the Madrid Grand Prix in 1919.

That year of 1919, what until now has been known as Madrid Grand Prix, that is to say, the best endowed and most prestigious race of the intergenerational races that are held in Spain. In that year and in the following two, the race was won by Nouvel An, from the Cimera-Martorell stable. This record of three consecutive victories has only been equaled in the history of the Madrid Grand Prix by Colindres, from the Count of Cimera, from 1927 to 1929, and by El País, from the Mendoza stable, from 1980 to 1982.

With the closure of the La Castellana racecourse in 1933, the Madrid Grand Prix of that year was held at the Legamarejo de Aranjuez racecourse. In the following two years and before the start of the Civil War, the race took place at the Lasarte racecourse in Gipuzkoa.

In 2006 the first Grand Prix of Madrid was held after the years of closure of the Hippodrome of La Zarzuela. Thirteen years after the previous edition, the winner was the filly Baldoria, from the Madroños stable, trained by Mauricio Delcher Sánchez and ridden by Jorge Horcajada. The fans had rediscovered his career. Since then, it is worth noting above all the milestones marked by two horses: Karluv Most, who won the 2010 and 2012 editions, and the sorrel Entre Copas, who won the 2011 and 2013 editions, and even competed in the 2014 edition, already with ten years.

Precisely the 2013 edition, number 78 of the race, was historic, first of all, because the Madrid Grand Prix was already recognized by the European Pattern Committee as a Listed Race. Secondly, because on the track, the winner, causing a shock of emotion to the fans, was the horse Achtung, trained by the missed Roberto López, who had died hours before the race.

Achtung, however, tested positive for doping control days later and was distanced in favor of Entre Copas. In its first three years, the race was contested over a distance of 2,500 metres. In 1922 and 1923 the distance to be covered was 2,400 meters, to be increased again to 2,500 meters, a distance that remains to this day. Only in the editions of 2006, 2007 and 2008 the race was run again and in a circumstantial way – change of the position of the finish line due to the works in the enclosure – over the distance of 2,400 meters.

The race is reserved for horses and mares 3 years and older, with the 3 years carrying a weight of 55 kilos, and the older ones weighing 61 kilos.

With this very special event, the spring season closes, which can be enjoyed from 6:00 p.m. until 01:30 a.m. The program of seven races is joined by new restaurant areas such as the Villa Panthera Terrace, with a Japanese fusion menu, the Champagne Bar Clicqout gourmet area, the tapas and portions of Estribo by Ucalsa, and the different food trucks with more informal proposals.

At the end of the races, the music group ‘La banda de los 80’ will perform live on the south garden, with musical themes that recall the great successes of Spanish pop.

This will give way to the ‘Hippodrome Nights’ that will begin next Thursday, June 30, which will have double sessions on Thursdays and Saturdays, set in the Madrid scene.

The exciting Iberia Talent Ranking on board continues its journey to reward the three best jockeys on the 2022 Grand Prix circuit. Right now Ricardo Sousa is the leader with 18 points, followed by Jaime Gelabert and Borja Fayos with 10 points, positions that could vary this Saturday with the celebration of the Madrid Grand Prix where everything is at stake until they recover the ranking competition with the autumn grand prix.

The day – grass court

The afternoon will begin at 6:45 p.m. with the first race on Andres Ramos Covarrubias Award, reserved for Amazonas and Gentlemen, for horses and mares four years old and older, over a 1,200-meter sprint in a straight line. six participants. Very open race with several specialists in the distance. Anyway, the ones I like the most are Derdas and Tiermes, they are showing form and the test should go through them, but I wouldn’t forget Óscar Anaya’s pupils, Astimegoesby and Sansevero who are in a position to surprise.

Second, it will be played Duke of Osuna Award for three-year-old colts and fillies who have not won a prize of 15,000 euros. Eight candidates for victory. 1,400 meters of travel. I really liked something the other day and I see that the increase in distance is not going to harm him, in addition the release makes him much more dangerous. Magic Warrior is the most proven and valuable of the lot, so he must carry a weight that can be prohibitive, he will be in contention for victory anyway. Atlanta is not doing badly and is a winner, here it has a good opportunity to be very close.

The third race will be Mahou Award – El País, For horses and mares three years and older. Seven candidates for victory will start from the 2,000 meter pole. Defined comes from winning in his last two outings, he is very fit and has everything to repeat. Astral is also very fit and does not fall from a finish, he will try to make it difficult. Medicean Blue is a full-hearted mare who always gives her best and will be back in the fight.

In fourth place will be the Madrid Grand Prix (sponsored by Bilbao)(Lototurf), for horses and mares three years and older. The best of our Turf come together in this prestigious race. 2,500 meters separate the participants from glory. A Listed test framed in the Made in Spain program with prizes for horses born and raised in Spain. An edition that is expected to be very exciting and open, since it has the participation of ten copies. The Way of Bonnie shouldn’t have lost this race last year. Then he won the Gold Cup, was second in the Memorial and won a Listed in France. This year he won high school. Whoever wants to win will have to beat him. Big Call comes with good numbers from France and here he has his role. Stour is coming off second in high school, he’s in the ascending line and he’s not going to make it easy. Media Storm won the Román Martín last year, it continues to repeat values ​​in France, it will be close. Tarantela is a great mare, she won the Memorial in 2020, she was fourth last year, she is being well cared for and her auction is one of the best, nice surprise.

In fifth place will be played the Baldora Award, for mares three years and older. Eight candidates for victory from the 1,600 meter pole. The race goes through the pupils of Guillermo Arizcorreta, Dajla, Upa Lola and Samedi Rien, all three have great value and I wouldn’t be surprised if they made the trio. They are going to find their greatest enemy in Aunt Agatha, she is continually increasing in value and is going to make things very difficult for them.

The sixth race will be The Lord Award, reference handicap for horses and mares three years and older. nine participants. 2,000 meters of travel. Goyesca is very fit, she comes from coming second to a nose and winning in her last start, she has a flying release, we will have to beat her. Philau showed in his previous performance that he is getting back in shape and is favored in weight, he will be back in the fight. After seven starts in the money, Mauro failed in his last one, although he comes out with a very hard scale, I see him very close again. Maitre Yoda and Orbayo will be very attentive to the ruling.

The day – sand and fiber track

The day will close, in seventh place, the Villa D’Este Award, reference handicap, for horses and mares three years and older, over the distance of 1,900 meters. Nine candidates for victory, under the orders of the Start Judge. Here the one I like the most is Ballet Star, they like fiber and they just came second. He has everything to pass for winners. Bick Mack is hanging around her, he is a sandbox and embroiders the distance. He will make it very difficult. Ace of Pentacles goes on his favorite surface and is always a foe to watch out for. Melampo hasn’t run for a long time but he is always very reliable in sand, he won’t walk very far.

Leisure and gastronomy

The afternoons-nights of the racecourse have a wide range of gastronomy and cocktails. At the Villa Panthera Terrace you can live the experience of a Japanese fusion restaurant. To access the area you will have to buy your ticket at Panthera Madrid. In the northern area, you will also find the new Champagne Bar Clicqout gourmet area, where you can mix Clicquout Champagne.

In the central grandstand, do not miss the tapas and portions of Estribo by Ucalsa and of course, our foodtruks will not be missing in our gardens.

At the end of the races in the south garden you can’t miss our live music group ‘La banda de los 80’, which will make us shake our bones remembering the greatest hits of Spanish pop.

Broadcast of the races

The broadcast of the horse races of the Madrid Hippodrome can be enjoyed on Movistar +. The program ‘Las Carreras’ is broadcast exclusively through the Sports channels on M+ (dial 53 and its multis).

In addition, the channel #Vamos por M+ (dial 8), also exclusive to Movistar Plus+, offers different content related to horse racing during the week, such as rebroadcasts and previews of the next days. Along with this, each day will include a one-hour program on its grid in which the 4th and 5th races can be followed, as well as a summary of the rest.

Access to the racecourse

In the enclosure there are more than 2,000 free parking spaces, and also free buses leaving from 10:30 am. every 20 minutes as a shuttle from Paseo Moret in Moncloa. (If the events in the capital do not allow the exit from that point, it is moved to Avda. de la Complutense, in front of the Ciudad Universitaria metro).

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