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Video highlights – Sovereign disappoints on U.S. debut in the Man o’ War Stakes

Irish Derby champion, Sovereign, has made his debut in the United States. His first race was in the Man o’ War Stakes at Belmont Park on  Saturday.

The five-year-old, who landed a shock 33-1 front-running victory in the Irish Classic, made his first start for new trainer Chad Brown following his switch from Aidan O’Brien, with his last run for O’Brien coming when third in the Bahrain International Trophy last November.

Sovereign was never able to go the pace and was caught wide going around the last bend and got a very easy ride up the stretch, he may do a lot better next time.

Why Is Man o’ War a Big Deal? 

The Man o’ War Stakes is a Grade I flat foot race for Thoroughbreds that are at least four years old. The Belmont Park track has a left-handed turf surface with a 1 3/8-mile (2212.8-metre) distance. The purse for this year’s Man o’ War Stakes is $700,000 (£503,571). It is going to be NYRA’s first Group-1 race of the year. 

This race comes with a Weigh for Age condition. It means horses are given a weight requirement depending on their age, sex, and the distance of the race. The average weight for the race is 124 lbs (56.25 kg) with allowances. Unlike pure games of chance like slots, Man o’ War and other horse races have stats for punters to base their betting decisions on.

Different horses are handicapped to be on roughly even ground. This is a test of endurance, adaptability, and luck. Younger horses have the upper hand since they are given less weight than older ones. Even if given the proper training, horses will still have a difficult time adjusting to their new condition. 

Was Sovereign expected to be a Strong Contender in the Race? 

It was difficult to say. Chad Brown had stated that Sovereign was performing well in his training. He was giving consistent results in a good form and no signs of attrition.

Who won the race

Channel Cat’s victory in the $700,000 Grade 1 provided jockey John Velazquez with another big-race triumph following Medina Spirit’s success in last Saturday’s Kentucky Derby.

Velazquez guided the son of English Channel to a nose victory over 6-4 favourite Gufo and gave British-born trainer Jack Sisterson the third top-level victory of his career.

Sisterton, originally from Durham and who has been in the US for around 16 years now, said: “I didn’t sleep last night. I wasn’t nervous about Channel Cat, I was nervous about letting John Velazquez down. I didn’t want to ruin last weekend’s celebration, so thanks to Channel Cat for stepping up and doing all the hard work.

“Thanks to Channel Cat and the staff back at the barn, who do all the hard work to win a Grade 1. I don’t take any credit for this. It’s all due to the people behind the scenes that people don’t see.”


Horse racing is not the same as slots where the results are completely random. All of these horses and their trainers worked hard to be where they are today. Fortunately for bettors, their hard work is often discussed, written, and shared. Keep your eyes peeled for more information and predictions before the race!

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