Sports News

Grand Pardubice Steeplechase

By Vladimir Tax

Grand Pardubice Steeplechase
Yes, it's the sports now and the weekend was certainly a feast for horse-racing fans, with Sunday's Grand Pardubice Steeplechase. Hot favourite Peruan, bidding for a fourth consecutive win, was denied victory by Chalco. Ridden by Germany's Peter Gehm for local trainer Josef Vana, Chalco took up the running in the second half of the race, one of the sport's toughest tests, and held off Peruan by a length and a quarter. Jockey Zdenek Matysik nursed the 13-year-old Peruan at the back of the field for much of the 6.9-km event, which features more than 30 highly challenging fences.

Winning rider Gehm said the race was slower than he expected so he decided to take the initiative in the second half. Outsider Sesi, ridden by Jiri Kamenicek, came home third of the 10 finishers in the 21-horse field. Two runners fell at the famed Taxis ditch which had claimed the lives of 23 horses before being altered in 1993 after protests from animal rights activists. But there was another fatality on Sunday, after the French-trained Anatole fell and broke its neck at the penultimate fence, just as the horse looked like winning.

RP's Peter Smith spoke to one of the jockeys, Jason McGuire from Tom George who rode Field O'Royal, and asked him how he felt about the Grand Pardubice Steeplechase: And a quick look at football and the standings in the Czech first division - Sparta Prague are top with 24 points after they defeated 6th-placed Slavia Prague 1-0 at the weekend. Bohemians Prague beat Brno 3-0 and are currently second with 23 points. Another Prague club, Viktoria Zizkov, is one point behind, having claimed three points from a match with Pribram (2-0).