AL JAZ (2006) - 13, 14, 15
4/31 between 2010 & 2016. Winner on the flat and won on debut over fences at Slusovice in July 2010. Spent the first half of his career racing at the more minor Czech tracks but from October 2012 raced exclusively at Pardubice (19 consecutive races) winning three times. Two of his Velkas ended early but in between in 2014 he put up a remarkable performance which far exceeded anything he had done before or since. Finishing second he gave Orphee des Blins something to think about as he pushed the mare up the straight to go down only by three quarters of a length.
ALL SCATER - 20 - still in training
AMANT GRIS (FR) (1999) - 08, 10, 11
5/19 between 2006 & 2011. Seven times winner on the flat including a four timer within a month in the spring of 2004. Third in the Vlatavy Prize in 2007 but was considerably better the followig year winning the May qualifier and a valuable chase at Bratislava before finishing first past the post in the Velk. Sadly his jockey steered him around the wrong way of a marker before fence 10A which led to his inevitable disqualification. A very unlucky horse as the following year he missed the race through injury. After winning two minor events at Pardubice in 2010 he gave Tiumen a scare in the Velka, upside him over the last he was clearly hampered as Tiumen leaned towards the far rail and forced to switch course he only failed by a nose to get back in front. Last ran in the 2011 Velka.
AMARAGON (2005) - 14, 15, 16
2/41 between 2009 & 2016. Apart from finishing fourth in 2012 Labe Prize and runner up in 2015 First of May Chase he was pretty average and later in his career fell more times than he finished. Fell in his first two Velkas and was never a factor when he did complete in what was his last race.
ANGE GUARDIAN (GER) (2008) - 16, 17, 18, 19
ARGENTAN (2004) - 12
1/25 between 2007 & 2012. Grey horse who only won a small race at Albertovec in his career. Blundered at the seventh, got completely tailed off and was pulled up before half way in the Velka which proved to be his final race.
ARISTMONTOT (FR) (2010) - 18 - still in training
ASCOT (POL) (1997) - 05, 07
5/41 between 2001 & 2009. Regular visitor to Italy and twice won cross country events at Treviso. Outsider and down the field in both his Velkas. In between though he probably put up his best perfromance when third in a blanket finish in the Vlatavy Prize on Velka day 2006
ASPIRANT (POL) (2003) - 10, 11, 12
10/33 between 2006 & 2012. Very useful in his younger days winning three times in Italy in 2007 including a Grade 2 chase at Merano. In 2008 he was the best short distance cross country chaser in the Czech Republic when he lifted the Poplar Memorial on Velka day. Was tried over longer distances thereafter and seemed to always find the Irish Bank an issue (he twice refused at the fence during 2009). He did manage to win a qualifier in August 2010 but didn't seem to last the trip in the Velka and whilst he often ran prominently early on he was always fading at he finish.
BARBARESCO (1995) - 02, 03, 04
8/41 between 1999 & 2006. Only hurdle succcess was 1999 Slovak Champion Hurdle and when he won it was usually a big race winning twice on Velka Day in 1999 Cena CASCH and 2004 Labe Prize (by a nose with Decent Fellow in rear). Never troubled the leaders in three Velka attempts. Also won Velka Susovicka in 2004
BARGIEL (POL) (1995) - 03, 04
9/55 between 1999 & 2006. Tough and popular animal who blazed trail in two Velkas completing once and setting off a chain reaction that saw six end up on the floor at the seventh fence a year later. Ran six times in Italy later in his career which sadly ended when he collapsed and died moments after passing the winning post following a titanic battle (going down by a nose) with Sixteen in the Labe Prize in 2006
BEAU ROCHELAIS (FR) (2001) - 19 - still in training
BEJRUT (POL) (2001) - 09
8/28 between 2005 & 2011. Did most of his racing before 2009 in Italy, winning at Merano three times and Milan twice. Ran in Italy's premier chase, the Gran Steeplechase di Merano finishing third in 2006 and sixth two years later. Only entered once for the Velka and made some of the early running but was toiling when he was down on his nose at Havels jump and he finished amongst the backmarkers.
BELMONT (POL) (2004) - 12
6/19. Very talented but fragile. Won on the flat in his native Poland. Did most of his racing in Italy winning two hurdles at Merano and a Grade 3 Chase at Milan in 2008. Also finished second in a valuable chase at Baden Baden in May 2009 but was then off the course for nearly two years. When he came back he started racing at Pardubice and ran up a three timer before being beaten in the Labe Prize. He never got near runaway winner Orphee des Blins in the 2012 Velka and was then off the course for another year before racing for the final time at Lysa in July 2014.
BELOVODSK (UA) (1992) - 05
5/35 between 1997 & 2005. Won First of May Chase at Lysa in 1998. Very useful finishing third in 1999 Velka and only went down by three quarters of a length to Peruan in 2000. Would have run close the following year but for unseating three out. In November 2001 ran a superb race to finish fifth at Cheltenham. Then was off the course for two and a half years and when he returned he was not the force of old although he did finish fifth in the 2005 Velka before retirement beckoned.
BLIN (1995) - 02
2/26 between 1994 & 2002. Owned by a syndicate of British west country racing enthuisasts. He was ridden by British amateur Dominic Allers-Hankey who made several trips to Pardubice in 2001 & 2002 to ride the horse. In the Velka he fell at the Taxis but was quickly remounted but pulled up before half way as the task was hopeless. Came to the UK for the Cross Country race at Cheltenham and stayed in the UK. He completed in point-to-points in 2003 & 2004.
BODYGUARD (POL) (2006) - 13
1/21 between 2008 & 15. Slovak trainer runner who apart from winning a valuable chase at Bratislava in April 2012 was pretty average and was in rear throughout until being pulled up in the Velka. Only ran once the following year and was last seen finishing in rear in the Vlatavy Prize in 2015.
BRAMBUSCH (GER) (1996) - 06, 07
2/19 between 2003 & 2007. Finished in rear in 2006 and ran out/pulled up before the Drop in 2007 which was his final start
BREMEN PLAN (POL) (2003) - 10, 11, 12
7/31 between 2006 & 13. Won on the flat in Poland. Won no less than three times on Velka day. Landed the three year old hurdle in 2006, the Vlatavy Prize in 2008 and the Labe Prize in 2009. Was one of the favourites for the 2010 Velka on the back of an impressive victory in the June qualifier. However on the big day he took a very soft looking unseated rider at the seventh fence. Thereafter he lost his way and whilst he finished unplaced in 2011 he unseated at the Taxis in 2012. He looked to be finished but he did enjoy one final glorious moment when he was a surprise winner of the May qualifier in 2013. He pulled up in his next start and was retired.
BRIDGEUR (FR) (2011) - 17, 18, 19 - still in training
BUDAPEST (IRE) (2005) - 13
10/42 between 2009 & 2015. Winner on the flat and finished unplaced in both the Czech and Slovak Derbys in 2008. Between 2010 & 2012 he raced almost exclusively in Italy winning at Rome, Merano and Treviso. He was aimed at Italys premier steeplechase `the Gran Premio di Merano finishing runner up in 2010, third in 2011 and fifth in 2012. On a rare visit to the Czech Republic he won the valuable Velka Mostecka at Most in 2012. In 2013 he was aimed at the Velka, finished third in two qualifiers but unseated at Popkovices Turn in the Velka, the only time he ever fell or unseated in his career. He did not return to Pardubice but won again at Merano, a valuable chase at Kolesa and a second Velka Mostecka. He also ran in two more Gran Premios - a wonderful servant to connections.
BUGSIE MALONE - 2020 - still in training
CABERNET (GER) (2005) - 12
1/15 between 2009 & 2013. Winner on the flat and finished down the field in 2008 Czech Derby. Only a very average chaser winning just one small race at Most. One of the outsiders in 2012 and ran like one finishing amongst the backmarkers.
CANTRIDARA (SLO) (2006) - 13
1/21 between 2010 & 2014. Pretty useless on the flat and only managed one win over fences. Made mistakes and unseated at Popkovices Turn in his one Velka.
CARDAM (FR) (2004) - 14
3/23 between 2009 & 2015. Raced mostly over the minimum distance of 3300m and was very useful winning a Cat 1 prize at Pardubice in June 2012 and ran in three successive Poplar Memorials . Not so effective when tried over longer distances in 2014 and was down the field in the Velka.
CASPER - 20 - still in training
CATCH LIFE - 20 - still in training
CENTAX (1994) - 02
3/34 between 1999 & 2002. Fourth in the Velka and then went to the UK where he finished tailed off over the Cheltenham cross country course. No record of him ever running again.
CHAILAND (1997) - 05, 06
1/21 between 2002 & 2006. Sole win came in a small race at Lysa. Often made mistakes and he unseated and fell in his two Velkas.
CHALCO (GER) (1992) - 01, 02
5/21 between 1996 & 2002. Two times winner on the flat. He won on his debut over fences at Pardubice in June 1996 but by the turn of 2001 he had only added one more win to his tally and was considered no better than useful at best. Then his "annus mirabilis", victory in a minor race at Pardubice in May was followed by running unplaced in what was a very competitive June qualifier and then he easily won the August qualifier in a big field. In the Velka he was prominent throughout, jumped superbly and just managed to overhaul the wonderful Peruan in the closing stages depriving him of a fourth straight victory. The two got very close in the final strides and the stewards were involved but the placings remained unaltered. The following year he avoided the qualifiers running instead in a small race in June and in the Velka itself he never really got the opportunity to defend his title as he was pulled up early sustaining injuries that necessitated his humane destruction.
CHANSON (1997) - 04
2/14 between 2002 & 2004. Didn't race after his one Velka attempt.
CHARM (1995) - 02, 03
Didn't win in 35 starts but finished second in one qualifier in 2003 and did get round in both his Velkas being prominent and amongst the leaders in 2002.
CHARME LOOK (2007) - 16, 17
10/19 between 2011 & 2018. Hero of the 2016 Velka. Winner on the flat and whilst he was lightly raced over fences was a prolific winner. Won Vlatavy Prize in 2015 and the 2016 August qualifier before his decisive victory in the Velka. The following year he won the August qualifier again very convincingly but in the Velka he struggled in the mud and was pulled up. Was being aimed at a third Velka in 2018 but suffered career ending injuries when falling at Havels jump in the June qualifier.
CHICNAME DE COTTE (FR) (2012) - 19 - still in training
CIESZYMIR (POL) (1998) - 06, 07
5/25 between 2002 & 2007. Useful and popular he won two Labe Prizes in 2004 & 2005 before chasing home Decent Fellow in third place in 2006 Velka. The following year he was hampered as he took off at the Taxis, landed in the ditch and tragically broke a shoulder.
CZANKA (POL) (1993) - 00, 01, 02
3/34 between 1998 & 2002. Ran the race of her life to finish third behind Peruan in 2000 Velka but failed to get very far in two subsequent attempts. Won on her final start at Pardubice.
DECENT FELLOW (GER) (1995) - 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08
11/56 between 1999 & 2008. The wonderfully tough and durable 2006 winner ran in seven consecutive Velkas. His record read second, third, third, second, winner, second and fifth (on his final start). He also won races in Germany where he won five times and Italy and also raced in Belgium and over the cross country course at Cheltenham. SEE VELKA LEGENDS
DELIGHT MY FIRE (FR) (2010) - 17, 18, 19 - still in training
DEL SOLE (POL) (2002) - 09
6/17 between 2006 & 2010. Won one out of four starts as a three year old in Poland before moving to the Czech Republic. Won on the flat and over hurdles at Merano the following year. Missed 2007 and from then on it was all about Pardubice. In 2009 he won three times there but flopped on Velka day pulling up in the Vlatavy Prize. In 2010 he never got into the Velka and waa pulled up n the closing stages. He qualified for the 2011 Velka but sidestepped the race for the Labe Prize for which he seemed to have an excellent chance but once again he flopped and was pulled up. He didn't race again.
DERBY SHARP (2000) - 09
6/47 between 2004 & 2011. Won in Slovakia and Italy but only ever managed one win at Pardubice. Wore distinctive blue blinkers and was prominent for most of his one Velka before fading.
DULCAR DE SIVOLA (FR) (2013) - 19, 20 - still in training
ELDORADO (GER) (2007) - 17 - still in training
ELISKA PREMYSLOVNA (1996) - 06, 07
4/31 between 2001 & 2007. Her wins came away from Pardubice and she was unfancied for both her Velkas which were races of some contrast. In 2006 she was spooked at the Taxis and threw her jockey through the fence yet a year later on her final racecourse start she ran the race of her life to finish third behind Sixteen.
FAHRENHEIT (1994) - 03
4/11 between 1999 & 2004. Very lightly raced - missed both 2000 & 2001. All his wins came at Pardubice including in the 2003 May qualifier but he never featured in the big one itself.
FLAMBION (SLO) (2004) - 11
4/22 between 2009 & 2012. Ran the race of his life to finish fourth in the 2011 Velka. Was nothing more than useful with all his wins coming away from Pardubice. Entered in 2012 but didn't make it.
GAUNER DANON (GER) (2006) - 14, 15
1/29 between 2011 & 2017. Only managed one win but it was a Cat 1 chase at Lysa in the summer of 2015. In his second Velka he made a terrible mistake at the Drop pitching his Bulgarian rider onto his neck. The rider clung on for dear life before gravity won several strides after the fence. He failed to qualify in 2016 and was last seen out in June 2017.
GLOGLOGLO (1997) - 06
7/20 between 2001 & 2007. Winner on the flat and considered a top class chaser who won valuable prizes in Germany and Italy. Also won the Cena CASCH on Velka day in 2001. The Taxis claimed him on his one Velka appearance. Qualified the following year in May but didn't run again despite holding a Velka entry.
GRILIAS (2004) - 12
6/42 between 2007 & 2014. Won small race at Treviso in 2011. One of the outsiders and never got into the 2012 Velka. The following year he raced mostly in Italy winning a cross country event at Merano before finishing third in the Poplar Prize on Velka day. Was entered for the 2014 Velka but suffered career ending injuries in a fall in the May qualifier.
HARRY THE BEAVER (IRE) (1999) - 06, 07
Won twice on the flat but this wonderfully named horse never managed to get his head in front over fences in 35 attempts between 2005 & 2012. Completed the course on both his Velka starts. Lightly raced in later years missing both the 2009 & 2011 seasons
HASTAVEN (POL) (1995) - 04, 05, 06
9/28 between 2001 & 2008. Excellent in qualifiers winning in August twice in 2004 & 2006 and September in 2005. Failed to confirm that form in the big one though failing to finish each time, pulling up in 2004 In 2005 he over-jumped the Taxis and his rider was thrown. On his final visit he rather tamely unseated at fence 10.
HEGNUS (2008) - 16, 18, 20 - still in training
HIPO JAPE (2006) - 15
1/26 between 2010 & 2016. After finishing second in a hurdle race on his debut at Pardubice he raced almost exclusively in Merano in Italy. From 2012 he raced only at Pardubice where he scored his sole career victory in a small race in May 2012. In his one Velka he was prominent early but faded and was pulled up in the closing stages. Lightly raced thereafter.
HIRSCH (1996) - 08, 09
4/46 between 2000 & 2010. Enjoyed a very long career but did not try his luck in the Velka until he was twelve years old. Previously he had settled for the slightly calmer waters of the Vlatavy Prize (fourth in 2007) and Labe Prize (fourth in 2005). Finished a distant third in the 2008 Velka which was upgraded to the runners up spot on Amant Gris' disqualification. Didn't get so far the following year when he fell at the Taxis. At the age of fourteen he failed to finish in three qualifiers and was wisely retired.
ICARE DU RENOM (FR) (1996) - 06, 08
Won twice in the French provinces in 2002. Came to the Czech Republic in 2005 and in his twelve starts over fences he only once made the frame when he ran out of his skin to finish fourth in the 2006 Velka.
IL EN REVE (FR) (1998) - 09, 10
Won four chases and two hurdles in his native Ireland before being sent over to compete in the 2009 Velka where he was never a factor and finished amongst the backmarkers. Stayed in the Czech Republic and showed nothing in twelve starts there and also ran without success in Italy and France.
ILION (1990) - 02
11/35 between 1994 & 2003. Two times winner on the flat, Hit a rich vein of form in 1997 winning four times at Pardubice including the Poplar Memorial over the minimum distance on Velka day. Didn't get very far in the Velka coming down at the Taxis.
IMBIR (POL) (2004) - 12
2/24 between 2008 & 2013. Winner on flat. Ran in Italys premier chase the Gran Premio di Merano in 2009 but failed to finish. Third in First Of May Chase on only start in 2010. Failed to qualify for the 2011 Velka so ran in the Labe Prize instead finishing unplaced. Did qualify for the 2012 Velka but unseated at the second part of the In and Out. Failed to qualify again the following year.
IRAKLION (POL) (1995) - 05, 06
Won 15/43 between 1999 & 2007. Initially trained in Slovakia by Jaroslav Brecka where he won on the flat, three hurdles and two steeplechases before moving to the Czech Republic in 2001. He then became something of a specialist over the minimum cross country distance of 3400m winning the most valuable prize at that distance, the Poplar Memorial on Velka day no less than three times in 2001, 2003 & 2004. From 2005 he concentrated on the longer distances including the Velka where he was still in contention when unseating at the big English Jump, six fences from the finish. The following year he won the May qualifier but was one of four fallers at the Taxis. In 2007 he ran three times in Italy before he sadly met his end in a fall at the Snake Ditch water jump whilst attempting to qualify for the Velka.
JACK DE TRAOU LAND (FR) (1997) - 05
5/29 between 2002 & 2007. Consistent sort who did make mistakes (he fell before half way in his one Velka) but when he did get round he was useful. Highlight was victory in the Vlatavy Prize on Velka day in 2006. He only had one eye and after 2006 such horses were banned from racing in the Czech Republic so he plied his trade in Italy the following year before earning a well deserved retirement.
JESLADY (IRE) (1997) - 04
Never won from 22 starts over fences between 2002 & 2005 (did win twice on the flat). Only ever managed second place twice.
JUNG (POL) (2000) - 08, 09, 10
3/23 between 2004 & 2010. Unplaced on the flat in Germany he won his first steeplechase at Bratislava. Was prominent in all his Velkas....in the first half but only managed to finish once.
JUNIUSZ (POL) (1997) - 04, 06
7/36 between 2001 & 2007. Won five times at Bratislava and also ran in Italy. No luck in two Velkas, unseating both times.
JUVENTUS (POL) (1999) - 06, 07, 08, 10
8/37 between 2004 & 2011. Ultra game and consistent and one of my favourites. I was convinced he would win a Velka but a never dangerous second behind stable companion Decent Fellow in 2006 was the best he managed and he generally disappointed in the big one especially in 2007 when he was considered a major player but could only finish fifth after making mistakes. Away from the Velka he won three times in Italy, won a Velka qualifier, the Albertovec Chase and finished second in a chase in Belgium. Not seen again after falling in a Rome chase in January 2011.
KARLSBAD (GER) (2003) - 11, 12
2/34 between 2007 & 2014. Only won two races in his career but one of those was a surprise victory in the June qualifier in 2012. A dependable chaser but short of top class. Finished third in the Vlatavy Prize in 2009 and was unplaced in the 2010 Labe Prize. Held each way claims for the 2011 Velka on the back of his second place to Valdemoso in the September qualifier but he came down at the Taxis. Never got into the 2012 race when quietly fancied on the back of his qualifier win.
KASIM (2005) - 13, 14, 15, 17, 18 - Still in training
KASJER (POL) (2000) - 08
3/28 between 2004 & 2010. Showed form in Germany in 2007 (placed in the lake race at Hamburg) and held each way claims for the Velka. Ran no sort of race, tailed off by half way he was pulled up. He didn't try it again.
KEDON (1995) - 02, 03, 05
11/35 between 1998 & 2005. Josef Vana once dreamt he would win a Velka with a grey horse. Many thought this was the one - it wasn't but he was a grand servant to the yard. Very prolific between 1998 & 2001 winning thirteen times on the flat, over hurdles and fences. He ran in three Velkas finishing third in 2002 & fourth in 2005. He was unlucky in 2003 when his rider was knocked out of the saddle after colliding with a loose horse. Away from Pardubice he won the First of May Steeplechase in 2004.
KLAUS (POL) (2005) - 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
6/27 between 2009 & 2016. Twice winner on the flat winning on his debut at Praha. Also won his sole hurdle at Bratislava and on his debut over fences at Pardubice. Ran in five consecutive Velkas unseating at the Taxis on his debut but then completed four times in a row finishing third in both 2013 & 2014.
KLIP (1996) - 06, 08
1/7 between 2006 & 2008. Ran on the flat as a three year old but then left racing to become an eventer and did not see a racecourse again until the age of ten. Ran a wonderful race in 2006 Velka on what was only his fourth start over fences finishing fifth having been prominent throughout. The following year showed he was a top chaser when he won the May qualifier in a canter but sadly missed the rest of the season through injury. Lined up again in 2008 and was leading when he appeared to break down on the plough approaching fence 10A. He did take the fence but came down in a very ugly looking fall and suffered fatal injuries.
KOBUZ (POL) (2002) - 10
3/25. Unplaced in 2005 Polish Derby. Didn't show much in his Velka which proved to be his final start
KROCOLEON (FR) (2010) - 19
KYRTON (1996) - 03, 04
2/33 between 2001 & 2006. Lost his maiden tag with victory in September qualifier in 2002 but at the time six year olds were ineligible to compete in the Velka. He only won one more time but he ran well in 2003 before he fell at Havels jump when still in contention. Lost his way thereafter but did race over the Cheltenham cross country course, pulling up in November 2004.
LAKREG (2000) - 09, 10
3/23 between 2004 & 2012. Finished twelfth in both his Velka starts never troubling the leaders either time.
LANERET (1996) - 04, 05
2/40 between 1999 & 2006. Plodded round in two Velkas but stayed on passed tired horses to reach the frame in 2005.
LENTINI (GB) (1991) - 02, 03
1/16 between 2001 & 2004. Lightly raced but completed in both Velkas albeit without ever troubling the leaders.
LE JACKPOT (FR) (2003) - 12
1/14 between 2007 & 2013. Raced twice without success in native France before moving to Slovakia where he could only manage one win in a small event at Topolciancy. Once finished third at Merano which was probably the best form he showed. He was tailed off in his sole Velka effort.
LIGRETA (2000) - 10
3/25 between 2004 & 2010. Won the Vlatavy Prize as a five year old in 2005 and after she won an admittedly weak renewal of the September qualifier the following year she looked to have a great future. Sadly that was as good as it got and she never showed anything in eleven subsequent starts over the next four seasons. The Velka was her final appearance and she was tailing off when she fell at fence eleven having made mistakes.
LIRAIN (2001) - 09, 10, 11
Winner on the flat he remained a maiden over fences between 2005 & 2012 but was a very interesting animal with a distinctive white face. To be frank he was pretty useless when trained and ridden by Jaromir Hrudka. Hrudka tried extensively with him even sending him to contest a race over the Cheltenham cross country course in November 2009 (they unseated very early on). In that years Velka he was one of the outsiders and trailed for most of the race before unseating late in the contest. Jump forward a year and now trained by Josef Vana he found himself one of the favourites on the back of his second place in the September qualifier which was far beyond anything he had ever achieved in his career with Hrudka. In the Velka itself he ran an excellent race and was still in third place at the turn into the home straight before weakening to finish sixth. This was a stunning performance when one considered how poorly he had run the year before. I have a feeling though that this one flattered to deceive as the following year despite a couple of second places he showed a tendency to run out and he was never a factor in the 2011 Velka pulling up. He failed to qualify in 2012 running in the Labe Prize instead unseating at the Irish Bank.
LODGIAN WHISTLE - 20 - still in training
LORAIN (2007) - 15
3/14 between 2011 & 2016. Won a Cat 1 Hurdle at Praha on only his second ever start over jumps. Missed 2014 and won a small race at Pardubice prior to his assault on the Velka where he made some late progress to finish sixth. This was his penlutimate start as the following year he unseated two out in the June qualifier and was not seen out again.
MAHONY (2012) - 19, 20 - still in training
MANDARINO (2001) - 09, 10, 11, 12
7/38 between 2005 & 2012. Very useful just short of top class. Won three times on the flat and was particulalry effective at Lysa where he won the First of May Chase three times in 2007, 2008 & 2009 (he was second in 2008). Also won the May qualifier in 2010 and twice finished fourth in the Velka. He also suffered more than most with a touch of "seconditis" filling the runners up spot no less than twelve occasions (once running up a sequence of seven second places in eight runs). His form tailed off in his final years and he was retired after a very lacklustre performance in the 2012 Velka.
MARATH (2000) - 08, 09
Four time winner on the flat but only managed one win over fences and that was in his first season in 2007. Once finished second in a qualifier but in reality was nothing more than average. Did run twice over the Cheltenham cross country course in 2009 and ran twice in Switzerland in the autumn of 2010.
MASKUL (USA) (1994) - 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07
11/43 between 1999 & 2008. Bred for the flat where he was successful twice and ran in top company at home and in Slovakia. Over fences became something of a legend winning the Velka twice, firstly in heavy conditions in 2002 and on good ground in 2005. Ran in seven consecutive Velkas although he blotted his copybook by falling on his final two appearances in the race. SEE VELKA LEGENDS
MAUGLI (2006) - 17 - still in training
MAZHLIS (FR) (2009) - 19, 20 - still in training
MILERYT (POL) (2007) - 18 - still in training
MODRENKA (1994) - 02, 03
2/20 between 1998 & 2004. Amazingly competed the course in all his races.
MONTGOMERY (2000) - 09
4/35 between 2005 & 2011, Struck up a great partnership with lady rider Stepanka Sedlakova who rode him in eighteen consecutive races winning four times. Unseated late on in his one Velka and he lost his way thereafter only making the frame twice.
MODENA (2007) - 15 - still in training
MOULA (2008) - 14 - still in training
MR LAND (1999) - 08, 09
3/37 between 2002 & 2010. Won the Cat 1 race at the first Pardubice meeting in both 2008 & 2010. Solid, dependable and rarely ran a bad race although he didn't show much in his two starts in the Velka albeit he completed both times.
NARRATOR (POL) (1994) - 03, 04
6/37 between 1998 & 2005. Never a factor in his first Velka but did pass tired horses in the closing stages - didn't get too far a year later.
NEBRIUS (POL) (2008) - 15 - still in training
NER (POL) (1997) - 06
11/39 between 2001 & 2009. Better known as a hurdler/conventional steeplechase and enjoyed success both in Germany in Italy. Won a listed hurdle at Baden-Baden on August 2002 and won three hurdle races at Merano. In the Czech Republic he won the Gold Cup, the biggest prize over steeplechase fences in 2003 and 2004 and also landed the First Of May Chase in 2006. He only ever raced twice over the Pardubice cross country course finishing second in the June qualifier before his one assault on the Velka. He ran a fine race and was in second place when his saddle slipped and he unseated his rider seven from home. He could be seen running riderless up the home straight with the saddle under his belly. He was banned from racing in the Czech Republic after 2006 as he only had one eye so he returned to Italy. He won a hurdle race at Merano in June 2007 but the following month he was sadly killed in a chase at the same track.
NIKAS (2005) - 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 - still in training
NOSTALGIA (POL) (1997) - 05
8/24 between 2001 & 2005. Winner on the flat. Won Vlatavy Prize in 2002 & First of May Chase in 2003. Won the September qualifier in 2004. Didn't line up for the Velka until the following year and pulled up on the plough in the closing stages. Presumably suffered a mishap as he was not seen out again.
NO TIME TO LOSE (GB) (2009) - 17, 18, 20 - still in training
NUMERO DUE (POL) (2001) - 08, 09
9/35 between 2004 & 2011. Won on his first two starts over timber and then finished second in the valuable three year old hurdle on Velka day 2004. Was just short of top class as he only won once at Pardubice in a qualifier in August 2008. Loved Bratislava though where he won six times including their premier chase the Velka Petrzalky three times. In the Velka he ran well to reach the frame both times and it was a shame that he only raced three more times after that second appearance at the relatively young age of eight.
ODYSEUSZ (POL) (1998) - 05
0/8 starts in the Czech Republic in 2005 & 2006. Initially trained in Poland and showed some form in Italy in 2004 winning at Merano and running several good races. Showed nothing when trained in the Czech Republic for two seasons and unseated early on in the Velka.
ORIX (2007) - 15
2/27 between 2010 & 2016. Both wins came in small events at Pardubice. Very average chaser who was outclassed in the Velka.
ORPHEE DES BLINS (FR) (2002) - 12, 13, 14
10/15 in the Czech Republic between 2010-15. Originally trained in France by Patrice Quinton she was nothing more than an average cross country chaser winning twice in that sphere. Moved to the Czech Republic in the August 2009 her first run for new connections was finishing sixth in the Labe Prize. On her next start in 2010 she fell at the first fence in a conventional steeplechase. Off the course for nearly two years she was a revelation when she returned and for the next three years won nine of her eleven starts (all at Pardubice) - her first two Velkas were nothing short of outstanding with her making all the running and dominating in a manner that even the likes of Zeleznik and Sagar could not achieve. She was made to work for her last Velka but she wrote her name into the record books. She was a late developer, her first Velka came at eleven and at thirteen following her last she was retired. SEE VELKA LEGENDS
PARETO (2007) - 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 - still in training
PEINTRE ABSTRAIT (IRE) (2006) - 13, 14, 15, 16
2/22 between 2010 & 2016. His two victories came in small events at Pardubice. Ran a blinder in 2014 and survived a race of some carnage and was looking booked for a place until he dropped back in the final stages. Two of his Velkas ended early although in 2015 he was very unlucky as a loose horse cannoned into him and he was knocked to the ground. Last ran in the 2016 Velka finishing down the field.
PERUAN (1988) - 02
16/38 between 1993 & 2002. A Velka legend who won three Velkas between 1998 & 2000 and was pretty much unbeatable during this period. A real course specialist as all but his first victory came at Pardubice. His best performance however came at Cheltenham in November 1997 when he ran a close second to Fiftysevenchannels in the Cheltenham cross country chase. This has been the best performance by a Czech horse in the UK. Continued racing until the age of fifteen and in retirement led the parade for the Velka on more than one occasion. SEE VELKA LEGENDS
PLAYER (2012) - 19, 20 - still in training
POCCI (GER) (2000) - 09
7/18. Very useful formally trained in Germany. Won on the flat and his best year came in 2004 when he won four races in a row including a valuable hurdle and chase at Baden-Baden. Missed 2005 and was lightly raced thereafter. Moved to the Czech Republic in 2007 and won three chases including the 2008 September qualifier but sidestepped that years Velka for the Labe Prize where he finished second in a blanket finish only to be demoted to third place following an objection. Ran well in 2009 Velka finishing fifth. Last ran in June 2010.
POLARNIK (1999) - 06, 07
2/17 between 2003 & 2007. Won twice at Pardubice in the summer of 2004 and later that year contested a novice hurdle at Cheltenham. Succumbed to injuries sustained on the flat in the closing stages of the 2007 Velka.
POLEBOS (GER) (1993) - 02
7/35 between 1998 & 2003. Three of his wins came at Benesov. Won a valuable chase in Bratislava and the First of May Chase at Lysa in 2000. Fell on the plough in the Velka.
POWER ZAR (GER) (2009) - 17 - still in training
PROFIL (2000) - 08, 09
4/15 between 2010 & 2015.All his races bar one were at Pardubice. Either won or failed to finish as he was prone to making mistakes and a third of his races ended without his rider including the 2008 Velka when he unseated at the second water. In 2009 he won the June qualifier but never featured in the Velka. Last raced in August 2010 (unseated rider number five)
PUNTARENAS (2006) - 16
6/29 between 2009 & 2017. Very useful juvenile hurdler in 2009 winning three times including the three year old hurdle on Velka day. Didn't live up to that initial promise although did win a race at Bratislava, a couple of small races at Pardubice and he did finish third in the Vlatavy Prize in 2013. His placing in the 2016 slightly flatters him as he was never a major player and passed tired horses in the closing stages.
RABBIT WELL (GB) (2006) - 15, 16
13/45 between 2009 & 2017. Twice winner on the flat. Oh so talented but oh so wayward. When he was in a going mood he was one of the most talented horses in training but his tendency to refuse to start blighted his career as you could never know what he was going to do - he would go several starts without playing up and then plant himself on his next. On going days he won the Gold Cup in 2011, two First of May Chases in 2014 & 2015 and the August qualifier in 2015. That year he won four of his five starts leading up to the Velka - the other one ? Yes you've guessed it a refusal to race. In his first Velka he did consent to start but never got into the race (a mistake at the big water did not help) and he finished a distant fourth. A year later he managed about five strides before he pulled himself up in disgrace. Connections persevered with him and he finished fourth in the Velka Slusovicka on his next start. However he was retired after unseating during a lacklustre display at Lysa the following summer.
REAPER (GER) (2009) - 16
6/30 between 2012 & 2017. Son of Registana but no-where near as good. Ran on five consecutive Velka days finishing second in the three year old hurdle race in 2012 and filled the runners up spot in the Cena CASCH a year later. Didn't fare so well in the Velka coming down at the Taxis. Finished third in two qualifiers in 2017 but didn't run in the Velka and has not been seen out since.
RED DANCER (FR) (1996) - 03, 05, 09
8/35 between 2000 & 2009. Moved to Czech Republic after a couple of races in his native France. Ran in Slovakia, Italy and Germany and even ran over the Cheltenham cross country course in 2002. Won a valuable prize at Bratislava in 2001 and won the August qualifier in 2005. Blazed the trail in two Velkas in 2005 & 2009 but ran out of steam both times and finished towards the rear. His exploits in 2005 though did help the winner to break the course record. The 2009 Velka was his last race.
REGISTANA (GER) (1996) - 04, 05
21/34 between 2000 & 2006. The most prolific winner in Czech racing in recent years and probably the best mare ever to grace the Czech turf. After she won the Vlatavy Prize on Velka day in 2001 she was pretty much unbeatable over the next four years winning seventeen of her next nineteen starts. She won nine times at Merano, four June qualifiers and two Velkas. Her only failure came when rider Peter Gehm took the wrong course in the closing stages when she had a Cheltenham cross country chase at her mercy. Then she stunned everyone at Pardubice by falling at the second fence in the 2005 Velka, the only time she ever fell. She was due to be retired to the paddocks but she was kept in training for one more go but connections called it a day after she was uncharacteristically beaten in the August qualifier. SEE VELKA LEGENDS
RENAISSANCE DANCER (IRE) (1995) - 03
1/32 between 2000 & 2004. His only win came in a hurdle race at Freudenau, Austria in August 2001. He also raced in Italy.
RENDEZ-VOUS (2009) - 16
2/20 between 2013 & 2016. Both wins came in minor events at Pardubice. Completely outclassed in the Velka and finished in rear. Hasn't run since
RENT (1991) - 03
1/31 between 1995 & 2004. Finished fifth in the 2000 Velka but found the Taxis too much three years later in what was the only time he unseated/fell in his career.
RETRIEVER (GER) (1997) - 04
5/13 between 2003 & 2008. Very fragile animal who only managed thirteen starts in total and only managed to be fit enough to run in one Velka where he chased home the legendary Registana. Won Labe Prize in 2003 and the May qualifier in 2004 & 2005 (the latter was his only start that season as he was a last minute withdrawal from the Velka). Missed all of 2007. Could have achieved more had he stayed fit.
RIBELINO (FR) (2008) - 15, 18, 19, 20 - still in training
RONINO (POL) (2005) - 12
6/17 between 2008 & 13. Very useful but lightly raced individual. Won Vlatavy Prize in 2011 and the 2012 September qualifier. Chased home Orphee des Blins in his one Velka but never got in blow with the runaway winner. Sadly only raced one more time in the June qualifier in 2013 so never got another chance.
ROOSEVELT (GER) (1998) : 09
6/47 between 2003 & 2008. Quite useful when trained in Germany winning a hurdle, two chases at the Bad Harzburg meeting and a small race at Baden Baden in 2004 but struggled in the major chases the following year. Raced exclusively in Italy between 2006 & 2007 but could only win once at Merano. Moved to the Czech Republic with high hopes in 2008 but despite winning the Albertovec Chase that year was generally disappointing. He was a sound jumper (he never fell in his career) but was slow and he plodded round in his own time in the 2009 Velka.
RUBIN (2002) - 10, 14
Incredibly tough cookie who remained a maiden in a sixty two race career spanning ten years between 2006 & 2015. It was a remarkable training performance by Martina Ruzickova that she was able to keep him fit throughout and he appeared at Pardubice on Velka day ten consecutive times. The only time he failed to run was in 2009 when he became the first (and so far only) horse to be eliminated from the Velka after the twenty five runner safety limit was introduced. His finest hour came in the 2013 Labe Prize when he was looking like he might finally be successful at the fifty fifth attempt until caught on the straight and eventually beaten into second place. Hie full record on Velka day reads as follows : 2006 Cena CASCH (fell), 2007 Vlatavy Prize (unseated), 2008 Labe Prize (5th), 2009 Eliminated from VP, 2010 VP (unseated), 2011 Labe (refused), 2012 Labe (12th), 2013 Labe (2nd), 2014 VP (15th), 2015 Labe (7th)
SALAMINI (1993) - 03
2/22 between 2002 & 2005. Got behind early in his one Velka and was pulled up before half way
SESLOST (2004) - 13
1/28 between 2007 & 2014. A rare winner on the flat at Pardubice he won on his debut over fences at Kolesa but did not win again although he was a consistent sort. Finished second in the 2011 Labe Prize and held each way chances for the 2013 Velka. Ridden both times by Grand National winning jockey Liam Treadwell he struggled in the Velka and was pulled up. Last seen out at Pardubice in October 2014
SHERARDO (2004) - 14, 15
1/30 between 2009 & 2016. Won twice on the flat and won on his debut over fences at Pardubice in June 2009. Never won again and showed little in two Velkas.
SHIRLEY (POL) (2001) - 09
5/17 between 2005 & 2009. Won at Bratislava on his debut over fences (three of his wins came at the Slovak track) and then followed that with victory in a valuable chase in Italy. Didn't quite live up to that initial promise but was a useful animal who sadly met his end when landing awkwardly over the big water in the 2009 Velka breaking a leg.
SISI MERBLE (2008) - 14 - still in training
SIXTEEN (FR) (2000) - 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12
10/44 between 2004 & 2012. Failed to win in seventeen attempts on the flat and had an inauspicious start to his steeplechase career falling on his debut at Milan. Thereafter was a wonderful servant to connections. Winning twice at Merano in 2005 she was second in the Vlatavy Prize on Velka day and a year later went one better lifting the Labe Prize in a titanic struggle with Bargiel. In 2007 he won the August qualifier before winning his first Velka very easily under replacement jockey Dusan Andres who rode him for the only time when regular rider Josef Bartos preferred stable companion Decent Fellow. Lightly raced the following year he lined up with just one prep race and with Bartos on board narrowly failed to beat Amant Gris. However she was awarded the race in the stewards room. She never won again but ran in four further Velkas finishing second twice and third once and in 2011 she made most of the running and looked all over the winner until Tiumen prevailed in the closing stages. Retired after the 2012 Velka. SEE VELKA LEGENDS
SIXTYSEVEN (2009) - 17 - still in training
SOKOL (CAN) (2007) - 15
9/32 between 2011 & 2017. Twice winner on the flat and was one of the best hurdlers and conventional steeplechasers. Won the Silver Cup over hurdles on Velka day on 2011, the Gold Cup over steeplechase fences in June 2012 and a Cat 1 Hurdle at Praha in September 2013. In 2014 he started with two wins over fences in France and finished second in the valuable Velka Mostecka at Most. In 2015 he turned his attention to cross country races and was not so good. It seemed a little premature to run him in the Velka in what was only his fourth cross country race and so it proved as he fell at Popkovices Turn. Sadly was not so good afterwards and didn't win again. Last seen at Kolesa in August 2016.
SORD (1995) - 02, 03
5/23 between 1998 & 2005. Four times winner on the flat. He won May qualifier in 2002 and ran prominently for most of that years Velka before fading to finish ninth. Unseated at the Taxis a year later and running riderless he put Kedon out of the race after the sixth fence
SOROS (POL) (2006) - 14
7/28 between 2010-17. Won 2009 Polish Derby and when he moved to the Czech Republic won his first three starts over hurdles and fences. Liked Lysa winning the First of May Chase in 2011 and two other Grade 1 races there. Did win once at Pardubice but was not so happy there and didn't show much when trailed in the 2014 Velka. Last seen at Lysa in May 2017
SOTTOVENTO - 20
SPERANZA (2005) - 13
2/26 between 2008 & 2014. Won that rarest if things in Czech racing a three horse race by ten lengths at the defunct racecourse at Radislavice on her debut in April 2008. Was described as dependable in the 2013 Velka racecard but unseated relatively early at Popkovices Turn. On his next start won the valuable End of Season Chase at Pardubice. Was entered for and qualified for the 2014 Velka but did not make the line up and hasn't been seen out since.
STATUS QUO (2006) - 13
Never managed to win in 30 starts between 2010 & 2017. Only managed a place six times and only twice filled the runners up spot. One of the least talented Velka runners of this period.
STRETTON (2010) - 18, 19, 20 - still in training
SZAFRAN (POL) (1993) - 03
4/40 between 1998 & 2005. He unseated at the very last fence in the Velka when a long way last. Three of his wins came at Kolesa including on his final racecourse appearance.
SZTORM (POL) (2009) - 19 - still in training
TALENT (2011) - 19, 20 - still in training
TAVERN (1994) - 02
2/25 between 1999 & 2003. Provided Josef Bartos with his first Velka ride and was behind when he appeared to run out after Havels jump.
TEMPLAR (2007) - 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 - still in training
TERESINA (GER) (2002) - 10
7/36 between 2006 & 2012. Only ever won once at Pardubice but twice in her career she ran up a hat-trick of victories in 2006 & 2009. Showed little thereafter but was given a slight each-way chance in her one attempt at the Velka which ended when she unseated when behind at the very last fence.
TER MILL (2006) - 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 - still in training
TEVIOT (2003) - 10
5/20 between 2006 & 2011. Finished unplaced in his one attempt at the Velka but had two glorious days in the sun as he twice won supporting races on Velka day, the CASCH Prize in 2007 and the Vlatavy Prize two years later.
THEOPHILOS (FR) (2010) - 19, 20 - still in training
TIUMEN (POL) (2001) - 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
7/27 between 2005 & 2014. Three times winner of the Velka in 2009, 2010 & 2011. Won his first two races over timber at Kolesa and Merano in 2005 but was only managed one more win until he lined up in his first Velka. Then over a three year period and in just six races he won three Velkas and a qualifier. However such was the hype and general awe that was felt towards his fifty something rider, the legendary Josef Vana, that the exploits of the horse were somewhat overshadowed. He ran in three more Velkas and provided Vana with his final rides and retired along with his horse. SEE VELKA LEGENDS
TOMIS (2001) - 09, 12, 13
8/37 between 2006 & 2014. Very dependable sort won four chases on the bounce in 2008-09 including the Labe Prize and the May qualifier. Was fancied for the 2009 Velka but ran no sort of race at all finishing unpaced. He was entered for the next two Velkas but ran in the Labe Prize instead and he failed to compete in his next two attempts at the Velka (made a terrible mess of the big water in 2012 which effectively ended his race). Away from Pardubice he landed the Albertovec Chase in 2011.
TREZOR (POL) (2004) - 11, 12, 13, 14
7/34 between 2008 & 2016. The king of the qualifiers. Between 2012 & 2015 he ran in five qualifiers and won...five of them. Twice he was partnered by Grand National winning jockey Liam Treadwell. Shame he couldn't reproduce that form in the Velka. He ran in the race four times, twice he came down at Havels jump and twice he was unplaced. He missed the 2015 race and by 2016 settled for the calmer waters of the Labe Prize which was his final race.
TZIGANE DUE BERLAIS (FR) (2011) - 18, 19, 20 - still in training
UNIVERSE OF GRACIE (GER) (2005) - 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 - still in training
VAJGARA (1999) - 06
Never won in 32 starts over fences between 2003 & 2008. In fact he only ever twice made the frame. One of the least talented Velka runners.
VAJGAROS (2011) - 18 - still in training
VAL DE GUYE (FR) (2009) - 17 - still in training
VALLDEMOSO (2004) - 10, 11, 12
11/43 between 2007 & 2015. Very useful, just short of the top. Won the September qualifier twice in 2010 & 2011 but could never quite reproduce that form in the Velka. Came down at the Taxis in 2011 and was never a factor in 2012. In between he stayed on to finish a close third behind Tiumen and Sixteen. Away from Pardubice he was very useful winning the Velka Slusovicka in 2010 and was three times victorious in the Albertovec Chase (where the horses had to negotiate a steep chute down the middle of the course).
VANDUAL (SLO) (2008) - 18, 19, 20 - still in training
VARCAS (1994) - 02
9/32 between 1997 & 2004. Flashy grey who won Vlatavy Prize on Velka day 2000 and finished fourth in a valuable cross country event at Merano in 2003.
VICODY (FR) (2009) - 18
5/32 between 2013 & 2018. Won three times in the French provinces before being sent to the Czech Republic in 2016. Won a Cat 2 event at Pardubice on his fifth start for new connections and a year later romped home by an easy seven lengths in the Labe Prize on Velka day. Was on many peoples each way list (including mine) for the 2019 Velka on the back of a close third place in the September qualifier. Sadly in the big one he was one of four fallers at the Taxis and he broke his leg.
WAVELIGHT LASER (GER) (2004) - 11
1/23 between 2008 & 2014. Unplaced in 2007 Czech Derby. Only ever won one race but it was a big one, the Labe Prize on Velka day 2010. Raced in Italy and was a consistent individual who just didn't win. Never troubled the leaders and finished in rear in his one attempt at the Velka
WYONA (GER) (2006) - 12
3/19 between 2011 & 2013. Still only twelve but not seen out since finishing second in Polands premier steeplechase, the Wroclaw Steeplechase in September 2013. Outclassed and tailed off in the Velka.
ZARIF (IRE) (2007) - 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 - still in training
ZEEROW (1996) - 07
2/43 between 1999 & 2009. Very slow individual who plodded round in his own time.
ZULEJKA (2005) - 11, 14
6/26 between 2008 & 2014. Talented mare particularly in 2010 when she won two chases at Pardubice and finished runner up in the Vlatavy Prize on Velka day, The following year she won the First of May Chase at Lysa and was quietly fancied for the Velka but she only got as far as the second fence. She won her only start in June 2012 and was then off the course for two years and when she returned in 2014 she was not so good but did run in the Velka. Sadly she didn't get high enough at the Taxis and fell back into the ditch and was killed.