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Finding The Meetings
You will find all of today’s live odds by clicking on any Polish racecourse in the meetings column, which can always be found on the left-hand-side of the homepage.
Poland’s relationship with thoroughbred horses goes back several centuries. Poles regularly came into conflict with fighting forces from the Middle-East and came to admire their magnificent and athletic steeds.
Admiration led to envy and Arabian horses became the spoils of war – captured by Polish warriors and used for both riding and breeding. Stud farms were built as early as the seventeenth century. At the turn of the 18th-century, conflict with Turkey came to an end. An upshot of this was that the steady flow of Arabian bloodstock was halted.
However, expeditions were organised and Poles found new means of getting the horses that they coveted from the Turks. Stocks continued to grow p to the early part of the 20th-century, but the whole operation came under immediate threat with the advent of the First World War.
Cavalry was still a very important arm of the military, although with major advancements in firearms technology, it was to be a war where few horses survived. By the end of it, there were only a handful of thoroughbred horses left in the country and less than 10 fillies.
The Poles worked hard to rebuild stocks, but the Second World War brought more devastation and a lot of the best horses were seized by the Russians. But stocks were replenished again, when the war finally came to an end.
Nowadays, the majority of Polish horses that have been bred for racing will be sent to Warsaw as 3-year-olds. But most of these will be raced for the purpose of assessment, rather than just to win races. Many will be exported, or just used for breeding.
The Warsaw Derby
That being said, Poland still has many competitive races for the public to bet on and enjoy. The most important Polish race is the Warsaw Derby. This race has been running for over 140 years and the field is not restricted to just Polish horses.
Entries are sent from Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and the Czech Republic. The race is currently held at the Sluzewiec Racetrack – one of the most important racing venues in the country.
Poland’s Growing Reputation
The Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Global Arabian Horse Flat Racing Festival has recently been held in Poland – testament to the fact that the racing industry in Poland is looked upon positively by the power-brokers of racing in the Middle-East. The Festival included the Shaikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup, which is a G3 contest.
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