Here at Maxilead we’re passionate about horse racing.
To celebrate our horses and love for the races, we have several customised vehicles with striking paintwork that proudly feature our famous yellow and black silks and race winning horses. We also have a close relationship with local tracks Aintree and Haydock, where we have sponsored numerous races and held various events over the years.
This weekend is the 2016 Grand National, so what better time to introduce you to our horse racing passion? If you would like to know more about our horses click here.
In 2007 our most successful racehorse to date, Blythe Knight, won the Aintree Top Novices’ Hurdle with champion jockey AP McCoy on board. Second place horse Osana, ridden by Tom Scudamore, looked good to win the race but in the last 100 yards or so Blythe Knight closed the gap and beat Osana to first place.
Blythe Knight was mainly a flat campaigner, so we were nervous but quietly confident about his ability over hurdles. But, like a true champion, he surpassed our expectations and took home the prize.
This wasn’t the first time that Blythe Knight won a big race. In 2006 he defied the odds and triumphed in the William Hill Lincoln at Redcar, despite being 22/1. Ridden by Graham Gibbons and trained by John Quinn, Gibbons said that Blythe Knight “travelled like a dream throughout… he was in front plenty long enough but he kept going and stuck his neck out”
Two months after Aintree he went to Epsom on Derby Day and won the Diomed Stakes in great style, he would then go on to win this for a second year in 2008.
Blythe Knight’s age meant that he started to get a few little niggles here and there, and we didn’t want to cause him physical or mental stress by racing him when he wasn’t up to it, so he was given honourable retirement in 2009.
Born in 1974 in Ireland, AP McCoy claimed 4,357 career wins as a jockey before retiring in 2015.
He rode Blythe Knight to victory in the Aintree Top Novices’ Hurdle in 2007, 3 years later he returned to Aintree and triumphed in the 2010 Grand National aboard Don’t Push It, his fifteenth attempt at taking home the prize. The same year McCoy was named BBC Sports Personality of the Year, the first jockey to do so, and awarded an OBE for his services to horse racing.
In 2015 AP McCoy was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.
Maxilead will be running our own Grand National Sweepstake on Saturday 9th April. Each person weighing in between 8am – 12 noon will be given an entry. 40 lucky customers will get a runner and rider in the race, which starts at 5.15pm. The first three horses home will receive a cash prize – 1st place will win £100, 2nd place £30 & 3rd place £20. Weigh in on Saturday for your chance to take part and win!!