Chris Pitt

Sandown Saturday Gold Cup
Horse racing

Eclipse Stakes cracker at Sandown on Sunday

The Derby and the Oaks may be over but the weekend still has something special to offer. The Group 1 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Sunday looks a cracker. Enable has her first race since having an unprecedented third Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe snatched from her grasp by Waldgeist in the dying strides. That brought an end to her 12-race winning streak, which included last year’s Eclipse Stakes. Now she bids to become the first dual winner since Halling

Investec Epsom Derby 2017 4.30pm ITV
Horse racing

Kameko bids to add Derby to Guineas triumph

It’s many years since the winners of both Guineas races were aimed at the Epsom Classics. But that’s what’s happening in this strangest of years. Love looks to follow her 1,000 Guineas success in the Oaks, while Kameko bids to add the Derby to his 2,000 Guineas triumph.  Will Kameko stay Epsom’s mile and a half? He has stamina to prove when he runs beyond a mile for the first time. Only two Guineas winners have gone on to win

Oaks
Horse racing

Can Love conquer all in Epsom Oaks?

Love bids to follow up her 1,000 Guineas triumph in the Oaks at Epsom on Saturday. A total of 48 fillies have completed the Classic double, the most recent being Minding in 2016. Can Love find a way to join them? Love’s trainer Aidan O’Brien also runs Ribblesdale Stakes second and third Ennistymon and Passion. O’Brien has won the Oaks seven times, the most recent being Together Forever in 2018. An eighth victory would put him level with Alec Taylor,

Horse racing

Sunday racing coverage on ITV4

The late start to this year’s Flat racing season means the sport is playing catch-up. Thus, there’s a Sunday racing bonus on ITV4, with nine races from Windsor, Newmarket and the Curragh. Newmarket has two Listed events, the Empress Fillies’ Stakes at 2.45 and the Fred Archer Stakes at 4.30. Both have seven runners but look awkward betting contests. The 6f Empress, for two-year-olds, sees the quick return of Albany Stakes fourth Undertake. On a strict form line, she has

Horse racing

Eternal Stakes only temporary at Haydock

Haydock hosts the Listed Eternal Stakes on Thursday (3.15). This 7f race for three-year-old fillies should take place at Carlisle. In fact, this is race’s fourth venue is seven years. It began at Warwick, where it was held until Flat racing ceased there. Newmarket staged it in 2014 before it went to Carlisle the next year. It’s at Haydock this time because Carlisle won’t reopen until September. James Tate’s Under The Stars sets the standard in the 13-runer Eternal Stakes

Betfair Chase
Horse racing

Haydock midweek card a cut above average

A Haydock midweek card is rarely something to stir the blood. However, we’re living in strange times and Wednesday’s is worth a look. In the 1m 2½f novice stakes at 1.10, John Gosden’s Waldkonig, a half-brother to Arc winner Waldgeist, seeks to get his career back on track. He made a good impression when winning on his debut at Wolverhampton in December. So much so that some touted him as a live Derby prospect. Hence, he started odds-on when reappearing

Horse racing

Last day of Royal Ascot has five Group races

Royal Ascot’s last day has an eight-race card and includes five Group races. The two Group 2s are both for two-year-olds. They are the 5f Queen Mary Stakes for fillies at 1.15 and the 6f Coventry Stakes at 1.50. Aidan O’Brien trains the favourite in each. Miss Beautiful, a half-sister to 2000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior, will be a short price for the Queen Mary. She looked sharp when winning over 5f at Naas last week and can follow up

Horse racing

Ascot Group races on Friday’s card

Friday’s Royal Ascot Group races comprise a Group 1, three Group 2s and a Group 3. 1.50: Albany Stakes, Group 3, 6f. This is for two-year-old fillies. Wesley Ward sends Flying Aletha, who made a 5½ length winning debut at Gulfstream Park in May. But the choice is Setarhe, who overcame a slow start when wining at Newmarket two weeks ago. 2.25: Norfolk Stakes, Group 2, 5f. Eyes Of Heaven will start a hot favourite for this two-year-old contest. He

Horse racing

Cup Day BCD at Royal Ascot on Thursday

Thursday at Royal Ascot sees Stradivarius bidding for a hat-trick of Gold Cups at 3.35. It will feel so different to his first two. No glamour, no glitz, no champagne, no picnics in the car park – no crowd. This is Cup Day BCD. John Gosden’s six-year-old is odds-on. He finished a good third in the rerouted Coronation Cup in his warm-up race at Newmarket. What’s to stop him winning his third Gold Cup? Technician looks the main danger. He

Horse racing

Prince of Wales’s Stakes is second day highlight

The Prince of Wales’s Stakes is the Group 1 highlight of Royal Ascot’s second day. The day is a nightmare for punters with four of the races being big-field handicaps. They include the Royal Hunt Cup and, this year, a Silver Royal Hunt Cup for those who failed to make the cut for the main event. It’s best to look elsewhere. The 1m 2f Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at 1.50 is the first test of the 2000 Guineas form.

Commonwealth Cup
Horse racing

Royal Ascot BCD – Tuesday’s card

Royal Ascot BCD starts on Tuesday. Until this year, BCD stood for British Champions Day in racing parlance. Now it stands for Behind Closed Doors. Racing’s late start means the meeting has a new look. The two-year-old races will be run later in the week to give horses more time from their debut runs. The King Edward VII and Ribblesdale Stakes have been brought forward to the first day as they are now Derby and Oaks trials for Epsom on

Horse racing

Early season maidens showcase future stars

While this year’s two-year-old races have, due to current circumstances, focused on horses getting a run before Royal Ascot, the early season maidens for three-year-olds are always worth watching with an eye to the future. Hence, the last week has produced plenty to note. Newmarket’s three-year-old early season maidens are invariably hard to win. Last Friday’s card contained two for fillies. The 1m 4f contest went to Charlie Appleby’s Renaissance Queen. She only won by a length but looked value

Horse racing

Juvenile Royal Ascot prospects – part two

More juvenile Royal Ascot prospects made their debuts this week, mostly in Ireland. But England had some too. Tom Dascombe’s two-year-olds are well forward and he saddled two winners at Haydock. On Monday, Lauded proved far sharper than his rivals, pulling clear to score by 4½ lengths. Then on Tuesday, Devious Company saw off Mark Johnston’s Golden Flame by half a length, the pair pulling clear of the rest. Of the two, Lauded earned a higher Racing Post rating of

Horse racing

Early juvenile prospects for Royal Ascot

With Royal Ascot less than a week away, trainers have been keen to get a run into their two-year-olds. Since racing returned last week, plenty of clues have emerged among the early juvenile prospects. The juvenile action kicked off on the all-weather on Tuesday. Up at Newcastle, the two divisions of the 5f fillies’ contest went to Karl Burke’s Dandalla and Mark Johnston’s Pelekai. Dandalla stayed on well to score by two lengths. Pelekai made all and, though she only

1000 Guineas
Horse racing

Love is all you need in fillies’ Guineas

Roger Charlton’s Frankel filly Quadrilateral looks sure to start favourite for Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas. And why not? She’s won all her three starts. She followed two stylish Newbury wins with victory in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile over the Guineas course and distance. Aidan O’Brien’s filly Love finished third that day, with Boomer a close-up fifth. Jessica Harrington’s Millisle sprang a 16-1 shock when winning the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes, beating Raffle Prize by 1¾ lengths. However, she has

Horse racing

Pinatubo bids for Guineas glory

Is Pinatubo a ‘good thing’ for the 2,000 Guineas? He has done all – and more – asked of him so far, winning all his six starts in fine style. But on Saturday Charlie Appleby’s colt faces his biggest test yet when taking on 14 rivals on the Rowley Mile. Pinatubo beat Aidan O’Brien’s Arizona by two lengths in the Dewhurst Stakes, with the latter’s stablemate Wichita a further 2¾ lengths back in third. O’Brien runs both again, along with

Horse racing

Derby and Oaks trials plus Coronation Cup

Racing steps up a gear on Friday when Newmarket hosts two Group races. Meanwhile, there are Derby and Oaks trials at Lingfield Park. They are among seven races to be shown on ITV4. The highlight of Newmarket’s ten-race card is the Group 1 Coronation Cup at 3.35, rerouted from Epsom. It sees champion stayer Stradivarius step down in trip to a mile and a half. His rivals include Defoe, who won this race last year and followed up in Royal

Eider Chase
Horse racing

Opportunity missed as racing returns

Betway sponsors the whole card when racing returns at Newcastle on Monday. The resumption is good news all round. However, it’s also a missed opportunity. Trainer Kim Bailey spotted a great way for racing to get a slice of ‘feel good’ publicity when the sport resumes. He said the first race back should have acknowledged the efforts of NHS staff and care workers. Although racing will be behind closed doors, there is sure to be TV coverage other than just

Sandown Saturday Gold Cup
Horse racing

Stalls handlers limited to two in restart

The British Horseracing Authority’s plan to have only two stalls handlers on duty when racing resumes is just plain daft. The BHA says it’s to allow stricter social distancing. But it’s not only a daft idea, it’s a dangerous one too. Fourteen two-year-old races will take place in the first eight days of racing. None of those horses will have run before. The BHA has asked trainers to avoid running fractious horses in the first few weeks of racing. But

Horse racing

Poston rarely trained a losing horse

On the Great Racecourse of Life, the name of Newmarket trainer Peter Poston won’t be recalled alongside those of Cecil, Stoute or Gosden. But if a trainer’s object is for his or her horse to go racing and return having made money for the owner, then Poston rarely trained a loser. In the early 1960s, when betting shops were made legal and bookmakers began paying a levy to racing, the Horserace Betting Levy Board began subsidising owners’ transport costs. They

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