Horse racing

scottish grand national
Horse racing

Blackmore can dominate in Ryanair Chase

Those blog followers who took my advice on the first day of Cheltenham and backed Klassical Dream (6/1) and Duc Des Genievres (5/1) had a great start to the meeting. I also gave a big shout to Le Breuill, the 14/1 winner of the National Hunt Chase. Of the others, who knows how Sharjah would have fared in the Champion Hurdle, had he not been brought down early in the race? Benie Des Dieux fell with the Mares’ Hurdle at

Cheltenham Festival Day 1 2019
Betting Tips

Cheltenham Day 1 – Tuesday March 12

Cheltenham Day 1 has finally arrived and horse racing has never needed it more. After equine flu and then the debacle at Sandown Park on Saturday we can only hope that Cheltenham shows us how glorious the”Sport of Kings” can be. Cheltenham Day 1 kicks off at 1.30 with the Supreme Novices Hurdle. 17 runners go to post for this Grade 1. I particularly like the look of Angels Breath.  Whilst this horse has less experience than many of his rivals, what

Cheltenham Festival Day 4
Horse racing

Mullins five-timer on opening day?

We’re one day away from the Cheltenham roar. Willie Mullins says his team isn’t as strong as in years gone by. However, he looks to have a strong hand on the opening day. Let’s look at some of them. Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Mullins was aiming Klassical Dream at the Ballymore on Wednesday. But plans have changed with the rain turning the ground soft. At around 6-1 it’s worth taking the hint. Arkle Novices’ Chase. Mullins runs Duc Des Genievres here.

Horse racing

Cheltenham preview panel look for longshots

There were plenty of tips flying around at the Cheltenham preview held at the Mason’s Arms in Solihull on Wednesday night. The panel comprised jockey Charlie Poste, Dan Skelton’s head lad Nick Pearce and racing press men Sam Turner and Andrew Bladen. They discussed the main contenders for all the Grade 1 races. They also tried to find a few at long odds for those who prefer taking on the favourites. Despite the expected presence of the mares Apple’s Jade

kentucky derby betting
Horse racing

Sky Sports Racing News not worth watching

What’s happened to the morning bulletins on Sky Sports Racing News? When At The Races ran the show, it was informative and had phone interviews with trainers. Now it lasts just six minutes and is not worth watching. Worse still, it is no longer a real racing service. I don’t expect the channel to say much about the tracks on Racing TV. However, At The Races at least paid lip service by stating they were taking place and gave the

scottish grand national
Horse racing

Pauling has select team for Cheltenham

Gloucestershire trainer Ben Pauling has a small but select team bound for Cheltenham. On the first day, Global Citizen is his first runner in the Champion Hurdle. He won the Grade 2 The New One Hurdle at Haydock in January. Pauling reckons he has “a lively each-way chance.” He’s a free-going type so a fast pace will suit him. Also on the first day, Pauling runs Le Breuil in the Ultima Handicap Chase. He admitted that it looks a tough

Cheltenham Festival Day 2
Horse racing

Cheltenham trainer gives plans for Festival

Cheltenham trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies discussed his horses’ chances at a press conference at Cheltenham Racecourse yesterday. He reckoned he’d have around a dozen runners at the Festival and thought Al Dancer was his best chance of the week in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Unbeaten in four starts this term, he won the rearranged Betfair Hurdle at Ascot earlier this month. The trainer said: “Al Dancer has come out of the Betfair Hurdle really well. He won nicely there and that

Horse racing

Cheltenham handicaps weights revealed

The weights were revealed today for the ten Cheltenham handicaps. BHA handicappers Martin Greenwood and Andrew Mealor were at a Cheltenham media even today to discuss the ratings and weights for each of those races. Starting with Tuesday The bottom weight in last year’s Ultima Chase was 10st 8lb. However, this year looks a stronger renewal. Give Me A Copper is the 6-1 favourite. He’s the shortest-priced favourite of all the handicap races but has a great chance. The Close

Long Walk Hurdle
Horse racing

National Spirit Hurdle in Sunday’s highlight

Fontwell’s Sunday card features the Grade 2 National Spirit Hurdle at 2.50. Last year’s first and second, Old Guard and Lil Rockerfeller, who won it in 2017, meet again. However, they face some serious rivals. Old Guard has not won since landing this race 12 months ago. He finished third last time out in Cheltenham’s Relkeel Hurdle on New Year’s Day. Meanwhile, Lil Rockerfeller has been novice chasing with mixed results. Back over hurdles on his most recent start, he

Cheltenham Festival Day 1 2019
Horse racing

Festival preview nights are back

With Cheltenham less than three weeks away, festival preview nights are taking place here, there and everywhere. Many racecourses are holding Cheltenham previews after racing while others have them on non-racing days. Pubs, clubs and hotels abound with them all over the country. Many raise money for good causes. The nearer they are to Cheltenham’s opening day, the more reliable the information. In truth, if they were just about tipping winners, most would fail the test. Looking back at those

Racing's funding
Horse racing

Prince of Wales recalled at Ludlow

Wednesday’s Ludlow card includes the His Royal Highness The Prince Of Wales Challenge Trophy Amateur Riders’ Handicap Chase at 3.35. That’s a bit of a mouthful. Good job it’s a three-mile race. The runners will have jumped the first fence before the commentator finishes the race’s name. The race recalls the occasion, on 24 October 1980, when the Prince of Wales came closest to riding a winner. He finished second on Allibar in the Clun Chase for amateur riders. They

Ascot Chase
Horse racing

Nicholls dominates Ascot racing

Five winners for Paul Nicholls at Ascot on Saturday and others elsewhere. He’s played second fiddle to Nicky Henderson since the days of Kauto Star and Denman. However, Clan Des Obeaux’s King George win on Boxing Day showed he once again had a top-class horse. Clan Des Obeaux drew clear on the Ascot run-in in the rerouted Denman Chase. Had the race taken place as planned at Newbury last week, Gold Cup winner Native River would have been in the

scottish grand national
Horse racing

Royal Artillery Gold Cup – I love this race

Tomorrow’s Royal Artillery Gold Cup at Sandown is a race full of interest. It’s more about the jockeys than the horses. First held in 1862, it’s restricted to riders who are former and serving members of all ranks of the Armed Services. The riders are thus of mixed abilities, so it’s best to know something about them before placing a bet. This year’s Royal Artillery Gold Cup field Three horses have won the race three times since the last war.

Ascot Chase 2019
Betting Tips

Ascot Chase 2019 – Saturday 16th February

The Ascot Chase 2019 sees Ruth Jefferson sends out Waiting Patiently looking to reclaim the Grade One event after claiming it in 2018. Last year he won after a battle with the legendary Cue Card.  This maintained his 100% record on the racecourse. Since then his only appearance on a racetrack was at Kempton Park in the King George 2018.  He was incredibly unfortunate to unseat his rider after Bristol De Mai fell at the 9th fence.  I personally felt he was

scottish grand national
Horse racing

Racing is back with four meetings

Horse racing is back on Wednesday with four meetings. After six blank days, Plumpton and Musselburgh stage fixtures over jumps, while Kempton and Southwell hold all-weather cards. Plumpton’s second race (the 2.40) is the Sedgefielders (Plumpton Division) Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase. You may be puzzled how Sedgefield ties in with Plumpton so here’s the reason. The Sedgefielders are a band of enthusiasts led by well-known author Sean Magee. His ambition was to visit every course in Britain. Sedgefield was the

Newbury
Horse racing

Equine flu could be big blow to racing

At the time of posting this blog, 174 racing stables are in lockdown due to an outbreak of equine flu. They include most of the leading trainers. By the time you read this, the numbers may be higher. The problem reared its head on Wednesday night when Donald McCain reported three cases of equine flu in his yard. He’d had runners at Ludlow and Ayr that day. Hence, there was potential for other horses being infected. McCain has since reported

Cheltenham Festival Day 2
Horse racing

Sidney Banks Hurdle is Huntingdon highlight

Huntingdon’s Thursday card features the Listed Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle at 2.00. The race dates back to 1976. Its best winners so far are Nick The Brief (1988), French Holly (1998) and last year’s winner Vinndication. Its name recalls a corn merchant cum farmer cum permit holder who lived near Sandy, in Bedfordshire. Sidney Banks trained many winners from the late 1940s to the early 1970s. His best horse was Lucky Purchase, who won the Cheltenham Foxhunters’ Chase in

Horse racing

Apple’s Jade and the Champion Hurdle

The calls for Apple’s Jade to run in the Champion Hurdle are getting louder. Following her win in Saturday’s Irish Champion Hurdle, the racing press has sought to persuade her connections where to run. She’s is the Mares’ Hurdle and that’s been her stated aim – up to now. However, after her 16-length romp on Saturday, the media wants her to run in the Champion Hurdle. Matt Chapman gave forth with a rant on ITV Racing. He said that in

Racing's funding
Horse racing

Saturday’s TV racing includes Dublin Festival

Fair play to ITV. They’ve added three races from Leopardstown’s Dublin Racing Festival to Saturday’s TV racing coverage. They will show the 2.00, 3.10 and 3.45 races along with four from Sandown and two Lingfield Listed races. The Irish races replace two from Musselburgh and one at Wetherby. Both those meetings were called off today due to frozen tracks. Sandown’s card looked in doubt at one stage. However, the snow has now gone and the prospects look good. Saturday’s TV

Racing's funding
Horse racing

Climb down by BHA on ‘free will’ statement

The BHA has performed a climb down regarding its bizarre statement that horses race “of their own free will”. It followed a barrage of criticism from trainers and jockeys. It admitted that it had made a mistake, blaming “the heat of a social media storm” for getting it wrong. Well, that’s a new one on me.  In other words, the people at the BHA panicked. It all came about following the stewards’ decision to fine trainer Henry Oliver £140 at

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