Horse racing

Grand National 2017
Horse racing

Top betting races reveal some surprises

Last week Coral published its list of the 40 top betting races for 2017 based on shop turnover. It contained a few surprises. What wasn’t surprising, of course, was that the Grand National was at the top. It stands head and shoulders above any other race. It’s the ‘people’s race’, always was and always will be. For many, it’s the one time of the year they’ll bet on a horse race. People who don’t know Derby Day from Pancake Day

Clarence House Chase
Betting Tips

Clarence House Chase – Ascot Saturday 20th January

Clarence House Chase Hat-trick for Un De Sceaux? Un De Sceaux returns to Ascot on Saturday aiming for a third consecutive Clarence House Chase victory. This will make him the most successful horse in the race since it began in 1989.  Currently he holds the record with Master Minded who won the race on 2 occasions in 2009 and 2011. Willie Mullins is also looking to emulate Paul Nicholls hat-trick of victories between 2009 and 2011 with Twist Magic also

Clarence House plunge is baffling

Brain Power has been well backed all week for Saturday’s Clarence House Chase at Ascot. That is surprising given his relative lack of experience over fences. Let’s look at the facts. Un De Sceaux is a proven chaser. He’s won this race for the last two years and will more than likely do so again. He’s odds-on to make it three in a row. Yet Brain Power, having started the week as a 12-1 shot, is now as low as

kentucky derby betting
Horse racing

Tongue tie – positive or negative?

A tongue tie is a piece of equipment that prevents a horse from getting his or her tongue over the bit. It’s usually a piece of cloth, gauze or stocking tied around the tongue and below the chin. Getting the tongue over the bit makes a horse harder to control. A survey carried out in 2014 found tongue ties could be of benefit to a horse. It prevents them from choking during a race. Furthermore, they do not appear to

spread betting
Horse racing

Boring – how people perceive racing

I’ve always been a tad wary about surveys. However, a recent one carried out by YouGov caught my eye in the Racing Post. It surveyed 1,616 adults and found that 52 per cent of them thought racing was boring. Only 25 per cent found it exciting to watch, while 21 per cent responded neither one way or the other. Two per cent didn’t know, which begs the question: how can you not know? It reminds me of a survey some

King George VI Chase
Horse racing

Thistlecrack absence is Gold Cup blow

There are 38 entries for the Cheltenham Gold Cup but Thistlecrack isn’t among them. He misses the race for the second year running. That’s a big blow for the owners and for trainer Colin Tizzard. This time last year he was a short-priced favourite to win the Gold Cup but went wrong after losing to Many Clouds in Cheltenham’s Cotswold Chase. This year he’s ruled out by a stress fracture. It is cruel luck on his connections. Could Thistlecrack be

Ayr Grand National
Horse racing

North Yorkshire Grand National at Catterick

Catterick holds its big race of the year tomorrow, the North Yorkshire Grand National. The winning owner will receive the Denys Smith Challenge Trophy, named in honour of the late trainer who sent out Red Alligator to win the 1968 Grand National at Aintree. Smith trained a total of 145 winners at Catterick over the years, on the Flat and over jumps. In some ways the North Yorkshire Grand National is a throwback to earlier times. Catterick held a Grand

Ayr Grand National
Horse racing

Nationals – how many can you name?

The Welsh Grand National took place at Chepstow yesterday. The Sussex National is at Plumpton today. Catterick holds the North Yorkshire Grand National on Thursday this week. That’s three Nationals or Grand Nationals. Just how many are there? We all know the Grand National itself is held in April, as is the Scottish National at Ayr. The Irish Grand National takes place on Easter Monday. That’s three more. But what about the rest? Well, there is the Devon National at

Welsh Grand National
Betting Tips

Welsh Grand National – Chepstow Saturday 6th January

Welsh Grand National success for Sue Smith? Sue Smith will be looking to VINTAGE CLOUDS to strike in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow  on Saturday. The gelding comes here in good form with a 1st and 2nd  in his last 2 runs.  With the going expected to be on the heavy side this will also suit him.  Although beaten last time out this was over 2m 5f and in a small field.  I think that the extra 1m 0.5 furlong and

kentucky derby betting
Horse racing

First-time blinkers – a help or hindrance?

Punters often think a horse wearing blinkers for the first time is a good sign. But do first-time blinkers really help? The aim of blinkers is to restrict vision and thereby calm horses down and stop them running too freely. They were once known as the “rogues’ badge”. It meant they were a trainer’s last resort for horses thought not to be giving their all. However, that is unfair. Many genuine horses have worn blinkers throughout their careers. Some years

Horse racing

Regarding Cheltenham: where are we now?

The dust has now settled from the Christmas and New Year racing. Thus, it is a good chance to see where we are regarding to the Cheltenham in two months’ time. The short answer is: we are none the wiser. Usually around this time of year, bookmakers bemoan the risk of four short-priced favourites spelling disaster for the industry if they all went in. That’s not the case this year, at least so far. In fact, they are already going

Newbury
Horse racing

Names recalled at Haydock and Newbury

Both the Newbury and Haydock cards have races recalling the names of well-known chasers. Haydock has the Last Fling Chase. It has nothing to do with end of year celebrations. The Last Fling was a horse. In the 1999/2000 season he  won three big races at Haydock within three months, the Edward Hanmer Chase, the Peter Marsh Chase and the De Vere Gold Cup. Two famous names recalled at Newbury The Betfred sponsored handicap chase at 1.15 is for the

Horse racing

Christmas spirit lacking at the BHA

The BHA has had a tough time of late. However, some of it is of its own making. One story that went under the radar during the glut of Christmas racing occurred at Lingfield on Saturday. The BHA’s stewards held an inquiry into why the track had failed to seek permission for a visit by Father Christmas. Yes, you read it right. Lingfield’s clerk of the course George Hill was asked to explain why Santa and two elves dropped in

Ayr Grand National
Horse racing

Welsh Grand National is Chepstow highlight

The Welsh Grand National is Chepstow’s big race of the year. It dates back to 1895 and had two former homes before settling at Chepstow in 1949. Cardiff’s Ely Racecourse was its original home. A horse named Deerstalker won the first running, ridden by George Mawson. The race grew in stature between the wars. Golden Miller, the best chaser of the 1930s, was odds-on to win it in 1937. However, he only managed third under his 12st 7lb burden. Cardiff

scottish grand national
Horse racing

Lord Stalbridge Memorial Cup at Wincanton

Wincanton’s Boxing Day card includes the Lord Stalbridge Gold Cup Handicap Chase. Lord Stalbridge was the Rt. Hon. Hugh Grosvenor, 2nd Baron, the eldest son of a younger brother of the Duke of Westminster. He bred, owned and trained steeplechasers for many years. Educated at Eton, he served with the 14th Hussars. He also served with the Northamptonshire Yeomanry in the Boer War and in World War One. He owned and trained the 1927 Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Thrown In,

King George VI Chase
Betting Tips

King George VI Chase – Tuesday 26th December

Can Thistlecrack retain the King George VI? We have a Christmas cracker to look forward to at Kempton Park with the King George VI Chase this year. This looks to be one of the strongest and open contests for many a year.  Last years winner Thistlecrack is here to defend his crown but is not the force he once was. If he was anywhere near the horse he was last year at this point you would be lucky to get 1/6 never

Long Walk Hurdle
Betting Tips

Long Walk Hurdle – Ascot Saturday 23rd December

Long Walk Success Again for Harry? Unowwhatimeanharry faces up to 8 rivals in his quest to retain his Long Walk Hurdle crown at Ascot on Saturday 23rd December at 2.25pm. He comes here on the back on a shock defeat to 40/1 outsider Beer Goggles in the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury.  That race was supposedly a match between him and Thistlecrack. I feel that they gave the winner a little too much leeway up front.  If the race was run

Horse racing

Penalty was right in Turner case

The decision to suspend Hayley Turner for three months for betting on horses while still a licensed jockey was the correct one. The penalty fitted the crime. Turner ‘retired’ in November 2015. She then placed a series of bets between December 2015 and January 2017 on a Paddy Power account she had opened in her own name. They were mostly small bets of £5 or £10, with just two of £100. The problem was that she still held a jockey’s

Commonwealth Cup
Horse racing

Statistics can mean whatever you want

According to statistics produced by the Deloitte Sports Business Group, horse racing provided four of the top ten best-attended sports events in the UK in 2017. Wimbledon led the way with 473,000 over the two-week tournament. The British Formula One Grand Prix was next with 321,000, spread across three days. Royal Ascot was third with 294,000, while Cheltenham was close behind in fourth with 260,000. Epsom’s Derby meeting was ninth with 150,000, while Aintree’s Grand National fixture was tenth with

Cheltenham Day 1
Horse racing

Caspian Caviar Gold Cup: what’s in a name?

Saturday’s Cheltenham card features the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup. That is the current name – since 2014 – of a race that has had so many names in the past. It started out in 1963 as the Massey-Ferguson Gold Cup, a name it kept until 1980. It then had a number of names including the Kennedy Construction Gold Cup, the Glen International Gold Cup and the A F Budge Gold Cup. All three later went bust! Tripleprint backed it in

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