Horse racing

Grand National 2017
Horse racing

Virtual Grand National – who wins it?

It’s not the real thing but, right now, we’ll take it. The Virtual Grand National is on ITV at 5.00pm on Saturday. That’s the same time the nation would have settled down to watch it for real. Can Tiger Roll become the only horse ever to win it three times in a row? We’ll never know for sure. However, at least the race gives us chance to indulge our fantasies. Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) has been used to recreate all

spread betting
Horse racing

Brit-Think Ameri-Think in cultural divide

This blogger has just finished reading a book by Jane Walmsley called Brit-Think Ameri-Think. It was first published in 1986 so some of its content has been overtaken by the passage of time. However, having been married to an American for 22 years, I know that much of it still rings true. To take just one example, for Americans, New is Good. Brits don’t like change – “we’ve done it this way for 400 years”. The Yanks are go-getters. They

Churchill
Horse racing

How racing could resume when given green light

Racing could resume if given the green light in May but it would be on a very different scale. The British Horseracing Authority has held talks and is drawing up plans for the best way to go about it. The BHA is also in constant touch with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The BHA suggests one way forward for how racing could resume is to hold race meetings on a regional basis. One or two courses in the

Horse racing

Gulfstream Forges Ahead With Florida Derby

Gulfstream Park is one of a handful of tracks forging ahead with live racing. Their big race, Saturday’s Florida Derby, has attracted a full field of 12. The morning line favorite is Tiz The Law, winner of his only start at Gulfstream, the Holy Bull Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on February 1 by three lengths over Ete Indien. They meet again in the Florida Derby. Since the Holy Bull, Ete Indien scored in Gulfstream’s 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth

Horse racing

Racing shutdown for six weeks happened before

All British racing is off until the end of April. It’s a six-week stoppage. The ban may well last longer, much longer. There have been short-term closures in recent times. However, it’s more than 50 years since the last six-week racing shutdown. That occurred in the winter of 1967/68, caused by a major foot and mouth crisis. The first inkling of trouble came when a meeting at Bangor-on-Dee scheduled for October 27, 1967 was abandoned because of an outbreak of

Tip of the Day
Horse racing

Mullingar favourites caned the bookies

Today’s announcement that racing in Ireland, along with all other sports, has been suspended until April 19 is no big surprise. At least we finished on a high note with Bachasson winning at Clonmel, as advised in yesterday’s blog. Today’s punters are familiar with Irish racing, even the small courses. However, that was not the case back in the 1960s. On Saturday, February 26, 1966 all four British meetings were called off due to waterlogged tracks. That left just lowly

Horse racing

Clonmel Racecourse – all you need to know

With all British racing off, Ireland is now the main focus. Tuesday’s action comes from Clonmel. As it’s one of Ireland’s lesser-known tracks, here’s some background info to help give punters a steer. It was known as Powerstown Park until the late 1970s. Indeed, most locals still refer to it by that title. It’s a right-handed undulating course, a mile and a quarter round. It’s a demanding track with a stiff uphill finish and suits front runners. By far its most

Horse racing

US Racing Carries On Behind Closed Doors

What US racing there is carries on behind closed doors. This includes Fair Grounds in New Orleans, which features the Louisiana Derby on Saturday. The Louisiana Derby is usually a prep race for the Kentucky Derby, which has been postponed until September 5. Some preps are set to go ahead, while others may be delayed. The Louisiana Derby will be run at a new distance of 1 3/16 miles for the first time. Like most Kentucky Derby preps, it had

Tip of the Day
Horse racing

Racing in Ireland continues while UK suspends

Horse racing in Ireland continues, albeit behind closed doors, at least for the time being. However, the British Horseracing Authority has decided to suspend all British racing until the end of April. While this is a short-term crisis, it will have long-term consequences. Racing is a sport in which numerous livelihoods are based. Stopping racing has ramifications for a lot of people. In terms of betting alone, the sport could take a £10 million hit. Newmarket’s Craven Meeting is among

Horse racing

Kentucky Derby Postponed Until September

This year’s Kentucky Derby has been postponed until Saturday, September 5. It is only the second time the Derby will not be run in May since the first running in 1875. Seventy-five years ago, back in 1945, the Kentucky Derby had to wait until Saturday,  June 9. A ban on racing in the US had been put in place from the start of January until V-E Day, May 8. Horse racing became the only American sport to be dealt such

Aintree
Horse racing

This year’s Grand National cancelled

The news that this year’s Grand National will not now take place came as no big surprise. Aintree’s owners, Jockey Club Racecourses, faced an almost impossible situation. Speaking on ‘Luck on Sunday’ two days ago, before the decision was announced, the Racing Post’s Lee Mottershead spoke of “the potential for enormous negativity from society towards horse racing if we’re seen to be staging major events when people are being told to self-isolate and desist from public gatherings”. Aintree had plans

Aintree Festival Day 1
Horse racing

ITV Racing coverage under threat

The ITV Racing coverage of  Cheltenham last week was first rate. They covered all angles and catered to a wide audience. That audience included die-hard racing fans, serious form students and regular punters. However, it also embraced those with merely a passing interest in the sport, those who knew little about it but had stuck the telly on just for something to watch, and those who were fans of Love Island’s Chris Hughes. Thus, ITV Racing coverage had to cater

Horse racing

American Racetracks Take Big Hit

There can be only one topic for this blog at the moment: the coronavirus. Also known as Covid-19, it is having a major impact on all sports. Nearly every American racetrack will conduct racing behind closed doors for the time being. Only trainers, grooms and other necessary licensed persons, along with the media, will be allowed to attend. Fair Grounds in New Orleans will race behind closed doors until the end of its meet on March 29. Other tracks making

Betfair Chase
Horse racing

Gold Cup day at Cheltenham Festival

Gold Cup day marks the end of the Cheltenham Festival. Last year’s winner Al Boum Photo and Santini head the market. However, they face some tough rivals. Delta Work is currently third in the betting. He has the best form this season, having won twice at Grade 1 level. He landed the Savills Chase at Leopardstown over Christmas then added the Irish Gold Cup over the same course last month. Kemboy finished second in the latter race, a length and

Horse racing

Cheltenham’s Thursday card starts with a bang

A win for Faugheen in the Grade 1 Marsh Novices’ Chase, the first race on Cheltenham’s Thursday card, would raise the roof. The 2015 Champion Hurdle hero has taken on a new lease of life since being put over fences this season. He’s unbeaten in all three chase starts. At 12 years old he’s an advanced age for a novice chaser. Thus, he’s vulnerable to younger rivals in what is his stiffest chase test so far. Itchy Feet looks to

scottish grand national
Horse racing

Tiger Roll no good thing in Cross Country Chase

The Queen Mother Champion Chase is the highlight of Wednesday’s Cheltenham card. However, by far the best-known horse runs in the Cross-Country Chase. That’s Tiger Roll, but he’s no good thing to win it. The day starts with the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. Last year’s Champion Bumper winner Envoi Allen will be a short price here but he faces some tough rivals. They include Willie Mullins’ wide margin Naas scorer The Big Getaway. Don’t confuse that one with Colin Tizzard’s The

Cheltenham Tip of The Day
Horse racing

Day one of Cheltenham is upon us

We’re on the verge of the best four days of jump racing on the planet. Yes, it’s day one of Cheltenham. Each race is a punting puzzle. Filing the two handicap chases in the ‘too difficult’ tray, let’s look at the day’s other five races. Supreme Novices’ Hurdle What a great race to start the card. The unbeaten Asterion Forlonge is the clear pick of Willie Mullins’ three runners. The horse’s owner also has Shishkin, one of three Nicky Henderson

Cheltenham Day 1
Horse racing

Huntingdon hoodoo haunts Cheltenham runners

Now then, here’s a stat for you. Horses who prepped for Cheltenham in a race at Huntingdon are 0 for 128 in the last 18 years. The Daily Mail’s Sam Turner revealed that Huntingdon hoodoo at a Cheltenham preview in Solihull on Thursday night. That’s bad news for Shishkin fans. He won the Sidney Banks Hurdle there last time out. He now has to beat the Huntingdon curse in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the first race on Tuesday’s card. Three former

Horse racing

Big Cap Features On Big Racing Weekend

The Santa Anita Handicap, also known as the Big Cap, is one of the features of a big racing weekend that also includes some Kentucky Derby preps. It is not the strongest renewal of the Big Cap. Eight go in the 1 ¼ mile contest. The favorite is last year’s winner Gift Box. He has only run three times since then. Last May he was second in the Santa Anita Gold Cup over the Big Cap trip. In June he

Horse racing

Extra place terms in each-way betting

Cheltenham is just around the corner – virus permitting – and we all know the festival handicaps will be fiercely competitive. Some bookies will offer five places – maybe even six on some of the handicap hurdles – often at a quarter the odds. Those extra place terms offers can be important. However, are they really as good as they sound? Let’s be clear, the bookies aren’t setting a trap. Indeed, such offers are often loss leaders for the firms.

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