Horse racing

Horse racing

Melbourne Cup can go to European raider

It’s the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday (4.00am GMT). They call it the race that stops a nation. What was once a purely domestic affair in now truly international. Ten of the 24 runners are trained in Britain or Ireland. There’s also one from Japan. Five of the first six in last year’s Melbourne Cup are in the field this time. They include Cross Counter, who became the first British-trained winner when scoring for Charlie Appleby. He carries 14lb more than

Horse racing

Breeders’ Cup Saturday has Grade 1s aplenty

Breeders’ Cup Saturday features nine Grade 1s, four of them on the turf. There are plenty of European runners to watch out for. Seven Europeans will try to beat Chad Brown’s heavy favourite Sistercharlie in the Filly and Mare Turf. Of these, John Gosden’s Fanny Logan has the best chance to go close. She has five wins at the trip, most of them in listed company. This includes a win on good to firm at Yarmouth. Six Europeans contest the

Horse racing

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile tips for Future Stars Friday

This year’s Breeders’ Cup starts with Future Stars Friday. Five Breeders’ Cup Juvenile races kick off the two-day meeting, which is once again back at Santa Anita in California. There will be plenty of European interest in the turf races. Trainer Aidan O’Brien is once again well represented. Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint Half the field of twelve in the five-furlong Juvenile Turf Sprint are from Britain or Ireland. Of the home team, Wesley Ward runs three. These include the favourite

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Horse racing

First all-weather Group 1 race has field of 12

Britain’s first all-weather Group 1 race, the Vertem Futurity Trophy, takes place at Newcastle on Friday (6.00pm). The race was due to be held on turf at Doncaster last Saturday, only for the meeting to be called off due to a waterlogged course. The race had six runners, five of them trained by Aiden O’Brien. It now has a 12-srrong field and looks a much more open contest. At first glance, the obvious step would have been to hold the

Grand National 2018
Horse racing

Grand National hero returns to action

Kelso’s card on Saturday saw the return of the Grand National hero One For Arthur. In 2017 he became just the second horse trained in Scotland to win the great race, following the success of Rubstic in 1979. With the exploits of Tiger Roll in the last two years, it’s easy to forget One For Arthur. That’s because until Saturday we’d only seen him three times in two and a half years. And in two of those races he unseated

Horse racing

Staff free betting shops on the way

You could not make it up. Six months ago, the Government slashed the maximum FOBT stake from £100 to just £2, a move guaranteed to result in the closure of a substantial number of betting shops. Now, those same politicians have slammed William Hill for closing two of its shops in Wolverhampton. They have accused the bookmaker of playing a part in turning Wolverhampton into a “ghost town” following its decision to shut down two high street betting shops. What

Horse racing

Ascot’s British Champions Day big price blog win

Hopefully this blog’s readers took note of the tip for Donjuan Triumphant in the Sprint at Ascot’s British Champions Day on Saturday. A 33-1 winner got the day off to a good start. Also, taking the hint about Frankie Dettori siding with Star Catcher in the Fillies and Mares was sound advice. Of the blog’s other tips, Mekong fluffed the start in the Long Distance Cup, standing still when the stalls opened and losing eight lengths. But for that he’d

Champions Day
Horse racing

Champions Day longshots for Saturday

Ascot will use the inner turf (hurdle) course for British Champions Day on Saturday. As of Thursday night, the time of this blog post, the ground had dried out to good to soft. However, the straight course remains heavy. A dry day on Friday could see a further change of going. Strange results can occur on soft or heavy ground, so let’s look for some Champions Day longshots. Sprint (1.35). The last three winners are back again, The Tin Man

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Horse racing

Bookmakers Trade Fair in Solihull on Thursday

The 2019 Bookmakers Trade Fair takes place at the Cranmore Park Exhibition Centre in Solihull on Thursday, October 17, starting at 11.00am. Its focus is on the independent betting shops, rather than the big firms. Given the changes imposed on the sector in the last twelve months, this year’s Trade Fair is of particular relevance. TVC Technology Solutions has organized the event again this year, along with event partner Biztech, the Belfast software provider. More than 20 firms will showcase

Horseracing tip of the day
Horse racing

George Stubbs Stakes on Tuesday – weather permitting

Leicester’s meeting on Tuesday is subject to a 7.30am inspection. It’s in the lap of the gods. The course is already heavy and won’t take much more rain. If it gets the green light the racing looks good, despite the small fields. There’s a £20,000 class 2 handicap, a £15,000 novice stakes, and the £12,000 George Stubbs Fillies Conditions Stakes (4.00). The latter is a six-furlong contest for two-year-olds. Its name recalls the English painter who became the most famous

Horse racing

Sir Mark seeks first Cesarewitch victory

The Cesarewitch has long been Sir Mark Prescott’s hoodoo race. He’s trained three Cambridgeshire winners. However the second half of the Newmarket autumn double has eluded him thus far. This year he has two big chances to change that in Timoshenko and Land Of Oz. At the time of this blog post, both are trading at around 7-1. Land Of Oz has won six of his last seven starts, the latest being the Cesarewitch Trial Stakes over Saturday’s course and

Newmarket
Horse racing

Least favourite racecourses – and reasons why

Having posted a blog listing my five favourite British racecourses, it seems only fair to list my five least favourite. A friend of mine who, like me, has been to every course, says he likes them all. He enjoys going racing, be it in summer sunshine or on a wet winter’s day. I respect his view and his enthusiasm. However, there are some tracks that just don’t float my boat. As before, I’ll list them in reverse order of dislike.

Nunthorpe
Horse racing

Favourite British racecourses – these are mine

According to Monday’s Racing Post, visitors to Longchamp on Arc day had a far better time this year. Last year’s Arc was the first since the track’s major redevelopment. There were complaints galore then, whereas the reports were more positive this time. That set this blog writer thinking. What are my favourite British racecourses? I’ve been to every British course at least twice so it’s time I shared my thoughts. My top five favourite British racecourses In time honoured tradition,

York racing
Horse racing

Weekend’s racing at home and abroad

What a weekend’s racing action we’ve got in store. While most eyes will be fixed on Paris, there’s plenty to choose from at home. For a start, there’s the Group 1 Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket (3.35). Last year’s winner Laurens bids to win it again. However, she faces strong opposition. Joseph O’Brien’s Iridessa beat English and Irish 1,000 Guineas heroine Hermosa in the Group 1 Matron Stakes last month. They meet again here. Then there’s Sir Michael Stoute’s Frankel

Horse racing

Ante-post betting is back in vogue

Ante-post betting on the Spring Double and the Autumn Double is pretty much a thing of the past. Betting on the Lincoln and the Grand National double was once big business. Later in the year, punters’ thoughts turned to the Cambridgeshire and the Cesarewitch. That’s all gone now. However, last month the Racing Post’s Tom Segal reckoned we are “in a golden period” for ante-post betting. He reasoned that the best time to bet is on the Tuesday or Wednesday

Horse racing

Middle Park Stakes failed to deliver

Given the build-up to Saturday’s Middle Park Stakes, the outcome proved an anti-climax. On paper, this year’s race looked the best Middle Park in recent times. ‘Out of this world,’ the Racing Post’s headline screamed. We all wanted to see a runaway winner thump a top-class field. But that did not happen. Perhaps we expected too much. However, there were positives. The winner, Earthlight, is a nice sort and he’s unbeaten in all his five races. He’d won the Group

Horse racing

Middle Park cracker lights up Saturday

Has there ever been a better Middle Park Stakes than this year’s? I can’t think of one that has had such strength in depth. And that’s saying something, given that it dates back to 1866. It was once the top two-year-old race of the year and its winners included many of racing’s greatest names, such as Isinglass, Pretty Polly, Bayardo, Lembeg and Bahram. However, since the rise of the Dewhurst in the late 1960s, the Middle Park has been somewhat

Churchill
Horse racing

Rockfel the highlight of Newmarket’s Friday card

Newmarket’s Friday card includes the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at 3.00. The race title recalls the name of the 1938 1,000 Guineas and Oaks winner. First run in 1981, this seven-furlong contest for two-year-old fillies attained Group 3 status in 1986. It became a Group 2 in 1998. Since then, three of its winners have gone on to win the 1,000 Guineas, the most recent being Finsceal Beo (2006-07). This year’s Rockfel field Roger Varian’s Daahyeh will be a warm

Grand National 2018
Horse racing

McMorrow recalled on Sligo’s Wednesday card

Sligo’s Wednesday card includes the Leo McMorrow Memorial Novices’ Handicap Chase at 2.25. Born in Sligo in 1918, he rode the 1949 Grand National winner, 66/1 shot Russian Hero. Only one newspaper tipped him to win, that being the communist Morning Post, for somewhat obvious reasons. After giving up riding in 1960, McMorrow set up as a trainer. However, he found it hard to make it pay and moved to America in 1970. He died there in a car crash

scottish grand national
Horse racing

Chandler’s Leap recalls Warwick’s racing history

Warwick’s 2019/20 jumps season gets under way on Monday and Tuesday this week. It’s the first two-day meeting at the Midlands track in recent times. I’ll be there, signing copies of my latest book, ‘Chandler’s Leap and Other Stories of Warwick Racecourse’ (cost £16.50). Warwick’s racing history dates back more than 300 years. Its first race took place in 1707. Chandler’s Leap tells of the horses and riders to have raced across its greensward, along with its many other events,

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