Skip to main content


Oaks preview

It's Classic weekend at Epsom and as always, the fillies' version takes place on the Friday. The fun and games of this meeting will be how to keep out the deluded twats from Animal Rising, who freely admit to wanting to see the thoroughbred breed made extinct. "I have no doubt pretty much everyone who works in the industry loves the horses," "Thoroughbreds are beautiful creatures, but we can't escape the base point that the very reason they exist is fundamentally unethical. There is a future where perhaps the thoroughbred isn't around, but we have wild horses whose beauty we can love and appreciate in the countryside and forests." They share the air we breathe... Anyway enough oxygen wasting, let's get onto the real action. ================================ Betfred Oaks 2023 Epsom, 1m4f, Group 1, £550k Friday 1630 BST Expected Going - Good/Good to Firm Be Happy - sat up on the lead in the Lingfield Oaks Trial which was run on the synthetic tracks
Recent posts

Oaks and Derby week

Race previews to come over the next couple of days... In preparation for the big weekend at Epsom, I asked ChatGPT to write me a teaser article about the Oaks. It's pretty good, except for at least one glaring error... 'Write a short article about the history of the Oaks, a horse race run at Epsom every year. It should highlight the most successful jockeys and trainers, and mention the pomp and ceremony of the occasion.' And this is what I got back, unedited. The Oaks: A Storied Legacy of Horse Racing Excellence Every year, amidst the rolling hills of Epsom Downs in Surrey, England, a captivating spectacle of equine grace and power unfolds. The Oaks, one of the most prestigious horse races in the world, traces its origins back to the late 18th century and has since become an integral part of British sporting heritage. As the fillies thunder down the historic course, they embody the culmination of a rich history steeped in tradition and adorned with the names of legendary jo


THE RANDOX GRAND NATIONAL 2023 The hardest race of the year and one I've never picked the winner in - but hey, why not spend an hour or three summarising which ones to strike a line through! 1. Any Second Now - 12/1 at time of writing CASE FOR: third in 2021, second last year. Nice win last time in a G2 at Navan. CASE AGAINST: Red Rum was the last topweight to win back in 1974. 11yo now, not many of those win, but they did win three in a row 2012-14.  TO FINISH: Yes, 4th-8th 2. Noble Yeats -12/1 FOR: Won this race last year at 50/1. Ran a nice fourth in the Gold Cup last time. AGAINST: Up 19lb for last year, and repeat winners are rare - but Tiger Roll did it 2018-2019. TO FINISH: Yes, 6th-10th 3. Galvin - 20/1 FOR: Was primed for this race last year then wasn't quite ready. A longer break from the Cheltenham Festival is a positive for him. High class jumper for Davy Russell's last crack at the National. AGAINST: 7lbs worse off against Delta Work for 2.5L second in the Cros

Cheltenham Gold Cup day previews

The bookies struck back yesterday with no favourite winning, although a couple of the outsiders were tipped up in the trade paper. Friday is a funny day. The place is packed because it's Gold Cup day and Fridays are easier to take off and make it a long weekend. But there's a lot of dross at the end of the card to end the festival, at least for me, on a bit of a low.  Anyway, here we go for finishing off with some winners! ------------------------ TRIUMPH Active Duty - only in this because he wasn't good enough to get into the juvenile handicap! Almuhit - see Active Duty. Ascending - well beaten last time behind a couple of leading chances here, but went close against Tekao the run before. Could fluke a place at big odds. Blood Destiny - revelled in the heavy going last time, winning by 18L with Boodles winner Jazzy Matty a further 5L behind. Gave Sir Allen weight and a beating on Irish debut before that. He has dodged the big juvenile features that his stablemates have

Cheltenham Day 3 - part II

Finishing off the card for Thursday... ================ MAGNERS PLATE Marvel de Cerisy is a lightly-raced chaser trained by Henry de Bromhead who obviously has a high opinion of him, judging by his SPs each start. He never got going last time but looked like he had plenty up his sleeve winning at Punchestown the time before. Just looks the type to take a massive step up on the big stage. War Lord found the pace too tough last season in the Grade 1s so has dropped down to a nice mark for handicapping. He gave the winner 22lb last time at Wetherby, beaten 5.5L, and that winner, Gemirande, then went on to just get nosed out in the Greatwood. Right in this at a nice price. Midnight River won nicely here on New Year's Day (new course) but is right up in the weights now.  Mars Harper has been running well without winning in decent handicaps in Ireland, you could just imagine Gordon Elliott applying those final touches to tune him up a bit better and be right in this. A plethora of ch

Cheltenham Day 3 - part I

Thursday is always the least loved day of the Festival for me, it pads it out further than I think it needs, and I always find it hardest to find enough time to analyse it properly. Here goes... ---------------- TURNERS NOVICE CHASE Appreciate It - 9yos don't have much of a record in this race, however this guy is very young in terms of his racing, just the twleve starts under his belt. He's two from three over fences, winning the first two with ease, then finishing 10L (started 11/8) behind double Arkle winner, El Fabiolo, off a cracking pace set by Dysart Dynamo, and was beaten a nose into third by Banbridge who opposes him here. Stepping up to two-and-a-half miles, he is unlikely to see the mad pace upfront this time. They say Supreme winners (2021, by 24L) are more likely to stay rather than take the speed options. This is the perfect opportunity to confirm that hypothesis. Balco Coastal - ran second, beaten 1.75L, in the G1 Scilly Isles Chase behind Gerri Colombe, who mi

Cheltenham Day 2 - all races

Not a lot of joy on the punt on day one, but we go again on Wednesday. BALLYMORE American Mike - star bumper horse last season but kept running into Facile Vega. Has started favourite at all three starts over hurdles but only won the first of them, a fairly weak maiden. Just hasn't progressed, might make a better chaser next year. Champ Kiely - beaten only once in four hurdle starts, by the Supreme winner Marine Nationale. Went up in trip after that and bounced back to form with a solid win. He's a worthy contender as a 7yo but it's worrying that 16 of the past 17 winners have been aged five or six. Gaelic Warrior - beaten a short head when a pronounced fav in the Boodles last year, hasn't really been tested in three runs since. His first two runs this season he started at 1/12 and 1/14 and then won a decent pot in the Liffey Handicap Hurdle during the Dublin Racing Festival coming from behind the pace. He jumps right under pressure which cost him here last year and

Cheltenham Day 1 - the other races

Now for the other races on today's card... R3, 1450. ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE A mighty difficult three mile handicap chase which usually goes to the British and to a runner high in the market, not what you'd expect at the Festival! There's the usual baffling mix of horses on the rise, older horses dropping down the handicap and trainers who can do nothing all season but flick the switch at Cheltenham time... I find it hard to go against Monbeg Genius , a lightly-raced chaser trained by shrewd handicap trainer Jonjo O'Neill. He's won three in a row, all at around this distance, all slightly different tests. He wanted to idle in front when nicely clear at Chepstow last time but responded well when shaken up. A bigger field should keep him switched on, and despite going up 18lbs from his past three runs, I still think there's something in hand. Oscar Elite ran third in this race last year and is only one pound higher in the weights. His form since has been mixed but

Cheltenham 2023 Day 1 Features

Too much to detail in one post, so I'll break it up into the big race analysis here, and the rest of the card in separate article. R1, 1330. THE SUPREME NOVICES' HURDLE Chasing Fire - undefeated in five starts with three over hurdles, but there is a massive gap in class between Market Rasen (albeit both his wins there were by 16L), a Sandown Class3 Novice and the Festival. The picket fence looks nice but he's far more likely to run 11th than first. Dark Raven - runs in the famous double green colours of Munir & Souede. Just the two hurdle runs, a 3L win over Doctor Bravo and a third, beaten 9.75L, in the G1 Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival, behind Il Etait Temps and Inthepocket, ahead of Facile Vega. Made jumping errors last time, looks to be the outsider of the Mullins quartet. Diverge - ex-French Flat galloper. Has had only two starts for Willie Mullins, sixth in High Definition's maiden win at Leopardstown, followed by romping in at Punchestown in a