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Showing posts from December, 2014

Perth Cup preview

New Year's Day in Australia brings a swathe of race meetings all around the country, but the highest profile race of the day is the Perth Cup. Often conducted in temperatures nearing the 40C, it's a tough day with a New Year's Eve hangover! This year the forecast is for a far more moderate 29C. Taking the reins with the preview is @BrisburghPhil

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Perth Cup 2015
Group 2, 2400m
1650 local time, 0850 GMT Preview by @BrisburghPhil

Form guide

Another time-honoured race on the Australian racing calendar but it unfortunately lost it’s two mile status after 2008. That year the race failed to attract any Eastern States visitors which pretty much sealed it’s 3200m fate. Interestingly though it has failed to attract any this year either. Food for thought?

Below are the last six winners of the Perth Cup (with relevant stats) since the race became a 2400m event. The last figure in brackets is the weight drop from prior start;

2014 BLACK TYCOON 8G D.Oliver (5) 5…

Betway 'scandal' resolved

Recently Twitter lit up with allegations of the new Champion Chase sponsor Betway refusing to pay a punter his winnings. The punter in question won a couple of his early bets on a new account and then wanted to withdraw his winnings. Possibly suspicious that the punter was betting for someone else, Betway asked for KYC (Know Your Customer) details to verify the identity of the punter - as they are required to do as part of their licensing conditions.

This is where it went awry. The customer, a student who had changed address several times over the summer, as uni students in particular are prone to (been there, done that), sought to expedite the process by doing a little cut and pasting of one scanned document (not illegal, just silly), rather than just being open and explaining the situation. Also understandable if you've ever wanted to get a mobile phone account or similar where a credit check is required. Betway audit staff noticed the irregularity and then the problems began. …

Villiers Stakes preview

The highlight of summer racing in Sydney is the Villiers Stakes. Tasked with the preview is Mitch Fenton.

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Villiers StakesRandwick, G2, 1600m
1615 local time, 0515 GMT
Form link

Website
Twitter: @weekndkngracing
Facebook: /weekendking


The most reliable guide to the Gr2 Villiers has always been the Festival Stakes.

I’m going to stick with that form line; here’s the horses who ran in the Festival, running today.

1 I'm Imposing (55.5) 20-1
2 [0.1] Estonian Princess (54) 7-1
3 [0.3] Strawberry Boy (57.5) 6-1
5 [1.7] Sir Moments (56) 11-2
6 [2.5] Multilateral (54) 60-1
7 [3.8] Scream Machine (56) 20-1
8 [4.3] Aomen (58.5) 30-1
11 [6.8] Monton (60) 16-1
12 [8.0] Keep Cool (54) 80-1

Out of all those runs in the Festival, Strawberry Boy was a clear top pick for mine.

He worked very hard out in front with his 1500m to 600m times and was 3L quicker than the average. He was entitled to drop out of the race but instead he fought on dogged…

Hong Kong Vase

One of the great days of international racing takes place on Sunday, International Day at Sha Tin racecourse in Hong Kong. Hopefully this isn't the first time you've read about it on the blog - last year we landed a 150/1 winner (before NR reductions)! The author on that occasion was Calum Law, @calumswanlaw, and he returns to analyse this year's edition of the same race.

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Hong Kong Vase
G1, 2400m, Sha Tin, Sunday

Flintshire- Runner up in the Coronation Cup, The Arc De Triomphe and the Breeders Cup Turf in 2014 and all three pieces of form are more than enough to take this race. Will relish the ground, only flop this year came on good to soft at St Cloud, and he has plenty going for him on paper. On the flip side he is winless in seven and there is every chance this race is an afterthought. At south of 2/1 he looks poor enough value.

Dominant- Shock winner of this race last year but has largely struggled this term since his excellent fifth place effor…

John Durkan Memorial Chase preview

The weather's brisk and the National Hunt season is in full swing. If your whole racing year is based around Cheltenham, then you'd better be keeping a close eye on what goes on in Ireland.

Taking on this weekend's feature race from Punchestown is prolific racing blogger, Sam Preen, @SamPreen.

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John Durkan Memorial Chase
1400 Punchestown
2m4f, €80,000.

Preview originally posted here.

Baily Green
Had a fine time of things a few seasons ago, racking up a long string of victories, which came undone by Twilight in a thrilling finish at Punchestown, but went on a long losing run, having run his best race when second to Texas Jack back in January, and posted a disappointing effort over hurdles after that. Fell in the Champion Chase, and was soundly beaten by the aptly named Bog Warrior in the mud at Navan, before being beaten by old foe Sizing Europe at Punchestown. Won a minor chase in May, but pilled up before three out on his seasonal debut, and finish…

Becher Chase preview

Running late with this one, entirely my fault. It's the Becher Chase preview from Adam Webb, @adamwebb121...

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Becher Chase
1330 Aintree, Grade 3 Handicap

The Grand National fences return for their one appearance outside of the April meeting with the Becher Chase and the Grand Sefton taking centre stage away from Sandown’s Tingle Creek. Since its inception in 1992, the Becher has thrown up a variety of winners and provided a stepping stone towards the Grand National, with the likes of Amberleigh House and Silver Birch who both won this before winning the main event whilst Earth Summit won this race after his National success.

This year now has the record of the biggest field assembled in its history with twenty five due to go to post and it looks one of the most open renewals with a whole host of horses holding strong claims. Last year’s winner Chance Du Roy heads the market for Philip Hobbs and Tom O’Brien. He probably ran the race of his life in the Grand National …

Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

It's not just about the Tingle Creek tomorrow at Sandown, there's a Grade 1 Novice Chase amongst the rather decent supporting card. Lining up for the preview is astute NH enthusiast Sam Tribe, @samtribe87.

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Racing Post Henry VIII Novices’ Chase
Grade 1 Chase, 2 Miles
Sandown 13:50
Likely going Soft, Good to Soft in places

With doubts concerning the fitness of last year’s Queen Mother Chase winner Sire De Grugy and of the two mile chase king Sprinter Sacre (despite bullish remarks from Henderson) there is a chance for another to step into the limelight. Both have won the feature race of the day, The Tingle Creek Chase and that will more than likely throw a few into the hat. However, I have chosen to take a look at the Henry VIII chase, which was changed to a grade 1 in 2011 and has been won by some nice prospects in the past (Somersby and Al Ferof to name but a few). Let’s hope that a potential Champion Chase contender of the future will feature in this …

Tingle Creek Chase preview

The Tingle Creek is one of the top echelon of steeplechases, particularly for those with more class than stamina. It has been a Grade 1 race since 1994 and you won't find any fluke winners here - Flagship Uberalles (three times), Moscow Flyer (twice), Kauto Star (twice), Master Minded (twice), Sprinter Sacre, Sire de Grugy - what an honour roll!

Taking the reins for the preview is the talented Harriet Fuller. You can read more of her work on her blog and follow her on Twitter @HattieLFuller

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888Sport Tingle Creek Chase
Grade 1, Sandown, 2m
Saturday 3pm GMT

The Tingle Creek Chase may be without either of its stars in Sire De Grugy and Sprinter Sacre, but it has left an extremely open and intriguing race. I could give a few of them a good chance of being there or thereabouts at the end, and in a declared field of ten, that isn’t rather helpful. I do believe there is value in this race, whether for win purposes or an each-way punt.

Balder Succes is for me, a surp…

Golden Nugget preview

The Golden Nugget has long been a favourite race of mine, it marks the arrival of 4yo pacers onto the scene, and what a star-studded honour roll it is over the 35 years it has been conducted. Sinn Fein, Vanderport, Our Maestro, Sinbad Bay, Westburn Grant, Manifold Bay, Bonavista Bay, The Gold Ace and Im Victorious to name just a few.

Casting an eye over this year's hot field is WA harness specialist, Trent Orwin.

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Retravision Golden Nugget 4yo Championship
Gloucester Park, Group 1, $175,000. 2536m, no sprint lane
Friday. 2045 Perth time, 2345 Melbourne, 1245 London

Author: Trent Orwin
Twitter: @themightytrent3
Website:Bettingpro.com.au
Form Guide: Harness.org

“Waylade is well clear though with 100m to go – he’s bolted away,” race caller Richard Bell declared as the Gary Hall Snr-trained Waylade decimated his rivals by 11m with Bettor Offer running a clear second ahead of Classic American who finished a further 8m away in third place. That was the concluding …

Systematic Russian doping

If there's any integrity left in sport, then Russia should be booted out of every Olympic sport and possibly more based on the revelations in a German TV documentary this week. Government-funded programmes, cover ups, ultimatums to athletes that they simply won't be good enough or picked without cheating....

The translated transcript from WDR is now available - 'Top-secret Doping: How Russia makes its Winners'

From the BBC Doping: Russia doping allegations on German TV prompt WADA investigation

The Guardian: Russia accused of athletics doping cover-up on German TV

ABC: Russian anti-doping agency will wait for official censure before investigating claims of doping

Follow the timeline of @heywoodu for a lengthy series of tweets detailing the information on the documentary, and the fallout since. Here are just a few:

#Doping Former Russian biathlon trainer (+3x world champion) Pavel Rostovtsev: "I'll look like an idiot if I say that I believe Starykh's..&q…