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Showing posts from November, 2016

The French Furze Novices Hurdle preview

One of the highlights of National Hunt racing in the northeast each year is the Fighting Fifth meeting. Unfortunately the three main hurdle races of the day have only attracted 15 horses between them, but that doesn't mean they're uncompetitive.

Choosing the rising stars of novice class over the established Grade 1, it's a warm welcome to the blog for aspiring racing writer Liam Hedgecock, @therealhedgy. You can read more of his work on Final Flight Publications.

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Weatherby's Racing Diaries "The French Furze" Novices Hurdle
Class 2, £20,000, 2m6f
1345 GMT, 0045 AEDST


The ‘French Furze’ is a novice hurdle that has been ran at Newcastle racecourse for the last eight years. The inaugural running of ‘The French Furze’ was in 2007 after the race was named after ‘The French Furze’. He was a racehorse who was owned by Jim Ennis and trained by Nicky Richards. His most notable win came in 2003 when he won the Fighting Fifth hurdle at long od…

Winterbottom Stakes Preview

This year's 'summer' carnival in Perth has been stretched out to three Saturdays under the moniker of the Ascot Racing Masters. The premier sprint race of this carnival is the Winterbottom Stakes, which in recent years has been won by star sprinters in Buffering, Miss Andretti, Ortensia and Takeover Target - all of whom have won Group races abroad. It takes a good'un to win it, and this year's field has plenty of those.

I've brought in a star recruit for this preview, WA racing specialist Terry Leighton. You can follow him on Twitter @PerthRacingGuru. And he's tipping up some juicy odds on his debut...

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Winterbottom Stakes
Group 1, WFA, 1200m
AU$1,000,000
1700 local time, 2000 AEDST, 0900 GMT


The second of WA's three group one events promises to be the pick of the bunch. While the Terravista v Malaguerra showdown might not quite be the Apache Cat v Takeover Target of 2008, it definitely has parallels.

What adds so much in…

The Hennessy preview

This is the highlight of the National Hunt season outside of Cheltenham for me - a top grade handicap full of Graded winners. The defending champ Smad Place returns, 11lb higher than last year, but undoubtedly with a chance to repeat. It might be irrelevant but one indicator of field strength is recent form - just three of the 20 acceptors haven't recorded a win in their last five starts. No dicking around to beat the handicapper here - this is a classy race.

Returning to the blog to cast a magnifying glass over this fine field is astute form student Chris Day, @chrisday100. Prices valid at time of publishing.

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Hennessy Gold Cup Chase
Grade 3, Class 1 Handicap, 3m2f
£200,000
1510 GMT, 0210 AEST


Run on the final Saturday in November, the Hennessy Gold Cup is always one of the season’s best known handicaps, seen as a trial for the best long distance handicap chasers who may have on their agenda races like the Grand National or even Cheltenham’s Gold Cu…

Breeders Cup Classic preview

Classic preview from @creamontop, Jon da Silva in the raw format. Sorry, haven't the time to edit it properly before this evening!

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Breeders Cup Classic

2016 Turf seasons had been pretty much a snore fest till late on. This race was to feature the performers of the 3 most eye-popping races of the year. Then bang Winx goes and wins the Cox Plate by 8 wickets. Fans of Almanzor be doing that tutty thing right now too. Anyway 3 of the 5 best performances of the year by ratings line up here. That's not true either! A Shin Hikari technically [actually] 3rd on Timeform's Sept' list. Thus I give up on narrative and discuss value which is a nebulous concept and I am told inedible and crucially unfalsifiable, by a single result.

California Chrome possibly the best loved horse in the world this side of Chinese provincial racing. An absolute star who's got better in some respects with each race. There was an observation that California Chrome d…

Breeders Cup Turf preview

The two-day Breeders Cup meeting takes place at the glorious Santa Anita racecourse in suburban Los Angeles. Had the pleasure of visiting Santa Anita for another race meeting last year, it is absolutely stunning when the sun is out with the mountains in the background. And this weekend, it's the best of US racing with a few international raiders trying to steal some of the big prizemoney on offer.

Stepping up to preview the Turf and the Classic is regular US racing contributor, Jon da Silva, @creamontop, with his inimitable style.

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Breeders Cup Turf
US$4,000,000 1 1/2m, Grade 1
Saturday 1522 PDT, 2322 GMT, Sunday 1022 AEDST


With the front two from the world's best [rated] flat race*, the Arc, this should be an O'Brien benefit?

* According to Timeform, based over last five years.

Found - or as I used to say, Found Wanting Whenever Speed Is Required. She is clearly faster than I credit. Her easy Arc win in 2.23&change and following up with a…

November Handicap preview

It might be Cup week in Melbourne and Breeders Cup weekend at Santa Anita, but it's the finale for the British Flat season tomorrow at Doncaster. Previewing the dastardly deep November Handicap is shrewd handicap specialist @RightJudgeIam.

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Betfred November Handicap
£80,000, Class 2, 1m4f
Saturday 1535 GMT, Sunday 0235 AEDST


The last big handicap run on the last day of the flat Turf season on Town Moor. A decent prize just shy of £50,000 will ensure a competitive race as will the maximum field of 23 runners. This is a high class handicap with the top weight, and last year's winner, Litigant running off an Official Mark of 110. This is the last chance to land a decent pot for many of these runners this year and for punters, like me, who specialise in large field, good quality turf handicaps.

In most years, given it takes place in November in the North of England, we can expect the going to be on the soft side of good. The last two renewals have bee…

Darley Classic preview

The sprinting highlight of the Flemington carnival, at least for the older brigade, is the Darley Classic, which has existed under several different names in the past, such as the Patinack Stakes and the Linlithgow. This year's field might lack the superstar quality of Black Caviar or Chautauqua, but it's a great betting contest with no horse simple to dismiss.

Taking on the assessment is keen Melbourne form student Callum Gogerly, @_gogs10.

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DARLEY CLASSIC
Group 1, 1200m, WFA
AU$1,000,000
Flemington 1700 AEDST, 0600 GMT


1. Lankan Rupee- A little unlucky first up at Caulfield with the big weight, he was stuck behind the leaders while his rival here Our Boy Malachi had clear air down the outside. I doubt he would have beaten him, but we at least know that he has come back from injury as well as he could have. With no Chautauqua or any gun 3YO sprinters, he probably only needs to be somewhere near his best to win this.

2. Turn Me Loose- Was slow from…