Saturday, 16 November 2019

Saturday 2-Year-Old Preview (16:45 Wolverhampton 16 Nov 2019)

It’s back! After a week of no flat racing which seemed like forever, by the way, we have what looks like a nice little Novice race to get stuck into. Just on another note as the flat racing will be well and truly over soon this season I will try to find an angle on the Juvenile Hurdlers and the National Hunt Flat races instead of twiddling my thumbs and waiting for the next flat season. I have put a few up on my Facebook page and had two winners so far (beginners luck am sure). 

16:45 Wolverhampton 16 Nov 2019: 

Twelve declared here in what looks a tricky little Novice Stakes race but as we don’t have many 2-year-old races left I will give it a go. 

Godolphin comes here double-handed. First up is the Saeed Bin Suroor Showcasing colt My Vision who cost 88,000gns as a foal and 200,000gns as a yearling. My Vision made his debut here last month and ran a pretty nice race to finish third. Even though the form of that race doesn’t look particularly strong My Vision is entitled to come on plenty for that debut especially as he had a few problems in the stalls beforehand. The fact he was supported from 6s to 4/1 at the off is another positive. 

The second Godolphin runner was the Charlie Appleby Dubawi colt Poet’s Mind who also made a pleasing debut first time out here last month when finishing second to Fashion Royalty. Poet’s Mind was the Godolphin second string that day with the other Appleby runner In The Night going off odds on but only finishing fourth. As for Poet’s Mind who took a drift in the market that day, he had a few problems after being hampered early on then running wide on the bend before just failing to catch Fashion Royalty after finishing strong. I imagine Poet’s Mind will be favourite and another who will come on plenty for his debut and has a good chance to get off the mark here. 

The 125,000,gns yearling FAVOURITE MOON has already had two runs and improved again the last timeout. The William Haggas trained Sea The Moon colt ran in what looked like a pretty hot race last time out at Newbury when finishing fourth to the Hugo Palmer trained Acquitted. The third that day Mishriff has since come out and won easily so the form looks strong and another who could be in with a chance if taking to the Tapata. 

I had an each-way bet on Finely Tuned after getting an early price of 13/2 last time out at Nottingham. The Gleneagles colt was well-supported into 3/1 that day and to be honest, I had given up hope as Finely Tuned looked to get stuck in the mud as the ground at Nottingham was heavy that day. Jack Mitchell didn’t give up and got the Simon Crisford colt going again and ended up just failing to peg back the surprise 50/1 Alan King winner Tremor. My only worry is he could be outpaced again before running on which could be too late by then, we will see. 

Last but not least is the John Gosden Dansili colt CELESTRAN who went off at 12/1 for his debut race at Newmarket 15 days ago. Celestran done a lot wrong that day when starting slowly and running green throughout the race. Celestran looks a big athletic type and despite starting slow the Cheveley Park owned colt got the hang of things late on without threatening the eventual winner Louganini. He stayed on nicely for jockey Nick Mackay and the extra distance should suit, the form didn’t look particularly strong but has potential to improve. 

Conclusion: A tough race here with plenty in with chances and as am in work tonight I have to write this without knowing the betting, plus not much to go on form wise with these later 2-year-old races. Poet’s Mind looks to have a great chance here but not for me at the price. I might do a split stake on Celestran and Favourite Moon if they don’t take a huge drift and the price allows. 

Thanks for reading and good luck.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

David Egan: Destined to be a Jockey

Born in Kildare, Ireland in 1999, David Egan is one of my favourite Flat racing jockeys. He was destined to be a jockey as racing runs right through his family. His mother Sandra Hughes trained Lieutenant Colonel who won the Christmas Hurdle and Thunder And Roses who won the Irish Grand National in 2015. 

His dad is of course jockey John Egan who won the July Cup with Les Arcs and recently won the Listed Chalice Stakes at Ascot on board the Jane Chapple-Hyam trained Love So Deep. In fact, his Grandfather was the legend himself Dessie Hughes, and then we have his uncle who is Richard Hughes, who himself was a magnificent jockey and is now making a name for himself as a trainer to be reckoned with. 

I think David has a lot to live up to but by the looks of things, he is well up to the task. 

David Egan rode out his claim back on June 2018 onboard Keeper’s Choice at Newbury. Since then David has gone from strength to strength winning some big races including a brilliant ride on the Cheveley Park owned Pilaster who won the Group 2 Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood in August 2018 for Roger Varian and another one for his boss Roger Varian is the impressive Daahyeh who won the Group 2 Albany Stakes at Ascot this year and went on to finish second in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Group 1 race at Santa Anita ridden by William Buick this time. 

As you may know, I love 2-year-old racing but I really don’t like betting on a first timeout 2-year-old as you never know what will happen when an unraced horse hits the track. One statistic that did interest me about David Egan was the nice first timeout winners he rides for Roger Varian when under 10/1. 

His first unraced 2-year-old since losing his claim was Ideological back in September 2018 at Kempton. David gave the well-supported newcomer a perfect ride by settling her at the rear until she found her feet and won going away in the end. Bayroot was another peach of a ride by David Egan. Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum's Exceed And Excel colt was 8/1 for his debut at Kempton and it was the same again by David. Bayroot was settled in the rear before making headway and staying onto win by a length. 

One owner that likes to use David Egan is Mr Nurlan Bizakov. David rode two nice unraced 2-year-olds for Mr Bizakov back in 2018. The first was Nausha who made her debut at Newbury back in October 2018. The Kingman filly was sent off 11/4 joint-favourite. David again rode the perfect race and won cosy in the end. Nausha went on to win a Group 3 race at York that season. Next up was Lastochka, the Australia filly who funnily enough won the same day and again David held Lastochka up before delivering her with a strong run to win by a neck at the Kempton evening meeting. 

I think I have saved the best unraced Roger Varian horse that promising jockey David Egan rode on debut. Pierre Lapin was purchased for a 140,000gns in October 2018 for owner Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum and made his debut in May this year. Pierre Lapin was sent off the even-money favourite and David Egan did what he does best with unraced 2-year-olds and brought him into the race in his own time before Pierre Lapin quickened clear to win comfortably in what was an impressive run and has since gone on to win the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury.  

Conclusion: As I said it’s a gamble with unraced 2-year-olds but when you see David Egan on a Roger Varian debutant under 10/1 give it a second glance as it could be worth the gamble. 

Thanks for reading and good luck.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

James Given Talks Racing And Meeting The Queen

Based in the village of Willoughton in Lincolnshire since April 1999, James Given has some great winners to his name including Wunders Dream who was a stable star in her own right. Wunders Dream went on to win the Molecomb Stakes and the Flying Childers in what was a great 2-year-old career. Hugs Dancer another stable star who won the Ebor Handicap and the following year won the Chester Cup. The list of big winners James has had goes on and on. It wasn't just in England as James travelled far and wide for success and Jessica’s Dream was the filly to do it with Group 3 wins in Ireland and Italy. 

James, have you always been involved in horse racing? 

No, I started working in racing when I went to work for Mark Johnston as his resident Vet and Assistant in Feb 1995.

If you weren’t a trainer what would you have done? 

Well, I worked as a Vet before and during my time working in racing so that’s what I would have continued with. 

What keeps you motivated on those cold winter mornings to keep going? 

The next winner and seeing how the yearlings are developing. 

If you could train any horse in history who would it be and why? 

Frankel. He is the best horse that has ever raced and the challenges that Sir Henry Cecil overcame to guide the horse through his spectacular career and all the problems I would relish trying to emulate. 

Do you have a favourite horse in the yard? 

The good ones are always favourites, but currently, the lowish rated Blyton Lass has just got her hat trick up and has won 5 races in total, so far. She is such a trier and any horse who tries as hard as her is always a favourite. 

What's been the highlight of your career so far? 

Not a result of a race but having lunch at Windsor Castle and sitting next to the Queen, a remarkable woman and an extraordinary experience. 

A typical day in the life of James Given? 

No 2 days are ever the same, however, the yard starts at 7.00am, getting 3 lots out, a coffee break, 2 more lots out, doing entries and declarations during this time and usually quite a number of phone calls to owners updating them and discussing plans. Grab a sandwich and set off to the races. Hopefully celebrating a good run then home, catching up on the evening stables report and doing the list for tomorrow. Increasingly there is more racing in the evening so either attending this or discussing the race on the phone with the owners. And finally, to bed before it all starts again tomorrow! 

What do you do to relax when you finally get the time? 

Golf and cooking. 

If you could win any race before you retired, what would it be? 

The Melbourne Cup. 

Any dark horses for the All-weather that my readers can follow? 

She is not a dark horse but I don’t think she has finished winning yet, Blyton Lass. 

A big thank you to James Given for answering questions for my blog and good luck for the future.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Jack Berry: The Harder He Worked the Luckier He Got

Jack Berry House
Jack Berry. 

He is a man who has worn many hats. A very talented horse trainer who made a name for himself by working hard and thinking clever. Known for wearing his lucky red shirt. I'm sure he coined the phrase: ''The harder I work, the luckier I get.''

I've never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Jack Berry MBE, but it would be a very special day to have an opportunity to chat about all and sundry. In truth, I wouldn't know where to start. 

I read a beautifully written post on the Racing Post, which detailed all of his successes. To be honest, Jack Berry built all of his success on a foundation of bloody hard work. He made me smile saying as a jump jockey he rode 47 winners but in the process broke 46 bones. 

His charitable work is something to be admired because he has always made a difference and continues to do so with Jack Berry House, a charity which literally saw him, with the help of millions of pounds of donations, build a house for injured jockeys to recuperate and find a new direction in the tough world of horse racing.  

Being interested in two-year-old horse racing, he captured my imagination. He revolutionised his training approach to farm winners from those early months of the season before the big guns displayed a wealth of talents. However, the thing which set Jack Berry apart from so many is that even when the competition got hotter he didn't wilt in the sun. You could guarantee one, two or three two-year-old talents would take their chance contesting races at the highest level. These bargain-basement buys would prove they could go head to head with the blue bloods and often show them the way home. 

Who could forget Mind Games, Paris House, Distinctly North, Laurel Queen, Almost Blue, Lucky Parkes, Palacegate Episode, Another Episode, Our Little Secret, So Careful and Jack Berry's favourite O I Oyston (Olly). 

Berry said:  He says without hesitation. "I just adored that horse. I rode him out every day and would even go out looking at cattle on him. I only had to whistle and he'd come. "He won 24 races, the last when he was aged 12, and when I retired I took him with me and had him turned out at home with Palacegate Touch – 'Archie' – who won 33, and Ansellman, who won 11. Can you imagine three prolific winners like them turned out together? Olly died when he was 31, but I've still got Archie and Ansellman."

Jack Berry is a living legend. The man who once wrote a book called: ''It's Tougher at the Bottom''. 

The difference with Berry is the fact he lived a hard, honest and determined life, from rags to riches. He continues to shine as a man of many successes and adored because he never forgot where he came from.

An example to us all. 

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Last Week's 2YO Eye Catchers (7th November)

Just a quick update on yesterday's post. 

I mentioned French Asset was an eye-catcher on debut and thought the Michael Stoute colt would progress at Nottingham, with the ground and short price I decided not to bet. Not sure if it was the heavy going or French Asset is just disappointing but I will keep an eye on the betting next timeout.

Hesssa turned out to be a non-runner and again the heavy going could have been the reason for that. 

Oriental Mystique turned out to be my only bet of the day and was ridden more prominent today by Jim Crowley. She came to win her race at the furlong pole and won well at odds of 4/1. I think she had a bit left in the tank and looks a nice filly for the future. It was finally nice to get a much-needed win after a few disappointments and placed efforts in the last few posts. 

16:55 Kempton 28 Oct 2019:

Cosmic Princess looked a 33/1 shot the first half of her debut race at Kempton last week. The Hughie Morrison Kingman filly was drawn out wide and lost a few lengths at the start. Hollie Doyle looked to have Cosmic Princess on and off the bridle for the first few furlongs until she seemed to grasp the idea that she was in a race and stayed on nicely all the way to the line. I thought that was a real eye-catching debut, and she will have learned plenty from her first racecourse experience. Another one to take out of this race is the John Gosden filly Shimmering who was an 8/1 shot for her debut race at Kempton. The 150,000 gns yearling was another who was drawn wide and lost a few lengths tracking over to the inside. Jockey Robert Havlin gave her a nice experience without giving the Lope De Vega filly a hard time. Owner Lloyd Webber looks to have a nice filly on his hands here and will be more competitive next start am sure. 

18:30 Kempton 28 Oct 2019: 

Thumur will have gone into many notebooks after a promising debut. The Owen Burrows Golden Horn colt was a 220,000 gns purchase for owner Mr. Hamdan Al Maktoum as a yearling. Thumur was slowly away and well-behind before making eye-catching progress and ran on well inside the final furlong for jockey Jim Crowley. Even though he couldn’t land a blow Thumur will have learned plenty and one to keep on the right side of when making his next appearance. 

18:10 Kempton 31 Oct 2019: 

Morlaix was given as a horse to follow by apprentice jockey Poppy Bridgwater when she answered a few questions for my blog. The Mayson bay gelding won’t be a superstar but stepped up on his debut run when staying on without threatening the winner at Kempton last timeout. Trained by David Simcock, I will be keeping an eye out when Morlaix runs over further in a small race. 

Thanks for reading and good luck

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

Wednesday's 2-Year-Old Previews (6th November)

As always these end of season 2-year-old races always has a few nice horses in that are looking to get a run in before the season ends. 

This race looks no different with most of the top yards turning up to get that much-needed run. John Gosden has won this race three times in the past ten runnings and saddles the Frankel filly Majestic Noor, really looking forward to seeing this 650,000 yearling make her appearance here, the betting should give a clue to her chances. Dubai Love made a winning debut at Nottingham last month but has a win penalty to burden against some potentially nice horses here. Despite being not fancied in the betting on debut Declared Interest made a pleasing debut when third at Newbury. Declared Interest was always there about and stayed on without threatening the front pair. Step up in trip should suit here and could be involved at the finish.  

5:10 Kempton 06 Nov 2019 

The one I will take a chance on is ORIENTAL MYSTIQUE for the David Simcock team. The Kingman filly was also a big price for her first run of the season at Newmarket when drifting to 20/1 at the off. The winner that day was Trefoil for Ralph Beckett who looks a lovely filly that we will see a lot more of in the future. Oriental Mystique was held up by Jamie Spencer(surprise surprise) but to be fair I think it was a nice learning introduction and despite being in the rear Jamie got Oriental Mystique going late on but the winner had already flown. I can see the Kingman filly being a lot more clued-up today and the fact she had a Group 1 fillies mile entry is another positive. An each-way bet for me. 

13:55 Nottingham 06 Nov 2019: 

Salamanca School stayed on well for me last time out when second at Bath and looks to have place claims again. Another John Gosden newcomer heads the early betting in the name of Book Review who has a great pedigree and one I'm looking forward to seeing on debut. I like the look of one-off my eye-catcher list called FRENCH ASSET. The Siyouni colt was slowly away and kept at the back by jockey David Probert on debut at Wolverhampton until finding his feet a couple of furlongs out. French Asset picked up nicely when the penny dropped and the Michael Stoute trained colt should be spot on here with that experience under his belt. 

12:20 Nottingham 06 Nov 2019: 

This will be no surprise for my regular readers as I like the look of a Karl Burke second time out 2-year-old. *HESSSA hasn't run for 57 days since making her debut at Leicester. Jamie Spencer was on board that day and Hesssa looked a bit clueless. The Zoffany filly was all over the place but still managed to finish close up and looked like this step up in trip will be right up her street. A few nice newcomers also enter calculations also the Charlie Appleby filly Beauty Stone should also come on for her debut run at Newmarket. Each-way bet on Hesssa for me. 

* NR

Good luck and thanks for reading.

Sunday, 3 November 2019

National Hunt Legend Richard Dunwoody

When you think of National Hunt legendary jockeys most people would have Richard Dunwoody MBE at the top of their list. 

Born in Belfast Northern Ireland, Richard rode an incredible 1874 winners in a truly amazing racing career. A three-time Champion jockey who won two Grand Nationals with West Tip and Miinnehoma; King George VI Chase four times and not to mention the Champion Hurdle and Gold Cup. 

In addition, Richard has done an amazing amount of charity work since retiring from the saddle including a 48-day trek to the South Pole with American explorer Doug Stoup, a 1000 mile charity walk and in 2017, walked 2000 miles across Japan to raise money for Sarcoma UK. 

Richard has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about his outstanding career. 

Richard, have you always been involved in horse racing? 

I always hoped to be a jockey at school and rode out in Newmarket during the school holidays for Paul Kelleway. Since retired I was a pundit on the Beeb from 2008-2012. 

At what age did you become a jockey?

First ride as an amateur 18 turned professional 2 years later. 

You have won so many big races including the Champion Hurdle, the Arkle and the Grand National to name just a few, which race sticks out in your mind? 

Grand National 94 on Miinnehoma, second victory in the race and didn't really expect him to win. West Tip, Desert Orchid and One Man are just three of the many class horses you won on.

Did you have a favourite horse that was close to your heart? 

Desert Orchid was the best horse I rode but I always thought the world of Waterloo Boy. Tough, tried hard and I think I won 15 races on him.

If you weren't a jockey what would you have done? 

I was taking biology physics and chemistry at A level and my parents were hoping I would become a vet. 

The day you retired due to a neck injury was a sad day for all involved in the racing game, did you have an idea what you would do next?

Yes, I had already started a sports marketing agency. 

You have done so much brilliant charity work over the years, name three things you do in your spare time if you get any?

I enjoy running, watching sport (get to Real Madrid when I can) and exploring Spain with Olivia and our daughter Milly. 

Did you ever think about becoming a trainer am sure you would have been brilliant? 

My father trained and having been around trainers for a very long time it was never an option.

What racecourse did you enjoy the most, Cheltenham or Aintree? 

Aintree, riding around the National course. 

Can you give my readers a few horses to follow this season? 

I hope Saint Calvados does well for Harry (Whittington) and I am sure Olly Murphy will send out a lot more winners this year.

Thanks to Richard for being so honest and open.

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Saturday's 2-Year-Old Previews Plus Reviews


The highs and lows of horse racing was summed up in one day yesterday. I had two each way speculative bets, the first was Wadi Al Sail who to be honest was never really involved but as Jason commented on my post Wadi Al Sail could be worth looking out for in nursery class. After that disaster things go through my mind like why do I even bother writing posts when they finish second to last. Next up was Kumasi who I took an early price of 14/1. I watched this one in work and I felt a bit more confident when I saw some support. Even though Kumasi finished second I was pleased I got a run for my money anyway. Sky Power ran a promising debut and is one who will be winning soon enough. 


14:05 Newmarket 02 Nov 2019

What a race to look forward to here. Plenty of the top yard brings some really nice 2-year-olds hoping to take home the £22,684 prize money plus adding black-type to their name. The early betting indicates it will be a wide open race with the Irish trained San Pedro heading the market at this early stage. One thing is for sure is San Pedro will enjoy this ease in the ground after winning his Maiden on heavy going. The one who I will be hoping can sneak a place is the Charlie Appleby trained *Broccaccio who hasn't been seen since winning a Novice Stakes race at the end of May. That was a smart performance first time up and showed he was up for a battle when the challenges came. The lay off plus the ground is a worry against some smart performers today but hopefully the 850,000 gns yearling can run a nice race and confirm why Charlie Appleby gave him significant entries this season. 

* NR 

11:45 Newmarket 02 Nov 2019: 

Trying to solve this puzzle of a race tomorrow is a bloody nightmare with nearly all the field unraced. Dusty Dream is an exception to that as the Dubawi filly has already had a taste of the hustle and bustle of a race day. The William Haggas filly is owned by the Queen and ridden by Tom Marquand. I liked the fact that Dusty Dream was well-supported on debut and although she was too keen to do herself justice Dusty Dream was up with the pace until tiring in the last furlong. Dusty Dream had an early entry for the Group 1 Fillies Mile but never ran, maybe that was a bit optimistic but hopefully she can improve to grab a place at least here. At the time of writing, she is 14/1.

17:00 Chelmsford City 02 Nov 2019

Cruyff is another tracker of mine and to be honest am not holding out much hope for this Richard Spencer Dutch Art colt. The only reason I will have a small each way bet is that he was given a few significant entries. His debut race at York didn’t fill me with confidence but you never know. 

Good luck and thanks for reading.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Friday's 2-year-old Previews Plus Reviews (1st November)

A quick update on my last post and the few horses I have mentioned on my Facebook page. First up Emaraty Hero was never involved in what looked like a pretty nice race to be fair. I mentioned that former jockey Alan Rutter who actually rides out for John Gosden had nominated the newcomer King Leonidas as his horse to follow, he was spot on with that as the impressive King Leonidas won like a good thing. I had an each-way on Emaraty Hero as King Leonidas was too short at 13/8 but even though I lost it was nice to see King Leonidas win. 

I didn’t bet on the 4/5 shot Sorrel who finished second at Kempton but I did have a small bet on Grain Of Sense who could only manage fourth at Newmarket. This soft going is a nightmare for punters and it would be nice if I could be more disciplined but that doesn’t seem to be happening at the minute. 

The last one in my post was the one Jason and I had been waiting for. Farnham is a really well-thought-of filly for Roger Varian who had a number of significant entries as a 2-year-old but didn’t run. Farnham made her debut in April but wasn’t seen again until last Thursday at Chelmsford. Yes, I know she was the odds on favourite but for me, it was more about seeing if she still had some ability after such a long lay off. Farnham won well and looked to have a bit in hand. The early price of 5/4 looked nice of course after she had won but as I said it was just nice to see her win. 

A few more on my Facebook page I mentioned was Station To Station who on firsthand looked disappointing but I have a feeling we may see a better run next timeout if running in a nursery. I also bet on Tulip Fields and Nicks No Wonder who both got placed. Another one I mentioned on Facebook was the Simon Crisford colt Finely Tuned who was running Wednesday this week. I took an early price of 13/2 and by race time Finely Tuned was 3/1. I almost gave up on my bet until Finely Tuned sprouted wings inside the last furlong and a bit further would have won. I finally got a winner though when Bye Bye Lady won for my eye-catchers priced 3/1. 

Speculative Friday 

12:00 Newmarket 01 Nov 2019: 

Wadi Al Sail is trained by Miss Gay Kelleway who has a few nice 2-year-olds including Global Esteem who ran a great race to finish third at 25/1 on his debut at Leicester last month. Wadi Al Sail might not be up to that standard but I'm willing to take a chance with a small each-way bet if the price is right. The Holy Roman Emperor colt was a cheap 17,000 euro yearling but unsold for 24,000 gns as a 2-year-old. His debut race was in a Class 2 race at Goodwood back in July, a complete outsider at 66/1. Wadi Al Sail was up with the pace for most of the way until meeting difficulty in running and losing all chance and eased down towards the finish. I am not saying he would have won or might not have been even placed but would have been a lot closer to the smart Cobra Eye. Interesting that owner H.E Sherida Al-Kaabi also had Fuwayrit in that race who looks a nice colt himself. Wadi Al Sail was given a significant entry after his debut which is interesting but this would be more of a speculative bet with some potentially nice newcomers from top yards plus a dangerous Aidan O’ Brien colt called Keats. 

12:35 Newmarket 03 Nov 2017: 

Interested to see how the Richard Hannon trained Sky Power runs here. The 450,000 gns yearling had an early entry for the Group 2 Champagne Stakes but didn’t run. The betting will be the clue to the Fastnet Rock colts chances. Richard Hannon won this race in 2017 with Maghaweer. No bet for me on debut but hopefully he runs a nice race. 

16:50 Newcastle 01 Nov 2019: 

It looks like a day of speculative bets for me as Kumasi looks to be another who will start off at a big price. The David O’Meara New Approach colt was purchased by Cheverley Park owners for 130,000 gns as a foal and made his debut in the Class 2 Convivial Stakes at York back in August. Not fancied that day at 33/1 Kumasi looked out of his depth but did show up well until the last furlong when weakening. This looks a lot easier and if he has any ability hopefully the market will support him. A small hopeful each-way bet for me as O’meara doesn’t have too many 2-year-old winners at Newcastle. 

Good luck and thanks for reading.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Guest Post: Beckett 2YO Debut Winners

With the recent wet weather, Turf racing is about as patchy as the final furlong of Leicester racecourse. However, thankfully, we have the all-weather to keep our spirits high. A sharp frost clears the sky to a sunny day. 

I'm hoping horse trainer Ralph Beckett will give some cause to cheer. 

Over the years, I have researched this trainer to an in-depth level. It's surprising what you can learn from studying horse trainers big and small. 

Taking a look at the 4:55 Kempton - 

This race details a number of potentially fair juveniles. I would suggest letting the betting settle because it could well help pinpoint the major contenders. 

Ralph Beckett fields Crispina a daughter of Kingman in the ownership of Khalid Abdullah. It's interesting to note there has been money for this May foal, which is a very good sign for this stable. This year we have seen a couple of two-year-olds which have been very well supported on debut and they have both won and horses with a touch of class. 

Wyclif was seriously backed on debut when hammering the opposition by over three-lengths and most recently runner-up at Listed class.

Heart Reef took her time to get motoring on debut at Haydock but won going away in the final furlong to win by more than a length.   

Kinross (pictured) was the perfect example of a Beckett debut winner when flying eight-lengths clear of the runner-up at Newmarket earlier this month. 

Another debutant who went close when fancied on debut was Annie De Vega who ran on with purpose when finishing third on debut when behind King Carney who has proven himself to be a smart performer winning at Listed class (beating Wyclif in the process). 

Crispina is worth noting in the betting and if starting favourite is likely to go well on her debut over this 7f trip. 

Guest post: Jason Coote runs a number of successful websites including Group Horse which details the best two-year-old horses in training. 

Update: Crispina was much too keen and ruined its chance. Keep an eye on this horse next start. 

This Weeks 2YO Eye-Catchers

The flat season is coming to an end and the dark early nights are upon us. The National Hunt fans are getting excited with the anticipation of seeing what the new season brings. Little old me will be at a loss, I guess I will have a few 3-year-old Maiden races knocking around on the all-weather to write about and maybe it will be a blessing in disguise and recharging my batteries will be the best thing for me.

Anyway, we are not at that stage yet and a few more 2-year-old horses will be out soon enough. 

18:10 Kempton 23 Oct 2019: 

As it's getting late in the season a few horses will be put away for next year to strengthen up and that could be the case for my first eye-catcher. Long Haired Lover is trained by James Fanshawe and made her debut at Kempton last week. The Night Of Thunder filly definitely outrun her 40/1 starting price when finishing third to the Saaed Bin Suroor trained Faakhirah. Long Haired Lovers jockey Daniel Muscutt gave her a peach of a ride and if she was a bit more streetwise may have even won. One thing is for sure whether she runs this year or next she won't be 40/1. 

18:40 Kempton 23 Oct 2019: 

Back at Kempton again for my next eye-catcher. Narrate showed her inexperience here on debut when slowly away and was then kept towards the rear by David Egan. The Hugo Palmer Dansili filly was given a pretty nice learning introduction and stayed on steadily without getting near the impressive Ed Vaughan filly Little Becky. I can't be sure how good these end of season races are but the fact Narrate was supported from 9/1 to 6/1 at the off gives me the impression that she will be more involved next timeout. 

18:45 Wolverhampton 24 Oct 2019: 

French Asset was ridden like trainer Michael Stoute just wanted this to be a learning experience. The Siyouni colt was slowly away and kept at the back by jockey David Probert until finding his feet a couple of furlongs out. French Asset picked up nicely when the penny dropped and a step up in trip will see him more at home next timeout and hopefully a win is just around the corner. 

19:30 Newcastle 25 Oct 2019: 

I do love a Kevin Ryan 2-year-old horse and my next eye-catcher is Jahrawi who made a pleasing debut at Newcastle last Friday night. The Fed Biz bay colt was nibbled at before the race when some late support came in and from 20s he started off a 16/1 shot. Jahrawi looks a big athletic type for Kevin Ryan who should grow into a nice 3-year-old next season. I think this was another horse who was given a learning experience in what is their first day at school. Jahrawi was kept towards the rear until making up some ground in the final furlong without threatening the leaders. Should be a lot more clued-up next time out and am looking forward to hopefully seeing improved performance and hopefully he can pick up a small race. 

Thanks for reading and good luck.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Nicola Currie From Strength to Strength

If you studied Nicola Currie riding you wouldn’t think she only started riding at 22, but she has gone from strength to strength in her few short years as a jockey. This year Nicola has ridden an impressive 47 winners including Raising Sand winning the Moet & Chandon International Stakes at Ascot and also finishing an excellent fourth in the Victoria Cup at Ascot. On top of that Nicola was also crowned the All-Weather Champion Champion after winning 30 times from October 2018 to April 19th 2019. Not bad for the Scot who was nearly giving up racing in 2015. One trainer who benefited from her staying in the saddle was Jamie Osborne whom Nicola rides regularly for and has won 18 times so far this season.

Nicola, have you always been involved in horse racing? 

I only came into racing when I was around 18, I have always ridden ponies from an early age and worked in showjumping yards. 

You have ridden plenty of nice winners over the years do you have a favourite? 

My favourite winner has to be on Raising Sands this year at Ascot in the Moet & Chandon international stakes. 

If you weren't riding horses what would you do? 

 I would probably buy and sell horses or continued my love for football if the horses hadn’t interfered. 

If you could ride any horse in history who would it be? 

Would have to be Frankel. 

I see your uncle is the Liverpool FC legend Steve Nicol, will Liverpool win the league this year? 

Unfortunately, I don’t have much time to follow the football now but it would be great to see Liverpool win the league. 

How did it feel to be the first female to ride in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on board Raising Sand for Jamie Osborne? 

It was great, I like achieving things others haven’t. 

What has been the highlight of your racing career so far? 

My highlight would be riding at Royal Ascot and in the QE II .. also receiving a Leicester’s. 

Do you get time to hit the town on a weekend or do you have to be on your best behaviour?

Not really as usually I’m riding on the AW Saturday evening but I like to enjoy a chilled Sunday with a roast and a bottle of wine but not too much as racing resumes on Monday! 

What's a normal day for Nicola Currie like? 

I get up around 6 to be in Jamie’s for around 6:20 am, usually gallop around 5 horses depending how much time I have before heading off racing. Run home for a shower and set off in the car to wherever I am riding that day. Usually, I’m not home till late with evening meetings so it is straight to bed to get as much sleep in to do it all again the next day. If I am finished at a reasonable time and I have no lightweights I like to go out for dinner with friends. 

Thanks to Nicola for making time to answer a few questions for the blog and good luck for the future.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Can Emaraty Be The Hero For Karl Burke (Plus Reviews And Previews)

First off, a pretty shocking day today by anybody’s standard with all three of my fancies disappointing. I expected a lot better from Grand Bazaar who plugged on to finish third without threatening the front pair. Next up was Too Big To Fail who was never going well and soundly beaten in the end. Some promise was shown by my tracker Float who dwelt but kept on towards the finish, which could be interesting next timeout. Last was Streeton who drifted to 8/1 before the off, I knew my fate once this happened. 

A good few 2-year-old races tomorrow so hopefully, I can at least get a run for my money on one. 

13:55 Newmarket 23 Oct 2019.

Emaraty Hero is well-thought-of by trainer Karl Burke. I am confident this 55,000 gns Lope De Vega colt has ability. Karl Burke gave Emaraty Hero two significant early entries in the shape of the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes and Saturdays Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes but takes this option. He looked pretty professional on debut when smartly away and knew his job from the off. It was a promising debut despite finishing third he had two nice horses in front of him. Tsar and Glenties both look nice types for the future. Emaraty Hero looks to have the size and scope to improve and will hopefully strip fitter tomorrow and go one better than Newcastle. 

Another worth mentioning is the John Gosden newcomer King Leonidas who former jockey Alan Rutter gave me as his John Gosden horse to follow. He too had an entry on Saturdays Group 1 race but doesn't run. To add to that we have the Richard Hannon newcomer Mafia Power plus a few other potentially nice types. A race not to go mad on but hopefully Emaraty Hero will drift to an each-way price. 

18:40 Kempton 23 Oct 2019 

Sorrel looks likely to go off favourite here and rightly so after an eye-catching debut over this CD last month. The form of that race looks decent and Sorrel was well-supported before the off when backed down from 6s to 7/2. Sorrel should know more this time out and will hopefully get her head in front today. 

15:05 Newmarket 23 Oct 2019 

Despite starting off a big price for debut (33/1) Grain Of Sense made a pretty promising debut despite being ridden for most of it. The Ralph Beckett trained Teofilo colt ran on past beaten horses and looks to need every inch of this one-mile two-furlong race. Princess Bride looks a danger after getting blocked off when making her run at Leicester the last timeout. 

19:00 Chelmsford City 24 Oct 2019

I am not sure I will be betting on Farnham here but I am intrigued to see how this bay 3-year-old filly runs. Roger Varian gave her a host of significant entries as a 2-year-old, but she didn't run all season. Farnham made her debut in April this year at Newbury. The Farhh filly was sent off 13/8 favourite and despite finishing fifth I thought she could have won and was given an easy introduction. I was expecting to see her back out not long after but here we are in October and it’s only her second run of her career. It’s a guessing game whether she still has the ability she had as a 2-year-old but I for one can’t wait to see her run again. 

Good luck and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Tuesdays Reviews And Previews (22nd October)

It's been a busy few days of late and I didn't even have time to write my usual post on Saturday. I have decided if I don't have time to do a post I will just put my thoughts on my Facebook page instead of posting it on Twitter and other social media sites as it saves time. I only mentioned two horses and luckily enough both got placed. First up was Master Spy who just got up to be third at 18/1 on Friday evening. The second I mentioned was the Karl Burke trained Bound For Heaven on Saturday who I noticed had been backed throughout the morning. I took 6/1 and the Gleneagles filly won 9/2. That was it for me betting as I took my winnings and ran. Onto Tuesday. 

18:30 Kempton 22 Oct 2019: 

Eye-Catcher: Streeton

The favourite Raaeb looks a nice colt for Saeed Bin Suroor but was well-put in his place last time out by the Impressive Clive Cox trained Kinross at Newmarket at the beginning of the month. We also have a couple more experienced horses in the name of Danyah who needs to bounce back after a disappointing effort last time out, and we have the filly Colouring who put in a much-improved effort when second to Rosa at Kempton. Now the one I have my eye on for a place was actually 7/1 when I looked early on but at the time of writing Streeton is best priced 5/1. The Ralph Beckett trained 2-year-old gelding was purchased for 80,000 guineas at the yearling sales. The Siyouni colt made a promising debut at Wolverhampton last month when losing some ground around the turns before staying on to finish fourth to the nice Tom Dascombe colt Brad The Brief. Streeton could be up against it with the favourite but at 5/1 is worth an each-way bet and hopefully, he will be a bit more streetwise this time out. 

14:35 Newcastle 22 Oct 2019:

Eye-Catcher: Grand Bazaar

Odds on favourite for his debut Grand Bazaar could be seen as disappointing after finishing third at Haydock. The ground at Haydock that day was soft and Grand Bazaar looked to get bogged down a few furlongs out before running on again the final furlong. The John Gosden trained Golden Horn colt will have learned a lot from that experience. The winner that day was Panic Room who looks a nice colt for the future. As for Grand Bazaar he is up against some experienced rivals here including Ziggle Pops and Amaan and to add to the mix we have another potentially nice colt in the name of Carlos Felix who was well-supported for his debut and until weakening towards the finish. Grand Bazaar is short at the minute but looks to have a decent chance of breaking his duck here. 

14:50 Yarmouth 22 Oct 2019:

Eye-Catcher: Too Big To Fail

Trackers: Float and Combine.

Mark Johnston trained Too Big To Fail is another who is a bit short in the betting for my liking. The Teofilo filly wasn’t fancied on debut but ran a promising race despite being inexperienced in what was her first day at school. Too Big To Fail is a half-sister to another Mark Johnston runner called Vivid Diamond who won second time out and has an official rating of a 106 after some fine efforts in group company. Too Big to fail looks a typical Mark Johnston out-and-out stayer after starting slow at Nottingham but plugging on well to the line and am sure will appreciate stepping up in distance in the future. The winner that day King Carney has franked the form when winning a Listed race at Pontefract. We also have some lovely looking newcomers in what looks like a nice race. 

19:00 Chelmsford City 24 Oct 2019: 

Tracker: Farnham

Eye-Catcher: Farnham has an early entry on Thursday For Roger Varian. I will write a small piece on facebook if she runs. Good luck and thanks for reading.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Oisin Murphy Q & A: The Champion Jockey Talks Racing

I don’t think my next jockey needs any introduction. I will just let the champ take it away.

Oisin, have you always been involved in horse racing? 

I lived with my Uncle Jim at age 15 - 16. I rode ponies from the age of 4 and racing was always on TV at home. 

How much influence did John Reid have on your racing career? 

John Reid used to spend hours tutoring me on the equicizer. He was a huge help. I’m still in contact with him now. 

If you weren't a jockey what would you have done? 

My dream for many years was to become an international showjumper. I was small though and my uncle Jim suggested I should ride out for him. I contracted the racing bug! The rest is history!

If you could ride any horse in history who would it be? 

Frankel was an exceptional animal. The best flat horse I’ve seen. Best Mate was a star, winning 3 Cheltenham Gold Cups. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 

I follow showjumping and my girlfriend and many of my mates compete at the top level. It’s a great sport. 

Former jockey Alan Rutter told me the brilliant Roaring Lion was the best horse he had ever ridden on the gallops and he was classy and had a certain swagger. 

It's such a shame he's not with us anymore but would he be the best horse you have ridden in your career? 

Unfortunately, Roaring Lion lost is battle with colic. I was very fortunate he came along so early in my career. He had amazing power and balance. His turn of pace was electric. His temperament to match one’s best friend. 

I personally love 2-year-old horses, what are your views on the exciting prospects Military March and Heart Reef? 

Military March has lots of size and scope. He will make a lovely horse next year. Heart Reef is less of a physical specimen, she’s also female with a great pedigree. Her trainer excels with this type of horse. 

Do you have any dark horses that my readers should look out for next season? 

I think Chill Chill will continue to progress. She’s a half-sister to Beat The Bank. He was brilliant. This filly is becoming more like him. 

I can't finish without congratulating you on your amazing achievement on becoming a Champion jockey and look forward to hopefully seeing you win many more over the years.

What advice would you give to anybody wanting to get into the racing game? 

If you are willing to work hard enough, you will achieve it. Never lose sight of the fact, the horse is no.1 Everything else comes after that. The best figures in racing, live, breathe and dream it. 

A huge thanks to Champion Jockey for taking time out of his busy schedule and answering questions for my blog. I would also like to congratulate him again and look forward to seeing him crowned Champion jockey at Ascot on Saturday, also thanks to Uncle Jim for giving Oisin some great advice about becoming a jockey. 

One last thanks to Simon @paddockinspecto for his photograph and input.