Saturday, 28 March 2020

The Origin of Horse Names: The Wow Signal

It's funny how you can be watching TV, reading a book or chatting with a friend and a horse name pops into your head. 

That name, word, phrase sounds familiar. But what is the story behind it?

I remember the name of a beautiful thoroughbred horse called The Wow Signal

This horse may well be familiar to you as this son of Starspangledbanner out of an unraced mare proved a very talented two-year-old who sadly only raced four times. 

John Quinn trained this exceptional-looking colt for owners Al Shaqab Racing. He was a fantastic 2yo breeze-up purchase for Sean Quinn for £50,000. He was originally bought by Lynn Lodge Stud at the yearling sales for the paltry sum of 13,000 euros from vendor Glenvale Stud, Tipperary, Ireland. 

The Wow Signal started his 2yo racing career with a sparkling debut at Ayr on the 21st of May 2014. A five-horse race was turned into a procession when this February foal cruised to a nine-length victory. He relished the good-to-soft going, charging clear of the field over 6f to win ''readily'' backed from 7/2 - 5/2. 

His success came as little surprise to connections. 

QUOTES: John Quinn, trainer of The Wow Signal: ''We think he is very good and his next run will be in the Coventry Stakes. He is a very smart colt.''

True to his word [John Quinn] The Wow Signal made his next appearance at Royal Ascot's Coventry Stakes (Group 2) (17th June 2014).

He started 5/1 joint-favourite in a 15-horse field. The Wow Signal - ridden by Frankie Dettori - won by one-and-three-quarter lengths when leading into the final furlong, ran on strongly and asserted inside final furlong, ridden out. 

QUOTES: Trainer John Quinn: ''The Wow Signal has come and beaten the best colts available today and he has been up there all the way, he wasn't held up to run a race he was right there on the speed.''

Next start, this fantastic colt would cross the channel to race at Deaville, France, competing in the Darley Prix Morny (Group 1) on very soft going over 6f. Once again, he was ridden by his retained jockey Frankie Dettori. The 9/4 joint-favourite beat Wesley Ward's Hootenanny by half a length. He joined the leader at the furlong pole, ran on and led towards finish, pushed out firmly and asserted. The victory won the 1st prize of £166,658.33. 

QUOTES: John Quinn, trainer of The Wow Signal: ''At halfway I was quite worried, but once he got on terms with the leaders I always thought he had a chance because he has so much class and is so tough. We can run him over six, but he really needs seven or a mile. He is in everything, but we might bring him back to Longchamp for the Jean-Luc Lagardere.'' 

The Wow Signal proved a rare talent. He traveled back to France for his fourth race and sadly the last time he would compete.

John Quinn kept to his word and he was made 7/4f taking part at Longchamp's Qatar Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium) (Group 1) over 7f on good going. 

After leading, he was quickly beaten and weakened on the rail, dropped to last and eased by Frankie Dettori. 

There was a lot of speculation over this disappointing effort. 

Quotes: John Quinn: trainer of the Wow Signal: ''I think it was a combination of the lengthy year and a bit of stress maybe."

Subsequently, it emerged that he had provided a 'dirty scope' during a veterinary examination. 

The Wow Signal was being prepared for the 2000 Guineas (Group 1) Classic race to be held at Newmarket when he sustained an injury in May and retired from racing. 

John Quinn described this exceptional horse: ''He's a very tough horse with a great constitution and tremendous acceleration who run on all types of ground.''

In 2015, The Wow Signal began his career at stud at a stallion in Australia before returning to stand at Al Shaqab's Haras de Bouquetot at Clarbec in Normandy, France. However, like his sire, he was sub-fertile and sired relatively few offspring. Sadly he died in March 2018 after suffering laminitis. 

The Wow Signal had a brief racing career but made a big impression on racing fans. As with so many horses, we were left with wondering what could have been...

His total prize winnings £238,915

Also, he won the award of the top-rated 2-y-old colt in France (2014).

Regarding the origin of his name. 

The Wow Signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15th, 1977 by Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope in the United States, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The signal appeared to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmark of extraterrestrial origin.

It is an interesting story because of astronomer Jerry R. Ehman who reviewed the data a few days later. He was so impressed by the result of the reading on the computer printout [6EQUJ5] he wrote the comment: ''WOW'' on its side. 

This led to the widely used name: The Wow Signal

The signal lasted 72 seconds but has never been detected since. 

However, it remains the strongest candidate for an alien radio transmission ever detected.

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

13 Dark Horses to Follow for 2020 (3YO)

BEAUTIFUL COLOUR is by Shamardal (USA) out of Pomology (USA), trained by Saeed Bin Suroor and owned by Godolphin. Dam Pomology only raced five times for John Gosden in a short but brilliant career. Winning her first four races including the Group 3 Prix Minerve and the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock before a short-head second in the Group 1 Qatar Prix Vermeille at Longchamp. This Bay Filly has an excellent pedigree and one to look out for this season. 

BRAVE NEW WORLD is by No Nay Never (USA) out of unraced dam Dara’s Girl (IRE), trained by Charlie Hills and owned by Mrs. Susan Roy. This Chestnut Colt was purchased at the Tattersalls sales for 120,000 euros. 

DAUNTLESS is by Dubawi (IRE) out of Enticement (IRE), trained by John Gosden and owned by the Queen. A full brother to Michael Stoute’s Diploma who had an official rating of 110 and won the Listed British Stallion Studs EBF Lyric Fillies' Stakes as a 3-year-old at York. 

DO YOU LOVE ME is by Galileo (IRE) out of Green Room (USA), trained by Karl Burke and owned by Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited. Purchased at the Goffs Orby Sale in 2018 for 3,200,000 euros and a full sister to the 109 rated Together Forever who won the Dubai Fillies' Mile (Group 1) as a 2-year-old in 2014 and also a full sister to 115 rated O’Brien runner Forever Together who excelled as a 3-year-old when winning the Group 1 Investec Oaks. Aidan O’Brien also has a 2-year-old from the same family who is unnamed at present but cost 3,000,000 at the October Sales last year and one to keep an eye out for in the future. 

FLOODWATER is by Teofilo (IRE) out of unraced dam Emboss (IRE), trained by Saeed Bin Suroor and owned by Godolphin. 

FREEDOM FLYER is by Invincible Spirit (IRE) out of Liberating (IRE), trained by Simon Crisford and owned by Mr. Saeed Suhall. 

LIBERTY POWER is by Mafki (GB) out of Liberty Chery (GB), trained by Tim Easterby and owned by King Power Racing. King Power had a couple of decent types with Tim Easterby last season Lampang and Art Power. 

LYDFORD is by Fastnet Rock (Aus) out of Miss Brown To You (IRE), trained by Michael Bell and owned by W. J. and T.C.O. Gredley. A half brother to the brilliant Big Orange.

LOST EDEN is by Sea The Stars (IRE) out of Ghostflower (IRE), trained by Richard Hannon and owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. Purchased for 200,000 euros at the 2018 Orby Sale. Dam Ghostflower was placed twice in a short career in 2012. 

PALAMOS is by Blame (USA) out of Qushchi (GB), trained by David Simcock and owned by St Albans Bloodstock Limited. Full sister to 101 rated Mrs. Sippy who was also trained by David Simcock who won a Listed race at Longchamp as a 3-year-old. 

QUEEN OF THE WAVES is by Kingman (GB) out of Marine Bleue (IRE), trained by David Simcock and owned by Qatar Racing Limited. A well-thought-of 2-year-old who will hopefully pick up a race or two this season. 

RIVIERA BELLE is by Medaglia d’Oro (USA) out of Eastern Belle (GB), trained by Charlie Fellowes and owned by Mr. A.E. Oppenheimer. Dam Eastern Belle won a Listed race at Newbury for John Gosden and had an official rating of 104. 

SANDS OF GIZA is by Kheleyf (USA) out of Kadiania (FR), trained by Richard Fahey and owned by Cool Silk Partnership. Purchased for £67,000 at the 2018 Premier Yearling sales. Half brother to Sands Of Mali Thanks for reading and keep safe.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Three-year-old (3yo) Horses to Follow in 2020 (Part 3)

THRONE HALL is by Kingman (GB) out of Appearance (GB), trained by K A Ryan and owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. The Kingman Bay Colt didn’t show any sign of inexperience on debut at Haydock last August when finishing third to the experienced Atheeb. I wouldn't say the form of this race is anything special even though the fifth that day King Carney does look a nice prospect after winning the Silver Tankard Stakes at Pontefract. Hopefully, with a good winter behind him, he will pick up a Maiden this season. 

THEBIAN is by Kingman (GB) out of Amarillo Starlight (IRE), trained by John Gosden and owned by Ms. Hissa Hamdan Al Maktoum. Not much to go on with this Kingman Bay Colt but I just have a hunch the £230,000 Breeze up purchase could be better than what he showed on his debut at Chelmsford last September. Thebian was weak in the betting and crawled out the stalls but still managed to get back to the lead and used a lot of energy doing so before fading the final furlong and finishing at the back of the field. I will be checking for any support next time out after a few months off the track. 

TOMOUH is by Dubawi (IRE) out of Sundrop (JPN), trained by Saeed Bin Suroor owned by Godolphin. I won’t be giving up just yet on this Dubawi Filly despite a pretty average performance at Newmarket last August. The winner that day was the talented Powerful Breeze who finished second in the Fillies Mile. Tomouh was well-backed on debut but could never land a blow and was soundly beaten, the support and the fact she had a few nice entries make me think better was expected that day. Dam Sundrop ended her career with a win and an official rating of 112 the highlight being the Princess Elizabeth Stakes (Group 3) (Fillies & Mares). A step up in trip will hopefully bring the improvement needed to get a win on the board. 

TOP CLASS ANGEL is by Dark Angel (IRE) out of Expensive Date (GB), trained by Richard Hannon Jr and owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. The 240,000 Euro Dark Angel bay Filly purchased from the 2018 Orby Sales looks a nice type for Richard Hannon despite still being a Maiden. Her two runs last season both showed a win will come sooner rather than later. Top Class Angels last run at Haydock was a bit unlucky I thought as she was drawn out wide and had to be settled at the back by Pat Dobbs, losing a few lengths in doing so. The winner West End Girl won the Sweet Solera Stakes for Mark Johnston a couple of runs later as for Top Class Angel she was staying on under a considerate ride and looks a nice type for the new season. 

TURAATH is by Oasis Dream (GB) out of Fadhayyil (IRE), trained by C Hills and owned by Mr. Hamdan Al Maktoum. The Oasis Dream Bay Filly was a bit clueless over the first few furlongs on her debut at Leicester last September. The price she went off was a sign she would come on for her first run at the racecourse. Dam Fahdhayyil was pretty decent with an official rating of 110 the highlight winning the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (Listed) race as a 3-year-old. Turaath will hopefully know more next timeout and the market could be the key to her chances this season. 

VILLAIN'S VOICE is by Poet's Voice (GB) out of Balayage (IRE), trained by Roger Varian and owned and bred by Promenade Bloodstock Limited. The homebred Poet’s Voice Colt had one run last season at Yarmouth in July. Villain’s Voice was well backed from 9/4 down to 15/8 and looked professional in his job when finishing a decent third to the experienced Mark Johnston Colt Iffraaz. Hopefully, Villain’s Voice can pick up a Maiden early this season. Thanks for reading and look out for my unraced 3-year-olds to follow.

Friday, 20 March 2020

Three-year-old (3yo) Horses to Follow in 2020 (Part 2)

MAGICAL MORNING is by Muhaarar (GB) out of The Lark (GB), trained by John Gosden and owned by Lady Bamford. The homebred bay Colt looks the type to improve as a 3-year-old after an encouraging performance at Kempton last October. This is the first offspring of Dam The Lark who ended her career with an official rating of 106 after running to a decent level in Pattern races as a 3-year-old. The highlight winning the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster in 2013. Magical Morning took a slight drift in the betting from 7/2 to 9/2 before the off and showed a sign of greenness when slowly away, it was only till a few furlongs out the penny dropped and Magical Morning improved to move up the field and finish a no nearer sixth. The winner at Kempton that day was the impressive Satono Japan who looks a useful sort. A step up in trip will hopefully bring out more improvement to the Muhaarar Colt. 

MAN OF PROMISE is by Into Mischief (USA) out of Involved (USA), trained by Charlie Appleby and owned by Godolphin. Not a big surprise to see this Mischief bay Colt on the list after a cracking run on his debut in a Class 2 race at Ascot last July. The winner that day Mums Tipple went onto win the Class 2 Yearling Stakes race at York next timeout and the second Molatham won the Convivial Stakes and the Listed Flying Scotsman on his next two starts. It was a close run race at Ascot and Man Of Promise needed to be switched a couple of times when making his run, on another day the result could have been different. Really looking forward to seeing Man Of Promise this season and an early 2000 Guineas entry is a positive move for the season ahead.

ON GUARD is by Invincible Spirit (IRE) out of Palitana (USA), trained by John Gosden and owned by Mr A E Oppenheimer. The Invincible Spirit bay Colt cost 110,000 gns at the 2018 Yearling Sales and showed potential on his debut at Haydock last August. On Guard was very keen for much of the race and despite that plugged on to finish second behind the more experienced He’s A Keeper. If he learns to settle better this season, On Guard could be a different proposition. 

RACHMANINOV is by Mizzen Mast (USA) out of Solo Piano (USA), trained by H Palmer and owned by Mr K Abdukkah. The Mizzen Mast Colt is a full brother to the 107 rated Bear Mast who was trained by John Gosden for a year before moving to Hong Kong to race. His highlight was winning the Betway King Charles II Stakes (Listed Race) at Newmarket in 2018. Rachmaninov was backed into favourite for his debut race at Lingfield last August and was up with the pace until weakening pretty dramatically towards the end to finish sixth. I will be hoping for a much-improved performance this season after a disappointing effort first time out.

RAAJIN is by Raven's Pass (USA) out of Atab (IRE), trained by Charlie Hills and owned by Mr Hamdan Al Maktoum. The Raven’s Pass Gelding was supported from 8/1 into 5/1 on debut at Kempton last October which was a good sign. Raajin was quickly away and looked a little keen to me as he was taken on for the lead by Nugget. It seemed a two-horse race as neither would give an inch but Raajin weakened the final furlong to finish fourth. I hope the gelding operation he had in December will calm Raajin down a bit, so he can settle better this season. 

SPARKLING OLLY is by Gleneagles (IRE) out of Sogno Verde (IRE), trained by Michael Bell and owned by Amo Racing Limited. I do like the horses the owner and trainer combination own so it’s no surprise to see me put this Gleneagles bay filly as one to follow for the season ahead. The 300,000 gns purchase at the 2018 October Yearling Sales by agent A C Elliott wasn’t fancied when going off a 33/1 shot on debut at Newmarket last October. Sparkling Olly was always up with the pace and looked like she knew her job from the start, it was only the last furlong or so when she ran green and could never land a blow. It looked like she had more to give to me and should have learned plenty from that experience. 

STATE CROWN is by New Approach (IRE) out of Patroness (GB), trained by Charlie Appleby and owned by Godolphin. The Chestnut Colt is a half brother to 116 rated Charlie Appleby’s other runner Blair House who has an official rating of 116. State Crown made his debut at Chelmsford back in August last season and went into the notebook after a promising third behind Surf Dancer. The winner Surf Dancer was outclassed in the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes next timeout but I would imagine with more experience State Crown would have won the Chelmsford race. A step up to a mile could be ideal for the son of New Approach this season. Thanks for reading and look out for my next Maidens to follow coming soon.

Related post: Maiden 3-Year-Olds to Follow  2020

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Maiden 3-Year-Olds to follow 2020

ALASH ORDA is by Kodiac (GB) out of Albanka (USA), trained by Roger Varian and owned by Mr Nurlan Bizakov. The Roger Varian bay filly ran a race full of promise on her anticipated debut at Salisbury last September. The surprise Michael Stoute winner Snow Shower looks a nice type. Despite being on and off the bridle Alash Order finished the race well and should pick up her maiden win this season. A half-sister to another Roger Varian filly Altyn Orda who ended her career with an official rating of 112. 

ASFURASAGIRA is by Night Of Thunder (IRE) out of Oriental Melody (IRE), trained by Owen Burrows and owned and bred by Hadi Al-Tajir. The Owen Burrows chestnut filly is a half-sister to Oriental Song who only ran three times for the same connections, the highlight being her last run when finishing fifth in the Dick Poole Fillies' Stakes (Group 3). Afurasagira did attract slight support before the start when backed from 11/1 to 9/1 but I think the price showed she needed the run that day and so it proved when slowly away and carrying her head to the left before staying on to finish fourth on her debut at Leicester. An injury kept her off the track for the rest of the season so as long as she has recovered from that injury Asfurasagira will hopefully lose her maiden tag this season. 

BOMA GREEN is by Iffraaj (GB) out of Dubai Cyclone (USA), trained by J Noseda until May 2019 and now trained by Charlie Fellowes and owned by Mrs Susan Roy. The £105,000 purchase made a favourable impression when making his debut in a Class 2 Maiden Stakes race way back in May. Showing inexperience and missing the break Boma Green made steady headway under a considerate ride by Frankie Dettori and kept on well into third. The winner Repartee has since finished third in the Gimcrack Stakes and also looks a nice type for this season. As long as the layoff isn't a problem Boma Green looks the type to improve after a promising debut last May. 

COSMIC PRINCESS is by Kingman (GB) out of Galaxy Highflyer (GB), trained by H Morrison and owned by Helena Springfield Ltd. The 3-year-old filly went into my trackers with an eye-catching performance in her only race at Kempton last October. Hollie Doyle steadied Cosmic Princess at the start and the 33/1 outsider was given a learning process before running on late to finish six behind some promising types from the big yards. The third that day was Shimmering for John Gosden who easily won her next race at Lingfield and another who will do well this season. A step up to a mile could see further improvement and hopefully, she can get her first win on the board. 

DECLARING LOVE is by Dubawi (IRE) out of Wedding March (IRE), trained by Charlie Appleby and owned by Godolphin. I don't think I will get rich backing this Dubawi filly on her next start but I’m really interested to see how far she can go this season for the all-conquering Godolphin team. I was looking forward to seeing her run after a promising debut at Newmarket in May. Little did I know at the time that the winner of this hot race Daahyeh would go on to win the Albany Stakes next timeout and the second Raffle Prize would go on to win the Queen Mary. A step up to a mile should see this filly improve again to be involved in some pattern races this season and hopefully after the layoff she has strengthened up over the winter. 

FRANKENSTELLA is by Frankel (GB) out of L'ancresse (IRE), trained by John Quinn and owned by Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited. The Frankel filly made her debut at Nottingham last September and came with a huge price tag around her neck. Purchased for 480,000 euros at the Arqana 2018 August Yearling Sales. Frankenstella is a full brother to the 118 rated Master Of Reality who won the Sequence Events Vintage Crop Stakes (Group 3) at Navan last April. Frankestella was never on terms on what was her first day at school, slowly away and always behind. A step up in trip should see Frankenstella make significant progress this season and hopefully pay some of that price tag back. 

LORD CAMPARI is by Kingman (GB) out of Blanche Dubawi (IRE), trained by Roger Varian and owned by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum. The Kingman colt was bought for 350,000 gns at the 2018 October Yearling Sales. Lord Campari looked to be given a nice introduction by jockey Andrea Atzeni after pulling his chances away early on. Lord Campari plugged onto finish six in what looked a nice enough race. The winner Palace Pier won again next timeout and looks a useful prospect for the season ahead. Another who could benefit from a step up in distance. Thanks for reading and look out for my next 3-year-old Maidens to follow.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Horse Racing Blog: 5 Killer Ways to Build Traffic

The 1st February saw the first birthday of Craig's Betting Blog.

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you... (you get the idea).

To be fair there is a lot to celebrate. You know that most bloggers start off with lots of energy, inspired by their passion and just love to tell the world and his wife about their little blog. However, most fall by the way. So this birthday is worthy of celebration.

Well done, Craig. You have done exceptionally well. 

Take a look at his many triumphs. 

Posts: 187

Most successful post: Magnificent Middleham Park Racing 

At the time of writing, this post has achieved 498 pageviews. This has a lot to do with Middleham Park Racing sharing the post on their Twitter timeline and posting to email subscribers. Thank you. It is a huge endorsement to have high-profile owners and trainers sharing the post. It has happened many times this year.  

Craig's Top 10 Posts have all achieved over 200 pageviews. 

September 2019 saw the most monthly pageviews - just under 7,000. 

There is much to look forward to.

Now, many readers may think well that is good but surely this blog is a minnow compared with the likes of the Racing Post or Sporting Life. 

You are correct. 

However, there are many first-time horseracing bloggers who are just starting out and I can tell you this, it isn't easy to get traffic to your blog. 

It is one of the main reasons why bloggers give up blogging because they feel as though they are talking to themselves. 

So here are a few pointers to making a successful sports blog:

1) Post regularly and try to highlight horses, trainers or owners who will share your posts. 

2) Social media: Twitter is a very good platform for doing just that as you tag people and if they like what they read and happy with your promotion and help promote you too. It is good to share all posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more. 

3) Collaborate: It is often the case bloggers work alone or feel they don't need or can't afford to work with others. However, you are unlikely to succeed by trying to do it alone. 

4) Mailing-list: Build a list so you can boost your posts or send our promotions. This is achieved by giving something away that your subscribers want. It might be tips, information or access to resources. Make sure what you give away is specific to you and not something that can be found elsewhere. A big list is a real power but you must always give your subscribers your best or they will feel shortchanged and have little interest in opening your mailings. 

5) Always add a touch of you to every post whether that is your humour, quirky ways or outlandish gambles. 

Whatever you do, enjoy your blog because it will be hard work if it doesn't make you want to write with zeal.

Author: Jason Coote

Monday, 16 March 2020

Ralph Beckett's 2yo Horses in Training 2020

Ralph Beckett started his career within the horse racing industry as a stable lad in 1989. Thereafter he worked in Australia and America. 

Formerly an assistant trainer to Peter Walwyn in 1996, he took over the running of Windsor House Stables in Lambourne 2000. 

Beckett has been based at Kimpton Down since 2010 after moving from Whitsbury. 

Talent (20/1) was the first classic winner trained at these impressive stables by Ralph Beckett when the consistent filly won the Group 1 Epsom Oaks in dazzling fashion in 2013. In fact, he had the first two in the race. (Secret Gesture 3/1).

Simple Verse was another great filly for the Beckett team with a string of group wins to her name the highlight being the Doncaster St Leger back in 2015. Simple Verse was supplemented for the race after an impressive display in the Lillie Langtry at Goodwood. The St Leger was a race full of drama when Simple Verse was first past the post only to be demoted and then successfully appealing against the decision in what was a deserved result. 

Taking a quick look back over the last few seasons Ralph Beckett has had some decent looking 2-year-olds. Di Fede went on to win twice as a 2-year-old for owner Robert Ng and picked up a Listed race at three. 2018 saw four Lope De Vega fillies hit the race track for Ralph Beckett and owners Waverley Racing. Antonia, Dancing, Feliciana and Manuela De Vega all won first timeout in an amazing feat and all went on to compete in pattern races.

An owner that I will be keeping an eye out for this year is J.H. RICHMOND-WATSON who normally has some nice 2-year-olds with Ralph Beckett. Glance was well-beaten on debut at Newmarket but looked a different horse next timeout at Goodwood when sticking on gamely to win by a head. The Dansili filly has been a consistent performer since and got a well-deserved win in the Listed Prix Petite Etoile in November last season.

Kinross looks another nice type for Beckett and Watson after two decent runs last season. The homebred Kingman/Ceilidh House colt won in impressive fashion last October when winning on debut at Newmarket at odds of 3/1. After such a spectacular debut the Kingman colt was made favourite for the Group 1 Futurity Stakes at Newcastle in a messy affair and could only manage fifth. I'm sure we haven't seen the best of Kinross and a mile looks the right step next timeout and the 2000 Guineas looks an option for the season ahead. 

Trefoil was another for the pair as the Teofilo homebred filly was supported from 14s to 8/1 on debut in a Class 2 at Newmarket. The well-bred filly was a touch green but still kept on to win nicely on her only run last season, another who could be winning again in the future. 

Onto the new season and the 2-year-olds J.H. Richmond-Watson will hopefully win a race or two. CHERCHEZ is another homebred who looks to have a decent pedigree who is by Nathaniel and out of Regardez. Dam Regardez had a decent career ending up 106 rated when she retired in America in 2015. Cherchez is a half-sister to the Ralph Beckett trained Impatient who finally got a win on the board in a Nursery Handicap on his final race last season. 

HERE AGAIN who is by Pivitol and out of Look Here and is a nice looking chestnut filly. A couple of interesting offsprings of Dam Look Here are Here and Now who ended his career with an official rating of 100 after a consistent career and last season we saw Here Again’s full sister Hereby (pictured) rattle up five wins out of seven races and another who will be hoping to add to that tally next season. 

Last but not least is SCOPE who is by Teofilo and out of Look so and another who will hopefully get a couple of wins this season. 

Take a look at Ralph Beckett's Latest News

 Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 12 March 2020

Michael Bell More than a Motivator

“There's only one winner, its Motivator” rewind back to August 2004 trainer Michael Bell introduced a Montjeu colt in a 2-year-old Maiden Stakes race at Newmarket. Purchased for 75,000 gns at the 2003 October Yearling Sales for owners The Royal Ascot Racing Club the Epsom Derby was still a dream away but dreams come true and an emphatic 6-length win on debut was followed by another victory in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster. Dreams had become a reality when 4th June 2005 Motivator lined up for the biggest test of his career in the richest race in Britain, the Epsom Derby. Johnny Murtagh rode the perfect race and tracked the leaders before quickening away to win by 5-lengths in a memorable win for all involved. Big Orange ended his career in Meydan 2018 after sustaining a leg injury with an official rating of 120 in what was an impressive career.

Michael Bell has trained some top horses over the years, Motivator of course who won the Derby and the Dante Stakes in the same year, Sariska won the Irish Oaks back in 2009, then we have Zanzibar and Revenue both group winners and who can forget Big Orange who had plenty of group success including the Group 1 Gold Cup Stakes in 2017. 

Talking of Big Orange brings me nicely to a couple of Michael Bell's 2-year-olds that I will be adding to my trackers this season. The first is AESTHETE who is a half brother to Big Orange. Owned by W.J and T.C.O. Greadly the Muhaarar/Miss Brown To You colt will have to be special to come close to Big Orange. I will be interested to see what distance he runs and one worth keeping an eye out for. Football agent and racehorse owner Kia Joorabchian, who races his horses under the Amo Racing Limited banner has had plenty of success with his 2-year-olds over the years. Flying Sparkle who was a 70,000 gns purchase in 2016 won the first timeout at Windsor in 2017, then went onto finish a gallant second in the Listed Redcar trophy. Maxi Boy was an expensive purchase for Amo Racing Limited at the 2018 yearling sales. The 380,000 purchase was clearly well-thought-of on debut when starting 11/4 at Yarmouth last season. The Oasis Dream colt took it all in his stride and won with a bit in hand. Maxi Boy then finished third in the Superlatives Group 2 Stakes at Newmarket. 

The next 2-year-old to go in the trackers is the Amo Racing Limited Frankel colt TONY MONTANA who was purchased at the tatts last October for a cool 500,000 gns. The grey colt's dam Tropical Paradise won the Group 3 Supreme Stakes and the Group 3 Oak Tree Stakes in 2010 and ended up with an official rating of 103 for trainer Peter Winkworth. Tropical Paradise offsprings have looked an average bunch so far but David Simcocks Fiji who won at Lingfield on debut in January looks a type to do well this season. 

Thanks for reading and good luck for the season ahead.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Do You Remember the Racehorse Named Provideo?

I guess we all have our favourite racehorse.

For those who love Cheltenham and the prestigious Gold Cup, you may be reminded of Desert Orchid. 

Perhaps you will never forget Vincent O'Brien's Nijinsky, who went on to not only win the Epsom Derby in 1970 and become just the 15th horse to win the Triple Crown (2,000 Guineas, Derby & St Leger).  

As a fan of two-year-old horse racing, I have many favourites including Frankel. However, there is something about sprinters that captures my mind, especially those who are prolific winners if not record breakers. 

I'm sure readers of a certain age will remember a horse trainer Bill O'Gorman. My brother and I got interested in two-year-old horse racing in the early 1980s when he along with many now forgot [retired] horse trainers were at their peak. 

O'Gorman was known for his ability to train two-year-olds and many sprinters. 

One horse that stands out of the crowd is Provideo who made his debut in 1984, when winning the Brocklesby Stakes in style, thrashing the opposition by four lengths. Little did we know then what an impressive juvenile this son of Godswalk would turn out to be. 

Provideo was owned and bred by Ahmed Foustock. He was meant to go to the sales but O'Gorman was kicked by another horse and unable to attend the sales so decided to keep Provideo and train him.

By all accounts, this brown colt himself was a difficult horse to handle. He hospitalised one stable lad who was unfamiliar to the horse and temperamental on course and always mounted on the track for fear of his unpredictable nature in the paddock. 

The good side of Provideo was that he loved to race and win. 

As it happens this speedy two-year-old wasn't just a robust type who loved his racing but a record-breaker. 

By today's standards, winning 16 races from 24 as a two-year-old seems unthinkable. It would be impossible with the penalty system in place for a juvenile to win perhaps more than five or six races in its formative season. 

Provideo set a 20th-century for a British-trained two-year-old. He was crowned British Horse of the Year 1984 and Timeform Horse of the Year (1984). 

Other two-year-olds to win multiple times include: 

Spindrifter, trained by Sir Mark Prescott, who achieved 13 wins from 19 starts at two in 1980.   

Timeless Times, trained by Bill O'Gorman, in the familiar silks of the Times of Wigan, achieved 16 wins from 21 runs in 1990.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Using Statistics to Predict the Brocklesby Stakes Winner

Using Statistics to Predict the Brocklesby Stakes Winner

The Brocklesby Stakes heralds the start of the two-year-old (2yo) Flat Turf season. 

Taking a look at the Wikipedia page for the Brocklesby Stakes this flying five furlongs has taken place at Doncaster racecourse since 1965 when Carholme racecourse in Lincolnshire was closed. Both courses are synonymous with the Lincoln Handicap. 

The Brocklesby Stakes dates back to 1875. In fact, Donovan (1888) won by two lengths and went on to win both the Derby & St Leger. (I can't see a Brocklesby winner doing that in this day and age!).

It's interesting to read that Donovan won the Portland Stakes at Leicester with prize money of £6,000. Which, ironically, paid more money than winning the Derby!

Donovan went on to compete in 21 races, winning 18, finished runner-up twice and third once. 

Major wins included:

New Stakes (1888)
July Stakes (1888)
Middle Park plate (1888) 
Dewhurst Stakes (1888)
Newmarket Stakes (1889)
Epsom Derby (1889)
Prince Of Wales Stakes (1889) 
St Leger (1889)
Lancashire Plate (1889)

But what do modern-day results reveal about future Brocklesby winners?

The last 10-years of Brocklesby Stakes Results: Horse Names, SP, Trainer, Draw, Sex: C/F 

2009 - Hearts Of Fire (12/1)  [Pat Eddery] (14) (C) 
2010 - Chiswick Bay (6/1)  [Richard Fahey] (10) C
2011 - He's So Cool (8/1)  [Bill Turner] (5) C
2012 - My Boy Bill (7/1)  [Mick Easterby] (10) C
2013 - Mick's Yer Man (5/1)  [Bill Turner] (13) C
2014 - Cock Of The North (14/1)  [Scott Dixon] (2) C
2015 - Ravenhoe (7/2)  [Mark Johnston] (2) C
2016 - The Last Lion (4/5)  [Mark Johnston] (3) C
2017 - Santry (4/1)  [Declan Carroll] (2) C
2017 - Requinto Dawn (6/1)  [Richard Fahey] (10) C
2018 - Izzer (4/1)  [Mick Channon] (7) C
2019 - Show Me Show Me (11/4)  [Richard Fahey] (16) C

The last filly to win the Brocklesby Stakes was Bill Turner's Sally's Dilemma in 2008. Other fillies to win since 1988: Serephina (1999) & Charlene Lacy (1998). 


Pointers to winning the Brocklesby Stakes can be seen from past runnings. With just three fillies winning since 1988, it tells the colts hold a distinct advantage early season which comes from maturation. The last ten years have been won by colts. Quite often, the race has a sizable field and the draw can play its part. This also relates to the going. It is an advantage for a two-year-old to run against a rail or have it as a guide. On fast ground a high draw is a positive while a low draw may be advantageous in testing conditions. 

In general, leading early-season trainers win this contest. The likes of Richard Fahey, Mark Johnston & Bill Turner. This trio have won seven races between them. It should be noted that Bill Turner last won the race back in 2013 with Mick's Yer Man and recent entrants have struggled. 

The Brocklesby betting is usually a good guide to finding winners. Very few juveniles win at double-figure odds, although it isn't impossible. There have been four horses win at odds bigger than 10/1 since 1988. 

Good luck.  

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Roger Charlton Racehorse Trainer

Roger Charlton 2yo horses for 2020
Older readers may remember the 1990 Epsom Derby winner Quest For Fame powering home under a fantastic ride from legend Pat Eddery to win Britain's richest horse race. That's just one of the many successes for the great trainer Roger Charlton when teaming up with owner K Abdullah. Cityscape was another who had a list of group wins to his name the highlight being the Dubai Duty-Free Group 1 at Meydan back in 2012. Bated Breath a high-class sprinter and a winner of the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock in 2012 also finishing runner-up in four group ones in a fantastic career. Others to mention are Fair Eva, Time Test, Headman and Pocket Square all group winners. 

As a 2-year-old fan, one of the horses that impressed me most last year was QUADRILATERAL who is unbeaten after three impressive performances. The Frankel filly made her debut at Newbury in August and was well-supported from 9/2 into 7/2. The money was down and Quadrilateral didn't disappoint when beating Mambo Night a shade cosily. An impressive 9-length win came next when moving up a level to the Class 2 Duty-Free Stakes again at Newbury in September and confirming this was a filly to be reckoned with. The Group 1 Fillies Mile was the next stop and another win when beating Powerful Breeze by a neck. The Guineas looks like the next target and hopefully, this season will bring more success. 

I will be keeping a close eye to see what Roger Charlton sends out this season and adding a few in the trackers including these: 

BEHELD 2018 ch.f by Frankel ex Tendu. The dam is a sister to stallion Showcasing who ended her career rated 107 and the highlight being a second in the Group 3 Merriebelle Stable Pavilion Stakes in 2015. 

BOLTAWAY 2018 ch.c by Dubawi ex Proviso. Dam won four Group Ones in America in what was an impressive career which included a second in the Meon Valley Stud Fillies Mile Group 1 race at Ascot as a 2-year-old and finishing her career with a racing post rating of 114. It looks like a nice pedigree and one to look out for. 

KEEPER 2018 b.c by Frankel ex Portodora. Dam never reached great heights but had a couple of wins to her name but has produced a few nice winners including the Hugo Palmer gelding Set Piece who won a Listed race at Kempton last September. 

LUCID DREAMER 2018 b.f by Dansili ex Sleep Walk. Dam only raced one season in 2014 winning twice. Lucid Dreamer is a full sister to unraced Night Ranger. 

LUDISIA 2018 b.f by Frankel ex African Rose. The dam had a successful career winning the Group 1 Ladbrokes Sprint Cup in 2008 being the highlight and the highest Racing Post rating of 116. Ludisia is a full sister to the 108 rated Fair Eva and looks a very nice type on paper for the season ahead. 

QUILTED 2018 b.f by Frankel ex Nimble Thimble. Dam only raced three times winning a Class 6 Maiden in 2012. Quilted is a full sister to Quadrilateral and another Roger Charlton filly I will be looking forward to seeing hopefully this season. 

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

Cheltenham Festival 2020: The Luck of the Irish & Filthy Hooligans

Smoking is in decline. 

Even Sir Mark Prescott gave up cigars a couple of years back. 

What's the world coming to? 

Now, I'm not suggesting you start smoking. However, even I have a couple of cigars in a cupboard waiting to be smoked. They have been there a year or two. Waiting for the moment something good happens!

Just for the day, I want to celebrate in style. 

To be fair, I bought those two cigars in memory of my late father, Colin. Dad was a pint and Castella kind of man. In fact, he used to smoke cigars each and every day. If he was flush, he'd buy a King Edward. Sadly, they may have been one reason why he died at the age of 62. 

You know, the funny thing about my father smoking is that for all those years I couldn't even smell the distinctive plumes of smoldering tobacco leaf. It must have been through habituation. As the advert on TV says ''I'd become nose-blind''. 

Upon his passing in 1998, whenever I walked down a street and someone, somewhere, was smoking a cigar, the smell took me back to my father. It brought back the fondest memories of days at Great Yarmouth races. How I wish I could go back to those days just for a moment to say thank you for everything he did for us. Never could you find a more honest, hard-working, caring, loving and beautiful man. 

Crazy as it sounds, I purchased two cigars in memory of a good man who loved a smoke.

I joined Robert Graham's mailing list who specialise in cigars and whiskey. It's funny as I am not much of a drinker, either. I certainly don't like the taste of firewater although I'm sure this quality liquor is of a superior breed. I have a strange fetish for a select product range of pure addiction like a teenager eyeing-up the top shelf at the local newsagents! 

My purchase of two cigars in a similar number of years isn't going to make them rich. 

I wonder what percentage of the racegoers will be chomping at the bit at Cheltenham? I mean smoking a big cigar. 

I know John McCrirrick used to like a good stick. I have a vision of him playing cards at Las Vegas, looking at a full house through a thick, smokey cloud.  

Anyway, I received a mailing from the said Robert Graham. They invited me to a Cambridge Cigar Sampling at 9 Sussex Street, in the Cambridge Sampling Lounge. I'm almost tempted to go just to see who turns up. It could be an ideal way to network. However, I wouldn't make the best impression coughing and spluttering as I tackle my first cigar. I guess, for now, I'll give it a miss. 

I noticed a cigar ideal for Cheltenham horse racing and specific to St Patrick's Day (17th March). 

I'm sure any gambler with a penchant for cigars will have an inkling what I am talking about. While others will simply consider I've lost my marbles. 

How about the limited-edition Alec Bradley Black Market Filthy Hooligan 'Shamrock' Cigar? 

Does it ring a bell?

Well, this truly distinctive cigar would definitely get you a few comments if wandering around Cheltenham where you would be one of the crowd. 

At times we all need a little bit of the luck of the Irish. 

I wonder if Sir Mark Prescott would join me in smoking a cigar that literally turns heads?

It's odds on, you filthy hooligan.    

Author: Jason Coote