One of my greatest interests is the sport of kings and, hence, this blog.
Maybe once a week with probably some tips for any meeting I’m going to – Ripon or Redcar or Thirsk or Catterick. Or for a favourite horse or a special race.
I’ll try to pick a few winners.
Personally I only place small bets.
Good luck. (June 2013)
Well, I had a great summer last year, touring my local race courses, trying not to lose money and following favourite horses such as Nanton, Dubai Dynamo and Spinatrix, culminating with a sunny day out at York to see the Nunthorpe. And then came the jumps season where I’ve done pretty well at picking winners, and have followed the top level performers throughout. I’ve especially enjoyed my days out at Catterick, afternoons flashing by. I saw Holywell win there prior to his win at the Festival. My trip to Cheltenham on Gold Cup day was a delight. Over the four days I had 34 bets and came out of it nicely in profit. So what now? Well, I’d love Tidal Bay or Long Run to win the National. Then it’s back to the flat.
While, for me, jumps is all about the Grade horses such as Dynaste and Sire De Grugy, the flat, in the absence of a Frankel or Sea The Stars, is all about the Yorkshire race tracks, following good handicappers, great jockeys and local trainers. Such a great sport! Thank you for reading. (March 2014)
It’s been a very interesting flat season. Some terrific horses – Australia, Kingman, Grey Gatsby and Taghrooda in particular, but the top trainers have found it a tough year I think. Aidan O’Brien and Godolphin have been under pressure? And Australia was perhaps problematic? Great horse but difficult to figure his best distance.
My favourite Group 1 star? The Grey Gatsby. His Dante win was such a highlight for me. Big year coming up for Kevin Ryan.
Best Group 1 performance? Taghrooda, definitely, for her King George victory. Would have loved her to stay in training.
And, for shear brilliance, the awesome turn of foot shown by Sole Power in the Nunthorpe at York. Please watch the video if you haven’t seen it.
Me? Did OK on the betting front, win some, lose some, enjoy the sport. And great days out, often sunny, at Carlisle, Newcastle, Catterick, Ripon, Redcar, Thirsk, York and Yarmouth.
I shall start to turn my attention to the jumps season!
Silviniaco Conti, Dynaste, Holywell, Sprinter Sacre, Sire De Grugy – marvellous!
Mainly armchair racing and walks to the bookies.
And hopefully a few trips to Catterick, Hexham and Kelso. (October 2014)
Well, a very enjoyable jumps season. I followed Silviniaco Conti throughout and he had 3 great Grade 1 wins, the highlight being the King George. I had a great two day trip to Cheltenham and was lucky to see Tony McCoy’s superb win on Uxizandre in the Ryanair. Rain wrecked Silviniaco’s chances in the Gold Cup but Coneygree’s novice win was, frankly, stunning, taking the field apart with his characteristic front running with Nico de Boinville aboard. The highlight for me was probably watching the horses on the gallops at 8 o’clock on Gold Cup morning. The quiet, the calm, the beauty of the thoroughbreds. Staggering! As for my betting season, I ended slightly up, ahead, but only just, of the bookies.
And so now I am back to the flat. Currently I am well in profit, partly due to Tim Easterby’s Captain Dunne winning at 22-1 for me on a splendid visit to Thirsk last Saturday. What a star! (May 2015)
So, I’ve had a terrific flat season, with a 25% profit overall, having picked 37 winners. But, of course, this pales into insignificance when compared to the sheer enjoyment I get from touring the Yorkshire racecourses, mixing with fellow race fans, and watching this great sport, with its beauty and power as personified by the thoroughbreds who, for me, enjoy the exhiliration of racing just as much as I do. And so, it’s the jumps season once more, where I can relax more about my betting and enjoy familiar friends and new stars. Long term, all roads lead to Cheltenham and the Gold Cup. I hope Paul Nicholls gives Silviniaco Conti another crack at it, especially if he can get good ground. Meanwhile, the Hennessy beckons. Can Coneygree do a Denman at top weight? I’ll be watching on the box most weekends, having a few bets and, in between, wrapping up warm when I go to Catterick.
Thanks for reading. (November 2015)
Silviniaco Conti ridden by Noel Fehily
Winner of 2 King Georges, 2 Betfred Chases, 2 Betfair Bowls, Denman Chase, Charlie Hall Chase….
Official Rating 172
Well, I’ve been to 29 race meetings in the last twelve months and remain in profit betting wise. A close call over the flat season, but my two trips to HQ, that is to say, Newmarket, for the first time, were extremely profitable, having backed Hawkbill at 16-1 on Guineas weekend, and Brave Anna at 33-1 on Dewhurst day. Horse of the season? The marvellous Limato for that July Cup demolition of one of the greatest sprint fields in years.
And now? Thoughts turn to the jumps season….Thistlecrack, Cue Card, Silviniaco, Coneygree, and all those Mullins greats. Excellent! (October 2016)
As usual, I greatly enjoyed the jumps season, including two marvellous days at the Cheltenham Festival, as well as great days out at Kelso and Catterick, such friendly tracks to attend. Jumping allows the race fan to follow favourite horses year after year, with Cue Card in particular giving such pleasure and drama.
I attended 21 flat meetings between April and October and especially enjoyed my two days at the York festival in August, seeing the magnificent Enable win the Yorkshire Oaks, and Ulysses beat Barney Roy and Churchill for the one million pounds Juddmonte International. I had a great trip to Newmarket to see Limato come 2nd in the July Cup.
Overall, for the last twelve months, on the betting front….nicely in profit due to the jumpers! (October 2017)