Cesarewitch and Coral Sprint



As I struggle to find profits before the end of the flat season….

Great to see Limato back to his best to win the Group 2 at Newmarket yesterday. Today I expect Expert Eye to take the Dewhurst and focus on the Cesarewitch at HQ and the Coral Sprint  at York, two terrific lotteries but such fun to watch.

Tips are….

THE CESAREWITCH….JOHN CONSTABLE and LONDON PRIZE each way (pays out on first 6)

CORAL SPRINT….MR LUPTON (to win) and NAMEITWHATYOULIKE each way (pays out on first 5)

Yes, tough calls but enjoy the sport.

Good luck!

Post races comment
Coral Sprint – messy race!
Cesarewitch – great run by London Prize to get 2nd at 25-1 for me, saving the day.


Redcar….Two Year Old Trophy day

Redcar is a great Yorkshire track which deserves more attention and bigger crowds. It is a flat seaside track with a super mile straight and today hosts two Listed races and its own Straight Mile Series Final, a very competitive Class 2 Handicap. As a child I used to go to Redcar and saw huge crowds attending the Zetland Gold Cup, Andy Capp Handicap and Vaux Gold Tankard. Those days are gone and over the years Redcar has been threatened with housing development. Heaven forbid! This course deserves better and today is its big day. The one hundred grand Two Year Old Trophy was famously won three years ago by Limato and provides a great opportunity for progressive juveniles. The Guisborough Stakes is also Listed and this year sees Jallota coming north with strong Group 2 form. Meanwhile, Tim Easterby looks to have a strong hand for the Mile Series Final. I really hope the sun shines! Teesside racegoer attendance seems easily affected by poor weather. Redcar deserves a big crowd for a juveniles’ race that the Racing Post classifies as a Championship race. Here are some tips.

1.40….Novice Stakes (Div 1)….Cl5….7f….RICH IDENTITY….good 2nd on debut
2.10….Novice Stakes (Div 2)….Cl5….7f….PICTURE NO SOUND….solid form, each way maybe
2.45….Selling Stakes….Cl 5….1m2f….MININGROCKS….strong, with 7lb allowance
3.20….TWO YEAR OLD TROPHY….Listed….6f….DARKANNA….5th in Group 1 so obvious choice but others have potential, such as NEVER BACK DOWN after long lay off
3.55….GUISBOROUGH STAKES….Listed….7f….JALLOTA….his for the taking but DON’T TOUCH has the class too if regaining best form
4.30….MILE SERIES FINAL….Cl 2….1m….FATHER BERTIE….can win for third year but expect VENTURA SECRET to go well again
4.55….Market Cross Jewellers H’cap….Cl 4….1m2f….DREAM MACHINE….progressive, but tough call this one
5.40….Watch Replays H’cap….Cl 5….5f….NUNS WALK….trying for three in a row

Good luck!

The Cambridgeshire….plus

Although there are great Group races at Newmarket today, I go to Ripon and my tips focus on terrific Handicaps….the first leg of the Autumn double, the Cambridgeshire over 1m1f at HQ, the rerouted (Ayr) Gold Cup at Haydock over 6f, and the City of the Dales Handicap over 6f at Ripon. Excellent betting for race fans, and absolutely no chance of a treble! Tips are….

Newmarket….The Cambridgeshire….GM HOPKINS….better weighted this year, good chance; and BRIARDALE at huge odds, won Zetland Gold Cup so well

Haydock….Gold Cup….ORION’S BOW….good form for Tim Easterby, strong chance, and expect Michael Dod’s GET KNOTTED to go well too

Ripon….Cathedral City of the Dales H’cap….MOBSTA….class horse on best form, big chance

Good luck!

Ayr Gold Cup….cancellation!

The cancellation of the Ayr Gold Cup, one of the most iconic of Heritage Handicaps, followed by umpteen thousands of race fans and punters, is quite shocking for racing in this day and age. Forethought, technical expertise and racetrack maintenance have all seemingly failed to prevent fairly bog standard rain conditions from making a relatively small part of the track unsafe. Not good! And not good for the greatest Scottish meeting of the flat racing calendar. And there appears to be no fall back position. Meanwhile, should I go to Catterick tomorrow or wait for the Catterick Dash in a few weeks? If that were cancelled! Heaven forbid!

Doncaster….St Leger day


Today sees a terrific renewal of the world’s oldest Classic, run over a testing 1m6f+.
Very few horses attempt the Triple Crown (Guineas, Derby, Leger) these days, the last winner being Nijinsky in 1970, with Oh So Sharp achieving the fillies equivalent in the 80s.

Nijinsky with the jockey aboard, Lester of course!

Why is this? Well, many go for the Arc instead, which is a high status race over 1m4f but often messy with top horses losing form by October. But also, in my opinion, too many trainers are scared of losing. Losing can damage stud fees and long term kudos. Aidan O’Brien deserves a mention here. He very nearly achieved the Triple Crown with Camelot. But, in general at the top level, we see horses pulling out of races because of ground conditions or for spurious reasons, when the real reason is fear. Should Cracksman take on Enable in the Arc? Of course!

Anyway, enough of my ranting. Here are some tips for today….

Portland H’cap….5f+….Cl2….PIPERS NOTE….or Lexington Abbey or Duke of Firenze or….what a fabulous race of usual suspects, well worth a punt on an outsider

Park Stakes….Group 2….7f….BRETON ROCK….has big chance after beating Limato two starts ago but carries penalty

Champagne Stakes….Group 2….7f….MYTHICAL MAGIC….full of progressive two-year-olds but Mythical Magic has impressed in winning his first two starts

ST LEGER….Group 1 (British Champions Series)….1m6f+….VENICE BEACH….could be straightforward for favourite Capri but I look for good odds here; Venice Beach will get the trip and ran well behind Cracksman at York, as did Coronet behind Enable, the choice of Frankie today. Race may well depend on tactics and Aidan O’Brien is no mug!

Good luck.

York Ebor Festival tips


I hope to go to York to see the Juddmonte and Yorkshire Oaks this week. The Ebor Festival is a great four days of world class racing and actually made up my mind to retire. I kid you not. In 2012 I was going to go to York to see Frankel running in the Juddmonte. My superiors saw fit to arrange for me to interview job applicants on the very day, whilst skiving off on their own summer holidays. Like the true professional I was, I did the interviews, missed the Juddmonte and never saw one of the greatest ever horses run in the flesh. I was not a happy bunny and made up my mind to pack in work the following year, since when I have gone racing all year round, seeing future Arc winner Golden Horn lose to 50-1 Arabian Queen and the great Postponed win as a champion last year. York in August is a great treat, with top Group 1 horses at the top of their game in midsummer.

Here are some tips for highlight races this week….

Acomb Stakes….Group 3….7f….FLEET REVIEW….Aidan O’Brien 2yo with potential

Great Voltigeur Stakes….Group 2….1m4f….MIRAGE DANCER….excellent odds, tough to overcome Cracksman but latter may be vulnerable over distance here

Juddmonte International….Group 1 (British Champions Series)….1m2f….BARNEY ROY….logic points to top three in betting but my money may go on outsider Decorated Knight, or even My Dream Boat in first time visor; top class field throughout

Lowther Stakes….Group 2….6f….HAPPY LIKE A FOOL….Wesley Ward’s filly may have more to offer after her Ascot 2nd

Yorkshire Oaks….Group 1 (British Champions Series)….1m4f….ENABLE….biggest cert of the week; if she has off day Coronet worth a punt

Lonsdale Cup….Group 2 (British Champions Series)….2m….THOMAS HOBSON….impressed at Ascot, Willie Mullins trained

City Of York Stakes….Group 3….7f….JUNGLE CAT….last ran in Group 1, Gordon Lord Byron still a force

Nunthorpe Stakes….Group 1 (British Champions Series)….5f….LADY AURELIA….the one to beat, fillies allowance, but strategy important, could get reeled in by Battaash if too keen, and Profitable dangerous if recaptures top form

Strensall Stakes….Group 3….1m1f….SOVEREIGN DEBT….top class for Ruth Carr

Gimrack Stakes….Group 2….6f….BARRAQUERO….tough call but high rating

The Ebor….Heritage H’Cap….1m6f….IVAN GROZNY….yes, a lottery but Willie Mullins will have prepared well, good odds

Good luck to one and all!
Thanks for reading!

Ripon….Great St Wilfrid….Sat 19th Aug


Saturday sees one of the top Heritage Handicaps of the season, at Ripon, Yorkshire’s garden racecourse, such a lovely venue.
This year’s 6f sprint looks particularly strong, headed in the betting by Growl who regularly mixes it at Group level. But those highest in the weights rarely take this. Also, the last two furlongs at Ripon is quite undulating and doesn’t suit some sprinters. However, Pipers Note has won several times at Ripon and is expected to go well. Whereas the race is very much a lottery, there are several top class runners at very good odds. Well worth a punt on a couple I feel. The consolation race is equally competitive! And sun and the jazz band would be a bonus for me!

Tips for Ripon are….

2.05….Auction Stakes….Cl5….1m….COSA NOSTRA….ready to win

2.40….Silver Trophy….Cl2….6f….JACK DEXTER….top weight in consolation; class act here but Lexington Times a danger and Singeur interesting outsider

3.15….Great St Wilfrid Handicap….Cl2….6f….PIPERS NOTE….in form and loves the track; same goes for Out Do and suspect the very able Mattmu may outrun recent form

3.50….Ripon Hornblower Stakes….Cl3….6f….LAKE VOLTA….only 3 runners and any can win!

4.25….FilliesH’Cap….Cl4….1m2f….ALEXANDRAKOLLONTAI…. bit up and down but very able

5.00….attheraces H’Cap….Cl3….1m….TWO FOR TWO….Jamie Spencer aboard

5.35….William Hill H’Cap….Cl5….1m4f….SOLO MISSION….William Haggas and Tom Queally

Good luck.
I may need some!

Post races comment
Amazing win by Mattmu in the Great St Wilfrid at 28-1 for me, with Pipers Note 2nd.
Great run for 5th by Singeur in the Silver Trophy on the far rail, winning his own race clearly.
Solo Mission loked good, winning at 8-1, and Lake Volta looks to have terrific longterm potential for Mark Johnston, a 2yo to follow. So, big profits today for me.

But, racing can be a cruel sport. Mount Rock lost his life, as did the well loved Jack Dexter. Condolences to all connections, and, in particular, Mick Easterby and Jim Goldie, the latter having bred Jack Dexter and taken him to the heights.

Finally, a word for Tim Easterby, trainer of Mattmu. I’ve watched him for years, a true professional, a brilliant trainer, but so serious looking. He and jockey David Allan make a good pair. But today, well, I’ve never seen Tim smile so much or seem so pleased! He loved it, even making sure he got in a photo with Mattmu wearing the William Hill floral coat!

So, a great day’s racing, but a sad one too. Thanks for reading.

July Cup, Newmarket, Sat. 15th 


An early blog for Saturday because I’m travelling down to the wilds of Suffolk before a short journey to Racing HQ for the Group 1 6f £500k sprint that is one of the great highlights of the flat season, namely the July Cup.

My money goes on last year’s winner (yes, I always bet on skippy speedster), LIMATO, who will have his work cut out against the 3yo Caravaggio, and Harry Angel, with their weight advantages. Nevertheless, Limato has a great chance if back to his best, as the Diamond Jubilee indicated.

As a gelding, Limato seems to get messed about a lot by both owner and trainer. Henry Candy runs him at anything from 5f to 1m, with his optimum now probably 7f. However, he has a brilliant turn of foot as shown by his 2nd place in the 5f Nunthorpe behind Mecca’s Angel and last year’s July Cup.

So, Caravaggio may carry all before him but the older horses, such as The Tin Man and Tasleet are class acts also.

A fabulous race to enjoy for true fans of racing.

Thanks for reading.

Post race comment

An exciting afternoon!

Limato saw off Caravaggio comfortably but the draw meant that Harry Bentley tracked a horse that slowed early rather than Harry Angel who got first run. He closed the gap to a length by the finishing line and looks back to his best after his recent muscle injury. Where to next, Henry? York would be excellent for me personally, but unlikely. No doubt Limato will look for a Group 1 7f. France beckons!

The Derby….Best Solution


Well, with most of my bets going pear shaped recently….I blame it on the weather!

The Derby looks very open to me, no stand out star as yet among the colts.
For me, the best solution is BEST SOLUTION, impressive winner of the Lingfield Trial and a horse that should progress further.

Tips are….

Diomed Stakes….GABRIAL….any of the field could win
The Dash….DUKE OF FIRENZE….lightning quick at York, should go close; Caspian Prince enjoys Epsom and is big odds
THE DERBY….BEST SOLUTION….Cracksman should improve, and Permian will try to tough it out from the front early.

Good luck.

Post races comment

Another brilliant run from Gabrial, 2nd to Sovereign Debt for Ruth Carr.

And 3rd for Duke Of Firenze after winning last time at York.
But Caspian Prince does it again in the Dash at Epsom at 25-1!
What a sprinter! Thanks to Caspian and Tom Eaves who did brilliantly from the worst draw. So well deserved for an excellent jockey.

Staggering win by Wings Of Eagles at 40-1 in the Derby. Stunning last furlong ride by Padraig Beggy for Aidan O’Brien to sweep to comfortable victory. Fast run race. Perhaps stamina won over speed. Good prospect for St Leger.

York Dante Festival


I head to York on Wednesday to see the Musidora, the trial for Oaks fillies, for the first time, but will probably, annoyingly, miss the Dante on Thursday, as I go south to visit my mother-in-law. Such is life.

Here are a few tips for the Festival.


Logistics Stakes….Group 2….6f….GROWL….such a top class field of sprinters; I hope Richard Fahey’s charge continues to progress, good price, many dangers including Brando

Musidora Stakes….Group 3….1m2f….SHUTTER SPEED….let’s see how good she is!


Middleton Stakes….Group 2….1m2f….SO MI DAR….classy filly, should get back on track even though first time out

Dante Stakes….Group 2….1m2f….CRACKSMAN….chance taken, needs to progress after narrow win over Permian, Rekindling perhaps the danger


Yorkshire Cup (British Champions Series)….Group 2….1m6f….SIMPLE VERSE….top class filly who won St Leger, so consistent at top level

Good luck.