Betfair Chase day….and old friends



SIRE DE GRUGY (giving Special Tiara a nudge)


Today is Betfair Chase day at Haydock, the first leg of the three race one million pound bonus, but with no horse with a realistic chance unless Cue Card could be at his peak all season, at 11 going on 12 years of age. He’s had a couple of worrying falls lately and Harry Cobden takes over the ride from Paddy Brennan. Cue Card has a huge number of fans and, personally, I am getting more and more nervous every time he runs. He owes us nothing and has been a privilege to watch. Fingers crossed today! Meanwhile, two other favourites, Smad Place and Sire De Grugy, run at Ascot, the former a Hennessy winner and the latter a Champion Chase winner. These three horses are beloved by fans and demonstrate how jumps racing tugs at the heart strings. It’s more than just a sport – emotions run high. Think back to Denman winning his second Hennessy, or Sprinter Sacre’s second Champion Chase – floods of tears all round. Good luck today. Me, well I’ve got to support my favourite horses, surely!

Here are some tips….

Haydock….Betfair Chase….Grade 1….CUE CARD
My genuine choice, as long as he gets round, but with Bristol De Mai on top form.

Stayers Hurdle….Grade 3….ZARKANDAR….worth a punt each way at 20-1, expect to run bigger race than odds

Ascot….Christy Chase….Grade 2….SMAD PLACE….top form last time out, Double Shuffle good each way bet, progressive

Coral Hurdle….Grade 2….DEFI DU SEUIL….evens, great potential, will be pressed by Lil Rockerfeller

Shawbrook Chase….H’cap….SIRE DE GRUGY….a tough ask at top weight but….

Good luck.


Cheltenham, Sat/Sun, November Meeting


Having been impressed yesterday by Finian’s Oscar, with condolences to the Potts family, here are a few tips for the prominent Grade races today and tomorrow, with highlight races involving favourite horses Special Tiara and The New One tomorrow.


Betvictor Handicap Chase….Grade 3….MINELLA ROCCA….2nd in Gold Cup, has bigger fish to fry but lots of class to take this even at top weight

Betvictor Gold Cup….Grade 3….STARCHITECT….extremely difficult to call but good each way odds after winning start to season
Update- brilliant close 2nd for Starchitect to save my day

Finance Solutions H’cap Hurdle….Listed….DELL’ ARCA….several runs in good form, each way


Arkle Trial….Grade 2….CAPITAINE….but small competitive field of good novice chasers
Update- Capitaine non-runner, River Wylde big favourite

Shloer Chase….Grade 2….SPECIAL TIARA….race of the meeting for me against Fox Norton but not two horse race this early in the season with both first time out; top class field all with chances and others have had a run
Update- Special Tiara drifting in odds, Fox Norton solid favourite

Greatwood Hurdle….Grade 3….ELGIN….may be a young improver, London Prize terrific of late, and THE NEW ONE sheer class but top weight tough to overcome
Update- looks terrific race, good support for in form London Prize

Supreme Trial….Grade 2….DAME DE COMPAGNIE….good novice hurdlers, which has most potential difficult to assess ’til after the race
Update- strong favourite, Bedrock big odds with a chance

Good luck!

Post races comment

Great win in the Greatwood by Elgin at 14-1 for me. And The New One ran so well carrying huge weight to get 4th and money each way. So sad to lose London Prize after his fall – condolences to all connections.
As for Special Tiara, beaten by Fox Norton on ground he hates, Noel Fehily was quite rightly very pleased with his jumping and cruising speed – he’ll have better ground to look forward to.

Welcome back the jumpers!

CUE CARD….multiple Grade 1 winner

CONEYGREE….2015 Gold Cup winner


Well, time for me to put my feet up in front of the telly and watch the jumpers, the horses a race fan can follow year after year, winning and losing but tearing our emotions to shreds. I always watch jumps racing with heightened nervousness, the bravery of horse and jockey obvious for all to see.

Today sees the titanic struggle between the great Cue Card and Coneygree in the Grade 2 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby. And yet they can both get beaten by the highly progressive Definitly Red or the battle hardened Blaklion, younger horses near their peak.

Ascot hosts the Grade 3 Sodexo Gold Cup, a classy but difficult handicap to pick.Most punters will go for lower weighted horses but I’ll look to the horse at the top of the weights, Carole’s Destrier, who went very well in last year’s Hennessy first time out, and Noel Fehily rides, a big bonus.

Tips are….

Ascot….Sodexo Gold Cup….Grade 3….3m….CAROLE’S DESTRIER or better weighted Thomas Brown, classy but has his off days

Wetherby….Charlie Hall Chase….Grade 2….3m….CUE CARD….or progressive Definitly Red for Brian Ellison, but Coneygree is well weighted, 6 lbs lower than Cue Card and goes well fresh….take your pick

Good luck, enjoy.

Post races comment

Cue Card fell, Coneygree pulled up, a low sun problem.
And Carole’s Destrier was a non-runner!
Hey ho!

My flat season 2017

Tullius and Simple Verse retired this season


Well, here is a summary of my 2017 flat racing season statistics.

Overall, I spent 25% more money on bets and, despite a record number of winners, 41 in total, somehow managed to make an overall loss of 6%!!

This was even more surprising after picking some very lucrative winners….including Mattmu at 28-1 in the Great St Wifrid and Caspian Prince at 25-1. So, what went wrong? I had an unusual number of blank days at the track, particularly after a lot of rain, finding it hard to pick winners in overly soft going. Still, it was my first overall loss in six seasons of flat and jumps racing so I continue to be well ahead of the bookies since I started tipping via my blog.

I attended 21 racing meetings….6 at Catterick, 4 at Ripon, 3 at York, 3 at Redcar, 2 at Thirsk, 2 at Carlisle and 1 at Newmarket.

Mattmu, of course, winning the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon, and seeing Tim Easterby looking so chuffed.
Limato running a brilliant 2nd in the July Cup at Newmarket, giving weight to Harry Angel.
And seeing superstar Enable take the Yorkshire Oaks at York.
And Darkanna’s Two Year Old Trophy win at Redcar.
And the magnificent Kiwi Bay winning yet again for me at Redcar at 12 years old!

York in August is magnificent, but for sheer pleasure, be it the great view of racing from the stands, or the excellent steak pie for lunch, or the excitement of a 5f dash, or just the friendliness of the place, or the enjoyment of a summer’s day, Catterick is hard to beat. Yes, a small track, but with a crowd guaranteed to love racing.

Thanks for reading.

And now, the jumps season awaits, with its dramas, following old favourites like Cue Card, Coneygree, Thistlecrack, Faugheen and the rest. Ah, the fun and the stress!

My 2016-17 jumps season


So, how have I done with my betting over winter, compared to previous flat and jumps seasons? Well, I’ve been keeping week-to-week spreadsheets, alongside my tipping blogs, for several years now, with results as follows for all bets placed.

2014-15 Jumps season….2% profit
2015 Flat season….25% profit
2015-16 Jumps season….10% profit
2016 Flat season….5% profit
2016-17 Jumps season….17% profit

So, my best jumps season to date. Other trivia for 2016-17….

Race meetings attended….8 (Catterick 4 Kelso 2 Cheltenham 2)
26 winners picked including Cue Card and Special Tiara (both twice)
Most profitable winners….Arctic Fire 25-1 and Special Tiara 18-1
Favourite race live….shouting Arctic Fire home up the Cheltenham hill from the rail at the winning post
Favourite TV race….screaming Special Tiara home to win the Champion Chase
AND….any race with Cue card in it, though so nerve racking! What a star he is!
Other favourite horses….Menorah, Theatre Guide, Alvarado, Saint Are, The New One, Zarkandar

So, for anyone who reads or follows these blogs, thank you and I hope you love the sport as I do and that you don’t lose money!

But, I’d like to finish my last blog of the jumps season with a serious word or two.

The jump jockeys deserve huge respect and credit. On average, they fall from a horse, travelling at 30mph or so, once in every ten rides, with the possibility of tragic consequences to themselves and their families. They go to work each day followed by an ambulance and paramedics. That’s how dangerous the sport is!

The heros of the sport, for me, are the beautiful and athletic horses that give us so much pleasure. Watch them and appreciate them – they too love the sport and love jumping and competing, but at great risk. Every season we lose horses to the sport and I salute them all but would mention three special horses….

MANY CLOUDS….who battled to beat Thistlecrack before collapsing….a great Grand National and Hennessy winner
SIMONSIG….who was so keen to jump after a long lay off….a great loss of such a beautiful white horse with the potential for greatness
REVE DE SIVOLA….who jumped for fun, in the lead as usual, at Kelso before collapsing…. I went to Kelso especially to see this marvellous hurdler for the first time….a hugely upsetting loss

The brilliance of jumps racing is that we can follow marvellous horses for many years and we can imagine the greats running against each other….Denman versus Millhouse, Arkle versus Kauto Star, Sprinter Sacre versus Masterminded, Sea Pigeon versus Monksfield versus Night Nurse….yes, we saw those three greats, if you haven’t, try Youtube!

So, now, on to the flat season but….

I’ll relish the thought of Thistlecrack versus Sizing John, Altior versus Douvan and all the other stars next season!

Thanks for reading!

About racingnorth so far


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)