I‚Äôve owned shares in racehorses on and off for most of my adult life, but it wasn‚Äôt until 2006 that I began to buy on the back of my own analysis. Assisted by Mick Stone, I started out looking at the Horse in training sales at Newmarket, and also at claiming races on [...]
'Horse Racing' Category
After a break of some fifteen years I decided this year that I would start playing bridge again, but in a more serious fashion than previously and targeting the main competitions around the world. My core team has been me, Willie Whittaker, Derek Patterson and Gunnar Hallberg - earlier this year we went out [...]
I love the Ryder Cup - it represents some of the best viewing and general sports and betting banter to be had anywhere in the year. There’s something special about a tournament where a load of guys who spend their sporting lives ploughing lone furrows are asked to act as a team; and where [...]
It feels like an age ago that we launched Betfair and it’s hard to remember everything that happened back then - it’s a shame that I didn’t start blogging earlier. I still have a few memories from the early days that make me smile.
When we launched the website we were operating out of a [...]
I’m getting a few Winker Watson progeny coming through now, my fourth Winker foal of this season having been born last week. I have four free nominations to Winker each year, and I try to take them all. Year 1 was disappointing as two of the four foals failed to materialise - one [...]
1:30 The Triumph Hurdle
In searching for statistical pointers that may govern this specialist race, there is one that holds strong in recent times; the winner will likely come from a large commercial stable in the UK. In the last eight years this race has been shared by Henderson, Nicholls, King and Hobbs, [...]
It’s been a very long time since my last blog. My life has changed so much in recent times and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future - the horses have taken a back seat.
I’ve had a few winners lately. Present Danger won tonight which was nice - she’s very [...]
A poor tipping performance on Saturday - I’m not quite firing at the moment. Maybe today will be better.
I’ve had a hard look at the 3:35 at Ripon - the sharp early turn on the mile course has played into the hands of low drawn front runners in the past. In the Great St. [...]
A big week just gone as my stud farm finally got moving after a three year wait. Paul Coombe started as stud manager last Friday and the first horses came down. Three more mares came down today, all in foal.
In total I now have nine mares, all in foal, in my biggest paddock [...]
A long week. On Friday I went into hospital for an operation on my toe - it’s been crooked for my whole life but this year it’s irritated me more than ever, particularly when I climbed Kilimanjaro.
I now have a pin sticking out of my toe with a blue bead on the end of [...]
It’s a strange and sad day for me as I write my blog today. There’s been a regular feature of my Saturday mornings for as long as I can remember - my Uncle Terry calls at around ten thirty and we go through the card. Two weeks ago he died of cancer - [...]
A quick one today;
Wolf Slayer runs in the 5:00 at Lingfield. She is up against an odds on fav trained by Ralph Beckett - he may well be too good for us, but Wolfie should run a good race today and is a price - I’ll be backing her.
Sunday Bess runs in a maiden [...]
I’ve had a fair few 2yo runners this year, but all of them have been horses that Tom D bought intending to sell on and I ended up keeping a piece, or in the case of Van Go Go a home bred. I bought three yearlings at the sales last year - two fillies [...]
Nothing is quite going right at the moment. Tom didn’t go to Sandown for Bear Behind’s race, but he instructed Ryan Moore to go steady until the 3f pole and wind him up from there. Moore broke perfectly and rode to instruction - unfortunately by the time the 3f pole came he was [...]
AAARGH !! Yet again one of my horses is beaten after trading extremely short in-running. Electric Qatar, the great brown hope of the stables 2yos folded dramatically in the final yards having pulled hard early in his race. He’ll get 6 furlongs when he learns to settle, but for now it probably [...]
My children are very innocent, and it can be a joy. Maddy, my 11 year old daughter, is forever writing little stories about girls around the world. A few weeks back she walked in while Jane and I were watching tv;
Maddy : Dad - I’m writing a story about a girl in the [...]
A tough day yesterday with no winners. Switcher was just edged out of the places, which was a blow. I had my biggest bet of the day on the wrong French horse in the Coronation Stakes, which was annoying. All in all a poor day for the finances.
Today is a big [...]
Another amazing day yesterday - almost a carbon copy of day 2 but with the added bonus of the winning horse being owned and bred by Michael. I imagine Brown Panther could go on from this and compete at a very high level, particularly if he gets the right conditions.
For me it was another [...]
A great day yesterday with Manor House scoring its first win at Royal Ascot - Rhythm of Light won extremely well under a confident ride. I hope it’s the first of many.
It saved my days betting - I was on course for one of my worst days ever having bet (and lost) heavily on [...]
I had a good day out yesterday and there was a lot to talk about.
The controversy started early with Olivier Peslier putting up 2lb overweight in the Queen Anne. It’s slightly surprising as he carried 8-11 four times and 8-10 once on Sunday and Monday - either he was at the pies in a [...]
A funny day yesterday - it felt like a long day chauffeuring my kids around with a couple of business meetings crammed in to the middle of the day. There was at least time to watch a bit of racing and lose a bit of money - I came second in a couple of [...]
It was a long weekend and it’s a relief to be back at my desk. We had a fifth child to look after and my mother came all day Sunday - it’s nice to be living in a big house but it takes a lot longer to clear it up.
It rained all afternoon so [...]
I’ve had blog problems and the site has been down for a while - apologies for any inconvenience.
My betting has been very up and down. I had an amazing run following a few stables coming into form - Stuart Kittow, David O’Meara, Keith Dalgleish etc. Tom’s horses have been running extremely well and [...]
I had a nice winner last week when Peintre D’Argent won at Newbury - she amazed us all by winning with incredible ease. She’s in foal to Winker - I think it’s made her eat a lot more (always a problem with her) and she may have benefited from it. She goes tomorrow [...]
The runners are coming in thick and fast now, with good and bad results. Van Go Go won her claimer but was claimed by Paul Dixon. I spoke to Paul later and bought back a leg - I doubt she will be a champion but she’s improving and is uncomplicated and should win [...]
I had a lot of runners last week with no success, but Manor House had a Chester winner (owned by Michael) and the 2yos are starting to fire now so I’m fairly happy. It was a very busy week.
On the bank holiday weekend I was away at Turnberry in a group of 47 - [...]
I had several runners while I was away. Van Go Go broke her duck nicely at Redcar and goes again today. Monster Munchie won a weak maiden at Wolverhampton. Sunday Bess came out in a strong maiden at Newbury - she came fourth, which was on the face of it a disappointment, but she may [...]
I’m recently back from a two week family holiday in Brazil. Jane’s brother moved out there at the end of 2009 to take up a position as deputy head of the British school at Rio de Janeiro and he helped us put the holiday together - the party was me and Jane, the children [...]
I’ve got a lot of horse action coming up over the next few weeks and I’m in the middle of a busy working time, so time for a good download;
Theophrastus has finally been showing decent form, and he goes again on Tuesday over 3m6f. He’s off a mark of 115 having won back to [...]
I mnentioned three horses in my last blog post that would run over the next few days - in fact none of them are. Nationalism was pulled out of the Lincoln; Whey Sauce was withdrawn as the feeling was that she is not quite ready.
The worst news regarded Wear em out Wilf - he [...]
I finished small down at Cheltenham - some real ups and downs. I had a big bet on Alberta’s Run with seconds to go having barely looked at the race - that was the main up. The biggest downer was on the Friday - I was planning to have a big bet on [...]
A fair start to the week with Hurricane Fly lining the coffers, but not as good as some. My brother-in-law had five winners including two at 10-1 - that’s a proper day.
The first race comes a little early for me so I’ll start with the 2:05;
2:05 : The top two in the market [...]
I’m blogging from my Blackberry today so will be brief;
Day 1 has become my favourite day in recent times as I like the Arkle as a betting heat and the Champion is a race that has been good to me in recent times. I’m just covering three races today.
I’ve studied historic Arkle form and [...]
Monster Munchie ran poorly at Lingfield finishing a well beaten third. It’s often the case with a headstrong horse that they don’t settle on their second run - Marine Boy was a good case in point. He ran a brilliant first race winning a 16 runner Newbury maiden by 7 lengths, but every [...]
On Thursday night I took the girls to a shopping centre in Guildford to prepare for our day out on Friday - we bought a large bag of food and a selection of CDs for the car. We left the house early on Friday to get to Newmarket in time for the second lot [...]
My flight to Africa leaves Heathrow at 6:35 a.m., so I have a car booked for 3 a.m. I get dressed in my full hiking gear beforehand (including boots) in order to travel on the plane - this is recommended as it’s not unusual to lose luggage in African airports and although you can [...]
A big day for me tomorrow as I head off to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I’ve been training for it for a long time now - working out every morning in the hills and every afternoon in the gym - but it hasn’t been until today that I’ve really felt the butterflies.
I should [...]
Time for my annual blog on the investment year in view.
Last year’s investments were pretty mixed. I gave three stock tips: PHRM are down 76%, HYR are down 34% and CCT are up 127%. Gold rallied throughout the year and is now 1370 from 1100 - oil trod water for the first [...]
I’ve got a touch of third-itis at the moment with Nemo Spirit and Wolf Slayer both filling the minor place. Nemo I was very happy with - he’ll do better over further on softer ground, and it was probably quite a hot novice. Wolf Slayer was a liottle disappointing - I think she [...]
Just a quick one today as I’m tight for time.
Nemo Spirit goes at Ffos Las - first time over hurdles and with Tim Vaughan now. Tim wasn’t over big on his chances - he said he hasnt shown a huge amount at home. This is probably not a problem - he never showed [...]
I have a runner tonight - Cheddar George goes in the 6:55 at Kempton.
Last time he ran he came with a late run that looked as if it was going to get him there, but he stopped suddenly. As it happened he had burst a blood vessel - not a great sign but the [...]
Last Thursday was a big night out in town. The evening kicked off well when Wolf Slayer finally broke her duck at Wolverhampton. I’d only realised she was running late on in the day and I was on the tube at the time of the race, but it was nice to see her [...]
I bought a foal on Friday - by Nayef out of a Bahri mare called Patacake Patacake. She’s extremely well related - her three brothers to race all achieved black type and two of them had best Timeform ratings north of 110. Consistency is the thing for me - I think any mare [...]
It’s been a busy week.
On Monday I had an early meeting with Simon McGivern, CEO of a company called Ila. I invested in them quite a while back and I hadn’t thought much of it - they had done well. Simon showed me their range of security products. They included a padlock [...]
Another busy weekend behind me - my weekends are far more hectic than my weekdays now. On Saturday Jane was playing a prominent role at the school fair, which she always does - I was left to entertain the boys for the day and there was little time to follow the racing. We [...]
Forgive me father for I have sinned - it’s been two weeks since my last confession… I’m on a diet at the moment and I’m tired all of the time - I’m well behind on emails and too sleepy to blog in the evening. Hopefully there will be longer term benefits. Winding [...]
It was a busy weekend. Saturday was our big fireworks night - living on a farm with a lot of building work going on we are an obvious choice to host and we do it every year. We’d been building up the bonfire for a while now, and it was fully 12 feet [...]
Annoying on Wednesday as Cheddar George burst a blood vessel in his run and finished with blood pouring from his nose. He was held up pretty much in last place when Holland asked him for his effort in the straight. He was making rapid headway when he came to a sudden halt - [...]
A disappointing weekend with Whey Sauce well beaten in her attempt to get black type. Her work at home suggests she’s better than that, but there’s no hurry with her - she’ll be a different proposition next year. A shame nevertheless. Western Eyes ran a moderate race at Wolverhampton finishing fifth at [...]
Sunday Bess lost out in her maiden by a nostril. It was annoying as I’d had a bet, but I was hoist by my own petard. I have a policy with 2yos that I don’t like them hit on their first run - Richard gave Bess one small crack of the whip but [...]
I was woken up early this morning by a lot of excited hollering. It transpired that after a week of waiting Eddie’s front tooth had finally come out - he had put it under his pillow in the middle of the night but the tooth fairy hadn’t come. Jane explained that the tooth [...]
Things are looking up. Whey Sauce ran an excellent race on Friday, finishing well beaten in fourth but comfortably ahead of the rest of the field and showing the ability in the race that she had shown on the gallops. She got to the front too soon - Jack had hoped to keep [...]
The sales have been disappointing to date. The one yearling I put up to sell, my Byron out of Veiled Beauty, did not make her reserve and I got her back. I got a few people to look at her - one of her feet turns in a little, and this was the [...]
A long week. Leaving aside the fact that Betfair is finally floating after a ten year slog I’ve had plenty of horse action going on.
On Monday Jane and I went to Normans Court stud where they were having a stallion parade. Winker was on show - it was nice to see him and [...]
No winners since my last posting, although Nemo Spirit put in a better performance yesterday on his preferred softer ground. I have a couple of real longshots going for Group 1 glory in the next few days - Foghorn Leghorn goes in the Middle Park and Blue Jack goes in the Abbaye.
Foghorn loves soft [...]
It was a very pleasing win for Present Danger at Hamilton. In some respects it was more of a relief than anything else as she was an expensive horse and we had fairly high hopes for her, but she did it in the style of a decent animal. She’ll have another race this [...]
On the face of it it wasn’t a great day on Saturday, but there were positives to be drawn.
I went to Newbury to meet with Pete and the guys in the syndicate. Toucan Tango nearly got to the front in his maiden - he finished mid div and would have been a little closer [...]
I’m very busy today, but time for a quick one.
I’m back in the farm, and after a couple of weeks waiting my broadband finally came up this morning. If I had more time I might vent some anger at BT.
I was happy with Foghorn Leghorn winning last week - coupled with Swindon beating Southampton [...]
I’m finally back in my farmhouse after 8 months out, and it feels great. Having had a bit of space to live in I found it difficult living in a smaller space - also this is home now and it’s where I intend to stay. We stil. Have a load of boxes to [...]
I’m moving back into my farmhouse this week after 8 months living up the road - we’ve had the builders in to smarten the place up. I’m hoping that this will be my last move - it will be our seventh house move since the start of Betfair ten years ago. There’s still [...]
I’m back from a short holiday on the south coast holiday today. Weather was sporadically good and the kids had a great time. Back to business now - I’ve been told off for letting my blog go to seed so I’ll try to make more of an effort.
The horses continue to run moderately. [...]
Another winner the other day as Wear ‘em out Wilf ground out a win at Yarmouth. He’s a bit of a forgotten horse in the string - he had problems early on and I assumed he’d never come to much. He seems to have a bit of fighting spirit in line with his [...]
The end of term and the summer holidays are with us - since I spend most of my time at home it’s a big change to my routine. Last week we had all the various end of term events including prize giving and sports days.
Ollie (my youngest) was a monitor at the prize giving [...]
The horses continue to run poorly, with none of my stables really firing at the moment. My two runners at Haydock today (Thursday) are horses I liked early in the season but both are outsiders.
Cheddar George has been disappointing and does not look as if he’s going to live up to our hopes for [...]
A big day at Royal Ascot tomorrow, and my only runner of the week goes in the Kings Stand. I had four entries last Thursday, but it didn’t work out for the other three - let’s hope Blue Jack puts in a respectable show for the Manor House team.
I spent a while going through [...]
Two runners today, both of them expensive and good looking and both on their second run having needed the run first time up. An important day.
Blast Furnace goes first, and on the face if it there nothing wrong with her - it’s just a question of whether she’s good enough. She’s big and [...]
A massive day today. I’m heading off to Wembley in a minibus with the whole family and a load of friends - I’ve taken a box and I’ve ordered a huge batch of Swindon scarves, hats, wigs etc. I hope we win…
Life seems to be a neverending series of meetings these days. Thursday was wall [...]
Lots of action but no winners.
Blue Jack was the biggest disappointment, seeming to travel well but not quickening in the closing stages. He didn’t like the ground very much and was badly jarred up the following morning - it was too bad to be true and for now we’ll just draw a [...]
Four runners today at three different courses - I won’t be there for any of them as I’m at a wedding.
First up is the current star of the string Blue Jack, and I feel really good about him. He had a poor draw last time and he gave away a lot of [...]
One runner today, and she has a respectable chance. Peintre D’Argent is no superstar, running off an OR of 53. We think she’s a wee bit better than that though, and she has a claimer taking a further 7lb off.
Whether the swing is a big enough one to haul in Galiotto remains to [...]
Strange things coincidences - you go along for ages without getting one and suddenly two come along at once.
The Half Moon in Jamaica has giant palm trees everywhere. On my last day there I was walking back to out apartment from the pool when I heard a crack above my head - I looked [...]
A quick one today as I’m on the train to Chester.
I had a heavily alcohol fueled weekend and I’m still feeling the effects. It was a stag weekend in Portugal - I can’t blog much as what goes on tour stays on tour, but for an old campaigner like me it was hard to [...]
We’re finally back in blighty after a sidestep into the US. Our last days in Jamaica were more of the same - sun sea sand and swimming pools. We then had a day in Boston. We went whale watching, and we got lucky as we came across four humpback whales operating as [...]
The days become weeks, the weeks become months. I sit here, stranded on my desert island with only the 4 kids, wife, mother-in-law and staff of the Half Moon for company…
Well I’d rather be at home but it’s not so bad. We’ve decided to make this an ‘improvement week’ and we’ve given everyone [...]
Strange times. I got up early on thursday and checked my Blackberry. There was a note from Mick alerting me to the news of the volcanic cloud - I read the story on the BBC web site. Further up was an email from BA confirming that our flight was cancelled.
I woke Jane [...]
I got my timings wrong on my last blog - I only have one runner today and the big day is tomorrow. The one today is a good one though - Morana goes in the Craven.
It’s a big ask to win a race like this and I’m not putting him up for a bet, [...]
A winner yesterday with Peintre D’Argent getting home in the last at Wolver. It isn’t Ascot but a win’s a win and the syndicate had some money down. We missed the big prices preferring not to back early - it was disappointing to see the price collapse from 10-1 to an opening [...]
I’m in Jamaica at the moment having done a runner with the family for half term. We’re staying in a villa in the Half Moon resort - old colonial feel, a bit dated but spacious and peaceful.
One thing that’s taken a little getting used to is the fact that the villa has a small [...]
A runner tomorrow, and a possible winner - Tifernati goes in the 2:10 at Hereford, and if he can’t win he isn’t going to win anything.
He was found with a tendon problem in a one of his back legs last season - it’s unusual as tendon issues are normally in the front legs. It [...]
My Cheltenham posts fell by the wayside after a boozy Wednesday night. I managed to finish the week on a high after backing Imperial Commander in the Cup - it was my only decent priced winner but I had a good bet on it and finished up for the week.
On the Saturday I went [...]
A losing start yesterday but Quevega limited the damage. It was disappointing to see Khyber Kim beaten by Binocular - it was hard to go with Binocular with question marks over his wellbeing.
I travelled up early with Bob, a co-owner in my horses with Nick Gifford. We arrived in Cheltenham at around 12. [...]
Day 1 coming up, and I’m off early tomorrow for the full four days as usual. My impression of the card;
I’m going to sit this one out. Dunguib is a fantastic prospect but his jumping might let him down. I don’t want to back him at short odds and I don’t [...]
… they probably will in games without frontiers…
This is a line from a Peter Gabriel song. Many years ago I had an argument with my brother in law about this that ran for several days. I said the line was grammatically incorrect - it should be “if looks could kill they [...]
More pictures have come in, so without further delay;
So who are these beasts?
First in line, this magnificent vision in white is Nemo Spirit, a 5yo gelding that Michael and I bought in the October HIT for 100k guineas. He stays forever and we will target the top staying handicaps with him. He’s nicely [...]
I’m betting very little at the moment - most days I don’t look at the card, and when I do I don’t have any great inspiration. My life is busier than ever - lots of business interests, a busy family life, a major development rolling along at my farm, everything bubbling away at Manor House, [...]
It was busy last week with a combination of strategy meetings for Betfair and Swindon along with half term.
On Tuesday I packed the family in the car and we headed west. First stop Manton, and we got there just before 10. They do a nice cooked breakfast there, which was welcome. Brian [...]
I played in a big charity poker event on Tuesday at Les Ambassadeurs just off Park Lane - it’s an annual event that I always play in. It was a good boost for my celebrity count.
Terry Wogan was the compere, and he put up an raffle prize for someone to appear as a [...]
An up and down week.
On Tuesday I went to the County Ground to watch Swindon play Leeds - I sat next to Mick Channon who comes along to Swindon matches from time to time. Mick said from the start that he thought we would win - Leeds are flying high in the Cup but [...]
Time for my annual blog on the investment year in view. It’s a bit late, but then I’m late on everything at the moment.
Last year’s recommendations worked out well. Gold, recommended at $875, rose throughout the year. As I write it is at $1,100, up around 26%. I gave three stock [...]
It’s a general philosophy of mine that you don’t look back in life - you only look forward. I used to be good at doing this, but with four small children now it’s difficult not to become nostalgic occasionally. As I lay in bed this morning I had one of those memory moments [...]
First post for a long time again, having had no internet for nearly a month.
Just before Christmas we moved back to our old house to get out of the way of some fairly heavy building work at the farm. We ordered broadband from the day we arrived, but it was delayed until [...]
No internet at the moment and Im having to update the blog from Jane’s Iphone, which is extremely fiddly, so I’m keeping it short.
Quaker Parrot goes at Wolverhampton and she may have found a good opportunity to score. ¬†In the King George I’ll oppose the principals with Deep Purple, who should give a decent account [...]
Christmas approaches and it’s increasingly time spent with the children.
We went for a walk this morning - there was a scary moment. Jane and I were holding Ollie’s hand, and we were playing the ‘one two three - wheee’ game where we swing him up in the air. Unfortunately the second time we [...]
I’m busy today - in a Bettorlogic board meeting with a follow on meeting in town. December has become my busiest time of year - I’m involved with a lot of companies now and they all seem to have one meeting to tie things up before Christmas.
Theophrastus runs in the 1:30 at Folkestone, and [...]
No luck in the week with both of my runners finishing down the field.¬† Peintre D’Argent ran ok for a while but was run out of it at the end of the race.¬† I’m not concerned by that - she’s never had a turn of foot and the pace wasn’t strong enough for her.¬† She [...]
It’s been a¬†long time since my last blog.¬† My house is in a mess at the moment¬†- my computer is packed up in a box.¬† My study, which was supposed to be finished in February, is¬†only nearing completion now.¬† Our bathroom upstairs was supposedly a two week job - they started in June and we’re [...]
I’m on holiday in Cornwall with the wife and kids at the moment. We’ve been quite lucky with the weather and with no internet access it’s a proper escape.
I was happy with Morana’s run. He was beaten fair and square but it was a top class race and he’ll progress plenty from 2 [...]
A big day today as Morana takes his chance at G1 level.
I’ve spoken to Pete throughout the week, and had another chat this morning. He’s as well as he’s ever been and he should relish the conditions. I don’t see any reason why he won’t run extremely well - there are some big [...]
An amazing day Saturday when I had my first group winner in my own colours.
I’ve had shares of several group winners in the past.¬† Many years ago I had a piece of a horse called Glide Path with John Hills.¬† He was a¬†top grade¬†handicapper who was just shy of group class - his most notable [...]
Saturday turned out to be a good day for me financially as I backed Supaseus, the winner of the Cambridgeshire.¬† Supaseus is owned by Sir Martyn and Ben Arbib - Sir Martyn is one of my co-investors at Swindon Town.¬† The icing on the cake came a little later when Swindon held on to win [...]