'Horse Racing' Category

Big Ask

After a morning meeting on Thursday I hurried down to Goodwood to catch Morana’s run in the first. I arrived in the ring at the same time as Alan Munro - Mick was there with a couple of friends but Pete hadn’t made it.
Alan was very positive about Morana - he said he hadn’t [...]

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Seconditis

Lots going on at the moment, both in business and with the horses.
Last Tuesday was a Swindon Town strategy day.  We wanted an outsider to chair it and we got Roger Munby, ex chairman and CEO of Norwich, to do the honours.   He made a big impression on me - a committed and hard working man who [...]

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Poor investment

Out and about today and updating from my mobile.
Looby Loo comes out at Kempton after eighteen months of waiting. She cost me over half a million pounds and she’s coming out in a little maiden at Kempton on a quiet Wednesday - I don’t think I’ll be getting my money back on this one.
Still [...]

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Go the parrot

No good on Saturday, with Maxwell continuing to disappoint.  I’ve had a few runs now without a winner - hopefully today that can be put to rights.
Quaker Parrot is a genuine sort who readily gives her all - if she gets beaten today it wont be through lack of trying.  Her race looks pretty winnable [...]

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Healthcheck

I’m very busy at the moment, with some days being wall to wall meetings.  It’s nice to have spare time to think, but recently I’ve come to realise that I’m much happier in myself when I’m really busy. 
On Saturday I went down to Yeovil to watch Swindon.  We won 1-0 thanks to an own goal [...]

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Back at school

Another disappointing run for Maxwell Hawke on Friday.  It’s been a while now since he put in a decent run, but I think he’ll return to form one day.  Next time up he’ll be wearing a tongue tie.  Cyan Eyed ran today, finishing in mid division in what may prove to be a smart maiden.  [...]

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Coming together

Disappointing yesterday.  Teia Tephi ran no race and is a candidate for early retirement.  She has plenty of ability on her limited home work but she has dodgy joints, and when push came to shove yesterday she didn’t want to go through with it.  Open Glory ran a reasonable race all things considered.  Richard tried [...]

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Handbags at dawn

I spent Tuesday and Wednesday at Doncaster with Tom and the Owens.  We looked at half the horses in the sale and ended up buying 12 for Manor House stables - we’ve already sold three of them.   
Doncaster is a good place to buy forward 2yo types - the pedigrees typically aren’t quite top class [...]

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Perfect Day

I woke up yesterday in my house on the south coast. A quick shower and down for breakfast - Jane and the kids, her mother, her brother and his family all milling around.
This house has been in my family since my Grandfather built it in 1933, It had been very run [...]

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Perhaps I’m an eternal optimist but I’ve got a feeling that Jonathan Trott may turn out to be something special. He’s taken his time to make his test debut (28) but the finest wines take the longest to mature. He just looks right to me somehow.
Swindon lost their first game 5-0, but I’ve [...]

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Bob

I’m out and about today but I can now update my blog with my Blackberry, so no excuses any more.
Some of our friends are just back from holiday, and we spoke to two of them yesterday. One mother said that whenever they went to the beach they would play ‘run like Edgar’ (Eddie is [...]

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Why Dad why?

When I was young I remember a comic strip called “why dad why” with a young boy who was always asking his dad silly questions.  Eddie is at that age now, and I understand where the strip was coming from - I have to deal with questions like “who would win if a tiger fought [...]

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New Venture

It’s a while since my last post, and a lot to blog about.  I’ve taken a 50% stake in Manor House Stables, going in as joint owner alongside Michael Owen who built the stable up from nothing.  Tom Dascombe comes in as trainer, although he still has to focus on his Lambourn stable for a [...]

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Born free

It’s chaotic at home at the moment with the children now full on and with nowhere to hide at home.  Robbie is making life more difficult as he’s found a way to get out of his pen and he keeps running off onto the common that adjoins the farm - I’ve had to go in [...]

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Commercial type

A good win for Quaker Parrot on Thursday, and she’s proving to be a nice commercial type.  She isn’t blessed with the ability of some but she loves racing and really lights up when she gets to the track - she’s learning and progressing and on the whole is one to stay on the right [...]

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Sports Day 2

A long day in the sun yesterday and I missed all the racing.
It was prize giving at school and sports day for the older ones.  Eddie didn’t win his class prize and he moaned loudly for the rest of the ceremony - his cries got louder as each prize was announced.  He was entertaining in his race [...]

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Sports Day

The summer term is winding to an end, and with four young children I have a series of sports days to go to.  They’re not generally big days in the Black household - we don’t take them too seriously and we never win anything.  It’s all good fun though, and sometimes exciting.
At our local nursery school (up [...]

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Sweating up

A quickie today - I’ve been having trouble with my internet connection all week and it’s just come up so I’m going to try and get a blog out before it goes down again.
Three runners today.  Pete saddles Winker at Newmarket.  He’s been looking a little fat and after his last showing I’m worried that [...]

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Bert’s Offline

Bert has asked me to post as he has been without an internet connection at the farm for a few days. BT aren’t showing any great urgency in fixing the line as the issue only affects Bert and one other property.
Bert’s only runner in recent days was Lilac Moon at Haydock on Saturday. A cheapish [...]

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Day 3

Amazing scenes yesterday as Jealous Again destroyed a class field in the Queen Mary.  The clues were all there and I feel a mug for not having backed her - I was concentrating on the British runners and I never gave her a second thought.  It poses questions for the rest of the week - [...]

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Day 2

Not a bad day yesterday, although it didn’t work out so well in the evening.  I was wrong on Paco Boy and I sensed that before the race - his frame and his daisy cutting action weren’t as I remembered.  Canford Cliffs might be a phenomenon -  time will tell but there were several highly touted horses [...]

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Day 1

Still no luck with the horses.  Bea Menace ran ok and would have been placed but for being squeezed in the final furlong.  Tikka Masala ran no sort of race - Richard wasn’t able to get her tucked in from his wide draw and the race never panned out for us.
On to Ascot;
I’ve been on [...]

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A bit cursed

A busy spell, and not a lot of success - I’m feeling a bit cursed at the moment.  I had a decent bet on Midday in the Oaks - she couldn’t have come any closer, beaten only a head after a little interference in running.  In the Derby I was on Rip Van Winkle and I needed [...]

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Mugged

A winner!  Tikka Masala hit home on Tuesday to give my colours their first win of the flat season.  She’s not one of the leading lights of the string at the moment, but she might be progressive if she learns to excercise a little restraint.
If there’s a horse out there with the wrong name then it has [...]

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Further guidance

Another poor day on Saturday.  Marine Boy ran no sort of race - Tom’s on his stag weekend so I haven’t had the chance to talk to him.  Major Eazy ran a pretty decent race in 5th.  In the evening Pansy Potter ran poorly, but Bea Menace ran a great race finishing second to the [...]

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Best of all time

Four runners today - Major Eazy goes at Goodwood, Marine Boy goes at York and both Pansy Potter and Bea Menace go at Newbury tonight.   
I’ll be disappointed if I don’t get something out of today’s lot.  Major Eazy carries top weight in a handicap - he’s big enough to shoulder top weight and there’s a [...]

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Darth Jackson

Quaker Parrot ran a fair race, finishing in the pack - stepping up to that level was a big ask.  Tom won the race with ease with his other runner, Don’t Tell Mary.  Tom tried to buy this filly at the sales but was outbid by David Redvers - he went up to Redvers after [...]

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Plenty to build on

A nice run yesterday from Peintre D’Argent, who looked like the winner a furlong out but failed to get home - she traded 1.53 in the win market and 1.01 in the place market.  When she emptied she emptied quickly and finished fifth, but there was plenty to build on there.
David Probert took the ride.  [...]

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A runner at Chepstow today as Peintre D’Argent comes out for the Pro-claimers.
I saw her a couple of weeks ago when I went up to Manor House Stables.  When we claimed her she was very skinny - Nicky thought she might have an ulcer and we put her on the course of anti-ulcer drugs.  She’s [...]

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More disappointment yesterday as Max came nowhere in her listed race.  For her it was a case of going from one extreme to another - two weeeks ago she ran on firm and found it too quick, whereas she appeared not to handle the heavy at Haydock yesterday.  Again I’ll shrug and draw a line [...]

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No good excuses

A busy day today with no time to blog, so just a quick one.
It was a pretty desperate weekend with some of my best hopes for the season running poorly with no good excuses.  Marine Boy ran a respectable fourth on Friday, but I’d hoped he was better than that.  Tom’s analysis was fairly sober - “he’s [...]

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Keep on believing

I had a big day planned yesterday with four runners at Warwick. I’d done my homework on the racing the night before and booked up a car for the day - I also had my blog post written but I held back as I wasn’t sure if Maxwell Hawke was going to run.
Warwick were [...]

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Road trip

I’m just back from a road trip to Chester.
I caught the 10:10 from Euston with Mick and David O’Reilly, one of the BF lawyers and a fellow pro-claimer.  We caught a cab at the other end, which we shared with a couple of old Irish boys - we had to walk the last bit.
As we approached the [...]

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New baby

A new member of the string arrived on Monday when Veiled Beauty finally foaled down a filly.  We hadn’t known what sex to expect - generally colts are preferred as they are more valuable but I was very happy to have another filly.  She was a good size and appears to be a very nice [...]

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Respect

A long and fruitless day on Wednesday.
I dropped the girls off early and came back to the farm.  At 9:30 Sarah, my personal trainer, tipped up and we went for a run - she told me that she is going to be on TV soon in a series called “Fat pets and their fat owners” helping [...]

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Boy racer

Good and bad yesterday.  Quaker Parrot ran no sort of race, but we were fairly unworried.  She fell out of the stalls in a heap and never got moving - she’ll learn from the experience and will run better next time.  Tikka Masala was more of a concern - she ran no sort of race [...]

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Survival

A big day on Saturday with Swindon winning at home and guaranteeing their survival in League 1 this year.  We’ve not had an easy time of it at STFC - we were hoping to go up this year but it didn’t work out and we were in real danger of relegation despite a goal difference [...]

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Back on track

A weak day on Saturday with no winners - costly as I felt good about a couple of my picks and got stuck in.  It was the first day of the flat when I really spent time checking out the form and annoying to have decimated my account.
I’ve put it right since with a series of [...]

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… to give up gambling.  Actually I haven’t given up - I planned to but when I came back from holiday there was so much racing going on that I got stuck straight into it. 
I went to Newbury yesterday - the third days racing in a week.  Tom Dascombe had taken a box, and I [...]

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Too free

A disappointing run from Marine Boy today but I’m prepared to forgive it.  We had a chat about tactics beforehand and Tom was very much of the view that the horse needed cover to stop him running too free - Richard was to drop him in somewhere in the middle and produce him with a [...]

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Ups and downs

A serious disappointment from Winker, coming fourth of five in a race that was several leagues below the class of race he was running in last year.  It’s hard to know what to think - his most recent work on the gallops had been exceptional (Alan, who is generally quite pessimistic, described it as proper group [...]

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Happy Easter

Back from my hols and raring to go.  It was a nice relaxing break - the farm is a building site at the moment and the weather is a long way below Portuguese standards but it’s nice to be back all the same.
It’s a big and important week for the horses.  Winker and Maxwell Hawke [...]

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Best fresh

I’ve been in Portugal for a week now with the family and my mother-in-law.  The weather’s great and we’re all having a good time.
The news from home starts with one real tragedy.  Astrodome had an accident on the gallops - he struck into himself, severing two tendons including his digital flexor tendon.  There was nothing to [...]

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My house is a building site at the moment - they’re working in half of it and we’re living in the other half.  The whole place is covered in brick dust - it seems that no matter what we do to keep the dust out it finds a way through.
The highlight of the week occurred [...]

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Grace and Beauty

A day of sport for me yesterday.
I spent the morning with the children.  We have a couple of extras with us at the moment as one of the mothers at school had an accident with her 2yo boy - he fell out of a climbing frame and broke his femur.  He faces two weeks in traction [...]

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Haighgate

I’m not right at the moment - I’ve had a headache for about ten days and I’ve got blood in my nose.  Today is the first time in a while that I’ve felt properly human, although the headache is still just hanging in there - it started when I came off the beta-blockers.  I need [...]

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No good today with Lilac.  I thought she looked a little burly beforehand - she led for most of the race but went out like a light.  Richard said she tried to change her legs five or six times during the race.  It was probably down to lack of fitness - we’ll know more tomorrow.
Lilac [...]

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Clean pair of heels

Good and bad news on the mares.  Baldovina has been scanned in foal to Red Clubs.  Park Acclaim was scanned in foal to Kyllachy, but has re-absorbed the foetus .  It’s not uncommon - she needs to be covered again now.  Shawhill has been covered by Selkirk and we wait to hear the result.
Astrodome is well [...]

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Friday 13th part 2

A good if slightly overlong week with some excellent races to savour.  I had big bets on Starluck in the Triumph and Tatenen in the Arkle, both failing, but I made the ground back on a few lesser races and finished nicely up for the week.
Kauto Star did the business again and reminded us all what a [...]

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Friday 13th part 1

A good day yesterday in most senses.  I had a fair bet on Kayf Aramis, which put me right for the week.  I decided not to bet in the two big races and lost a little money at the end of the day.
It was a long beery social day in the great Cheltenham tradition.  I [...]

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Back in the fray

A bad day 1 financially but I made some of it back yesterday.  I don’t think I’ll be betting much today as I’ve got such a busy day on - I’ll back a few rank outsiders to keep me interested.
Latin America was well beaten in the bumper yesterday, but we were happy with the performance.  He [...]

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Ultimate Disco

A busy weekend over that involved ferrying my children around to various party venues and shows.
On Saturday Jane and I took the girls up to town with some of their friends to see “Wicked” - the untold story of the witches of Oz. The boys went to Wimbledon theatre with their grandmother to see Scooby [...]

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Domesday

Two runners today - Astrodome goes at Fontwell and Hector Spectre runs at Lingfield.
Astrodome is a horse I love, but he still has it to prove. He needed the experience last time, but he looked the part and the race worked out well. In particular he jumped really well - a couple of [...]

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Strength in depth

Theophrastus ran a fairly poor race yesterday, but given that there was no pace to the race it wasn’t a great surprise.  They crept along for the first two miles and it turned into a sprint finish - Theo is a 3 mile chaser in the making and he would want a real slog.  He [...]

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Peintre

Briefly this morning as I have no time;
Peintre D’Argent runs in the 4:10 at Lingfield.  My last two runners have won, which means nothing other than that there is plenty of cash in my account. 
I think Peintre has a decent chance with Richard Kingscote taking the ride.  She’s a galloper rather than a speedster and she [...]

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Boredom relief

I had a terrible day betting yesterday, and for no good reason.  I was alone in the house, bored and with too much money in my account - a recipe for disaster.  If I only ever bet when I had a strong conviction then I’d do very well, but I’m succumbing to “boredom relief” type [...]

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With so little racing on I’ve been watching the financial markets again, and it’s still carnage.  Our banks are slowly being nationalised, although in Barclays case they could end up being sold to Arab interests.    The biggest casualty of all is sterling - close to parity against the Euro now and at a 23 year low agaist the dollar [...]

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Chocolate rules

This dark chocolate diet is amazing - I expected results but I didn’t expect them to come so quickly.  Yesterday, with my newly supercharged brain, I had what probably ranks as my best betting day ever.  My first three bets won at 50-1, 12-1 and 12-1, and I came back at the end of the [...]

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Small is beautiful

I’ve had the first pics of the new foal - will post when I have more time.  She’s very small - partly down to being born early but we think she’s small anyway, which is probably down to the fact that her mother had her very young.  She’s well though and looks good - chestnut at [...]

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A quiet day yesterday - my two boys went to see “The Snowman” up in town with Jane’s mother.  Eddie who is four and talks non stop and has opinions on everything had his grandmother laughing all day.  He explained his strategy to her for getting us to put the TV on;  “I ask mum, and if [...]

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On we go to 2009, and a happy new year to all readers of the blog.  I’ll leave my resolutions for now (still a work in progress…) but here are my investments for the year;
2009 is already booked to be a pretty poor year - the recession is unavoidable and the earthquake that was the banking [...]

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Sporting Greats

Today I will be backing mostly sporting greats at Leopardstown.
Kempes goes  in the first, and he’s a warm order this morning.  It’s a tough one to fathom - he appeared to prefer top of the ground on the flat, although he did well on soft ground on his only hurdle.  He may improve for the [...]

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Back at the knee

Christmas at Black Towers was a fairly quiet affair with most of the family ill.  It was pleasant though - traditional and understated.  We’ve all had the flu now, and I blame the flights to and from Lapland.  I’d love to see a statistical analysis of how much of the time people get ill after flights [...]

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HAPPY CHRISTMAS

… and a happy new year to all readers of the blog.  It’s a bit belated - I took to my bed early on Christmas Eve with a bad case of flu.  Will 2009 be a better year than 2008 or will it just be a hideous year of social unrest?  Is the world a [...]

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I’m going through a quiet period horse wise.  Mon Michel is probably out for the season, and he was possibly my best prospect for this year.  Tifernati was bought to go hurdling this year, but he had a massive wart on his backside which had to be removed - he should go in to Gary’s [...]

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Black Hole

Two years ago I was on a plane with a senior partner at a large investment bank, and he was filling me in on the latest gossip from the city.  Christmas time is bonus time in the city, and 2006 was a good year.  He’d heard that there were going to be around 10,000 people in the city receiving [...]

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Big Bucks

My poor run continues with Mon Michel soundly beaten at Taunton on Thursday.  Again he coughed after the race and he clearly isn’t right.  It’s worrying - he has the scope to make a very decent chaser but he needs to be right in himself and he hasn’t shown his best for a while now.
Shepherd’s [...]

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Mon Michel disappointed at Fontwell - he travelled well enough but faded to 5th at the end of the race.  We were expecting better.  He scoped clean and his blood was good after the race but he did cough - I don’t think he was 100%.  No matter - he’s filled out and he’s ripe to go [...]

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I’m back at my desk having flown in to a freezing cold Heathrow at 5:30 this morning wearing shorts and a T-shirt.  I hardly slept a wink and I’m fading fast - as soon as I’ve done the blog I’m off to bed.
I couldn’t have been more impressed with Melbourne - it’s got everything.  It’s [...]

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Ugh

More carnage in the markets tonight with the Dow losing 7% of its value in the afternoon session.  None of this is reflected in the UK, and currently the FTSE is trading 5% down off market.  It’s very grim, and it’s anyone’s guess when it’s going to stop.
Many years back (it feels like a lifetime [...]

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Well enough of all this financial meltdown chit chat and on to the important things in life.  Three runners today - Nicky Nutjob and Bet Noir go at Ponty and Bea Menace goes at Warwick.
Nicky is a perfectly decent racehorse but I don’t think he’ll make up into much of a 2 year old.  He’ll [...]

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I’m slightly off horses at the moment because I’ve been watching the situation in the financial markets and trying to get my head around what is going on.  It hasn’t affected me much to date, at least on the face of it, although there will be plenty of knock on effects.  Some thoughts then from [...]

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Bad news on Lilac Moon.  She has a small hole in a suspensory ligament - we’re waiting for the vet’s verdict but she’s unlikely to run again this year, which may mean an early retirement to stud.  If that is the case it’s a terrible shame, as she was better than ever on the gallops.
I [...]

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Big business

Just a quick note today as I have to go out and man my stand at the village fair.  My girls have been making jam during the week from blackberries and apples picked on the farm - we’ve got sixty jars to sell, all neatly packaged with our own brand labels on.
It’s yet another business [...]

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No further comment

I was out all day yesterday playing golf - I returned to find my blog overrun with comments on Betfair’s premium charge.  This is my private blog specifically dedicated to horse racing, and I think it should stay that way - I’ve always tried to steer clear of Betfair related topics in here.
This morning I deleted all of the [...]

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New Fillies

I bought another yearling filly at Deauville - probably my last expensive purchase for a while.  She’s by Sadlers Wells out of Race the Wild Wind - a Grade 1 winner in the states.  She’s a half sister to King Charlemagne and Meshaheer.  I’d say she’s the best bred filly I have.  here’s a picture; 

I [...]

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Sticky wicket

It was refreshing to read Johnny Murtagh’s comments from the Juddmonte as reported in the Sunday Times.  Far from the usual denials and no comment on accusations of team tactics, Murtagh divulges all.  Explaining the team’s tactics, he goes on to say “it’s what Ballydoyle is all about”, suggesting that these type of tactics are the [...]

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Wild West

Another day another very suspect group 1 win for Ballydoyle.  I watched the Juddmonte on Channel 4 - the commentary was revealing;
” … and Duke of Marmalade has had a wonderful passage through… ”
Sure he did - a nice gap opened up in front of him at exactly the right time between Red Rock Canyon [...]

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Some interesting racing today, including a couple of runners for me.  Lilac Moon goes in the last at Newmarket and Pansy Potter in the 4:25 at Newbury.
Tom Dascombe runs a couple of likely types today, and they may both be worth following.  Blakfrankisch runs in the first at Newbury, and is ridden by Michaela Sowerby.  Michaela [...]

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The PAs at Betfair had an evening out at Windsor races on Monday night, and they had a £50 kitty for betting on the horses.  Chantelle, my PA, was responsible for investing the kitty, and she decided as follows;  £20 win Hip Hip Hooray, £10 E/W Acclaimed, £10 win Right Stuff.  They won at 14/1, [...]

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Cor Tina

Tina Cook, sister to Nick Gifford and daughter of Josh and Althea, won two bronze medals last night - in the individual and the team eventing competitions.  It’s an extraordinary achievement.
I barely know Tina - our paths have crossed a few times in the kitchen at Downs stables and at the odd event - but [...]

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Big day

I had an amazing days betting yesterday.  I had a bit of spare time and I decided to have a bet on the next race.  The horse won at slightly better than 5/1 - I carried on to the next race.  I ended up backing five successive winners including Darksideofthemoon which I averaged in to [...]

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Anticipation

Swindon’s season proper kicks off on Saturday and I’m a little nervous but also excited.  It’s been a while since I’ve supported a team properly and I’ve never been as close to the action as I am now.
I think the early matches are extremely important, as we’ve done a lot to try and get attendances [...]

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Back in Blighty

Back in Blighty, and welcomed in by a staggeringly good performance by Marine Boy, who may turn out to be the superstar we have seen on the gallops.
I had two weeks in the Forte Village in Sardinia with the family.  It’s a fantastic family resort - loads to do, extremely clean and well run, great [...]

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Bert returns

Bert is due back today but is scheduled to land just too late to get to Newbury in time to see his debutant two year old Marine Boy (2:10). I will be going in the hope of having a trophy to collect. Marine Boy has shown he has ability at home, as his Gimcrack entry [...]

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Word on Winker

Just a quick note about Winker Watson’s run yesterday. Before the race it seemed that he had two questions to answer - 1) Had he trained on and 2) Would he stay a mile ? Thankfully the answer to the first one was positive though we got a clear no to the second. Ryan Moore [...]

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Storm ‘n Norman

I did one thing yesterday that was vaguely clever.  I thought Greg Norman was a touch long in the win market - a price of 27 for a guy in outright second felt big even accounting for age and tendency to bottle the big ones.  I had £3.5k on at 27 and 28 and put [...]

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Swiss rollover

Jane and I went to the tennis yesterday.  Semi-finals day is often the best day to go, but yesterday was just the administration of a couple of sound beatings and the prelude to what might be a classic final.
I grew up in Wimbledon and I’ve been to the tennis virtually every year since I was [...]

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Unsatisfactory race

Another group 1 wings its way to Ballydoyle, but again it was an unsatisfactory race.  I’ve watched the race a few times - it isn’t clear to me whether or not the AOB trained Tabor owned Frozen Fire would have won had the AOB trained Tabor owned Alessandro Volta not veered dramatically left when he [...]

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Ascot part 2

I went to Ascot on Thursday, feeling a bit sheepish - parts of my blog had been written up in the Racing Post, and it had also been written up on an Australian news site.
Skid was running in the first race - I was hopeful of a decent run but he could never go the pace [...]

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Fourfourtwo

On the Swindon front:  I was extremely pleased to see Town sign the sponsorship deal with Fourfourtwo the other week.
The first I heard of this was through a friend of mine at Haymarket - Fourfourtwo were looking for a shirt deal and they had Swindon on the shortlist.  They had a series of meetings with Nick [...]

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Update

Having rung around this morning I’m not recommending Scrapper Smith now.  I think he’ll run well enough, but Pete likes his a lot, and I very much doubt we’re the better horse at the moment.
South Central is supposed to be something pretty special against Skid.  I prefer Kensington Oval to Dr Faustus in the 4:55.
I [...]

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Bullydoyle

A good day’s racing today, but one that has left me more concerned than ever before about the state of the game at the top level.  It seems to be standard these days for Ballydoyle to have multiple entries in every group one to be run in the UK, and this is a situation that [...]

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Risk strategy

It’s been a busy week and I’m glad it’s over.  It was my father-in-law’s funeral yesterday and we had all the guests back to the farm - it was a pleasant do in sad circumstances with a fair bit of work getting ready for it.  It was also Betfair’s strategy week and I attended as [...]

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I had hoped for three runners today but I’m down to one after the two Maxes pulled out.  He’s a good one though - King’s Head runs at Aintree tonight, and if the rains stay away I see no reason why he won’t go in again.  He’s fit and well.
Nine days break isn’t a lot, [...]

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Guineas thoughts

The 2,000 comes around, and it’s not as strong a race as it might have been.  Several leading fancies, Winker included, have fallen away and no surprise packages have emerged.  The ground will probably be genuine good ground, which will suit most but not Raven’s Pass.
The big question for me is whether I can get [...]

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Max One Two Three did an important piece of work this morning, and was scoped afterwards.  She worked really nicely and scoped clean - we are now bang on for the 1,000.  She will have one more piece of work early next week and that will be it.  She is a very decent filly with a [...]

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I was a bit down yesterday thinking about the number of second places I have, so I checked out the stats.  The stats are poor for horses running in my name - 3 wins, 7 seconds, 6 thirds from 39 runs.  If I include all horses I have a piece of the figures are 22-30-14 - not [...]

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It’s a big time of year as an owner, and there are highs and lows.  Aintree was ultimately a real mix, and there was a lot of good and bad on Saturday.  I didn’t go up as I was at AFC Wimbledon for a match that my wider family were sponsoring in memory of my great uncle, who [...]

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The big day approaches, and unusually for me I don’t have an ante-post position in the National.  In my younger days I was crazily obsessive about the race - it got to the point where I was so tense beforehand that I could barely watch it.  A couple of times I can remember watching the race on [...]

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