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24th April 2024 7:55 pm

“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

Aintree Grand National Meeting: Day 3 THE GRAND NATIONAL

It happens pretty well every weekend. Of the half dozen or so races that I explore to suggest and sometimes select a winner, I inevitably – if only as a matter of statistical probability – get it right. Sometimes, of course, you have days like today. Days when one forensically examines the possibilities and then, […]

Aintree Grand National Meeting: Day 2

It was not the worst of days for us, but I would have thought it was pretty awful for Hendo. Of his four runners, his only winner seemed constantly surprised to see a hurdle, and the other three all finished in the bottom half of their fields. The fact that Sir Gino won despite his […]

Aintree Grand National Meeting: Day 1

One of the subscribers asked what courses might be considered similar to Aintree. The straight answer would be Newcastle, Ayr, Doncaster, Ffos Las, Haydock, Newbury, Wetherby, Uttoxeter, and Worcester. Left-handed and reasonably flat. The more worldly-wise amongst you will know that there is no comparative course. At the Pardubice, for example, the fences might once […]

Cheltenham – for what it’s worth

SUMMARY Having unjustly gained a negative reputation for being part of the Pandemic problem, perhaps impacting local and regional community support, Cheltenham has managed to lose racing fans through a combination of poor event planning, weak and/or arrogant customer relations, aggressive price marketing, and a race schedule, which has managed to engineer an uncompetitive and, […]

Cheltenham Day 4

A very smiley girl appeared at my breakfast table this morning, clutching at some of my clothing that she’d found on her travels. “You bounder and cad”, I hear you say, but wait, the Hon was close at hand; nothing untoward was afoot, and even coffee and a warmed croissant were offered, or a glass […]

Cheltenham Festival Day 3

DAY 3: THURSDAY 14 MARCH 13:30 THE TURNERS NOV. CHASE (G1) 2m 4f Chase ZANAHIYR has had a good season so far with two decent graded runs before converting to Chasing. His debut saw him run into Fact To File, and his poor jumping didn’t aid his cause – but he did have Minella Cocooner […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 2

DAY 2:  WEDNESDAY 13 MARCH 13:30 THE GALLAGHER (BARING BINGHAM) NOV. HDL (G1) 2m 5f Hurdle If you swerve HANDSTANDS and THE GREY MAN on trends grounds, and you think the probable winner, BALLYBURN is too short, then you might want to consider either PREDATOR’S GOLD or MERCUREY. The former has recently run second in […]

Cheltenham Festival Day 1

As of 8:30 am on Monday, the ground was Soft all over, and the Cross Country was Heavy, Soft in places.  Some drizzle was possible on Monday. Showers are forecast for the early hours and into the morning on Tuesday (3-4mm). This will be Soft, sticky ground and beginning to dry. Champion Day – Tuesday, […]

Raceweb’s Cheltenham Festival: The Stats Pack – 20 STATS YOU NEVER KNEW

The following statistics, trends, and anomalies, call it what you will  – these numbers  – provide a potentially useful insight into possible Festival race outcomes. The numbers are facts, but as a dear friend once remarked after Mon Mome’s National victory, your statistic on French-bred National runners winning isn’t wrong; it’s simply that there are […]

The 2024 Cheltenham Festival – The Kneesup Overview

Whatever happens, please ensure that you only bet NRNB. Also remember that if there is a non-runner in Doubles, for example, the bet becomes a Single. Thus an 11 bet Yankee (1x 4, 4×3, 6×2) with a non-runner becomes a Patent (1×3 – 6×2 – 3×1 with 1 stake returned). Champion Day – Tuesday, March […]

Valentine’s Day and Ascot’s Common Dress Sense

This relentless outpouring of love and affection is doing my head in! My world is divided into 300 days of relative calm, sunny uplands where the green shoots etc etc… It is often a time of relative prosperity, if not in fact, then certainly in the impressions surrounding one. A day at Ascot, a trip […]

FOR A BRIEF MOMENT THERE, I THOUGHT I WAS IN TROUBLE

In the back of my mind resides many trivial racing stats. I trot them out periodically for a freshen-up and a bit of a brush-down because they’re going for a gallop quite soon, and you need to know that alles ist in Ordnung, as they used to say in Stalag Luft VII after a dodgy […]

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

… shall think themselves mighty relieved they don’t have to do another day, fighting the Cheltenham Parking Gauleiters who surely should be considered a potential terrorist operation. Yesterday, the gate that had operated perfectly sweetly and easily in October, and this Friday, was shut to people with an acceptable badge, which had become unacceptable over […]

Cheltenham Open Day 2 and the IJF have no diaries to sell

So near and yet so far – the punting today had much the same air as Chicky Oaksey having to explain why there won’t be any Injured Jockey diaries until December. The Friday of the open meeting is Countryside Day. When the shires come out to see mates, bid in the British Olympic Equestrian team’s […]

I vote Labour, but my butler’s a Tory

I thought you might be interested in seeing this 1929 General Election Poster and this artice’s title, which is a quote from Louis Mountbatten. “The inspectors all round” is so ironic given what we now know about this Government’s founding of the Rapid Response Unit (Cabinet Office) – The Counter Disinformation Unit (MOD (77Brigade) and […]

Night Nurse with Tonic?

The week seems to have consisted almost entirely of coughing out my lungs. Incapable of movement without hacking, I seem to have been watching endless cookery programmes whilst drinking Bovril Amontillado, much like Captain EV Kinross RN in the film In Which We Serve. I find this more palatable and easier on the nethers than […]

Doncaster St Leger Day 3

I was going to tell you some fascinating gossip I heard yesterday about two trainers in York who were apparently entertaining Ms. X, the daughter of another trainer with the modern equivalent of some Sherbert dip. Papa was deeply unamused when he walked in on the home science experiment and pistols at dawn were discussed. […]

Doncaster St Leger Meeting Day 2

The Dentist calls, and I must be away at O-Crack, so there is no time for chats. The day was a disappointment not because they were rubbish selections but because they were there or thereabouts. The first broke slowly and stayed slow; in the second, the selection was third, but I had mentioned the winner. […]

Doncaster St Leger Meeting Day 1

The Hon has gone to do 3rd lot with Ben Pauling and to take a bacon sarnie off him. I have to find three duvets and a box of linen, all of which seem to have dematerialised but which need to be found because there are house guests tonight and again on Saturday. In between, […]

York Ebor Day 4

The Golf is going well and the TV screen is full of bronzed millionaires in the sun. Having done the rounds of Shagaluf a few months ago, the travel bug is once more strengthening its grip on my psyche and urging me to head for the last of the summer sun, somewhere perhaps where the […]

York Ebor Meeting Day 3

Two men have been arrested over the fire at the Crooked House pub in Himley, Staffordshire police have said. A 66-year-old man from Dudley and a 33-year-old man from Milton Keynes have been arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life. The force said both men remained in custody on Thursday and were being questioned […]

York Ebor Meeting Day 2 & THE TOUR Championship Tips

So farewell then Yevgeny Prigozhin However hard we practised, no one could say your name but Putin could, and put it on the passenger list. Surprise! EJ Thribb Aged 17½ Talking of possibly too many air miles, Paddington was thought to have simply done too much this calendar year with eight increasingly tough races since […]

It was the best of times, it was the worst…

I suppose with hindsight, we should all be thrilled that we haven’t got another bank holiday out of the weekend. Almost everywhere I looked and as far as the eye could see, there were horizons full of cheering fans, all back-slapping and congratulations. We had days earlier smashed the semi-final Aussie result, with all three […]

Goodwood Day 5 – The Stewards Cup and Pemmican Hash

Saturday 00:22 am: Lambourn Back home, exhausted but so pleased to have seen so many chums, all looking so well. Back to unpacking and admiring the newly painted east-wing bathroom. Back to demanding emails and for The Hon unpacking and dog-whispering. Back to simple foods as well. Pemmican hash and ketchup and some left-over treacle tart […]

GLORIOUS GOODWOOD – Days 1-4

dayFRIDAY 4th August: Bepton A much better day weather -wise, but the stewards were busy with non-runners and the failure of a number of horses to perform on the ground. In the 6th race, I was staggered that only 3 days had been handed out – but then Novus did win, so in the end […]

A jolly pub lunch – but for how much longer

I have to declare an interest… I eat and drink out at the drop of a hat. I also eat the hat if given half a chance. I have a long-term interest in ensuring that there are sufficient interesting places for me to eat and drink in – and I include you all by extension […]

Crikey – Omar Khayam was spot on.

Almost as soon as I put the typing digits back inside their silk gloves, the first of The Cap Backwards Boys stepped out under the Wimbledon roof and was gone. Another came and went, and although both players have assured futures, and are good-looking, with charming and athletic personalities, you just sense some wise owl […]

So farewell Sparkey – a proper chap

I had a coffee with Angus Lochrane, aka Statto, at Ascot the other day. He was the resident statistician on the BBC Two television show Fantasy Football League. You might remember him clad in a dressing gown and pyjamas as he stood in the corner of the set and provided facts and figures on each […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 5

Another delicious lunch, another day of near misses, this time followed by a dinner with a brace of Norwegian Colonels. The attrition rate on my liver must stop soon. After today, I think I might take a week off and will maybe post a few tips by email if so inspired.

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 4

A lunch party in Lambourn for a dozen or so; a TV on the blink thanks to the WiFi failing to connect correctly to the Sky Mini. This small box is theoretically attached to the Sky Q. This is attached in every sense, to my wallet on a permanent, albeit only half-working, but always charging […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 3

We had another 20/1 winner on Wednesday and got chinned on the line with Random Harvest who I could not believe remained stubbornly available at 20/1+ despite being at level weights with the third-placed favourite. I simply lumped more on – but stupidly did not think to back it with the field in an Exacta. […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 2

The Golf was a bit disappointing – and especially for Rory McIlroy who lost by one stroke to Wyndham Clark who was also investigated for an alleged infraction of Rule 14.7a. You know the one surely… it forbids a ball from being played from the wrong spot. Sitting in the rough off the back nine, […]

ROYAL ASCOT 2023 DAY 1

Loins girded, Titfer polished, socks found, and monocular hung, I am ready. I think I am on top of everything including the wretched ticketing system. Do they really think the Duchess of Fotheringay aged 80 knows whether her phone is Android or Google Pay or even on? Then the email advertising I swear has doubled! […]

The Derby 2023

What a brilliant day for Frankie. I did not believe Emily Upjohn could do that although less surprised at Soul Sister’s Oaks’ victory. I was, however, reminded by John Gosden’s post-race interview as to why I find him so irritating. I hope Frankie has a great day on Saturday, but I’m also hoping that Gosden […]

Tipping the balance with a big P

I am – like Victor Meldrew – in a state of utter bewilderment. Quite apart from this website showing a profit for the last three weeks, you might also have noticed the subject of paint cropping up occasionally. I thought it had been resolved. Having carefully chosen a colour scheme that, by chance, had a […]

If it’s June 1st it must be time for a Derby Dinner.

Let me rush to say that I would have been unable to attend any dinners this week  – even if I had been invited. Which I wasn’t. This is not a cry of pain from Norman Kneesup No-Mates; it is only through a combination of events beyond my control that I cannot leave Lambourn. Instead, […]

When the chips are down, just think of Bert and Mary Poppins

There have been moments in one’s life, as one limps away from the smouldering wreck, that you think, “Well, that could have been worse.” Perhaps it was after one had made the incorrect decision to have the Steak Tartare in Le Grand Café de la Poste, a charming and iconic watering hole in the heart […]

We might have seen The Oaks winner today.

As I suggested yesterday, SOUL SISTER was the wrong price, and Frankie duly bought the little 18/1 beauty home in The Musidora, to make a relatively solid contribution to The Royal Ascot badge fund. Huzzah, I thought. In fact, I had already huzzahed AZURE BLUE home for Team Kneesup at 12/1, so the whole day […]

Can’t even pick a paint colour right these days!

I’m going to keep this brief this week largely because we are awash with sport. We have the US PGA Championship, The Italian GP, the league Play-Offs, The Dante meeting, Indy 500; it is relentless. From this melange, I have to develop the funds to pay for the Royal Ascot badges and two pre-planned barbecue […]

It’s hard to find a spare channel for His Majesty with so much racing!

These last few days have been busy, so I had failed to notice that racing was actually “on” during the Coronation. For some reason, I had instead assumed that we would, as one nation, gather to watch HM, share a slice of savoury tart, (not a Quiche), a couple of glasses of Bolly and Three […]

Aintree Grand National Festival Day 1

By the time you read this, the Factor 200 will be out, my solar topee will have been unpacked and I shall be singing lustily Una Paloma Blanco at the Albanian Jig-a-jig Piano Bar on the Magaluf strip. I’m not sure where The Hon will be, but not far away I suggest from the automatic […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 4

We popped into The Tent to see chums and to apologise for The Hon’s picture appearing in the Daily Mail. The place was awash with Not Old People including Young Lochinvar who spent 20 minutes complaining about [a] my tipping [b] my lack of winners compared to his six by end of day 2 [c] […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 3

Truth be told, there is not much to report. A supper party of Prawns in a tomato, garlic and chilli sauce, Cottage Pie and peas, Lemon Posset with macerated strawberries, English cheeses, French clarets, a very jolly team of guests and somehow time has flown and as I suspected might happen, I find myself short […]

CHELTENHAM DAY 2

We returned from the jolly lunch to find a note from an old friend to say that she had found herself at a loose end and thus watched Cheltenham on the box. She who might weep in Othello for the pitiful Desdemona or for Mimi’s consumption wrote that she had been moved to tears by […]

A theatrical evening before Day 2 of Donny

I went to The Barn Theatre in Cirencester last night to see Driving Miss Daisy. The Barn is a relatively new theatre whose newness was stalled by Covid, but it has survived and without much scarring. The offerings to date have pleased me four times and irritated me twice, which is better than Chichester Festival […]

Maybe the new PM heralds a time of Boom and Bust

I know, I know – I’m supposed to be a mature adult. Long gone is the former International Boulevardier. Instead, there is a shadow. A chap who has probably handed in his Wild Rover ticket, a quiet, unassuming, philosophical figure occasionally seen in the shadowed corners of The Poona Gymkhana Club with a Chota Peg […]

The York Ebor Day 4

An agonisingly slow day in the office – but not at York where the ground simply got faster. No Stradivarius (not as predicted) and no Trueshan (exactly as predicted). I know my astonishing prescience of likely weather outcomes must have you reeling, but that was before we saw Quickthorn, which must surely have staggered us […]

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