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19th June 2024 4:39 pm

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

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 […]

A Very Happy New Year to all and some very brief tips.

What Ho, I have just returned from a very splendid 24 hours of quietly understated all-round excellence. I have drunk well, eaten brilliant food, sat in the company of kind and charming friends, been cossetted and pampered, and generally come back feeling loved and needed. What better way is there to start a New Year? I […]

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 […]

And so it begins

A dreadful week. I have been told not to write against stupidity, moral grandstanding, the pernicious growth of anti-semitism, virtue signalling, the ludicrous fear of the word transition, the stifling of free speech, the collapse in varying degrees of our economy, language, and common sense, and coming soon a time when all our fears re […]

The final review of Cheltenham – and today’s racing tips

The executive summary to a review of The Cheltenham NH Festival 2023 – were anyone to ask me for an opinion – would be thus: Brilliant racing, marred by a Customer Experience (CX) that does not encourage further returns. However, the issues surrounding the CX are quite possibly 75% out of the hands of Cheltenham […]


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] […]


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 […]

Dum di dum di dum di dum…

Once upon a time, a long while ago, I was staying with my cuz in Middle Wallop, where he was with the Army Air Corps, which he would later command. That weekend, he gave a very jolly Sunday drinks party for the locals, which would be followed by a pleasant family lunch. As has often […]

Please God – a jolly Saturday at Cheltenham

As I write this, there is still every chance that some, none, or all of the racing might be abandoned. If only bad weather could stop some other stuff that passes as entertainment. I’m at Cheltenham tomorrow in a cosy box insha’Allah, rounding off a week where I feel blighted by travelling many miles. I […]

Cheltenham November – not Open – Meeting Day 2

I was pulled up by a Cheltenham Grandee today when I exclaimed how much I was looking forward to the first day of The Open. Gently chided, I was reminded this is now called The November meeting – because it is in November and is no longer Open. This sort of rebranding happens all the […]

The Handmaid’s tipping sheet

I arrive, as ever, late to the party and so am finally able to say “Lumme. That Margaret Attwood and her Handmaid’s Tale. Bleak? … I should cocoa.” I have no idea why, but it passed us by, and it was only a comment along the lines of, “Crikey, who knew they’d get five seasons […]

A new exciting national PM Hunt season gets under way

We live in a world where it is increasingly difficult not to have some major cause for unsettling angst. Penury, hypothermia, dehydration, pandemic, nuclear war, infrastructure collapse, Starmer, Truss, SNP and Dementia… and that was just this morning’s list. The latter came into sharp focus this AM when I reached for the mouthwash and placed […]

So farewell Cheltenham…

Just one more day of potentially impactful racing at the home of NH racing, for which I have just two tips. The purists amongst you will point out the May Hunters meeting, but in reality, that is a posh Point to Point, but with more expensive drink. I used to go to that meeting primarily […]

Welcome to The Twilight Zone

I have this vision of hundreds of people around the country, wandering around in their Jim Jams and dressing gowns, shuffling from fridge to kettle to cornflakes to toaster waffles while they try to transition – is that still a normal word, or has it been stolen by the thought police – between jumps and […]

The Last Post of Cheltenham

There was a moment on Thursday when the Kneesup world took a definitive turn for the worse. Not the excessive prices that Cheltenham has been charging for a Pint of Guinness, nor the ludicrous absence of mobile signal in the 21st century; nor the woeful and controlled wifi signal that allows you to only bet […]

Cheltenham Thursday St Patrick’s Day

I have just read some unutterable drivel that suggests that the Turners Novice Chase, while not totally brilliant with only the four horses competing in a championship race, is somehow still great, (and thus excusable), because we will actually get a great match race between Bob Olinger and Galopin Des Champs, and neither will be […]

Cheltenham Ladies Day – Wednesday

A very jolly lunch with racing and pointing folk. Our host has of late become increasingly deaf, and lives in a world where TVs are best full-on  – and the resulting output then passed through an amplifier. Various grooms, vets, farriers, a dog-walker and assorted others drifted in and out to watch the racing on […]

Cheltenham Day 1

No time for chit chat. I’m building a website for a charity; I’ve got an environmental campaign to put together; I’ve just come back from seeing my furrowed eye-brow consultant and I’m not sure where The Cheltenham tweeds are. All this before 7.00 pm when I’m off for road-kill with his Lordship. So onto the […]

Feast or Famine? It’s not just at Cheltenham.

I wondered this week, at what point the Labour front-bench might overcome their oft-absent scruples and walk out of the chamber en masse in order to join the International Brigade. They might not have been alone. The demeanour of Ben Wallace, (whose preemptive “Here, Let Me Help You” strike on Priti Patel will have weakened […]

There are moments when tis wise to stay shtum

I don’t know about you gentle readers, but about every six weeks, the old fleas start to scratch and you know it’s time for the barber. In my case, the barber is a raven-haired and good-looking woman, who has an Arthurian name and she has cared for my hair, for at least the last five […]

They’re Off!

What Ho and a “Crikey” and a “View Halloa” as the National Hunt season breaks cover for the first time this year. Of course, I know the season doesn’t ever actually end, but the first meeting at Cheltenham always seems to mark the potential dawn of a new epoch. Every owner has potentially got a […]

At Last – Some Irish Craic

I am aware that many of the Trends in this section are negative, but I hope will allow the reader to avoid backing horses that probably won’t win unless The Baby Jesus gets involved. This stat however has a solid base and forms a good platform for further investigation. It has produced a profit on […]

Of Course you can – but not that Course and not here

This trend continues the theme of horses that are unlikely to win, based on their last race. In this case, they have had the misfortune of being unable or unwilling to have their final Cheltenham prep race other than at these tracks. Personally I think some of these tracks are delightful, but for whatever reason, […]

Stick to what you know.

As you might expect, when you’re digging in dark statistical corners, you occasionally unearth a shard of old pottery which makes you understand that the Trojans had possibly invented Toblerone. Thus it was that I uncovered this small gem, that suggests that Handicap Hurdlers do what they do best before the Festival, which is race […]

Give it a rest

As with so many of us, there are a finite number of miles on the clock and even the most elite of elite athletes will tell you, that they all have moments when a twinge or a creak tells them that moment has come. Is it the same with horses at the top end of […]

Show some form

FACT: Since 2003, there have been 92 Grade 1 Festival Races. 76 of those races were contested by horses that had completed their races but had NOT been first or second in BOTH their last two races. Recent horses that failed, included MIGHT BITE, PRESENTING PERCY, TORNADO FLYER, MENGLI KHAN, VOIX DU REVE and POLITOLOGUE […]

Older yes, Wiser perhaps, Winners hmmm

FACT: There have been 389 Class 1 races at the Festival, (Grade 1,2,3 and Listed) since 2003. 124 of those races have had 230 horses aged 11 and older compete in them and only 3 have won and 26 have been placed. The A/E is 0.29 and with a win percentage of only 1.3%, you’d […]

This week I ‘ave been mostly studying blockchains

Much like the Fast Show’s Jesse, he of the notorious diets and wardrobe of filthy muck-spreading clothes,  I feel mentally dishevelled – and I blame it all on Bitcoin. Thanks to Elon’s actions this week, I realised that my knowledge was thin, that time had moved on and that I had better refresh the little […]

Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

RACE TRENDS: The following profile would have found the last 10 winners and 14 of the possible 23 winners since 1998. Since that date, there have been 67 horses meeting the profile competing in 22 races and producing 14 winners and 17 places for a winning profit of £58.50 and e/w profit of £69.75. The […]

Oh, to be at Chelty now that winter’s here

The week has not gone quite as well as one could hope. Nil By Mouth on Day 1, followed on Day 2 by one of those unmentionable medical procedures involving cameras and a sizeable film crew; a huge dose of some stupefying drug to relax Kneesup; Day 3 recovery and then some mentoring yesterday which […]

Sloshing around at Cheltenham for the final day of The Open

It is one thing to call the weather spot on, but jeepers the TV pictures by the time 4:00 pm arrived were enough to make me reach for a plate of toasted crumpets and a pot of the Earl Grey. It looked thoroughly miserable, but as Nanny used to irritatingly say; “There is no such […]

Cheltenham Day 2 – All the tips for here and ITV Racing

Yesterday was close, but no coconuts, although there was a huge amount of cheering here at the Chateau D’If for Beau de Brizais, who opened at 40s, behaved exactly as predicted and halved in price. I regret not suggesting the forecast, but then [a] I would have been a genius and [b] I couldn’t have […]

I shall miss Tim and all our chums at Cheltenham

The week started badly with news that Tim Hales had died. He was the father of one of my “fingers-of-one-hand” best friends, and probably one the smoothest men I ever knew. He was tall, thin, elegant, handsome immaculate, loved racing and women and his own company. Many hearts were set racing when mesdames would arrive […]

Cheltenham Day 2 and the last gasps of the Flat

A dreadful start to the new season yesterday, and my fingers are crossed that I’ll get my “jumping eye” in soon. I have spent a large chunk of the day, trying to get a chum to complete a task she agreed to undertake. Nada. Zip. Nothing. Why do people take on so much that they […]

Cheltenham – The first day of the new season

A great chum called me this week to tell me the exciting, indeed brilliant news, that he had had a 40/1 winner in Ireland. He further explained that no, the trainer hadn’t told him it was on; that no, he hadn’t backed it; that, yes, his fellow owner in this (beautifully-bred) nag had also had […]

Cheltenham Day 4 – Staying alive, staying alive

It’s getting increasingly difficult to tell between exhaustion, alcohol poisoning, and some ghastly virus passed on by an itinerant back-slapping, celebrating Irishman. I was, on Thursday, surrounded, (trapped would be a better word), in just a situation. Sat in the confines of The Cheltenham Automobile Society’s on-course HQ, one chap had bought a “lucky dip” […]

CHELTENHAM 2020 DAY FOUR – Quick and Dirty from The Pharoah of Galway


DAY 3 CHELTENHAM. Nearly out of hand-wash……

Exhausted. Surely this punishment can’t go on. Together with some 50,000 of my closest friends, I have chosen to self-isolate this week in a marquee or two at Cheltenham, where I am drip-fed Guinness, white and red wines of varying qualities and have to eat food to which only a very grumpy gourmet might turn […]


Well, a tough first day, where we really can’t make any excuses. The Pharoah of Galway suggested decent performances from  KILDISART – HONEYSUCKLE – IMPERIAL AURA – RAVENHILL and Capt. Kneesup had a few places. I hope you made some sense of it all. As for today’s selections, like a bunch of Cistercian monks, whose […]

Cheltenham 2020. Surely we’re sunk if the future is cinq.

Over the last 96 hours, I have sacrificed the remaining parts of my working anatomy to your collective cause. I have dined with Nicky Henderson and Nick Luck; I have sat with Haggas, Jarvis, Beckett and Balding and then remembered they weren’t a firm of National Hunt solicitors. I have drunk a huge amount of […]

Coronavirus, Corvid19, and Saturday’s TV Racing – All you need to know.

The most novel thing about COVID-19, is the extraordinary speed with which the brutish symptoms of the associated #MEFIRST culture have spread. Aided by 4G, 5G and WiFi, people everywhere have been able to tell us every moment of their illness. Unless you’re in China. Apps tell you when you’re nearing an infected address in […]

Festival Trials day and all Saturday’s TV races

I suppose as race titles go, the 1:50 isn’t at all bad, given that it tells us exactly how much time we have to wait for The Festival. However. it doesn’t tell us how much time until the announcement by Martin St Quinton, Cheltenham Chair, regarding the introduction of a five day Festival. So, as all […]

The weekend rolls on

I’m quite relieved to be socially unattached today. My TV and a roaring planet-destroyer are calling with Racing, EuroFooty, Grand Prix and maybe even a bit of left-over take-away Chinese washed down with beer and no glass … a real boys-at-home “Slack Order” day. Yesterday could have worked out better on the tipping front – […]

A Soggy Saturday

I had every intention of providing the tips for TV racing today when I started. Then I noticed two races from Lingfield snuggled among the races, with titles that were so obscure as to make the race name redundant. Perhaps it is desperately important to remind people that this is Polytrack as opposed to Tapeta […]

Saturday Revisions over Eggs, Bacon…

What a truly cracking start to a miserable day! However, with the TV schedule amended and the going deepening, I have reviewed the situation, as Fagin sang and I have now reviewed and added Kelso. Plenty of non-runners and going changes which are at 12:00 Cheltenham: Going Soft probably changing to Heavy in the late […]


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