Recent Headline Results:
MARBLE SANDS won at 7/1... MADARA won at 4/1... JEROBOAM MACHIN won at 12/1... CORRIGEEN ROCK Won at 11/2... WYNDHAM CLARK (PGA Golf) Won at 80/1
2nd March 2024 7:31 am

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

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 […]

Warning: Some of this content may trigger anxiety, panic attacks or boredom

Issues such as a sense of entitlement, lack of charm or people skills, and the realities of living in a world where people do not always like each other, are some of the things that might be covered in these notes. Other phrases to cause distress might include Bad Luck (despite the jockey dropping his […]

The 2023 Crackers Report – and ITV Racing tips

If you can, spend a few moments on YouTube or Racing TV catching up on the two Irish Christmas racing festivals – especially Leopardstown. Jeepers, they have some excellent animals. Alternatively, look up the last races of these runners who make up my go-to list for winners next March. They all ran and won over […]

Call me old-fashioned – in the eighties sense

I bought a record today. It is Fairytale of New York and it is one of my favourite Christmas songs. I did it because there is a growing underground movement driven by the now-aged and ultimately doomed rebels among us to make it Christmas Number One. Part of my admiration is that, despite his boozing […]

A reader writes, (and this might stop that happening in the future)

Three emails this week from readers. There were others of course, but in the main, I try not to buy Lobsters over the Interweb and I am no longer concerned at the chemical engorgement of my nethers. The first wanted to know how successful I was in my tipping. I hate letters like that. There […]

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 […]

It’s a Group 1 Weekend, and Arc, and Ryder, and rugger and, and… !

It is the end of a truly miserable week, which, after much aggravation, has been almost resolved. Quite apart from flu and COVID jabs, and a trip to Coventry to see the dentist and to have my fear of needles, dentists and girls putting their hand in my mouth tested to the max, I seem […]

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. […]

Doctors and Dogs all survive the Diary clash.

The online diary is awash with appointments, reminders, and “Possibles” and great care has to be taken in their acceptance and insertions, as The Hon’s ability to deliver me from A to B runs the risk of being severely impaired. That sounds grand and truly isn’t meant to; the reality is that I only have […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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, […]

Maintain justice, for it will not maintain us.

What a joy – sunny weather, the start of the Ashes series and a solid start to The US Open. Sitting outside, listening to TMS, a glass of recovery juice in my hand after a brace of croissants and some coffee. Not a hint of breeze to move my papers around on the table as […]

A sunny weekend – with a chance of drowning!

You might recall last weekend we had The Derby and later… The Dash. You might further recall we had put up a short list of four for the race; namely ANCIENT TIMES – VINTAGE CLARETS – RECON MISSION – SILKY WILKIE. I was pleased that one of them, Silky Wilkie, was in a bobbing head […]

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 […]

There was nothing second-hand about Tina’s emotion

This week’s attrition rate for decent and talented people has been high. Tina Turner, Martin Amis, Paul Cattermole, Sheldon Reynolds, Chas Newby, Ray Stevenson and Jeremy Clarke have all, almost simultaneously, decided to up sticks and go and perform their craft to God or the void. In the same time frame and as these waves […]

Don’t take your Cocker out at Newbury

So modern am I that I have my newspapers delivered to my electronic tablet. The tablet allows me to simultaneously play Radio 4, catch up with the latest emails telling me that Mrs Ojukwe Djlabba has left me $4m in Nigerian government bonds and signal when the next colour sample or delivery of tiny pots […]

The last day of a pretty decent jumps season

I don’t think anyone can argue that the jumps season, which closes today, has been at the very least interesting. It was a game of three halves as David Coleman might have said, Political, Sporting Horses and Tales of Racing People. We had endless chatter focussed on the race programme and the abysmal entry levels; […]

Irish Grand National and a sunny Bank Holiday

BHA CEO Julie Harrington has issued her Easter statement to tell the faithful that efforts to progress the industry strategy were entering “an important and exciting phase“. However, according to Musselburgh’s boss, Bill Farnsworth, her statement masks a strategy devised with the bookmakers to declutter Saturday afternoons to better promote the premier fixtures  – a […]

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 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 […]

In the eye of the storm before the deluge.

We’re in the eye of Storm Dressdown, the calm epicentre of the surrounding torrent of hot-air and clashing reputations, where we have most of the Cheltenham decs; where we also have a decent idea of what the Festival ground will be (Soft, as I suggested earlier this week) and some small inkling of where our […]

You only get some bums visit once a year

A tiring but jolly and good Friday in town, where I attend the AGM and annual lunch of The Turf Automobile Society. This august body was only established recently and is closely involved with defining the correct procedures for advancing transport systems and vehicle management for those uninclined or prevented from motoring to or from […]

A snapshot of our times

What an exhausting week. By way of example and mindful as ever of this Government’s leadership of the nation, I spent yesterday trying to find some Turnips in line with Ms Coffey’s exhortation to embrace the root vegetable. We don’t have many shops besides the Coop and a very nice Butcher in Lambourn. Neither had […]

Don’t let The Gambling Commission ruin your Cheltenham

Another shock retirement this week, with news that Tom Scudamore has called it a day after 25 years in the saddle and has yet to turn 41. Concussion a couple of weeks ago and a realisation that all top athletic professionals (and even the occasional fading boulevardier) neither heal quickly nor creak less with time. […]

Welcome back to Johnny Rotten and a farewell to Hanmer

Sometime in late 1977, I ran a gaff in Camden Lock called Madisons, which ran the full length of the first floor of the Camden Lock courtyard, directly opposite Dingwalls and Le Routier. I converted the old Lock, Stock and Barrell and former barge horse stables into a strange representation of a truck-stop café or […]

Cunning plans heaped upon cunning plans.

The torrid arguments about the future of racing continued apace this week. Various pointless assurances about its future have been uttered, and all of them bear an uncanny resemblance to my promising to raise funds for Widows and Orphans by swimming the Atlantic. It might happen – but it is unlikely. We have also had […]

Off to Longchamp via Warmington-on-Sea

As the weekend looms, it’s difficult to know how to divide one’s time. The TV alone will be providing: The Singapore Grand Prix (Sunday 1:00 pm), Saturday and Sunday at Longchamp, the decider in Pakistan between them and us in the T20 (Sunday after the Arc), all the racing as shown below, and finally the […]

Like Meghan, I am blessed

As the world descends into chaos and the End of Days announces itself with a viral outbreak “of concern” in the Argentine, my week finishes with visits to plumbing centres, tile shops and a search online for Oxygen suppliers to help me get me over the onset of the vapours caused by the additional building […]

The circus comes to town.

This week’s diary found me pinning a badge saying “I like Milk from Cows” on a small Ukrainian child. As you might imagine, my historical engagement with young children has been plagued by the conflict between my upbringing and the modern social mores. Young Vlad’s rudimentary English and his impeccable good manners prevented him from […]

York Day Three

A day full of mixed emotions. The exam results bode well for young Theocrates with two A* and an A. Does this get him into the Maths department of his Uni of choice? Of course not – he is white and middle class and the place must go to someone with lesser grades who has […]

And so it begins….

There is a lot of pressure this week as we prepare for the builders to arrive and we also move into temporary offices. The Wifi needs some resolution (as in trying to download a photograph in under 30 minutes), but before then, we have to go to Goodwood. I use the phrase “have to” in […]

Newmarket July Festival Day 3

A dreadful day at Newmarket for readers of this column where we lost two selections in a horrific on-track accident. Both TRIBAL ART and SUMMER’S KNIGHT suffered terminal injuries in the Bet365 Trophy handicap. I won’t say any more, but I was already shouting at the screen before the accident, at the amount of scrimmaging […]

Stand by to fend off all boarders: July Festival Day 2

The Hon. is diseased and I have run out the Yellow Jack to warn the bumboats, tinkers and itinerant matchstick sellers to stay away. I have had to move a number of appointments, and cancel a Sunday lunch that would have had a range of very splendid wines served alongside delicious food. I have changed […]

Too Hot for fun

Apart from drinking tea, when the temperature heads this far north, we deploy the electric fan, my last punkah wallah having disappeared back to Wolverhampton to join a train strike. With the tea and the fan, I recommend a trawl through any collection of Rudyard Kipling’s poems, which will remind you instantly of the miserable […]

I might have taken too many steps – Ascot Day 3

A CORRECTION: The Cousin of Capt Smyly isn’t. She’s his Niece! Nice. He’ll be able to invite her to The Derby Dinner. I must admit I did think she looked more like young Beaujolais and less vintage Claret. The Hon. took me around the No 1 car park yesterday, on what she described as a […]

Smiles for Day 1 and onto Royal Ascot Day 2

What a marvellous day. I spent the morning in the company of one of the best jockeys of the last quarter of the 20th century John  Reid, and his brother Noel, having breakfast and chatting about the day’s racing and various mutual chums in the Vale of the White Horse. Then running slightly late, onto […]

Bad Manners, The US Open and Royal Ascot Day 1.

In the midst of all the Ascot preparations, the thinking, the calculations, the decisiveness and confidence, sadly coupled with the loss of all value perceptions and risk management, I managed to scramble home from The Derby crash, by dint of good fortune and the bond of friendship.  I cannot recall a more topsy-turvy year when […]

The 243rd Derby Day

I have captured a photograph of the great tipster Prince Monolulu who would stand on the Downs by the rails and shout to the crowd “I Gotta Horse” as he sold his tips. In the world of Low Life, it is almost impossible not to find the steps of Jeffrey wondering through and indeed Graham […]

The Derby Meeting – Oaks Friday

Overarching all that we do in these brief few days, the aura of Her Majesty’s presence shines out. From the top of White Horse Hill, the Defence College Military Wives Choir sang The National anthem as the beacons sprang into fiery life across the Vale and The Downs, as far as the eye can see. […]

The FA Cup, Golf and The Lockinge

They’re racing early tomorrow because of the FA Cup. For some reason, I had it in my head that the Cup was next weekend and that this weekend we had The French Grand Prix. I spent 20 minutes proving to myself that The French GP is in fact the Spanish and that it is happening […]

The Dante Meeting Day 1

It wasn’t a bad weekend for results, which started to bring us back towards the sunny uplands, and away from the Slough of Despond. We had four winners on Saturday at 7/1, 15/2, 9/4 and 5/4. We had Max Verstappen win at Miami; entirely and as predicted because of Red Bull’s power rather than Ferrari’s […]

Punchestown Day 3

Unlike other racing columns, this one is totally transparent in keeping its readers abreast of its own follies. Yesterday, and not to put too fine a point on it, finding winners was easy peasy if you simply stuck to Mullins and ignored most previous form. We had one winner in the outstanding Facile Vega and […]

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