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27th May 2024 4:30 am

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

York Dante Meeting Day 2

I thought the day would go swimmingly well—we were spot on in the first and somewhat foolishly swerved the opportunity to call the 32/1 forecast. But from then on, we might as well have been talking gobbledygook. Somewhere in the middle of it all, the Slovakian PM was shot. I kept half-an-eye on that and […]

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, […]

Farewell Gentle Coz.

It’s been a lousy week, made far worse today by the unexpected news that the 80-year-old widow of my late Coz was tragically killed yesterday in a freak accident in a pub car park. Do not smile… such things can happen to the Kneesup clan when they least expect it. I had known her since […]

Content to be thought foolish and stupid.

I seem to spend more and more time confusing April Fools’ Day with the rest of the month and year. I must believe that some 30% of all the stories I read are fake. For example, surely this selection of today’s headlines, none of which I have gone to any lengths to find, cannot all […]

Saturday – a time for quiet reflection

As we seem to be surrounded by retired football managers all screaming, “Gitonmason” (I’m interpreting the accent), I too want to give a loud “Oooochaarrr” for the wisely invested  Kneesup hours, which led to today’s results showing a 90.17pt profit. Over the four days, we recommended bets totalling 147.5 points, which delivered an ROI of […]

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 […]

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 […]

Back, Back and Baccy

Somewhere between Lambourn and Aphrodite’s alleged watering hole, both The Hon and I did our backs in, and so it’s off to the back-cracker for some remedial work at £8m a pop. What a business to be in. You’re never healed and once the hands have provided some relief you’re back again and again. At […]

The Ayr Gold Cup, The Mill Reef, and a missing caravan

It was a cracking week with Sunday drinks in Lambourn, a London racing lunch, surrounded by old chums who were served the most outstanding roast beef I have eaten for the past five decades; and topped with a backgammon dinner at The Hon’s Club, this time with delicious pork chop the size of a tomahawk […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 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 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! […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

GOOD FRIDAY – JOLLY SATURDAY – HAPPY EASTER

If you’re doing nothing and the weather looks pleasant, and you’ve never seen Tony McCoy up close, or Francesca Cumani, or Mick Fitzgerald or any one of hundreds of famous racing faces, then leap in the car and pole over to the Lambourn Open Day. Francesca to be fair might not be there, but there’s […]

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 […]

Saturday’s TV tips – as if you hadn’t had enough of my profit -bearing fruit!!

Sometimes it’s best to let the facts speak for themselves. Over the Cheltenham Festival, Raceweb recommended 66 bets across various betting types, e.g. from Win and Each Way to Combination Forecasts, Tricasts and Dutching. We lost money on Tuesday and Wednesday, did moderately well on Thursday and made a huge profit on Friday. Our suggestions […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Just another brick in the wall

RIP Kit Hesketh-Harvey, an amusing, talented and thoughtful man. Thank heavens that the Welsh Woke Police have got hold of the Delilah issue and rapped it firmly on the head. Thanks to them, we can rest assured that no one will ever sing that song again – live on TV. However in the Six Nations […]

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 […]

Haydock off – An amended view

Saturday morning 10:00am: Andy Murray is giving it some welly on Eurosport and being hugely supported. I am totally bamboozled by how he’s doing it with a metal hip and following the longest grand slam match in history. Is every sporting organisation in the world simply not thinking things through? Why play a match at […]

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 […]

Going Cuckoo in Purdah

The trouble with managing this lurgi is the absence of the guiding bark. The Hon is absent having gone to London and then Liverpool for three days, leaving me to my own devices. I had the wit to ensure a sufficiency of life-saving consumables; mince pies, Snorkers, frozen chips, Muffins (of the sort that a […]

A billion races, less runners, but it pales beside the multiverse

Between last night and this, I ran into the work of Albanian-born cosmologist Laura Mersini-Houghton, who has a fascinating profile piece in The New Scientist this week and who has received wide coverage for her theories surrounding the existence of a multiverse formed at the time of Big Bang. In essence, she has postulated that […]

Another memory for the filing drawer marked “Ultra”

No word, for me, can conjure the beauty of youth, the imperiousness of real skill comfortably worn, the vast grandeur of imagination, quite like hearing ” ‘Orance”. I hear that, and I can see O’Toole, camel mounted, singing in the Jordanian valley “The Man Who Broke The Bank at Monte Carlo” and the echoes coming […]

Football not the same as Veganism… who knew?

As you might imagine, I was shocked by the Employment Tribunal judgement delivered in McClung v Doosan Babcock Ltd. Caramba, I hear you cry. Not the Unfair dismissal claim by a Rangers supporter who wasn’t given time off by his Celtic-supporting line manager? The very same, says I. Mr Eddie McClung was employed by Doosan […]

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 […]

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