We take a look at some of the top racing stories of the day in our new feature and provide our experts’ racing selections on Thursday, March 2, 2017.


Trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies has doubts that son Willy will be able to gain the required number of chase wins by April 6 to ride Blaklion (right) in the Grand National. Willy, who has spent the last five years concentrating on the Flat, has 12 career wins over jumps. His father said: “Willy still needs thee winners over fences. It might quite hard work. I have not got that many young chasers coming up and most of them have gone up the handicap. It is more difficult to find winners at this time of year.”
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-4271910/Nigel-Twiston-Davies-doubts-son-s-Blaklion-National-ride.html

Michael O’Leary has removed Don Poli, Empire Of Dirt and Outlander from the Grand National, as he said he would, following his displeasure at the weights meted out by official BHA handicapper Phil Smith. Champagne West, Dromnea and Otago Trail have also been scratched, along with several other Gigginstown runners including Clarcam, Tiger Roll and A Toi Phil. A total of 95 entries remain with the weights now headed by Carlingford Lough.
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2983756/2017-grand-national-field-cut-to-95-entries-as-don-poli-outlander-empire-of-dirt-were-among-the-horses-taken-out-at-the-latest-scratchings-deadlines/

cheltenhamBHA senior handicapper Phil Smith his back at critics after unveiling the weights for the 10 handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival, insisting “there is no semblance of any anti-Irish bias”. In statement he said the BHA’s handicapping approach with Irish horses has provided “greater equality and fairness” after years of what he felt was a “disproportionately high success rate of Irish runners in British handicaps” – most significantly at the Cheltenham Festival.
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49463/phil-smith-insists-no-anti-irish-bias-in-handicap-ratings

Alan King is in the dark over who will ride JP McManus-owned stable star Yanworth in the Champion Hurdle. The Kingwell Hurdle winner is as short as 10/3 for the 2m feature on March 14, but regular pilot Barry Geraghty is nursing six broken ribs and will miss the Cheltenham Festival. King said: “I don’t know who is going to ride him and we need to speak at the weekend, as we do need to find out. Obviously I would like them to come and have a sit on him. No one has ridden him over a hurdle bar Barry Geraghty, so whoever rides him we want to come and school him and possibly ride a bit of work.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49471/alan-king-eager-to-pencil-in-champion-hurdle-jockey-for-yanworth

Nicky HendersonWith Barry Geraghty ruled out through injury, Noel Fehily is likely to come in for the plum Champion Hurdle ride on the JP McManus-owned Buveur D’Air, who made a successful transition back to hurdles in a Listed event at Sandown. Trainer Nicky Henderson (right) said: “I suspect he will. I saw JP on Monday and I don’t think anybody has really discussed it as there are so many horses involved in the conundrum.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49471/alan-king-eager-to-pencil-in-champion-hurdle-jockey-for-yanworth

Cheltenham Festival - St Patrick's Day

Though unseating Mark Walsh at the last in the Irish Gold Cup, former Stayers’ Hurdle winner More Of That (right) has trainer Jonjo O’Neill growing in confidence ahead of his Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup run. “We never saw a spark this season until his last run in the Irish Gold Cup,” said O’Neill. “He’d have to be at his best, of course, but the race is open and he loves the track.” More Of That is currently 16/1 (from 20/1) with Bet4Causes.
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/racing/2017/03/01/jonjo-oneill-expecting-go-close-gold-cup/

A federal judge has rejected leading Irish horseracing owner JP McManus’s bid to recover the $5.22m he claimed the US government withheld as tax from a backgammon win. McManus claimed that paying a relatively small “domicile levy” in Ireland should leave him exempt from tax taken by authorities, but judge Nancy Firestone denied his request to order the IRS to hand over the money.
Source: http://calvinayre.com/2017/03/01/business/jp-mcmanus-loses-battle-to-claim-5-2m-tax-refund-from-us/

Despite falling at Kempton on Saturday, Nicky Henderson says he intends to run Charli Parcs in the JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, rather than the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. “I think we were always leaning towards the Triumph and that’s still the case. If he’s in good form, I think he will come here. Divin Bere could also end up going in the same race. We’ll have to see how the weights work out for the Fred Winter.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/March/01/triumph-hurdle-on-the-agenda-for-charli-parcs-after-pleasing-home-spin

Thistlecrack’s younger half-brother West Approach is likely to run in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle rather than taking on his elders in the Sun Bets Stayers’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Trainer Colin Tizzard’s son and assistant Joe said: “We purposely protected his novice status last year and however brave John and Heather Snook (owners) are, throwing a novice in the deep end is tough. I think with this one he has one chance as a novice and he has got a great chance in the Albert Bartlett.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/March/01/west-approach-likely-to-stick-to-novice-company-at-cheltenham

Willie Mullins 1

Willie Mullins (right) has won the Cheltenham Champion Bumper nine times and feels Carter McKay could be his brightest chance of landing the March 15 finale again. His is one of five Mullins entries of the 36 remaining and the trainer said: “Carter McKay could look the one on his form of the last day. He’d been doing nice work at home before Naas and his performance was better than I hoped, but you don’t go expecting performances like that. That performance would compare to anything. A horse that can win around Naas doing that is a fair machine.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49465/exciting-carter-mckay-leads-champion-bumper-squad-for-willie-mullins

An experiment to monitor the heart rates of some leading figures at the Cheltenham Festival has been organised. Commentator Richard Hoiles, ITV colleague Ed Chamberlin, trainer Ben Pauling and broadcaster Rupert Bell will be tested. Hoiles said: “I would be interested in the results as I did think I was relatively laid-back, but then someone posted a video of me commentating next to John Hunt during the Champion Stakes – I was shocked by just how animated I was getting!”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/pauling-in-the-spotlight-as-high-bridge-aims-to-be-supreme-player/276523

Brian Proctor, former jockey and work-rider for trainer Dick Hern, has died at the age of 75. Legendary jockey Willie Carson said: “He was Dick Hern’s right-hand man and I had some good times with him. He was involved with everything that happened at West Ilsley. If there was a problem Dick and Brian sorted it out. Nothing fazed him, he knew what to do with horses. He was a great man to have in the yard and a great man to deal with a difficult horse.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/news/herns-right-hand-man-spent-half-a-century-working-with-the-stars/276646

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Thursday, March 2, 2017

TAUNTON: 2.00 Ice Konig, 2.30  Saint Breiz, 3.00 Spiritofthegames, 3.35 Sir Ivan, 4.10 The Unit, 4.45 Jonagold, 5.15 Lost In Lecce

NEWCASTLE: 2.10 Free Code, 2.40 Stoneham, 3.10 Be Perfect, 3.45 Magistral, 4.20 Ms Gillard, 4.55 Bargain Buy, 5.25 Aprovado

LUDLOW: 2.20 MANSION (NAP), 2.50 Some Are Lucky, 3.25 Mixchivous (nb), 4.00 Dusky Lark, 4.35 Miss Spent, 5.05 Invisible Man, 5.35 Centurious

CHELMSFORD CITY: 5.20 Justice Rock, 5.55 National Service, 6.25 Atalante, 6.55 Clement, 7.25 Winning Story, 7.55 Kenstone, 8.25 No Not Again, 8.55 Par Three

Wednesday’s NAP was a winner!

Bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood and World Horse Welfare.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk


We take a look at some of the top racing stories of the day in our new feature and provide our experts’ racing selections on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

Kempton Races

Champion jockey Jim Crowley (right) may have a new retained role with Sheikh Hamdan al Maktoum, but insists “I don’t want anyone thinking I won’t be going for the title again”.
Former jump jockey Crowley won his first Flat title after a titanic battle with Silvestre De Sousa last year and the former champ gained his first winner with his first ride at Lingfield yesterday. Crowley said: “If I am still in with a shot when Glorious Goodwood comes round, I am definitely going to give it a go. I don’t want people to think I won’t be going for the title again. You simply can’t have that attitude.”
Source: Press Association

Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle favourite Death Duty has been tabbed by trainer Gordon Elliott as his top gun for the Cheltenham Festival. Unbeaten over hurdles, he will spearhead a strong challenge on March 17, with Lexus Chase winner Outlander and Don Poli both heading to the Timico Gold Cup. Speaking at yesterday’s media day Elliott said: “We’ll have several horses travelling over with decent chances but there’s no getting away from it – Death Duty appears to be our big hope. He’s a very good horse and I’d say the best novice hurdler we’ve had.” Death Duty is currently Bet4Causes’ 11/4 favourite for the 3m event.
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/cheltenham-festival/albert-bartlett-favourite-death-duty-leads-charge-for-rampant-yard/276604


Gordon Elliott (right) will send a team of “about 30 horses across” to the Cheltenham Festival in two weeks’ time. While Don Cossack’s Timico Gold Cup victory was the highlight of three winners at the Festival last season, his star has subsequently been retired through injury. Elliott admitted: “On numbers I’d say we have a lot more fancied ones this year, but we had three winners last year and it will be hard to beat that.”
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-4269496/Gordon-Elliott-send-30-horses-Cheltenham.html

Tombstone will have to come through a satisfactory piece of work at the weekend to book his place in the  Champion Hurdle. Trained by Gordon Elliott, the recent conqueror of former 2m king Jezki needs to be supplemented for the March 14 feature. Elliott said: “If everything goes all right and he works all right at the weekend, the plan is we’ll probably run him in the Champion Hurdle. It’s a very good race, but it’s probably an open enough race. We’ve never had a runner in the Champion Hurdle, so I don’t know what it takes to win one, but why not have a go?”
Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/racing/article-4269496/Gordon-Elliott-send-30-horses-Cheltenham.html

Mutakayyef, who missed the  Winter Derby at Lingfield with a foot abscess, is still on course for the Dubai Turf. Trainer William Haggas said: “His foot is fine, it was just very unfortunate timing. He’ll be back ridden tomorrow and there’s no question of it ruling him out of Dubai. We’ll take him away for a gallop somewhere first, that will put him right.”
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2976927/william-haggas-confirms-mutakayyef-still-on-dubai-mission-despite-lingfield-setback/


Colin Tizzard has ruled King George VI Chase hero Thistlecrack out until Christmas following a second scan on his torn tendon. “Thistlecrack’s second scan came back exactly the same as the first, as we expected it would,” said Tizzard. “As communicated previously, Thistlecrack will not run again this season and all being well we’d expect him to be back at Christmas.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/February/28/colin-tizzard-confirms-thistlecrack-expected-to-be-back-for-christmas

Camping Ground is set to miss the Cheltenham Festival in favour of the Aintree Hurdle, following his demolition job in the National Spirit Hurdle at Fontwell. Trainer Gary Moore said: “It was nice for the horse, he did it well and has come out of it pretty good. We just need to work out where to go with him now. I think two miles is too sharp and three miles is too far, so we need to go somewhere in between and we’re better off waiting for Liverpool.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/February/28/gary-moore-eager-to-pitch-camping-ground-into-aintree-hurdle

The new 2kg (4.4lb) allowance for female jockeys in France starts today at Deauville. Apprentice Alison Massin has seven booked rides. In all, 13 of the 96 runners at Deauville will be ridden by women. France Galop vice president Jean-Pierre Colombu said he was surprised by the level of controversy the new measure has caused. “Debate is always a good thing and perhaps we will be proved wrong, although I don’t think so,” said Colombu. “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”
Source: https://beta.racingpost.com/news/international/new-era-starts-at-deauville-as-2kg-allowance-for-women-kicks-in/276559

Racing will be broadcast on ITV1 on Saturday for the first time since its launch on New Year’s Day. Seven races will be broadcast from Newbury and Doncaster. “It was just an opportunity that came up enabling us to do it, so that’s good. We’ve now got 42 days on the main channel,” said Grant Cunningham, ITV’s head of publicity, factual and sport.
Source: https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/horseracing/2975217/terrestrial-coverage-boost-for-horse-racing-as-itv-increases-itv1-racedays-to-42/

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Tuesday, February 28, 2017

MUSSELBURGH: 2.00 Major Ridge, 2.30 Dear Sire, 3.00 Improved, 3.30 Pekanheim, 4.00 Superior Command, 4.30 Darwins Fox, 5.00 Miss Barbossa

WINCANTON: 2.10 Fountains Windfall, 2.40 Driftwood Haze, 3.10 Orbasa, 3.40 Apple’s Queen, 4.10 Ruby Russet, 4.40 Chivers

FFOS LAS: 2.20 Bob Mahler, 2.50 DUELING BANJOS (NAP), 3.20 Fille Des Champs, 3.50 Alf  ’N’ Dor, 4.20 Batavir, 4.50 Well Smitten

NEWCASTLE: 5.30 Out Of Order, 6.00 Foie Gras, 6.30 Sandstream, 7.00 Spititofhayton (nb), 7.30 Art Obsession, 8.00 Fiery Spice

Bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood and World Horse Welfare.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk



We take a look at some of the top racing stories of the day in our new feature and provide our experts’ racing selections on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.


Outlander (above) has been handed top weight for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree. The Gordon Elliott-trained winner of the Lexus Chase at Leopardstown, was allotted 11st 10lb for the April 8 marathon during a ceremony at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London last night. Elliott, who won the race with Silver Birch 10 years ago, has 14 entries in total and three of the top four, with Empire Of Dirt and Don Poli on 11st 8lb and 11st 7lb respectively. Champagne West, impressive winner of the Thyestes Chase last time, has been allotted 11st 9lb and Carlingford Lough is on 11st 6lb in an all-Irish domination of the first five slots.
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/racing/0/grand-national-2017-runners/

The Randox Health Grand National will boast the highest-rated field in its history. Handicapper Phil Smith said: “The percentage of horses rated over 135 entered in 2017 is 88%, which is the highest ever. The previous highest percentage of horses in this category was 85%. Significantly, the number of horses rated above 150 stands at a record level, with 34 horses falling into that category. If you go back a decade to 2007, there were only half that number (17) having a rating of 150 or higher at the time the weights were unveiled.”
Source: http://www.racingpost.com/news/live.sd?event_id=23914424&category=0

Brian Ellison says Definitely Red “looks to have a good racing weight” after being allotted 10st 7lb in the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree. Wetherby’s Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase winner, who unseated Henry Brooke in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock last time, is 35th on the weights list. Ellison said: “I am happy with that. He is in great form at the moment and is likely to go to Kelso [Listed Premier Chase] or Doncaster [Grimthorpe Chase] in a couple of weeks. After that, we will give him a school over some Grand National fences and, if he takes to it, he will probably head to Aintree.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10768331/outlander-has-been-handed-top-weight-for-the-randox-health-grand-national-at-aintree

Raz De Maree, who got within a length and three-quarters of leading Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup contender Native River when runner-up last time in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow, will head to Newcastle for the Eider Chase before tackling the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree. Having be allotted 10st 4lb for the National, trainer Gavin Cromwell said: “That’s a nice racing weight and hopefully he should get into the race. The horse is in grand form at the moment.” He added: “A little bit of juice in the ground would suit him as he just lacks a gear.”
Source: http://www.racingpost.com/news/live.sd?event_id=23914424&category=0

There will be a new trophy for the 170th Grand National at Aintree. Founder of sponsors Randox Health, Dr Peter FitzGerald, said: “To win the Grand National is one of the crowning achievements in sport and in this our first year of sponsorship, we sought to commission a trophy which would complement this tremendous success. I am delighted with the result, as the trophy captures the heart of both the race and Randox – in the speed of the horses and the strands of DNA.”
Source: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/sport/other-sport/horse-racing/grand-national-2017-new-randox-12603234

Alan KingYanworth is on course to have his Cheltenham Festival prep race in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton. “We worked Yanworth this morning (Tuesday) on the grass and it’s all systems go for Saturday,” said trainer Alan King (right), who also has Sceau Royal among 10 entries for the recognised Champion Hurdle trial He added: “Sceau Royal is not a guaranteed runner at the moment – I wouldn’t want to run him on really testing ground. We’ll have to see how the weather holds and how Wincanton dries.” Paul Nicholls is double-handed with Irving and Capitaine, and he said: “Both my horses have dual entries for racing at Wincanton and Kelso. We’ll see how the weather fairs and make a decision later in the week.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10767933/all-systems-go-for-yanworth-in-kingwell-hurdle-at-wincanton

Richard Johnson1Having had four days off with influenza, Richard Johnson (right) returned to ride an odds-on double with his only two rides at Fontwell yesterday, courtesy of the Philip Hobbs-trained pair Kayf Adventure and Casper King. Of the latter, the champion jockey said: “It was great to get him off the mark last time as he’d had a few seconds and you were starting to think was there anything untoward, but he’d just jumped into some quite nice horses. Now he’s won two novice hurdles, I’m sure the EBF Final is an option, we’ll see what Philip thinks.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/report/761718/johnson-back-with-a-bang

Identity Thief is one of seven entries for Sunday’s Flyingbolt Novice Chase at Navan. One of three entries for Gigginstown House Stud, along with Noel Meade’s Road To Respect and the Gordon Elliott-trained Ball D’Arc, Henry de Bromhead’s charge bids to get his season back on track after he unseated his rider in the Irish Arkle, having previously been pulled up in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown.
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/preview/762364/identity-thief-back-on-track

Willie Mullins 1

Limini, winner of the Grade 2 Trull House Stud Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last March, is one of eight contenders for Sunday’s Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran Park. The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old could take on 2014 Champion Hurdle winner Jezki. Limini’s owner Rich Ricci said: “She has taken a while to come to hand this season, not dissimilar to last year, but is right back to herself now and seems a lot stronger than last year.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/preview/762371/jezki-set-for-trial-outing

Max Dynamite, a 20/1 chance for the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, may swerve the meeting in favour of Punchestown in April, with the Melbourne Cup a long-term target. Owner Rich Ricci said: “It’s not certain that he won’t get to Cheltenham but it’s probably a bit unlikely, and he should be ready for Punchestown on the way towards getting ready for a Flat campaign. The Melbourne Cup, in which he finished second two years ago, is the ultimate aim. Getting him back to Flemington Park this winter would be an extraordinary thrill.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10767526/max-dynamite-targets-melbourne-cup-not-cheltenham-festival

WESTWOOD 2Warren Greatrex is confident Western Ryder will be suited by the hurly-burly of the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at Cheltenham next month. Part-owned by golfer Lee Westwood (right), the five-year-old was second to Daphne Du Clos at Newbury last time, conceding 21lb. Greatrex said: “Although he had already won a Listed race, the other day was just a test to make sure he was ready to take to Cheltenham and I think that he showed that he is ready. This horse will thrive on the fast-run race.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10767588/western-ryder-suited-by-champion-bumper-at-cheltenham-festival

Run by the BHA, the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards will be streamed live from the Racing Centre in Newmarket on http://www.studandstablestaffawards.co.uk and http://www.racingpost.com next Monday evening. BHA chief Nick Rust said: “We are delighted we can use live streaming of the event this year to ensure that people who are unable to be there on the night can still share in this fantastic celebration.”
Source: https://www.godolphin.com/news/latest-news/article/10837/godolphin-stud–stable-staff-awards-to-be-streamed-live

At The Races is celebrating after landing the Best Sports Betting Website gong at the iGB Affiliate Awards held in London. ATR won in the multi-sports category despite offering a dedicated, horse racing only focused service, demonstrating racing’s enduring significance in the sports affiliate betting market. ATR new media director Matthew Taylor said: “Combined with our success at the Broadcast Digital Awards and eGaming Review Awards, it underlines ATR’s achievements in both broadcasting and betting.”
Source: http://www.igbaffiliate.com/awards/igb-affiliate-awards

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Wednesday, February 15, 2017

NEWCASTLE: 2.20 Crackdeloust, 2.50 Chain Of Beacons, 3.20 Floramoss (nb), 3.50 On A Promise, 4.20 Pistol Park, 4.50 Ballasalla

TOWCESTER: 2.10 Brandon Roc, 2.40 What A Diva, 3.10 Krackatoa King, 3.40 Solighoster, 4.10 LUNAR FLOW (NAP), 4.40 Whitley Neill

WOLVERHAMPTON: 2.00 Scrafton, 2.30 See Vermont, 3.00 Pearl Noir, 3.30 Third Time Lucky, 4.00 Dodgy Bob, 4.30 Calvinist, 5.00 Sea Dweller

KEMPTON PARK: 5.20 Moayadd, 5.50 Bookmaker, 6.20 Assertive Agent, 6.50 Franco’s Secret, 7.30 Kyneton, 7.50 Chandon Elysees, 8.20 Little Indian, 8.50 West Leake

Our Lucky 15 selections: Lunar Flow (4.10 Towcester), Floramoss (3.20 Newcastle), Assertive Agent (6.20 Kempton Park), See Vermont (2.30 Wolverhampton)

Bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood and World Horse Welfare.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk


We take a look at some of the top racing stories of the day in our new feature and provide our experts’ racing selections…

Newbury Jumps 2.jpg

Politologue faces just one rival in the Graduation Chase at Kempton this afternoon in the shape of the Dan Skelton-trained Pain Au Chocolat. The Paul Nicholls-trained Politologue is as shot as 6/1 for the JLT Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham. His rider Sam Twiston-Davies said: “Kempton is a good test for a novice but to be fair he’s excelled in the jumping department in his three runs this season. Pain Au Chocolat is no mug, he should keep him honest. It’s a bit more experience for both horses, so we’ll have to see how he gets on.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/preview/761398/politologue-heads-two-runner-match

Bristol De MaiBristol De Mai will be out to enhance his Cheltenham Gold Cup claims when he runs in the Denman Chase at Newbury tomorrow. Bought by agent Anthony Bromley to race in Britain, he came of age in winning the Peter Marsh Chase for owners Simon Munir and Isaac Souede. Bromley said: “He was a big ugly duckling when we bought him but he’s turned into a bit of a swan. He still does have an entry in the Ryanair but the hope is he’ll run well enough on Saturday to warrant running in the Gold Cup.” The Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Bristol De Mai is 11/8 with the sponsors for the Grade 2 event, with Hennessy Gold Cup hero Native River heading the market for five-runner field at 11/10.
Source: http://www.racingpost.com/news/live.sd?event_id=23789224&category=0

Concerns over the future freedom to move horses across after Brexit will be discussed at the National Equine Forum in London next month. Lucy Greayer, a shipping agent, said the racing industry was in the dark over the future. “The current agreement between Ireland, the UK and France means that horses can move around freely without health documentation or anything like that. We just don’t know what is going to happen when Brexit comes into effect,” said Greayer.
Source: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/09/concerns-raised-over-brexit-impact-on-free-movement-of-horses

Dail Eireann agriculture minister Michael Creed has warned the UK’s exit from the EU has significant implications for Ireland’s thoroughbred industry. Trainers in Northern Ireland are licensed by the Irish Turf Club, and races there are run under the Turf Club’s rules of racing. Creed said: “Ninety per cent of runners at these fixtures are trained in the Republic with horses moving on a daily basis, so the return to a hard border would seriously disrupt this movement.”
Source: http://www.independent.ie/business/brexit/brexit-hurdle-to-crossborder-racing-35438418.html

Water Swinburn.jpgWalter Swinburn, rider of Shergar, suffered a fatal head injury after falling approximately 12 feet from his bathroom window in Belgravia, central London. Coroner Dr Shirley Radcliffe found that Swinburn, 55, died as the result of an accident on December 12 last year. A coroner’s officer said: “She confirmed that he had fallen from his bathroom window. The drop was estimated at about 12 feet, and it was into a courtyard. It was confirmed that Mr Swinburn suffered from epilepsy, but whether or not he had an epileptic fit which caused him to fall, was not possible to determine.”
Source: http://www.racinguk.com/news/article/49029/walter-swinburn-died-after-falling-from-bathroom-window
http://www.racingpost.com/news/live.sd?event_id=23762524&category=0 http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/horse-racing/shergar-jockey-walter-swinburn-died-9787064

High Bridge will duck a clash with the smart Finian’s Oscar at Exeter on Sunday and will instead run at Newbury tomorrow. Sixth in the Champion Bumper last season, he is unbeaten in two starts for Ben Pauling. “He’s going to go to Newbury,” said Pauling. “He’ll have a double penalty there, which isn’t ideal, but if he’s a Supreme horse he should be able to do it. I think the Supreme and not the Neptune is the way we are thinking at the moment.”
Source: http://www.attheraces.com/news/2017/February/09/high-bridge-heading-for-newbury-over-exeter-this-weekend

Jockey Harry Skelton believes that Superb Story make the frame in the Champion Hurdle next month. Trained by his brother, Dan, Superb Story landed the County Hurdle at Cheltenham last season. “The Champion Hurdle is cutting up at the moment with Faugheen and Annie Power both out,” said Skelton. “I think Superb Story has a solid each-way chance and the current prices [around 16/1] are a fair reflection of his chance. People will point to his rating (149) but he has never contested a Grade 2 or Grade 1 hurdle. He is a bit of unknown in that respect.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10761229/harry-skelton-hails-superb-story-ride-in-champion-hurdle

nicky-hendersonNicky Henderson has ruled Consul de Thaix from tomorrow’s 2m Hurdle at Newbury after the JP McManus-owned gelding suffered a setback. Henderson, seeking a sixth win the race, will rely on Hargam. The Seven Barrows trainer tweeted: “Consul De Thaix has some inflammation that requires medication so will not run (at Newbury).” Nigel Twiston-Davies is responsible for ante-post favourite Ballyandy and Ballyhill, with 16 expected to line up for the Grade 3 extended 2m event.
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10760959/consul-de-thaix-misses-betfair-hurdle-date

Nashmiah caused a 40/1 shock to win the UAE 1,000 Guineas under Mikael Barzalona at Meydan yesterday, beating the fast-finishing Nomorerichblondes by a head. The Richard Fahey-trained Rajar was third. The winner, unbeaten in four starts, is trained by Nicholas Bachalard in Saudi Arabia. “I told Mickael before the race that this filly had never been as good. She had been training really well and probably needed her last race. That came after a two-month lay-off,” said Bachalard. “For a Saudi-bred horse to come here is not easy. It was a lot for her to handle and she has been very professional.” Barzalona added: “She proved tonight she is a top-class filly and has a big heart.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10761732/nashmiah-wins-uae-1000-guineas

The David O’Meara-trained Salateen (33/1) was part of a 2,209/1 treble at Meydan yesterday for jockey Adrie De Vries. He also scored on Krypton Factor (25-1) and the Godolphin-owned Top Score (6/4) in the Meydan Classic Trial.
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10761732/nashmiah-wins-uae-1000-guineas

Keeper Hill my bypass the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham after grinding out victory at Huntingdon yesterday. The Warren Greatrex-trained winner was receiving 8lb from Messire Des Obeaux. He is no certainty to run, however. Greatrex explained: “He’s got so much talent, I don’t think we’ve got to the bottom of him yet. I think Aintree might be better for him. I’m not totally convinced he is a Cheltenham horse this year and if things went wrong at Cheltenham you could ruin him in one fell swoop. He travels well and Aintree could be right up his street, while it would give him a bit longer to get over this.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/report/761338/hill-gets-the-better-of-messire

Might Bite scored an easy win in the Soar Enterprises Online Ltd Novices’ Chase at Doncaster yesterday, bouncing back after a last-fence fall when clear in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. Trainer Nicky Henderson said: “That was just what we wanted to see him do. It didn’t look as if the fall has had a lasting effect, anyway.” Jockey Nico de Boinville added: “He’s got an awful lot of potential and is going the right way. We just need to keep his jumping low and flat.” MyClubBetting cut Mite Bite to 9/2 (from 5/1) for the RSA Chase at Cheltenham, with Bellshill the 4/1 favourite.
Source: http://www.racingpost.com/news/horse-racing/might-bite-strolls-to-confidence-boosting-win/2243457/#newsArchiveTabs=last7DaysNews

Ryanair will sponsor the Grade 1 Stayers’ Hurdle at Aintree after inking a two-year deal. The £150,000 Grade 1 contest, staged on Grand National Day, is run over 3m. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said: “We are very pleased to partner with Aintree Racecourse to sponsor the Grade 1 Ryanair Stayers’ Hurdle, which always attracts a top-class field.” Aintree MD John Barker added: “With so many fantastic winners of this great race, we hope Ryanair will enjoy making even more history at Aintree.”
Source: http://www.sportinglife.com/racing/news/article/465/10761400/ryanair-backing-for-stayers-at-aintree

Jim Mitchell, a construction worker turned successful breeder, has passed away after a short illness, aged 86. Short Commons, whom he bought out of a seller, won the European Free Handicap and finished fourth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. Music Maestro, 1977 winner of the then-Group 1 Flying Childers Stakes, Group 1-placed sprinter The Cheka and Group 3 scorer Rose Blossom were some of the horses he bred. Bloodstock agent Geoffrey Howson said: “He was very astute, particularly when it came to pedigrees, and in his heyday he was a shrewd reader of the market.”
Source: http://bloodstock.racingpost.com/news/bloodstock/tributes-paid-to-successful-breeder-mitchell/2243684/top/

Today’s MCB British Racing selections – Friday, February 10, 2017

BANGOR-ON-DEE: 1.50 Over To Sam, 2.20 Antartica De Thaix (nb), 2.50 Dashing Oscar, 3.20 Wood Yer, 3.55 Ballycash, 4.25 Hands Of Stone, 5.00 Poole Master

KEMPTON PARK: 1.40 North Hill, 2.10 Agamemmon, 2.40 Post War, 3.10 Vyta Du Roc, 3.45 Lee Side Lady, 4.15 Politologue, 4.50 Springtown Lake

SOUTHWELL: 1.30 Stonecoldsoba, 2.00 He’s A Lad, 2.30 Unnoticed, 3.00 Bring On A Spinner, 3.35 Archie Stevens, 4.05 Fern Owl, 4.40 Luv U Always

NEWCASTLE: 5.45 Sandstream, 6.15 Alfonso Manana, 6.45 Atteq, 7.15 SIGNE (NAP), 7.45 Major Cornwallis, 8.15 Pretty Bubbles

Our Lucky 15 selections: Signe (7.15 Newcastle), Antartica De Thaix (2.20 Bangor), Vyta Du Roc (3.10 Kempton), Archie Stevens (3.35 Southwell)

Bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood and World Horse Welfare.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

Horse racing Lucky 15 – Tuesday’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will mark your card, providing a preview of the day’s racing and offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

Monday’s NAP was unfortunately a non-runner, but take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British meetings on Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

Market Rasen 2016.jpg


BASTIEN (Market Rasen 2.50) takes a step up in class for his hat-trick bid, having won a couple of novice hurdles at Fontwell and Plumpton. Alan King’s six-year-old had no trouble following up under a 6lb penalty last time and impressed with his slick hurdling, running out a ready 11-length winner. He was niggled at down the back straight but came back on the bridle and won going away, suggesting he will get further than 2m. He goes up in trip to 2m4f today and should play a leading role in the EBF National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle (Qualifier).

SPARKLING RIVER (Hereford 3.50) was given an easy lead in a 2m3f novices’ handicap hurdle at Wawrick on New Year’s Eve and too full advantage, beating her 13 rivals with consummate ease. Quite what she beat is open to question, however. An Irish point-to-point winner, she appeared to relish the step up in trip and the Henry Oliver-trained seven-year-old gets an extra half-furlong today against her own sex in a mares’ handicap hurdle. She carries top weight in the six-runner field, but the weights are compacted at the top end and she is not conceding much to her rivals.

MOAYADD (Newcastle 2.00), a brother to the smart juvenile Saamidd, took his time to lean what the game was about, with four unprepossessing runs in maidens before sowing up nicely in a weak handicap at Chelmsford last month. Back from a break and making his handicap debut off a mark of 45, he was well backed for the drop to 7f, but had to race wide and could not get to All Or Nothin. Upped to 1m2f today, in an apprentices’ handicap, he has the very capable Hollie Doyle aboard, so a bold show in this low-grade handicap is anticipated.

DERRINTOGHER BLISS (Hereford 4.20) has a little bit to find with a couple of his rivals in the novices’ limited handicap chase based on collateral form and has a couple of questions to answer on his latest run at Newcastle when he was never travelling as he can. That was his third start over fences and the first two had been pretty decent, when runner-up at Chepstow and Bangor. Kim Bailey’s eight-year-old has had a six-week break since and we are prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt as he takes on five rivals in the extended 3m1f event.



HEREFORD: 2.10 Kapricorne, 2.40 Gardiners Hill, 3.15 Gayebury, 3.50 Sparkling River (nb), 4.20 Derrintogher Bliss, 4.50 Hands Of Stone

MARKET RASEN: 1.50 I See You Well, 2.20 Little Miss Poet, 2.50 BASTIEN (NAP), 3.25 Awesome Rosie, 4.00 Minella Fiveo, 4.30 Streams Of Whiskey

NEWCASTLE: 1.30 Outlaw Torn, 2.00 Moayadd, 2.30 Heartstone, 3.05 Pass The Time, 3.40 Ravenhoe, 4.10 Appreciating, 4.40 Modernism


Bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood and World Horse Welfare.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

Horse racing Lucky 15 – Saturday’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will mark your card, providing a preview of the day’s racing and offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

Our NAP and next-best selections were both bang on the money on Friday, so take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British meetings on Saturday, February 4, 2017.

Fontwell Races



CALETT MAD (Wetherby 2.45) appears the one they all have to beat in the Grade 2 Towton Novices’ Chase. Daryl Jacob was hardly enamoured with him after he won at Taunton over 2m7f last month, saying that he was “a typical French (jumping) type, but he gets from A to B”, so there are some doubts that he will get round without making a blunder or two. He was keen the time before and if the ground is softer than hoped, he may not see this 3m out as well as some of his five rivals. However, Taunton was not his track and Wetherby should suit him much better. He made light of his mark of 138 last time and while he has been whacked up 10lb, Nigel Twiston-Davies’ five-year-old has plenty of improvement in him yet.

PROJECT BLUEBOOK (Musselburgh 1.30) is our next-best selection on a day where there is plenty of choice. Twice a winner here last month, he may land the hat-trick as he steps up in class for the Listed Scottish Triumph Hurdle Trial Juvenile Hurdle – which just goes to show that races can be as cumbersomely-named as horses. We get that it is a hurdle race, right? It is not so good that we have to name it twice. The selection, trained by John Quinn and ridden by Brian Hughes, takes on five rivals after making a mockery of his opening handicap mark. A fast-run 2m is ideal for him. The only question is whether we shall get it here in winter ground.

GRENDISAR (Lingfield Park 3.05) goes for a third successive win in the Winter Derby Trial at Lingfield. The definition of Derby is open to question. In our minds, a Derby is a race run over 1m4f – not 1m2f. Heaven forbid, that is way too French for us. Last season Marco Botti’s runner enjoyed a great all-weather campaign, landing this race, the Winter Derby and the Easter Classic on Good Friday. He has been beaten on his only two starts this term over course and distance, but those races were not run to suit him and he comes into his own after shaking the cobwebs off. He loves the track and you would have to be hopeful he could beat his seven rivals.

OTAGO TRAIL (Sandown 3.35) is going to have to put up a stellar performance carrying 11st 12lb on what is likely to be deep winter ground – which begs the question: should Kempton Park really be shuttered by The Jockey Club and the King George VI Chase moved to the Esher track if a spot of rain turns Sandown into a mud-bath? We are willing to save that conversation for another day. We don’t think it will happen for one thing. Otago Trail is in the care of the lovely Venetia Williams, who knows just how to train horses for conditions such as these. The nine-year-old is one of our favourite horses in training and he chased home Bristol De Mai in a strong renewal of the Peter Marsh Case at Haydock last time. That is top-class form in all but name. The worry is the race may have come a bit too soon but the trip is fine and this 3m handicap chase might be a decent Grand National prep.

Sandown Jumps geberic.jpg


SANDOWN PARK: 12.40 Coeur De Lion, 1.15 Pearls Legend, 1.50 Buveur D’air, 2.25 Le Prezien, 3.00 Behind Time, 3.35 Otago Trail, 4.05 Cheque En Blanc

WETHERBY: 1.05 Tearsofclewbay, 1.40 Red Spinner, 2.15 Mirasaale, 2.45 CALETT MAD (NAP), 3.20 Point The Way, 3.55 Open Hearted, 4.25 Out Of Style

LINGFIELD PARK: 12.50 Saleh, 1.25 Saborido, 2.00 Gracious John, 2.30 Vimy Ridge, 3.05 Grendisar, 3.40 Varsovian, 4.15 Appy Days

MUSSELBURGH: 12.25 Dear Sire, 12.55 Doubldisdoubledat, 1.30 Project Bluebook (nb), 2.05 Azure Fly, 2.40 Pads, 3.15 Drumcliff, 3.45 Wonderful Charm, 4.20 Final Countdown

NEWCASTLE: 5.45 Mystique Moon, 6.15 Things Happen, 6.45 Table Manners, 7.15 Garrick, 7.45 Revolutionary War, 8.15 Poppy In The Wind, 8.45 Spirit Of Zebedee


Bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood and World Horse Welfare.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk

Horse racing Lucky 15 – Wednesday’s top selections

Each day Bet4Causes will mark your card, providing a preview of the day’s racing and offering what the experts feel will be the value bets of the day.

Take a look at our Lucky 15 selections (four singles, six doubles, four trebles and a four-fold) for the British meetings on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

Hereford crowd stands.jpg


ICE COOL CHAMPS (Hereford 2.30) had a previous winner in behind when a well-backed runner-up to Marten on his bumper debut at Warwick on New Year’s Eve and may be able to go one better now upped in trip. That run, against some well-regarded types from a couple of in-form stables, was over 2m. Out of an unraced half-sister to high-class stayer Shotgun Willy and Welsh National winner Mini Sensation, he is bred for further and gets an extra 3½f for his first try over hurdles in a maiden. Heavy ground may well suit this Philip Hobbs-trained six-year-old who is sure to go on to better things after this.

SOME ARE LUCKY (Leicester 3.40) may or may not be aptly-named, depending on whether you punting glass is half full or half empty. Tom George’s six-year-old has been placed in his last six races, but has only managed to win one of those – a 2m4½f maiden hurdle at Southwell last March. Twice runner-up over trips just short of 3m at Uttoxeter and Chepstow in the autumn, he made his chasing debut on New Year’s Eve at Newbury in a decent novices’ event and was involved in a three-way finish with Belami Des Pictons and Aurillac, coming off worse with that duo. He could not quite hold on, having made the running and this former pointer should do better in handicaps. His mark of 132 is a fair one and in what looks a fascinating novices’ limited handicap, he should be in the mix.

AMERICAN PATROL (Kempton Park 2.20) has to overcome a penalty to land the 1m handicap, but regular readers to this column will know that our admiration for jockey Adam Kirby knows no limits and his partnership with the Neil Mulholland-trained three-year-old means we have confidence that if good enough, he will be thereabouts when it matters. He has had only five lifetime starts and while no world-beater, he caught the eye at Chelmsford on his handicap debut before justifying favouritism at Wolverhampton last time. It did look a very weak race but he scored easily and should get this extra furlong without too much trouble.

MEHDI (Newcastle 6.30) also has one of the best on board. It will be worth following Paul Hanagan this year. He is back in the north after what he will probably consider to be a relatively modest association with Sheikh Hamdan’s horses, and while his usual affable and chipper self last year, inwardly the former champion jockey will have been questioning what more he could have done to make a difference. In truth, he never had the firepower. A confident Hanagan is almost unbeatable. We have no doubt he will soon be making headlines again – he is far too good to be out of the spotlight for long. That aside, he will need plenty of guile to get this one’s nose in front. Mehdi is on a losing run of 35 but has been finally dropping in the weights and there were signs in defeat at Wolverhampton last time that he could be on the verge of ending that barren run. It may happen in the 7f classified stakes.



HEREFORD: 1.30 Miracle Cure, 2.00 Dig Deeper, 2.30 ICE COOL CHAMPS (NAP), 3.00 Colin’s Brother, 3.30 Goodtoknow, 4.00 Stone, 4.30 Runasimi River

KEMPTON PARK: 2.20 American Patrol, 2.50 Drumochter, 3.20 Envisaging, 3.50 East Coast Lady, 4.20 Pearl Spectre, 4.50 Alcatraz, 5.20 Thomas Blossom

LEICESTER: 2.10 Sonny The One, 2.40 Dusty Raven, 3.10 Allee Bleue, 3.40 Some Are Lucky (nb), 4.10 Full Irish, 4.40 Moscow Me

NEWCASTLE: 4.25 Go George Go, 5.00 Bloomin Lovely, 5.30 Royal Celebration, 6.00 Tailor’s Row, 6.30 Mehdi, 7.00 Art Obsession

Kempton Hurdles 1.jpg

Bet via Bet4Causes, where 20% of net revenue goes to sporting charities, who include Greatwood and World Horse Welfare.

You must be 18+ in order to bet. Please gamble responsibly http://www.gambleaware.co.uk