Monday, 31 January 2011

Brocklesby Stakes Stars

For many the Lincoln is the emphasis of Doncaster's prestigious meeting. However, High Class Equine (HCE) takes pride in the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. For us it heralds the start of the two-year-old race Flat season. Our top-ranked blog is dedicated to pinpointing the best juveniles in racing and why our race analysis for this year's 2015 Brocklesby Conditions on 28th March, 1:25 Doncaster, is one of the most popular blog posts we publish.   

To celebrate this traditional race, we highlight a number of talented two-year-olds which have not only won the Brocklesby but gone on to mark themselves as truly talented individuals


Trainer B A McMahon
Owner J D Graham (2yo)

Sire: Pips Pride (6.8f) Dam: Angelic Sounds (IRE) Dam's sire: The Noble Player (USA) (8.5f)

(19,000gns; 7,500gns foal) second foal; dam 5f juvenile winner

On the 25th March 1999, Seraphina, a chestnut filly, won the Brocklesby Stakes for Brian McMahon and ridden by George Duffield, by just over one length. This daughter of Pip's Pride was a talented juvenile and competed at a high level as a two-year-old. She ran in the Queen Mary (Group 3) at Royal Ascot, being ease when beaten to finish 8th, but only beaten just over five lengths. From there the Weatherby Super Sprint was taken, finishing 10th but beaten less than five lengths. Thereafter a disappointing effort at Listed class was registered. This lacklustre performance was to be soon forgotten when McMahon's youngster ran a superb race in the Lowther Stakes (Group 2) when touched-off by a neck at odds of 66/1. On the 8th September, and fancied in the betting at 6/1, she ran in the St Leger Yearling Stakes race, worth 154,000 to the winner. Once again, although beaten by less than five lengths, finishing 9th must have disappointed connections. Never a trainer to hide from competition, McMahon sent Seraphina to run in the Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) at Newmarket, finishing 4th and beaten a handful of lengths.

Returning as a three-year-old, connections stepped up in distance to 7f rather than the sprints of her juvenile campaign, with the Fred Darling (Group 3), clearly assessing whether to attempt the 1,000 Guineas. However, she failed to last the distance. With her limitations exposed, McMahon campaigned at Listed level, being placed on two more occasions. On the 20th June 2000, Seraphina competed in the King's Stand (Group 2) at Royal Ascot, finished out the back, but distance-wise wasn't disgraced. Just three months later, this bonny chestnut ran her last race at Newmarket over 5f in a Listed race, taking 3rd place, losing by less than two lengths at 33/1. With black type, she was highly valued for breeding.

From being a cheap purchase at 19,000gns, she had total prize money winnings of over 46,000, but probably unlucky it was not considerably more with a number of creditable runs in big-money sales races and narrow Listed/Group-class losses. It was remarkable that such a talented filly only achieved one win from seventeen races. Her only victory being her debut in the Brocklesby, although placed on another five occasions.

At best Seraphina had an official rating of 105.    


Horses Having Heart Attacks Over Sheep
Posted 02 August 2005 - 09:50 AM

Debbie - I don't know what it is about sheep, particularly the "big, fluffy" ones but our two Thoroughbreds are terrified of them.

We ride past a couple of places with sheep. The one flock, which is a group that belongs to a hand-spinner and are heavily-wooled, just puts both horses into dead-stop, won't move, "I want to go home now" mode.

The other flock of sheep, which are smaller in general and less-wooly, provide hardly any reaction after the horses have seen them once or twice, even when they get in the road and run away from the horses.

I do think that, with some time, the horses will get over it.

Posted 02 August 2005 - 10:23 AM

We have a horse that lives with our sheep. He moved in with them when his companion died.

He was kept next to them for about a month before he moved in with them. We did have a lamb get kicked at first, but no problems after that. Red had been pining for Bonita, so that is probably part of the reson that he took to the sheep.

He watches over them now, and doesn't like to seperated from them. In fact, the first black lamb that we had in our flock was terrorized until he was two months old by Red who must have thought the lamb was a intruder. Subsequent black sheep/lambs have had no trouble.

Cheveley Park Stud two-year-olds for 2011

After last season's success of Hooray, trained by Sir Mark Prescott, it is worth noting Cheveley Park's two-year-olds for this new Flat season 2011. Below, is a list of juveniles in-training.

Over 50 unraced juveniles from the best trainers

Who are they?.

J R Fanshawe

CAPACIOUS        2 b f    Nayef – Palatial (Green Desert)
BEDAZZLED         2 b f   Authorized – Dazzle (Gone West)
CAPSICUM           2 b f    Holy Roman Emperor – Scotch Bonnet (Montjeu)
CATWALK            2 ch f  Pivotal – Mona Em (Catrail)
DISCERN               2 b f   Medicean – Discerning (Darshaan)
KEPT                      2 ch c Pivotal – Possessed (Desert Prince)
SECRET QUEST    2 b f Pivotal – Secret Flame (Machiavellian)
J.H.M. Gosden

EXTOL                  2 b c Exceed and Excell - Dance of Light (Sadler's Wells)
HOOP                   2 c  f Dutch Art - Hooplah (Pivotal)
INFINITUM          2 gr f Dalakhani –Time Honoured (Sadler’s Wells)
LASCAUX            2 ch f Pivotal – Tora Bora (Grand Lodge)
MOONGLOW      2 b f Nayef – Mystic Goddess (Storm Bird)
MOROCCO          2 b c Rock of Gibraltar – Shanghai Lily (King’s Best)
RED HIBISCUS    2 b f Manduro – Red Peony (Montjeu)
SPATE                   2 b f Danehill Dancer – River Flow (Affirmed)
STARSCOPE        2 ch f Selkirk – Moon Goddess (Rainbow Quest)
STETHOSCOPE   2 b f Medicean – Gyroscope (Spinning World)
TROVE                  2 b c Rock of Gibraltar – Cache Creek (Marju)

W J Haggis

CHRISTINGLE           2 b f Iceman – Pious (Bishop of Cashel)
DARK AMBITION     2 b c Dark Angel – Date Mate (Thorn Dance)
ICE PARTY                 2 ch c Iceman – Wedding Party (Groom Dancer)
OCEAN MYTH          2 b f Acclamation – Mystery Ocean (Dr Fong)
POLAR VENTURE     2 b c Invincible Spirit – Sharplaw Venture (Polar Falcon)
PURSUE                     2 b c Pivotal – Entrap (Phone Trick)
SHATTER                   2 b f Mr. Greeley – Watership Crystal (Sadler’s Wells)

J J Noseda

DELFT                       2 b f Dutch Art – Plucky (Kyllachy)
FURBELOW              2 b f Pivotal – Red Tiara (Mr. Prospector)
HERBACEOUS         2 b f Medicean – Red Blossom (Green Desert)
INITIATOR               2 b c Motivator – Dawnus (Night Shift)
JOY FOR LIFE          2 b f Pivotal – Gallivant (Danehill)
PEARL CITY             2 b f Zamindar – Miss Hawai (Peintre Celebre)
REGAL ENTRANCE 2 b c Royal Applause – Umniya (Bluebird)
REGAL REALM        2 b f Medicean – Regal Riband (Fantastic Light)

Sir Mark Prescott

BETWEEN US         2 b f Galileo – Confidante (Dayjur)
CODE CRACKER   2 b f Medicean – Confidential Lady (Singspiel)
GARZONI                2 ch f Medicean - Rainbow Queen (Rainbow Quest)
HOLISTIC               2 gr f Pivotal - Doctor’s Glory (Elmaamul)
POSITION               2 b c Medicean – Poise (Rainbow Quest)
REPEATER              2 b c Montjeu –Time Over (Mark of Esteem)
TRANSFIX              2 b f Pivotal – Hypnotize (Machiavellian)
YOURS EVER         2 b f Dansili – Love Everlasting (Pursuit of Love)

Sir Michael Stoute

CANTAL                   2 ch f Pivotal – Canda (Storm Cat)
COURAGE                2 b c Invincible Spirit – Mamonta (Fantastic Light)
DANCER’S LEAP     2 b f Pivotal – Dance A Dream (Sadler’s Wells)
DUKE OF FIRENZE 2 ch c Pivotal – Nannina (Medicean)
ELYSIAN                  2 b f Galileo – Echelon (Danehill)
ENROL                      2 b f Pivotal – Constitute (Gone West)
GLITTERBALL          2 b f Smart Strike – Crystal Music (Nureyev)
GOSPEL CHOIR       2 ch c Galileo – Chorist (Pivotal)
HONOUR                  2 b f Dansili –Virtuous (Exit To Nowhere)
LADYSHIP                2 b f Oasis Dream – Peeress (Pivotal)
MINOAN DANCER  2 b f Galileo – Grecian Dancer (Dansili)
RED HALO                2 gr f Galileo – St Roch (Danehill)
RELINQUISH            2 ch c Pivotal – Abandon (Rahy)
STEPTURN                2 b c Invincible Spirit – Gay Gallanta (Woodman)
UPRISE                      2 b c Pivotal – Soar (Danzero)
WILD SILK                2 b f Dansili – So Silk (Rainbow Quest)

To Be Decided

CELESTIAL RAY      2 ch c Pivotal - Heavenly Ray (Rahy)
IMAGERY                  2 ch c Pivotal - Fantasize (Groom Dancer)
REGAL AURA           2 b f Teofilo - Regal Velvet (Halling)

Saturday, 29 January 2011


Look at this design. Can you solve it? This space-age puzzle is used by NASA within their human resources department to screen candidates. Hidden in the design 7 numbers can be found, each signify a letter of the alphebt (1 = A etc). Re-arrange these letters to find a familiar word. This is meant to indiacte an Einsteinian IQ. One or two of the best brains at NASA have completed it in less than five minute.





Friday, 28 January 2011

Brocklesby Stakes Stars

Indian Spark - A True Racing Star
For many the emphasis of the William Hill Lincoln meeting will be the mile handicap, while HCE will focus on the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes, which heralds the start of the two-year-old season. To celebrate the forthcoming Flat season, we will highlight a number of talented two-year-olds which have not only won the Brocklesby but gone on to mark themselves as truly talented individuals.

Indian Spark

Indian Ridge (7.8f) — Annes Gift (Ballymoss )

Half-brother to winners including 6f-1m2f scorer Express Gift, also a useful hurdler; dam of little account.

Trainer: Bill Turner (2yo)

Owner: Frank Brady

On the 21st March 1996, Indian Spark, a chestnut colt, ran out an easy 4 length winner of the Brocklesby, trained by Bill Turner, and ridden by Tim Sprake. This son of Indian Ridge had one more race at two, finishing 2nd, losing by a neck, in a Conditions Stakes race at York.

He returned in May, still handled by Turner, to contend a further 9 races at three, winning once more and placed on two starts at handicap level. On the 16th October 1997 Jim Goldie took charge of Frank Brady's colt, where he remained for the entirety of his distinguished career.

Indian Spark progressed well with age, achieving notable sprint success at six years of age, illustrating a hardy attitude and love of racing. His first major win came over 5f at Chester, taking a Listed race and winning prize money of over 20,000. As a seven-year-old he ran probably the best race of his career when losing by a head to a comfortable-winning Ishiguru in the Miller Flying Five (Group 3) at Leopardstown, Ireland.

In an amazing career, this sturdy chestnut continued to race at the ripe old age of ten, still enjoying racing in his senior years although - unsurprisingly - not as fleet footed. In true, determined style Indian Spark won  at Ayr over 6f as a twelve-year-old, readily, by 4 lengths. This was to be his final success.

On the 26th October 2007 he retired to a rapturous applause from an appreciating Ayr crowd.

In a truly astounding career, Indian Spark ran 143 times, winning 14 races, and was placed on a further 17 occasions. He achieved total prize money earnings of just under 200,000.

At his peak, he had an official rating of 111.

Bad horse joke of the week

As horses say to one another. Any friend of yours is a palomino!

A bet too far

Chef dies after eating 'superhot' chilli for bet

An amateur chef died the day after eating a "superhot" chilli in a bet with his friend over who could make the hottest dish, an inquest heard.

Andrew Lee, 33, suffered heart failure the morning after he ate the chilli.

Toxicology tests are now being carried out to see if the fork lift truck driver suffered a fatal reaction to the dish or whether anything else contributed to his death.

Mr Lee, of Edlington, Doncaster was apparently in perfect health and had just passed a medical at work, the opening of the Doncaster hearing was told.

Cooking was one of his main interests and he went to his girlfriend Samantha Bailey's house to make a chilli.

His father John Lee told the inquest: "He had a bet with Samantha's brother who could make the hottest chilli then went back to her house to stay."

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Brocklesby Stakes Stars

Clive Brittain
The new Flat racing season starts a little later this year on the 2nd April - Doncaster's William Hill Lincoln Day Meeting

For many the emphasis will be the mile handicap, while HCE will focus on the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes, which heralds the start of the two-year-old season. To celebrate the forthcoming Flat season, we will highlight a number of talented two-year-olds which have not only won the Brocklesby but gone on to mark themselves as truly talented individuals.

World Premier

Trainer Clive Brittain
Owner Mrs C E Brittain

Sire: Shareef Dancer (USA) (9.9f) Dam: Abuzz Dam's sire: Absalom (7.2f)

Third foal, half-brother to Agoer, placed over 6f at two years last season; dam useful multiple winning 5f juvenile, and a winner over 7f at three years.

On the 23rd March 1995, World Premier, a bay colt, trained by Clive Brittain and ridden by Mark Rimmer won the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes at 9/4F by a head, just holding Bill Turner's Johayro in a gripping finish. He had 7 races at two, taking the Chesham Stakes Listed race at Royal Ascot over 6f. Placed on all but two races, the conclusion of a productive juvenile campaign finished with a determined 6th, beaten less than 6 lengths, in the Prix Morney Piaget (Group 1) over 6f at Deauville, France.

Brittain's charge ran in Group class a number of times but always struggled to be competitive, finding classy handicaps (0-110) more suiting. As a five-year-old he won a Class B handicap worth 12K at York, but  retired just two races later when outpaced in the Wokingham on the 19th June at Royal Ascot, ridden by Frankie Dettori.  

World Premier ran 28 times in a busy career, winning 3 races in total, arguably achieving most success at two, placed on a further 9 occasions. He had total earnings of over 70,000, attaining a highest official rating of 112.

Anagram generator picks winner?

Anagram's Nap - Kauto Star

Like a gambling addict mesmerized by the flashing lights on a fruit machine it draws me back for more. But this is all wrong. Unnatural. Surely an anagram generator shouldn't be this much fun? But with each revelation I hit the jackpot.

I never appreciated words could be so interesting until I started playing with this witty wordsmith. At the touch of a few keys it's like bumping into Alan Carr. It's akin to the magician pulling a rabbit from a hat but this has a fancy for rhinos, fruit bats fighting over a banana and I'm sure I've seen that meer cat somewhere before.

It doesn't just like animals, either. Just for fun I typed in Bruce Forsyth. I get the feeling he must have been playing with the anagram generator yesterday morning, before he announced his shock retirement at the National Television Awards. His jokes have become a little tired and his quickstep has turned into the anniversary waltz. But I was still surprised at what is said. Calling him a 'bush crofter' seemed a little mean.

After entering a few more names I thought this altered state of reality had something going for it. I quickly typed in  the name Richard Keys - Sky Sports pundit who resigned after making disparaging comments about assistant referee Sian Massey. Well, I daren't say what it told me. Although I have a feeling it is big on feminism.

We have all suffered from many and varied altered states of reality and the anagram generator certainly has a selective view on everything. It's fair to say that after ten pints I am usually seen wearing beer goggles. After twelve pints I don't give a damn if someone steals my specs as I instinctively turn to braille. The 'machine' has a similar frankness and a witty patter that would put the late Kenneth Williams to shame.

Thinking about the Cheltenham Gold Cup I typed in Paul Nicholls. And it called him a 'pin lush local'.

Perhaps the anagram could bring some insight to the race itself.

It blurted out that the Cheltenham Festival was a place of 'flail vehement chats'.

I was hoping it might give me a view on a  lucky punt but it called me a 'plucky nut'.  OK, I thought, a speculative wager, then. It told me I was a 'picture wage slave'. Whatever that means.

Clearly this wizard of words has a few issues.

But what does it say about the horses.

I get a feeling it fancies the chances of Kauto Star as it said it was a 'task a rout'. Unsurprisingly, Denman was simply good old 'Denman'. And it noted that my selection Outside Fancy was in fact a 'tedious fancy'. Its inside information on Imperial Commander is a worry. In fact, I don't feel comfortable conveying its reply. It suggests the favourite is controversially a 'maim, manic deplorer'.

It doesn't sound convincing, hey?

But what of the others?

Diamond Harry was quoted as 'horrid and may...' May do what, I wondered? Just like a good commentator or a John Francome novel, it likes a bit of suspense, but that is only to be expected from something that earlier in the week called trainer Dean Ivory an 'envy radio'.

Quickly running through the other contenders, it called Pandorama 'a mad apron', Pride Of Dulcote the rather cryptic 'cuddlier of poet', Time For Rupert has been mentioned on a 'prettier forum' and retorted that Midnight Chase was 'matching hides'. From that point it became abusive calling Punchestown a 'stench up now', Sizing Europe a 'pig on seizure' and What A Friend 'a daft whiner'.

Clearly it was time leave well alone.

It was a blessing when a message appeared saying: Use of tools uses considerable amounts of resources so we restrict heavy use for non-members. You have just reached the limit. (Tell me about it!) To continue using this tool , please become a member.

I think I had a lucky escape. Although it did have a few final words of wisdom about The Cheltenham Gold Cup. Perhaps this is reference to studying the form? It jeered: 'clenched ample thought'.

Wise words, I think you would agree!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Cabin fever

It's a waiting game. An unhealthy mixture of boredom and anticipation. I've been pacing about so much the soles of my novelty horse slippers are flapping like two exhausted dogs and I will soon be down to my socks

It's always the same this time of year. It must be a confusion brought on by how long those January sales last and it's merging into Valentine's day. It sends a cold shiver down the spine. Joking aside, it is none of those things. It is simply that long wait for the new Flat season to begin.

You may have noticed in a recent post that I have already started musing about the first two-year-old race of the season - the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes. I am going to submit an article to Racing Ahead magazine about the most acclaimed winners from previous years.

It's a curiosity why a stakes race starts the beginning of the two-year-old season. There seems no logic to it when generally a stakes race is considered a stepping-stone for winning juveniles to face a stiffer challenge. I like that kind of madness as it keeps things interesting.

Considering the Brocklesby is worth over 13,000 pounds to the winner, it isn't surprising  trainers take it seriously. I jokingly sent an email to Racing for Change asking to have it upgraded it to Group race worth 30k just to see who turns up. The lengths trainers would go to have their colts and fillies fit and ready to run! With the weather we had over Christmas, I'm sure it would lead to the invention of equine snow shoes. It just proves how competitively each and every prized race is fought that the Brocklesby is a target of so many connections. Even at this early stage of the year, I can imagine Bill Turner having one or two youngsters in mind. Turner has won the race on a number of occasions and generally sends his best two-year-old to Doncaster. It is quite bizarre to think that on the first race of the first day of the season he has a fair measure of whether this is going to be a good or bad year. Richard Fahey will have a few shortlisted after winning last year with Chiswick Bey. Fahey had a brilliant two-year-old campaign and it was fitting Wootton Bassett achieved such accolades.

So who else can we imagine racing. It's a safe bet to suggest David Evans will have a couple, Mick Channon and Stan Moore. No doubt Tom Dascombe will be there too. After such a poor season last year he will be even more determined to promote his talents. What makes this race so exciting for me is that there is always a chance of a smaller stable getting lucky with an early type with touch of class. However, in recent years, you would have been advised to follow Bill Turner, Richard Fahey & Linda Stubbs.

See, you can tell cabin fever has set in.

Roll on the start of the new season.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

What's in a name?

Can you solve these anagrams of well known trainer names?

1) Haunt drab divot. (e.g: David Arbuthnot)

Gray gets red card

Premier League - Sky Sports sack 'offensive' Andy Gray

Gray and co-presenter Richard Keys were recorded making disparaging comments about Sian Massey, 25, who was running the line during the Wolves v Liverpool clash on Saturday.

A Sky statement revealed that Gray's sacking was also linked to a similar incident in December, where he made an innuendo-laden comment to Sky Sports News presenter Charlotte Jackson when he asked her to tuck in his shirt.

Sky said they terminated Gray's contract "in response to new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behaviour".

Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said: "Andy Gray's contract has been terminated for unacceptable behaviour. After issuing a warning yesterday, we have no hesitation in taking this action after becoming aware of new information today."

Massey has now been withdrawn from Tuesday's League Two game between Crewe and Bradford where she was due to act as an assistant referee.

Professional Game Match Officials general manager Mike Riley said: "PGMO and Sian believe that with any football match the focus should not be on the officials but on the players and the game itself. That is only fair to those connected with the clubs and their supporters.

"Sian is an excellent professional who has unwittingly found herself in the middle of a story that has nothing to do with her competence as a match official.

"Sian only wants to be notable for her performance as an assistant referee and is keen for things to get back to normal so she can return to officiating as soon as possible.

"Sian has the full backing of PGMO and we hope she continues her development, which has shown excellent progress so far."

Shortly before news of Gray's sacking broke, a third Sky Sports football presenter was suspended over a further secret recording leaked to the media.

Sky's touchline reporter Andy Burton referred to 25-year-old assistant referee Massey as "a bit of a looker" during an off-air chat with Gray before a pre-match news report at the Wolves game.

Burton has now been suspended, and will no longer be involved with the coverage of this week's Carling Cup semi-final second legs.


Racing days: wonderful memories

As time passes by I often recall a day's racing from many years ago. In my mind the people and horses are still the same - nothing has changed

Why is it that certain memories stand out more than others - especially when, at the time, they seemed so ordinary? With time, those memories somehow magically transformed to become endearing, heartfelt and wonderful.

Perhaps this nostalgia of mine is not such a surprise because I have little doubt you reflect on similar memories which for whatever reason somehow emit an aura where people, horses and the day's events shine more brightly than others which fade in a fog of time.

In psychology this phenomenon is known as the reminiscence bump. Research suggests that people tend to recall more personal events from adolescence and early adulthood than personal events from other lifetime periods. So perhaps it is no surprise that my mind often wanders to the late 80s and my fondness of recalling a day's horse racing at Great Yarmouth.

It is funny how if you asked me to be precise about the specific date and year I would struggle to pin it down. In fact the only marker which allows me to identify this particular day is one thing - the name of a horse.

With a little research, I can tell you it was the 7th June, 1988 and the horse's name was Luge.

Unsurprisingly, this bay colt, trained by Lord Huntingdon, was a two-year-old making his debut over 6f in an auction maiden, ridden by Walter Swinburn. What makes this memory so special now is that my brother and I were there with our late father. He was a big fan of Lord Huntingdon, and with our fascination with two-year-old racing, Luge was always going to be a bet.

Looking at the race result today, Luge won by half a length at odds of 10/1.

In my mind I can still hear the commentator saying that Luge had gone clear at halfway. In my mind I'm sure he won by much further than the winning distance I witness today. In my mind it will always be a most wonderful day where we were blessed with a perfect summer's breeze, horses' ran like never before and the crowd cheered as one.

Luge continued to be a horse my father backed and always done him proud.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Magpie turned red

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has reportedly blown £1 million in two hours during a trip to a casino

The Sun claims that the Magpies owner - who has built up an estimated £890m fortune through a chain of sporting goods shops - lost the cash at Aspers Casino, less than a quarter of a mile from St James' Park.

The incredible losses came during a night out with Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and club MD Derek Llambias, a result of Ashley suffering a bad run at the craps table after enjoying an early winning run.

"After a couple of hours he was £130,000 up," a source told The Sun. "They had a break and went to the bar for a drink. He put £100,000 into his casino account but kept £30,000 back in a carrier bag.

"At around 2am they were back at the craps table and Ashley started playing again.

"He was placing bets all over with £1,000 and £5,000 chips. It only took him about 10 minutes to lose that first £30,000, so he had to get some more chips. He bet thousands at a time, tens of thousands sometimes - covering the table with bets.

"They finally left at 4am and by that time he had lost £970,000. It was amazing but he didn't seem bothered at all. He had a smile on his face and tipped the dealer £700, which is astonishing really because people usually only give a tip if they've won."

Ashley is famed for his love of gambling, and became close friends with recently-appointed Magpies boss Pardew when they were regulars at an exclusive London casino - an enterprise run by Llambias.


Sporting Life vs Racing Post

I'm probably teaching your old gran how to suck eggs 

But Did You Know?

If in Harry Hill format - the Sporting Life & Racing Post could have a fight. Who would win? Fight!!!!!!!!!! I'm pretty sure this would be pay-per-view. Who would win?  

To be honest, both are brilliant resources. There isn't a day goes past when I don't use both. 

However, if you're interested in watching Racing Replays the Sporting Life is a winner by a knockout. 


Well, the Racing Post makes you stick your hand in your pocket for the luxury of watching racing replays. Not with the Sporting Life. 

It is FREE!!!! 

Simply open an SKY BET account - get a free bet - then watch Attheraces (ATR) & Racing UK (RUK) via the Sporting Life website for zilch.  

That's right - one handy website - your private archive. Forget about Sky+ or hard drive running out of space. Even if you still need every gadget under the sun - it's worth knowing because it saves you wasting cash.

Good luck. 


There are many websites that are worthy of praise but one that really is a great source of knowledge is BRITISH 2YO RACING

It is more specific to HCE than any other primary source of information and I would recommend it to all horse racing fans, especially those interested in two-year-olds.

This is what they have to say:

WELCOME TO... the Homepage of British 2yo Racing, a site dedicated to following juvenile flat racing in Britain. Here you will find a wide variety of information and ideas to help you understand and analyse the 2yo season

highlighting Paddock Review & Trainer targets
2010 - Top Horses - Rating List
2010 - Trainers' Summary Stats - Index Page 
2010 - Sire Summary Stats - Index Page
The 2010 Season Resources Index Page - 2010 Season 
Information about the new Sires in 2010 -
2010 First Season Sire info
Click here for an overview

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Spot the horses name

What the eye doesn't see...

One day a man passed by a farm and saw a beautiful horse. Hoping to buy the animal, he said to the farmer: "I think your horse looks pretty good, so I'll give you $500 for him."

"He doesn't look so good, and he's not for sale," the farmer said.

The man insisted, "I think he looks just fine and I'll up the price to $1,000."

"He doesn't look so good," the farmer said, "but if you want him that much, he's yours."

The next day the man came back raging mad. He went up to the farmer and screamed, "You sold me a blind horse. You cheated me!"

The farmer calmly replied, "I told you he didn't look so good, didn't I?"

Friday, 21 January 2011

The horse trainer quiz

1 An intelligent man at Hambleton House

2 A twin but better known at Warren Place

3 The junior of the band

4 Trainer's father was famous for his red shirts

5 The knighted trainer from Heath House

6 He loves his twitter but no Bobby

                           7 The eternal optimist 'So get off your horse and drink your milk'

                           8 Trainer from Upper Lambourn who is full of festive hope


John Virgo visits yard

Yes, that is John Virgo!
 An old post from Pat Leech's blog which indicates why adults (and children) prefer horse racing to snooker.

We were very lucky to meet John Virgo at the yard a few weeks ago. John is good friends with Cliff and his long-time mate Steve, and has visited him at the yard many times over the years. He has a fantastic knowledge of racing and was really interested in the horses, as well as being interesting to meet. We are having a chat as I hold Tabi, our Kayf Tara gelding who is a great lad and will hopefully race on the A/W in the winter. The perfect question came from a little lad also visiting Cliff, who asked if John played snooker ever and if he had won anything!

Posted by Pat Leech Racing at 12:09

What the trainers say...

Just had a look through the new trainer website database on HCE and noted a number of Flat trainers who email newsletters for those who wish to subscribe - all for free.

John Best

Mick Channon

Jeremy Gask

Richard Hannon

Martin Hill

George Margarson

James Moffatt

Walter Swinburn

Thursday, 20 January 2011

If only it was that easy

I have one pound to place a bet

I think I will start with an even money shot

I feel confident

I wonder how many even money winners I can pick in a row?

I hope it's 20

So that's a pound accumulator

How much could I win?


Trainer Profile: Sir Mark Prescott

Many trainers are respected within racing but few have gained a reputation as the shrewd owner of Heath House, Newmarket, Sir Mark Prescott. Often quoted as the master of handicap ‘good things’ he generally has a string of 70 or more horses in training. In 2010 the stable won over one million pounds in total prize money for the Flat season in Great Britain.

There is little doubt Prescott has been connected with many noted gambles with his older horses but what are we to make of his two-year-olds?

In 2010 he managed 18 juvenile winners from 88 runners featuring an overall win rate of 20% with 43% (38/88) finishing in the first three placing. A level stake bet would have resulted in a loss of - 20.19.

HCE analysis pinpoints a number of interesting facts.

Over the last few seasons Prescott has featured only a 5% win rate on debut suggesting two-year-olds progress with racing. Of the handful of debutante winners in recent years, all bar one were priced 4/1 & less and interestingly three of these were owned by Cheveley Park Stud (Café Elecktic, Hooray & Clinical). Debutantes seem to fall into two categories: those who are fancied and those not. When making their debut, juveniles priced 13/2 & less attained a 22% win rate and 61% win and place. However, the majority of this sample went on to win or proved to have an adequate level of ability irrespective of their initial finishing position. It is notable that juveniles racing early season (in recent years no two-year-old has raced before May) achieved success. Certainly his first few two-year-old runners are worthy of respect on their next few starts.

As is generally the rule for most two-year-old trainers, second-time-out statistics yielded much higher win rate. Those priced 13/2 & less attained a 30% strike rate and 70% win and place. The majority of runners are well placed and clearly learned from previous experience. Talented juveniles are often durable types coping with their racing admirably – Krypton Factor was a prime example last year. Unlike many trainers, Sir Mark Prescott has the potential to train top-class two-year-olds, competing at Group level.

A highlight of the 2010 season was Hooray, a daughter of Invincible Spirit, a home bred, poignantly winning the Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) – sponsored by the fillies’ prestigious owners.

Key Points;

  • Early season runners are likely to attain winning ability
  • Debutantes have a poor strike rate although juveniles priced 13/2 & less are likely to progress with racing, often attaining a winning standard
  • Two-year-olds are much more likely to win on their second start and feature fair win and place statistics when fancied in the betting
  • Owner Cheveley Park Stud has the potential to breed classy two-year-olds - although those priced at speculative odds on debut have seemingly little chance of winning

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Bet I can live longer than you!

59 year old dare-devil Evel Knievel bet his 37 year old doctor $10,000 that he (Knievel) would outlive the much younger man.  The bet was made in 1998 and Mr. Knievel lost the bet when he passed away in 2007

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Bad horse joke of the week

What happened to the horse that swallowed a dollar bill?

 It bucked!

Bill Turner goes Zebedee for a pint at his local

Bill Turner, former jump jockey and renowned Flat trainer, turned heads in 2009 when riding to his local, the King's Arms, in Sherborne, Dorset, for a swift pint after work. But instead of taking his old trusty hack, he rides a zebra called Zebedee. Turner purchased his stable star from a game reserve in Holland for 5K and learned to ride the animal in two weeks.

The horse trainer said: 'Zebras are more difficult to ride than horses as they can be unpredictable and panic under stress. I have broken hundreds of horses over the years but always wanted to try my hand at a zebra, but they are hard to get hold of,' he told the Racing Post.

Monday, 17 January 2011

It's a website for horseracing...

I couldn't help but smile as I updated the Horse Trainer Website Directory to notice that Ben Pollock, a trainer from Market Harborough, Leicestershire, has a website named Intrigued, I quickly looked unsure if I would find a gallery of top class chasers or a photo of Nick Griffin. Perhaps Ben had realised the ambiguity as the website is no longer live.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Top 10 secrets to backing two-year-old winners

1. Remember it is always more difficult for a two-year-old to win on its debut and especially against experienced opposition. If you bet, then it is advisable to compete against youngsters making their racecourse bows.

2. If a juvenile has enough ability to win a race, it is much more likely to do so on its second or third start. Most trainers’ feature significantly higher win rates compared with debutantes.

3. Most fashionable stables are unlikely to win at speculative prices. The majority have few winners priced over 13/2 with lesser still at 10/1 or bigger. An example, Mick Channon has very few juveniles win on their second start priced over 8/1.

4. However, if a two-year-old is a short price on its second start but disappoints there is a likelihood this individual could be a good value bet on its next start. Often a short price is an indication of ability and a horse is always prone to disappointing, especially on extremes of going: heavy or firm. A poor run can make judgment more difficult but this uncertainty often leads to a bigger price. It is worth noting that juveniles from stronger stables are still unlikely to win at speculative odds. In fact, being strongly fancied in the betting is often a very good sign of ability.

5. Speculative-priced winners are more likely to come from less fashionable stables: sometimes winning on debut but more generally showing little ability on their first start because they are in need of the race – simply unfit. It is always worth noting smaller stables that trained juvenile winners in the past – they are a select few. If any of these juveniles were a significantly short price on debut then disappointing, they are worthy of consideration on their second start but only at a speculative price. Many smaller trainers are very unlikely to train a juvenile winner. Take a look at their statistics and it soon becomes clear if they have any chance. There are always exceptions to every rule – talented two-year-olds do appear at less fashionable stables and reason why studying significant entries has its rewards.

6. Pay attention to horse declarations, they are often overlooked but a great source of information that most people either don't consider or quickly forget. Take note as they can lead to superb betting opportunities. Jockey bookings may also be a pointer, especially if their mounts are changed late on. It's important to be aware that a jockey may be retained for a given trainer/owner, which may negate such findings.

7. Juvenile declarations are particularly important with regard to race type. These differing grades of racing are worth their weight in gold. The key is to note extremes such as Selling & Claiming entries at the lower level and Stakes, Listed & Group races at the highest. Two-year-olds are often entered to run but then withdrawn. It isn’t uncommon to see a two-year-old entered to run in a Selling race later compete at maiden level. Clearly, these juveniles are potentially at a disadvantage but this knowledge is often forgotten on the day. In particular, Mick Channon falls into this category. These two-year-old often start at short prices because of his popularity and prone to drifting in the betting. The contrary can be said for Listed/Group race entered juveniles. Although no guarantee of ability they may indicate a level of confidence, especially when holding a string of Group entries. Take your time to note smaller trainers who give their two-year-olds such lofty engagements. Many will fail to show ability but there are always a number each season that win at speculative odds. Again, check to see the trainer’s general statistics or note if they have had other two-year-old winners that season. If they have, it is likely the Group-entered horse is better.

8. Always be careful when betting on extremes of going, especially if selections are a short price. Be aware of extreme draw bias, especially on turning course. Experienced juveniles running against debutantes may be able to negate such factors but there is always a concern it will be a stiff task.

9. Be careful of juveniles with a string of placed efforts because they often struggle to win and at some point are likely to regress and lose at a short price.

10. When assessing form, wait until you are certain the two-year-olds in question have attained a winning standard of ability. Do not – unless you are absolutely convinced – presume that the form is ‘good enough’ or just hope it is. Juveniles with placed efforts on their first start can be made favourite for their next race and consequently under priced. You don’t want to learn the form is weak after you have backed it. In the long term it pays to be careful when assessing form and bet selectively


Capricorn horsescope shows that 2011 year is looking bright for Capricorn! Even though there will be some ups and downs, the general positive attitude of the Sag will keep everything looking bright. Turning towards experience is the quickest way to learn. As you face down the troubles that enter into 2011, be ready to learn and grow.

Interpretation: 'Back a 33/1 shot and cross your fingers...'  

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Can you blow into this?

Traffic police tested a horse for being over the alcohol limit after it went out of control and killed an elderly man in the southwestern Romanian county of Gorj, the Ananova news agency said on Tuesday.

Police made the unusual request after an 86-year-old-man died from injuries sustained when he was hit by a cart, which was being pulled by a horse that "looked out of control."

Ion Iliuta, head of the local veterinary authority, said: "We never had such a request before. Maybe to see what kind of blood it is, yes, but to find out if the animal was drunk, never."
The blood test came back positive.

The 56-year-old owner said he was returning home after having bought the horse earlier at a fair.

Police believe the horse was given alcohol to make it appear stronger and healthier.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

WANTED! $15,000

The Horse Trainer Website Directory is progressing but your feedback is an important part of its success.

Simply click on the link below and give me your opinion on whether you think it is a user-friendly site, does it have a worthwhile purpose, would you bookmark, visit or recommend the site to others and how could it be improved? Please remember that the website is still under construction but the basic shape is in place. I would also be interested in hearing from blogs and websites that would like to exchange links (upon completion). Thanks for taking the time to consider this new websites.