Notebook: Horses to Follow April 27

varian

FROM last week’s list both LEAR’S ROCK and RISK ADJUSTED hit the crossbar by coming second. Lear’s Rock looked a little unlucky as he was forced to race quite wide at Epsom before storming home. A longer trip would suit. Risk Adjusted was badly outpaced at Ripon before staying on behind a well-backed debutante. He needs to be upped to 6f next time. Here are some more likely beasts who have gone into the notebook in the past seven days… Read More

Weekly notebook: Horses to follow

ryan moore

HERE we take a look at a few horses to follow. These animals have caught the eye in the past seven days and might be worth keeping a very close eye on next time out… Read More

Balder Succes: a wonderful legacy

Balder1

THE sport lost one of its favourites yesterday. The gorgeous Balder Succes succumbed to a shoulder injury sustained in a fall in the Melling Chase at Aintree on Friday. He was a real favourite of this blog and was a horse who somehow captured the imagination of thousands of true racing fans. I’m not sure if it was his handsome head or his striking dark appearance. Maybe it was his pure potential and the feeling that here was a horse who had so much ability. But I think the real reason he captured the hearts of the racing public was his relationship with his lad. Read More

Many Clouds: A National treasure

many clouds

AND there it was. One of the finest specimens of a National Hunt horse that you’ll ever see galloping to success in the world’s greatest race. I have adored Many Clouds since he glided to victory at Wetherby on his bumper debut a few years ago. It was obvious then he had an engine. But, like most other so-called pundits, I didn’t fancy him for yesterday’s Crabbie’s Grand National. I thought the hard races he had in winning the Hennessy Gold Cup and the Argento Chase had left their mark, especially after he slightly disappointed connections in the Cheltenham Gold Cup a month ago. Read More

Cheltenham Festival 2015

Uxizandre

THE lady, bedecked in tweed, would not shut up. The horses were walking in for the RSA Chase and Mrs Tweed was rattling on regardless: “What’s happening now? How many times do they run round? Do they jump the fences? Have they started yet?” Some folk were chuckling. Others were quietly seething. As the race unravelled, Mrs Tweed was still wittering on. Her male partner was answering her inquiries with dwindling enthusiasm. She was eventually drowned out by the roars of appreciation for the peerless Don Poli who produced one of the most striking performances of the week. Then she struck up again in her haughty tones: “Has it finished? Who won?” Read More

Cheltenham Festival record in Mullins’ sights

champagne fever

by JAMES HARRISON The record for number of winners in a single Cheltenham Festival must be under threat this year as Willie Mullins assembles a team bulging with talent to send across the Irish Sea. Everywhere you look, Mullins has ante-post favourites for the Festival and it would be no surprise if the record of seven winners in a Festival – set by Nicky Henderson in 2012 – is broken this year. Read More

Champion Hurdle: The New One has the speed

thenewone

SOMEBODY asked me who I was going to back for the Champion Hurdle the other day. I replied in the style of Ruby Walsh: “I’m going to wait until the last possible moment and consider all the options. Why the rush?” Ruby must be getting bored of being quizzed about who he is going to ride in the Champion Hurdle, Faugheen or Hurricane Fly. I don’t blame him for biding his time… When it comes to taking a punt, it also makes sense to wait, especially as the state of the ground will be a major factor. Read More

Godsmejudge looks divine in Crabbie’s Grand National

godsmejudge

CARLINGFORD Lough and Cheltenham Gold Cup hero Lord Windermere have been jointly-allotted top-weight of 11st 10lb for the £1million Crabbie’s Grand National at Aintree on April 11. The weights were unveiled at noon today at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden. The Grand National is the only handicap in which the British Horseracing Authority’s Head of Handicapping Phil Smith has total discretion over the weights and can deviate from the normal handicap ratings. Read More

Saturday Yankee

diamond king

THE next three weeks is a funny time. It is the calm before the storm as the racing community builds itself into a frenzy in the run-up to the Cheltenham Festival and pundits jump on the lucrative gravy train of preview nights. But Saturday’s racing still has a stamp of quality and it is last chance saloon for some potential Festival candidates… Read More

Ruby ready to Rock for Cheltenham Festival round five

rockonruby

by MICHAEL SUTTON There will be few more popular winners at the Cheltenham Festival than if Rock On Ruby wins the World Hurdle. The Festival at Cheltenham in 2015 is already shaping up to be an illustrious roll call of former winners. There may be no Quevega this year but Willie Mullins will still be sending Hurricane Fly and Champagne Fever over in search of their respective third Festival successes. Read More