Vivaldi Collonges to call the tune

vivaldi

ALMOST a year ago, on the first day of Wetherby’s Charlie Hall meeting, I remember a young horse really catching the eye. He was making his debut and travelled with precarious ease under Nick Scholfield before being edged out by a more experienced Nicky Henderson horse. VIVALDI COLLONGES went straight into the notebook although his following two efforts were disappointing on soft ground. However, persistence paid off and Paul Nicholls’ youngster, helped by the better ground, sprang a 10/1 surprise on his final start at Ayr, winning a 3m handicap with ease. Read More

Kilgeel Hill one to note

present view

TODAY’S Huntingdon card has been hit by the atrocious weather. About 35mm of rain fell overnight turning the ground soft and heavy in places. The star attraction, PRESENT VIEW, has been pulled out of the 2m 4f novices hurdle that was intended as his prep race for the Paddy Power Gold Cup. Read More

Something from the weekend…

southfield theatre

THERE was a strong mix of Flat and National Hunt racing over the weekend and plenty of horses to put into the notebook for the coming weeks. Philip Hobbs produced a fantastic training performance to win the Cesarewitch with BIG EASY while SOUTHFIELD THEATRE made a highly impressive chasing debut at Chepstow and looks destined for a very good season. But here are some other horses that caught the eye over the weekend… Read More

King George VI Chase

simonsig

by ROI MADHAN THE biggest National Hunt race over the Christmas period takes place at Kempton Park on Boxing Day and features some of the best three-mile chasers from the UK and Ireland. I am, of course, talking about the King George VI Chase. This Grade 1 contest is open to horses aged four years and older and is now part of the William Hill Winter Festival, a two-day event that includes some of the most prestigious races of the season outside the Cheltenham Festival. Read More

Taghrooda to triumph in Arc de Triomphe

taghrooda

VERY few races capture the imagination like the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe. Dancing Brave, Sea The Stars and last year’s stunning winner Treve are just a few of the equine luminaries to grace the winner’s enclosure at Longchamp. This Sunday’s race is another mouth-watering affair and as competitive as ever. Only the absence of Epsom Derby winner Australia denies the race of some of its lustre. But it remains a stellar field and it could be another year for the ladies… Read More

Burrough Hill Lad: The Making of a Champion Racehorse

burr3

AS autumn leaves begin to gather on the pavements and the chillier mornings leave us with goosebumps, it can only mean that proper Jump racing is almost upon us. The Charlie Hall Chase is a few weeks away… the Paddy Power Gold Cup is within sight. But if you really want to set the National Hunt pulse racing then a new book stands out above all the others at present. BURROUGH HILL LAD: THE MAKING OF A CHAMPION RACEHORSE charts the remarkable story of the elegant but powerful chaser and his redoubtable owner Stan Riley. He was one of my favourite jumpers of all time. Here co-author GAVAN NADEN writes exclusively about how the book came to be… Read More

Limato to continue unbeaten run at Newbury

limato

LIMATO has done everything right in his three runs and I was disappointed when he missed the Gimcrack Stakes at York. He has had a two-month break since his last race and reappears on Saturday in the Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury. He should continue his unbeaten run at the main expense of Jungle Cat. Read More

Kingston Hill can grab St Leger glory

kingston

THE St Leger has been around for 238 years. In fact, it was first raced just 69 years after Scotland officially became part of the UK in the 1707 Act Of Union. The oldest Classic is steeped in history but let’s be honest: this year’s race is a shade disappointing. There’s nothing of the class of previous winners such as Oh So Sharp, Commanche Run and Reference Point but we do have the Epsom Derby second and third… Read More

Saturday selections: Feel the Power

solepowerIF I wasn’t chained to the Daily Star Sunday office tomorrow, I’d be at Haydock like a shot. There is a belting card and it is marvellous that SOLE POWER takes his chance in the Group One Betfred Sprint Cup. There are few better sights than him and Richard Hughes in full flight. Read More

Daily Punt: September 1

stone roses

MICHAEL Bell has always thought a lot of STONE ROSES and this grey filly has been slowly getting her act together. In fact, I think she would have won at Newmarket last time with a clear run over 6f. She reverts to 5f at Brighton today (3.00), which is a slight worry, but with Ryan Moore in the saddle she looks primed to get off the mark. The biggest danger could be Roger Varian’s speedy Queen’s Pearl who showed very good toe on her debut over 6f before tiring. The drop in trip should suit. Read More