Trading Leather the King George value


TELESCOPE grew up and finally became a man at Royal Ascot. His victory in the Hardwicke Stakes was, visually at least, the performance of the meeting (along with Kingman). And, as a result, he is the warm 15/8 favourite for the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot on Saturday. But in recent days the market has been shaken up by Oaks heroine Taghrooda being re-routed from last weekend’s Irish Oaks to the Group One Ascot race. Read More

The Coral Eclipse Stakes


IT’S a shame that Australia chose an exercise canter in a farce of an Irish derby over a tilt at the Coral Eclipse Stakes this Saturday. The shorter trip may have seen him to even greater effect. But the race is still building up to be a tasty morsel. Here is a rundown of the 12 still left in, nine of whom have some sort of chance. Read More

Pitmen’s Derby: Hit the Tropical Beat


PLENTY of people moan that the Epsom Derby is no longer run on a Wednesday. But if you delve into the history books another “Derby” also used to be run in the middle of the week. This was the Pitmen’s Derby, a fantastic occasion and an annual holiday for miners who made the pilgrimage to Gosforth Park for the staying handicap each year. Sadly, the race ceased to be a holiday in 1949 and was switched to a Saturday. Now the Pitmen’s Derby or, of course, the Northumberland Plate, is one of the richest staying handicaps in Europe. This Saturday’s race looks as competitive as ever. Read More

Royal Ascot five to follow

mind ofmadness

AS sporting weeks go, they don’t get much bigger than this. The World Cup continues to thrill but a wonderful side dish is provided by Royal Ascot 2014. Five wonderful days of racing, supplemented by the usual dose of tradition and heritage that resonate not just with racing purists but the nation as a whole, start tomorrow. Finding Royal Ascot winners won’t be easy, especially in the big-field handicaps. But here are five horses who will, hopefully, pay their way… Read More

Royal Ascot: A Group One feast

Nothing quite beats Royal Ascot

THE weather is set fair for Royal Ascot. There isn’t a drop of rain forecast for the next week at the Berkshire track, which is great news for fashionistas and even better news for thoroughbreds wanting fast ground. Tuesday’s racing is immense with three Group One races kicking off the royal meeting. There are very warm favourites in two of them, while the other is wide open. So let’s look for some value… Read More

Juvenile notebook: June 10


A FASCINATING two-year-old race and one sure to spawn several winners is well worth a watching brief at Lingfield on Tuesday (6.25). The 12 runners are all unraced but a fair few have been impressing at home. The Queen’s Pack Together, who is by Paco Boy, has been doing things nicely at Richard Hannon’s yard and should start favourite. Read More

Royal Ascot 2014


SOME people go for the fashion. Others pay homage to the royal family. But the majority go for the top-class horses. Royal Ascot 2014 will provide the best week of Flat racing anywhere in the world. The annual meeting is also one of the biggest events in the social calendar. It is steeped in history and celebrates our heritage quite like no other event. The familiar sight of The Queen and her royal underlings parading down the course before racing each day is one of those constants in our lives that never changes. What colour Her Majesty wears each day provides a flurry of excitement and a lively betting market that I can never quite explain! And the array of hats range from the sublime to the downright ridiculous. Punters, celebrities and VIPs watch each other, as well as the racing…. Read More

Epsom Derby Pinstickers’ Guide


SIXTEEN colts will bid for Classic glory in the Epsom Derby over a mile-and-a-half on Saturday. It follows Monday’s five-day confirmation stage. The total prize fund for Britain’s richest race now stands at £1,379,500. Wowzers! Here’s a pinstickers’ guide to this year’s race: Read More

Juvenile notebook: May 31


ROYAL Ascot is just 17 days away. So trainers eyeing up the two year old races have little time to unleash their juvenile artillery. But there are some interesting types running today, with the opening race at Newmarket the main focus. Read More

Ground could scupper Australia in Epsom Derby


THE best horse does not always win the Derby. Dancing Brave and El Gran Senor spring to mind. For varying reasons they came a cropper at Epsom: they both should have won of course but they provide a salutary warning when looking ahead to this year’s race. For many pundits AUSTRALIA is a shoo-in and he remains odds-on. But that is a ridiculous price for a horse who has never run beyond a mile and who clearly won’t relish rain-softened ground. Read More