Cheltenham November Meeting

Cheltenham November Meeting

THE Cheltenham November Meeting starts today. Don’t be confused. That is now the official name of the three-day mash-up that many regard as the beginning of the “proper” National Hunt season. For 18 years it was The Open Meeting. But more of that later… Today’s opening salvo is an appetiser to tomorrow’s main course where …[Read More]

WIN tickets to the Unibet Fighting Fifth Hurdle

Fighting Fifth Hurdle

TEMPERATURES are falling but the jump racing season is hotting up, and we’ve teamed up with big race sponsor Unibet to offer you the chance to win a day out for two at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday 2 December when the feature race will be the famous Fighting Fifth Hurdle. First run in 1969 and now a hugely significant …[Read More]

Horses to follow at the Breeders’ Cup 2017

Del Mar

DEL Mar is known as the track where the “surf meets the turf.” The California city gets this due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, which is less than a mile away. Surprisingly, this weekend is its Breeders’ Cup debut and it has attracted a record number of European challengers, 35 in fact. The …[Read More]

Morning digest: Sceau happy Cheltenham is back

Sceau Royal

CHELTENHAM returns on Friday. Hurrah! The Squareintheair.com Novices’ Chase gets the pulse racing with Sceau Royal taking on fencing debutantes North Hill Harvey and Movewiththetimes. Sceau Royal, who jumped hurdles as quickly as anything I’ve seen, made a decent winning chasing debut at Warwick but this is tougher. He is not the biggest but I …[Read More]

Minella Rocco a Grand National fancy

One For Arthur

by JOHN ANDERSON ONE for Arthur has been ruled out of the 2018 Grand National, guaranteeing a new hero at Aintree. The horse produced a fine performance to win the prestigious race, becoming only the second Scottish-trained winner in the history of the contest. However, the eight-year-old has suffered a tendon injury in his right fore, …[Read More]

Morning Digest: Racing mourns death of Pat Haslam

Pat Haslam

SADNESS abounds this morning. Legendary northern trainer Pat Haslam has passed away, aged 69. The trainer of more than 1,000 winners, he was a much-loved figure in the sport and even after retiring he helped son Ben who took over the reins at Castle Hill Stables in Middleham. Condolences to Pat’s family. Also, Kempton was …[Read More]

Morning Digest: Oceane to make waves in Cesarewitch

Oceane

I WAS thrilled by the victory of Laurens in the Fillies’ Mile yesterday. It was a first Group One for PJ McDonald and there was something uplifting about the northern-trained filly conquering the Coolmore juggernaut. The silks of owner John Dance are becoming a familiar sight in winners’ enclosures and it is a reward for …[Read More]

Morning Digest: Cooperman to the rescue

Bryan Cooper

THIS time of year sees the usual merry-go-round of jump jockeys swapping stables and starting new retainers. But I was surprised when it was announced that Bryan Cooper would ride Alan Potts’ horses trained in the UK. Robbie Power, who was magnificent last season as Potts’ number one, will ride the owner’s horses in Ireland. …[Read More]

Morning Digest: Bravo for Finian’s Oscar

Finian's Oscar

THIS weekend’s Chepstow meeting has gained traction in recent years as the real starting point for the proper National Hunt season. Cheltenham’s Showcase fixture or the Charlie Hall at Wetherby have traditionally signalled the changing of the guard. But the presence of Finian’s Oscar this weekend offers more lustre to Chepstow’s curtain raiser. He could …[Read More]

Morning Digest: Manchego is the big cheese

Hugo Palmer trains Manchego

THE very nature of horse racing means that it occasionally leaves you feeling like you’ve been punched in the stomach. Such a moment occurred yesterday at Limerick when the highly talented Mega Fortune suffered a fatal fall when well clear. Words don’t really cut the mustard on occasions like these apart from condolences must go …[Read More]