Something from the weekend…

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 …[Read More]

Dark horses: Brave Spartacus

KEITH Reveley’s eight-year-old BRAVE SPARTACUS developed into a very useful front-running novice chaser last season, winning four times. He ended up running respectably at Aintree but has not been since since. Today he reverts to hurdles in a 2m 1f novice event at Sedgefield (2.20). The decent ground will suit him and although he has …[Read More]

Dark horses: Straidnahanna

I’VE been following STRAIDNAHANNA since he made his debut at Wetherby in November and went toe-to-toe with the very useful Oscar Rock, left. His future lies over fences but he should be up to winning over the smaller obstacles, and he hit the crossbar when beaten a short head at Haydock in January. Today it …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Sunblazer

THIS week feels very much like after the Lord Mayor’s Show. But before any of us can blink the three-day Aintree meeting will be upon us, in 16 days in fact. It’s been a while since we did a Dark Horses piece but a few catch the eye today. SUNBLAZER was a tough and consistent …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Edmund Kean

TO BE fair, David Pipe’s EDMUND Kean isn’t really a dark horse but I’ve been waiting for him to make his chasing debut. This strapping son of Old Vic won with plenty in hand over hurdles at Fakenham and Taunton last season before running a blinder when third in the ultra-competitive EBF Final at Sandown. …[Read More]

Dark horses: Smart Motive

BUMPERS can be trappy affairs but I have a real soft spot for them. Yesterday at Carlisle I saw Donald McCain’s Stonebrook win doing handsprings. You’ll be hearing a lot more about him over the next few seasons. Today’s bumper at Huntingdon is even trickier than normal because it is a Junior bumper for three-year-olds …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Centasia, Carraig Mor and Ainsi Fideles

I’M off to Wetherby on Friday where the highly promising Oscar Rock makes his hurdling debut in the opening race. But I’ll be casting a beady eye towards Uttoxeter where two young horses really catch the eye. CENTASIA is a big strong mare who won a couple of bumpers impressively last season before running well …[Read More]

Dark Horses: Vendredi Trois

*UPDATE: Vendredi Trois has this morning been declared a non-runner* THE highs and heartbreaking lows of racing have been felt by the Emma Lavelle team in the past few weeks. The death of one the yard’s great white hopes, Killyglass, was a reminder of how cruel this sport can be. The winner of last season’s …[Read More]

Farewell to Willie The Whipper

ANN DUFFIELD’S flagship horse Willie The Whipper sold for a six-figure sum in the ring after his final run for the North Yorkshire trainer in the Prix Dollar at the weekend. Like most of Qatar Racing’s team, the plan was always to send him to the sales ring but he will be sorely missed by …[Read More]

Dark horses: Creepy and Annacotty

FAIR enough, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe looks like being a decent little contest! And the Flat boys are banging on about the Breeders Cup and Champions Day, blah blah blah. But it’s October 1 tomorrow and that means the proper jumps season is almost here. Chepstow holds its first National Hunt card of …[Read More]