Famous horses: The Mill Reef story

MILL Reef didn’t look like a champion. He was small: “diminutive” was the usual description. He was also unlucky because he was foaled in the same year as another equine great in Brigadier Gerard. But he was totally brilliant, especially when upped in distance. This Saturday sees the 41st running of the Mill Reef Stakes …[Read More]

Famous horses: The Oh So Sharp story

CAMELOT could be about to write himself into the pantheon of racing history. But let’s pause for a moment and think of the fairer sex. Now we all know that the Triple Crown hasn’t been done since Nijinsky in 1970. But what about the Fillies’ Triple Crown? If there was a Fillies’ Equality Council it …[Read More]

A chat with… Ann Duffield

ANN Duffield is one of the most upwardly mobile trainers in UK horse racing and is enjoying a fine season. With the expert help of husband and former top jockey George, she has developed one of the finest training establishments in the north. But it has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears to …[Read More]

Famous horses: the riddle of Gorytus…

I REMEMBER the hyperbole as if it was yesterday. Gorytus. Two runs. Two wins. But they weren’t just wins. In those juvenile races he massacred the opposition in a way that caused him to be hailed as some sort of Pegasus. This, according to the racing world, was a wonder horse like we had never …[Read More]

A chat with… Ben Haslam

WHEN Ben Haslam became one of the youngest trainers in UK horse racing in 2010, he knew he had big shoes to fill. At just 25 he had the unenviable task of taking over from his father Patrick, a widely respected trainer for 37 years. But with plenty of winners under both codes the early …[Read More]

Channel 4: don’t lose the humour

I FEEL like the Channel 4 Racing team have become close pals of mine over the past 28 years. We have spent a lot of time together. Me sitting on the couch watching them do their stuff on Saturday afternoons and, in particular, during the big midweek meetings. I’ve watched John Francome and John McCririck …[Read More]

RIP Go Ballistic: a wonderful warrior

ONE of the beauties of racing is the way that some horses just seem to go on forever. Season after season they stretch every sinew in the quest for glory. Take Kauto Star: I can’t quite imagine national hunt racing without him. One horse who fell into this category was the wonderful warrior Go Ballistic. …[Read More]

Two-year-old notebook

Each week I’ll be picking out some juveniles who have caught the eye on the racecourse and will also be highlighting a few unraced horses who have been working well at home. Watch this space… October 9 Senator Bong was a 12/1 winner at Nottingham for the list last week. Muthmera, Greatwood and Ostaad hit …[Read More]

Own a Cheltenham winner for £3.97 a month

For most racing fans owning a horse is nothing but a pipedream. The cost of purchasing one and then forking out a king’s ransom on training fees, vets’ bills and other associated expenses are insurmountable financial barriers for most of us mere mortals. But a slew of new syndicates and racing clubs seem to be …[Read More]

Winners, winners, winners (even Andy Murray)

I’m still catching my breath after a hectic weekend. Andy Murray lost on the court but won the hearts of the nation with his tears. That’s the Sports Personality of the Year gong in the bag. Bradley Wiggins grabbed the yellow jersey in the Tour De France and looks like he might just keep it. …[Read More]