20 Feb 2019

How To Choose A Horse

Many people who are passionate or curious about horse racing actually consider buying a horse themselves. They would love to ride a horse as a workout, or to have a horse for their children to ride on a regular basis. Although having a horse is somewhat unusual, and it also demands investment, there is nothing particularly difficult in that. So, if one can afford a horse, one should know how to choose a good one.

At the same time, if you are looking for people, who are also interested in horses, you can try dating sites. People there are not only searching for love but also from friendship and other types of relations.

Choose a Horse: Step By Step Guide

First of all, you have to decide whether you want a horse exclusively for yourself, exclusively for your children, or you are going to share the horse with somebody else. This is important because you should pick an animal suitable for the size of humans that are going to ride it. So, it is better to buy a pony if only your children will ride it. For adults, there can be variations. 

When picking an animal for adult, firstly, take the one which is at least five times heavier than you are. The point is, heavy rider will injure the horse eventually. If your weight is around 80 kgs, your horse should weight at least 400 kgs. 

Next step is deciding on the height of the animal - for tall people, tall horses are needed. Your feet should not be located much lower than the animal’s belly when you ride it. It is impossible to define whether the height is appropriate or not without sitting on the horse’s back. 

Choose an animal you can actually afford taking proper care of. Buying a steed is only part of the cost; the other costs will be stables, food, veterinarian, etc. At the same time, avoid steeds that are very cheap or given away for free. They may be weak, ill, or very bad-tempered, and you will eventually waste more money trying to manage the situation later. 

You should also assess reasonably your skills in riding, and the extent to which you are ready to develop these skills in the future. If your ultimate goal is to take long walks around the neighbouring forests and fields, choose the corresponding breed for beginner riders. If you would like to learn and participate in races, then a different list of breeds is for your benefit.

One trick of choosing a good animal is to check out its usual stall. If it is damaged and has traces of strikes on it, the horse is unlikely of a moderate temper. Another secret is to try and handle the animal and brush it, on your own. Check if there are any blemishes and marks on the skin - if yes, perhaps the horse was beaten. 

These are the basic recommendations for choosing a horse. If you are still not sure about your skills, address the nearest riding school and ask for assistance.

Antique Retro Slot Machines: Indian Head

Retro slot machines (Jennings)
I don't know about you, but these modern slot machines don't seem a patch on the old antique one-armed bandits of yesteryear. 

To be honest, I don't even understand what these new slots are all about. They feature about one-million winning lines and I'm damned if I can work out what is a win or not until I hear all the bells and whistles and the money increasing on screen. It's such a song and dance that I expect to see Fred Astaire appear from a door in the corner of the room and disappear when the jingle has concluded. 

''Did I really see Fred Astaire doing the light fandango to the tune of Cleopatra slot machine?''

Trust me, if you play those slots long enough, you'll be seeing Mickey Mouse doing the Macarena. 

Anyway, I really shouldn't give slot machines such a hard time because lots of people love them. Even easier when you stay at home and play to your heart's content. Online Casino Deutschland is worth a gander if you fancy finding the best offers and free bets, free spins and you may even glimpse a vision of Sammy Davis Jnr if you play long enough or hit on a massive win that sends you out of this world. 

Back to my antique slots. When I was a child I used to go on holiday to Caister-on-sea, Norfolk. The arcade on the Haven site had lots of new slot machines and arcade games. It was the mid-70s so around the time of Space Invaders. Well, the arcade had a few old slot machines left over from the good old days. A few of the Jennings slot machines. All chrome, smelling of oil, and clunky reels that shuddered when they stopped. The one with the Indian head. 

I'm no expert when it comes to these retro slot machines but even as a seven-year-old child I knew I liked them. There is something magical about a machine made of nuts and bolts which goes beyond all these pixelated screens. The sounds of coins singing against the chrome tough. They may have been twopences but for a youngster, it was like a million bucks. I had many an hour playing on them with my twin brother. They still stick in my mind. The design so beautiful, sturdy but ornate. They had and still have character. 

Today these vintage slot machines are true collector's items. I doubt you would get much change out of a couple of grand. Funny how times change. I can imagine plenty were discarded as the modern stuff arrived. Funny how they are the ones that are still remembered and prized. 

In this modern age where no one can be bothered to move too much. Online casinos have taken place of the brick and mortar equivalent. 

Should gambling be a solitary affair or better with some company? 

The choice is yours. 

Betway: Can Woollacott Train a Cheltenham Winner?

''I know she has appreciated my help...''

Credit: Betway

19 Feb 2019

3 Horses Facing Cheltenham Festival Choices

With a number of horses holding multiple entries in the build-up to this year's Cheltenham Festival, there are some major decisions to be made by the trainers and owners involved. 

Which high-profile horses are facing choices about which event suits them best ahead of the four-day National Hunt spectacular in March? Here, we take a look at three. 


Proven form at the course is a huge plus for any Festival hopeful, and few in training have a better record at Cheltenham than Paul Nicholls' seven-year-old Frodon. His partnership with female jockey Bryony Frost has caught public attention after they put together a string of solid races at the Cotswolds venue. 

Frodon has run over three miles on several occasions with mixed success, but doubters were silenced when he made all in customary bold jumping fashion to land the Cotswold Chase - the official trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup. 

Nicholls was then quoted as saying he is very tempted to go and contest the big one, but the ante-post Festival betting suggests Frodon has a better chance if he runs in the Ryanair Chase again. This is a view shared by the expert bloggers at betconnect, a social betting network that allows bettors to follow the selections of pros in today's horse racing cards, who have tipped the bay gelding to put in a strong showing this time out. While he was fifth and last to finish in the race last year, he's rated a 7lb better horse and still has youth on his side. 

He remains unexposed at trips over three miles-plus and, with the Gold Cup picture looking fairly open, it's easy to see why connections may be keen to take their chance.


Connections of Irish raider Min must surely be keen to swerve meeting the unbeaten Altior at a third Cheltenham Festival. Whether it's been over hurdles or fences, Willie Mullins' charge has never got within seven lengths of the Nicky Henderson stable star. 

That leaves owners Rich and Susannah Ricci with a dilemma. Do they contest the Queen Mother Champion Chase over two miles, or step Min back up in trip for the Ryanair? Since winning the John Durkan at Punchestown in early December, the eight-year-old has successfully defended his Dublin Chase crown around Leopardstown.

Min is thus a horse with Grade 1 win victories over both two and two-and-a-half miles. He's second-favourite behind Altior for the Champion Chase, but heads the betting for the Ryanair. It's a big decision for everyone involved.

Apple's Jade 

There's arguably no jumps horse in training in better form than Gordon Elliott's Gigginstown House Stud mare Apple's Jade this season. She is one tough and versatile cookie, who has recorded Grade 2 victories in hurdle races over in Ireland over three miles, two-and-a-half, and most recently when dropping back down in trip for the Irish Champion Hurdle. 

Apple's Jade has always been seen by her powerful owners as Mares' Hurdle material. She won that middle-distance contest at the Cheltenham Festival two years ago and was then a below-par third when found to be in season 12 months ago. 

In a campaign where the initial plan was to aim the much vaunted Samcro at the Champion Hurdle, he’s disappointed this season and connections must be tempted to switch the mare’s target. Trainer Elliott is certainly keen to contest the two-mile championship race on the opening day of the Festival. 

Bookmakers have reacted to this by pushing Apple's Jade out for the mares' race and shortening her for the Champion Hurdle. She also holds a Stayers' Hurdle entry, but at this stage, it looks the least likely engagement for her.

6 Feb 2019

Which Horse Trainers Can Win at Big Odds?

One of the greatest aspects of British horse racing is that we don't lack for trainers. 

From one man and his dog (horse) to Paul Nicholls with a vast string of thoroughbreds. It's interesting to consider the worth of a given trainer. In that, I mean, which are most likely to win at big odds. Making the right decision can mean the difference between a winning and losing season. For example, with Prestbury Park not far away in March, are you thinking about Cheltenham sign up offers for free bets, odds guaranteed & non-runner no bet.  

Let's say you are going to place a bet with betbrain uk. You need to use your intelligence to bet wisely. So which horse trainers are worth their weight in gold? 

Remember we are talking about horse trainers who can win at big odds. Generally speaking most large stables with vast strings don't win at odds of 33/1. In fact, I have run studies on most and they really have a poor strike rate on their first and second start. However, there are exceptions to the rule. Richard Fahey is one trainer who can do very well with debutantes at huge odds. It is interesting to reason why this happens. You would think bookmakers would be careful because they know he has a wealth of potentially smart two-year-olds. So why do some win a huge odds? I can only assume that some are thought to need the race but natural ability shine through and leads to a win. 

Contrast this with debutantes from Mick Channon. He is very price orientated and very few debutantes win at odds bigger than 10/1. In addition, very few win at bigger odds second start. 

One trainer who is worth following with his two-year-olds on their racecourse bow is Michael Dods. He is a rare talent. He is something of an anomaly because his bigger priced horses actually achieve as much if not more than shorter odds. Over the years, he has seen winners at 66/1, 40/1 & many high double-figure odds. He is one of a select list who can almost be backed blindly on debut to show a profit. Certainly over the last decade that is definitely true.  

In general, smaller trainers have a much greater chance of winning at big odds on debut. However, that is usually because they don't have decent horses in their string. The key to success is finding a smaller trainer who has loyal owners with plenty of money to buy potentially smart juveniles. 

This year, I notice one smaller trainer who has won with a big priced debutant. That is the smallest stable in Newmarket, a lovely lady named Ilka Gansera-Leveque. Amazingly, she may have a dark horse in her stable. I noticed an unnamed two-year-old sired by Frankel. Could this horse win at big odds? Perhaps not, simply because this juvenile is likely to attract some media attention. That is likely to chip away at the starting odds. However, if this horse has got enough ability to win at the first time of asking, it is still likely to be value. 

Horse trainers are often creatures of habit. They usually follow patterns and that includes the price they can win. 

Doing a little bit of research can help identify those who can bring about a shock result. If doing research is too much like hard work, then I'd suggest you follow Michael Dods' debutantes because they often win at huge odds. 

5 Feb 2019

Vintage Clouds Needs Special Display For Sue Smith at Grand National

Vintage Clouds has been a solid performer in the National Hunt in his career, but he will have to produce the performance of a lifetime to win the Grand National. Sue Smith’s charge has been in the running for major crowns throughout his career, although success at the highest level of the sport has eluded him since making his bow in 2014. 

The Irish horse has found a semblance of his best form in the current campaign, notching an impressive victory at Haydock Park. It was a step in the right direction for the bay gelding, but to etch his place in the history of Grand National horse racing, the 25/1 antepost selection will need to be flawless at Aintree in April to join a truly elite list of competitors. 

Vintage Clouds made an impression in the early stages of last season with an impressive win at Aintree in the Interactive Chase. He was a slight outsider for the event, but with Danny Cook in the saddle, he rose to the occasion with a smooth ride to claim the win by 18 lengths. 

Future King George VI Chase winner Clan Des Obeaux would defeat the Irish horse in his next outing at the Graduation Chase at Haydock Park by seven lengths, with Smith’s charge just lacking the pace down the stretch to challenge his rival. Although he missed out on the victory, his form was good enough for him to be considered the leading contender for the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow. 

Cook took the reins for the event and made a strong start to the contest. The Irish horse appeared to be on track for a charge for the win, but he made a crucial mistake at the 12th fence which disrupted his rhythm. He managed to claw back ground, although it was only good enough for fourth place. 

A second-place finish at Wetherby handed Smith’s charge some momentum ahead of Cheltenham Festival and Ultima Handicap Chase. He was a slight outsider behind Coo Star Sivola for the victory, although once again Vintage Clouds was able to make a good impression in the opening furlongs of the contest. However, he lacked the pace in the crunch down the stretch as Coo Star Sivola and Shantou Flyer battled it out for the win, with the latter edging the race by a neck. The Irish horse still put forward a decent effort to finish in third slightly off the pace of the leading duo.

The eight-year-old still had enough left in the tank to compete in the Scottish Grand National. He was a slight outsider for the event, although he was competitive once the race began making strides in the leading pack. A slight mistake at the 23rd fence knocked him slightly off the pace, and although he was in contention down the stretch, the Irish horse was unable to make ground on 33/1 outsider Joe Farrell, who took the crown ahead of Ballyoptic by the nose. 

Vintage Clouds returned for the new campaign with a win at Haydock Park. On this occasion, the bay gelding did have the pace when it mattered the most to close out the victory ahead of Takingrisks by half-a-length. He had momentum to take into his return to the Welsh Grand National. However, he endured a nightmare display, failing to find his rhythm after a couple of early mistakes. Smith’s charge pulled up shortly after the 17th fence, ending his race. There’s talent in the Irish horse, but whether he has enough to put it all together on the big stage at Aintree is another matter.