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29 Jul 2021

What's Next for British Horse Racing Broadcasts?

With horse racing, as with virtually every other widely followed sport, there's often fierce competition over who gets the right to broadcast fixtures and provide analysis on TV. Over the past decade alone, the broadcast rights for major British horse races such as Royal Ascot and Cheltenham have passed between the hands of multiple channels, with the BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 all having held the main broadcasting rights at one point or another. 

Today, the broadcasting contract for British horse racing is held by ITV, as part of a £20 million multi-year agreement. However, its future as the home for televised horse racing is far from assured. After all, renegotiations for the contract nearly collapsed late last year with Racehorse Media Group, which represents all of the major race events. It's clear that ITV is not able to see eye to eye with the organisation on multiple fronts. 

As such, it seems well within the realm of possibility that ITV will no longer receive the broadcast rights once its current contract expires in 2023. But what happens after that? While it's possible that the game of musical chairs will continue and that the contact will go to one of the other big broadcasters, it's important to look at other trends at play in order to determine what the future of British horse racing will look like. 

For one, it's possible that the ever-encroaching popularity of online sports broadcasts and analysis will erode the value of the TV contract. After all, some of the world's top horse racing betting sites like bet365 offer live broadcasts to all members, alongside daily news and analysis on all major British horse races. This is a service that members of bet365 do not have to pay extra for and it's a feature that is becoming increasingly common across the booming online sports betting industry. 

As sports TV continues to see fierce competition from digital competitors, the broadcasters might find themselves less and less willing to shell out tens of millions of pounds for a contract in the near future. Meanwhile, it's also worth pondering whether the big three broadcasters will even be in the running for the contract by the time that it comes up for renewal.

Source: Unsplash

Smaller, for-pay channels are increasingly asserting themselves within the sports broadcasting arena. Just take a look at the Olympics, for example. The International Olympic Committee decided to award the entire European broadcasting rights for Tokyo 2020 not to public broadcasters like the Beeb, but to the cable US network Discovery, which has put most of its Olympic content behind a paywall. 

While this might result in fewer viewers overall, it's almost certainly a major boon to the network's profits. In the years to come, there is no reason why smaller, for-pay broadcasters won't begin seriously competing for the Racehorse Media Group contract. It's clear that the world of horse racing is currently in flux, and how we consume this great British pastime may change in the coming years. Stay tuned to find out. 

Top Photo Source: Unsplash

21 Jul 2021

Kevin Philippart de Foy in Winning Form

As an avid follower of horse racing I scan the race card on a daily basis. Then I stop at an unfamiliar name. 

Kevin Phillippart de Foy. 

It was April, an early two-year-old race. Pokhara, ridden by Daniel Muscutt. A bay filly, a daughter of The Gurkha, in the ownership of the Run Away Racing Himalayan Syndicate. 

They sound my kind of people!

This £15,000 yearling purchase, out of an unraced dam made her debut at Yarmouth, a 20/1 shot finishing fifth of five. 

Another trainer with high hopes and limited ammunition? 

Based at Machell Place, Newmarket, Suffolk, it would have been easy to say: ''Here today, gone tomorrow.''

However, this exceptional young trainer could well be one of those few handlers which hits the jackpot

My specialist niche is two-year-old horse racing and I follow each and every season like a black taxi cab driver revises the knowledge. 

I've been very impressed with Kevin Philippart de Foy's formative season. In fact, as a rookie trainer he reminds me very much of Archie Watson when he made an impact in 2016. 

At the time of writing (21/07/2021) he has sent out just 10 two-year-old horses. For any trainer winners are hard to find. Having the talent to ready a debutante really takes a lot of skill. It's the reason most established trainers have so few horses hitting the frame when making their racecourse bow let alone winning in style. 

Taking a quick glance at the juveniles he has raced so far for the 2021 season:

Two-year-olds: Winners underlined


Pokhara 5th 

Smooth Talking 3rd 


Rock Melody 1st 

Giewont 8th 

Mehmentum 3rd 

Bailysgutfeeling 4th 


New Pursuit 1st 

Unexpected Arrival 5th 

Scot's Grace 1st 

Pearl Glory 1st 

I will update his results until the end of the turf season. 

Comments: That's a 40% win strike rate with his debutantes. From experience, any two-year-old that wins on debut is often good enough to dip its toe into pattern class. That was seen with Rock Melody who thrashed his rivals on debut at Redcar. The 16/1 shot stormed clear by over three-lengths winning comfortably. 

I bet against this filly and cursing: ''Who is this bloke!'' 

This is what the Racing Post had to say: ''Raced freely, held up in behind leaders, headway going easily two out, ridden to lead 1f out, soon edged right, went clear inside final furlong, easily.'' 

She contested the Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies' Stakes (Listed Race) at Newmarket over 6f on good to firm going (20th June, 2021) finishing a respectable 10th, beaten just over five lengths. 

Make no mistake, you will be hearing a lot about Kevin Philippart de Foy this season let alone years to come. 

Take note of his other debut winners: 

New Pursuit 

Impressive when winning well on debut at Epsom by over two-lengths. This son of New Bay, a steal at 30,000g as a yearling. In the ownership of Run Away Racing Quest Syndicate. 

Scot's Grace

This daughter of Mehmas literally flew home when making her debut at Kempton. In the ownership of Bernard Havern, bred by Tally-Ho Stud, this bay filly was picked up for pocket money at the Tattersalls Ire Goresbridge Breeze Up @ Nmkt for £15,000. A four-and-a-quarter length victory, Scot's Grace stamped herself as a live chance for Group race success.

Pearl Glory

I was impressed and disappointed when this daughter of Cotia Glory won on debut. You've guessed it, I bet on the horse that finished second [Outside World, trained by Mark Johnston]. This bay filly won by a nose, after having traffic problems. Another inspired breeze-up purchase by this young trainer for just £12,000, from vendor Hyde Park Stud. She was purchased on the 3rd June and bringing home the bacon on the 14th July. Make no mistake this was a victory worth noting because the form of this debut effort will be proven to be high class. 

Kevin Philippart de Foy has achieved in 10 two-year-old debutantes what many established trainers have failed to do in a decade. 

Good luck for the future. 

You most certainly don't need it. 

19 Jul 2021

Are you using the best horse racing betting sites?

It’s not hard to find a licenced and regulated online bookmaker in the UK that offers horse racing betting. However, some sites are - without question - far superior to others. 

In this article, we aren’t going to debate which bookie is the best for horse racing. If you want to know that intel, just click right here. Instead, we’ll tell you what to look for when choosing where to have a flutter online. 

There are several considerations, and each punter will value them according to their own desires. Once armed with this information, you’ll easily be able to find your perfect betting site.

Range of meetings 

You can virtually guarantee that all horse racing betting sites will take bets on the UK’s most high-profile races like the Grand National, Cheltenham, Royal Ascot, and the Derby, to name a few. In fact, most sites cover every race from the UK and Ireland, ranging from meetings at Yarmouth and Chepstow to Punchestown. 

However, the best horse racing betting sites provide hundreds of meetings from other countries like Australia, New Zealand, France, South Africa, and of course the famous Kentucky derby in held in the states. This means that there’s racing around the clock.

Bonuses and promotions 

There’s no shortage of bonuses and promotions available to racing punters. These include welcome offers like matched deposits and free bets. After that, you’ll discover plenty of regular offers like price boosts, accumulator insurance, money back if second to the favourite and beaten by a neck. 

Of course, the variety of offers varies from one bookie to the next. Therefore, you want to investigate what each bookmaker has, so you can pick the best deals for your style of betting.

Betting odds 

While bonuses are a stellar perk, it’s the betting odds that deliver everyday betting value. Many of the UK’s leading bookmakers offer best odds guaranteed on all races from the UK and Ireland. This means that you are given the highest price between the odds taken when you placed the bet and the SP. 

Still, you can use an odds comparison website to check the prices across multiple bookies to see which sites tend to be more generous. There are also margin calculators available online that work out the vig. 

Live streaming 

Part of the allure of betting on the horses is watching the race to see how your runner gets on. Live streaming at the top racing betting sites lets you do just this. Typically, the feeds are taken from Sky Racing (At The Races), Racing TV and ITV Racing, so the quality of the coverage and the commentary is first class. 

Yet, again, there are levels within this category and it depends on what races you wish to bet on as to what’s the best service. Some sites only offer live streaming on races in the British Isles, whereas others stretch their coverage overseas. 

Form guides 

Successful horse racing bettors spend a fair amount of time studying form guides to find their nap of the day. The top-rated bookies now provide this at the touch of a button. Several sites have partnered with the Racing Post or Time Form to deliver expert analysis on the runners, riders, course and conditions. On the flip side, there are online betting sites that don’t meet our expectations in this area. So, it’s something to look into if this service matters to you. 

Tote betting 

Thousands of punters prefer betting in a Tote pool rather than against the bookmaker. You may find the odds are slightly more attractive, or you want to join a Placepot or Jackpot pool. Not every online bookmaker offers Tote betting, however. We like the ones that do because, as bettors, it gives us more options where to put our stake, and some of the payouts from the Tote can be truly exceptional. 

Mobile apps 

Will you be looking to place your bets on the go? If so, you want to join a bookmaker that delivers a state-of-the-art mobile platform. All online betting sites now have web-based mobile-optimised sites, but some have gone the extra mile and developed dedicated betting apps.

These apps usually come loaded with additional features, such as betting alerts, price promotions, and bet builder tools. You can also watch live streams via the apps, fund your account by secure payment methods and make withdrawals. 

Customer support 

When you’re in a betting shop, you can ask a member of staff if you have a query, but what about online? That’s where the customer service division springs into action. Naturally, you want this service to be available whenever you need it, which is why the top-rated bookies offer 24/7 live chat. This isn’t inclusive across the industry, though. So, check out the customer service options and response times before signing up.

Photo: free for use 

2 Jun 2021

Beginners’ guide to picking the right horse

Horse racing and a day at the races are an exciting adventure for equine fans with many prestigious events like Aintree dominating the annual calendar. But even though the sport maintains a strong following throughout the year, it is the betting audience which can truly make a good event a great one. But where do you even start when it comes to betting on the horses? 

Taking a look through a horse trainer directory can give you some sound knowledge, but here are some helpful hints on picking the right horses. 

Put in some legwork 

Doing a bit of homework before you place your bets can really help your chances of success, even if you spend just a little time going through the race program. 

Making an informed decision isn’t always as straightforward as you’d like it to be but with a little reading material you could certainly make a better choice than just guessing. As well as listing all the races planned for the day ahead, a race program will also give you some background information about the horses taking part. These details could indicate which participants are in better shape, and primed for a win. Also, look at previous horse racing results over the last few weeks to see which horses and jockeys are on form.

Choosing a bet 

Sometimes made out to be much more complicated than it needs to be, horse racing and betting on it can come in all shapes and sizes thanks to various different kinds of bet. 

The most common bet to read about is the win bet, where you just pick a horse that you think will win the race, hence the name of the bet. 

Perhaps the second most well-known bet is a place bet. This bet may differ depending on which country you’re in, but the basic premise is that you are placing a bet to say that a particular horse will become in first or second, sometimes even third. Betting on multiple horses can also be done, though the chances of success are much slimmer. 

You should also look out for betting tips from tipsters! 

Getting The Right Tips 

There is no shortage of tipsters dishing out free horse racing tips, but how do you know which ones are worth listening to. Well, the simple answer is research. You should look at tips from a variety of horse racing sites with experts who offer predictions and previews. Make a list of what each one says and then draw conclusions by comparing them. If you are looking for content you can trust, check out's horse racing tipsters where experts such as Alan Kelly always fill you in with the latest tips with previews on which horses and jockeys to look out for. Plus the renowned jockey Peter Scudamore also gives out his tips on 

Shop around 

Once you have done all the homework and decided which horse you are going to bet on, next it is time to take a pause and shop around. 

Much like any other industry, it always pays off to shop around. Just going with the first bookie may not be in your best interest. Before placing the bet, take the time to check a range of bookmakers to see which one is offering you the best payout for the bet you want to make. If you win, you’ll want to maximise your capital so do this by shopping around for the best odds on offer. 

Branch out but not too far 

Statistically speaking, it makes sense that the more races you bet on, the more chances you have to win and make a profit. Stick to a budget and place some bets, but don’t invest in all the races. You’ll want to save some pennies for other big races later on in the day.

14 May 2021

Royal Ascot: The early favourites for the Ascot Gold Cup

Royal Ascot: The early favourites for the Ascot Gold Cup
With just a month to go until the latest renewal of Royal Ascot, fans of flat racing up and down the country will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of the iconic meeting. Of course, the event took place behind closed doors during the height of the pandemic last June. However, this year fans will be welcomed back to the historic course and that will undoubtedly make for a much better festival as horses and jockeys alike revel in the atmosphere. 

The Ascot Gold Cup on June 17th is the meeting’s showpiece race and punters will already be studying the form guides and keeping an eye on the horse racing betting sites — waiting for the perfect time to make their selection. So, as we count down the days to the exciting festival, let’s look at the early favourites for this year’s Ascot Gold Cup. 


There’s no doubt that Stradivarius will be the name on everyone’s lips in the build up to Royal Ascot. Legendary jockey Frankie Dettori and the John Gosden-trained seven-year-old are gunning for an historic fourth-successive victory in the Group 1 race and they are the outright favourites to do so at around 6/4. Stradivarius’ form left a little to be desired towards the back end of last season, as he failed to win in three outings — his worst run of form since he started competing in 2016. However, he was back in the winners’ enclosure at Ascot last month, and that will fill his backers with confidence. 


At 6/1, Subjectivist is the likeliest horse to stop Stradivarius, Dettori and Gosden from taking home a fourth Gold Cup. The Mark Johnson-trained four-year-old came home in third at 22/1 in the King George V Stakes at Ascot last summer, and went on to have a decent flat season — winning at Hamilton and Goodwood before landing the Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak at Longchamp in Paris. He’s started this year with a victory in the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan and he’s certainly in good nick to push Stradivarius all the way at Royal Ascot. 

Sir Ron Priestly 

Sir Ron Priestly is another horse from Johnson’s esteemed yard hoping to usurp the odds in this year’s Gold Cup. The five-year-old, who is currently 8/1, had a cracking season in 2019 — winning five of his seven races — and it looks like 571 days without a race hasn’t hampered his career as he’s back to winning ways, scooping victories at Nottingham and Newmarket already. The Gold Cup will be a step up, but don’t rule him out. 


Trueshan is hot on the heels of Sir Ron Priestly at 9/1. The Alan King-trained horse was a bit of a mixed bag for the most part of last season — winning twice in four outings. However, he has looked much better since Hollie Doyle has taken the reins from Martin Harley. Doyle and the five-year-old landed a victory at 11/1 in the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot in October but were narrowly beaten by Ryan Moore and Japan at Chester earlier this month. 

The likes of Tiger Moth (10/1), Search For A Song (12/1), Ocean Wind (12/1) and Santiago (14/1) are all next in line.

Photo: Shutterstock 

10 May 2021

How to Find the Best Horse Racing Betting Sites

For many horse racing punters, you can’t beat the thrill of the betting ring and being at a meeting in-person, but now that online betting sites have become so prominent within the gambling ecosystem, bettors have a terrific set of options if they want to stay at home and place their racing wagers through online bookmakers. 

New operators are entering various markets all of the time, and it can be difficult to differentiate between the good betting sites and the not so good ones. 

But it is not a case of one size fits all. Some punters prioritise better odds, whereas others prefer improved functionality and features. Below are five key factors that can help you choose a horse racing betting site. 

Best Odds Guaranteed 

One of the most important and popular betting offers related to horse racing is Best Odds Guaranteed. 

It’s a common promotion in the UK, but can also be found on some betting sites in other countries. 

With BOG, you get paid out at whichever odds are higher between the price you take, and the price the horse starts the race at. 

Betting Offers 

Aside from BOG, there are many other betting offers you can claim as either a new customer or an existing player. 

Most welcome offers can be used on any sport, and generally involve either a deposit bonus or free bets. 

Existing customer bonuses can be more sport-specific, and for horse racing they can allow you to get your money back, or extra places on each way bets, or enhanced odds. 

Live Streaming 

If you are able to watch the races you bet on with the same site that you place your wagers with, then it makes the entire experience very seamless. 

Some bookies have a better streaming selection than others. There are some that focus only on one particular country, whereas others cover international meetings across the UK, US, South Africa, France, and more. 

You also want to ensure that there is as little delay on the live stream as possible, especially if there are in-play betting possibilities. 

Analysis & Form Stats 

Whether it’s the Grand National or a Class 5 race at Newton Abbot, you want to be as educated as possible on every race you bet on, and to help you out, some betting sites have analysis from third parties integrated into the horse racing section of their site. 

The fact that the information is provided by another outlet such as Racing Post or Timeform ensures that it is completely unbiased, so you can make informed decisions.

It also helps when the form and any necessary stats are provided as well. 

Mobile Betting 

Horse racing is essentially a 24/7 sport, so there might be instances where you want to bet but you’re not at a computer. 

Fortunately, the top sportsbooks have made their mobile products a top priority, and some even have state-of-the-art betting apps that allow you to quickly navigate to the race you want and lock in your bets. 

With Face ID login and a smooth user interface - features of top betting apps like Bet365 and Unibet - you can get your horse racing bets in as and when you want.

7 May 2021

Enjoy The Thrill Of Racehorse Ownership Without The Expense


Harraton Stud. Laceys Lane. Exning. Suffolk. CB8 7HW
Tel: 07974817694


  • Enjoy the thrill of ownership without the expense, make new friends, enjoy the day at the races.
  • Newmarket Equine Tours Racing Club has 4 quality horses to enjoy throughout the season. Go to the races in style with your owner/trainer race badge, with a fantastic group people. 

N.E.T. Racing Club 1 year membership
12-month membership to the N.E.T. Racing Club with Julia Feilden. You will be a member of an enthusiastic and successful racing club with the opportunity to watch your horses race as well as stable visits. Includes ballot for complimentary race day badges (including race day hospitality) unlimited stable visits, email updates and invites to special owners' days.


''It's great being part of Newmarket Equine Tours Racing Club. My only disappointment is not joining years ago. It's exceptional value! It's ideal for getting the inside edge when betting on the horses. With four talented horses running for you, it's a perfect time to make this new Flat turf season something out of the ordinary. There will be plenty of opportunities to go racing this year. The correspondence is great. Julia keeps you informed of the horses and their chances on the day. Go racing in style: Collecting your Owners/Trainers badge(s);  gaining entry to all those parts of the racecourse which once seemed the province of the rich and famous. You will be that VIP. Rub shoulders with the great and good: meeting Julia and the team in the paddock, shake hands with the jockey, listen to the pre-race talk, then watching your horse run like the wind. With four lovely horses, you're odds-on to make the winner's enclosure in 2021.''    

Thanks for a wonderful club and brilliant days' racing. Fantastic. Fully recommended by Horse Trainer Directory. (Owner, Jason Coote) 

Read Julia's Blog

Live Streaming Betting Sites – The Exciting Way to Bet

Almost half of the people in the UK bet at some point. Some of these people bet on the Lottery or on casino games. However, sports betting is also a favourite for many. Within this area, race meetings like the Grand National and Royal Ascot attract millions of pounds worth of bets. The amount of money spent betting on the horses has increased dramatically since the first online bookmaker launched in 1996.

A relatively new feature has further increased the popularity of online sports betting, as bookmakers now stream sports content live to customers. If you are fond of placing horse racing bets, sites like Unibet give you the opportunity to register an account, place a bet and watch your horse run live, for certain races. 

The advantages of live streaming on betting sites 

The most obvious advantage of watching racing live via a bookmaker is that it adds excitement to your betting. There are also other positives that you can experience. 

Getting an understanding of how horses and jockeys are performing over several days at events like the Cheltenham Festival. This helps to improve the success of your betting as the event progresses. 

Watching racing using a betting app is more affordable than betting online and paying to watch live racing separately.  

Using a betting app means that you can watch live racing wherever you are. You can even watch it while you are on the move. 

Points to consider

If you like the sound of these benefits, there are several points that you should consider when you are looking for a betting site that live streams races. These points include:  

The live streaming options that are available. Not every betting site provides a wide variety of live streaming choices. So, if you enjoy a variety of sports, as well as horse racing, you should make sure that you get access to as much of your favourite action as possible.

Access requirements that are in place. You cannot just go to an online betting site and watch sporting content. You at least need to register an account in order to watch. In the case of horse racing, you will usually have to place a minimum bet if you want to watch a race live. 

Storage space required by an app. Many betting sites use apps to deliver their live streaming content. If this is the case, you need to consider how much storage space the app will take up on your device. 

Security of the site or app. Do not choose to use a betting site or app just because you are attracted to the live streaming. You still need to consider factors such as security. For instance, you should make sure that SSL encryption is in place before you use a betting site.

You can see that using a betting site that live streams horse racing helps to increase the excitement and enjoyment of betting. It’s a great way to enjoy top races as well as hopefully backing the winner if you are lucky.

6 May 2021

Which Horse Can Win a Ninth Derby for O'Brien?

Aidan O'Brien is the most successful trainer in the history of The Derby. The Irishman won his eighth victory at the prestigious race at the Epsom Downs in 2020 when Serpentine delivered a spectacular performance as an outsider to claim the crown. True to form, O'Brien has a long list of charges that are preparing to deliver a ninth win at the event, further extending his dominance over the rest of the sport. Here are the three horses that stand the best chance to triumph ahead of their rivals. 

High Definition 

O'Brien has pulled his charge out of the Lingfield Derby Trial, which could raise alarms for a run at Epsom. However, the three-year-old is the leading contender in the horse racing betting odds for The Derby crown. High Definition was outstanding at the end of the 2020 season in Ireland. On his debut run in Curragh, he charged through the field in the closing stages of the contest. High Definition beat out a number of talented horses to claim the win, finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of his stable-mate Wordsworth.


High Definition followed up his fine performance with another excellent run at Curragh, this time in the Beresford Stakes. Seamie Heffernan got the best out of his charge, surging away from the field at the right moment to close out his second victory. He has not been in action since, which could be a concern, although it is not essential for him to compete before a run at Derby glory. 

Bolshoi Ballet 

The three-year-old has more experience than his stable-mate, although his record has been up and down since making his debut midway through the 2020 campaign. Bolshoi Ballet finished third at Newmarket in his maiden stakes but was on form in his second outing in Leopardstown to get off the mark in his career. However, the Irish thoroughbred finished the campaign on an underwhelming note, placing in fifth at the Criterium de Saint-Cloud. 

O'Brien's charge returned for the 2021 season in April at Leopardstown and returned to his peak form. He dominated the rest of the field in the Ballysax Stakes to close out a victory by two-and-a-quarter lengths with Ryan Moore in the saddle. Moore will have his pick of O'Brien's horses and should he select Bolshoi Ballet, it could be a telling factor as he pursues his third win at The Derby.

Van Gogh 

Van Gogh has eight runs under his belt and two victories after making several appearances last year as a two-year-old. He made an impression in the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown where he was just beaten out by a neck by Military Style. It was the same story in the Juvenile Stakes when Cadillac bested the American thoroughbred. However, he did make his breakthrough at Curragh at the end of September. As a result of his victory, Van Gogh was installed as one of the leading contenders for the Autumn Stakes. 

The pace of One Ruler was too much for O'Brien's charge to handle at Newmarket, placing second finishing three-and-a-half lengths behind the winner. Van Gogh ended his campaign with a sterling effort at Saint-Cloud in the Criterium International, dominating the field to notch the second win of his career.

The American thoroughbred was an outsider at 20/1 for the 2,000 Guineas to start the term. Although he finished down in eighth, he was the best of O'Brien's performers placing ahead of Wembley and Battleground. Given that Serpentine was down the pecking order for O'Brien last term, do not sleep on Van Gogh at The Derby.  

3 May 2021

Visit James Fanshawe's Website At HTD

Welcome To Horse Trainer Directory

James Fanshawe has become one of the most familiar and respected figures on the British Turf – this tall, slim, bespectacled fellow who has given new energy and life to a stable steeped in history. In his unassuming way, however, James Fanshawe remains ever ambitious to build upon that status with new stars for every discipline. 
Fanshawe is a supreme talent and I only wish he trained horses over the National Hunt because I'm sure we'd have some Cheltenham betting offers to take advantage. The exception to the rule. 

Visit James Fanshawe's website here. 


Contact details: Pegasus House, Snailwell Road, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 7DJ

Tel: 01638 664525 


The History of Pegasus Stables

Newmarket’s enduring monument to Fred Archer, greatest and most tragic of all Victorian Jockeys, is Pegasus Stables, formerly known as Falmouth Lodge where James Fanshawe has trained since 1990. 

Fred Archer, a rather tall man, whose solemn expression gave him more the appearance of a bank clerk than the most powerful and fearless rider of the day, became engaged to Helen Rose Dawson at the age of 25 in 1882. In preparation for his marriage he built the mansion to which he gave the name of Falmouth House as a compliment to Viscount Falmouth, who held first claim on his services. Next door to his new home he built the then named Falmouth Lodge for the sum of £20,000, a huge amount of money at that time, in which he intended to train when his riding days were finished.

Fate, though, decided Archer would never have a string of horses in that yard. By 1886 he was desperately unhappy, despite riding as brilliantly as ever. Not only was he still inconsolable after the death of his young wife in childbirth two years earlier, but in addition to his mental anguish, he was enduring the excruciating physical agony of trying to maintain a racing weight. On 8th November 1886, he shot himself in Falmouth House, which was demolished in the 1960’s, during a fit of delirium. He was just 29, had been champion on 13 consecutive occasions, and ridden five Derby winners. In all he rode? classic winners.

Although he never trained in the stables he had built, Fred Archer did keep his hacks and carriage horses there. Much his favourite hack was Scotch Pearl, a grey mare who had retired from racing. During the early years of this century, a number of Newmarket people were adamant that they had seen the ghost of Fred Archer, riding across the Heath on his beloved Scotch Pearl, one of the first inmates of Pegasus Stables.

Following the death of Fred Archer, Falmouth Lodge, as it was still called, was the private stables of Sir John Blundell Maple, a Member of Parliament whose fortune came from his furniture emporium in Tottenham Court Road. Sir John Blundell Maple had a quick succession of trainers, as Percy Peck was in charge of the 40 odd horses in 1894 and 1895, John Day in 1896, and then Willie Waugh until the death of the owner in 1903. 

The best horse that Sir John Blundell Maple had in the yard was Nun Nicer. In 1898 Willie Waugh was responsible for that filly winning the 1,000 Guineas.

In between the world wars, and for a short time after the second, Falmouth Lodge was the quarters of Gordon Sadler. A member of a famous racing family, Gordon Sadler won no races of outstanding importance, though the stable was consistently successful over the years. 

With the retirement of Gordon Sadler in about 1950, the name of the yard was changed to Pegasus Stables, and it was taken over by Captain Robin Oates, who had spent three years with Noel Murless at Beckhampton after leaving the army. During the 12 years that he was at Pegasus, Captain Oates won many races with useful horses like Rough, Josephus and Jeanne Michelle. On Captain Oates departure for Sussex in 1962, Maurice Moroney, who had ridden over fences after serving his apprenticeship in Ireland, had a small string in the yard for two or three seasons. 

The association with Fred Archer was renewed after 82 years when Bill Watts commenced his training career at Pegasus Stables in 1968. Bill Watts is twice related to Archer, as one of his great-grandfathers, Charlie Archer, and one of his great-grandmothers Alice Pratt were brother and sister of the great jockey. Having obtained his first notable success with Our Ruby in The Oaks Trial at Lingfield in 1968, Bill Watts won the Royal Hunt Cup with Mr. Charles Engelhard’s Calpurnius in 1970, before going to Hurghill Lodge Stables at Richmond in Yorkshire at the end of that season. 

Another prominent trainer of the present time, Clive Brittain, embarked upon his first season with a licence at Pegasus Stable’s in 1972. Two years later he won the St. James’s Palace Stakes with Averof at Royal Ascot and then moved across Newmarket to the Carlburg establishment he continues to train to this day. 

Michael Jarvis, who had saddled many good winners while private trainer to Sir David Robinson, was at Pegasus for the season of 1977 and 1978. Most prestigious of the races won during those two years was the Ebor Handicap with Lady Beaverbrook’s Totowah. On leaving Pegasus, he went to the Kremlin Stable where he continued training until his sad death in 2011.

After leaving Lambourn Patrick Haslam took charge of Pegasus during the years 1979 – 1988. He trained the winners of 272 races – 259 on the flat and 13 over jumps. As was the case with Bill Watts the most important race he won from the yard was the1984 Royal Hunt Cup, when he sent out Hawkley to beat Teleprompter (bred next door to Pegasus Stables at Lord Derby’s Woodlands Stud). 

Since 1990 James Fanshawe has sent out many Group 1, 2 and 3 winners as well as two Champion Hurdle Winners which you can see from The Roll of Honour Page. 

James and Jacko Fanshawe have always been immensely proud of the history and the association with Fred Archer that Pegasus Stables has. They still feel he is very much part of the yard and their son Tom born in 1997 has as his second name Frederick in recognition of arguably the greatest jockey that ever lived. James sets high standards and asks himself if the great jockey were alive now would he want to ride the horses that currently fill boxes he built. 

When James took over the lease in December 1988 the yard was very run down having been let for so many years. He was able to purchase it in 1994 and set about the task to restore it to its former glory. The main yard, which houses the colts, has its original doors, which have been stripped, complete with original brass fittings. The cheaply 1960’s built breeze block yard has been replaced with a yard built to the same specifications as Fred’s original boxes. We chose to name the new stables the Falmouth Yard after Freds original choice of name. The most important aspect of these is the ventilation which was as vital for a horse’s well being in the nineteenth century as it is today. 

Every box at Pegasus is now in excellent condition and owners can rest assured that their horses are stabled and trained in the best possible environment.

Source: James Fanshawe website.


''Why listen to whispers when this comes straight from the horse's mouth?''

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14 Apr 2021

Grand National 2021 Review

It was a Grand National like no other in more ways than one, and with the history books now being rewritten, it’s the perfect time to recap on this great sporting occasion. 

Even before we heard the sound of the Starter’s pistol for the 173rd running of the world’s most famous horse race, the feeling around this year’s National was quite different. The race was back after being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, in which a Virtual Grand National, won by Potter’s Corner, took its place. However, with restrictions still in place, the Government decided no fans were allowed to attend Aintree this time around. 

The Grand National has a special place in our hearts, and for many people, having a flutter on it is a once-a-year experience. Unfortunately, the traditional trip to the bookies was off, with betting shops still under lockdown. It’s been a tough time for high street bookmakers, particularly independent shops that cannot compete online with the major brands, such as William Hills and Ladbrokes. Although noises were made to move the 2021 Grand National back a week for betting shops to reopen, these were rebuffed and the event went ahead as planned on the 10th of April. 

A Moment in History

Despite the trifecta of no betting shops open; no roaring crowds, and no Tiger Roll - the horse that had won in 2018 and 2019 - it was good to have the Grand National back on the sporting calendar. 

For a time, it looked set that the 2021 National would be remembered for one - if not all - of the above. However, a certain Rachael Blackmore had other ideas. Blackmore arrived at Aintree fresh off the back of becoming the first-ever female to be top jockey at the Cheltenham Festival, and there was a buzz of excitement in the air as she saddled Minella Times for this year’s showpiece. 

To offer some context, Minella Times was a 50/1 outsider in February, but due to Blackmore’s heroics at Cheltenham, the horse was backed all the way down to as low as 9/1 on some betting sites, with the official starting price being 11/1. Many racing pundits felt that the odds were far too short and that Minella Times shouldn’t be in the winner’s conversation. 

Yet, Rachael Blackmore had other ideas. The history books were torn up as she became the first female jockey to win the world’s most famous steeplechase. 1977 was the year that females were first allowed to race in the National, with the previous best being Katie Walsh’s third place on Seabass in 2012. Blackmore had rewritten another chapter in horse racing history. 

Certainly, her cause was aided when clear favourite - Cloth Cap - pulled up, but that is not to take anything away from this outstanding achievement. Blackmore is now one of jump racing’s superstars and fully deserves all the plaudits that are coming her way. If you missed out on having a flutter on the National, it might be worth putting a pound on her to win this year’s SPOTY award.

25 Mar 2021

The Secret to Winning the Grand National 2021

If you could see into the future, ten minutes would be just enough time.

You'd have been at Aintree, Liverpool, the home of the Grand National, and mysteriously know the name of the winning horse.

The Secret. 

You'd have been disappointed back in 2001 as Red Marauder completed the greatest steeplechase in the world with a winning time of 11m 0.1s. Even worse, you'd have missed out on the odds at 33/1. 

All recent winners have been right on time. 

You would have been laughing all the way to the bank. 

Highlights would be Mon Mone winning at 100/1 in 2009. A very pleasing 9m 32.9s. 

To be honest, if you knew the outcome of a race before it started a mighty odds-on would be tempting. 

A brazen smile as you placed your bet. We're talking suitcases.

This year's Grand National takes place on the 10th April. To give the race its full title: The Randox Grand National Handicap Chase (Grade 3) (Class 1) 7yo+

The winner gets prize money worth £375,000. 

For many, the accolade of winning is worth even more. 

Which of the 2021 horses and jockeys will prevail? There will be a maximum of 40 runners. At present there are 77 entrants. 

Until the horses have been selected it is difficult to know which jockeys will be riding which mounts. 

However, you can guaranteed certain owners and trainers will have their pilot waiting ready for the off.

In recent years, Tiger Roll has been the talking horse, winning consecutive races in 2018 - 2019. Sadly, he couldn't try and emulate the third success of the legendary Red Rum, beaten by an impossible opponent in Coronavirus. 

It is disappointing to hear that Tiger Roll won't take his chance this year and heads to the Irish Grand National which takes place at Fairyhouse on the 5th April. 

This time round, we have a strongly fancied favourite in Cloth Cap, trained by Jonjo O'Neill who won the National back in 2010, giving Tony McCoy his only success in the race and putting a smile on the face of many including owner J. P. McManus.

Cloth Cap has been well supported at 9/2 and may be one of the shortest priced favourites for over a century 

Trevor Hemmings is the owner of Cloth Cap. This billionaire businessman is no stranger to success as he has won the Grand National three times since 2005 when Hedgehunter landed the odds at 7/1 in a time of 9m 20.8s. 

That wasn't the best kept secret.

The Grand National is a race full of stories. This April, another story will be told. Perhaps it will be a winning favourite. It could possibly be a horse at odds of 100/1. Wouldn't it be something if this year saw the first female jockey win this biggest prize. 

You'll have to wait until after the race because I'm keeping this secret under my hat. 

Good luck.  

Photo: Pixabay free for commercial use and no attribution although given