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. 

Stradivarius 

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. 

Subjectivist 

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 

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

JOIN THE WINNING TEAM WITH N.E.T. 2021

Harraton Stud. Laceys Lane. Exning. Suffolk. CB8 7HW
email: juliafeilden@gmail.com
Tel: 07974817694


NEWMARKET EQUINE TOURS RACING CLUB

  • 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.

Testimonial:

''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. 

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


Tel: 01638 664525 



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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.


HORSE TRAINER DIRECTORY






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

Welcome to the one-stop shop where everything gallops. This resource details a comprehensive list of Horse Trainer Websites, Blogs & Twitter links for National Hunt & Flat racing. Take advantage of this primary source of data by clicking our ‘Quick Buttons’ to detail all the latest news. Why listen to the whispers when this comes straight from the horse’s mouth?

With our website going ‘live’ we've been amazed by the response with testimonials/feedback from horse trainers, journalists, racing fans & welfare groups amongst those who have a love of everything equine.

What makes our website so impressive is the ease you can navigate 100s of resources with our user-friendly features. Three simple ‘Quick button’ allow access to trainers of both codes, including our latest development the ‘Track’ facility which highlights every racecourse website & twitter link so you need never miss a day’s racing, promotions or news.

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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 

Grand National 2021: It's Not the Same Without Tiger Roll

This year has been a little all over the place. I'm sure most people have felt they have been jumping mighty fences from last April to this. 

However, this time we will be seeing thoroughbred racehorses chomping at the bit rather than last year's disappointment of the Grand National being abandoned due to Coronavirus. It was an unfortunate thing to happen because it really should have taken place. Instead, we had the virtual Grand National to enjoy. It lacked any heart and so far removed from real horse racing that is was, for me, a disappointment. 

10th April 

4:15 Aintree, Liverpool. 

The Grand National. The greatest steeplechase in the world. I am struggling to keep up with proceedings and this moment looked at the Grand National betting. I'm a furlong behind those punters with their finger on the pulse as I was half imaging Tiger Roll would be favourite after winning at Cheltenham. Sadly, he was withdrawn from the entries and it looks like he will be heading to the Irish Grand National at Fairyhouse which is to take place on the 5th April. 

If Tiger Roll wins, punters may be questioning that he should have gone to Aintree. It looks as though connections wish a less testing trip of 3m 5f for the Irish National compared with 4m 2 1/2f. 

After a rather disappointing start to the season and pulling up at Cheltenham, with thoughts of retirement, you have to question whether this will be a hard task for the eleven-year-old who has been a shining example of brilliant throughout his career. 

Looking at the betting for the Aintree Randox Grand National Handicap Chase it looks like we may a relatively short-price favourite with Cloth Cap, trained by Jonjo O'Neill in the familiar of green, yellow and white of Trevor Hemmings. In fact, most bookmakers have this nine-year-old bay gelding priced at odds of 9/2. He's won his last two races and it looks like he will enjoy a trip. Considering he ran over a distance of 2m 7 1/2f last time out at Kelso punters will be hoping he stays on strongly at the line. 

Jonjo O'Neill trained the 2010 winner Don't Push It, who gave Tony McCoy his only win in the race.

Trevor Hemmings as done well in this race over the years. Race fans will remember he last tasted victory in this tough race in 2015 when Many Clouds won at odds of 25/1, trained by Oliver Sherwood, ridden by Leighton Aspell. 

A memorable victory for many reason. 

Hemmings has had other wins including: Ballabriggs (2011) & Hedgehunter (2005).

The billionaire British businessman loves this race and if returning at odds of less than 4/1, would be one of the shortest priced winners in the history if the race. In fact, you would have to go back to 1919 when Poethlyn won at odds of 11/4, ridden by Ernie Piggott, and trained by Harry Escott for owner Gwladys Peel. 

Tiger Roll was one of the strongest fancies when winning in 2019 at 4/1. 

Even without Tiger Roll not quite living up to the mighty Red Rum, which was as much to do with the Coronavirus as anything, we still have much to look forward to with the both Grand Nationals. 

Tiger Roll will head to the Irish Grand National and battle for a historic win. While Cloth Cap could be one of the shortest-priced favourites in over a centruy and may well be a horse to emulate those successes of his owner. 

Good luck to all. 

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

15 Mar 2021

Are You Cheltenham Ready?

It's finally here!

We've had to wait a long year to get to the starting point. However, this is what we have been waiting for and Prestbury Park will come alive on Tuesday. Betway are ahead of the field when it comes to promoting the greatest National Hunt meeting of them all. Added to mix we have Richard Hoiles and the West Ham team at their most entertaining with their very own Prestbury Cup!

It really is quite hilarious. 

Whatever you're betting at the Cheltenham Festival this is your banker. 

8 Mar 2021

Nicky Henderson Bidding For First Grand National Win

Leading British trainer Nicky Henderson has been Champion Trainer on six occasions and has won many of the sport’s leading races, including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Chase, and Champion Hurdle. 

One race the Seven Barrows-based trainer has yet to win is the Grand National, a contest he will be desperate to prevail in before he retires. It has been 42 years now since Henderson had his first runner in the world’s most famous steeplechase. In 1979 he saddled Zongolero, who finished second behind Rubustic, the closest he has gone to the winner’s trophy. 

Henderson’s best chance of ending that wait for a Grand National win this year could come through Santini. Last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup runner-up is 14/1 in the Grand National betting in 2021 with Paddy Power.


The nine-year-old was a Grade One winner as a novice as he claimed the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree during the Grand National meeting in 2018. He proved his class again last season, finishing just a neck behind Al Boum Photo in the Blue Riband event of the Cheltenham Festival. 

Given what he has achieved over fences, it is no surprise that the handicapper has handed Santini the joint-highest weight of 11st 10lb in the Grand National this year. No horse has won with that weight since Red Rum was successful in 1974 with 12st.


Santini is set to have another shot at the Cheltenham Gold Cup before he appears at Aintree a month later. He has yet to jump the Grand National fences at the Merseyside Racecourse. 

Ok Corral And Pym Also In The Grand National Mix 

Henderson is also likely to be represented in the Aintree contest by OK Corral and Pym. Those two horses are inside the top 40 ratings at the latest declaration stage and they have odds of 33/1 and 50/1 respectively with the bookmakers.

Ok Corral is in good form at the moment as he won a Listed contest on his last outing at Doncaster. That has helped him get a rating of 151 ahead of the weight’s launch for the Grand National. He is set to feature one more time before Aintree. 

With three wins from six outings, OK Corral has an excellent record over fences. Henderson did highlight the Grand National as a target earlier this season. His owner J.P McManus famously won the race in 2010 with Don’t Push It and he’d love to have another success. 

Pym is also a Listed winner this season as he prevailed at Sandown where he made all over 3m. He has not appeared since finishing fifth of 10 runners at Newcastle back in November. The handicapper dropped him down to a mark of 153 on the back of that run. 

Henderson has stated he believes Pym has the stamina to do really well in the contest at Aintree in April. He is also very happy with the weight his horse has been given. 

If he can get his hands on the Grand National trophy this season, it will feel like Henderson has completed the full set of big race wins throughout his illustrious career.

1 Mar 2021

Desert Orchid Gold Cup Winner 1989

The Cheltenham Festival. What does it mean to you? Which race do you love to anticipate, bet & watch? If you are going to bet, then I found this long list of offers available for this year.   

In truth, there are so many horses who have made this iconic race meeting the pinnacle of their career. Name a National Hunt favourite - I bet it won at Prestbury Park. 

As the saying goes: ''Time flies.'' But let's face it, for most readers who placed a winning bet on this special day it's as fresh as yesterday. 

Even after so many years, I wonder what odds you would give when asking this question.

Name a grey horse? 

Desert Orchid. 

Time may fly but nostalgia lives long in the heart and mind. Think back to the days of Desert Orchid. In 1989 ''Dessie'' achieved the ultimate goal when winning the Gold Cup to the voice of a legend in his own right, Sir Peter O'Sullivan. 

His most famous words:


''Desert Orchid is beginning to get up...''

To the cheers of a jubilant crowd, 'Dessie' done it!

One quote from a happy punter exemplified the feeling of a national: 

''It sent shivers down my spine. It was like watching England win the World Cup. I wanted to streak up the road I was so delirious''

What a day.

Do you remember these 3 quotes?

1) After winning the 1989 Gold Cup, jockey, Simon Sherwood said: 

"I've never known a horse so brave. He hated every step of the way in the ground and dug as deep as he could possibly go".  

2) Racing Post:

''The race has been voted the best horse race ever by readers.''

3) Carrying Weight:

''No horse since Desert Orchid has repeatedly and successfully conceded weight to his rivals at the highest level.''

Desert Orchid was born 11th April 1979 in Goadby, Leicestershire. This grey was sired by Grey Desire out of a dam called Flower Child. He was bred by James Burridge who was a part owner with Midge Burridge, Richard Burridge & Simon Bullimore. He was trained by David Elsworth racing seventy times, winning thirty-four, eleven seconds and placed third on eight occasions. His most noted victories included the King George VI Chase four times (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990), Cheltenham Gold Cup (1989) & Irish Grand National (1990). He achieved total prize money of £654,066.

He retired in December 1991. Desert Orchid had his own fan club raising over £40,000 for charities selling ''Dessie'' merchandise and racing calendars.     

Desert Orchid died on 13th November 2006. He was aged 27. His ashes were buried at his beloved Kempton Park Racecourse near his statue.