Derby weekend preview!


Well a very good evening campers. What an enjoyable day today was (apart from England’s performance at Lords). Absolutely delighted for Ralph Beckett for his one-two in the Oaks this afternoon. I had the pleasure of interviewing Ralph on the phone on Timeform Radio yesterday and he was a pleasure to speak to and  very pleased with both of his filly’s going into today. If you were listening it was a classic radio moment as myself and Rory (Delargy) were discussing Talent at the time that our producer put the call live. I think Rory is now off Ralph’s Christmas card list but on a brighter note, I doubt he cares tonight.

I have to say that I do feel for a lot of my colleagues who were all on Secret Gesture at massive prices months ago. For what it’s worth I think she still might actually be a better filly that talent, things just didn’t quite go her way today. It would have been a very interesting finish had she got first run and a clearer passage. Still there is no doubt that they were quite clearly the two best horses in the race.

A terrific result from my horses to follow list today too as JUST PAUL won at Catterick. Most of you will know that he’s been on the radar for some time. I’ve had to be pretty patient as he went on the list last year. The SP of 14/1 was beautiful.The only other selection today was HELL HATH NO FURY. A nightmare passage down on the inside having slightly missed the break and midge had to sit and suffer to a degree. She looks on a nice mark and I’m sure it won’t be long before the losses are recouped.

I have a full weekend of cricket to take care of so I will not be around so I’ve spent the evening going through tomorrow’s cards and I have managed to come up with a couple of selections. One is fairly obvious.

I will start things off in the Woodcote Stakes (2.05 Epsom). Kodiac’s two-year olds have made a magical start to 2013 with 11 wins from 36 runs and he has two in here that are both of major interest to me. The likely short priced favourite will be Richard Hannon’s Thunder Strike but I think there is reason to take him on as from all the runners he has beaten in his two starts only one of them has even managed to place since. He may be smart but he is much too short. I really like the look of HAIKBIDIAC who’s available to back at 9/2 on Betfair this evening and I think he might be a bit shorter come post time. He won well on debut before looking like 5f was a bit too sharp on his second start. This step up to six should really suit and he has the added assistance of Ryan Moore and a good draw in stall 4. I expect Ryan may track Richard Hughes early and pounce late. I will be having a saver on MONEY TEAM for Bill Turner. He was really well backed last week ahead of his smooth victory and I think he might be up to this step up in class. He’s available to back tonight on Betfair at about 17.5 and that will do nicely.

I will take great pleasure in watching St Nicholas Abbey winning the Coronation Cup again as he is one of my favourite horses in training.

I managed to narrow the dash down to about 3 or 4 but couldn’t find any value anywhere as the ones I like are towards the head of the market. If you had to put a gun to my head I would probably side with Captain Dunne but it is wide open. If you fancy LONG AWAITED you are probably going to have no finger nails by the end of the race as Hughesy is going to have to pull out one of his master classes! Good luck!

The Investec Derby 4.00 Epsom

A race that revolves around the stamina of DAWN APPROACH. Jim Bolger’s unbeaten colt comes here on the back of being very strong at the finish in the 2000 Guineas, as he has been in most of his races. His sire New Approach’s progeny are proving to be stout stayers but it is on the Dam side that the doubts are being bantered about. His dam (Hymn Of The Dawn) raced five times over 6-8f and finished with a rating of 73 (not deserved). She is by the US bred PHONE TRICK who was a classy sprinter and who’s own progeny have never won a race over 9 furlongs.

I for one think he will stay. He has a classy way of travelling through his races and the downhill section of the course at Epsom will come at a time when a lot of these will be pressing the button. As a result I think that Kevin will be able to sit on the bridle for much longer than he would normally want too and then he can use the unbeaten colt’s class to get him home.

On a line through Sugar Boy the disparity in the market between Battle of Marengo and GALILEO ROCK is stupid. GR has been crying out for at least a mile and a half and as such I think he represents a degree of interest in the Betfair place market. He might well be a St Leger horse later in the year and the 8.6 about him to place with a small win saver has to go in the book aswell.

I think Dawn Approach will win mind and he goes down as a maximum as he continues to drift.

Disappointed with England today at Lords. I can’t see why Jade Dernbach still gets in the side. Yes he has a good slower ball but most frontline bowlers do. He’s a good T20 addition but he is not a one day frontline bowler. It brought back some great memories watching the game today having played at Lords in the National Village Cup final two years ago. The road back there continues this Sunday in the Regional Semi Final.

The conference finals in the NHL get underway tomorrow too and the Bruins travel to Pittsburgh for games one and two so a couple of late nights are in order! Let’s go BRUINS!

I trust you’ll all have a an excellent weekend. Be lucky, back plenty of winners.




Sunday 24th March


Greetings campers. The one big advantage of being on this five month training program is that Sunday mornings are generally greeted with a clear head and a bit of Sunday Brunch on Channel 4. The weather is once again playing havoc with the racing, although remarkably we have two meetings on this afternoon. It was really interesting listening to Nicky Henderson in the studio yesterday. Most of you will know that I’ve been saying from day one that Sprinter Sacre should certainly be upped in trip. After the breeders telling Nicky that they can’t understand why they aren’t running him over three miles it looks like we are going to get a stepping stone at Aintree where it looks like a match against Cue Card and Flemenstar looks fully on the cards. Looks like I’ll be going to Aintree then! What a race that will be…….and who knows maybe the reality that 3 three miles or maybe even further could be a possibility?

A fun week all in all. Shame we lost Donny yesterday. I mentioned some proform stats ahead of racing on Friday. Keep an eye out for Richard Fahey’s handicappers in March/April. This one produced two winners at Doncaster and is a stat to follow. Keep an eye on William Van Gogh’s entries, he won with a ton in hand as expected and will probably rack up a quick sequence. Keep Clapped onside as well. Maybe a drop back to 7f will be ideal. He missed the break on Thursday and was up against it, he should be followed.

Miako seems to be fine on the back of cutting himself earlier in the week. On the face of it he actually ran a blinder considering how slow the track was riding and how quick they went early. Ridden with a tad more restraint he definitely looks up to winning off his revised mark. He is entered this week in a 0-75 where he is likely to carry top weight. The race represents a drop in grade though so we will be hopeful of a good showing. Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to Southwell on Wednesday as I’m working on Timeform radio. Due to flu, weather and all sorts I haven’t done a Timeform show for about 8 weeks, will be good to be back in the chair!

Finding a stream to the golf channel before Sky sports went on air last night for the golf paid lovely dividends. I’d noticed Tiger was drifting like Wooders after a heavy night in Punters (5am needs an explanation). So I tuned in to find out what was going on. Tiger although starting only steady looked really focused. Rose and Haas both started on fire which caused the drift on Tiger who was now 6/1 in running and 6 shots off the lead. Needless to say I waded in a bit extra at the 6/1 in the hope that he would have a stormer and get back in the game. I was going out shortly after and had largely forgotten about it until a text came through from Buca at around 9 pm saying “class Tiger”……

Birdie at 15 followed by eagle at 16 had propelled Woods to joint first. Rose then went to pieces by all accounts and Woods ended the day two shots clear. Stake traded out at 1.5 thank you very much indeed. Now finish the job tonight old boy. No smashing it off the tea, take the conservative route and let them chase you. Ta.

Without doubt today the best bet for me and probably the only one is going to be BUY ART (2.40 Lingfield). Gary Moore’s gelding is completely unexposed off a mark of 62 and you are not going to get many weaker opportunity’s than this is a season. He has looked the last twice like he was being teed up for a little race somewhere and this looks ideal. The booking of Ryan is a big plus and he in my opinion will be very hard to beat in this.

People keep asking me what I think about the Olympic Stadium for West Ham. Well my answer is the same as most hammers. We don’t really want it but you can understand the logic. Upton Park holds so many memories for me and there still is no better place in the country for a game under the lights mid-week. When I was there for the Spurs game a couple of Monday’s ago the atmosphere was unreal. I can’t imagine you are ever going to get that at an Olympic style park. David Gold keep’s tweeting all these weird stats about the positives and I don’t agree with all of them. The bigger picture is that as a club under the Gold, Sullivan and Brady regime we are working towards being a debt free football club, which in this day and age is very rare. When we achieve this along with moving to a redeveloped stadium which will hold 54,000 we then have the opportunity to offer big time wages, which will attract the better players and also the potential of challenging for Champions League football which comes with many more obvious benefits. The travel links to Stratford will also make life a damn sight easier for fans. The short-term of losing Upton Park will be tough to swallow but we may end up reaping the rewards within ten years so lets roll with it….. COYI

Have a good day today, cheer on Buy Art and Tiger and if anyone is offering up a Sunday roast then let me know!

Peace out


Wednesday 17th Oct – Is it raining in Poland….they might need a Mitie Mouse!

I don’t even know where to begin with last nights debacle that was the football. During the whole process I didn’t see a single member of the groundstaff on the pitch! Still I can’t grumble I would have missed most of the game as I would have been on the train home from London! Now I can watch it on the sofa this afternoon! OOOooooosh.

I hope that at least a few of you still backed NOW SPUN yesterday. Wasn’t really enough of a price for me but he confirmed the promise from the eye-catching debut run and duly bolted up. In hindsight maybe 11/4 was a gift! LORD PAGET on the other hand remains a mystery. He keeps missing the break and just doesn’t have the pace to go over 5 furlongs. I understand they are doing this to drop the mark, but the handicapper is not relenting as he has obviously seen what we have. After a chat with Shevchenko I think its agreed he’s not really a punting proposition until he steps up to at least 6, but preferably 7.

ART SCHOLAR runs again today at Nottingham (3.15) in a similar race to last week. There is a Cecil hot-pot that looks a potential group horse running in a handicap but other than that the 5lb rise in the weights wouldn’t necessarily put me off. I think he is still worth backing each way with the way he went through the ground last week and is around 11/1 this morning. 1 pt each way should do us nicely.

MITIE MOUSE 6.10 Kempton 2pts @ 7/1 with bet365 (BPG)

A real interesting runner for Mike Murphy tonight at Kempton. The Exceed and Excel gelding has only had 14 starts to date, 9 on the turf and 5 on the all-weather. Of those runs on the all weather he has constantly bumped into some well handicapped horses (Dark Castle, Alnoomas etc) and as a result over the last year his handicap mark has dropped 21lbs. His run at Bath last time was when he went into the notebook as Patt Dobbs wasn’t very hard on him at all. Originally for tonight’s race Richard Hughes had been booked for the ride but they have decided to replace Richard with James Doyle possibly on the back of Richard’s success over the last few days with a view to saving the price. His one win came over 5 furlongs here and he has a good inside stall for a prominent racer. He looks incredibly well handicapped on some old form and looks a real good investment at 7/1.

CRUISER is another horse than went into the eyecatcher’s list after getting badly hampered in the home straight last time. He would have been a fairly strong selection tonight but for the fact that ALRAASED is also in the race. He looks a real progressive horse for the Dunlop team and will be better over a mile than the 7f he got last time. That tempers enthusiasm a little bit on cruiser but he is worth backing. 1 pt e/w @ 15/2.

On the tain last night I started reading Steve Palmer’s book again. He is an absolute legend and it is a real shame he is no longer on Twitter. Some of his stories are classic and if he calmed down some of his betting policies he could seriously win big. Let’s hope he comes back to Twitter at some point. My aim for the year is to meet the good man and have a few ales with him. I’m sure I’ve called home a few winners for him in his local Coral shop that he spends so much time in.

Be lucky today, COME ON ENGLAND!