Robin Oakley

Robin Oakley writes The Spectator's The turf column

Aidan O’Brien’s Derby victory was an act of grand larceny

11 July 2020 9:00 am

It wasn’t so much a Derby victory this year as an act of grand larceny. Aidan O’Brien isn’t just a…

Royal Ascot was a triumph – even without the cheers and the hats

27 June 2020 9:00 am

Royal Ascot it wasn’t: for the first time in her 68-year reign, thanks to Covid-19, the Queen was not there.…

Horse-racing has made a triumphant return

13 June 2020 9:00 am

Horse racing, it turns out, wasn’t the first sport back in post-lockdown action: that distinction went to pigeon racing when…

Racing needs us as much as we need it

30 May 2020 9:00 am

Horseracing in Britain, which was suspended by coronavirus on 18 March, is due, as I write, to resume on Monday…

How to get your racing fix under lockdown

16 May 2020 9:00 am

There is racing elsewhere in the world. It restarted in France on Monday, la course de chevaux being classed in…

What the Queen will miss most in self-isolation

2 May 2020 9:00 am

Seven hundred pages of memoir is stretching it a bit even for an ex-inhabitant of No. 10 with David Cameron’s…

A first-hand account of a racehorse trainer’s battle for survival

18 April 2020 9:00 am

Sport may well be ‘the great triviality’ as Timeform founder Phil Bull once put it, and racing as trivial as…

Does horse-racing have a future?

4 April 2020 9:00 am

Asked, after his Imperial Aura’s impressive win in the Northern Trust Novices’ Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, if he…

Cheltenham Festival was a triumph

21 March 2020 9:00 am

The socialite MP Chips Channon once noted in his diaries his feelings about an after-lunch snooze in parliament’s Library: ‘It…

The magic of Cheltenham Festival

7 March 2020 9:00 am

Every time the Cheltenham Festival looms, I recall a remarkable experience. It was already 25 years since Dawn Run’s recovery…

Cyrname was lucky to survive his shocking fall at Ascot

21 February 2020 10:00 pm

Few jumpers have a better record at Ascot than the Paul Nicholls-trained Cyrname. He triumphed in the Betfair Chase at…

The saviours of racing

7 February 2020 10:00 pm

I was once at a racing dinner in York where a distinguished clergyman in attendance was invited to say grace.…

The trainer who gives the big boys a run for their money

24 January 2020 10:00 pm

Racing’s New Year began well with the award of OBEs to both Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls, showing that they…

The battle for the future of Flat racing

11 January 2020 9:00 am

The master plan in acquiring our flatcoat retriever puppy Damson was that as folk no longer with full-time jobs we…

Farewell to Australia’s greatest horse

21 December 2019 9:00 am

Storm clouds may be rumbling over racing’s future financing in terms of gambling legislation but 2019 offered no shortage of…

The election won’t bring any joy to the racing community – whatever the outcome

7 December 2019 9:00 am

Whatever the outcome of the election on 12 December, it is unlikely to bring joy to the racing community. Conservatives…

Cheltenham was the perfect antidote to election politics

23 November 2019 9:00 am

I can only be sorry for the 67,496,581 citizens of the UK who were not at Cheltenham last Saturday. For…

The best thing about autumn is the return of jumping

9 November 2019 9:00 am

Never mind Keats’s mists and mellow fruitfulness, or even that glorious autumnal odour of wet dog — a regular accompaniment…

The dark world of Victorian horse racing

12 October 2019 9:00 am

Two hours after showing her father, the Marquess of Anglesey, the wedding dress in which she was to marry the…

When nice guys come first

28 September 2019 9:00 am

With shorter days and leaves falling, I begin to itch for the more sporting, less obviously commercial world of jump…

My puppy-training advice for Boris Johnson

21 September 2019 9:00 am

President Harry Truman once observed: ‘If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.’ Boris Johnson, as Prime Minister…

Excessive gambling is dangerous – a flutter on the horses is not

14 September 2019 9:00 am

Sorry is allegedly the hardest word to say — so Carolyn Harris, chair of the all-party parliamentary group studying gambling-related…

All is not well in the murky world of bloodstock sales

31 August 2019 9:00 am

Carried away on a day at the races a successful businessman bid for and bought a horse from a seller.…

Time’s they are a-changing: Khadijah Mellah wins the Magnolia Cup at Goodwood on Haverland – the first Muslim woman to ride a competitive race in a hijab

Why do race-goers have to subsidise the post-sport entertainment?

17 August 2019 9:00 am

Before this year’s Shergar Cup meeting all I had seen of Australian flat jockey Mark Zahra was a memorably painful…

Frankie Dettori aboard Enable, the greatest filly ever

Saturday’s King George was the finest contest I have ever seen on a racecourse

3 August 2019 9:00 am

It is stupid to become attached to inanimate objects but when modern technology finally forced me to ditch the Olivetti…