Robin Oakley

Robin Oakley writes The Spectator’s The turf column

What makes a champion jockey

17 February 2018 9:00 am

Write a few books and you have to listen politely at parties as people who have never opened yours tell…

Everyone is talking about the little girl from Devon

3 February 2018 9:00 am

If there hasn’t yet been a hurricane called Bryony there should be. The impact of Bryony Frost, just 22, this…

Why I’ll chain myself to an earthmover at Kempton Park

20 January 2018 9:00 am

I have never been one for system betting but one little piece of guidance returns to my mind at the…

Robin Oakley: Why Jeremy Clarkson should stick to cars

6 January 2018 9:00 am

Jeremy Clarkson wrote recently about a day at Newbury. He declared: ‘Claiming that horses are different is like saying ants…

Robin Oakley: Let’s hear it for the girls

16 December 2017 9:00 am

It has been a good year for the girls. The filly Enable was the horse of the year, winning not…

The dark side of horse racing

9 December 2017 9:00 am

Spotting Mark Grant’s name on an Ascot racecard, I remembered a dashing young mop-haired rider I first encountered some years…

Improbable: a Sri Lanka grey hornbill

Forget temples and tea – Sri Lanka is all about its birds 

2 December 2017 9:00 am

Standing in sweaty silence for an hour on a precipitous sliver of muddy footpath above a waterfall may not be…

My hot tips for the jump season

25 November 2017 9:00 am

Richard Johnson may already have 100 winners in the bag, and Paul Nicholls may already have banked £750,000 worth of…

The founding father of bookmaking

11 November 2017 9:00 am

Imagine Ryan Moore getting caught on the line by a rival’s late spurt at the end of a Newmarket race…

The turf

28 October 2017 9:00 am

Racing’s finances depend on as many people as possible betting, so it seemed a touch ironic that Responsible Gambling Awareness…

The turf

14 October 2017 9:00 am

The mission was simple: take a load of garden refuse to the council dump and be back in time to…

The turf

30 September 2017 9:00 am

Racing is an expensive sport to stage. Courses and grandstands have to be maintained, health and safety regulations have to…

The turf

16 September 2017 9:00 am

Racing moves off the back pages only when its opponents have bad news to gloat over. Two examples lately have…

The turf

2 September 2017 9:00 am

I guess his mother may have called him Patrick, or even, when he was in trouble, ‘Patrick Joseph’, but in…

The turf

19 August 2017 9:00 am

‘Racing isn’t a team sport,’ the diehards used to tell us about the Shergar Cup, Ascot’s annual contest for three-rider…

The turf

5 August 2017 9:00 am

Khalid Abdullah, John Gosden and Frankie Dettori — owner, trainer and jockey — already figured among the great names of…

The art of picking winners on the Flat

28 May 2016 9:00 am

‘After a few decades of marriage a man ought to be able to recognise his own wife,’ Mrs Oakley observed…

How to make a mint at the races this summer

14 May 2016 9:00 am

It has been a little like scraping from the plate as slowly as possible the last traces of Mrs Oakley’s…

The difference between praying in church and praying at a racecourse

30 April 2016 9:00 am

The difference between praying in church and praying at the racecourse, a gnarled old punter once said, is that at…

The Grand National a predictable affair? Not a bit of it

16 April 2016 9:00 am

With great victories in Flat racing you witness hats-in-the-air exultation. You see the pride of trainers who nurtured the winner…

I managed to miss out on the glory of Cheltenham - financially anyway

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Everybody has their glory memory from Cheltenham this year. Some celebrate the extraordinary seven victories for the quietly confident Willie…

Jump-racing bids farewell to the great John Ferguson

19 March 2016 9:00 am

Writing a Turf column before the Cheltenham Festival, as the Spectator schedule requires, which you are reading only after the…

The second-best jump jockey ever finally gets to finish first

5 March 2016 9:00 am

Richard Johnson, possibly the nicest man to occupy a saddle and certainly the most modest, once said of his Irish…

Inside the mind of a racehorse trainer

20 February 2016 9:00 am

There are now two Kings of the Marlborough Downs. Leading jumps trainer Alan King has long trained top horses at…

Hot tips for next month’s Cheltenham Festival

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Racing Life is all about judgment and I got one thing right at Cheltenham last Saturday after the overnight rain.…